Two Gimp Maps: Both Learning Projects
I come presenting a couple maps for your viewing and critique. The reason I came to this forum was that I was trying (and by my standards, failing) to create a word map for a game I'm DMing. The first map I present will be the map I created before I found this website. The second map is the product of working on (but not quite finishing) RobA's tutorial on "Using GIMP to Create an Artistic Regional RPG Map."
There are a lot of things that I like about my first map, and a lot more that I realize need some work. Some things that I like about this map are its general style (or at least, the style I wanted it to look like in my mind), and the layout of the continents and landforms (although it needs more forests). I like that there are different looks to the mountains in different areas, and would like to preserve that, and possibly something similar with the forests and deserts. Also, I plan on keeping the shape of the continents pretty much the same.
The biggest problem with this map is its image quality. I noticed almost immediately when I started working on it that the quality was not high enough, but had no idea then how to fix that (higher ppi). Getting into actual problems with the map though, I don't like many of the colors of this map. It may not even be the color so much as the lack of any texture on land or in the sea. I'd need a lot more pleasing way to do both of these. There has to be some way to add artistic texture to land (doing foothills especially) that I can learn. Also, my forests and deserts both need a LOT of work, and I'm not sure what type of style I'm going to do those in. Also, the polar regions were done before I had any knowledge of layer masks, so those can easily be re-worked to look better. I'm going to almost completely re-work this map eventually, but it's an acceptable starting point. I'll count this as my rough sketch.
I learned a lot from working on this next map. I love how my coastlines look, and the random mixing of the grass and dirt is really cool. These are two things that I think I could bring into my final product eventually. The TLS technique is really useful, and invaluable to learn, and the ability to create bump maps will definitely come in handy. Thanks RobA for making this tutorial. I'll get around to finishing this map eventually.
I don't however really like the overall style of this map as much as the more hand-drawn approach, however. This might be mostly because I had a really hard time getting the mountains to look anything like mountains (I still don't really think they look like mountains...). RobA's example was so much better in the tutorial. Mine seem to stand out as being very wrong on this map, as they don't seem to realistically fit into the texture of the rest of the map.
While I've seen people here talking about how they created a map out of the history of some region they've been playing in a game, I seem to work in the opposite direction. I can create a map, and then based on it a history and political situation seems to fall into place. So, I'd love to get a world map whipped up before I get to deep into my new campaign. This shouldn't be too much of a problem, considering I have four months until the next adventure (most of which will be taken up by school work, but some of which will include cartography).
Since I've got some time, I'm going to muck about in a few different styles, and try out some other tutorials. I'd like to be able to find a style that fits my world map, and progresses nicely to city and building maps. I'd love any comments, criticisms and especially pointers. Thanks so much.
Sounds like we're in the same boat. I haven't posted anything recently (mapmaking-wise) because I'm still working on my unnatural looking mountains. I like the rest of the map though. But if you're going to switch styles, I'll refrain from too much critical analysis. Keep up the good work!
Last edited by aiRo25; 01-18-2009 at 11:00 PM.
Reason: fixing emoticon
Personally, I'd stick with the first one and maybe adapt a few things into it...like softer or muted colors and slight textures (just to put some bumps on it and break up the aces of flat color). I like the general direction of the mountains in the first as well and would change the whole thing to a hand-drawn style. Sure the second one has more flash but sometimes you want the steak and not the sizzle.
If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
-J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)
My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps
I'm looking to do that pretty much exactly as you stated it. I'm not sure how to go about it though. The mountains in that map are borrowed from another map, and so I don't really know how to work in that style. I'm planning on looking around at the tutorials for a while, maybe pick up something that can do vector graphics (inkscape?) and go from there. If, however, anyone has suggestions for where I could go specifically, I'd much appreciate it.
Originally Posted by Ascension
Everyone seems to have problems with the mountains in that tutorial
I know there are a few other alternate ones floating out there... STF for "gimp mountains" and you should find them.
Yeah, but yours looked fine. I don't know what it is, but they didn't do it for me. Still, Thanks for the tutorial RobA, it has been incredibly enlightening.
Originally Posted by RobA