OK, after scanning through probably every forum post on the sight the last three days. I decided to give RobA's, Using GIMP to Create an Artistic Regional RPG Map, a try. So I downloaded GIMP yesterday afternoon, and pulled out my WACOM Intuos 3. Both made my wife very happy, since GIMP is free and my WACOM has been collecting dust under my desk for the last 2 years. She likes to remind me of the money we spent on it for me to only stop messing with t-shirt design a year latter. lol Sometime you can never win, when the wife is involved.
So I took one of my vector maps and deleted everything except the land shape. And converted it into a 300dpi jpg. Opened up GIMP and imported the file. And started tracing the coastlines. Good call on using the tablet. Cause I redrew the outline six complete times after post 4 because i was loosing all of my detail and the little islands keep getting grabbed up by the bigger islands and new lakes where forming all over the map. After reading through all 47 pages and almost 500 posts, I came across someone suggestion to skip the first few steps if your original land mass had good detail already. So back to my GIMP map I went. And everything was going just fine until I got to the dirt, well I should say a few steps into the dirt part. Somewhere in post 10 my dirt started looking like small hills or pretty bad mountains. At this point I decided I had spent to much time going no where.
RobA to be honest I was really hating you at this point, I had pretty much decided to find someone in the Guild who does freelance and hide the money from the wife and pay to have the two maps I want done, created. But, no RobA's tut is so good it made me thing that I could do stuff as good as him or Ascension, NeonKnight, or Steel General. Just to name a few of the extremely talented artist in this Guild who's work I like.
So after a good nights sleep I begin my GIMP adventure again. After about 30 minutes of deleting layers and trying again I still ended up with dirt that looked a lot like mountains. So instead of starting over again, I decided to move to the next posts. And hell I already had my "OK" mountains finished, no need to struggle through the post about mountains or the second tut on doing them a different or easier way that is in the thread latter on. So onward I went, and again a ran straight into a wall. Forest from hell, full of all sorts of vile, cutthroat demons that enjoy nothing more then feeling your anguish and pain seeping through your monitor as you delete layer after layer and retry the steps to make it look right. So I came up with a grand plan to defeat those vile demons, and it was a simple one. My Island kingdom didn't have any major forest or stands of trees, they had long been used by the dwarven inhabitants for fuel and building material. So next came the towns and mines of my small dwarven kingdom.
Symbols and names where easy, but again those evil demon's RobA has unleashed upon my soul returned to torment me when it came time to make outlines and add color to them. I began messing around with stuff and made somethings look ok but, I couldn't figure out the glowing gold outlines.
Well, like every other time I became stuck I just moved forwards towards the next step by ignoring the steps i couldn't grasp. So I created a small mountain lake and a few rivers. Not to bad but not to good either. The roads are the one thing I think turned out decent, but its hard to screw up brown paths that follow the contour of the land. And my title board is nice and plain. Again the text effects throw me off.
All in all it was a pleasant journey through RobA's tut. It was like any grand adventure somethings go your way and some don't. For starting with no knowledge of the program I learned a lot and feel that with practice I'll be able to master it one day.
If I could give RobA rep I would give him 10 for the tut and a bonus of 10 more for driving me nuts for 2 days and many more days to follow.
Thanks for spending the time to teach people like me something new.