graphics software

Topics that are not maps. Discuss general map making concepts, techniques, contests, etc, here.

Moderators: Cartographers, Global Moderators

Forum rules
Please read the Community Guidelines before posting.

graphics software

Postby JrFan88 on Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:39 pm

Greetings and hallucinations.....

I'm probably asking a dumb question, but can some veteran of the mapping process explain to me why programs like MSPaint and similiar low-tech basic graphics manipulators are death to the process? After playing several different scenarios, I really can't see why everything has to be done in PS or GIMP or whatever. Why couldn't an aspiring mapmaker use a simpler program for the basic design and construction, then import the image to a more sophisticated program for detailing and refining? Is it really just for the better art applications, textures and such? Or is it something else. I mean, I've created some darn nice RPG maps with Paint, using just basic drawing and coloring. I've been plying with several different programs (GIMP, AutoREALM, and others), and I really don't see the advantage. Can someone clue me in?

Maybe one of the veterans could give me the blow-by-blow on how they made a successful map: the technique, software, and whatever else. I'd love to do a map, but may just give up on the whole process 'cuz I'm in such a big fog right now. It all seems so damned complicated.
User avatar
Cook JrFan88
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:34 am
Location: Ridgecrest, CA, USA
Medals: 7
Standard Achievement (1) Doubles Achievement (1) Assassin Achievement (1) Teammate Achievement (1) Ratings Achievement (3)

Re: graphics software

Postby hecter on Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:48 pm

Plain and simple: Layers. MS Paint doesn't have layers, and you absolutely 100% need them to make a map.
In heaven... Everything is fine, in heaven... Everything is fine, in heaven... Everything is fine... You got your things, and I've got mine.
Image
User avatar
Private 1st Class hecter
 
Posts: 14725
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:27 pm
Location: Tying somebody up on the third floor
Medals: 25
Standard Achievement (3) Doubles Achievement (2) Triples Achievement (1) Terminator Achievement (3) Assassin Achievement (2)
Manual Troops Achievement (1) Freestyle Achievement (2) Fog of War Achievement (3) Speed Achievement (2) Cross-Map Achievement (3)
Ratings Achievement (1) General Achievement (1) General Contribution (1)

Re: graphics software

Postby john9blue on Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:10 pm

Aside from the fact that these programs make maps a lot smoother and more detailed, the usage of layers allows you to go back and edit small elements of a map quite easily during the refinement stages of design. If you don't know what layers are, they're like transparencies stacked on top of each other that form the image. In this case, the transparencies would be things like army circles, territory names, map title, etc.

But you can definitely start your map in Paint and move to Photoshop from there. In fact, for basic tasks, I like to copy and paste into Paint because I know the program like the back of my hand. But I forced myself to learn Photoshop, because you just have to learn a layer-based program for higher-level graphical work. Plus, you can make cool sigs.

If you really think it's good enough, post it in Map Ideas. Maybe you're a Paint prodigy or something. :lol:
natty_dread wrote:Do ponies have sex?
Army of GOD wrote:the term heterosexual is offensive. I prefer to be called "normal"
(proud member of the Occasionally Wrongly Banned)
User avatar
Captain john9blue
 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:18 pm
Location: FlutterChi-town
Medals: 14
Standard Achievement (2) Quadruples Achievement (1) Terminator Achievement (1) Freestyle Achievement (2) Fog of War Achievement (2)
Speed Achievement (1) Cross-Map Achievement (1) Tournament Achievement (1) General Achievement (3)

Re: graphics software

Postby RjBeals on Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:44 pm

Brazil was done entirely in MS Paint.
Image
User avatar
Private RjBeals
 
Posts: 2507
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:17 pm
Location: South Carolina, USA
Medals: 21
Standard Achievement (2) Doubles Achievement (1) Terminator Achievement (1) Freestyle Achievement (1) Cross-Map Achievement (1)
General Achievement (7) Map Contribution (6) General Contribution (2)

Re: graphics software

Postby wcaclimbing on Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:48 pm

RjBeals wrote:Brazil was done entirely in MS Paint.


But brazil revamp wasn't ;)
Image
User avatar
Private 1st Class wcaclimbing
 
Posts: 5598
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 10:09 pm
Location: In your quantum box....Maybe.
Medals: 27
Standard Achievement (2) Doubles Achievement (2) Triples Achievement (1) Terminator Achievement (4) Freestyle Achievement (2)
Fog of War Achievement (2) Speed Achievement (1) Teammate Achievement (1) Cross-Map Achievement (2) Ratings Achievement (2)
Tournament Achievement (2) General Achievement (1) Clan Achievement (1) Map Contribution (1) Tournament Contribution (1)
General Contribution (2)

Re: graphics software

Postby bryguy on Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:58 pm

layers, layer effects, filters, more brushes, better tools, the list goes on for a while....


but yea, main thing is layers. With layers it can give your map a smoother look and with different effex etc you can get a better more refined look to your map.
Corporal bryguy
 
Posts: 4647
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:50 am
Location: Lost in a Jigsaw
Medals: 11
Standard Achievement (3) Doubles Achievement (1) Quadruples Achievement (1) Freestyle Achievement (2) Fog of War Achievement (2)
Cross-Map Achievement (1) Ratings Achievement (1)

Re: graphics software

Postby JrFan88 on Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:39 pm

OK, that seems to be the main advantage. Seems the more I work with GIMP the clearer the application gets to understand. But here's an additional question: CC maps are uploaded as PNG, GIF or JPG; but when I've tried to save layered images to one of those formats, GIMP tells me they don't support masks, layers, etc. Bottom line: it's not the way they get built that matters, but the way they look after they get built. So, if you're the Picasso of Paint, and your stuff looks just great w/o using all the fancy bells and whistles, then fine; but if your skills are less than god-like (like most mortals), then using PS or GIMP or whatever is the only other way of getting the same results.

