New Oxtail - WIP

I've started to convert some of my old hand drawn maps - this is my first attempt at a city (okay 2nd, but we're not going to talk about that one). I already plan to rework the buildings on the cliff top, but my question of the day - any suggestions on how to treat the mountain. The shift in the angle of perspective is my specific irritant. Played around with x/y co-ordinates, but no luck......


  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 26 images Cartographer ProFantasy
    edited February 27

    There are several ways of doing the mountain. It depends how important it is to the map and how much time you want to take in creating it.

    The quick and easy way is to use one or more sheets with a large and slightly smoothed "Bevel, Lighted" sheet effect, followed by an Edge Fade Inner sheet effect, and possibly a Blend Mode to blend the feet of the mountain into the flat ground. On that sheet you draw the extent of your mountain. I recommend using one of the transparent Solid fills, or a solid fill with transparency added in the Blend Mode.

    The more detailed way that takes a lot longer is to actually draw the thing with lines and patches of shading on the darker side.

    I will let you chose before I gallop off down a detailed description of either, or maybe someone else has an even better idea. There are always many ways of doing a thing in CC3.

  • When I did contour maps in cc3, I used different color bitmaps for a range of altitudes. It was very tedious. I eventually stopped doing that.

    So it was zero to 1500 feet, then 1501 to 2500 feet, etc.

  • fgerdsfgerds Traveler

    Thanks for the input - Sue, can we try the simple approach? I dont have a graphics background and usually have to work through everything several times. Appreciated!

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 26 images Cartographer ProFantasy


    First, add a new sheet called something logical, like MOUNTAIN

    Then load the transparent fills if they aren't already in the map. (Tools->Import bitmap fill styles)

    Navigate to the following folder and import the fills


    Open the Fill Style Properties dialog by clicking where it tells you what fill you are using in the top row of boxes, and pick Solid White 10 under the Bitmap Files tab.

    Make sure you have your new sheet active and use one of the polygon tools on the right to draw the extent of the base of the mountain on your new MOUNTAIN sheet.

    You can just about see it on this parchment background

    Open the Sheets and Effects dialog again and add a Bevel, Lighted sheet effect. Click Apply, and you should see something like this:

    Edit the bevel and increase the Bevel Size from its default setting of 5, to something really high. Here I have gone for 200 to be sure that the bevel meets itself in the middle. I have also given it a smoothing factor of 5, but this is very much down to personal preference - as are the rest of the settings.

    Next, add an Edge Fade Inner sheet effect, and set the Edge Width to something suitable. This is an overland map, so yours might be quite different to mine because they are different scales.

    That might be ok for you the way it is, but you can also add a Blend Mode effect to make the texture of the background come through if you wish, like this. I find the Hard Light Blend Mode usually works best.

    This is just a simple hill-like mountain, but you can get a little more complicated by adding more sheets like this one and using several tiers. It is better to try and avoid overlapping the bevel on different sheets, though, or things can get a bit complicated.

    I hope that helps.

  • Tedious is a good word to apply to drawing contour levels.

  • @fgerds - If the bevel look isn't helping - and I know bevel can be a tricky beast sometimes! - you might try instead Shessar's PDF tutorials for Cliffs and Contours accessible via this topic elsewhere on the Forum. Although they're designed for battlemats, not city-scale maps, the concepts will work just as well, and may fit better with your use of Sue's city cliffs here. However, you'll need to find an appropriate set of symbols from the Dungeon options among your CC3+ folders first (assuming you have DD3 available, of course; if not, this won't help you, sorry!). You'll likely need to tweak the Effects settings Shessar described for this map to get the appearance more suitable, but that shouldn't be too onerous.

  • Mostly I just punted. I didn't try for accuracy, just made sure that the higher elevations didn't overlap the lower ones. Unless I was trying for a cliff.

    Here is a typical one in jpg. This was done in cc2.

  • fgerdsfgerds Traveler

    First try this morning - used a combination of the approaches suggested. Used Sue's bevel technique, then added color polys below to try and add interest (added the green garden fill for the base, and then "painted" the tops using the crushed stone fill). Improvement, but needs more work - clean up around the ocean base. Will try the Shessar's PDF tutorials tomorrow morning.

  • fgerdsfgerds Traveler

    Tried Shessar's PDF tutorials - it works well for battlemaps (I used the technique on Fanche Pass, but had forgotten about it), but I couldn't get anything I was happy with. Ended up playing with sheets and effects to settle on the results below. Needs more clean up (cliff base rubble showing through and coast needs cleanup, but the concept is there. Thanks for the help.

  • I'd hoped Shessar's boulder-cliff lines might work OK with Sue's cliffs here, but you never know really until you try it out. The main thing is that YOU'RE happy with it now!

  • 1 month later
  • fgerdsfgerds Traveler

    Set aside the mountain presentation to finish the city layout. As a struggling user, I learned allot of the basics - move to sheet, change properties, basic edits, also played with different sheets and effects. Struggling with color, current approach is to color by zones - with buildings/areas that are documented showing color. Going to go back to playing with the mountain presentation.

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  • This is looking really nice!

  • AEIOUAEIOU Newcomer

    I like the color coding. It makes it clear at a glance.

    I try to have 3 shades of each color so I can designate 1-story, 2-story, 3+ story buildings. This also allows me to change the shadows accordingly. Towers and really tall structures are shadowed like trees or walls for longer shadows.

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