January 2014 Competition

Simon RogersSimon Rogers Administrator, ProFantasy Traveler
Create a map of an island, less than three miles wide. The prize for the top entry? An unlimited patron license to all our cartography software forever.

Update: Joseph Sweeney has done a super-quick video demo of a treasure map.
  1. It doesn't have to feature treasure, and it can be in any style, past, modern or future.
  2. You don't have to create it with CC3+ but it must be originally created for this competition and not already posted elsewhere.
  3. You grant us permission to post the map, though you retain all other rights
  4. Only one entry per person
  5. If there are more than three entries, and the winner is not an amateur, then there will be an additional prize (a voucher worth $100) to the best amateur.
  6. To submit, post your entry on this forum thread, or email us a file, no more than 2MB.
  7. Competition closes on Midnight 1st March 2014 UTC.
Updated to reflect one entry per person, and amateur versus professionals. For my curiosity, if you are considering entering, please whisper me in this thread.

If you want feedback on your map, please start a Show and Tell thread. Do not comment on maps on this thread.

The judges do not frequent this forum and will only see the finished maps.

Good luck, cartographers!


  • edited January 2014
    Here's my entry into the January Contest, Create an island map - Cinnamon Isle, a location of castaways. (photo-realistic style for any genre), 1.88 MB JPG. This was created in Xara Designer Pro 9, using texture images from CGTextures.com. (Note the contest rules prevent posting this anywhere else, however, I posted a link to this thread and map on my G+ community, as a sort of work-around.) I'm not an amateur - for clarification purposes. Also note all map objects were created in the same software as the map, except for the sea plants which are rendered 3D or PD Particle painted objects.
  • edited January 2014
    January 2014 Competition Submission - Drakken Isle

    Main Island Size: 2.6 Miles Wide by 2.8 Mile Long (excluding the eastern atoll)
    Products used: This was created entirely using CC3 and was inspired by the 2008 Shaded Relief Annual. Fill styles and Symbols are from Profantasy and Dundjini User's Art.

    Edited to add: I am an amateur mapper.

    The fresh water streams running down from the northern peaks as well as the deepwater port at Tongo's Landing has made Drakken Isle a preferred stopping point for seafarers for decades. It has only been in the last few years that adventures have begun arriving, seeking the rumored treasure hoard of the green dragon Vyrax.

    The great wyrm has her hoard hidden within the the fens that have formed in the extinct volcano's crater, buried deep inside the collapsing walls of an inactive vent. She feels certain that none can survive entering the swamp because it's waters have dissolved the acidic igneous rock beneath, forming an acrid morass of dead vegetation, muddy pools, and stinking algae.

    The adventurer's best hope is to find the narrow pass through the western ridge which would put them at the closest point to Vyrax's Lair. So far, none of the adventurers that have attempted the crossing to her cache have survived to tell their woe filled tale.
  • ClerconClercon Betatester Traveler
    Here is my entry to the competition. The map is all made by free hand in Photoshop and I'm a professional map maker.
    The map is supposed to feel like a treasure map from a swashbuckling adventure with pirates, high seas and.... well treasures :)
  • TheElfTheElf Newcomer
    While lack of my drawing skills, and limited time certainly limits my potential, I hoped to do something simple, and it should be a map with some story for it. And I remember that this scale is difficult to manage, as at this scale most symbol based terrain would look a bit weird. At least at this scale we would see the shape of the mountains. Yet to inspire other newbie or experienced cartographers sticking to symbols are usually better. And as I lack artistic skills and my skills are limited I tried to focus on areas often forgotten even by professionals. Also I hoped to illustrate some idea of mine about production workflow to some extent.

    I hope no one will feel hurt after the explanation here... But the key thing is: keep the purpose of the map in mind. I know a lot of professionals can draw, can do amazing tricks in full color, but would that make a map better as map? Would they make it better as handout? Often it wouldn't. I say: Wow, I wish I could draw this good. But the next moment I ask "how should I use it?" How should the map in question be used. It can be a map for DM. Can be a map our players can see. Or it can be a handout to show what kind of map some characters found. The 2nd and the 3rd option are compatible. And for the DM map we just add a few notes. And by the end of this post, we will see ideas about other uses for our handout. And when you want to "make it cool" it is often easy to forget how will you use the map, how will you use it... And in the case of a hand drawn style representing an in game item, the in game history of the map is forgotten as well.

