GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

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GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:40 pm

GIMP Mapmaking Tutorial
Part 1: Basics
(c) natty_dread 2011

show: Table of contents


Later parts:
Part 2a


0. Introduction

Gather 'round, kiddies. Today we're going to make a map.

I'm going to assume that most of you who read this are new at mapmaking, and/or using GIMP. That's ok. We are going to go through it step by step, with pictures of each step.

This first part of the tutorial concentrates on the basics. Everything you need to get started on making a standard geographical map. I will be continuing with more advanced stuff in the next part, but in this part, I'll just show you how to properly draw the land area, bonus area borders, and how to make a simple texture. The later parts will elaborate on these, and show you how to make them fancier.

0.1 End product

The end product of this first tutorial will look like this:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Pretty neat, eh? By following this tutorial, you can create something like this very easily. You'll hopefully also learn something about the functions of GIMP along the way.

0.2 Layered image

You can download the layered image in GIMP's native XCF format here:

http://www.fileden.com/files/2010/2/7/2 ... /dktut.xcf

0.3 Remember to save!

This is important enough to warrant it's own section: Save often! If something happens - power outage, system crash, etc. your work won't be wasted. During this tutorial, it's recommended to save between each numbered step (provided that you did the last step correctly.)

** Always save your work in the XCF format which is the native format of GIMP. If you save in any other format, your layers will be merged to one and you can't get them back! If you need to show your image to others or upload it to the web, you'll have to save a copy of your image in another format, like PNG, but you should still always keep the XCF "master file" for yourself! **


1. Getting Started

Ok, for this tutorial, I have chosen Denmark, because it's a nice, compact country, and it has all the features needed to illustrate my mapmaking method.

The first part in making a geographical map is to find a map to trace. It doesn't matter if that map image is copyrighted, since you will only use it for tracing and no part of it will end up on the final product.

A good source for maps to trace is Google image search. This is how I acquired the map I traced for this tutorial.
http://www.google.com/images?q=denmark+ ... 80&bih=836

It's good to use a political map, since that way you can often trace the land borders and the bonus area borders from the same image. If you have to use several different maps, you'll usually need rotating, resizing, etc. to align the two maps. But we won't go there now, we're simply going to use a simple political map here.

This is where we'll start:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Now, normally this image would be too small for a CC map, but since this is for tutorial purposes, I'm going to use it. Normally, you'll want your map to be about the size of a large map, which is a maximum of 840x800, although if you plan to do a map with few territories, a smaller size may suffice.

You probably can't find a map exactly the right size, though. In that case, it's best to get a larger one, and scale it down to smaller size. Open the map image you want to trace in GIMP, and use the scale tool to scale it to a decent size. If your map is tight on space, you'll want to crop it before scaling. See Appendix A for cropping & scaling.

1.1 Tracing

So, let's assume you now have the tracable political map in the right size. It should now be the only layer in your layered image:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Now, as the above image shows, create a new transparent layer, name it "trace" and set it above the tracable map.

Click image to enlarge.
image


Next, we start tracing all of the land area, using the Free Select (Lasso) tool. Generally, it's good to trace as accurately as possible, but in case where accuracy is detrimental to gameplay clarity, you should fudge it to make gameplay clearer - for example, if a body of water that you want to use as impassable is very narrow, it's a good idea to make it larger.

Click image to enlarge.
image


Now, select the land area in parts. Each time you select a part of the land, colour the selection black. Easiest way to colour a selection is by dragging the foreground or background colour from the tool window to the image (make sure you are on the correct layer!). This is faster than using the bucket fill, since you don't have to keep swapping tools to do this.

Click image to enlarge.
image


When you are done, you should have all of the land area coloured black on the "trace" layer, as shown above. All land, even non-playable areas, like Norway here, should be coloured. You can omit very small islands and other things that are not contributing to the gameplay and would only make the map messier. Accuracy is a plus but only when it doesn't take away from gameplay clarity. This can not be stressed enough.


