How to Paint.NET

Several topics concerned with making and using maps as a GM

How to Paint.NET

Postby sroca » 04 Jul 2009, 03:38

Paint.net is one of the main applications used to edit maps for forum games on this site and seeing that there is a lack of people who can actually GM (Game Manage) the forum games I figured I would give a short how to to equip others to take up the responsibility of being a GM.

If you have any questions regarding the how to just ask and I will either answer your question or add it to the how to.

The very first thing that needs to be done is to get paint.net of course. The link follows: http://www.getpaint.net./ Paint.net does not work on macs but this program http://www.gimp.org/ does. As far as I know it is fairly similar. I can download it and take a look but otherwise I'm going to let someone else do the how to for it.

Paint.png
Paint.png (112.49 KiB) Viewed 4898 times


Tools:
There should be a small screen to your left of 22 tools to help you edit your picture/map. If the screen does not show up press F5 and it should appear. Pressing F5 opens and closes the tool menu.

History:
This is a small screen that shows the history of the actions you have just performed. It should appear in the top right of your screen and opens and closes if you press F6. There are four buttons located on this screen. 1) Undo All 2) Undo 3) Redo 4) Redo All. I'm sure you can figure out their functions. (Control+Z can also be used to undo an action.)

Layers:
A small screen in your bottom right hand corner. F7 opens and closes it and it contains seven buttons. 1) Add New Layer 2) Delete Layer 3) Copy Layer 4) Merge Layer Down 5) Move Layer Up 6) Move Layer Down 7) Layer Properties. The purposes of Layers are that the different elements in the picture don't appear on top of something they shouldn't, ease in moving specific elements of a picture such as units, and ease in coloring elements of a picture such as territory colors.

Colors:
A self-explanatory screen in the bottom left hand corner which stores all of your colors on a palette. It opens and closes by pressing F8 and has three buttons. 1) Current Color (Can be clicked to add that specific color to the palette) 2) Manage Color Palettes (Where other palettes can be saved and stored) 3) >>>More (For developing more detailed colors)

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The Most Used tools:
(Numbered from 1 to 22 top to bottom:)
1. The Selection tool - (Square) - This tool, of course, highlights the areas that you need to move/color/edit in general. This tool has three "selection modes" located on the toolbar near the top of your screen. "Replace" creates a new selected area each time you click, "Add" will add to your currently selected area, and "Subtract" will delete portions of your selected area.
*To de-select an area there is a button in the tool bar that contains a small square and a black X. Click that and it should de-select the area*
4. The Magic Wand - (Wand) - This is another selection tool which although probably less used can select any "contained" area. It acts exactly like "the Filler tool" but selects the area instead of coloring it.
5. The Filler Tool - (Paint Bucket) - This tool is used to "Fill"/Color certain areas with a color selected in the "Color" screen. This tool also has more than one mode. In the toolbar you will see "Flood Mode." If you click on it it will show "Contiguous" and "Globalization." "Contiguous" colors areas that connect and "Globalization" colors areas that are of the same color before hand. (If I click Globalization and color one white section all the white sections in the picture will be colored.)
6. Paintbrush - I'm sure we are all familiar with that.
7. Pencil - ''
8. The Text tool - (A capital "A") - Used to add lines of text to your picture.
12. The Move Tool - (A Black Arrow) - A tool that moves currently selected pieces.
17. An Eraser - In case you make mistakes. Be careful as this erases all color including White.
18. Color Picker - (Teardrop Dispenser) - Used to select a specific color in the picture. It might be good to also add the color to the color palette if you need to use this tool so that you have the color on hand.

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After you have downloaded and opened up Paint.net the next thing you can do is find a picture of a map that you want to GM or make one yourself with the pencil tool, text tool, etc. If creating your own map adapt the following instructions and you should be fine.

