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Thread: First Map Post

  1. #1
    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    Map First Map Post

    Hi all,

    I was lead here by RPMiller. I've been reading the posts and I've picked up some great tips. Here's a map done in gimp as a hand-out for the D&D game I run. It's a Zhent map of an underdark sea detailing basic troop movements. Any criticisms welcome.

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Name:	ZhentMap.png 
Views:	677 
Size:	1.75 MB 
ID:	548

    The paper was done with a texture (gimp slate) and desaturated plasma layers as overlays - thanks to whoever posted those tips. I'm afraid I can't find that post again to give more specific thanks!

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    Community Leader RPMiller's Avatar
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    Welcome torstan! Great to have you here. That is a great start. Is that map all hand drawn? If so, you definitely have artistic talent, and that is one awesome player hand out. It was hard, nigh impossible, to find something to give constructive criticism on. The only thing I could come up with was that the hand drawn lines could be a bit bolder to make that balance better against the colored lines. Well done.
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    Yep, all hand drawn - most of the main features done at work on plain paper while bored and then scanned in. The rest was done with a tablet at home in Gimp.

    An issue that I have with it is that the dotted lines don't look like any ink I can imagine. Any ideas on how to make more authentic looking ink lines in Gimp?

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    Community Leader RPMiller's Avatar
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    Hm... I don't use Gimp so Gimp specific answers are out for me, but that is a good point. I guess the real question is would the maker of the map have any color available? If so it would be naturally occurring pigment, probably mixed with water or some other solution to make it usable in a quill.

    There is a higher likelihood that instead of color the creator would use different types of dashed lines some dash-dot, dash-dash-dot, that sort of thing to show the different lines without depending on color.
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    The're a rich trading cartel - they can afford coloured ink

    I just wish I could get it more inky and less obviously digital.

  6. #6
    Community Leader RPMiller's Avatar
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    Ah! Excellent point then. How about going over the top of the dashes with the smudge tool, or maybe even using a light bevel to give the center of the dashes a slightly raised look and then using a Gaussian blur to blur the edges?
    Bill Stickers is innocent! It isn't Bill's fault that he was hanging out in the wrong place.

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    Community Leader pyrandon's Avatar
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    Welcome, Torstan--and wow! what a mapping debut!

    Like RP I had to search for something to advise on your map. I agree with the dotted/colored lines, but that's not as much an issue for me as the differing line weights/qualities of the map. While the (beautiful!) location sketches are sharp, with fine lines and such, the connecting lines and others are fuzzy, gray-ish lines. This lack of consistency hurts a tad, I think, in the believability of this as a hand-drawn map.

    Great work, overall, though. Nice, nice job!
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    Yes, you spotted it. The locations are scanned biro sketches and the connecting lines are 3 pixel gimp lines. The idea is that the areas in between are less well known and therefore lightly sketched in by the cartographer. It's definitely unknown territory , though the players don't necessarily know this. However that doens't excuse sloppy penmanship! It would be better if they were just lighter, sketchier pen lines. I'll have a go and see if I can get a better effect.

    Thanks for pulling me up on that

  9. #9
    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    I've had a play and performed some minor tweaks. Here is the result:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ZhentMap.png 
Views:	96 
Size:	1.75 MB 
ID:	584

    By turning the coloured strokes to a burn layer and giving them a texture they've been broken up a little and don't stand out quite as much. The outline of the sea was harder. In the end I used a layer mask to shrink down the line width and this also broke the lines up a little. The variation in the line width helps I think and I was able to give it a light texture and also changed it to burn.

    I'm not quite satisfied with it, but I think I would have to redraw them with my tablet and pressure sensitivity to get them to blend into the hand drawn elements properly (tablet is at home right now and this map has had quite enough done to it!).

    On a separate question. I know that photoshop people can shrink their selections by a given number of pixels. Does anyone know how to do this in Gimp? Thanks in advance.

  10. #10
    Community Leader RPMiller's Avatar
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    They have the look of colored pencil.
    Bill Stickers is innocent! It isn't Bill's fault that he was hanging out in the wrong place.

    Please make an effort to tag all threads. This will greatly enhance the usability of the forums.


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