Illustration Tutorials and Advice Superthread

Hey guys! I thought about creating an advice thread for rapid transit maps, but I'd like some feedback if it's worth it.
Could be worth it - I've never made a map of that sort before, and you seem to make them more often than other map makers do. :)

Anyone got any tips on as to best draw railway lines in Illustrator/Photoshop?

Much obliged :)
I'm afraid I don't use those programs, so unless they're very similar to Inkscape someone else will have to field that one. :eek:
 
Well maybe the process is somewhat similar. I'm just desperate for inspiration, tbh :p
Oh, well in Inkscape I would draw the path showing where the railway goes, then make three copies of it and overlay them with different properties. The path at the bottom would be black and of middling thickness, the path in the middle would be the same colour as the background and be thinner than the other two paths, and the path on top would be the thickest and be a dashed line with very short dashes and very small gaps inbetween the dashes. The result looks like this:



Here's what the three paths look like separated out:



I don't know if Illustrator and Photoshop allow you to draw paths, copy them, and then alter the properties of the copies freely like that - if they do, then the same process should work! :)
 
In my UNTANK map for MotM 3, I did it quite similarly.
Usually, a railway is shown as a series of small black and white stripes with a thin black frame. The similiarity is using the same line in three iteration.

First line: Just draw it and take it as it is and turned it into a patterned line, the gaps just as big as the remaining strips.
Second line: Duplicate original line, shift the stripes so long until both look like one solid line. Then color it and voilà, you have your pattern.
Third line: Duplicate whatever, turn it into a solid line, make the filling transparent and and a frame. This line is hollow and only works for giving the other two elements a common frame.

It's even easier with motorways and other big roads, you duplicate your line and the second one is supposed to get hollow. Done.
 
Thanks guys, however, as I should probably have noted (sorry!) I was hoping more for something along the lines of what Blomma has done here, for example:

http://orig06.deviantart.net/eb3b/f/2013/095/0/3/die_neuordnung_europas_by_1blomma-d60k360.jpg

Something akin to a horizontal path with vertical slits inserted along it.
Sorry for taking so long to reply to this. :eek:

The method I showed should work for that effect, if you make it two lines - one solid, one with a dash pattern with large gaps.
 
Probably something really simple I am missing but can anyone explain how you can crop the actual canvas so to speak in Inkscape so that it is an appropriate size for the picture? I was looking for something like the MS Paint crop tool but just couldn't find one.
 
Not sure if this will help but..

File -> Document Properties, there should be a section where it says resize page to selection or drawing.

again, not sure if this is what you mean but I do hope it helps.
 
How do I distort an existing map so that it matches the Robinson(?) projection used in the standard q-bam world map projections used in this community?

I thought I had a system that worked, involving a bunch of Excel formulas to calculate a rotation and a resize scaling factor, but for anything that is far removed from zero on both the latitude and longitude axes, it seems I also need to include a "shearing" factor, which is pretty much impossible to calculate automatically (or at least, I have no idea how).

What I've been doing with the maps I've drawn so far in the q-bam thread is to rotate/resize them using my Excel formulas, then create a new semi-transparent layer on top of the main q-bam layer, and trace the borders. However, this won't work for most regions of the world and most maps, due to the shear distortion that is also present in most parts of the overall projection.

I have good knowledge of Paintshop Pro (v8). I also have use of Photoshop (v7), but would need step by step tutorials for anything involving that.

Is there a way to stretch an arbitrary map image as a layer to match a second map layer for "tracing" purposes?
 
Probably something really simple I am missing but can anyone explain how you can crop the actual canvas so to speak in Inkscape so that it is an appropriate size for the picture? I was looking for something like the MS Paint crop tool but just couldn't find one.
If you're talking about the rectangular outline that's there even in a blank document, then as zrew said you can change the size of that in the Document Properties. :)

How do I distort an existing map so that it matches the Robinson(?) projection used in the standard q-bam world map projections used in this community?

I thought I had a system that worked, involving a bunch of Excel formulas to calculate a rotation and a resize scaling factor, but for anything that is far removed from zero on both the latitude and longitude axes, it seems I also need to include a "shearing" factor, which is pretty much impossible to calculate automatically (or at least, I have no idea how).

What I've been doing with the maps I've drawn so far in the q-bam thread is to rotate/resize them using my Excel formulas, then create a new semi-transparent layer on top of the main q-bam layer, and trace the borders. However, this won't work for most regions of the world and most maps, due to the shear distortion that is also present in most parts of the overall projection.

I have good knowledge of Paintshop Pro (v8). I also have use of Photoshop (v7), but would need step by step tutorials for anything involving that.

Is there a way to stretch an arbitrary map image as a layer to match a second map layer for "tracing" purposes?
I'm sorry, but I have absolutely no idea. Changing a map from one projection to another is something that I've never tried to do, and I've no idea how you'd achieve that, I'm afraid. :eek:

I'm beginning work on a tutorial of my own, I'll post it in here as soon as I have finished. Or at least Link off to it :)
Ah, that'd be awesome! I'll be sure to add it to the OP once you've posted it. :D
 
Does anyone know how to convert an Inskscape map into a Paint map??
Well, you can export all or a portion of an Inkscape map as a .PNG. I think it's under the File drop-down menu as "Export PNG image" or you can press "Ctrl + Shift + E" to bring up the panel on the right. Just choose a destination and name for the file, then click the "Export" button with a green tick sign on it. Once you've done that you'll have a .PNG image of the map which you can open and edit in MS Paint.

Does anyone know how to give an Inkscape map the "dark outline" effect like in this map?
You can achieve that effect using the Offset functions under the "Path" menu. Near the bottom there are a few options called "Outset", "Inset", "Dynamic Offset" and "Linked Offset". If you make a copy of a country's shape then select "Inset" it should shrink the shape inwards so you can have a thick border around the outside and a paler interior. The Dynamic and Linked Offset function might also help, as they let you alter the offset yourself using the Node Selection tool (second from the top on the toolbar to the left).
 
Hey guys, maybe you can help me out. Last night I saved a map of Korea that was rather advanced and now I can't access it, it says the computer cannot load the file. So I was wondering if you could help me out in seeing if its possible to access it.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18656480/united korea map.svg Also, here it is, perhaps you can access it from your computers and it's something that has to do with my Inkscape. Let me know.
 
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