    This map uses the template from Treasure maps annual issue, as it is designed for handouts like these. Sadly at this scale we would have problems with the hills symbols as they wouldn't reflect terrain well, and I am not aware of compatible drawing tools to help with this issue. I am sure a lot of people here want to create such treasure maps at this scale.

    I used a normal CC3 map as reference for this one, and used the Landform map annual issue to help with creating the Volcano on the island. Used some hand drawn symbols (SS1) and treasure maps symbols as well. As you see we don't have a scale bar. I think a lot of handouts wouldn't have one either. So the terrain symbols should actually reflect the scale. I used the landform symbols to follow (loosely) some contours, so the map should show some rock formations. While it isn't perfect I hope it is a good start. While I know professionals can achieve much results with this, I felt it isn't enough. And if the map has a lot of "unnamed areas" I can't make it look better with labels. But hey! Treasure maps can come with riddles, advertisement, or anything else to catch the attention of would be adventurers. This is how we ended up with some text to the right.

    Now, now... What else remains? Some illustration.

    If you want to use the map, you have to think about who this silver lady is? I would say: A silver dragon, who has some hideout in this dormant volcano. She also guards a trading route, and the small harbor on the island is a safe harbor. The actual challenge is the route, and some of the tests the PCs have to complete before getting the crown. But I decided that the monks who copy this map over and over, would work hard to add a sketch about the lady as well. The said monk, who copies the map (tries to be accurate, with a minimalistic map) find joy in decoration. It is like initials in a codex, some place for actual art...

    As you see for this I used a sketch cam basic camera with DAZ studio. Of course I could have used some other tools to make it look like painting, etc. but I used this, because DAZ Studio is free. The Sketchcam basic was freebie for XMAS. And when I explained how artistically inept people can use these tools for character art I tend to recommend genesis figure... So I decided to use a Genesis based model. Stephanie 5. Added some hair. Added SuperSuit and its preset, set up pose, move camera a bit, hit render, save PNG. I used an image editor for a Sepia effect. And then it was just an insert file command in CC3.

    Why? As I said I wanted to show production workflow. Of course with different poses, I could render counters, cardboard figures, etc. and if I add a background I can render some image to print on the backside of her character sheet. Of course for this I would also add a millenium dragon, with proper shaders to show the silver dragon as well. (And maybe create counters, etc. with that style too) I would print counters, etc. from Character Artist 3.

    For counters I can use 2 poses on 2 sides. One fighting, and one "laying down" pose for unconscious characters. For cardboard figures I can render the image from 2 directions.

    Now lets do another trick. When I would print the adventure, on the cover (and to a DM screen) I would print an image of a city street where they can find this treasure map as poster, posted by the said prince (in emigration) who looks for adventurers. If your PCs can actually read the text, see the map on your home made DM screen, they will be amazed when they find the map, the text is part of the adventure.

    And when we speak about simple maps, tricks, versatility. If I could afford the time, I would use a shaded relief map when the PCs are on island as main map.

    And given even more time: the same reference map could be used with the terrain primitive in Carrara, or in Bryce to render an image of the island. If I use Carrara I could also use non photorealistic renderer to make it look like a painting. Also in Carrara I could use the dragon model, etc. And could even render the harbor with people (maybe even with the silver lady, etc).

    Importing, exporting, and using various tools can add a lot of options.

    I know the same time can be spent on improving the base map, and people with artistic talents would just do, and that is what professionals do, but I feel my way is another good way to impress your players. And I am sure at this way we can keep the purpose, history, etc. of our maps in mind, and we don't have to overdo anything to make things look super cool for the players.

    I hope if nothing else I will win some feedback from you lot.
  • I've only just got CC3 yesterday, so I'm still figuring it out.
  • edited February 2014
    This island is a tribute to some fine fantasy writers, especially (although not exclusively) women.

    I give you Hobb Island.

    I used the Annual Political Map style to create a "Gateway Island". Flying is prohibited in the Kingdom of Parmasse, you see, so visitors to that land come to Hobb Island first, and travel by boat from there.
  • RalfRalf Administrator, ProFantasy 🖼️ 18 images Mapmaker
    Please keep this thread free of comments specific to the maps while the competition is ongoing. If you want feedback for your own map, please feel free to repost it in a separate thread. We'd like these all the judged on their own without accompanying discussion.
  • edited February 2014
    Gulguthee Island: seek ye knowledge or seek ye gold?

