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ScottM

advice on map creation?

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I have a couple of scenarios in mind that I'd like to try to make but I'd need maps for them. Instead of having to ask for someone to make the maps for me every time I need one, I thought I'd just post to ask if someone could teach me how. Thanks for any help!

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I have a couple of scenarios in mind that I'd like to try to make but I'd need maps for them. Instead of having to ask for someone to make the maps for me every time I need one, I thought I'd just post to ask if someone could teach me how. Thanks for any help!

I would love some help with this as well. The campaigns forever HELP file says a white map with stark, black, bold lines indicating territorial boundaries is best. So I found one of those for my Alaska Gov 2006 scenario, but it still won't work (scenario crashes after moving beyond first day). Any advice from the pros would be great.

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I would love some help with this as well. The campaigns forever HELP file says a white map with stark, black, bold lines indicating territorial boundaries is best. So I found one of those for my Alaska Gov 2006 scenario, but it still won't work (scenario crashes after moving beyond first day). Any advice from the pros would be great.

I could use some aid with that too. I can edit an existing map reasonably, but making a new one from scratch is currently beyond me, and there are some that don't currently exist out there I could really use, such as the ones I listed in my recent posts. Does any have a good bit of help or advice for us?

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Here's how I typically do this: I find some nice simple map of the area in question, that ideally has nothing but borders, interiors, and exteriors. Then I'll get that map into my image manipulation program (I use NeoPaint, typically), color in the interiors, and shrink the map down to appropriate size. Then it's just a matter of spending a while cleaning the map so that the borders are actually closed and, if you care about this (which I do), nice and neat. Then you've got the cut-out map good to go, with the region interiors nicely colored, the borders closed and as neat as you like, and the exterior blank white, and it's a simple matter to paste that onto the P4E-style background.

Oh, and one extremely important point I forgot to mention: before you shrink the map down, limit the color palette. Ideally the original map image will have only had two or perhaps three colors, black (or something you can change to black) for the borders and then maybe two different lighter colors for the interior and exterior, or just one color for both of those. Right before you shrink it you want for there to be three colors: black for border, white for exterior, and something, I typically use the bluish shade that's in the original TheorySpark-provided maps, for the interiors. Limiting the color palette to just those three colors means that, when you shrink it, things won't get all blurry around the borders, introducing myriad new colors and making it damn hard to tell what's where. What will happen is that the borders will get scrambled; if they were thin to begin with, then they'll be somewhat of a dotted line after you've shrunk them, and if they were thick to begin with then they'll still be thick but in extremely unsmooth ways. That's why you need to clean up the borderlines after shrinking the image, but it's a lot better than trying to deal with the blurring that happens if you don't limit the palette.

Hope that helps!

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Thanks for the tips. I do have one question, though, and hopefully I won't sound stupid. :P How do you limit the color pallette? Too many colors is one of the problems I've run into in my unsuccessful map-making attempts before, so I'd love to know how to get around that.

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Well like I said, I typically use NeoPaint. It's fairly simple to do in that program; first, under "Picture," you go to "Convert to," and choose "16 color." It'll ask you to choose a method for figuring out which 16 colors to use; if your initial map is simple enough, it doesn't matter which one you choose, and I typically let it do the default one. Then, also in "Picture," you go to "Edit Palette," and it's self-evident from there. When you've shrunk it, if you want, you can then convert back to full color spectrum.

For other programs, Photoshop in particular, I don't know, because I don't use them very often. I'll bet if you search around on how to limit the color palette in Photoshop, it won't be very hard to find, though.

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Well like I said, I typically use NeoPaint. It's fairly simple to do in that program; first, under "Picture," you go to "Convert to," and choose "16 color." It'll ask you to choose a method for figuring out which 16 colors to use; if your initial map is simple enough, it doesn't matter which one you choose, and I typically let it do the default one. Then, also in "Picture," you go to "Edit Palette," and it's self-evident from there. When you've shrunk it, if you want, you can then convert back to full color spectrum.

For other programs, Photoshop in particular, I don't know, because I don't use them very often. I'll bet if you search around on how to limit the color palette in Photoshop, it won't be very hard to find, though.

I just now came back across this. Thanks for the tip. I'll have to give this a shot.

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