2. Drawing Bonus Areas

Now we start creating the actual land area that will show on the map. We are going to draw bonus areas. For this example, we simply follow the political areas in the political map.

To do this, we are going to use the sophisticated and powerful selection tools of GIMP. Don't worry, it's easy.

First, go to the "trace" layer. Set the "trace" layer invisible by unchecking the eye symbol in the layers window. Then go to the Layer-menu in the menu bar of the image window. From there select Transparency > Alpha to Selection. After this, you should have the area you traced all selected:

Click image to enlarge.
image


As shown in the above image, create a new transparent layer, name it "bonus area" and set it above the "trace" layer.

Now, on the "bonus area" layer, you start colouring the bonus area with the paintbrush:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Don't worry about going over the lines, the selection ensures that only selected areas are coloured. The only place where you need to be careful is where two bonus areas meet. However, if you make a mistake, you can always use the Undo-function.

Also, it doesn't matter which colours you use at this point, you can change all of them later easily - however, for the sake of clarity, it's good to use a different colour for each area.

When you have coloured the whole bonus area, you need to move to the next one. But! Here's the trick that will make your job much easier: before you do, you deselect the bonus area you just coloured. Do this by again going to Layer > Transparency but this time select Substract from Selection. This will keep the trace area selected, but removes the already drawn bonus area from it, so that the following bonus areas won't overlap with it. This is important, so make sure you don't mess with the selection other than what is instructed here.

After deselecting the bonus area, create the layer for the next bonus area. Keep the name unchanged, GIMP will automatically change it to "bonus area #1" since two layers can't have the same name:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Now, repeat this procedure for each bonus area - don't select the trace area again, but keep deselecting each bonus area after you draw them. Remember, if you make a mistake, you can use Undo. Remember also always to check you are on the correct layer. If you mistakenly draw two bonus areas on the same layer, you have no choice but to undo and do it over again.

Click image to enlarge.
image


In the above image, two bonus areas are drawn, and de-selected from the selection.

When all bonus areas are drawn, each on it's own layer, you should have something like this:

Click image to enlarge.
image


2.1 Non-playable land

Your selection should now consist of the land area minus all the bonus areas. In other words, only non-playable land area. If the map you are tracing doesn't contain any non-playable land, you can omit this step.

Now, create a new transparent layer, name it "non-playable land" and set it above the "trace" layer. Then just colour the selection grey (or other non-playable colour) - since all you have selected should be the non-playable land, you can do this by simply dragging the colour to the image window:

Click image to enlarge.
image


If all went right, each bonus area is now on it's own layer, and no bonus areas overlap with each other nor the non-playable land.


3. Sea

This step will be the most rewarding so far: you get to see the result of your work in all it's beauty.

First, choose a nice shade of blue. Make sure it's different from all the bonus colours. There should be sufficient land/sea contrast. But don't worry about it too much at this point, you can change all colours later.

Next, create a new transparent layer, name it "sea", and place it above the "trace" layer.

Fill this whole layer with the sea colour. Make sure you have the whole layer selected: If it's not, you can select all by going to the Select menu and choosing All. The shortcut for this option is usually Ctrl-A.

After the sea layer is filled, it should look like this:

Click image to enlarge.
image



4. Creating Bonus Area Borders

There are several ways to create borders. You can draw them by hand, but if you only have a regular mouse, it is hard to get them right. We'll use an easier and faster way for this tutorial. It produces quite good results too.

First, we'll create a new transparent layer, and name it "bonus borders". Move that layer to the top, above all other layers.

Then, we'll start going through the visible layers above sea level one by one, starting from "non-playable land". Go to that layer, and select the area by going to Layer > Transparency > Alpha to Selection:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Now, with the area of that layer selected, go to the "bonus borders" layer:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Once there, we will draw the border of that selection. First, select paintbrush, and select the 3-pixel circular brush, and set the brush scale to around 70%. This will make the brush size into about 2 pixels.

