real good mapper

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Relaxo
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real good mapper

Post by Relaxo »

Let's say I wanted to make a printable or print ready "real looking' map, say, a tiff output at 300 or 600 dpi, savable, editable, not just a web doohicky for fun.

is there such a thing for free anywhere? can I do this in gimp? or my old ass Paint Shop Pro? i like the grid action of 'mappers'

or am i better off hand drawing and scanning, adding a grid later in PaintShop?

Thanks!!!
Bill D.
Author: Yarr! Rules-Light Pirate RPG
BD Games - www.playBDgames.com
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.ph ... rs_id=5781

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mmbutter
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Re: real good mapper

Post by mmbutter »

You can use Gimp. Works well.

alcyone
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Re: real good mapper

Post by alcyone »

Relaxo wrote:Let's say I wanted to make a printable or print ready "real looking' map, say, a tiff output at 300 or 600 dpi, savable, editable, not just a web doohicky for fun.

is there such a thing for free anywhere? can I do this in gimp? or my old ass Paint Shop Pro? i like the grid action of 'mappers'

or am i better off hand drawing and scanning, adding a grid later in PaintShop?

Thanks!!!
Depends on the map and your mouse/tablet skills. Is this a dungeon map or an outdoor map?
For dungeon maps, basic looking ones you can do with layers; have a grid layer on the bottom and have a solid color or texture on a top layer, set it to transparent, snap to your grid (or not), and start deleting on the top layer. You can also take that top layer and copy and shift it a little for a 3d effect that can look nice.

You said print ready, so that is not Gimp's strong suit, since you won't have Pantones or a number of other tools used to make sure your colors print true, like Photoshop, if that is important to you.

Another issue; if you work in a pixel editor like Gimp, if you ever decide to produce a bigger or smaller map, you'll have to scale it, and with a bitmapped graphic that will mean information loss or interpolation and blurring. In that case, something like Illustrator (or for free, Inkscape) can be used to make a vector image that can be scaled easily. It's not really easy to just pick up and go if you haven't done it before, but you can scale up to a billboard and not lose any quality.

All that said, hexographer and dungeonographer make nice maps similar to those in the old tsr products, and I think you can save them in a lossless format.
My C&C stuff: www.rpggrognard.com

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Relaxo
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Re: real good mapper

Post by Relaxo »

um... what?

after layers and deleting that's over my head. :D

Looking to do a spaceship interior. 3 decks stacking around an elevator that ties them all together. it's ok, probably even better if its 1974 simple looking. but probably black and not blue.
Bill D.
Author: Yarr! Rules-Light Pirate RPG
BD Games - www.playBDgames.com
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.ph ... rs_id=5781

alcyone
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Re: real good mapper

Post by alcyone »

So definitely don't use Gimp.

Dungeonographer has a modest set of spaceship icons.

http://www.dungeonographer.com/

The free version is pretty capable and good enough to see if it has what you need.
My C&C stuff: www.rpggrognard.com

PeelSeel2
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Re: real good mapper

Post by PeelSeel2 »

If your an expert at MS Paint (like me. Not much of an accolade, I know), then check out paint.net. It is wonderful. Easy to use. Layerable. You can easily install plug-ins. Some of the plug-ins include: A configurable hex layer and a configurable graph layer. Those are just ones I use alot. Great for gaming!

It is free and all the plug-ins are free too. One of my gamers introduced it to me. I saw some wonderful maps he made and asked him how he did it.

I was able to easily take the Forgotten Realms map, and apply a REALLY nice hex layer to it (then I printed it out on 36x40 plastic paper, MMMMMM!).

I also took my base map from Hexographer and used the layering function in paint.net to create a really nice campaign map (printed out at 28x28. *MM*!!).

