Well, my wednesday links are only a day late. This time around, I’m putting up some links to useful graphics tools for fantasy cartography.
Image Magick is a very sophisticated suite of command-line image editing tools. CLI isn’t necessarily most people’s favorite thing, but once you figure it out, there are a lot of things you can do with simple one-line commands that would be difficult, impossible or at least very expensive to do otherwise. The MacPorts download option is compiled to handle 16-bit images. For those using Windows®, you should download a Q16 version. I assume UNIX and Linux versions default to 16-bit. Theoretically, you can compile Image Magick for 32-bit floating point HDRI, but I’m not up to compiling a major app with lots of dependencies like this, so you are so on your own with that!
Once you’ve downloaded Image Magick, you need to know how to use it. When I get down to posting more work on Shtakamashkan and Sadwillow I’ll tell more about how I am using the program, but for now I’ll put up some more generally useful links and tutorials.
- The Usage Guide is always a good place to start. I’d concentrate on Basic Usage, Resizing or Scaling and, particularly Morphology of Shapes with an emphasis on Distance Gradient Morphology.
- Still on the Image Magick website we have descriptions of the Command-line Tools, Processing and Options in addition to the Usage Guide. These will make more sense once you have become somewhat familiar with the usage.
- So far I have mostly used the Convert tool, which is capable of a lot more than just converting between image formats.
- Fred’s Image Magick Scripts rock. His tidbits are also more than useful. A particularly good one is finding the quantum depth of your installation. Another useful one is Crop Image into 4 Non-overlapping Quadrants. Tiles!
A few trivial tips of my own.
You can get all kinds of information about your image with the following command:
identify -verbose first_dist_MTNS.png
Format: PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
Print size: 70.5467x35.2734
Base type: Grayscale
min: 0 (0)
max: 65535 (1)
mean: 3778.01 (0.0576487)
standard deviation: 12736.9 (0.194353)
Rendering intent: Undefined
red primary: (0.63999,0.33001)
green primary: (0.3,0.6)
blue primary: (0.15,0.05999)
white point: (0.31269,0.32899)
Background color: black
Border color: gray(223,223,223)
Matte color: grey74
Transparent color: black
Page geometry: 2000x1000+0+0
Profile-icc: 3144 bytes
IEC 61966-2.1 Default RGB colour space - sRGB
Number pixels: 2MB
Pixels per second: 20MB
User time: 0.070u
Elapsed time: 0:01.100
Version: ImageMagick 6.6.8-1 2011-03-16 Q16 http://www.imagemagick.org
As you can see. There is a lot of information here. Stuff I’d be interested in would be basetype grayscale, depth 16-bit, the image stats(min, max, mean, standard deviation, kurtosis and skewness), page geometry(this is a 2000×1000 image), possibly filesize and number of pixels.
Next post, we’ll explore how these tools can be used in the creation of conworld terrains…