*** Update: it may be better to use a Fuzzy Circle brush here. A 9 px Fuzzy Circle with scale 0,50 seems to give much smoother borders ***

Next, from the Edit menu, select Stroke Selection. A window should appear:

Click image to enlarge.
image


As shown above, select "Stroke with a paint tool" and choose paintbrush. Uncheck the check box below it, otherwise the lines will turn out all funky.

Click "Stroke" and you should see these results:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Now, just go through all the bonus area layers, and do the same process. Remember to make sure that you are on the "bonus borders" layer when you use Stroke Selection.

All the borders should now be drawn on the "bonus borders" layer, and your result should look like this:

Click image to enlarge.
image


You now have a basic map with bonus areas and border lines. Territory borders you'll have to draw by hand, but we won't go there just yet.


5. Last Touches

The next steps shows a few things you can do to make your map look nicer.

5.1 Adjusting Colours

If you need to adjust the colours of your bonus areas, it's easy to do since each of them is on it's own layer. Simply use the HSV adjustment tool which you will find from Colors > Hue-Saturation...

A window like this will open:

Click image to enlarge.
image


The top half you can ignore, since you only have one colour on your bonus area layer. You should only need to adjust the three sliders on the bottom.

Hue adjusts the hue of the layer - moving the slider left cycles the colours left on the colour spectrum, right cycles to right. The colour spectrum goes from R -> G -> B, so if you have a green and you want it red, adjust this slider to the left.

Lightness this should be self-evident... Lower value makes the layer darker, higher makes the layer lighter.

Saturation adjusts the saturation of the layer - 0 saturation is grayscale, full saturation is very colourful. Hint: too saturated colours often look ugly. Try to find a balance where your colours are not too faded that you can't make them out, but not too bright and garish.

In the example image above, I decided the blue bonus area was too close to the sea colour, so I adjusted the lightness way up.

5.2 Creating a Gradient Overlay

A gradient overlay is a convenient way to get your map to look more "alive".

What you do is create a new layer, name it "gradient overlay", and place it on the top, above all else.

Then, select the Blend (gradient) tool, and set foreground colour to white, and background colour to black. By default, the blend tool should have the "FG to BG" gradient selected, but if not, select it. Set the shape to "Radial". Now draw a gradient on the "gradient overlay" layer: click on the center of the image and drag the line to the edge of the image. This creates a sort of highlight. If you don't get it right at first try you can do it again.

When the gradient is done, set the layer mode to "Soft light" and opacity to around 30-50. The result looks like this:

Click image to enlarge.
image


The above image shows the Blend tool settings, and where you adjust opacity and layer mode.

5.3 Creating a simple texture

The last step is texturing. This is also known in the Foundry as grunge, although strictly speaking grunge is a type of texture.

Firstly, you create a new layer, name it "land texture". Place it on top for now. On this layer, start by creating solid noise. You will find it from Filters > Render > Clouds > Solid noise. Lots of submenus there...

The settings for solid noise are shown in this image:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Although, the random seed can be whatever...

Next, choose the emboss filter, from Filters > Distorts > Emboss. Again, the settings are shown in the image:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Now, go to the "trace" layer and select the land area. If you need a reminder... Layer > Transparency > Alpha to Selection:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Now, go back to the "land texture" layer and select Layer > Mask > Add Layer Mask. You'll see the layer mask window open:

Click image to enlarge.
image


As shown there, select "selection" and make sure the checkbox is unchecked. Click Add, and you should have...

Click image to enlarge.
image


This. Looks pretty crappy? Well, just change the layer mode to soft light, and move the layer below the "bonus borders" layer, like this:

Click image to enlarge.
image


And vóila! Your map is textured!

That concludes this tutorial. You should now be at this point, where we started from:

Click image to enlarge.
image



6. Next Part

In the next part, we will show more fancy tricks. Next part will show how to create territory borders, territory labels, titles, basically everything you need to create a working, playable map. Stay tuned!


Appendix A: Cropping & Scaling

First, use the Rectangle Select tool to select the area you want to crop:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Then, select from Image menu, Crop to Selection:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Lastly, from the same Image menu, select Scale image, and the Scale image -dialog will pop up:

Click image to enlarge.
image


There, you can enter the dimensions you want to scale to. By unchecking that "chain" icon between the width and height figures, you can adjust each dimension independently. If the "chain" icon is "linked", the dimensions will be adjusted proportionally.

