Anyone familiar with the World of Greyhawk, is probably familiar with the Greyhawk map created by Darlene. I have the two posters framed on my wall and love to just sit and look at them but I would rather have them on my computer. Therefore, I decided to scan them in.
Harder than It Looks
Fortunately, I have a second set of maps so I didn’t need to take down the set on my wall. Each poster is folded in half, then folded in half again, and then a third time. This results in a total of 16 sections.
I scanned each of the 16 sections multiple times in order to get each scan as “square” as possible. There is an option to have the scanner automatically square up the image for you but when folded in this manner edges stuck out past the face currently being scanned which confused the scanner and defeated this option.
Furthermore, the map wouldn’t lay completely flat. Folding it three times resulted in the map being pulled and distorted slightly.
Cutting the map into 16 separate pieces would have greatly simplified the process but I just couldn’t bring myself to do that.
Piecing It all Together
Scanning the map in was just the first step. It was then necessary to crop and paste all the pieces together. A program like Photoshop is indispensible for this type of work. Even so, It’s tedious work. I started by assembling one column and aligning each piece so the hexes all lined up between sections. Each pair was just a tiny bit off which was acceptable by itself. Sadly, all these tiny offsets added up to fairly significant gaps in places when it was all done. I spent a great deal of time fiddling with each piece to get the best overall look.
Here is what I have so far. As you can see, it’s far from ideal. I’m not sure what else to do to improve on it though (short of cutting up the map in order to achieve better scans). I suspect that there are copy shops that have poster sized scanners but the objective was to see what I could accomplish myself.
Note that the above image is very low resolution. Posting a high res scan of Darlene’s map would essentially be distributing copyrighted material. Since a low res copy isn’t a usable replacement for the real thing, I’m hoping Darlene won’t mind me using it for illustration.
Here is a high res image of a small section of the map that, at least on my screen, displays at roughly the same size as the actual printed map.