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    HI all. I've been using CC3/3+ for about 4 years and still an amateur. :) I use it to craft maps for games based on topographic maps. Here is a look at three:

    The first is from my Game "Defense of Corona" a game set near the city of Corona, CA (hard to figure that out) in the 1950s as units from the 1st Marine Regiment, the 153rd Regimental Combat Team, and Combat Command A of the 40th Armored Division battle alien invaders.

    The 2nd is the area covering the WWII Battle of Arras, in which the British launched a small counterattack that struck behind Romme'ls Panzer Regiment, ran amok for a while causing a lot of damage, and contributed to the German Halt Order which allowed the British to escape at Dunkirk.

    The 3rd is still a work in progress based on the US Army National Training Center, it will be used for a game covering Hammer's Slammers (with permission of David Drake.)
      defense of corona.JPG
    The Battle of Arras
    The NTC.

    Unfortunately, these are screen shots of pdfs or a view off of Campaign Cartographer because when I try to Save As as JPG, the map retains to quality as you try to zoom in on it.

    I print the maps by sending them to CutePDF, usually as 1 sheet. I make the map dimensions equal to the size dimensions of the finished map. The first two print out in 4 -11 x 17 maps, so the size is 22 high x 34 wide in a 1 x 1 sheet . The NTC maps is 15 11 x 17 map sheets. I print it in a file that is 3 wide x 5 high.

    The contour maps I download from USGS if possible, or purchase paper maps, cut them up for scanning (which really hurts me), scan them, reassemble them in a photo editing program, save as a BMP, import to CC3+, and then commence to tracing.

    Thanks for looking.

      Hammers Slammers.JPG
    Hi Mike,

    Welcome to the forums. Interesting maps. I used to play a game called Micro Armour, a tabletop minatures game with lots of WW 2 type tanks. These topographical maps would have been great for us to set up battlefields and such. Great job on these.

    I am not sure if you knew this or not but there are a few of the Cartographer's Annuals that may help you make maps a little bit easier than what you talk about here.

    Issue # 32 is Napoleon Battle Maps. Issue # 57 is Military Operations maps, and Issue # 85 is WW 2 Area Maps.

    Of these, all three of them do topography however Issue #85 seems to do it the most.
    Thanks. I still have a bunch of micro-armor. I used to carry out around with me in the field (I was a tank company commadner, tank platoon leader, cavalry platoon leader) when training or umpiring. I would use them to show what we intended to do or what I saw had been done. Played with it too. :)

    I have all of the annuals, but I find for my purposes CC3 Standard Overland seems to fit my needs best. I have used overland vector 3 color but it doesn't seem to do as well. I've tried 57 and 85 and they are not quite so useful to me. The main thing I frequently need more than the provided number of contour intervals, so it is easier to just use the brown shades. I keep experimenting though. :)
    • CommentAuthorKraikken
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2017
    I love these maps! I've been doing a lot of forum searching for topographic map styles and this thread answered my questions in finding the annuals I needed and showed me what other people had already done in it.
    I'm a huge dork fan of simple fill styles, I'm dead set on making an original map for gaming that uses the most basic lines to cut down on the distractions of how pretty it is by it being purely functional. This has taken me a few more steps in that direction.
    Interesting maps. I've been thinking about topographic maps myself - I love stylized mountain ranges but as I zoom in on a regional area I find myself needing more details than "hey there are mountains here" - I want to know the details of the mountains - how steep it is, how water might fly, defensible chokepoints, etc. Before having kids I used to do a lot of hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and found USGS maps were really handy for planning hikes - heck I've contemplated just making a fantasy version of the White Mountains.
    • CommentAuthormike robel
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2017
    The happy news is you can get digital copies of USGS maps for free download (present day and historical) so they are relatively east to edit and then import into CC3+. Foreign maps are not so easy, although you can turn on contour line in google maps and then take a bunch of screen shots, then combine them, but that is tedious, so I buy foreign maps, cut them up to fit on my scanner, scan them, then assemble them again. Not quite as tedious as screen shots.
    • CommentAuthormike robel
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2018 edited
    Here is my latest map that I did for the game MBT by GMT. MBT comes with generic geomorphic maps that don't really feel like Germany to me. This map shows the area of my Armored Cavalry Troop Position on the Inter Zonal Border near Rasdorf, Germany in the Fulda Gap. Each hex is 100M.

