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My First Regional Map Using GIMP

I've spent quite a few hours cranking this bad boy out for my D&D 4E campaign that my group and I have played a couple sessions of so far. I showed it to my group and they liked it, but I'm so proud of my first GIMP creation that I wanted to share it here. The image is a lower res. copy so that if anyone wants to borrow it for their own, they can upload it to Roll20.
Looks awsome! :)
Thanks! For anyone interested in doing their own map, I was a complete novice with this or any other raster image editor- so you can do something similar or better I'm sure. I used a tutorial available at the Cartographer's Guild website. They also have a LOT of mapping resources and good suggestions. The tutorial link is <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> The city brushes I got from DeviantArt, along with the compass rose... and the squid!
Tristan J.
Roll20 Mod Team
Looks real good, especially for your first foray into GIMP. Though you should potentially think about trying a more illustrated look for your mountains and forests. Perhaps something along the lines of (<a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>) as I believe it will be more cohesive with the style of the cities and towns. Also, for all you would be cartographers, <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> has a sweet interactive feature which allows you to view maps from specific areas of the globe during different time periods. Check it out for some potential inspiration and keep on creating.
Thanks for the critique, Tristan! I like that hand drawn look quite a bit, but the tutorial I launched myself in to had a certain style and it wasn't until I was quite deep that I had a strong enough grasp of the program to understand how to approach anything different. Maybe for my next project, or for the cities themselves, I'll be more representative than photo-realistic.
Very well done.
Kristin C.
Roll20 Team
Enjoyfun, here's a nice guide for hand-drawing mountains . The artist has some really great map drawing tutorials in general . His website,, is down currently, but he's copied over all his tutorials to the cartographersguild while he revamps everything.
KS Backer
That looks great (especially to someone like me with zero artistic talent!), but your rivers look "wrong". Normally rivers start on high ground, and head downhill, and eventually towards the coast or a large lake - and even most large lakes will then spill off down towards the coast eventually. Rivers also tend to converge rather than split, so smaller rivers will come together into one larger river, but it's rare for a single river to split into 2 or more channels later in the flow. Think about the direction your river flows, and why it might take that direction, allow the rivers to merge, or come together in a lake, then think about where the run-off from the lake goes etc. Of course there are always exceptions, but if by and large you keep to common river topography then you'll find that they have a more realistic look on the map. -- Pete.
Pete, now that I look at it through that lens, I totally agree. I got so hung up trying to add a bevel to the river banks, that I never really got them looking very realistic. I think that what I intended with all those bunches of branches was to later taper them down to look smaller, rather than to look like full-fledged rivers on their own that just split off with no real discernible reason. However, I lost sight of that objective, and got overwhelmed with all the layers and masks I was already using for colorization and texture that to make them look like creeks and streams would have required a lot of back-tracking. Really it boils down to my inexperience, because if I had a better method, editing them would be far easier. Hopefully as I improve and work on the rest of the world map, this one doesn't look incredibly amateurish by comparison! Thanks for the input, too.