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    Hello! I'm a newbie to CC3+ and I gotta say - I'm loving it! I was super skeptical at first, because I've heard from a lot of people that it's incredibly difficult to learn and is nothing like Photoshop (which is my background). But after watching all of Joe Sweeney's incredibly useful battlemap tutorials, I feel pretty comfortable with making dungeons now.

    However, I'm only good at making indoor dungeons. I haven't the foggiest idea of how to make good-looking outdoor battlemaps. Things like walking paths, roads, rivers, coastlines, or anything where the terrain isn't just a straight line and it slowly transitions from one terrain texture to another. I know there are tools like the edge fade sheet effect, but it still looks too "clean". And I'm pretty terrible with the drawing tools that make like curved lines - I usually just end up with a big mess.

    I haven't found any good tutorials on making these outdoor maps. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2018
    I am not aware of any tutorial targeted at outdoor battle maps unfortunately. Both Issue 21 and Issue 108 of the Cartographers Annual do talk a bit about outdoors features and how to make them, but neither is a complete detailed tutorial on outdoor battle maps, more an overview. I recommend consulting them if you have them, but that content alone isn't worth buying the annual volumes over. (I still recommend buying the annuals though, as they are full of nice content, but you should buy them because you want the annuals, not for this specific content for your specific purpose here.)

    Generally though, there are a few very important effects in battlemaps:
    Edge fade to create smooth transitions
    Transparency, both to help when creating mud and water, but also to create variations
    Shadows, to make symbols look natural.
    • CommentAuthorkevbeck43
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2018 edited
    Search on Shessar battle maps. She has a couple of great tutorials on making rivers and other terrain. If you can't find those I think I can send them to you if you provide an email. Shessar is known for her battle maps though so that should put you along the right path.
    • CommentAuthorLorelei
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2018 edited
    ^SHE. Shessar is a SHE :)
    • CommentAuthorkevbeck43
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2018
    OH NO! I honestly did not know that. Apologies to all concerned. The advice is still good though. :)
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2018
    Ummm... you aren't the first person to make that mistake *blush* ;)

    I think the best way to learn about battlemaps is to search for some of Lorelei-quick-draw's threads (Lorelei's the fastest mapper in the west, but it doesn't mean the quality is bad - she's also one of the best). You'll find oodles of inspiration there.