You can also change "pixels" to percentage, and scale by percentage. That's useful sometimes.

For interpolation, Sinc is generally the best choice.
Last edited by natty dread on Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:33 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:47 am

Attention everyone who reads this tutorial!

If there's any particular graphical method that you would like demonstrated in tutorial form, post it here and I can consider including it in the next part.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby Riskismy on Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:18 pm

I'll admit right away that I haven't read even a word - but I can guarantee you that I'll read them all!
Looks like a VERY comprehensive tutorial that I'll personally benefit from greatly :-)

Of course, I'm partial to your choice of example ;-)
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby DJENRE on Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:58 pm

Nice thread by the way ;)
I learnt some little things here.
But the main problem is that I use the french version so I have to found all tools by myself...
And some tools which are on your version don't show on mine.

Also, after saving my work, when I reopen the file, I don't see the different layers, only one mixed with all. And I can't found the solution.
It always tell me something like "PNG cannot handle the layers" (translation from french)
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:42 am

DJENRE wrote:Also, after saving my work, when I reopen the file, I don't see the different layers, only one mixed with all. And I can't found the solution.
It always tell me something like "PNG cannot handle the layers" (translation from french)


You need to save in the XCF format. XCF is the format that GIMP uses natively. However, XCF cannot be shown as an image on the web, so when you want to show your image to others, you need to save a copy of your image as PNG (or any other image format, but PNG is best in quality).

So you need to save your image twice, once as an XCF and once as a PNG.

Think of the XCF file as the "master file", or "work file" - the file you keep for yourself for working on the image. And think of the PNG as the "export file", the one you use to show your work to others.

DJENRE wrote:But the main problem is that I use the french version so I have to found all tools by myself...
And some tools which are on your version don't show on mine.


If you use Windows, you can switch your GIMP to english by setting the environmental variable LANG=C before you start GIMP. You can do this in your system settings or by going to command prompt and typing "set LANG=C".

I use english GIMP myself exactly because the translations are so incomprehensible I couldn't understand a thing of the Finnish version.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby kengyin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:01 am

natty_dread wrote:Attention everyone who reads this tutorial!

If there's any particular graphical method that you would like demonstrated in tutorial form, post it here and I can consider including it in the next part.

how about military/space type computer screen, hard to describe in words but you can easily picture it if you know what it is, you know like in those movies where you have like the screens with flashing buttons and static and green text and stuff. another thing would be, how to make mountains, i suck at mountains and i would imagine that most new people would also, those mountains in transsib look cool :)
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:26 am

kengyin wrote:how about military/space type computer screen, hard to describe in words but you can easily picture it if you know what it is, you know like in those movies where you have like the screens with flashing buttons and static and green text and stuff. another thing would be, how to make mountains, i suck at mountains and i would imagine that most new people would also, those mountains in transsib look cool :)


By military screens, do you mean something like on Lunar war?


Also, mountains are something that is hard for most mapmakers - the thing about mountains is, there's no easy way to creating really good looking mountains... like if you want mountains like the ones on transsib, well, you need to actually draw them yourself, which with a regular mouse is pretty much the most difficult thing ever invented... (which is why I use a pen tablet.)

There are some easy ways to make mountains, if you want to do simpler mountains. I can include a short bit on simpler mountains in the next tutorial, but really good mountains are something that you only get good at with practice.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby kengyin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:49 am

yeah kind of a cross between lunar war and arms race, though im not sure if that would go well with the rest of my map
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:06 am

Well since your map is about the Vietnam war which was in the 70s... futuristic military screens probably weren't available back then.

Making them is pretty simple, but I think you might want to think of something else for your map... perhaps maps and charts, papers with "top secret" stamps on them?
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby DJENRE on Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:54 pm

If u have some money left natty, please offer me a pen tablet too... :lol: :lol: :lol:

XCF is ok, thanks.

