GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

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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 ;)
Welcoming the long awaited Trench Warfare Setting (Previously Adjacent Attacks).

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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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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:43 pm

Just a heads up...

Part 2 was becoming so massive that I decided to split it in two parts, Part 2A and Part 2B. The reason for this being that Part 2A alone has 30 images, and if I would put 60 images in a single post it would take forever to load...

I have all the images for Part 2A ready, all that's left is to write the tutorial. Expect it within the next few days.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby Riskismy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:38 pm

yay =D>
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby 40kguy on Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:25 am

how do i drag the background out?
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:42 am

You mean dragging the colour to fill an area?

Just click and drag the colour from the toolbox and drop it anywhere on the image.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby WILLIAMS5232 on Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:12 am

hey natty, can you go over channels and paths, specifically; what are they? how do they work? what are they for?

i don't understand them a bit.

it's fine if you don't have time, personally, i don't see how you have the time to do what you do as it is.
so far i've done everything without them, but i know they have to be something good to use. i've looked over it on the web, nobody really explains what they are. they just say, do this...do that.....now do this.....and you're done.

nice tutorial by the way.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:20 am

Paths are covered in the next part, here: viewtopic.php?f=466&t=141577

As for channels... well, a channel is an element of an image, basically. Each layer is composed of 4 channels: Red, Green, Blue and Alpha. Furthermore, you can extract other channels from the coloured ones mathematically: Hue, Value, Lightness, Saturation... CMYK are also possible. Anyway...

You know how we have the "trace" layer in this image? It is basically a layer that stores a selection. We use it to reload that certain selection we made, whenever we need it again later in development, by using the Alpha to Selection function. In GIMP, the selection is also a channel, which is why it's easy to import from the Alpha channel of any layer.

So, channels provide another means of doing the same thing: instead of using a layer for saving a selection, we could store that selection into a channel and it would go to the channels tab. If you are making a map that has lots of selections that need to be saved and loaded later, then using channels is a good idea, because it keeps them separate from the layers.

In this tutorial we only need to save that one selection, so I took the simpler route and left channels out of this.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby WILLIAMS5232 on Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:46 pm

i'm going to read that a few times and i'm pretty sure i'll get what i need out of it.

i'm thinking that it means saving a shape that you may want to put different textures and colors on. or make copies of it. or maybe saving certain colors out of a shape to help with the textures and shadowing, i may be off there, but like i said, i'll read through it again, then do some tests, i should be able to handle it. there is just so much going on in gimp, but i already know more about it than i would have thought when i first cranked it up.

thanks for the help.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby tkr4lf on Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:57 pm

Ok...I got everything right up until steps 5 and 6. When I create the gradient overlay it never works out as it should...and instead produces a large gray and white spherical figure over the map. Then I create the land textures tab...do all that...on the final form, it shows the outlines of the bonuses, but none of it is colored, and the background is the gray/white spherical object instead of the sea.

Any thoughts on this?
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby kengyin on Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:42 pm

did you set the mode on soft light and 50% opacity?
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:37 am

You have to change the layer mode of both layers. It says so right there on the tutorial.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby tkr4lf on Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:39 pm

kengyin wrote:did you set the mode on soft light and 50% opacity?

Yes, and I still get the same thing.

Edit: I went back in and tried it again. I have all the settings correct...radial, soft light, ~40% opacity. I still get the same thing. I went ahead and did the texture layer just out of curiosity. Moved the texture layer below the bonus border layer, and still I get colorless bonuses with a gray/white sphere in the background. I removed the gradient overlay layer, and I get colorless bonus areas on a blue sea background. So I'm having problems with both the gradient overlay and the texture layer. And I'm pretty certain that I did all the settings exactly how it says to in the tutorial. Any thoughts?
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:51 pm

Make sure the layers are in the right order. Make sure the layer mode of both the gradient overlay and texture layers are set to "soft light", not "hard light". And the opacity of the gradient overlay layer should be set to 50.

What version of GIMP are you using?
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby tkr4lf on Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:55 pm

natty_dread wrote:Make sure the layers are in the right order. Make sure the layer mode of both the gradient overlay and texture layers are set to "soft light", not "hard light". And the opacity of the gradient overlay layer should be set to 50.

What version of GIMP are you using?

All the layers are in the correct order. Both of those are set to soft light. I had the opacity a bit lower than that...but I will try moving it to 50%.

Also, version 2.6.11.

Edit: Ok, I got the gradient overlay to work, I think. I tried it again, this time with those settings picked before using the blend tool, instead of waiting until after I had used the tool to set it at soft light and 50%. I say I think it worked, because I didn't get the ugly gray/white sphere, but still, it doesn't look like anything happened really.

Then I went on to the texture...and the same thing happens. I do it exactly like you describe, but still I end up with gray/colorless land/bonuses and blue water. I've got my bonus borders on the map and everything, but there is no color to them. You said to move the Land Texture layer below the Bonus Border layer, which I did. Should it go below all the different Bonus Layers as well? I can't really think of anything else here...
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby natty dread on Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:19 pm

I can't really think of what could be the problem here. Can you upload your .XCF file somewhere and post the link so I can take a look at it?

Fileden is one file hosting site you can use, you need to create an account there but it's free.
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Re: GIMP mapmaking tutorial - Part 1: Basics

Postby tkr4lf on Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:30 pm

I'm just waiting on Fileden to send me the email so I can activate my account. Then I'll post the link. I'm going to upload a save where I've done up to step 6, so you can see what I've done wrong or whatever.
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