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Thread: Any Encounter/Battlemap Tutorials?

  1. #1
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    Default Any Encounter/Battlemap Tutorials?

    Hello all,
    I am new to the site and have tried searching, but am just a bit overwhelmed by all the material already compiled on this site. Thats a good thing.

    I was wondering if anyone can point me in the direction of tutorials related to encounter maps for Dungeons and Dragons utilizing Photoshop, GIMP, or similar software?

    The group I game with uses a projector to display encounter maps in MapTool. While MapTool is an excellent program for map creation in its own right, I want high quality maps with all the nice contouring and color you get in Photoshop. I can then bring the map into MapTool and add any objects, vision, light, and Fog of War effects that I desire.

    Thank you all in advance!

    Jeremy AKA ScenesFromAMemory

  2. #2
      Jaxilon is offline
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    I can't think of any tutorial for this but there have been a number of discussions on the subject. There are a few of us around here who are into doing these kinds of maps. I'm learning myself and have recently sort of finished up my first map for Maptool (although, I imagine it would work in a number of VTTs). I can tell you I learned a lot doing my first one so I'm looking forward to doing another.

    If I ever finalize how I create them I wouldn't mind putting together a tutorial on it because I was pretty lost when i started out. I think you are the 3rd person since myself to come along and wonder how to begin.

    So, just ask away and we will try to answer as best we can to keep you going in the right direction.
    “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

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      Redrobes is offline
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    Well I dont think we have any tuts for maps specifically for map tool or even VTTs in general as most of the time they are normal maps without the moveable stuff on them. But we do have a forum for VTTs in the main listing so you should be able to look through that and find some maps you like and check out how they made them.

    Also, I would recommend looking in the finished maps section and looking for the sticky thread for the finished map thumbnails and paging through the maps there till you find some you like and looking at the threads. They usually have a link to the WIP thread for the map before it was finished.

    My opinion tho is that most of the time you are doing either a small bit of terrain maybe 100' - 200' square so you just layer up loads of textures of real stuff - mud, grass, scrub, bushes, trees etc or else your doing a city section in which case its all the previous plus some house / roof textures. Try creating layers in PS / Gimp etc and spraying down some textures which you can get from a load of places and we have a topic in these forums of resources which list places to get useful stuff. My preference is CGTextures.com tho mainly cos the site is so easy to use.

    Id also point you to this challenge:
    http://www.cartographersguild.com/sh...op-WITH-PRIZES!!!

    with these entries:
    http://www.cartographersguild.com/ut...gers_May08.htm

    which may also give some inspiration.

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      tilt is offline
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    Made a few [backyard] [market] and working on a lot more ... also made some tiles
    havent made a tutorial but I might
    I usually start with making a grid so I can get the scale right - I always use 1 inch = 5 feet
    Then I add the mayor elements (or sketch them in) checking the scale fits
    Then I add obstructions/fun stuff
    Then I start to draw and texture

    hope it helps
    regs tilt
    :: My art on Deviant Art :: My mapping blog tilts fantasy maps :: My work Catapult - Perry & Gehrke - EasyTruckIT ::
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    Works under CC licence unless mentioned otherwise

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    Thank you all so much for the advice. I guess I am just looking at in the wrong direction. Many of the techniques I have seen in other styles of maps work here, its just all about scale.

    Thank you for the excellent links redrobes. Thank you for the examples tilt.

    I think what I may do is attempt to recreate a map from WotC or one I find on here, much as you suggest redrobes. Maybe I could do it as a work in progress thread and help someone else thats lost like me

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      tilt is offline
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    it is difficult to do a tutorial for battle maps since they can be with just about any elements on them .... "challenge accepted! ... this is gonna be... legen... wait for it... dary!"
    regs tilt
    :: My art on Deviant Art :: My mapping blog tilts fantasy maps :: My work Catapult - Perry & Gehrke - EasyTruckIT ::
    :: Finished Maps :: WIP Cartographia - Breakwater -Market -Lands of Twilight -Battle City :: Competion maps Iron Giant ::
    :: FREE Tiles - Compasses :: Other Taking a commision - Copyright & Creative Commons ::
    Works under CC licence unless mentioned otherwise

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      Jaxilon is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by tilt View Post
    it is difficult to do a tutorial for battle maps since they can be with just about any elements on them .... "challenge accepted! ... this is gonna be... legen... wait for it... dary!"
    Ok then, but there better be Cows in the map legend.
    “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

  8. #8
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    Well this is all rather new to me, so I think what I need is an example of how to get started so that I may experiment. For example, my group is currently running through a module provided in Dungeon magazine called "Haven of the Bitter Glass". At the next game session, there is a cavern area containing a fortress which is under siege. Several encounters occur here. However, the WotC map is not so great and I would like to recreate it for higher detail and to add dynamic objects the players can interact with. I believe I have correctly attached the file from the Map Gallery.


    I am curious as to getting started. I thought of using an Alpha map to create the basic shape of the cavern interior and over hang. But all my attempts at making the background look good have turned out poorly. I am just getting comfortable with using patterns and the deeper mechanics of Photoshop, so when I use them the pattern looks tiled. I would like a more randomized stone look like the original image.

    No one has to give me a step by step on how they would do it, but maybe a few friendly nudges to get me in the right direction?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Any Encounter/Battlemap Tutorials?-fortress.jpg  

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    There are three ways I can think of to overcome the appearance of tiling. The simplest is to use a bigger texture. If you have a texture that is half the size of your map or larger then the tiling won't be visible. Or, you can mix another texture with a different resolution with your original texture. This can be done with a simple blending mode changes (overlay is usually the way to go, especially with stone), or with a mask on the top texture that reveals the bottom texture in places where the tiling is most obvious.

    The toughest way is to find or modify your texture so that the features that make the tiling obvious are minimized. Depending on the texture, this may be impossible, but it can usually be done. I think it was Redrobes who posted a good tutorial on how to make seamless textures a while back. You might look around for that if you decide you need to modify the textures.

    Finally, a good source of texture resources is CG Textures. They have thousands of high quality, high resolution images ,and their license permits royalty free use for any application except scrapbooking (I have no idea why that particular restriction).
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  10. #10
      tilt is offline
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    there is at least one tutorial for making seamless textures in here.. .basicly you take your texture - cut it in half vertical shift the halfes so the outer borders are now in the middle - then you merge them again - then you cut it in half horizontally and shift the halfs again and merge again - so now all your outer borders are seamless cause they represent what used to be the middle. Then you fix the new middle with healing brushes, stamp tools etc to make it look good (remember not to get to close to the new edges) and Voila! a seamless texture
    regs tilt
    :: My art on Deviant Art :: My mapping blog tilts fantasy maps :: My work Catapult - Perry & Gehrke - EasyTruckIT ::
    :: Finished Maps :: WIP Cartographia - Breakwater -Market -Lands of Twilight -Battle City :: Competion maps Iron Giant ::
    :: FREE Tiles - Compasses :: Other Taking a commision - Copyright & Creative Commons ::
    Works under CC licence unless mentioned otherwise

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