Creating your Map, PreliminaryOk, lets get to work. Fire up the Gimp and open a new image. I recommend that you start with a map that has dimensions that are a 2:1 ratio (twice as wide as it is high) and is in landscape mode. (My map is 3400 × 1700 at 300dpi). If you go much larger than that you will have to play with the settings as we go along.
Notes on larger mapsWhen it comes to using Wilbur, you'll need the 64-bit version if you have a map with a resolution larger than what I'm using. Also, be aware that maps at higher sizes and resolutions are a lot larger and require faster computers with more RAM. I didn't have any issues on my computer (I have an i7 Haswell with 16GB of RAM.)
This should be what you see with your default image (an image with one single layer that is White.)
|New Gimp Image|
As we go along I'm going to follow Arsheesh's convention of offering explanatory text describing our actions followed by a highlighted summary of specific actions we will be taking. So, if I say that we are going to create a new Layer that is filled with White and name it 'Background' you'll see it presented like this:
Layer > New Layer > While (Name Background)
Bringing in the Plates
If you haven't already, you are going to want to create a new transparent layer named "Plates" and either bring in the plates you draw in our earlier blog post or draw them quickly here with a Pencil tool.
Layer > New Layer > Transparency (Name Plates)
Pencil > Brush (2. Hardness 100) > Colour Black
Now draw your plates with the plate boundaries. Mark which types of boundaries those are, remembering that if you have a spreading center on one side that the opposite side will be a converging boundary that is pushing into another plate. A screenshot of my basic plates (I was only drawing the region around my continents and not the entire planet) is below.