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Barracks as Raster Map Revised

Contributor:MarkOlivaRating:Not enough votes yet
Date Added:02/26/2009Downloads:492
Description:I'm deleting my old posting, "Barracks as Raster Map, and substituting a new and better version. As Jonathan Fischer pointed out, the symbols weren't visible in the last download. That was my mistake. I was doing some internal project mapping, and I shut off embedding for these folders. As a result, everyone without access to my hard drive could see no symbols. The new version doesn't have that problem.

My point in this is to show FM8 mappers who haven't tried raster (PNG) mapping some of what you can do with FM8 and the CSUAC on this level. Remember that it's basically no different from vector symbol mapping. You pick a vector symbol and click it onto the map. You pick a raster symbol and click it onto the map. This map took me a few minutes more than an hour.

The new map is too big for the NBOX upload limit, but you can download it free at:

www.dungeons-daring.org/barracksraster2.zip (14 MB).

In the new map I've taken more liberties with Jonathan's original than I did yesterday. Seeing that Jonathan had a sword and dagger on each table in each room, I assume this barracks is in an era somewhere between the late Dark Ages and the Middle Ages.

Building upon that assumption, I also had to assume that this barracks is for officers inside a large garrison. Normal soldiers wouldn't have gotten separate rooms. They would have slept in an open bay.

I noticed some things missing. There was no source of light. So I put oil lanterns on the walls and a candle on each night table. There was no source of heat, so I put a small iron coal stove in each room. That requires coal, therefore I put a coal bin on the outside wall of the barracks. There also wasn't a sign of a jakes anywhere, so I put two double-seater outhouses outside the barracks.

Inside, you can see some of FM8's nice tools. There's a transparent patch of light inside of each window. You can make that with the fractal polygon tool, make it transparent (slider on the lower right screen) and give it a good blur.

The path gravel outside was made at a fractal level of 4, and its edges then were blended into the grass with a feather blur.

Instead of having the same weapons in each room, I took advantage of the huge number of weapon symbols in the CSUAC and put different weapons in each room.

Again, this isn't intended as an example of a masterpiece map. I would have had to do much more to attain that level. It's a quick in-and-out example of what tools and possibilities are available for raster mapping with FM8.

With two exceptions, all of the symbols used here are from the CSUAC. The coal bin and the two-seater outhouses are part of a new free and open FM8 raster symbol collection that we're still developing. It will be released later this year.

For those who haven't tried out the CSUAC yet, go to:


In the left column, click the link "Create an account." This is a non-commercial site. It's not selling anything. But you do need to register to download material. I can say from experience that the site owner, Cecil Solomon, does not use your data to bother you. Once you've registered, go to the main page entry "The CSUAC." This becomes visible only after you've logged in. Once you find this entry, click "Read more." It will take you exactly to the page where you can download the CSUAC versions for FM8 at no cost. There are about 6,000 raster symbols and fills there.

Anyone who hasn't done it yet really should download the Fractal Mapper 8 PDF and the Fractal Mapper Tutorial PDF. They're on the NBOS Internet resources page under Page 3 of Items. You can work your way through them quickly. Once you've done so, you'll be an FM8 expert.

Mark Oliva
The Vintyri™ Project
MarkOliva on 02/27/2009
Hi Jonathan! The main tips that I can give you are to ask these questions when you start making a map: 1. What reason do the things that you're putting on a map have to be there? 2. What things do the creatures that dwell there need to stay alive? (Or to continue existing, if they're undead?) 3. Once you know all of the answers above, how would it look in real life? Those weren't exactly the tips that you were seeking, but they're the best I have at this moment. What you really want to know, I think, will be available in our in depth, illustrated tutorial, which I described in the entry above. Mark Oliva The Vintyri™ Project
JonathanFischer on 02/26/2009
This definitely takes the map I made to a whole new level. I also like your use of layers. Your use of them is also superior to what I did. Not to NBOS: I still think views need to save layer information as well. I have started working through the tutorial. What I am finding so far, is that I have learned more from your brief post here, and the file you uploaded, about how to make a GOOD map than I am from the tutorial and manual. They provide good (even excellent) technical instruction, but not much on how to make a good map. This is especially true for someone like me, with a very strong technical background (programmer). Do you have any suggested resources on how to make a good map? Maybe a sheet of tips you have created? What I have so far: 1) use raster images 2) make strong use of layers 3) details matter - a lot (light sources, etc.) - so think through everything 4) how to make light sources (blurred poly's). But, you leave me hanging a little bit, saying that this is a good start, but not a top-quality map. What else needs to be done? What other tips do you have? Sorry for the long comment...
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