Also, maybe you should teach people how to do nice borders for bonuses. I mean borders when you explain how bonuses work. instead a plain line, we could draw some nice borders in the style we want.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby ManBungalow on Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:40 pm

DJENRE wrote:Also, maybe you should teach people how to do nice borders for bonuses. I mean borders when you explain how bonuses work. instead a plain line, we could draw some nice borders in the style we want.

When I want to draw a freehand curved line on GIMP I find a circular brush (size dependant on purpose), and click where one end of the line will be. Then I hold the shift key down and click a little to the side, then again a little bit more. By taking small steps between each click and holding shift all the time, it makes quite a nice curve. This gives more control and is generally neater than drawing freehand.

In other words:
Pick a brush. Click on the image. Hold shift and click slightly to the side. Then, still holding shift, click slightly further over. You'll see what I mean.

Very nice tutorial, Natty.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:02 pm

DJENRE wrote:If u have some money left natty, please offer me a pen tablet too... :lol: :lol: :lol:


http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/Bamboo
The cheapest ones are less than 100€ and even they work really well. If you get a tablet it's got to be Wacom.

maybe you should teach people how to do nice borders for bonuses. I mean borders when you explain how bonuses work. instead a plain line, we could draw some nice borders in the style we want.


Bonus borders are already explained in the tutorial. Perhaps you mean territory borders? Territory borders will be explained in the next part.

ManBungalow wrote:When I want to draw a freehand curved line on GIMP I find a circular brush (size dependant on purpose), and click where one end of the line will be. Then I hold the shift key down and click a little to the side, then again a little bit more. By taking small steps between each click and holding shift all the time, it makes quite a nice curve. This gives more control and is generally neater than drawing freehand.


That's one way, and I'm sure it's sufficient for most purposes. However if you want really accurate curves, you should use the path tool to create a path and then use Stroke Path.

Very nice tutorial, Natty.


Thanks.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby 40kguy on Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:03 pm

nice tutorial man.

so where the black is, is where you dont play or you do play?
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:08 pm

If you are refering to the trace layer, all of the land area is coloured black, both playable and non-playable areas. The playable/non-playable distinction is made later.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby 40kguy on Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:11 pm

natty_dread wrote:If you are refering to the trace layer, all of the land area is coloured black, both playable and non-playable areas. The playable/non-playable distinction is made later.

k. thanks!
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby OliverFA on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:44 pm

Very interesting tutorial, and very well written. After reading it I feel like trying to do the graphics for a second map myself. I will probably give it a try ;)
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby kengyin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:41 pm

for territory borders i just used the lasso tool and stroke just as with the bonus borders, i would just do the borders of say one territory then loop it behind the bonus borders such that it isnt visible and on the way back do another border as well then just join it back up, and sometimes i had to cut across the map and simply erase that part of the unwanted lines, crude but hardly noticeable
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby kengyin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:06 pm

natty_dread wrote:Well since your map is about the Vietnam war which was in the 70s... futuristic military screens probably weren't available back then.

Making them is pretty simple, but I think you might want to think of something else for your map... perhaps maps and charts, papers with "top secret" stamps on them?

maybe futuristic was the wrong word, but they had like radar screens and stuff, so they probably had big computers too with military green text
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby DJENRE on Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:50 pm

natty_dread wrote:
maybe you should teach people how to do nice borders for bonuses. I mean borders when you explain how bonuses work. instead a plain line, we could draw some nice borders in the style we want.


Bonus borders are already explained in the tutorial. Perhaps you mean territory borders? Territory borders will be explained in the next part.


:?: No I meant to add nice borders for the zone where you're explaining bonuse (e.g. on my switzerland map, the square for languages, instead to do a plain white square, we could add nice borders). Do we have to found it on web and save it as a brush? Or do u have another method?

:?: Is there any way to curve the text?

:?: Also, how can you draw like road or trail on map? I didn't found any way to do a nice one? see switzerland map, in bern region, I don't like it .

