So Let Me Get this Straight...

Several topics concerned with making and using maps as a GM

Moderator: Morg

So Let Me Get this Straight...

Postby TJByrum » 21 Feb 2013, 04:43

I have Paint.Net, and yes - I have indeed read about the articles here on this site. All I'm asking is if I understand it good enough:

I got two layers (excluding the background): the map, and the 'game pieces'. Basically, I plan on going to the map and changing the colors and such. Then on the 'game pieces' layer I plan moving them around and such.

Is that the basic jist of it? Or is there more to it that I ain't getting?
Kenshin Uesgui - Cao Cao - Xiahou Dun - Zhang Liao - Xu Huang - Cao Ren - Lu Meng - Guan Yu - Zhao Yun - Jiang Wei
User avatar
TJByrum
 
Posts: 355
Joined: 03 Dec 2011, 14:41
Class: Diplomat
Standard rating: (937)
All-game rating: (921)
Timezone: GMT

Re: So Let Me Get this Straight...

Postby Willie900 » 21 Feb 2013, 04:45

Pretty much right. Some (like myself) like to use a third layer for names and SC icons to that they don't interfere with the color filling, and so the armies and navies don't cover up names.
Wow my signature used to be awful
User avatar
Willie900
 
Posts: 4148
Joined: 15 Apr 2011, 02:30
Location: the Chocolate Factory
Class: Diplomat
Standard rating: (946)
All-game rating: (946)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: So Let Me Get this Straight...

Postby TJByrum » 21 Feb 2013, 04:54

Good Idea Willie, I like that.

So far I took a map of Europe and traced it and I plan on dividing it up MY way to make my very own map.

Oh yeah, and just so you know, it's similar to but VERY different than Diplomacy.
Kenshin Uesgui - Cao Cao - Xiahou Dun - Zhang Liao - Xu Huang - Cao Ren - Lu Meng - Guan Yu - Zhao Yun - Jiang Wei
User avatar
TJByrum
 
Posts: 355
Joined: 03 Dec 2011, 14:41
Class: Diplomat
Standard rating: (937)
All-game rating: (921)
Timezone: GMT

Re: So Let Me Get this Straight...

Postby UpQuark » 21 Feb 2013, 05:19

The advice which is most important - learn about layers, and do not be afraid to use them.

Have 5 layers - you can never have too many (until you go >5-6, when you need to start thinking about them).

I tend to use many, many layers, to maximize options. A separate layer for Retreating units is one many GM's miss - allows you to stack the successful unit over the retreating unit without "mixing" the two. I often use separate long and short name layers, separate SC layers, sometimes separate water (lake/river) layers... Ctrl-C, Ctrl-X and Ctrl-V are standard copy, cut, and paste commands - to easily move a selection from one layer to another. Ctrl-D is another good shortcut to remember - Deselect. Sometimes you might forget you have an active selection and try to fill a space and nothing happens - you need to ensure you have no active selection in order to use the paint bucket, and Ctrl-D is the quick answer.

If in doubt, make a new layer for something. You can always position it above another layer and collapse it (merge) to the next one down if you find you don't need separation.

For example, in more detailed maps, you might find many tiny islands, which you might want to keep for aesthetics. Rather than changing the color of each tiny island when the province changes hands, use transparent fill for that province and put a blank layer below it, just make a big circle to cover the islands, and 1 click - you fill seamlessly the entire space. This requires discipline, as you have to start remembering which layer is selected when adjudicating, hence the recommendation to have a reasonable limit. But always remember - there is a back button to take back any mistake (and you can go back through history to an earlier mistake - use the History tab to see the command sequence).

Always test your fill in every space - to ensure there are no gaps in any line. Also set your Tolerance slider to a lower number to prevent filling over lines (15-20% is usually good).

There are lots of good tricks - get to know the tools (Magic Wand is one many GM's miss - makes selection of any color simple).

Be careful of using the paintbrush for lines, as paint.net uses blends and you end up with spots along your lines (pixels of lighter color than line color). I prefer the pencil, but others like a fatter line. Use Tolerance settings to help with this.

Some GMs will share pdn files if you ask them (look for a map you like and ask) - it may help you to have an example.

And as you develop your skills, check out the plugins - angled and rotated text, all sorts of other stuff...


UpQuark
practically massless elementary particle
User avatar
UpQuark
 
Posts: 617
Joined: 29 Feb 2012, 23:53
Location: 1 mile up
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (986)
All-game rating: (898)
Timezone: GMT-7

Re: So Let Me Get this Straight...

