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Thread: [Award Winner] Hand-Drawn Mapping (for the Artistically Challenged)

  1. #1
    Community Leader Gidde's Avatar
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    Default [Award Winner] Hand-Drawn Mapping (for the Artistically Challenged)

    I got a request to do a tutorial of how I did the Velaedin Empire map; here it is in all its (very long) glory. While the tutorial is long, it shouldn't take more than a few hours to go through the entire thing. I'm actually quite jealous of folks who use it, as I didn't discover many of the time-saving techniques in here until I had already spent months on the original. Such is life

    The end result sample map (using entirely the time-saving "cheater" methods in the tut), the tut itself, and the brushes needed are attached.

    Note: To get the guild site to accept it, I had to give it a huge compression factor. A lossless version (42MB) is available at my DropBox site, here.

    //Edit: Some credits (in the pdf, but I also should put them in the post): I used Ironmetal250's awesome hand-drawn elements tut and RobA's awesome weathered-parchment tut for some of the techniques herein. Thanks so much to both of you for sharing your expertise!
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    Last edited by Gidde; 06-09-2010 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Revised pdf.

  2. #2
    Community Leader Facebook Connected tilt's Avatar
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    Very nice tutorial Gidde, great work.. and lots of pages have some R&R

    EDIT: gotta spread some love around - so its one R only
    Last edited by tilt; 06-05-2010 at 05:13 AM.
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    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Katto's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing. I will add it to my TODO list .

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    Administrator RobA's Avatar
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    Great tut, Gidde!

    A couple of things that might either make life better or worse, depending on your perspective.

    in Step 5 (page 16)
    Right-click on the Mountains layer (which should be directly above Mountain Shading) and click Merge Down. Now we have one layer that has both the mountains and their shading on it. To make sure, hide the Mountain Shading layer and the whole kit and kaboodle should disappear. Unhide it, and make all of the white transparent (Layer Transparency Color to Alpha). The Color → → to Alpha defaults to white, so click ok
    Try just changing the layer mode of the merged down layer to multiply. This will have the same effect as the Colour to Alpha step. The only real advantage to this is that by keeping the mountains on their own layer and white filled, you can add more mountains later that block out other mountains using the brush in normal mode, or behind by setting the brush mode to behind!

    Also, I'm sure it has been mentioned, but when you get to labeling (page 26) Inkscape is a great (free) option for labeling far easier and with many more options than gimp.


    Lastly, I like the ink bleed method. I usually generate a plasma map and displace using that, but this seems much easier. Thanks for the tip!

    -Rob A>

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    Community Leader Gidde's Avatar
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    Thanks for the wonderfully detailed comments, RobA! You're totally right, I should have mentioned Inkscape. It didn't even occur to me at the time since Inkscape and I don't get along well at all, lol. As for the mountain layer, I had toyed with the idea of making it darken-only for that same reason, but I didn't even know Behind mode existed! You truly are the Gimp-maestro. I'll post up a couple of corrections soon

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    Community Leader Gidde's Avatar
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    The pdf in the top post has been revised to incorporate RobA's suggestions. Thanks again, RobA!

  7. #7

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    Great tutorial, Gidde. It was really clear and easy to follow, and taught me a bunch of new tricks I'll have to remember for the future. I've used it to put together my first regional map for my campaign, which is based on an existing map (at http://vargoth.com/northmoor/map/). I haven't bled the roads or cities yet, nor have I added any labels (I'm still deciding on most of them).

    Thanks for the tute!
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    Community Leader Gidde's Avatar
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    Nice work, and glad you found the tut useful!

  9. #9

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    Oh, one suggestion I forgot to mention - since my lake was included as part of the sea channel, it received the same color treatment. The 15px stroke/50px blur turned out to be too much for it, and I ended up breaking it out into a separate layer with a 10px stroke & 20px (ish?) blur, though the exact values would depend mostly on the size of the lake itself. You might want to make a note of that - I noticed the sample map didn't include any lakes.

  10. #10
    Community Leader Gidde's Avatar
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    Ah, that's a good point. The map I had based it on had a couple and that's how I treated them, but they were pretty big, so that could be why it worked for them. The good news is that you knew what to do when the tut didn't quite fit your map

    Edit: Bonked you as well, for posting your first map

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