Illustration Tutorials and Advice Superthread

How do you replace pre-existing flags in historical photos with your own flags in GIMP? For example, how do I remove the US flag from the Iwo Jima photo and replace it with a flag from my Chinese TL?
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 If you find one of the tutorials linked to in this thread is obsolete or broken (e.g. by the images in the tutorial being deleted by their host) please tell me - I will add a note if the tutorial if still technically functional,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)


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)


Map tips:
Tips From Our Mapmakers thread

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


Resources : Tools for creating illustrated AH content Wiki Page
An ok program would be Ibis Paint, which is free on mobile. Although it is better for smaller maps and images- unless you buy the full version
How do you replace pre-existing flags in historical photos with your own flags in GIMP? For example, how do I remove the US flag from the Iwo Jima photo and replace it with a flag from my Chinese TL?
create a layer above the picture and look at the shadows in the flag. Use a paintbrush to trace them (use medium grey). You don't have to be too precise since you're going to then gausian blur them. in another layer, Trace the highlights the same way in white.

since this is the chinese flag, trace the flag's contours on another layer using the same grey as the red stripes on the US flag in that picture to make the field. You would then fiddle around with the noise filter to so that it doesn't look too flat.

Simply take the stars from the chinese flag (you can find a picture of it on wikipedia) and put them on a layer above the play field one. Use the canton to align the stars and erase anything that wouldn't show due to a fold

now you should have five layers, from bottom to top: original picture, chinese flag field, stars, highlights & shadows. Change the highlights layer property to "lighten" and the shadow layer to "darken". change the opacity value of each until they look about right.