Postby Petunia » 26 Feb 2013, 03:19

UpQuark wrote:Be careful of using the paintbrush for lines, as paint.net uses blends and you end up with spots along your lines (pixels of lighter color than line color). I prefer the pencil, but others like a fatter line. Use Tolerance settings to help with this.

I toggle the anti-aliasing setting to get around this. I like clean lines.
Any views expressed prior to Dec 2013 are solely my own and do not represent the site or its administration in any way.
I took a break from the site for a while. I'm back now. Hi.
Platinum Classicist
User avatar
Petunia
 
Posts: 3190
Joined: 29 Aug 2012, 21:57
Location: I'm a dude.
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1583)
All-game rating: (1571)
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: So Let Me Get this Straight...

Postby Pedros » 01 Mar 2013, 16:56

You've got me there Petunia - anti-aliasing?
"Sooner or later, one of us will stab the other. But for now we're both better off as allies" (kininvie)
User avatar
Pedros
 
Posts: 12465
Joined: 25 Jan 2009, 12:59
Location: Somewhere full of gorse and brambles, West Cornwall
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1085)
All-game rating: (1314)
Timezone: GMT

Re: So Let Me Get this Straight...

Postby Petunia » 01 Mar 2013, 19:37

When you're using a drawing tool with a selectable stroke size, there's an aliasing setting that makes your lines either smooth or sharp. See attached image (I'm sure I'm running an old version of pdn so it may not look precisely the same on yours). The top half shows anti-aliasing enabled and you can see the smoother paintbrush line on the red circle. The bottom half is with anti-aliasing disabled and you see that the brush stroke is sharper but less smooth.

When anti-aliasing is enabled, the software smooths out the line for you by blending its edges with the background using pixels of lighter shades of the color you've selected (the issue UpQuark is referring to). With anti-aliasing disabled, it doesn't do this, and simply draws pixel by pixel with the selected color.

With high-res map images that rely on clean fills, it's best to disable anti-aliasing so you don't get messy-looking fills by filling an area with a solid color that bumps up against the 'smoothed out' edges of the brush stroke, leaving ugly discoloration around the edge of your fill.

I hope I explained that so it makes sense...
Attachments
aliasing.png
aliasing.png (33.08 KiB) Viewed 1893 times
Last edited by Petunia on 03 Mar 2013, 20:21, edited 1 time in total.
Any views expressed prior to Dec 2013 are solely my own and do not represent the site or its administration in any way.
I took a break from the site for a while. I'm back now. Hi.
Platinum Classicist
User avatar
Petunia
 
Posts: 3190
Joined: 29 Aug 2012, 21:57
Location: I'm a dude.
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1583)
All-game rating: (1571)
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: So Let Me Get this Straight...

Postby Pedros » 02 Mar 2013, 07:53

Well, you live and learn! Thanks Petunia.

Can I just check - you're talking about "disabling aliasing" but the setting says "enable/disable anti-aliasing. So are you recommending setting it to disabling anti?
"Sooner or later, one of us will stab the other. But for now we're both better off as allies" (kininvie)
User avatar
Pedros
 
Posts: 12465
Joined: 25 Jan 2009, 12:59
Location: Somewhere full of gorse and brambles, West Cornwall
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1085)
All-game rating: (1314)
Timezone: GMT

Re: So Let Me Get this Straight...

Postby Petunia » 03 Mar 2013, 07:54

To be brutally honest I always forget which is which, myself. I think it's the double negative that confuses me. All I can manage to remember is "ENABLED" = "SMOOTH".
Any views expressed prior to Dec 2013 are solely my own and do not represent the site or its administration in any way.
I took a break from the site for a while. I'm back now. Hi.
Platinum Classicist
User avatar
Petunia
 
Posts: 3190
Joined: 29 Aug 2012, 21:57
Location: I'm a dude.
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1583)
All-game rating: (1571)
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: So Let Me Get this Straight...

Postby Pedros » 03 Mar 2013, 08:22

OK, thanks. That sounds like we want "anti-aliasing disabled"

That's great - I always wondered why so many lines were a nightmare to get rid of!
"Sooner or later, one of us will stab the other. But for now we're both better off as allies" (kininvie)
User avatar
Pedros
 
Posts: 12465
Joined: 25 Jan 2009, 12:59
Location: Somewhere full of gorse and brambles, West Cornwall
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1085)
All-game rating: (1314)
Timezone: GMT


Return to Map-making

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest