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A little help with maps...

A little help with maps...

Hi Weaver-GMs. Years ago one of my players here on the Weave did some editing to the Elsir Vale map in the original Red Hand of Doom module so we could use it in Eberron. It was relatively simple stuff I think but wasn't something I know how to do. I will be running RHOD as a Forgotten Realms campaign soon and would love if anyone knows how to swap out names on the map using as editing program? I can use Photoshop to cut pieces out of the image and add new text but the player that did this in the past (erian 7 who doesn't seem to have visited the Weave in a couple of years) managed to switch out all of the labels, mirror the map, etc. while keeping it effectively looking the exact same. Can anyone help me learn how to do this? If this doesn't make sense please ask for clarification. Thanks!

Hey Sillaric,

This can be the most easiest thing in the world if the electronic version of the map you have is done in layers, and that text on the map is a seperate layer then the actual cartographer beneath.

Do you have a copy of the Elsir Vale in electronic medium ??


Sadly not the way you are talking about. It have it as a scanned jpg. I can see if WotC ever posted the map on their website in its original electronic format.

I have Adobe Photoshop Elements 11.

I'd need to see the map before making the final call, but it's something I could do (or teach you how to do) using a few PS tools. You do need a digital map though. Is this the map you're talking about?

Alternatively I could show you how to create your own maps in PS using a few custom brushes and FX layers.

That is precisely the map. It would be amazing if you could show me how to edit it the way you're talking about (or alternatively you could edit it if that would take less time). I don't want to be a bother so whatever you would find easier. As to making my own maps, probably not right now. I have zero artistic eye and I only really running published adventures at the moment.

Ha. I 'made my own map' by drawing over the top of an existing one. Why? Because the encounters were revealed in stages and the GM didn't want us to see the whole map and go to the hexes just for the XP/loot, and because I like making maps. Once I picked out the textures that worked the best, it came up nicely.

New Map with Fog of War

I can do it for you, or show you how, I'm not fussed either way. But if I show you how, then if this problem occurs again you can refer back to what you did before. If you want me to show you how I made the map above, also let me know. Note: I just drew over the top of the original map and grabbed some images from the internet to use as icons to save time - I didn't draw any of the icons myself. Okay, maybe one.
  1. First, you need as good a quality of the original map as possible. Large dimensions also helps with that. (The image I linked to wasn't the best, too many artefacts.) My rule of thumb - the bigger the better because you can always scale down for printing/putting on the web and it'll still look good, but you can't scale up without pixelation.
  2. Then you need to use the clone tool. If you don't know what that is, watch this tutorial.
  3. Use that tool to remove all the words and leave just the background that would be underneath without the words. I've done a bit of it
    here with the words at the top.
  4. With the words gone, you're free to put the words you want instead using the Text Tool and your font of choice.
  5. If you want the map mirrored (do this before the above step or else you have to move the text around), go to Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontal.

Tips: When cloning, sample frequently to avoid too many repeating patterns. (Patch Tool can also be quite good for replacing areas with other similar areas if you have a large area you can sample from.)
When using Text, I find putting an Outer Glow really helps make the text readable, no matter what it's sitting on top of. To do this, select your text in the layers panel, click on fx in the bottom right hand corner, select Outer Glow. Default settings are usually fine.

Wow, so cool. I'll get working on it and let you know if I suck too bad to make it work. Thanks so much!

This is very cool. It's takes a fairly long time but its well worth it. Thanks so much for the help!


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