It is a really nice tool for a tool like me!

http://www.getpaint.net/

Treebore
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Re: real good mapper

Post by Treebore »

You've looked at the freebie I posted about that is currently a few posts down from this? They are not high grade modern quality looking maps, but they might do well enough.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.

koralas
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Re: real good mapper

Post by koralas »

Relaxo wrote:um... what?

after layers and deleting that's over my head. :D

Looking to do a spaceship interior. 3 decks stacking around an elevator that ties them all together. it's ok, probably even better if its 1974 simple looking. but probably black and not blue.
For very basic maps GIMP makes this easy. As was said earlier, you can use the layering tools to make a background layer that has your floor texture on it. Then put a layer with a solid color above it. Simply use the path tools to draw out your map in sections, then cutting out the path, thus showing the background layer through the solid layer you just carved out of. Using the Snap-To functionality with an appropriately sized grid insures crisp, straight lines. You could even use the layers tool to draw all the levels in one file, then hide the layers to print each one out at a time. Can also adjust transparency on the layers to make sure you have all of your level transition points lined up correctly. Just make sure to lock the layers you are not working on to make sure you don't have an OOPS! moment...

Good resources if you want to add objects to the map -
CSUAC (lots of stuff, mostly fantasy) - http://www.profantasy.com/rpgmaps/?p=1693
Textures - http://mayang.com/textures/

Lots of additional links - http://forums.obsidianportal.com/commen ... ionID=2518

GIMP Tutorials -
http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutor ... rials.html
http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutor ... -gimp.html
This is a great tutorial - http://newbiedm.com/2009/11/09/newbiedm ... n-roberts/
http://www.rpgbooster.com/tutorial-make ... -for-free/
Lots of great tips - http://www.fantasticmaps.com/tag/gimp/

Inkscape Tutorials -
http://www.busygamemaster.com/maps02.html
Hrm, can't find my other bookmarks... #sigh#

koralas
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Re: real good mapper

Post by koralas »

Oh, one other tool to take a look at - MapTool (this is a VTT that you can make some great maps in) from http://rptools.net I haven't been in it for a while I don't recall if the export feature has been implemented yet.

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Relaxo
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Re: real good mapper

Post by Relaxo »

Tree, i can't find the links you're referring too.

I'm good with Paint! I'll check out paint.net.

Confession: I'm trying to do maps for the next X-plorers game module... so they have to be like, 'real' and good. Like publishable good, not the cute crap one I did for the quickstart.
Thanks for teh advice, all!!
Bill D.
Author: Yarr! Rules-Light Pirate RPG
BD Games - www.playBDgames.com
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.ph ... rs_id=5781

Treebore
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Re: real good mapper

Post by Treebore »

Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.

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Relaxo
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Re: real good mapper

Post by Relaxo »

Been messing around with Paint.net to clean this up a bit.
I think I like it. I need to install teh grid maker.

Dig this, not to shabby if I say so myself....
Image

@ tree, Oh that. yeah that's neato too!
Bill D.
Author: Yarr! Rules-Light Pirate RPG
BD Games - www.playBDgames.com
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.ph ... rs_id=5781

koralas
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Re: real good mapper

Post by koralas »

I can't believe I forgot to mention checking the Dunjinni forums and free art packs to mine for more objects to put on the maps. http://http://www.dundjinni.com/

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NJPDX
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Re: real good mapper

Post by NJPDX »

There's a free version of Dungeonographer (and Hexographer) that I've found immensely useful and easy to use.

http://www.dungeonographer.com/

alcyone
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Re: real good mapper

Post by alcyone »

koralas wrote:I can't believe I forgot to mention checking the Dunjinni forums and free art packs to mine for more objects to put on the maps. http://http://www.dundjinni.com/
Yes, do mine it for goodies, but unless things have changed there, do not purchase the product. The storefront still works but last I went it was being kept alive by volunteers in the forums because the owner had abandoned the site and the day to day business workings. Very strange. I had a copy that doesn't work anymore because of various OS upgrades and it was pretty neat. Pity!

Campaign Cartographer is sort of a rolls royce dungeon and world designer, but I don't recommend it unless you are familiar and comfortable with complicated CAD products. And if you are, you will probably just use those. It does beautiful maps if you know how to use it, but I never have gotten to that point. YMMV.

There is a site called the Cartographer's Guild (http://www.cartographersguild.com) that you need to register for to get much out of, but is a community of map-makers and fans, and there is an active community of fantasy map makers. They have discussions on various tools and techniques, some free maps to download, and failing all that, you can probably find someone there who would make a map for you for $.

When I was running 4e I found some very nice battlemaps for the first modules that came out and printed them full size, from a guy on there called Mike Schley. Combined with the free counters Fiery Dragon had made for those modules (under thinly disguised names) it added a lot to the game.
My C&C stuff: www.rpggrognard.com

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