Illustration Tutorials and Advice Superthread

Discussion in 'Alternate History Maps and Graphics' started by Krall, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Krall The Divine Chorus

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    Britistan
    Hello and welcome to the long overdue Illustration Tutorials and Advice Superthread!

    The purpose of this thread is to help map-makers, flag-makers, and any other illustrations improve their skills through, well, tutorials and advice! :D


    The Tutorials Part

    Relevant tutorials will be listed at the end of this post, separated by what they cover (maps, flags, other) and what program they're for (MS Paint, Inkscape, GIMP, etc.). This post will be updated periodically to include new tutorials and to remove old ones if and when they become obsolete. "Relevant tutorials" refers to any tutorials for making maps, flags, or other potentially allohistorical illustration, or general tutorials for programs or mediums that can be used to make these kinds of illustration - pretty general really, just don't expect any tutorials on how to knit pantaloons.

    If you know of any tutorials that should be included in this post, please post a link to it in this thread or in a PM to me. If you find one of the tutorials linked to in this thread is obsolete or broken (e.g. by the images in the tutorial being deleted by their host) please tell me - I will add a note if the tutorial if still technically functional, or remove the tutorial link if it's totally irrelevant/impossible to follow.

    I'll also be adding download links for useful/popular graphics editing programs, so if there's a program you think should be included in this post, please tell me so I can include a download link!


    The Advice Part

    Over time this site has accumulated and nurtured a number of skilled and expert illustrators - this thread shall serve as a place for these wizened masters to answer questions from the newer and less experienced illustrators (and, possibly, each other).

    So, if you're new to the whole creative cartography thing (or any other form of allohistorical illustration) and you're not sure where to start or how to improve, just ask your question here! You should also feel free to post work-in-progress or experimental illustrations to get feedback!

    (Note: "Feedback" must be constructive criticism - if I see anyone insulting someone else for their illustration skills or otherwise being unhelpful I will be most disappointed.)


    The tutorials list is a bit bare at the moment, so if you know of any tutorials that should be included here (whether they're specifically about maps and stuff, or just more general "how to use this program" tutorials) please do tell me!

    I also need to know what kind of programs are used so I can include download links for them. You don't need to send me the download link itself; just tell me which programs you think should be on here and I'll go find them.
    :)

    Download links
    Clicking on these will not begin a download, but will direct you to pages where you can download these programs. All programs are free to download and use unless otherwise stated.
    GIMP (Windows, Mac OS, and Unix-like systems - click on "Show other downloads" after the GIMP User Manual languages list to see non-Windows download options)
    Inkscape (Windows, Mac OS, and Ubuntu)
    Paint.NET (Windows only)
    Blender - (Windows, Mac OS, and GNU/Linux)

    Tutorials

    Map tutorials:
    Tutorial: Satellite Map Making by MNP, for Adobe Creative Studio or GIMP
    Map-making with Sapiento by Sapiento, for GIMP
    A Tutorial for Inkscape Maps by Nymain1, for Inkscape
    Map-making with Inkscape by LSCatilina, for Inkscape
    Tutorial on historical map-making by Blomma, for Photoshop and Illustrator
    Nearly-Dr. Thande's MSPaint Tutorial by Thande, for MS Paint (Note: For an old version of MSPaint)
    Easily Animated Maps by Sachyriel, for Unfreez (link in tutorial) (Note: Some images missing)
    A really quick and easy way to make realistic fantasy maps... by EdT, for Photoshop (also works for Paint.NET) (Note: All images missing)

    News Graphic tutorials:
    News Graphic Tutorial by Septimus, for Illustrator (also works with Inkscape)

    Wikibox tutorials:
    Wiki 101: How to make an Alternate History wikibox by machinekng

    Alternate vehicle tutorials:
    Yli's AFV Tutorial Thread! by YLi (Covers designing the vehicle conceptually, rather than drawing or making it)
    AH AFV Model Building Tutorial by Claymore, (Covers building an alternate AFV from scale model kits) (This tutorial has no thread of its own, and is in the Alternate History Armoured Fighting Vehicles thread - the entire tutorial consists of posts by Claymore continuing immediately and uninterrupted after the linked post, ending with Part 5)


    Tips

    Map tips:
    Tips From Our Mapmakers thread

    Flag tips:
    Tips on designing fascist flags thread
    Tips on designing communist flags thread


    Other

    Resources : Tools for creating illustrated AH content AH.com Wiki Page
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
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  2. Reagent Cartography's Reactionary

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  3. Krall The Divine Chorus

    Joined:
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    Could you provide me a link to the deviantArt page for that tutorial, rather than a direct link to the image, please? :)
     
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  4. Reagent Cartography's Reactionary

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  5. NKVD ☭⚑

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    I demand more Inkscape tutorials!
     
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  6. Krall The Divine Chorus

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    Thank you! :D

    I know you said it's for Photoshop and Illustrator, but does that mean the tutorial can be done with either Photoshop or Illustrator, or does the tutorial have different sections that require Photoshop and Illustrator?

