I've taken the effort to create a forum account to add to this thread.
The fact someone has made 1000 maps in CC3+ and has never heard of wonderdraft demonstrates tunnelvision to me. Just to illustrate: wonderdraft and inkarnate are listed on sites like worldanvil.
I have bought CC2 in the past for a redonculous amount. I'm also blessed with the ability to draw, draw with a drawing tablet, a small PC, a power PC, ipad pro with pencil, draw using pencil + pen & brushes + high res scanner, clip studio pro, photoshop, gimp, krita. I'n not mentioning this to boast, but to demonstrate the broad pallet of tools I've tested anmd differrent techniques I've tried. I started to draw new maps and I wanted to have it properly digitized. Other factors were:
I want to have a fairly high production, it must be worthwile my time (I have other jobs & tasks & my lovely son, which take up time also).
Using a tool it must rival my manual pen & paper drawing skills
I lookied into: 1) CC3+ 2) wonderdraft 3) inkarnate
Wonderdraft is wonderful. It IS FLEXIBLE (contary statements above). You can create your own assets (city or region maps) & theme, with great ease. It has a growing community which creates assets for different syle of maps. There is a good spinnoff called dungeondraft, which does the same, but for dungrosn. It's not a vector drawing tool, so zooming in is something to remedy - but you can export to PSD with multiple layers; I'ts leveraging new technology better (it really uses the resources of my power pc - better than CC3+).
inkarnate is for people who want to have something they can't draw pretty fast, but the bang/buck ratio is abysmal, and you're tied to a subscription and export options are not that great.
Then I started CC3+ (again, sigh, I did pay a hefty sum)... It's clunky, learning curve is too steep. (I'm used to learing new programs on regular basis, I I do attribute myself some skills in this area). The things you can create are limited. If you want to have higher level of quality, CC3+ is, sadly to say, not the place to be. Exporting in PNG, TIFF, PSD is a hassle, if it is possible at all. Still...n CC3+ has many features others don't have ... yet.
My workflow (for now) is: draw on paper -> > high res scan -> add asset to wonderdraft -> export as PSD -> after touching in either clip studio or GIMP. And using that, I get better maps more quick compared to CC3+.
So, if you want to create something FAST, go for inkarenate or wonderdraft. If you want more detailed zooming or automatic tracing, CC3+ is your thing. If you want lots of different assets, go for wonderdraft.
Also the pricing.... CC2 was like 120 euros... now it's like 20ish - even with brexit in mind ;-).
I do like the community of CC3+ more - people are more friendly and the software is handled very professional and the people are kind. If only they'd update features, look & feel to the possibilities of now, instead of staying in the '00.
I used to draw on paper back in the 1908s, but draw exclusively in CC3+ now. Saves me a number of steps.
I do know about other mapping software, I don't use them because I don't like them.
And I have slowed down on mapping. But as far as I can tell, I have drawn over 5,000 maps using CC2, then CC3, now CC3+.
This software is based on a CAD engine. At university I took a class in AutoCAD. CC3+ is just like learning a CAD program, not a paint program.
I am a retired computer tech. I had installed numerous programs on many different operating systems, some MS has likely never heard of.
Back in the 1980s, ms-dos software had no standardized interface. One program might use ctrl-s for save, another might use ctrl-m. Then MS said if software if to be used on their platform, it had to follow a standard keyboard layout.
I have modified the menus I use with this software, not much, but it is easy. The menu files are text.
There is a tremendous amount of free assets for Profantasy's software. Other mapping programs I have looked at, don't have that and I felt they were too limiting.
I export to png and jpg very easily.
Oh, Welcome to the forums.
I think everything one will ever need to know about The Learning Curve narrative can be summarized by that one time an individual "blessed with the ability" to draw (in their own words) - as opposed to having developed their skill over time for the cost of effort, one can only assume - worked their necromancy, bringing to life a 5 months old inquiry as to the perceived benefits of the platform in order to bemoan said learning curve. Creating an account just for the occasion.
Unironically, I respect this level of dedication to an idea.
