Cartography basic guide

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  • Allright, the following guide will only give you the user knowledge of the tool Cartograph. Its a very simple program, but being simple, this does not mean there is very little work involved in generating your custom map to display on the T-maps, in game.. Anyways, heres what you do:

    First of all, extract your Cartograph tool in the desired folder, that is not burried deep within your file system (you will understand why, shortly).
    With that ready, and in a folder labled Cartograph, or what ever you wish, you will then need to open your MS Dos Prompt to operate it.

    Fore Win 98 users
    You can find a shortcut to this MS Dos prompt in your Start menu>programs.
    For Win 2k, and newer, or NT users
    Click Start menu> Run > and enter in the space.. open:cmd click ok

    Now you have this up.. (actual stats will varry. )

    Next, you will need to change the directory path to the Cartograph folder, like so... (this is why it is best to keep the Cartograph folder not within many folders, in your computers)


    As you see.. If you are not familiar with useing MS Dos, start with the command CD this tells Dos you want to change folder/file paths. After CD, enter your new path, as shown..( C:\>CD program files\bla\bla)

    Okay, next, You will need to dig into your Ultima Online folder, and find the image file called, MultiMap.rle. Its proble wise to copy it, and paste the copy into the Cartograph folder. You need it in the cartograph folder, to continue.
    Now to begin the first phase of the transitioning of the Cartograph map. With the file path changed, and ready set on the Cartograph folder, enter the line here, as follows..
    Cartograph.exe -decode multimap.rle map.bmp

    You should have it looking like this:

    After you enter that, and hit Enter, If all was setup properly, you will see the text as shown here, as it runs..


    There are several ways you will get errors, but they all relate to user errors, unless you simply have recieved a corupted zip file, while downloading.. It can hapen. Double check your command
    Cartograph.exe -decode multimap.rle map.bmp to see if all was spelled right. etc, etc..

    Now in your cartography folder, you should have a new bmp file, called Map.bmp. This is the OSI map. One thing Cartograph will not do, is generate a map image from your Map0.mul file, so the hard work is just about to begin. Now you need to repaint a new map, that i similar to the OSI map you have just created. Yeah, exactly, another map to paint.

    After playing around, I have come up with a way to somewhat start the process. Open InsideUO with your map showing, and right click>save

    Choose "Map", uncheck the "Include statics" and check "Black Water"
    save your map, as the bmp. Now, you need to play around with this in your Paint program. You must convert from a 16 million color image, to a 2 color image. But you should try to edit as much color as possible, before hand...

    When you have somthing you are ready to test, simply open the MS Dos Prompt again, and enter the command,
    cartograph.exe -encode multimap.rle map.bmp
    you will get a new Multimap.rle from the map you converted. Replace the one in UO folder, and log in and have a look at a world map, made by thie Inscriptor, or cartographer.

    That is all for now, hope this helps you guys get started. If anyone has a fool proof way to create a 2 color map of a custom map, that is fairly easy, please post here the examples. Good Luck!

    --- Dian

    Continuing with the creation of the new map for you cartograph, there's a couple of things that you can use in Photoshop that may assist you.
    Note, you can also use your source bmp for this process, and may actually turn out a little better.

    First: Image -> Mode -> Grayscale
    This will at least get you in the right direction on the color side.

    Next: Filters
    There's a ton of filters in Photoshop to help you get a decent "treasure map, but by far the most useful for me is:
    Filter -> Stylize -> Find Edges
    This will effectively give your map a "hand-drawn" appearance very similar to the OSI map. You may have to play around with some of the details of the map, but this I think is the best filter for this.

    Third: Use the selection tool (magic wand) with a tolerace around 40 or 50 and select the white areas of the map. Then paint over the enitre map with white to get rid of the off-white areas (the selection tool will "keep you in the lines"). Then Ctrl-Shift-I (Inverse selection) and change color to black and paint again over the whole map. This is about the quickest way to make it true black and white. Remember to use the pencil tool, and not the paintbrush tool.

    Last, resize to what cartograph needs, and save. You can also just paste it into the bmp that cartographer generated.

    Here's an example of a map I did some time ago:
    On the left is the source bmp of the map. The right, after I did the above steps.

    This, in a nutshell is how I made a cartograph map.
    Hope that helps a bit.