    Edit: This map has been superceded by the one five posts down.
      Setzelbach Overall.PNG
    • CommentAuthormike robel
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2019
    Some new maps
      Plug the Gap Planning Map.jpg
    • CommentAuthormike robel
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2019
    A Map of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Sector in 1979
    • CommentAuthormike robel
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2019
    11th Armored Cavalry Regiment sector in Germany
      CF ZONE North.JPG
    • CommentAuthormike robel
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2019
    southern half. Each hex represents three KM.
      CF ZONE South.JPG
    • CommentAuthormike robel
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2019
    An improved map of the Setzelbach map above.
    • CommentAuthormike robel
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2019
    And a map of the area near Rannegun Germany as it was in the 1980s.
      Rannagun Planning Map small.jpg
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeNov 19th 2019
    Very impressive, Mike :)

    I can't imagine how many hours went into making these maps... well I can, but it gives me a headache.

    What an achievement!
    • CommentAuthormike robel
    • CommentTimeNov 19th 2019
    Thanks very much, Sue. What gives me a headache is after tracing a contour line for thousands of meters, finding out I closed it the wrong way, so it covers up the map and I have to start all over. Or worse, losing teh contour line in the mass of contour lines. BLAH!
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeNov 19th 2019
    That can be very annoying. I remember tracing OS maps when I was a kid. In the end I used to stick to the thicker 500ft contours because they were easier to tell apart.
    Very nice maps, Mike!

    You know that you can export contours from Wilbur - don't you?
    You can import high resolution digital terrain files and export contours in Campaign Cartographer format.

    This might ease your hard work on contours a little bit...maybe...

    In my example map I marked Setzelbach with a red circle. Contours are drawn in 25m steps...

    • CommentAuthormike robel
    • CommentTimeNov 19th 2019

    Um. Nope. I had no idea. What is Wilbur?
    Wilbur is a nice free program that Joe Slayton (Fracal Terrains) published on
    With Wilbur you can export contourlines, with Fractal Terrains from Profantasy even coloured contours.
    I do not know if there is a tutorial just about this topic here in this forum...
    There are many tutorials out there but this I figured out mostly by trial and error...
    • CommentAuthormike robel
    • CommentTimeNov 19th 2019
    Thanks! I will look it up!
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeNov 19th 2019
    The most recent Annual issue is the one that does that.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeNov 19th 2019 edited
    It doesn't cover exporting contours directly straight out of Wilbur. I didn't even know that you could.

    CA155 covers sculpting a world, exporting it to Wilbur for erosion, then back again to FT3 via an MDR file either way, then from FT3 to CC3.
    • CommentAuthorjslayton
    • CommentTimeNov 19th 2019
    Wilbur will export a CC2 map with non-filled contours at constant interval, if I recall correctly. You'd need to do some work to get things into a CC3+ map. Fractal Terrains does a much better job at exporting stuff for CC3+ than Wilbur does.
    • CommentAuthormike robel
    • CommentTimeNov 19th 2019
    Well, I cannot find any mention of contours in the 2018 annual, which I presume is what Jim P was referring to.

    WeathermanSweden's example looks like what I need, except I guess to be clear, I either scan or convert a pdf map to a BMP, then import that into CC3+. This of course brings in everything, contours and all. I frequently have to stitch several maps together in order to get the terrain coverage I need. When I draw contour lines, i just use a filled Polygon rather than the Contour line function, because they usually don't seem to support reliably changing the fill color from a pattern to a solid color or one color to the other. This is a bother, because you can't backspace to delete a node in the filled polygon. I place each contour on a different sheet/layer. I don't use FT3.

