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Thread: Map making

  1. #1

    Map making

    Question about making a map... I have the pictures from the PDF file from WOTC to for the maps in "Sleeper in the Tomb of Dreams" However the grid thats on them seems to be real small and I cant get it to blow up to make it 50x50 grid size.

    Im using Paint.net to crop and fix anything in the maps. Does anyone have a tip I can use to make this work for me? I just dont like the way the maps are looking after I get them into FG2 and place the grid on it.. Either their off just a bit or the grids are so small you can really see the tokens.


    Thanks so much for the help.

    Makuzi

  2. #2
    I'm not sure whether you mean that the problem is grid alignment or image quality. If it's grid alignment, you can just run the encounter without the grid on. That's what I do with maps that already have grids on them. You just lose the distance calculation and square-snapping functionality. If it's image quality, you can play with the resolution of the saved image.

  3. #3
    It was getting it all to line up.... I actually found the video that shows how to do it and am slowly getting it down.

    Thanks for the reply

  4. #4

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    Bear in mind some processed maps will *never* have the grid line up. If a map is re-sized enough the process of interpolation causes pixel drift so the grid squares are no longer square. Like Fot5, if a map image has a grid on it most of the time, I not using the FG grid is just easier.

  5. #5
    I've noticed that many of the WOTC maps have inconsistent gridding (i.e., they change spacing from one line to the next). These are the some of the types of maps that you're never going to get to align correctly. If you have a map that lays a consistent grid across it, I've found it a lot easier to match the FG and map grid by making the map a lot larger when I lay the FG grid on top.

  6. #6
    Zeus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fot5
    I've noticed that many of the WOTC maps have inconsistent gridding (i.e., they change spacing from one line to the next). These are the some of the types of maps that you're never going to get to align correctly. If you have a map that lays a consistent grid across it, I've found it a lot easier to match the FG and map grid by making the map a lot larger when I lay the FG grid on top.

    Thats because Mike Schley (one of Wizard's main cartographists) often uses a beveled edge to his grids and as Griogre has stated the resizing of the map causes the grid lines to shift off-centre.
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  7. #7
    Listen, guys. I'm not doubting what you're saying because you have no reason to lie and are smart enough to know better than me about maps.

    But... I've normalized over a HUNDRED maps over the course of playing Scales of War to Level 28 (we finish in Jan!) and War of the Burning Sky to Level 16. Many of the Scales maps were done by Schley, if I'm not mistaken (in fact, after Dungeon started to heavily use Dungeon Tiles, Scales adeventures were one of the only adventures to still use handmade maps). And I have yet to see a single map where the grid didn't align perfectly. Watch the screencast below for an example of a quick, perfectly-fitting Schley map.

    That said, I don't use Xorn's technique, it takes way too much time to get it right. The following works with a 99%+ accuracy every time. I've made a screencast of my technique here:

    http://screencast.com/t/6AYPRIXFdPyL

    But if you need it in text, here's a copy from my WotBS-related post from EnWorld:

    Step 1) Use any software with a ruler to measure an arbitrary number of squares in either direction. The more the better, but they must be full squares. So, for example, measure the exact number of pixels from the bottom of the lowest possible square to the top of the highest possible square. Ignore squares that are cut off. Only count pixels in one dimension, either x or y.

    Step 2) Count the number of physical squares that you just measured the length of. At this point, you should have something like this: 943 pixels = 35 squares. This number gives you the current "zoom level" of the map. Divide the number of pixels by the number of squares to give you the zoom level: 943/35 ~= 26.943. The more decimal places you keep, the more accurate the final result is, so don't just round to the nearest integer.

    Step 3) Using the same dimension you used for the length count, get the image's TOTAL length in that dimension. In the example above, I measured the y (top-to-bottom) dimension of most of the squares on the map, but I didn't count a few obscured squares at the top because I couldn't tell where one square ended and the next began. The bottom-most square was also not counted because it was cut off. So the height of this image was 1200.

    Step 4) Divide the total height by the zoom level you obtained earlier. This gives you the total number of squares the image REALLY has. In my example, I would do: 1200/26.943 = 44.538. My image has 44 and a half real squares.

    Step 5) Decide what zoom level you want to normalize the map to. I always use 50px. Multiply the result of Step 4 by this number. So 44.538 x 50 = 2226.9235.

    Step 6) Resize the image. Make sure your editor's "Maintain aspect ratio" option is enabled. Change the value of whatever dimension you were using to the result of step 5. I was using y, so I'm changing the height of the image to 2227. This time you have to round to the nearest integer. Hit OK, and the software will resize the image. Every square will be exactly 50px, or close enough that maptools won't be able to tell the difference.

  8. #8
    Nice explanation. I haven't tried to normalize my map images, so I'll try to do that to see whether your process works with the maps that I've been having trouble with. Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Oops maybe I started something unintended.

    To be clear I'm not slating Mike Schley's maps or his grid style, in fact I like his style so much I have painstakingly developed my own repertoire of art skills and assets for recreating his map styles for my own 4E campaigns.

    However, the point I was driving at is that because he uses a beveled edge (more notable in the Tile based versions of his maps) and because you generally want to increase the resolution of WotC maps for 50px play, the process of the enlargement can often throw one or more of the grid horizontal/vertical lines off. I believe this is what Griogre is refereing too when he quotes interpolation.

    This adverse effect is generally not as evident for smaller tactical maps as per the SoW and WotBS published material (and your example) but is very evident when you try follow the same process for larger sized maps e.g. the large Level 1 map in KotS.

    So in summary, whilst I agree your process does work, at some point despite following this you will encounter a larger WotC published map that will NOT align in FGII 100% properly.

    When I get some time I'll post up some visual examples.
    Last edited by Zeus; October 25th, 2010 at 20:57.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZeuss
    So in summary, whilst I agree your process does work, at some point despite following this you will encounter a larger WotC published map that will NOT align in FGII 100% properly.
    I will take that as a challenge! Please present me with such a map. I've converted many huge dungeon maps from SoW and other adventures with no problems. In fact, the bigger the map, the better the result because there are more pixels, leading to less error.

    My method seems mathematically sound. I compute the number of "virtual" squares between the top and bottom squares on the map. So even if the squares are slightly "off" or something along those lines, the resulting resize will fix them -- there are N number of squares on the map, and my method figures out exactly how many. I don't see much room for error, but it's always a possibility. Show me an example and either you or I will learn something, and the community will be better for it.

    Of course, it's also possible you're talking about subpixel differences which are only noticable when you're zoomed to 1x or greater... and even then, only if you're looking... if that's the problem you're referring to then I personally wouldn't worry about it.

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