    It seems that Clercon and I were struck by the same inspiration! I've always liked the idea of giants or their artifacts hidden just beneath the surface of our world. I wanted this map to accurately portray a fossilized skull rising up from beneath the waves and serving like the reef to a cay.

    To get the terrain right, I found a 3D skull model and opened it up in Google SketchUp. There, I could manipulate it to get a realistic angle and embed it in some water. I used that as template to draw the map in CC3 with the default black and white overland style. I wish there were some more symbols, but that style has a strong catalog and looks just like I think a map should look. Well, at least with the proper background and decorative elements it does. Those, I composited in Photoshop. I’m an amateur; this is the second map I've made.

    The island is about 900 rods, or 2.8 miles, east to west. At that size, the casual observer may not realize the nature of the island, especially after a few hundred thousand years of weather, sediment, and plant growth. A persistent explorer, though, could map the island and begin to uncover its secrets. And a dedicated scholar, too, might come to understand that the island's nature was not a secret to its original settlers. But a practical marauder, however, would forsake that knowledge for a more tangible treasure…
  • 8 days later
  • Hello all!

    I decided to go a slightly different route with my entry. Basing it off an upcoming story I am planning for my sci-fi campaign, I created a floating island that is held up by antigravity units placed under it. Since it is not a traditional world setting, I wanted to make the color scheme different from the more realistic ones we generally see. There is the obvious crashed ship as well as 2 villages and 1 small city. I plan to use this as a player handout, so I wanted to make it look a bit like a data pad.

    Mapmaking is more of a hobby for me, as I am not a professional. The map itself was done entirely in Photoshop. I hope you enjoy my entry and that it’s not too far out of the context of what was asked for.

  • Name: The Island of Belmore

    History: For close to a thousand years, the Island of Belmore was home to a dwarven city buried deep within its hills and mountains. Sadly a plague killed off the inhabitants of the city and left the island uninhabitable for many centuries. Believing the land to be cursed, dwarves have stayed clear of the island even after it was safe.

    In time, humans settled on the island because of its ideal positioning along shipping lanes. Human life on the island was not easy unfortunately. The initial settlement of Port Thomas slowly withered away due to pirate raids and famine. A second town was eventually formed on the other side of the island and has since prospered.

    Creation Process: The land mass was done in an outside program and imported into CC3. I then used a custom symbol set I created to populate the map. My goal was to make a clean map that was aesthetically pleasing at the same time.
  • Highland_PiperHighland_Piper Surveyor
    edited February 2014
    This is Harper Island for my high fantasy campaign. Overland SS1a was used to make this map.

    Harpers Island is a desolate and empty place. Once there was a thriving port, shipyard and Naval base located on the southern part of Harpers Island. Dyrrhachium provided nearly all of the ships that patrolled the Ichor Channel and the Numina Sea. During the Lervevia-Arcane War a unit of Lervevian Knights infiltrated the city and using a magical fire brand set fire to the town and docks destroying everything. Lervevia's official report is that the group went rouge and died in the fires they created. During times of war towns get sacked and people die. Dyrrhachium was a reasonable military target, what made the burning of Dyrrhachium so horrific was the fire brand used. The fire brand lit hell fire or demonic fire which can not be extinguished by normal means. What more the few survivals reported how the fires sought out the living and moved on their own. Those that investigated the wreckage confirmed that their was massive ammounts of residual demonic energies around the area.
    The main port has been moved to a new town named Thulongrirn but no naval yards are built on the island anymore. About twenty years after Thulongrirn was built Arcane University closed down the entire island stating some problems with the local spirits and herding rights. Harpers Island now provides all of the meat and trade goods going to the military bases and lighthouses in the Ichor Channel. It was deemed cheaper to lock down the island and continue using it to supply those critical points then it was to get the goods from another source. Only those with special permission are allowed to even leave Thulongrirn.
    Fate would continue to smile on Harpers Island when a rich silver vein was discovered. The University laxed its ban on travel on the island in so much as they errected another town Geverin. Gerverin is not a proper town. It is a minning town only. All of extraction and processing of the silver ore is done right at Geverin. Once a week a shipment of silver bars is brought to Thulongrirn to be shipped out.
  • This is my submission. I do not have a backstory for the island, but I can say I learned quite a lot. The vast majority of the map was created using the Jon Roberts map style. The scale bar was created using Inkscapes and the compass rose in GIMP. All were a bit of a challenge to learn. However after bouncing back and forth I learned a considerable amount about layers. Thanks for the opportunity.
  • ksnellingsksnellings Betatester
    edited February 2014
    Nice contest. Great prize! I'll email the map cause I cant' seem to size it correctly here. :)

    OK Here's a thumbnail I hope.. (the actual file is emailed)
  • 01i01i
    edited February 2014
    This is my first ever finished map using Campaign Cartographer and it's taken me AGES, however when I saw the prize I thought I might as well go big or go home.