Is that too over-simplified, or do I finally get it?
User avatar
Cook JrFan88
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:34 am
Location: Ridgecrest, CA, USA
Medals: 7
Standard Achievement (1) Doubles Achievement (1) Assassin Achievement (1) Teammate Achievement (1) Ratings Achievement (3)

Re: graphics software

Postby TaCktiX on Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:02 pm

GIFs, PNGs, and JPGs are optimized images, with effectively only one layer (a "flat" image, to use jargon). They're small and great for display on a webpage, but they lose all layer information. When you edit with Photoshop or GIMP, they also give you the option to save in their fully-layered (-masked, etc.) source format (PSD for Photoshop, dunno GIMP's). Export flat images for upload, save source files for editing.
User avatar
Corporal 1st Class TaCktiX
 
Posts: 2393
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:24 pm
Location: Rapid City, SD
Medals: 37
Standard Achievement (3) Doubles Achievement (2) Triples Achievement (1) Quadruples Achievement (2) Terminator Achievement (2)
Assassin Achievement (2) Manual Troops Achievement (1) Freestyle Achievement (3) Nuclear Spoils Achievement (1) Fog of War Achievement (2)
Speed Achievement (1) Teammate Achievement (1) Cross-Map Achievement (3) Ratings Achievement (2) Map Contribution (1)
Tournament Contribution (4) General Contribution (6)

Re: graphics software

Postby hecter on Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:14 pm

JrFan88 wrote:OK, that seems to be the main advantage. Seems the more I work with GIMP the clearer the application gets to understand. But here's an additional question: CC maps are uploaded as PNG, GIF or JPG; but when I've tried to save layered images to one of those formats, GIMP tells me they don't support masks, layers, etc. Bottom line: it's not the way they get built that matters, but the way they look after they get built. So, if you're the Picasso of Paint, and your stuff looks just great w/o using all the fancy bells and whistles, then fine; but if your skills are less than god-like (like most mortals), then using PS or GIMP or whatever is the only other way of getting the same results.

Is that too over-simplified, or do I finally get it?

Well, ya... But no... It doesn't matter how good you are with Paint, somebody skilled with Photoshop will always be able to produce better work.
In heaven... Everything is fine, in heaven... Everything is fine, in heaven... Everything is fine... You got your things, and I've got mine.
Image
User avatar
Private 1st Class hecter
 
Posts: 14725
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:27 pm
Location: Tying somebody up on the third floor
Medals: 25
Standard Achievement (3) Doubles Achievement (2) Triples Achievement (1) Terminator Achievement (3) Assassin Achievement (2)
Manual Troops Achievement (1) Freestyle Achievement (2) Fog of War Achievement (3) Speed Achievement (2) Cross-Map Achievement (3)
Ratings Achievement (1) General Achievement (1) General Contribution (1)

Re: graphics software

Postby oaktown on Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:21 pm

JrFan88 wrote:So, if you're the Picasso of Paint, and your stuff looks just great w/o using all the fancy bells and whistles, then fine; but if your skills are less than god-like (like most mortals), then using PS or GIMP or whatever is the only other way of getting the same results.

Is that too over-simplified, or do I finally get it?

Well, you're pretty close. As mentioned above, layers make life immensely easier. If you're the Picasso of Paint you can absolutely create an image that would be worthy of inclusion at CC, but the problem comes way before that. The typical map spends two or three months here in the Foundry, and your first map is likely to spend longer. You're going to be making upwards of 40 different versions, and you'll make hundreds of changes. Even the Picasso of Paint is going to be pulling his hair out when we tell him to drop Army Circle N by five pixels because the army count is going to cover a border, or to change the color of Region Y for the seventeenth time because it still isn't color-blind friendly. Most drafts posted in Paint around here never reach the final version because the mapmaker - however talented - doesn't have the patience to make the changes required.
User avatar
Captain oaktown
 
Posts: 4552
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: majorcommand
Medals: 30
Standard Achievement (2) Doubles Achievement (2) Triples Achievement (1) Quadruples Achievement (1) Terminator Achievement (1)
Fog of War Achievement (1) Cross-Map Achievement (3) Ratings Achievement (1) General Achievement (1) Map Contribution (12)
General Contribution (5)

Re: graphics software

Postby JrFan88 on Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:57 pm

Ahh, grasshopper, it all becomes clear. Plus, all the while that I've been pursuing this thread, I FINALLY decided to make good use of Cartographer's Guild membership to check out the GIMP tutorials, and MAN.....I FINALLY see the light! Before, layering and masks and all that was just so much babble, but now - within the last couple of hours, I grok it pretty well. Been playing around with some techniques and while I think I'll still do my rough-outs in Paint, the results from GIMP are so much more, well, ALIVE would be the best way to put it. Now, if I could just come up with a great scenario.....

Thanks to everyone who put in their 2 cents worth......
User avatar
Cook JrFan88
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:34 am
Location: Ridgecrest, CA, USA
Medals: 7
Standard Achievement (1) Doubles Achievement (1) Assassin Achievement (1) Teammate Achievement (1) Ratings Achievement (3)


Return to Foundry Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

Login