Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Imagi-world map ... Mark 2 ... and a bit

I tried to open my 'new' imagi-world map this morning ... and had the same problem as I had had with its predecessor!

It turned out that the problem was the sheer size of the graphics file I was trying to open. If I tried to open it when I had other programs actively running, it took up more than the available cache memory and would not open until the other programs became inactive.

The solution seems to be to either draw a smaller map or to cut the existing map into two parts and work on them separately. The former would mean starting again from scratch (and the map would end up lacking some of the detail I want to included) whilst the latter would require less work in the short-term.

I have decided to adopt the second option. All I need to do now is to close down all the programs I have running so that I can open the graphics file to cut the map in two!

8 comments:

  1. Can I ask Bob, what program are you using for your mapping?

    If you're doing everything in MS Paint as implied by a previous post, then please, please, please I implore you to let us introduce you to the exciting world of vector graphics programs. Life will be so, so much easier and it'll avoid problems with large file sizes eating up your memory.

    It's a case of the right tool for the right job.

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  2. Dr. V is quite right. Vector graphics are more scalable and smaller in file size. The trick is to find a good but inexpensive or free software to do it in. I use Adobe Illustrator, but it's not cheap or free. I have used it for a number of years though so it's a familiar tool for me. I don't know what is out there in the low/no price range.

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  3. Dr Vesuvius,

    I am using a variety of programs (including MS Paint, MS Visio, and Serif DrawPLus), the last two being vector graphics programs. Of the three, I prefer using MS Visio for drawings, but my copy has problems working with the version of MS Windows I am currently using and does not always 'behave' (which might be part of the problem).

    I understand that MS no longer supports Visio, and that I am going to need to find a replacement ... but at the moment that is not going to solve my problem.

    I use MS Paint to do some of the very detailed work at pixel level, but doing so ups the file size. This has never been a problem before; neither has switching between programs to do specific jobs. However it is a problem this time, and I am working to find a solution.

    Thanks for the advice.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  4. Fitz-Badger,

    I do use vector graphics programs alongside other graphics packages. That said, I have never used Adobe Illustrator, and as my MS Visio program seems to be on its last legs due to compatability problems with the current version of MS Windows installed on my PC, I may look at it as a possible replacement.

    Many thanks for the advice.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Bob,

    I very much envy the greater knowledge that you and everyone else seems to have with this sort of stuff. My knowledge is so prehistoric that I cannot draw anything freehand at all; my maps wind up having circles and ovals for terrain features, and VERY squiggly lines for roads and rivers.

    Oh well, maybe after I retire I can teach myself what to do...

    Best regards,

    Chris

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  6. Ah then you'll understand the difference between vector and raster (or bitmap) graphics, and why working on a map in Paint ups the file size (by changing the file from one type to the other).

    Can I point you towards a program called Inkscape. It is free, open-source software (meaning it's supported by a community of enthusiastic geeks rather than any corporation, which to me is a bonus) and multi-platform (Windows, Linux, Mac - again a bonus for me and my Linux netbooks)

    Inkscape is becoming quite popular in the fantasy cartography community, and while I'm sure there are things that Illustrator or even Visio does that Inkscape can't match, it's more than powerful enough for use by us mere mortals.

    While I'm at it, can I also recommend to you Paint.NET. Another open source project that takes the humble MS Paint and dials it up to 11. Again while not quite up to the level of Adobe Photoshop, it's got a lot of easier to use tools for bitmap style editing. Several of my non-tech-geek gaming friends have adopted Paint.NET and are producing work as good as if not better than I am with the nominally much more powerful GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program - the grand-daddy of free bitmap editors).

    inkscape.org
    www.getpaint.net

    I don't consider myself an expert on either of these, but I know enough to get a fellow started and one or two mapping tricks to purty things up. If I can be of any assistance in getting you started with either of these, I'd be more than happy.

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  7. Chris,

    We all have to start somewhere ... and then the learning curve can be quite steep!

    Give it a try; the worst is that it will be no improvement over your hand-drawn efforts ... and they might be a lot better!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Dr Vesuvius,

    Many thanks again for the advice, and particularly the software suggestions. They both sound quite interesting, and I may well give them a go, especially if they are free, easy to use, and produce better results than my existing software.

    All the best,

    Bob

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