    Clearly it looks like you imported the contour lines from a contour map from a 1:100000 scale map and brought it into CC3+, Unfortunately, I don't know the elevation, although I could figure that out, and then I would want to fill them (because apparently many people don't know how to read a contour map), but that is fairly easy, if tedious.

    I tend to attack things with brute force and ignorance, finding frequently for me, in the end, it is faster that way than trying to be efficient with other tools.
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeNov 20th 2019
    2019 annual, this month's issue. CA155.
    • CommentAuthormike robel
    • CommentTimeNov 20th 2019 edited

    Thanks. I have that product now.

    So, it appears I have to have a map created in FT3, then load it into Wilbur, then bring it ito CC3+.

    Or am I able to load a map (say a scanned or digital map like the attached), load it into Wilbur, then export the contours into CC3+? The actual map is about 5 feet square when printed out.

    I seem to have other issues, but those will do for a start. It may be I just continue with my previous method (import the map, trace the contours.)
      map layout.JPG
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeNov 20th 2019
    I'm not sure how CA155 can help you with this, since its all about how to sculpt a world in FT3, eroding it in Wilbur, and then taking it back through FT3 for a final export to CC3. A scanned image doesn't fit with the processes described in CA155. In addition to this you have already said that you don't have FT3. (Please don't rush to buy it if you don't have other reasons for wanting it because I am not sure that having FT3 will help you with this project either)

    However, something else has occurred to me from what Joe Slayton said earlier on.

    That's a real world location. Theoretically... if you could get hold of a data set for that region you could import it to Wilbur and use Wilbur to produce your contours.

    If doing that is possible you might have to rely quite heavily on help from Joe, because I have no idea how to convert a CC2 contour map to a CC3+ one.
    The CC2 contour lines export from Wilbur can be used directly in CC3+. They are normal FCW-files.

    It is maybe the time for a little tutorial that explains how to produce contours easily from terrain data.
    I do not know if I have enough time but I can give it a try during the next days. :)
    • CommentAuthormike robel
    • CommentTimeNov 20th 2019
    Thanks, Sue for your perspective. I just don't see a need for FT3 in my work. I am sure I will find use for the other items in this years annual, though. I usually find symbols and techniques I like to incorporate in them.

    I am not sure I can afford terrain data. My little business mostly barely pays for itself plus sometimes some extra for other resources (maps, software, etc.)

    • CommentAuthorjslayton
    • CommentTimeNov 20th 2019 edited
    If you're wanting to import contour maps, your best bet is to hand-trace the data as you originally described. Programs like Wilbur or FT3 would only be of use if you're interested in generating contours from a Digital Elevation Model (DEM).
    DEMs are available for free for most of the world at about 30 meters between samples, which is probably not quite as good as you would prefer for the kinds of map that you seem to be describing. Plus, a lot of GIS software can be a pain in the backside to use.
    • CommentAuthormike robel
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2019 edited
    Thanks for your comments, Joe. I have sort of reached the same conclusion. I've dealt somewhat with DED data in my old job working on Army Simulations and it was very time consuming for us. (I didn't do any of the real work for terrain modeling). Having said that, the most common contour interval on military map appears to be 20 meters which can sometimes make things difficult. Fort Riley, KS has a whole different look at 20 foot contour intervals as compared to 20 meter contour intervals. Kansas isn't quite as flat as people think, but at 20 meters on a map, it can sometimes be hard to know where you are.

    When I model US terrain using modern USGS maps downloaded as PDFs, they allow you to display many different layers, so one can look at the contour intervals alone. This is really cool stuff. If only I could cut and paste maps together with better precision and be sure of them being the same size, I'd bring in each feature (road network, water network, terrain, other stuff) as a separate layer. Not having to follow a contour line through a town is much easier. I also have to stitch several maps together which I find is much easier with a paper map than a digital map and I always have gaps because of course grid squares are usually trapezoids and not squares. (Sometimes when grid zones converge, they are triangles).

    Tracing contours does put me into a sort of zen-like state. I have much more respect for the people who make maps by engraving them from raw data. I can't imagine how long that took.