:?: Last one, I'm not really happy with possibilities into the pattern tab. If I want to fill a region with little circles (or line or stars) to show some bonuses for example, I can't. There are only 2 options : line (tight or not). I mean to fill a territory with something but keeping the background color. DO you know what I mean? Where can I found new patterns?
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:22 am

kengyin wrote:for territory borders i just used the lasso tool and stroke just as with the bonus borders, i would just do the borders of say one territory then loop it behind the bonus borders such that it isnt visible and on the way back do another border as well then just join it back up, and sometimes i had to cut across the map and simply erase that part of the unwanted lines, crude but hardly noticeable


That's an ok method. I'm going to explain an easier method in the next tutorial.

DJENRE wrote: No I meant to add nice borders for the zone where you're explaining bonuse (e.g. on my switzerland map, the square for languages, instead to do a plain white square, we could add nice borders). Do we have to found it on web and save it as a brush? Or do u have another method?


Ok, now I think I get it. You want to make nice looking frames for the legend? I will explain it in the next tutorial.

Is there any way to curve the text?


Yes. It involves using the path tool... I guess I could explain about that too in the next tutorial.

Also, how can you draw like road or trail on map? I didn't found any way to do a nice one? see switzerland map, in bern region, I don't like it .


Well, after the next tutorial, you will probably figure out a way ;)

Last one, I'm not really happy with possibilities into the pattern tab. If I want to fill a region with little circles (or line or stars) to show some bonuses for example, I can't. There are only 2 options : line (tight or not). I mean to fill a territory with something but keeping the background color. DO you know what I mean? Where can I found new patterns?


You can select a region with the rectangular selection tool, then use the selection as a pattern - it shows in the pattern menu as "clipboard". You can also create your own patterns by saving any image as a .PAT file in the patterns folder. You can find out what your patterns folder is from the preferences.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby Riskismy on Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:25 pm

re: Mountains:
Maybe you could provide a few examples and teach people how to modify them (so mountains wouldn't look too similar on all maps)?

Also, if it's within your expertise, you could add something about how to make small animations like on Conquer Man.

Still looking forward to actually reading it! :oops:
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:33 pm

Mountains will be on the next part.

I would advise against using animation on maps. The reason for this is... notice how the conquerman map doesn't have too many colours? That's because the only image format supported by CC that supports animation is GIF, and GIF only supports 256 colours. It's a very outdated format... for comparison, all other image formats support 16.7 million colours, and your screen should be able to display at least that many.

Now, for conquerman, this is not a problem, because it's theme is an 80:s video game - and those had even less colours than 256. But for basically any other map, limiting the palette to 256 colours is not going to be worth the novelty effect you get from animation.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby DJENRE on Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:11 pm

Well... a lot of work to do for next tutorial....

Good luck ;)
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby Riskismy on Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:42 pm

Excellent tutorial Natty! Many thanks.

Not sure if you've done maps 'from scratch' (no map or image to start from), but you probably have, so I'd be very interested in any experiences or tips you could provide in this area. I gather the process is more or less the same; make bonus areas, borders, keep them on separate layers and so on, but it would be nice to include tips for these kinds of maps imo.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:36 pm

Riskismy wrote:Excellent tutorial Natty! Many thanks.

Not sure if you've done maps 'from scratch' (no map or image to start from), but you probably have, so I'd be very interested in any experiences or tips you could provide in this area. I gather the process is more or less the same; make bonus areas, borders, keep them on separate layers and so on, but it would be nice to include tips for these kinds of maps imo.


Thanks for your feedback, Riskismy.

I believe that for beginning mapmakers, making geographical maps is the easiest way to learn the art. For more un-orthodox maps, where you don't have any land area to draw, there is really no standard formula to follow as it depends more on the type of map you are making, so you just have to more or less wing it. That's why this tutorial focuses on geographical maps.

However, there's no saying that you couldn't apply these methods to different kinds of maps. You could practice by making a geographical map just for fun. The methods and tricks you learn from these tutorials can be applied to all kinds of graphical work, if you use your imagination a bit... ;)
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