January 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm #15447
I thought I’d see if I could modify (copies) of some of the beautiful hills & mountains symbols that Mapdiva has provided for us. I had great success with tweaking the shapes and colors of some of the “wispy” mountains, so I turned my hand to “Ortelius hills & mountains-5.”
I disconnected the symbol from the symbol master and I un-grouped it. So far, so good: there were two constituent objects; one of which was a translucent filled shape (in the front), and the other of which seemed to be a combination of shapes.
I selected the second of these, and found that “Break apart” was indeed an active menu choice, so I chose it. The selected object seemed then simply to disappear. By experimenting a bit, I was able to determine that there were, essentially, two invisible rectangles (in the same spot, one on top of the other). The menu gave me the usual “combine” choices (append, difference, intersection, union); I tried each in turn, but each one gave me, essentially, one invisible rectangle.
I tried converting each from shape to path; I also tried converting the original un-broken-apart shape to path. All of these simply made everything disappear.
I tried doing all of this “above” a medium-gray rectangle, in case everything was white, rather than invisible (although the original shape consists of some lovely earth tones), but still could see nothing.
Am I doing this wrong? There are pretty clearly two colors used in the not-yet-broken-apart object, and I’d like to change each of them a bit to better match my color scheme.
Thanks as always for any help anyone can give.
January 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm #16235
What you are seeing is a result of how the symbols were created. The “wiispy” mountains were created entirely in Ortelius, thus fully editable. However, the other hill and mountain symbols were created via scanned antique maps, which were then converted to vectorized images, and then in Ortelius an addition of a top semi-opaque shape to create shading that is adjustable. The result is the background shape of these symbols is a scalable vector image but not editable (images are not editable). Converting images will result in an empty bounding box. Only the front vector object is editable when ungrouped.
Ungrouped object types are listed in the Object Inspector Geometry pane when selected. I hope that makes sense, and sorry that it is not clear from the documentation on this particular collection. – Jill
January 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm #16236
Well that explains a good many things! :-)
Actually, it’s probably good that I’m unable to tweak the scanned antique symbols, since they’re not quite what I’m looking for anyway. Your “wispy” mountains are much more the right flavor.
So this has forced me to try my hand at making hills, downs, and drumlands in a wispy style. I’m finding this much harder than I expected, and much harder than creating coastlines and rivers, say.
I’ve deconstructed many of the wispy mountains to see how they’re put together, and now have created some tolerably passable wispy hills. Do you have any pointers?
Or perhaps you could be bribed into providing us with some more wispy symbols (hills, trees, marshes, &c.)? Cookies? Our own maple syrup? Locally bottled hard cider?
January 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm #16237
You had me at hard cider ;)
I must admit a fair amount of experimentation with the wispy mountains – glad to hear you’re doing the same. Dissecting an existing symbol is always a great way to learn techniques though. For example, if you place “wispy mountain-brown 1” symbol, detach from master and then ungroup (and ungroup again – there are two groups) you’ll see three main components. I use the Bezier curve to draw the parts since I like the control I get with it. For mountains like this style, it works best if you can visualize your light and shadow on the mountain. Maps are often illuminated from the NW so I’ve added shadow to the SW. You can always modify an existing symbol if it is close to what you need. I also looked at a lot of mountain symbols on historic maps. This set was influence by beautiful Asian maps. http://www.davidrumsey.com is a great source for inspiration. Hope that helps!
January 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm #16238
edit MOVED to Ortelius | How-To & General Discussion
January 27, 2011 at 10:19 pm #16239
Hi, Jill —
Wow! Your “source for inspiration” is an absolutely amazing site. What a wealth of beautiful material Rumsey is preserving for and donating to humanity! Sometimes when I get cynical about the state of the world I run across something wonderful like this, and I find I have to rethink everything, for the better.…
(That said, I spent several hours investigating the site and drooling. I guess I’ll need to bill that to “research”!)
After about three days of false starts and trials & errors, I’ve finally got hills I like. Partly from the aforementioned inspiration, partly from Relief Shading and Shaded Relief, partly from examining your wispy mountains some more, and partly by finally finding the “Snap to Other Objects” preference (and turning it off — though I’m sure there will be times that I need it on).
Many thanks for your help and advice!
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