Part 1 and Part 2 of the tutorial can be found here.
For part 3 of our tutorial, we're going to deal with adding text labels to your map.
are two ways to do this, one is by hand and the second is with your
trusty computer. I prefer to add the text using the computer as I found
that my hand written text, no matter how hard I try, is rough and wild
(and in a not so good way). Creating real nice stylized text by hand
is an art in an of itself. I'll touch on letting by hand in a future
post, but for now, I am going to focus on using the computer to add text
to your map. Please note that I am not affiliated with any of the
products or websites that I mention in these tutorials. These are the
tools that I have found work best for me. You, of course, can use
whatever resources that you have access to.
portion of the tutorial and the next we will be using the computer to
add text to your map. You will need access to a computer (of course), a
scanner and a computer application that will allow you to add text to
your map. If you have Adobe Photoshop (PS), you can use that as your
application, if not, GIMP is a free open source image manipulation application
that does much of what Adobe Photoshop can do. It's a very good
substitute for Photoshop and did I mention it's free? So if you need
to, go get GIMP now. I will be using
GIMP in this portion of the tutorial but the methods that I'll be
talking about can be applied in both Photoshop and GIMP. You can also
use Adobe Illustrator for the text manipulations if you have that.
note on GIMP: I understand that if you haven't used an image editing
application before that there can be a bit of a learning curve. There
are many good GIMP Tutorials
out there to help you get started (http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/) so I
won't be going into details here on some of the basics. This is not a tutorial on how to use GIMP.
I will, however, show you the techniques that you can use with your
map. I understand that it can be frustrating if you are new to this but
just be patient and keep at it. You'll gain a bit more knowledge each
time you work with it.
The first thing that you want to
do is find some good fonts. Don't use the standard fonts that come
with your computer. There's nothing there that is too interesting for a
fantasy map. I would suggest that you go here: www.1001freefonts.com .
Here you will find free fonts for both Mac and PC. Look around, find
some interesting ones and download them. You can install the fonts
based on your computer OS instructions.
The next thing that you want to do is scan your map into your computer. Be sure that you have set your scanner to 300 dpi
(dots per inch). This is a good resolution for printing out your map.
If you are worried about file size you can scan your work at 150 dpi.
If you scan at 72 dpi, when you go to print out your map it will look
all jagged and bitmapped. Also you will only need to scan this in as a greyscale
image. It will keep the file size down and make it easier to work
with. We'll be adding color much later in the process in Part 4 of this
series. Your scanning software user interface will have most of these
options for you to choose from.
You can use GIMP or PS to scan your file directly into those applications.
In PS go to File >> Import >> you should see your scanner in the list.
GIMP go to File >> Acquire >>
Scanner/Camera >> you should see a list with your scanner.
you have already scanned and saved your image file you will have to
open it in your application. To do this, go to File >>
Open >> then browse to your image file and select to open.
should now have your map opened up in GIMP. The image below will
illustrate out some of the items that we will be talking about.
note about these image applications programs; all the different
elements are added on different layers. You will be doing this for each
text item or map element that you add. Yes, it will add to the file
size, but in the end you will 'flatten' all the layers into just one
remember to save your work frequently. We're in the 21st century now
and I'm sure all of us knows what happens when you don't save your work!
So let's get busy, shall we?
Click on the Text Tool
in the tools pallet. If you click on your map a small window will pop
up. Type the text that you want to display in the window. You will see
it appear on the map. In the Options Pallet, select the font and size that you want. After you have made your selection, click Close.
You'll notice in the layers pallet that the text has now created it's
own layer above the map background layer. If you don't see your layers,
click on the drop-down menu at the top of the layers window.
If you need to move the text to a different place on the map, select the Move Tool. In the Options Pallet, select 'Move the active layer'. Select the layer with the text that you want to move and use the Move Tool to move it to a new position on the map.
use this method over and over again, adding new text to your maps. A
good method is to make the first letter of the word a larger sized font.
Unfortunately, in GIMP, this has to be done on a separate layer which
might get a little unwieldy. There may be an easier way to do this in
GIMP but I haven't found it yet. You will not have that problem if
there's one other thing that I will show you here. You can add
additional elements, such as a compass, to you map. You can find one
online, scan one in or you can download
and use this one I created. Remember, if you look for one online, be
sure that it is of a high enough resolution for your map to print
properly. To download the compass image, click on the image to the
right, when it opens in the window, right click and save image.
this Compass file in GIMP (or PS). Then go to 'Select"
>> All >> then copy (Edit >>
Copy) the image and paste (Edit >> Paste) it into your
map file. You won't see it right away but a new layer will be created called "Floating Selection (Pasted Layer)".
Double click on that layer name and rename it 'Compass'. You can
resize and position the compass using the scale tool and the move tool
may notice that the white space around the compass image may be
covering up some of your map. What you want to do here is be sure that
you have selected the compass layer in the layer window, in the Mode drop down menu, select 'Multiply'.
You will notice that the white background will disappear leaving only
the black of the image exposed. We will be using this technique a bit
more in lesson 4.
At this map scale, I add dots or squares for cities and ruins.
you map should be looking pretty good. Be sure you have a version of
this file saved. Now you will flatten all the layers into one. Do this
by right clicking on one of the layers and selecting 'Flatten Image'. Save this version of the file under a different name so that you have both versions to work from just in case you need to alter your layers once again.
is a very brief lesson using GIMP to add text to your hand drawn map. I
understand that this might be a lot of information but I hope this can
get you started with using an image manipulation application to alter
your maps. Just be patient and keep working at it.
In the next tutorial, we will be adding color and texture to give your map an old, worn look.
On to Part 4