Imagine, if you will, going to a drawers' community asking the drawers why you should persue the format. Out of nowhere, an individual blessed with the ability to take pictures with a camera materializes, offering that the learning curve of drawing just isn't worth the trouble. And they should know, because they are quite skilled at learning new things that follow patterns they are accustomed to - of which drawing isn't one.
In other words - if I can't be bothered to get into the woods proper, this fact will invariably affect the quality of my mushroom pies and - as a further consequence - the position from which I make assessments of such pies. If this comes off as a tad bit salty - well your body needs salt and sometimes it is also an essential reading companion.
Let's take a brief moment to reflect on the apparent shift of meaning of the word "intuitive":
I get that one person's idea of a "steep learning curve" is going to be radically different from another's. To suggest otherwise would be as out of touch as saying - with a straight face - that a platform which generates tutorials is intuitive. The latter will never not be hilarious to me; how you opt to review the above collage of quotes is entirely up to your own sense of humour.
Coincidentally, the bang you will get out of Campaign Cartographer is also entirely depending on your own preconceptions. You get to decide for yourself, to a surprisingly high degree, how difficult things are going to be with the platform. Espeically if you consider yourself to be above tutorials. Again: if your amibition for your use of spreadsheets is to make squares for calendars that you print, don't expect that Excel will sort out quantifying your mushroom pie-cooking progress over time *for you* any given day now.
No - Campaign Cartographer is not trippping over itself in its eagerness to get out the door and tell you how to do things. But nor is it quick to suppress your potential for creativity. It is telling you, in effect, that any creative limitations you might run into are of your own making. Including getting started.
The exectution of styles and use of the available tools is in your hands - entirely. If you think your maps are a bit shit straight out of the box and it's all very frustrating it is because you can improve - both in regards to the tools at your disposal, and your visual expression: chances are that if you can't fail with your maps, you are operating in a severely restricted environment - creatively.
This is somehow elitist and standing in the way of the platform being rebuilt into something else. Come one now, why aren't you happy with the alternatives? I mean, there must be a reason why people keep coming back to how "if only" with Campaign Cartographer. It's almost as if people want the results you can get out of it, but...
I should probably point out that I have no opinion about Wonderdraft other than that the output on public display suggests that the options are a bit too limited for my taste. I am simply not seeing it for all the benfits of vectors and polygons, currently, and the avalanche of opportunity that comes with how the CAD environment allows me to achieve anything I could possibly hope for. So..for now: yeah, also, not too impressed with how WD requires a dedicated module for making combat maps. Yeah, there is Dungeon Designer for us with CC3+. But that's convenience, you see, in the same way we get various sourcebooks of practical implementations for HERO System or any other game really: such products are not rewriting the rules out of necessity - they are simply expansions within the premises of an established foundation. That we pay for. Because it's convenient. Mushroom pie time!
Anyway. To round things off and seeing as I've steered into the realm of flexibility; with a straight face, people will tell you how much of the flexibility of CC3+ really just is an expression of people's experiences - as opposed to the objective truth about its qualitites in this regard. Because it's got an outdated interface? What the florpunt does that even mean? Where does the illusion of the flexbility end, and reality begin? And more importantly: in which of the Nine Hells do I need to be in order for the Mark of Interface-Cain to be clearly visible on my finished products?
I'll tell you what it means; it means we're all a bit stupid in that we reject this other (actual) reality - where you just can't make maps with Campaign Cartographer - and persist in making the damned things anyway! Commercial-grade maps, even.
Ever the elitist fools, blind to the errors of our ways and flaws of the platform, we accepted and adapted to the premises of it. And what is worse - we seem to thrive.
Oh, and welcome to the forums.
Not just insightful, but humorous and to the point. Well spoken, Lillhans.
It's a 944-words wall of text, @Quenten: to the point is perhaps a bit on the generous side, there?
It is "to the point" in the most medieval warfare sense !!!
As in cutting the points that hold the others armour in place and laying him bare for the killing....
