## Simple method for making perfect army circles

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### Simple method for making perfect army circles

These instructions can be applied for any image editing software (Photoshop, GIMP, Paint.NET, etc.) that uses layers.

OK, here's how I usually make my army circles. This might be obvious to many, but I think it's a good tip for beginners.

First, you will need a copy of the army number 88:s. If you don't have one you can use this:

Then, we'll make a new image. It doesn't have to be large, 100x100 will do fine. We'll colour our background layer with a convenient colour, say, grey. You can also use whatever colour your map's land area will be, so that you'll know approximately how the circle will look in the map... but, for this example, I'm using grey.

Now, pick your favorite colour, and copy one of the army numbers, and paste it on a new layer:

Grey Background on 1st layer, the army number on 2nd layer which is transparent except for the number.

Then create a new layer, but move the layer underneath the layer that has the army numbers.

On this layer, you draw the circle around the army number. The most common way is to use white and adjust the opacity into 50%. You can also use black, or do something fancy like a coloured edge, but for this example I'm drawing a simple white circle with reduced opacity.

So now you should have: background on 1st layer, army circle on 2nd layer, army number on 3rd layer.

Now you'll just resize (stretch) and move the army circle so that the army number looks good, and is in the middle.

Finally, delete layers 1 and 3, leaving only the layer with your army circle. Now you know the circle will be the right size for 88:s, so all that's left is copypasteing it all over your map!

Now, you can use the same method, and make a smaller circle for your small version of the map. If your small version is 25% smaller, make the circle approximately 25% smaller too.

Happy mapmaking!
Last edited by natty dread on Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

That's for Photoshop? It's a bit tedious, but works.

viewtopic.php?p=842047#p842047

Nice job anyway.

the.killing.44

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

the.killing.44 wrote:That's for Photoshop? It's a bit tedious, but works.

viewtopic.php?p=842047#p842047

Nice job anyway.

This works for any image editing software that uses layers. GIMP, Paint.net, Photoshop, any will do. I purposefully wrote the instructions in a general sense, so that they can be applied for any software.

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

Army numbers are the same size on the small and large map, so why would you use different size circles/shadows?

Just use 20px or 22px circles for both small and large. They will fit well every time.

sully800

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

sully800 wrote:Army numbers are the same size on the small and large map, so why would you use different size circles/shadows?

Just use 20px or 22px circles for both small and large. They will fit well every time.

Sometimes you may want to use different shapes of circles (although then they're not necessarily circles anymore), depending on the visual style of the map. In these situations the 20/22 rule doesn't always apply... But when you draw the circle around the number, then you will know from the start that the circles are the right size for the numbers.

Also sometimes circles may be used as graphic elements, to better fit the theme and visual style of the map. In these situations you may also want to make the circles different sizes than 20/22.

Following from this, if you're using larger circles for your large map, you may need to shrink them for the small map. However, even if the circle looks good in the large version, it might not in the small... Say, you have a 30px circle in your large map, which looks great, but you need to shrink your map 25%. This would make the small circle 22,5px, which rounds to 23px. Which is not good. Thus, you prevent this problem by making separate circles for both versions.

Also the 20/22 rule doesn't allow much tweaking: what if you want to outline your circles with colour, for example? The antialiasing of the outline may make the circle look "wrong" even though it is the right size. Again, this problem can be prevented by making the circles around the numbers from the start.

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

I start a new canvas at 22 pixels by 22 pixels, then draw a white circle and make sure it touches the edges of the canvas. Done! I then transfer it to what ever map I'm playing around with and reduce the opacity to where you can just see it. It's that easy! If you want a 20x20 circle, just make your canvas 20x20.
isaiah40

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

isaiah40 wrote:I start a new canvas at 22 pixels by 22 pixels, then draw a white circle and make sure it touches the edges of the canvas. Done! I then transfer it to what ever map I'm playing around with and reduce the opacity to where you can just see it. It's that easy! If you want a 20x20 circle, just make your canvas 20x20.

Yes, but read my previous post.

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

isaiah40 wrote:I start a new canvas at 22 pixels by 22 pixels, then draw a white circle and make sure it touches the edges of the canvas. Done! I then transfer it to what ever map I'm playing around with and reduce the opacity to where you can just see it. It's that easy! If you want a 20x20 circle, just make your canvas 20x20.

