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Thread: Trying to figure out if Gimp will do what i want it to do

  1. #1

    Default Trying to figure out if Gimp will do what i want it to do

    I want to create bunch of maps for a homebrew d&d campaign.

    I am a self taught Turbo-cad user (poor mans autocad) and I am very proficient in it so that is where my experience is.

    What i want to do is create wall sections, doors, windows, furniture, etc and save them as symbols then piece them together on different layers in Gimp

    for example: have a floor layer, then walls, then objects (chairs, chest, etc), then use gimp to add shadow and light effects

    In cad programs you can save images as symbols then piece them together, i cant seem to find a tutorial that shows how to do this in gimp, or even if it can be done.

    I have tried to save wall sections i have built and then open each image as its own layer, then flaten, but you cant go back and manipulate later (at least i cant at my current skill level in Gimp)

    I have played around with maptools, i find it very clunky but it does the job, except i wish to save my maps as png's and use them outside of rpgtools, when i export the resolution is terrible.

    will gimp even do what i want it to do


  2. #2
    Guild Expert Hai-Etlik's Avatar
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    You might find Inkscape better suited to what you are after. It can handle 'linked clones' of objects where you can update the original and all clones will update to follow it.

    You might still want to use the GIMP for some further processing.

  3. #3


    There are a few similarities between raster imaging software like The GIMP or Photoshop and using CAD programs, but they are two very different beasts. In CAD, you are creating a 3D "solid" object and letting the program make it look realistic; in The GIMP, though, you are using lots of flat layers to create a 2D image that looks like something solid. If you really want to learn to use The GIMP, my suggestion would be to bite the bullet and search for a beginner's GIMP tutorial on Google. Once you get a feel for the controls, read Ascension's Making Atlas Style Maps in Photoshop tutorial for background, then read and actually follow Giide's GIMP adaptation of it. It might take you a weekend to get through, but you'll be really proficient in using the different tools and filters in GIMP by the time you do (and you'll have a cool map of your very own continent).

    If you're really just worried about making good-looking, easy battle maps for indoor locations, check out this thread by RobA. The script that RobA wrote does all of the heavy lifting for you, including textures and lighting effects for the main map. The most up-to-date version of the script is on Post #62 on Page 7 of the thread. Basically, you just draw a B&W layout of where you want the walls and open spaces on your base layer, then run the script to turn it into an awesome map. Once that is done, you can merge the visible layers (although you certainly don't need to) to make a flat image of the room. Add a new layer on top, and use that to place objects like doors, furniture, etc.

    Creating "symbols" and having GIMP convert them into images isn't really something it can do, per se, but you can get PNG images of those kinds of objects with transparent backgrounds and lighting effects already built in. Just copy the object's image and paste it into your newly created top layer of your map, and you can re-size, rotate, and move it to where you need it. I'm still really new at this, but the best place I've found so far for drop-in object graphics like that is Greytale's Nook.

    Hope that helps!

  4. #4


    I am getting the hang of it

    I have run through a few tutorials

    here is what i have come up with at my current skill level

    and to give credit where it is due, I used the resources pack from Maptools that was uploaded by Torstan, the image was created totally in GIMP by me

    this is a farm house modeled after a share croppers cabin. There are 2 small cabins under one roof with a front and back porch, the porch continues between the two smaller cabins. The remains of these cabins are all over the rural south east.

  5. #5


    Very nice. Looks like you got the hang of that PDQ.

  6. #6


    You can also create your objects as BRUSHES and stamp them as you need them. You will still have to rotate them where needed but it works pretty well. As I have needed objects I have created them so my library of items has been growing. I think there is a Tutorial around here someplace on how to make a brush in Gimp but I may have just beat at it till I figured it out. It's not too complex and your errors will be obvious as you go. (Like not cleaning up your brush very well).
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

    * Rivengard * My Finished Maps * My Challenge Maps * My deviantArt

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