MSPaint Tutorial

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  • Just a Simple Map Tutorial
    By Melody J. (a.k.a. Valera Entreri)
    Originally Posted: 26 Apr 2003
    Updated links 6/21/11

    Note: all file needed, and the offline version in Word are available in the Files.

    Many "thanks" to Ryandor for posting this tutorial on his site. I would also like to thank Imprint for his map making tutorials and maps that got me started in map making.

    I've come to realize that there are a lot of "would-be" map makers out there if it weren't for the fact that popular paint programs are costly, and a little complicated at first. Believe it or not, the paint program that comes with Windows is very useful for a lot of things. I used it to build my map and I found out that it is a very simple and cost effective alternative.

    Specifically, for this tutorial, I created this template for your use.
    ** This template IS included with this tutorial. **


    I find that using a map template is a whole lot easier than trying to size the map yourself. You will notice the main map area, dungeon area, and extra map areas.

    STEP 1 Decide if you want a world surrounded by water or one that is mostly land, swamp, sand, snow, etc. Then, open the color chart I made with MS Paint. (For those that don't know, you can get to the paint program by clicking on the start button on your pc then, up to programs and over to accessories, then down to the "Paint" icon.) Now, open the map template with MS Paint by going to the start button again. You should have 2 MS Paint windows open (the template and the color chart).

    STEP 2 Select a terrain type from the color chart with the dotted line box at the top of the paint program and click and drag it to a small square. Right click the selected area and choose copy.


    Now, select an area on your template near where you plan to "paint" and right click again, this time choosing paste.


    The colors on the color chart should match exactly the colors on the template if not you will need to save both in 24 bit color. (When this happens to me, I use Ultimate FX it's another "free" paint program because it saves from 24 bit to 256 colors and back without loosing color. Just open up both files with Ultimate FX and save as 24 bit then close Ultimate FX and open back up MS Paint. Ultimate FX can be found at )
    Original UFX program available in the Files.

    *Just remember if you do change to 24 bit colors to change it back to 256 when you are done painting your map or it will look strange when it goes through dragon.

    Now, click the "pick color" button to the left of your map (it looks like an eyedropper), and "pick up" the color in the square you just pasted into the map, and then click the "brush" button and select a brush size (either the round or the square shapes will do), and make a shape on your map.


    Now, fill in the shape with the button that looks like a paint bucket, and then fill in the square you pasted from the color chart so it doesn't look like it was ever there.


    Up at the top of your map is a menu called View. Select zoom, and then select "large size". Now, go to the area on your map that you just made and look to make sure that the area is flowing smoothly. Here is an example of what I mean (don't forget to switch back to normal view when your done).


    Step 3 Here is how to make various terrain in your map. There are 2 things to remember when making terrain.

    1- Make sure the other terrain type surrounding it is of the same elevation (i.e. if you selected the 2nd green square from the color chart as your main land mass, then select the 2nd square from the terrain type you are using, or you will have valleys and steps in your terrain).


    2- If you want to have a cliff on your terrain, select the lightest possible color for that terrain. Of course, an extreme valley is the exact opposite.


    For my next example, I will show you how to make multiple layers of a single terrain. First, select the darkest color from the terrain type you want to use in the color chart, and draw a squiggly circle onto your land mass. Do this for each of the squares in the color chart, and fill in the shapes just like you did before (this will end up looking similar to the above screenshot with sandy terrain when you run your map through "Dragon" or another map building utility-I use Dragon with mod 9).


    Now do this for every terrain type you want to add on your map EXCEPT for the mountains, water, lava, caves, and swamp (unless of course, you would like to have steps and valleys in these terrains :) ).

    Step 4-There are 2 different styles of mountains.

    The first style I will call "Britannia".


    The 2nd style I will call "T2A".


    If you zoom in on the first example, you will notice that around the edges is a gradual shading effect. At different elevations, this gives the mountains the same look as the OSI "Britannia" map. I like both looks really and I have both looks on my shard. I made the "speckle" effect by using the button that looks like a spray can. Play around a bit with the different mountain terrain colors and see what it looks like. Here are 2 examples (in order), in the same regions as the above corresponding pics.

    1st Style


    2nd Style


    Step 5 Finishing touches. Now, it's time to add the dungeon areas. Just select a cave floor color and begin adding shapes. I included 2 different dungeons in the "dungeon area" so that knowing where to add it is easy. Next, add your city regions by picking a cobble stone color because it stays flat, so you won't have bumps in your shops. If you change your mind on shop shapes, you can always cover it up with grass using Axis, or Xuri's WorldBuilder, or Admin commands. Do the same thing with the orc fort and graveyard areas.

    Step 6 Importing your map into a map0.mul file. Now, I have only used Dragon for this, so I will try to explain how I did it using Dragon mod 9.
    (You can download Dragon at ). Once you have Dragon installed, save your map into the dragon/addon/fullmap folder.
    (I named my map something like "world10".) Then, go back to the main dragon folder and double-click the dragon.exe icon and set up your file paths and config. Always back up your uo files before you start. (Your file paths will look something like...)
    For my config in dragon I have the remove static and high priority boxes checked, and selected Sphere statics even though I use UOX3 2.0. Then, after Dragon is done with your map, double-click DragonSp.exe (your file paths will look something like...)
    c: /programs/ultima online/staidx0.mul
    c: /programs/ultima online/statics0.mul
    This may be different weather your server runs off the client or uses "mirrors" of them in your server emu folder. Now, in the little window you should have terrain areas listed. If not, click search then click the all button if you want all of those terrains added into your .mul files.

    Step 7 Finish. Last thing left to do is copy your map0.mul files and staidx0.mul files into your ultima online directory. If you used your uo client directory in your file paths you won't need to. (However, better make sure you always back up your uo files and your server files.)

    That's it! I hope you find this tutorial as simple as it was meant to be. There are a lot of good tutorials out there, especially on Ryandor's site. Forums are also a good place to research information.

    * (A little disclaimer.) Ultima Online is the property of OSI (origin systems) and Electronic Arts. You are welcome to copy, print, email, distribute, and post this tutorial just as long as you give me credit for its creation. Same thing goes for the map template, images and color chart. PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THIS TUTORIAL AND MAKE IT YOUR OWN OR IT WILL PISS ME OFF! JUST ASK ZENITH ENTERI AND CASSANDRA! (Sorry for the inside joke) Remember, if you send out good "karma" you'll get back good "karma". Anything else goes. Enjoy! *