Wednesday, January 27, 2010

AutoRealm, learning notes

You can get autorealm here. Its not that hard to find, you can just google it.

Ubuntu/Linux. You can use AutoRealms in wine. Ubuntu automatically comes with GIMP since it such a versatile tool. FYI GIMP is the free / open-source program that fills the job of Adobe Photoshop.

Inserting Images. You can insert images in AutoRealm by using ctrl+J or file > insert image. I recommend desaturating the image your planning to trace it or work with a really thick line and change it to what suits your purpose after.

The glue tool. This is the tool that allows you to connect lines. unfortunately its very cumbersome. If it doesnt fit perfectly you will have to Zoom in and draw a close on the gap and seal it in with the glue tool. This tool will be frequently used if you want to be precise in how the fractal polygons all fit together.

GIMP/Photoshop vs Autorealm. What it really boils down to is:
  • the fractal line generation,
  • vector lines,
  • the grid, and
  • the easy scaling.
The vector lines are important because, if you continuously zoom in, it will not pixelate. So when you move from your general overland view, zooming closer at a given area the lines retain their relative thickness.

The GRID. Strategic relationships between locations are simplified by the grid. Its harder to make a grid from scratch and scale it. Since the grids are vector lines the relative thickness is consistent even with different scaling.

Fractal Lines. If you tried to do this by hand it will look too perfect and artificial. You don't want natural features to look so odd as to be distracting.

Scaling. Vector lines and the Measuring tools come in handy when you want to further detail a map.
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