Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I'm blue...

I was playing around in GIMP a little today and I figured out an easy as snot way to make my maps blue while still retaining some of the fill shading in there. Takes me all of three minutes to do this. I am pretty happy with the results.


I also did one with a grid for those who like that sort of thing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

[map] Inktober, pt 3

Yep, a little behind, but hey that's me. A couple more maps from my inktober series last month.


The Worried Whortle is a small inn suitable for dropping just about anywhere in your campaign. A cozy tavern area with four (perfect for your adventuring party!) beds upstairs for a snug night of sleep. Olaf has reported things crawling out of the cooking pit in the kitchen and is willing to offer up a free night's sleep - dinner and spirits included! - for those willing to enter the pit and find out what is going on.

The Arch is a simple stone archway, guarded by a Pale Rob monk who resides in the small cave at the back of the chamber. The empty space between the stones that form the archway is a portal, bit not one that goes anywhere. This one is exit only and the Pale Monk named Gul'estavre ensures that this portal remains open for use by those who wish to come into this world.


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Sunday, October 16, 2016

How to go from paper to digital, or, How I make maps

I was recently asked about my process, the way in which I clean my maps. So I will go through the process as much as I am able here. I am starting with a completed piece and simply going over the computer part of the process.

1) Scan your piece and open in am art program, here I am using GIMP because it is awesome.

2) Next I clean it up a little, reducing the image to just the parts you want to use. In this case I have removed the extra parts of my Moleskine journal I draw in so that all that remains are the actual drawing parts. I also rotate the image to how it will appear in the final map.

3) Next I copy the image over to Inkscape, I just use ctrl+c and ctrl+v because I am old school and know all those keyboard shortcuts. Once the piece is in Inkscape, I select "Trace to Bitmap" under Paths in the menu bar.

3.5) Next I change the settings to how they appear here. I up the Threshold slightly and check the remove background. It took me a while to mess around get these settings but this is where I like them.

4) Copy the resulting image back into GIMP. What you should get is a pure black and white version of your image. I am aware there are other ways to accomplish this same feat using filters and whatnot but I have been using this process for about two years now and I am an old grognard. I like this method.
Now, if you look close you will see that some spots that were faint in the original piece look pretty crappy after the Inckscape processing, look at the OCT 8 "Rock" for reference. This I will need to go over in GIMP slightly with the pen tool to fix. Sometimes I will also reproduce the layer and merge it on itself, effectively making the ink thinker/stronger.

5) Next up I use the "Color to Alpha" tool under the Color menu to produce a black only image, allowing me to color on new layers beneath it and not fear ruining the black map layer.

6) The resulting image should look something like this. Here I have pasted it into my 'stock' background that I put all my maps into.

7) The next step is the tedious, but more artistic, of the steps. Coloring. I create new layers such as 'walls', 'floors', etc and color using a brush I made and simply go about coloring the various aspects of the map.

I hope you like this and find it useful. It really is quite an easy process to get your drawn image into GIMP and ready for coloring. If you end up using this process please share it with me, I would love to see what others create using this simple process.

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

[map] Inktober, pt 2

More fleshed out maps from the inktober series.

And the black and white version

Drop a buck a month and get access to as many as 3-5 new high-resolution maps per month. Maps are provided in various color schemes and at 300dpi, 11x14 image files suitable for printing. Are you ready to become a patron supporter?