I found myself wishing I could both "Awesome" and "Insightful" this! Very interesting (to me) that some folks who find CC too difficult to learn have bought it not once, but twice... and for redonculous amounts of money. There must be something very attractive about the software to entice this irrational expenditure.
Oh indeed. And to think I have still somehow turned out thousands of maps.
I find that people who is gifted with the skill of drawing things are not fond of CC3+ mostly. Loggical: if you can draw a map, why need a software program to do so? You just need PS/Gimp to make it prettier and that´s all. Campaign Cartographer gives you speed, though, if you want to do a serial of maps with similar style. Yeah, sure it takes some time to learn but ... you also have to spend some time learning how to draw! You just decide how you spend your time and your pleasure doing it. That´s all.
In anyways, i use PS for drawing icons and then use CC3+ to put them together and create the map itself. I even do things in PS rather in CC3+ just because well, i´m more used to do things in PS and if there are two ways of doing the same thing and i know one, why should i bother to learn the other one? But then you realize that in one way you spend less time once you learn, so...
At the end, everything´s is about how long you take to create a map, the joy it brought to you while doing so, and the quality of your work for the time invested. I think all Inkarnate, Wonderdraft, CC3+ and Photoshop (and other software ) have their spot because we have different routines, time available and expectations. I´m very confident that i could do a great Inkarnate map, but i feel i´d get bored of working with it soon. I feel Wonderdraft would give me a good time, but ... why to buy it if i´m having CC3 for a decade at least? I know PS can make the most beautiful maps, period... for artists. I´m not an artist. I hold my own but i´m not. And mapping in PS takes too much effort, specially if you want to do a serial of maps... But as i said, everything has its pros and cons.
See, @Quenten? @Medio here is to the point :D
Zazzi hasn't been back since dumping his/her/it's comment on this thread, but it is now a very entertaining and heart-warming read :)
Well, it was a bit of a Trollkin Necromancer insurgency. That much was fairly obvious, I should think. I mean: liking the community more...from a distance? Like...stalking?
I think that a large number of people are looking for something more akin to a paint program than a CAD program. I know that after all of these years I still want to click, drag and release when drawing a coastline rather than click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click.
Joe - and by the former you get a far less customized coastline. Thank heavens my first intro to mapping after drawing was CAD - which is more like drawing, to me at least.
I dislike having to click endlessly because it means that I have to lift my pen way high off the drawing tablet before moving to a new location and click (same thing for touchscreens). It would give me much better results to be able to directly stroke along my intended coastline.
You can tell that the underlying FastCAD engine was designed for use with a digitizing table and puck due to the calibration printout. I don't have a digitizing table and puck (and I haven't seen one in years), but I do have multiple drawing tablets and touchscreens. I also know quite a few people who have tablets and touchscreens.
I just miss CC3+ had a pencil tool and options to vary the pencil, with different brushes and customizable ones. I´d kill for that.
But you know that's a bitmap thing, Medio ;)
I tend to draw a lot with the freehand drawing tool and then edit the lines I draw.
Yeah. But for me it´s so natural to have to go to PS to do those things that i would love to do in CC3+... It would be really awesome but then, i guess it wouldn´t be a CAD program... Still i don´t lose hope :)
Insofar as I can tell, here is the main difference. CC3+ is a CAD program and Wonderdraft is a graphical drawing program like GIMP or Photoshop. What this means in a nutshell is this:
If you are familiar with using GIMP/Photoshop then you will have an easier time using Wonderdraft. On the other hand, if you are not familar with either, then the learning curve will be similar on both. You may still have an easier time navigating options with Wonderdraft.
Being CAD means CC3+ is not pixel based. You do not have to worry about pixels and pixelization. There are a lot of art assets for CC3. This is also a good and bad thing. The cost per month of an annual is really cheap and certainly worth it. On the other hand, if you only want one map, then you are spending a lot for it. But, there are many more free resources for CC3+.
Another advantage of CC3+ is if you make the map then you export it as an image file. Then you can still load it up in Photoshop to add other things to it.
One point is that some of the best styles come included with standard CC3+, you can live without annuals though I feel they're very, very interesting to have.