Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Building Campaign Maps with Google and GIMP 2

Removing labels, roads and borders

In my last post I had taken an image from Google maps and trimmed off the unwanted borders.  Now for a few techniques in taking the map down to just the terrain.

Here I've taken the previous image and zoomed to a 4:1 scale (400% actual size).  I've found this is the largest scale where I can still recognize the terrain while I'm editing. I'm going to remove the label "Kolonje" in this example, it will demonstrate the technique I use to rebuild land forms that were covered by labels.

Use the eyedropper tool (1) to select the lightest color from the surrounding terrain.  The use the paint brush tool (02), set on a convenient shape, such as "Circle (05)" (3) to paint over the lablel (4).

The next step is to use the spray gun tool to rebuild terrain features.  This time select the darkest portion of the feature being rebuilt with the eyedropper and set the spray gun tool to "Fuzzy Circle (03)", this allows the paint to fade out at  the edges.  Draw in the lines you want and then darken the intervening spaces to match the surrounding terrain.

 The last step is to use the eyedropper to select the color of the surrounding terrain and paint over the rest of the label and any roads or other symbols in the area.

Repeat for all the other labels until your map is clean.  It will take several hours, but in the end you'll end up with a map like this.  (In this map, I've stitched together the areas above and below the initial map to build a map of the campaign area).

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