Monday, March 21, 2016

Quick free world maps using GIMP filters and Donjon fractal maps - Part 5: Expanding the Zoom limits

Quick free world maps using GIMP filters and Donjon fractal maps series:
Part 1: Getting a fractal map,
Part 2: Getting different types of maps,
Part 3: More accurate 3D maps with mountains,
Part 4: Zooming and resolution,
Part 5 Expanding the Zoom Limits.
Part 6: Quick outline maps

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Expanding the Zoom Limits

This post continues zooming in closer in the same section as Part 4. It will zoom in even closer. For more information about the region, see part 4.

Chunk of original map

This is the original world map chunk for the zoomed in area. It is 40 pixels height by 40 pixels width. It is approximately two hexes big. In the hex map, you can see that the hexes where it is located show the symbols of mountains. I added the snow mountain symbol.

Hex map. The zoomed area is the snow mountains in the lower right. They are both at the same scale.

Problem with chunk; pixelation

Zoomed in, the information from the original square looks like this. You can actually count the square pixels. Sure you can sort of see valleys and hills in this picture. But I like doing things easy and fast if possible. Yet also maintaining somewhat accurate information. Digging more information from this small chunk quick, easy, and accurate would be nice.

Greyscale 3D map

This is the best view of that area using the newest 3D information that I showed you in post 3. The pixels are very apparent. 

My technique

This sort of was the area that I was focusing on. Later I decided to move it a little more to the right and down more to capture the entire mountain range. You can see the topographical contour lines

A more accurate map with detailed contour lines

Here is that information using my own technique. After finding this technique out accidentally, I recognized the great value in having a quick method to generate a fairly accurate topographical map with contour lines. I also calculated that each line equaled 100 foot elevation change increments. You can see that post here where I count from sea level up to some snow peaks.

I really like this map.

In a prior post and different area near water, I also explored using the contour lines to add smaller rivers. I also tried drawing the hills using the information from the original map. You can see a comparison to old methods and the results of my hand-drawn rivers and lakes in the post here.

Tool to help determine raised and recessed areas

This map helps interpret the contour lines. The light is coming from the northwest corner. Contour line areas with light on the northwest are raised. Areas with dark on the northwest are recessed. I make a few notes concerning different features.

Zooming into the three main peaks

For even closer detail I focus on just the highest peaks, the ones I labelled Twin Peak and Mountain Peak.  I did one for contour and the 3D version. Click on each to see the full image. The original of the next two images is 17 x 9 pixels big. Even then, a lot of information can be extracted from that fragment of the map.

Original Chunk

Original image chunk =>
The little chunk of image above, which is smaller than many words in this sentence, is what was used to create the next two images. This area is less than one hex big. So we are actually looking inside one of the hexes, to gather more information. This information can be used in describing the game world with even more detailed description. It is more like an adventure map were you can place individual buildings, caves, ruins, camps, and sites.

All from the same original fractal map.

Topographical Contour Line map of peaks

For full image, click on the image.

3D version showing raising or recessed elevation

For full image, click on the image

I can see that the peak on the left has two bumps and the one on the right is more pointed, as well as slightly separated from the rest of the slope, sitting more on a shelf. I can imagen that the areas between are great glaciers carving out the valleys and melting into streams and rivers.

Next Month

Next month I will try posting on how to make quick outline maps of the world. Outline maps good for printing off and hand writing in region areas or giving to players. 

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