Thursday, July 3, 2014

My Notes in Mapmaking with a Note 2 and 10.1

You can, hypothetically, do this in a Note 2 or 8. Of course with a note 2 its going to be more painful on the eyes and hands. SAVE CONSTANTLY (if you have an alarm set it to remind you every 5-10 minutes! don't be like me and forget to save after 1 hour of working! the technology is still buggy and crashes often enough.

Pseudo Layers! When you import an image in S-Note it goes under your drawing. When you "Cut" it you can draw before pasting it back, which is a neat trick to if you are like me, and eyes get all confuddled with all the lines and colors.

Pseudo Layers Trick 1 After arranging your picture, make another page and Copy and Paste it again there. Try to preserve the "Scale" you are using so that you can copy it back to the other page you are working on in case you accidentally delete it.

Pseudo Layers Trick 2 Use folders to allow you to save multiple copies.

  1.  Copy into a folder
  2. Rename one of the copies,  like Version naming 01, 02, 03 etc. typically the one outside the folder
  3. Rename the copy you are working on. Save in every step where it looks good and you're afraid its all going to go to waste. You will notice my file names say 01, 02, 03. 
The way you organize your files is maximizes your productivity, experimenting in that helps. 

Sync it to your Google Docs so that you dont lose your files and 

Use Google Earth/Maps. Our ability to do scaling is rather limited and there is no shame (except for elitists) to trace over a map or use it as a reference. In the case of this map, I used a screen capture of my desired scale (50km scale) and then proceeded to cut and paste it to my dropbox which my Snote can access. 

Step 1: prep a Google Map of the Desired Scale. This gives you a sense of how BIG the mountains should look.
Notice I used a Map as a guide but ultimately DITCHED IT lolz. its a guide and don't let it be a barrier. 

 Step 2: Chill! Test it out. Do not commit yet, and maybe walk away for a day. If you feel the overwhelming pressure to make this awesome maybe you need to relax and do something else. As someone who has alot of anxiety I learned to chill and make mistakes.

Step 3: Gradualy gaining of Confidence. Remember your previous versions are your "save points" and never forget its there to help you.
You have variations of this map in other pages. Experiment and take your time. Make mistakes and take notes.

 Step 4: Feeling confident, remove the undermap and just make it up along the way. Its freaking made up, no mistakes and there is an interesting story in every mistake.

The thing about this is that there is no "End" or final project. You work with what time you have and the limitations. if it looks ok, its ok. It can always be improved but Time is your benchmark. Its not like your doing this professionally...

Step 5: Export it and Re-Import the Image on another page. use edit pages to arrange your pages. Basically Its now an underlayer and I can draw stuff like territorial boundaries. I plan to just put text in GIMP or some other similar app.

This is designed in mind for hexes. I use the Small Wars manual for such. If you find it a good book, then you will realize Camping eats up 2-4 hours per day - not counting eating, sleeping, foraging, paroling, and cooking. That an the lack of "roads" make progress slower. So even at the scale of this map you can have a lot of interesting "small wars" in the scale of hundreds of man-at-arms and levies.
My latest version of making mountains and forests. So I decided on this version because it looks ok close up and away and it because I can be consistent without Tiring my pen hand. 

Note that being able to do this RELAXING is a priority, I don't do this to make money and if I feel good, I take comfort in that. 

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