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Thread: Greetings from Germany

  1. #11
      Absinth is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfrazierjr View Post
    Good job for your first try Absinth. Gimp can be kind of annoying to try to learn, but you did pretty darn well.
    Yes, I haven't toyed with digital graphic stuff before; not even MS Paint...
    I learned the basics mostly by trial and error. I'm really wondering why I haven't found this board before, as I googled a lot for tutorials. It would've saved me a lot of time and headaches, but on the other hand I learned a lot about the GIMP, which is a good thing. I stumbled across this board because a user from the Paizo-boards linked it in a discussion about mapping.

    Is there anything you would like to try to learn to style wise to make these maps any better? Or will you try some new GIMP techniques on new maps you make? One thing I would highly suggest is to learn how layer masks work asap, as well as when to use them.
    Oh yes, I'll try all the techniques that the masters among you use. I read through RobA's brilliant tutorial about creating regional maps and he uses all the functions that I never figured out how to use.
    I'll definitly try the use of layer masks. I haven't done much with layers yet. I also would like to learn how to use and create textures. I toyed around with the GIMP textures, but couldn't come up with satisfying results. When you use these for larger areas, you can see the textures patterns and this doesn't look nice. I also want to learn how to use paths!

  2. #12
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absinth View Post
    Oh yes, I'll try all the techniques that the masters among you use. I read through RobA's brilliant tutorial about creating regional maps and he uses all the functions that I never figured out how to use.
    I'll definitly try the use of layer masks. I haven't done much with layers yet. I also would like to learn how to use and create textures. I toyed around with the GIMP textures, but couldn't come up with satisfying results. When you use these for larger areas, you can see the textures patterns and this doesn't look nice. I also want to learn how to use paths!

    • Layers - Layers are your friend. Try to use as many layers as ossible. For example, if you are painting two colors, they should be on separate layers in almost all cases. Ditto for two textures.
    • Layer Masks - Check out my tutorial on Layer Masks in GIMP. For me at least, it is night and day the flexibility you have when you start using layer masks vs without them.
    • Paths - RobA's tutorial is a good start with paths for several features. What I have found, is that I tend to make paths for each channel as I use the Stroke Path feature quite a lot, and mostly I use it on the channels I create for my masks.
    • Textures - go find some good sites. cgtextures.com is good.. but many don't tile without some change and you can only download 15MB a day without paying a subscription fee. One of the coolest I have seen is Genetica Viewer which has a collection of several hundred tilable images which you can then render and save are various resolutions. It is excellent for getting various rock structures, floor tiles, etc. I find that I render several copy of each base image at various resolutions and scales to my patterns folder so I have a variety.

    Also, even though I have not used it much yet, you might want to look into getting Inkscape (free) as I believe you can export objects from there into GIMP as paths. RobA uses both, so he can verify.
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
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    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  3. #13
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absinth View Post
    Yes, I haven't toyed with digital graphic stuff before; not even MS Paint...
    One thing you might want to try is in future maps to work with giving your mountains a bit more life. "I" like using several little splotches of color on the mountain and using the smudge tool to blend it down into the underlying terrain color(of course, the underlying color should be a similar shade as on in the mountains.)

    See this thread where I point someone else to two places I really like for mountain tutorials. Don't get me wrong... these maps are nice and simple, and that may be what your going for. This is just in case you want to jazz it up a bit in the future, so don't feel like you have to change the existing ones at all.
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  4. #14
      Absinth is offline
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    I already have Inkscape. I downloaded it at the same time as GIMP, but I found GIMP more "accessible" (if you know what I mean) and I like the graphic user interface better. As they seemed to be quite similar, I decided to go with the GIMP. But Inkscape is still on my desktop and I might give it another try in the near future.

    Thanks a lot for the tips! You're right about the mountains. I'm not that pleased with my current maps, but it's the best I could come up with with my limited experience and knowledge. I decided to go for the "nice and simple" approach because I just can't/couldn't do anything else. Okay, they're very useful in the game (my players love them!) but my ideal of a map looks different (more like the stuff Rob Lazaretti or Christopher West do). But I'm optimistic that my mapping skills will improve now after I found this place.

    I already looked at Spiral Graphic's site , but was a bit confused about the whole beta stuff. When the beta license will expire after two months, will the texture pack still be useful?

  5. #15
      RobA is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfrazierjr View Post
    Also, even though I have not used it much yet, you might want to look into getting Inkscape (free) as I believe you can export objects from there into GIMP as paths. RobA uses both, so he can verify.
    I'll verify.

    I use paths in Gimp as little as possible as it is (IMOO) a limited implementation. I tend to do all my vector elements in Inkscape then bring them into to Gimp, either as SVG paths, or as rendered png layers.

    -Rob A>

  6. #16
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absinth View Post
    I already looked at Spiral Graphic's site , but was a bit confused about the whole beta stuff. When the beta license will expire after two months, will the texture pack still be useful?
    I think that is just if you purchase the Pro version that lets you create new texture files. The Viewer is a stand alone application that let's you view and make some limited changes(quite a bit actually) to the existing texture files already included or those that others made.
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  7. #17
      Absinth is offline
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    Thanks for the clarifications, RobA and jfrazierjr!
    I'll download the Genetica viewer then and take a closer look on the weekend. Can the Genetica textures be added to the GIMPs texture files (just like adding new brushes, palettes and so on)?
    Last edited by Absinth; 10-21-2008 at 05:23 PM. Reason: Wrote Generica instead of Genetica! That's what you get when you post on the net one hour after deciding to go to bed...

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  9. #19
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absinth View Post
    Thanks for the clarifications, RobA and jfrazierjr!
    I'll download the Genetica viewer then and take a closer look on the weekend. Can the Genetica textures be added to the GIMPs texture files (just like adding new brushes, palettes and so on)?

    Yes. I just rendered several textures at various resolutions out of Genetica View last night at various resolutions. Attached it something I happen to have open from playing around last night. I started by using RobA's Dungeon Script (you have all his scripts right???) With Mordakh Wasteland for the background and Granite Wall for the stroked path. I then modifed the floor which I originally had in there to have a bunch of different textures via layers and Layer masks to show the textures where I wanted them to be:

    Greetings from Germany-dungeontest.jpg

    They are:

    Top Left: Granite Wall
    Top Middle/Long Hallwayalace Floor
    Top Right: Brown Byzantine
    Bottom Left: Corroded Techno Tiles
    Bottom Middle: Cracked Earth
    Bottom Right: Ancient Hopscotch
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  10. #20
      Absinth is offline
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    RobA, thanks for the links...
    jfrazierjr, the textures in your example look great! And no, I haven't got RobAs scripts yet (alas I saw the links in his sig), as I don't even know what a script is! Sorry, but I'm stumbling over a lot of unfamilar terms since I registered here... I'll look them all up! I just bookmarked the english GIMP manual, because I used the german one untill now... I'll download the english 2.6 (still using 2.4) so I won't be confused when I'm working through the tutorials. Thanks for your patience with a noob like me, but the cluelessness won't last forever!

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