WIP Commission, Ancient Tombs



  • Depends on what Jim thinks, I guess. I wouldn't use any other style for deserts but Spectrum

  • I appreciate the suggestion @Quenten but as @Loopysue says, after spending well over a week doing the parent map in MS Overland, I can’t mix them now. I think part of my problem is symbol scale, the default is too large…

  • Here we go with version 2.

    I think the map needs to be smaller. Generally speaking, for regional maps the publisher wants cities and towns to be wholly located within a hex. This is not a major issue but, we knew the but was coming didn't we, doing so means the symbols have to be roughly half the default size (well they are for this particular map). Which means the remaining symbols should be the a similar scale so the map looks 'right'. The world map has hexes at 50 units (km) high, regional maps at 5 units. This particular map is 231 x 200 km's. As the adventure takes place primarily in the top half, I think it needs to be smaller.

    There is a lot of area to fill at this scale and obviously there will be a lot of blank space...

    I might email the publisher and ask some further questions...

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    That's fair enough - about the towns fitting in a single hex. I would recommend using the smaller symbols though, so that they are clearer. For instance call a hamlet a village, a village a town, and a town a city. That way you never have to fit a whole actual city symbol in such a tiny hex. Squished up symbols look bad.

  • Sometimes, if you don't like the way something looks, you just have to start over. For example, my covering force game map. 3 times.

    Painful, but sometimes necessary.

    On the other hand, some paths through the desert would probably not hurt. Saudi Arabia had rocky deserts and there were Tels in places that we set up near that stood out in what was otherwise flat ground. But, as I remember, it was pretty flat until we got close to the Tigres/Euphraties.

  • edited December 2020

    Well, this is MKII of this map and the last one for the commission which is already 2 weeks overdue (I've emailed the publisher to let them know I'm running behind).

    @Loopysue that's a great suggestion about downsizing the symbols, I'll try that and see how it goes.

    I'll go with Sue's suggestion first at the default symbol size and see how that looks and just spread out the dunes and craggy rocks symbols to break up the terrain along with the odd oasis.

    Edit: Quickly had a look at Egypt in Google Maps, I now have a plan of sorts, stay tuned to this station.

    @Quenten, @Monsen whilst I can't submit any of these maps to the atlas, there are plenty of desert area's for folk who want to move the adventure there if they so choose.

    Keep an eye out for A1: The Temple of Set, a Classic Fantasy module from The Design Mechanism (happy to delete this blatant plug if it's against the rules re advertising?).

  • The above map is a 300ppi rectangular section jpeg, any suggestions for how to improve the clarity? I just printed it out and it looks awful.

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    Have you looked at the Options tab in the Save as... dialog?

    Here is what you get when you click it (my personal settings shown here for an automatic 3000 px on the long side export cropped automatically to the MAP BORDER)

    These particular settings mean you only have to export a simple straightforward image file without fussing about picking any corners, as long as your MAP BORDER layer has the right boundary on it.

  • @Loopysue Thanks.

    I'm pretty sure my anti-alias setting is around 20 and can't for the life of me remember what the jpeg quality is. I'll have a play around later. The question was more for future reference, what I have is fine for marking up.

  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer

    I do assume you have set a reasonable size as well (in pixels or inches)? 300PPI is a meaningless term by itself, and changing the PPI value without touching the other values does nothing.

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    AA us very much a matter of personal choice. I like mine high, but 20 is fine. You only have to worry about it if you have lots of AA and you're trying to export a really large map. Watch the work size doesn't get too big for the rendering machine to handle.

  • edited December 2020

    @Monsen that is likely it. The size IIRC is 11 x 8'' @ 300ppi. So, a little over 20 units to the inch...

  • @Loopysue the machine is more than capable but I don't how CC3+ will make use of it. I've got it set up in a Windows 8 (I think) 64-bit bottle via Crossover on my Mac (16GB RAM)...

    I've been thinking about running CC3+ on a dedicated bootcamp partition, i.e. a proper Windows install, just to improve its overall performance.

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    The limitation is more to do with the way the rendering engine works.

  • Hi Folks,

    I think I'm done. So there is the 4 dungeon maps, the city map, the below regional map and an excerpt of the main map (which unfortunately I can't post due to a NDA). Phew! I'm glad that's done.

    Can I just say, and I'm not being a brown nose, how much I like this software. Despite the frustration when something doesn't turn out how I want, or the minor peculiarities with my setup, it is sensational. I can only imagine that those of you with more experience, would get these maps done in 1/2 the time or less than it takes me. But I will get there! If only reading 'text' books didn't put me to sleep...

    Anyhow, here is the last map, unless there are obvious flaws I'm calling it done - subject to client approval.

    Monsen[Deleted User]LoopysueRaikoDaltonSpenceWyvern
  • @Quenten Over the Christmas break mate, I'm taking a week off - after these 2 commissions. I've got Blackrock to finish, then I can start some new ones.

  • I think your hex map turned out really nice Jim. :smile:
    Sorry I've not been following the thread so closely recently, I've been busy myself. 
  • Cheers @Raiko. As I stated above, I'm really enjoying cartography with CC3+. Some much easier to get nice looking maps than doing them in Ps and the like. Particularly when you're not that 'artistic'. Previously, my maps would not have had anywhere the near the detail they have now - though admittedly some of my B&W floor plans I think turned out pretty well. I think my best were the ones I did for Sorandib, a Thennla supplement for The Design Mechanism. Jared Blando did the overland maps in that, I got the encounter maps - probably because I'm cheap (but in nice way?).

    [Deleted User]
  • 24 days later
  • Hi all and hopefully you had a good change into the next decade.

    I have a question concerning stairs, not as symbols.

    Consider the map below:

    In the red circled area I would like to have 2 or three steps coming from the grass below to the paved section. Like these portal steps in front of government buildings. Somes goes for the indoor part but as a semi(ish) circle. How is the best approach for something like this? multiple sheets with drop shadow/glow or something else?

    The map above is a standard SS4 map paved stone is on "floors", the grass "outside" layer. Indoor floors are all on "floors".

    And Sue. I like that bottomless pit of spiraling doom... It gnaws at your sanity as it does at the sand...

  • @Morrgans I do it with multiple sheets and an outer glow. Draw a polygon (for semi-circular use the circle or arc tools to draw guide entities on a “guide” sheet to trace) with your preferred fill, normally the same as the floor, making sure that edges that will not be shown are hidden by the walls or whatever. Your sheet order for a 3 level stair should be: Floors, Floors, Level 3, Floors, Level 2, Floors, Level 1 where level 3 is the bottom stair and level 1 is the top stair.

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    That's how I would do it too :)

  • MorrgansMorrgans Traveler
    edited January 2021

    Ok.. that worked.

    I had to add an extra sheet between the floor and first steps though, because it looked like you get transparency acne if using the same bitmap fill (small dark dots in the texture). So I added an extra sheet which got the glow to mark the first step. As a bonus, I did not have to change the floors layer as well...

    Short question: What is the difference between "Outer Glow" and "Glow" ? Both seem to add a darker area around the edges of an object.

    Thanks and Cheers!


  • 10 months later
  • Hi All,

    Shameless plug, if inappropriate @Monsen delete this post.

    This adventure is now up for sale on drivethrurpg: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/368058

    Thanks for your help and encouragement folks. Much appreciated.

  • @Morrgans

    Outer glow: the glow is outside the area of the item/symbol.

    Glow, the item/symbol itself glows. But this can be Glow, with a setting of Inner or Outer.

    Yeah, someone else is going to have to explain this one.

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