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    • CommentAuthorMerion
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2020
     
    I think about creating a map for an underwater location. But as I just recently came back to fantasy mapping and CC3+, I don't know all the styles and symbol catalogs that are available. I know there are many many annual styles, some symbol sets and freely available symbol sets too (although I only know the ones of the vintyri project - are there more?)

    So I thought, maybe the experienced users here in the forum can point me to where I need to look for the appropriate assets.
    • CommentAuthorkevbeck43
    • CommentTimeMar 10th 2020
     
    Honestly Merion just about any style with a water bitmap tile can be used for an underwater scene. Simply build the scene you want for your map and then put a water sheet over the top of that. Then just put a transparency on that layer. It should give you a decent underwater feel.
    • CommentAuthorMerion
    • CommentTimeMar 10th 2020
     
    That is already a great tip, thank you. But I was also thinking about symbols and thought maybe there's a symbol set containing corals, sponges and other underwater decoration.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeMar 10th 2020
     
    I don't know for sure but I think there may be some coral and weed stuff in the CSUAC and Dundjinni sets available from the Vintyri Project. Links to that are contained in the Free Resources sticky thread at the top of the forum.
    • CommentAuthorMerion
    • CommentTimeMar 10th 2020
     
    You are correct, there are a few corals and fish in there. I'll see what I can do whith those and maybe I have to learn how to create my own symbols.

    Or ProFantasy gives us a dedicated underwater month in an annual ;)
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeMar 10th 2020
     
    I think the underwater annual idea has been mentioned before now, but there was insufficient interest in it to make it a viable product at the time.

    Maybe we need to do a head count of how many people would like to have that kind of thing.
    • CommentAuthorMerion
    • CommentTimeMar 10th 2020
     
    *raises hand*
  1.  
    Raises hand :)
    • CommentAuthorShessar
    • CommentTimeMar 10th 2020
     
    Yes please. :D
    •  
      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeMar 10th 2020
     
    Ditto
    • CommentAuthorseycyrus
    • CommentTimeMar 10th 2020
     
    Yes, please.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2020
     
    The difficult thing about creating any particular style is finding the right artist for it. If any of you know of an artist who might be good for this kind of style, I am sure Ralf would appreciate a tip.
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2020
     
    Ditto, underwater items like coral, et al, and underwater ruins, ship wrecks, etc.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2020
     
    The problem that Remy Monsen mentioned above is tenfold or more, because there is no existing standard for the kinds of symbols people might expect aside from the obvious textures like rocks, sand, coral and weed. Then you have to chose the period and the basic style (photorealistic, cartoon or somewhere in the middle). For instance, if you do a wreck style you will have loads of dead boats and bits of wood and stuff, but not necessarily any underwater city symbols. If you really think about it there are as many possibilities for 'an underwater style' as there are existing over water styles. Its quite a problem, and almost impossible to know what exactly will sell well and be easy enough to build on with future bits and pieces.

    Maybe we should discuss these things as well as working out how many people would like 'an underwater style'?
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2020
     
    I have been thinking about using the symbols from Annual 138, city ruins, and just use them for underwater.

    Issue 130 has the standard ship wreck symbols for topo maps.

    Thinking more on this that Issue 70 has deck plan sci-fi ship textures that could be used to make wrecks with sand bitmap fills being used to cover them partially.
    • CommentAuthorkevbeck43
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2020 edited
     
    I didn't see this mentioned above but the Dundjinni Archives have some great tree, bush, and rock symbols that could easily be used to form underwater geology. Many of the weed and grass symbols could be used also. I think the CSUAC has symbols for animals as well but I can't remember if those symbols include underwater life.

    (EDIT)
    I see Loopysue already beat me to this suggestion but I will say I have been using those archives very recently and can verify with certainty there are indeed many symbols that could likely be used.
    • CommentAuthorWyvern
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2020
     
    I'm late to the party here, but as I have a particular fascination with underwater maps for fantasy RPGs especially (cf. Errynor in the Community Atlas), I've been trying to decide what might be more useful to say here. Despite its length (apologies in advance!), this isn't meant as anything more than those things I can remember on this subject, or have found, in recent years, I should note.

    Yes, I'm happy to be counted among those who'd love to see a series of mapping options for underwater areas, all in a similar, pictorial, style, from the typical "overland" mapping scales through to dungeon/battlemap level.

    However, Sue's quite right with her comments on how to determine what would be both useful and sufficiently well-used to justify creating such symbol sets or style packages for CC3+. Snag is that most CC3+ mapping packages are based, if sometimes quite loosely and/or with various twists, on established real-world mapping styles from past and present. And for undersea areas, there really are no "past" options, which tend to be the more pictorial types.

    Most of Earth's ocean floor as depicted on any kind of large-scale area map remains that created from sonar records collected between 1952 and 1957 by Marie Tharp and Bruce Heezen, oceanographers from the USA's Columbia University. The map itself as best-known is that drawn by Tharp and published in 1977. While this has been mildly amended and expanded since (to cover the Arctic and Antarctic Ocean floors, for example), this is the standard real-world ocean-floor map style, because it's the only one! Its imagery is of course very striking, though the level of detail it offers is broad-scale only. It's also quite similar to some of the pictorial styles used in CC3+, albeit based on contours for the depth of different features below the sea's mean surface. While modern attempts to improve upon this level of detail and representation have been ongoing for many years, estimates suggest less than 50% of Earth's oceans has been re-mapped in this way, often not especially consistently or coherently. Some slightly exasperated commentators have suggested we know more about the surface topography of Mars than our own planet's ocean floor!