Starting with a Pre-made map with or without Units:
1)Open Paint.Net
2)Go to File, Click Open, Find the map and Click open again
3)Make sure you have all of your screens that you need are open and begin
4)Go to the Layers screen and Click Copy Layer until you have three layers of the map you chose
5)De-select two of the layers so that only one is selected (the check box next to the picture in the layer indicates if it is selected or not)
6)Proceed to erase all of the Territory names
7)Re-Color all of the territory areas so that you make sure the shapes made by them are closed. This is so that when you color one area you don't end up coloring the sea as well. (You may want to add all of your colors to the color palette right now as well.)
8)When finished rename the Layer "Country Colors" if you wish and select the layer immediately above your current one in the Layers screen. (To rename the Layer click "Properties" in the "Layers screen")
9)Remember to de-select the "Country Colors" Layer. Then proceed to color everything on this layer white except for the territory names. (Yes, even the territory lines although it isn't a big deal if you don't I think)
10)After you have finished before selecting the next layer click "Properties" and change the drop down box from "Normal" to "Multiply" or "Darken" or another option that will work. You can also rename the layer "Territory Names."
11)Now de-select your current layer and select your last layer. Select the Erase tool and erase everything except for an "Army" unit and a "Fleet" unit. You can later select these and Copy and Paste new units in this layer easily. As for coloring use the "Filler" Tool and select "Globalization."
12)Reselect all of your layers so that they all show up so that you can see if your picture looks as it should.
13)Click File, Save As then Save. Make sure to name the layer something that is easily remembered and located. This file should automatically be saved as a pdn.file. To check this look at the second drop down box after you click Save As and see if it says pdn.file.
*If you are going to attempt to post the file to the forum there are a few more steps*
14)Click File, Save As, change the file type (the second drop down box) to a gif, jpeg, or other file then click Save. The image should then "Flatten" into one Layer. (This is why you needed to save the file as a pdn.file first since it keeps all of your layers.
15)When posting there is a tab underneath the text section, the section in which you write to post something, that reads "Upload attachment." Click it, then Click "Choose File" and "Add the file" after you have found it.
16)Lastly as an aesthetic not the file will then have "Add in line" next to it. Click that to put your picture above or in between text otherwise it will show up at the very bottom.

The following three images are what your layers should probably look like. They are of the 1900 map.

Country Colors Layer:
1900 example.png
1900 example.png (26.79 KiB) Viewed 4897 times


Territory Names Layer:
1900 - Territory Names.png
1900 - Territory Names.png (18.6 KiB) Viewed 4896 times


Units Layer:
In a later post. 3 attachment limit.

I hope this helps and wasn't too terribly lengthy.
Regards,
Roca
Last edited by sroca on 16 Jul 2009, 03:11, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How to Paint.NET

Postby sroca » 04 Jul 2009, 04:03

Oh and please if you are reading this and thinking about GM'ing take a look at the current forum games that have "No Activity" (Located in the "Master List" Topic) and attempt to GM those before proposing a new variant to try out.
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Re: How to Paint.NET

Postby AlphaTangoEcho » 04 Jul 2009, 04:05

Nice job, sroca.
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Re: How to Paint.NET

Postby Waterice man » 04 Jul 2009, 16:06

May I suggest to GMs who have a part of the map with not enough room for the units (such as Europe in Imperial), you create a new layer for some units, though keep most units on the same layer.

To ease confusion, I name the layers after one nation which will be the main user.
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Re: How to Paint.NET

Postby dilip » 04 Jul 2009, 16:27

thanks a lot sroca, i'll be GMing my first game, and this will be very helpful.
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Re: How to Paint.NET

Postby sroca » 04 Jul 2009, 17:26

dilip wrote:thanks a lot sroca, i'll be GMing my first game, and this will be very helpful.

Welcome. Apparently I'm just here to make forum game life easier. (I've got three major topics now. :D )
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Re: How to Paint.NET

Postby sroca » 05 Jul 2009, 19:59

Has anyone run into anything that needs to be explained in further detail?
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Re: How to Paint.NET

Postby sroca » 07 Jul 2009, 03:17

Darn attachment limits

Units Layer:
1900 - Units.gif
1900 - Units.gif (6.64 KiB) Viewed 4905 times


Finished Product:
1900 - Finished Product.gif
1900 - Finished Product.gif (38.82 KiB) Viewed 4883 times
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Re: How to Paint.NET

Postby jstott » 07 Jul 2009, 13:44

I haven't - this will help a lot of people, as it has helped me. Good work, sroca!
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Re: How to Paint.NET

Postby raphtown » 07 Jul 2009, 21:17

I believe paint does not work for mac. However, gimp works on macs and is very similar (as far as I can tell).
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