This tutorial covers my entire process for how to draw a map – from start to finish. In this case I’m illustrating a simple town map, but the steps apply to any map. Continue reading
I’ve written up a couple of tutorials before on drawing isometric mountain ranges for fantasy maps – but never more than the pen and ink stage. I’ve had a few requests for how to take this to the next step and colour the mountain ranges.
Note that I use a graphics tablet. You can do this with a mouse and low opacity brushes, but tablets are getting good and relatively cheap. I’d recommend picking up something like the Bamboo Splash if you’re going to be playing around with illustrating maps.
Here’s a quick walkthrough of the four steps I take in my mountain ranges. Continue reading
Nikitas Thlimmenos was asking about how to place icons on a map, so here’s the walkthrough! The map is the Iconic Island (http://www.rpgnow.com/product/110804/Fantastic-Maps—Iconic-Island) as that’s the map Nikitas is using. There’s a bare base map in the pack, and all the .pngs come as separate files that you can add. But this also works if you find the CSUAC bundle of pngs or trawl the Dunjinni forums for the amazing art assets there. You can set dress a dungeon pretty quickly this way.
So, how do you add a .png icon to an existing map? Continue reading
Eric Quigley asked about labeling recently and that prompted me to think a little about how I actually go about labeling a map. Often it’s the last thing to get done, but it’s also the most important. A map without labels is just a pretty picture, it’s not useful. So, it’s worth taking some care getting labels right.
This is a photoshop tutorial, but these techniques are almost identical in Gimp.
Here’s the breakdown of how I draw lineart for swamps. Continue reading
Lots of people are jumping into the #fridayfiveminutemap and posting phone snaps of their maps. A couple have asked how to take a picture of their map and clean it up a little. This mini tutorial should help with that. The basic idea also works for cleaning up scans, and the techniques are useful in a whole range of places (you can find a version of this geared to Gimp users here).
The dark and foreboding wood is a staple of fantasy literature and our own folklore. Continue reading
Blend modes are a wonderful feature of Photoshop, and also appear in many other programs, including Gimp. Here’s a few I use regularly. I’ve taken the same styles o text and shown how they appear using the different blend modes. Further down, you can see the effect of using a selection of different gradients and setting them to the relevant blend mode. There’s a breakdown of each blend mode after the jump.
Today I’m walking through my method for colouring trees quickly for RPG maps. This follows on from this mini-tute/discussion on different tree styles from last week. I’m working with style 1 from that tutorial here, though it can be directly applied to the other styles just as easily.
The problem with trees is the leaves. Continue reading