    My actual map is a CD3 map 15840 x 15840 units (15840 feet = 3 miles) and uses content that comes with the default CC3, CD3 and DD3 packs. With exception of a few ships from the CSAUC, some cattle, tree stumps and wood piles from the Dundjinni forums, my huge tree collection (which I made for this project using tree[d] and photoshop) and the custom scale bar I made in photoshop.

    The finished map came out 6000px x 6000px and was 10MB, so in order to bring it down to under the 2MB limit, I grabbed a few closer views of some highlight areas, and included them around the side of the map. I put the text on with photoshop once I'd put the bits of map together. In the end it ended up even smaller (MB-wise) than I anticipated after saving in photoshop.

    I learned a lot making this map, and regardless of the result am glad I spent the time to do it, and very glad I managed to get it all finished up in time for the deadline.
  • Well, my effort kind of seems pathetic next to these fantastic maps, but I'll go ahead and share it because I had fun making it the past two days and because it got me reacquianted with CC3 and company after a very long mapping hiatus.

    Made with a DD3 template and mostly SS2 and SS3 symbols, over the course of two nights with a little refinement on the third day.
    A pleasant, little, private island with a motor boat docked and some barrels of "essential supplies" unloaded. The fire is lighted and the hammock is gently swaying in the breeze. (And, a small bit of potential "Lost" action on that one, little sandbar key, with an idol of unknown origin!)

    I can't wait to see the winners!
  • Smugglers Island is my entry for the contest. The Map is basically created with the Annual Style: Napoleonic Battle Maps. But to reach a look of an used navigation map of the 18th century, I changed the Fillings and the Sheet-Effects. The Background was created with Photoshop, while the mask for the edge was also created with CC3.

    As an complete amateur there are always ages between the creation of a map, so I must always try to remember, what (and how) I've done last time of mapping. But while this is the tenth map at all, which I created with CC3, I've learned again a lot about the various styles und drawing tools - so the next map is surely done a lot faster...
  • An island locals call Last Hope's Landing. Done in CC3 with the SS1 Sean set and some final tweaking and modification in the GIMP. While there was a max size, there wasn't a minimum so I erred on lower res for friendly uploading to website. I am an amateur.
  • edited March 2014
    Here is my entry...

    I haven't yet been paid for my skills in this arena, so I'd have to consider myself an amateur.

    Virtually all of this map was hand-drawn in ProCreate on an iPad 3 using an Adonit Touch stylus. There are a few "pattern brushes" in that app which help with things like the the jungle trees and the ocean waves, but everything else is just drawn. The shape of the island and mountains isn't based on anything other than doodling with the idea of a vaguely volcanic tropical island in mind.

    The cloister overhead plan was laid out in Adobe Illustrator. It's far larger, sharper, and more detailed in the original file, with many upper floors and basement dungeon levels. The "3D" isometric extrusion of the cloister is actually just faux-3D, a technique I use in Illustrator where I take the overhead plan and rotate, squash, duplicate and move by a certain amount, and then blend. I took a screen shot of that and traced over it in ProCreate.

    The last step was to bring it all into Adobe Photoshop, create a "parchment background", lay out the various pieces, and add in the text elements. Then I did save-for-web and picked settings that looked good but kept the resulting file under 2 MB.

    The cloister itself is about 300 feet on one axis, making the hypotenuse around 500 feet. Since you can line up 30 of the little cloister images end to end and have them stretch from one side of the island to the other, the island winds up being about 3 miles across.
  • RalfRalf Administrator, ProFantasy 🖼️ 18 images Mapmaker
    Thank you everybody for your great submissions! The competition is now closed and we'll be organizing the judgement process. We'll get back to everybody with more information soon.
  • RalfRalf Administrator, ProFantasy 🖼️ 18 images Mapmaker
    The list of submitted maps is now up on our blog. Let me know if we've missed anyone!
  • RalfRalf Administrator, ProFantasy 🖼️ 18 images Mapmaker
    Just a quick note: We'll be announcing the competition results on Monday!
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