    I still want to do one at some point. My last attempt essentially resulted in me rewriting the first few paragraphs four times and then giving up, but I might be able to get it done if I don't try and extensively explain every single tool. :eek:
     
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  7. Reagent Cartography's Reactionary

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    Lourenço Marques, República de Sofala
    I believe you need to use both programs (with specific programs for each section).

    I might make an Inkscape tutorial when I have some free time.
     
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  8. Alex Richards Still, at least we're not Heanor UDC Donor

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    Empire of Nova Elysium
    There's a general 'tips' thread here which you might want to link in.
     
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  9. Krall The Divine Chorus

    Joined:
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    Ah, excellent! I've added a link to that thread, as well as links to all the tutorials linked to in that thread that I didn't already have linked to. :)

    I hope this thread gets stickied soon - I used the "Report post" function to send a message to the mods asking them to sticky it, but nothing's happened yet.
     
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  10. Petike Sky Pirate Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Clockpunk Zemplín Kingdom / Franz Josef's Land
    *cough, cough, cough*

    http://wiki.alternatehistory.com/doku.php/resources/applications_for_creating_illustrated_ah_content

    http://wiki.alternatehistory.com/do...strated_ah_content#various_tips_and_tutorials

    Oh, wait, what ? We have a wiki ?! :eek: By Jove, I've never even considered it ! :rolleyes:

    :mad:

    In all seriousness, stickies are OK, but the point of such pages over at the database is to unburden the forums from too many stickies, particularly this forum. Still, I'm all for this particular thread remaining stickied - it's a good way for newcomers to quickly find info on making artworks if they haven't visited the resource section of the wiki yet. ;)
     
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  11. Styrofoam Boots Vore the rich

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    Chicago, Illinois
    Gimp isn't windows only, I have it on my macbook.
     
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  12. Krall The Divine Chorus

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    Ah, sorry about that - their download page confused me. :eek:
     
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  13. Septimus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    I have been waiting for a thread like this. :D

    I don't profess to being an expert in vector illustration, but I certainly know my way around Illustrator and Inkpad, but do not know Inkscape well because I have Illustrator and prefer to use the fleshed-out version as opposed to the less powerful free version. Here are a few examples of my best works in my opinion:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I would like some opinions on these. Also, would anybody be interested in a tutorial on news graphics? I know a lot of people like them and I would love to see a proliferation of these on the forum. :D
     
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  14. Krall The Divine Chorus

    Joined:
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    Ah, I didn't know we had a section of the Wiki for this sort of thing! Honestly most people don't seem to use the Wiki regularly at all, so a thread like this is likely to get more traffic. You also can't use the Wiki to give active feedback or answer questions, so I think this sort of thing is better contained in a forum thread.

    I will link to the that page of the Wiki though, as well as including links to all the tutorials on that list. :)

    Your map is pretty good - definitely above average for this forum - but there is quite a bit of empty space. The state/province labels being almost the same colour as the country they're on makes them fade into the background and generally makes the map look less detailed. I'd also suggest trying out different combinations of colours of different shades and hues, because as it is nothing in particular "pops out" and draws my attention - the sea is roughly as light and bright as the land, and all the countries are about as bright and eye-catching as one another. Ideally you want the focus of your map (in this case the North American republics) to be the most important-looking part of your map. Try making the less important countries a greyer, darker colour, and the same with the sea - that way they contrast with the more vibrant, brighter republics, which then stand out.

    The news graphic I have a harder time judging, since I'm not used to judging them, but I will say that the colours are pretty bland - a lot of it's a rather washed-out grey. The dark grey borders in particular look bad, because they don't contrast with the thing they're bordering. The gradient on the text is excessive; it's okay for a big title, but most of the smaller text - especially the scrolling text across the bottom - would look better as a single block colour.

    That would be awesome! If you do it I'll be sure to add it to the OP. :)
     
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  15. Septimus Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    Wow, thanks for all of the feedback! I tried to do all of the subdivision labels black at first, but I felt it looked odd. I also can't stand the dark gray borders on the graphics, but I tried red, white, blue and other grays and this was the only thing that did not clash. This is a new graphic, and they get better every time, so I might have to make an update soon.
     
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  16. Petike Sky Pirate Extraordinaire

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    Well, if you want to use this as an advice thread as well, I'm all for it. ;)
     
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  17. Krall The Divine Chorus

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    Fair enough - sometimes there's no real "better" way of doing something, without just starting over. The province/state labels could've done with being a fair bit bigger, considering some were in very large provinces, but then they wouldn't fit in the smaller provinces. Unless you varied the size of the labels, but that might be confusing and look strange. :eek:

    Well, it is the "Illustration Tutorials and Advice Superthread". :p
     
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  18. Krall The Divine Chorus

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    Finally got around to updating the OP with tutorials from the Wiki page Petike linked to. I decided to leave out Pischinovski's tutorial, as at the moment it only has one section which covers almost nothing.
     
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  19. Septimus Well-Known Member

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    My tutorial showing how to make news graphics like mine above!
     
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  20. Krall The Divine Chorus

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    I've added it to the OP. :)
     
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