TotH map from real terrain (Full Version)

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UP844 -> TotH map from real terrain (3/29/2016 5:19:22 PM)

First, you have to decide the size of the TotH map depending on the real map you have (or can obtain). For the "Casa Berardi" scenario, I decided to use a 1x4 sector map (33x40 hexes). The map will represent an area 1320 metres high (a bit less, actually) and 1620 meters wide.

In Italy, topo maps are readily available at Region websites. I suppose similar services are also available for other countries. Modern maps, unfortunately, represent the terrain as it is now, not 70 years ago. Whatever the differences, however, woods, hills and rivers are almost always the same [;)]. Urban areas are usually much larger, and highways might either be entirely new, or might have been straightened and improved after WW2. A virtual trip with Google StreetView is extremely useful.

This is the topo map of the Casa Berardi area: it is exactly 1620 metres wide (height is less important as long as it is larger than 1320 metres). The buildings in the North-West corner are modern industrial buildings, so they will not be represented in the TotH Map. The large road in the North-East corner is the main highway along the East Coast of Italy, built in the 1960s.



[image]local://upfiles/53779/D4CB33329FDC4256AC99F05F3266606D.jpg[/image]




UP844 -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (3/29/2016 5:27:59 PM)

The second step involves superimposing an hex grid to the map. I use DrawHexGrid 4.0, a free software which I found here. DrawHexGrid allows selecting a series of parameters such as hex width, numbering, orientation, 1st row indentation, etc.

Set up the hex width until you obtain an hexgrid similar in size to the map, then use the image resize function to bring it at exactly the same size.

Add the hexgrid to the basic image as an additional layer (so as to be able to hide it, or make it semi-transparent), then remove all the white pixels using the magic wand function to select them.

Now, the image will appear as follows:



[image]local://upfiles/53779/BECC1AC347DC4C0FA403CCA0AA4F4874.jpg[/image]




UP844 -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (3/29/2016 5:42:32 PM)

Now, working with a Photoshop session and a TotH editor session, it's time to fill all these hexes with the proper terrain [:D].

Hill level height will have to be decided on a case-by-case basis: here, the minimum elevation is 89 metres above sea level (in the gully, at the north edge of the map) and the highest is 146 metres, in the south-west corner. So I decided to use a 10-metre interval, i.e. level 0 for 100-109 metres elevation, level 1 for 110-119 metres and so on. Hexes less than 100 metres high have been represented by river hexes (even though a gully/stream terrain would be more appropriate).

As regards to roads, I left out many secondary roads leading to farmhouses because they would provide extra mobility to tanks, which were instead hampered by muddy conditions. I only reported the roads that are marked as paved in the present-day map and made all of them dirt roads, with the exception of the Ortona-Orsogna road, which I suppose was paved even in the 1940s (even though I have found no pictures of it, most roads with the same classification were paved).

It is highly advisable to use separate layers in PhotoShop to highlight the various terrain features: the image below shows most layers: heights (green and brown hexes), buildings (dark grey hexes), roads (black=paved). Vegetation is not shown to avoid excessive clutter.





[image]local://upfiles/53779/3601E153361F4815AA969442C9312F0C.jpg[/image]




UP844 -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (3/29/2016 5:50:41 PM)

And this is the (almost) definitive map.




[image]local://upfiles/53779/31429BD9BD7140C3A390F67C5613543A.jpg[/image]




Stardog765 -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (3/29/2016 6:42:48 PM)

That is fantastic!




rickier65 -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (3/29/2016 7:13:11 PM)


UPP844 - Thanks for sharing the process you use. You made it look easy, though I would guess it isn't quite as easy as it looks.

Thanks!
Rick




idjester -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (3/29/2016 7:15:19 PM)

This is about the coolist thing I have even seen... My imagation is exploding with ideas.. Thanks a ton




MrsWargamer -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (3/29/2016 7:35:05 PM)

Magnificent.




Stardog765 -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (3/29/2016 8:57:22 PM)

I just love how big the map is. Most of the maps I have played on so far only take up about half the screen which I think is really distracting.
I dont care of the rest of the map is not even used i the scenario at least fill up the game screen so it looks more immersive.

Im just weird that way.




Freyr Oakenshield -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (3/29/2016 11:22:25 PM)

Oh, that's really really nice. Brings back memories of map-making for PzGen II...




UP844 -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (3/29/2016 11:54:00 PM)

The whole process is not difficult: it just requires a lot of cut-copy-align-and-paste work in PhotoShop (which - I admit - is not nearly as fun as playing TotH [;)]).

quote:

ORIGINAL: UP844

In Italy, topo maps are readily available at Region websites. I suppose similar services are also available for other countries.


A little corner of Luxembourg we all know very well...



[image]local://upfiles/53779/2316D6727AC94FD99D747510D0E6C92A.jpg[/image]





Gerry4321 -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (3/30/2016 12:16:12 AM)

This will add so much to scenarios. The maps will be historic in nature rather than just a geomorphic set of regular boards. Of course regular boards are also fun.




blazej -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (3/30/2016 2:18:13 AM)

I was never into ASL but I played ATS quite a bit - one of the main reason being historical maps. I love this kind of stuff :) Critical Hit, the makers of ATS, also released many ASL modules with historical maps.

Best,
Michal




kylania -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (3/30/2016 2:29:35 AM)

I already ate my cookie with dinner, but the very next cookie I get is going straight to you! This is really awesome.




Gerry4321 -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (3/30/2016 3:26:39 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: kylania

I already ate my cookie with dinner, but the very next cookie I get is going straight to you! This is really awesome.

LOL




baloo7777 -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (3/30/2016 3:34:14 AM)

UP844 Thanks for showing this map making method...it's excellent and I look forward to a future scenario on one of these great maps.




DoubleDeuce -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (4/1/2016 7:09:10 AM)

I'm going to have to try this for some future scenarios. Maybe even for the campaign I am 'trying' to make. [8D]




36142CP -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (4/1/2016 7:46:16 AM)

UP844 that is seriously impressive. I didn't know such a thing existed to cater for that sort of thing. Thanks indeed for sharing, the possibilities are now endless [:)]




LN59 -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (7/12/2019 4:22:01 PM)

Great, UP844! [sm=happy0065.gif] [sm=happy0065.gif] [sm=happy0065.gif]

Very valuable information about the existence of HexGridDraw 4.0 and an exemplary tutorial of clarity and efficiency:
- only four frames along with a clear and succinct comment!
Congratulations and thank You again for sharing this very useful experience.

Lilian

PS Too bad to have discovered this page only three years later! [sm=00000030.gif]
But it's only my own fault ... [sm=crazy.gif]




UP844 -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (7/13/2019 9:10:41 PM)

I'm glad you appreciated the tutorial. Actually, this method is very time-consuming (in fact, I only managed to finish a single map, even though I have two others still under construction).

I hope it can prove useful for your scenarios.




Ticonderoga60 -> RE: TotH map from real terrain (7/15/2019 9:46:20 AM)

Great work UP844!!!




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