    As Jim noted, there is already the Marine Maps style package in the Cartographer's Annual issue 130 from 2017. This is specifically tailored to producing modern-style undersea near-coastal maps as used by seagoing vessels, and which also shows, in a simplified form, the adjoining land areas. The style works by using contour lines to define the topography, with a limited selection of vector-style symbols for various features such as wrecks, rocks, navigation beacons/lights and suchlike.

    Another possibility might be to use cave-mapping techniques, if maybe using different bitmap fill styles to the usual ones (or using Sheet Effects to amend them), if again primarily for inshore waters. CA7 from 2007, Caves & Caverns, included both pictorial fantasy (using assets from DD3) and simplified modern cave mapping styles, for instance, while the accompanying PDF mapping guide described how to make cross-sectional diagrams in CC3+ from cave maps as well, something that can be equally helpful to understanding undersea environments.

    In March 2018, rrcalbick asked for help on this Forum to reconstruct the World of Greyhawk Nyr Dyv great lake as a CC3+ map, using a special woodcut-look style, based on this real-world example 3D map of Lake Tahoe. The discussion began in his Inner Drop Shadow topic (important, as it contains details on how the final effect was achieved), which led into the Lake Woodcut WIP topic, and to the completed version in the Final Nyr Dyv Woodcut topic. The map went on to become one of the stars of the March 2018 Maps of the Month on the PF Blog. This is an interesting variant on the modern underwater contour-mapping technique which looks older, and would be a good candidate style to reuse for other underwater maps, perhaps, though it doesn't help solve the pictorial symbols problem.

    Along with the free additional pictorial symbols referred to already by other commentators earlier here (CSUAC & Dundjinni), there are also sufficient assets among the normal CC3+ dungeon symbol sets (from CC3+, DD3, SS and various of the CA) to create small-area shallow water maps, without too many problems (rocks, vegetation - varicolor options will give shallow-water brightly-coloured coral lookalikes too, for instance - and some fish). The options to show much variety pictorially thus are though rather limited, without resorting to drawing things yourself, and mixing drawing styles for the symbols is liable to be inevitable, which may not be wholly satisfactory.

    Using styles that don't rely strongly on pictorial symbols, but that still have a fantasy feel to them is another way around the problem. It's partly why I chose the Fantasy Realms style from CA26 when drawing that Errynor map, as it meant I didn't have to worry about creating fresh symbols or new fill styles to make things work in a consistent fashion for both the undersea and overland regions. There's further discussion about that map on the Forum here if required.

    [As something of an aside, I'm currently in the process of more detailed mapping across this whole Errynor area. While I don't want to say too much yet, and despite my lack of artistic ability, I've been working on a small group of undersea symbols to help with this mapping, which, if they prove OK, should be available as part of the mapped assets via the Community Atlas when the first of those new maps are ready. I have though been developing this project only as and when other things have allowed for more than a year already, so don't hold your breath!]

    Before starting my initial Errynor sub-sea mapping, I explored options for what else was available from the RPG mapping angle at typical overland map scales beyond CC3+, and again found there really wasn't much. There are though a few undersea mapping icon sets available on the DriveThru RPG download site, notably from Inkwell Ideas. While these are intended primarily for use with their own Hexographer/Worldographer mapping system, because the icon sets are provided as transparent-background PNGs, they can be converted readily to CC3+ symbols for use that way as well - if only for personal mapping, as such symbols couldn't be reused for something like the Community Atlas maps (Inkwell's own Licensing Agreement wouldn't allow that, aside from the Atlas' own restrictions on what artwork is allowable there).

    As the system name suggests, Inkwell favour purely hex-based mapping, but within that they have two chief mapping styles for overland use. One, the "classic", shows a simple side-view of things like city, vegetation, landform and object icons, which are placed onto equal-sided hexagons. The other is isometric, so things like the mountains and cities look more like a typical low-level aerial view. These are placed into "vertically-squashed" hexagons, where the left-right hex dimension is approximately twice that of the up-down one. There is just one Sea Kingdoms icon set available in each style, the settlements all favouring pink, presumably coral-like-coloured, structures, this the classic one, this the isometric version. As I post this (2020 March 12), both are currently reduced in price as part of the GM's Day Sale that runs till March 15.

    Inkwell also have a single set of additional undersea icons for each of their Cityographer and Dungeonographer systems, both sets with top-down views of their buildings and objects, and again all available as transparent-background PNGs, the Undersea Kingdom and Sea Kingdom (Merfolk) sets respectively.

    I'd hoped these undersea icon sets might indicate Inkwell had gone further along the route of undersea mapping more generally, but sadly it seems not, as there appear to be just two other undersea landform icons available, and those in another, more general, overland mapping set, representing areas of kelp forest. The nature of all these underwater icon sets suggests they've opted for only relatively shallow water, so near-coastal, possibilities so far - many of the settlement icons have typical on-land-like walls, defensive towers and gates, for instance, of little use where the vertical dimension is a simple option for masses of subsea attackers.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2020
     
    Wow!

    What a very detailed and well constructed comment. That really does define the problem really well, Wyvern.

    Thank you very much for putting all this work into the discussion :)