No, just set the ellipse marquee tool to a fixed size of 20x20 pixels.

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

the.killing.44 wrote:
isaiah40 wrote:I start a new canvas at 22 pixels by 22 pixels, then draw a white circle and make sure it touches the edges of the canvas. Done! I then transfer it to what ever map I'm playing around with and reduce the opacity to where you can just see it. It's that easy! If you want a 20x20 circle, just make your canvas 20x20.

No, just set the ellipse marquee tool to a fixed size of 20x20 pixels.

this is the best way to do it but ofcourse 22*22 works too
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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

Let's say you're drawing an army circle that needs to have a coloured backdrop to distinguish continents or something... And let's say you make it so that it is 1px wide on the upper left side but 2px wide on the lower right side, to give an impression of depth. Now if you make this circle 22px, the actual area inside the coloured circle will be 3px smaller, 19px, and the army number will point at you and laugh and say "tough shit, man". Now if you had done it so that you draw it around the army number, you'd be certain that the army number is having fun inside the circle and it won't run away and hit on your girlfriend.

Is everything clear to you all now?

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

natty_dread wrote:Let's say you're drawing an army circle that needs to have a coloured backdrop to distinguish continents or something...

Colored drop shadow / outer glow.
natty_dread wrote:And let's say you make it so that it is 1px wide on the upper left side but 2px wide on the lower right side, to give an impression of depth.

natty_dread wrote:Now if you make this circle 22px, the actual area inside the coloured circle will be 3px smaller, 19px, and the army number will point at you and laugh and say "tough shit, man". Now if you had done it so that you draw it around the army number, you'd be certain that the army number is having fun inside the circle and it won't run away and hit on your girlfriend.

If you have to use inner glow, just make it fixed at 25x25…

Jus' sayin'

the.killing.44

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

Oh, you're always "just saying" ...

Look, if you don't want to use the method, if you have your own ways that you think work better, by all means, it's not my headache. I just thought to share a bit of how I do things.

This was mainly meant for beginner mapmakers anyway, hopefully they at least can find something useful out of this thread.

I just feel that repeating "make it a 22px white circle with X % opacity" like a mantra isn't always the answer. There are other ways of doing things, and depending on the circumstances, one way may work better than the other.

Also: what if you want to make army circles to accommodate 3 numbers?

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

natty_dread wrote:Also: what if you want to make army circles to accommodate 3 numbers?

Then every army number will be grossly off center except for the 3 digit ones. 3 digit numbers don't center around the same spot as other numbers - the third character is tacked onto the right.

sully800

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

resizing and stretching tend to not evenly distort pixels so you can end up with an uneven looking circel/oval
Lone.prophet

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

sully800 wrote:
natty_dread wrote:Also: what if you want to make army circles to accommodate 3 numbers?

Then every army number will be grossly off center except for the 3 digit ones. 3 digit numbers don't center around the same spot as other numbers - the third character is tacked onto the right.

I know, but it might be changed in the future.

Lone.prophet wrote:resizing and stretching tend to not evenly distort pixels so you can end up with an uneven looking circel/oval

It depends on the method you use for resizing. Bicubic resampling works fairly well.

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

it works but not perfect and if you can make a perfect circle in a different way why not? just trying to make your skills with the programs even better.
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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

Lone.prophet wrote:it works but not perfect and if you can make a perfect circle in a different way why not? just trying to make your skills with the programs even better.

The thing is, that the different way doesn't work every time.

Take a look at all the different army circles in my lunar war map for example, or the shaped capital "circles" in my nordic countries map. These can't be done with simple ellipse tools with fixed width settings...

The advantage in my method is that it works every time, no matter what shape, size, colour, etc. you want to make your army circles.

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

i took a look at them and tried them with my method, you have to take 1 or 2 extra steps but than you get a perfect pixel ratio for your goal. if you want to know how i can show you only not now too late
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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

Lone.prophet wrote:i took a look at them and tried them with my method, you have to take 1 or 2 extra steps but than you get a perfect pixel ratio for your goal. if you want to know how i can show you only not now too late

Maybe someday, but we probably use different software...

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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

photoshop cs4?
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### Re: Simple method for making perfect army circles

Lone.prophet wrote:photoshop cs4?

I use paint.net