Hello fellow mappers,
I've been working on a regional map for a campaign setting and have included a link below. It's not done by any stretch - lots to do. Seems like maps are never quite done :-) It is a roughly 750mi x 550mi section from a 1000mi x 800mi map.

I know there are quite a few things wrong with it (rivers/roads don't go where they 'should', some effects like the outer glow on the landmass look harsher in the exported version than in CC3+, missing bridges, etc, etc).

It isn't necessarily supposed to be 'accurate' or 'realistic' - I was aiming for a bit more of a whimsical/fantasy effect and one that had an overall visual appeal.

The file is a PNG and is about 63MB. When viewed in Windows Image Viewer or a browser it looks quite blurry as if compressed (more than PNG). Best viewed after downloading and opening in a paint program (even MS Paint is fine).


Hope the link works as this is my first attempt at uploading a file for sharing. That link seems oddly quite short...but seems to work for me.



  • DogtagDogtag Traveler Moderator, Betatester
    edited February 2015
    *is humbled*

    Wow! That's gorgeous! What a fantastic use of the new Schley Overland style. So many things to like about that map, but one of the small things that stood out big for me was the "sunken" effect you gave to the roads and rivers. How did you do that, may I ask? I love the lay of the land and the variety of settlement and building symbols you used. Also, bravo on your names. Just... wow.

    Thanks for sharing!
  • I'll echo Dogtag: that map is gorgeous.
  • RalfRalf 🖼️ 16 images Mapmaker Administrator, ProFantasy
    edited February 2015
    That map is much too nice not to be displayed on the forum. Hope you don't mind that I post a scaled down version and a detail map here. If you prefer otherwise, let me know.
  • * is speechless *

    Thank you all so much for actually taking the time to download the map and look at it and provide feedback. I know that can be a bit of a chore.

    @Ralf: I'm greatly honored that you thought enough of it to take the tome to post scaled down versions here. I should have thought of that myself - thank you so much for doing it on my behalf.

    @ Dogtag,@Barliman: Thanks for the comments. It is still *very* much a work in progress. I'm glad you like the road/river effect. It's a small drop shadow (-0.5 x and y offset and 2 blur radius in 'Map Units'). I'm fond of it but was wondering what others thought. Glad you like it. It would be more pronounced on the rivers if they were lighter in color. I've tried many different river colors (including some I defined in a custom palette) but none yet to my liking.

    And yes, I love the Mike Schley symbols! To me, they are outstanding! I would dearly love to have more and may have to resort to creating my own.

    The names are all mine. Although my wife might think I'm crazy as I'm mumbling strange names until I find one I like LOL. I do occasionally use generators but never the generated name - just for ideas.

    Still much to do like fractalizing landmass and lake contours some, fixing myriad small things like layering effects, road/river paths, correcting scale differences and text readability, sprinkle a few more trees along rivers, border, scale bar, etc. And, of course, finishing the remaining 40% of the map that you don't see here :-)

    One tech question - exporting is a time consuming process of trial-and-error. The exported PNG is quite a bit different than how it's rendered in CC3+. Specifically, hue, brightness, saturation, glow/fade effects (such as the landmass where the exported version 'outer glow' is a sharp cutoff in the ocean whereas in my rendered version it is a beautiful subtle gradient from shore to sea - this also effects glows on text sheets), etc. I'm using PDFCreator, btw.

    If I had one request it might be to have a quicker, more predictable/reliable export process that also allowed larger maps to be exported without killing CC3+. I would love to be able to export the entire map at an even higher resolution than here...for my own use.

    Thanks to all again! I'm humbled.

    Take care!
  • Fantastic! So inspiring. Maps like this make draw you into it's story. Without even knowing anything about the setting i learn alot about this world, and ultimately want to know more. Great Job!
  • Thank you so much! You're too kind. That is very much the effect I was hoping for when someone sees it. You put it into words better than I could.

    Hopefully it sort of makes makes you want to grab your gear and head out to find out about the names, places, features, history, and people and adventures.

    This map is for my high school age son and friends for whom I'm starting a campaign. With any luck, he'll be drawn in too. Good memories to be made :-)

    Thanks again!
  • Magnifique! You just want to be there.
  • Outstanding! I've been playing around with the overland Mike Schley style myself but I haven't come anywhere close to this good yet. I have trouble making the farmland look good without it looking too much like a fill instead of a natural patch of farmland. You sir, have done that very well. When Ralf made his version of the 13th age map using this style I was stunned. Now, you have done that to me again with your map. Bravo sir!
  • @JDR, @tonnichiwa:

    Wow, thank you so both so much!! I really admire the work of you and the other folks here in the forums and have for some time. It's wonderful that you took the time to take a look and comment. I'm also, again, greatly humbled.

    As for the farmland - I had the same problem for a long time. Then I experimented with breaking those patches up with road/river and also placing various other features around them. That definitely seemed to help. But it was just blind trial-and-error for me ... and a LOT of it :-)

    And, though recently family and job have taken a lot of my time, I'm still working on it. Posts like yours and the others here are a huge motivation.

    Also, as an aside, I too saw Ralf's 13th age map and had a similar reaction. Jaw dropping, stammering, catatonic stupor comes close LOL. Words simply fail me. And also some if his city maps as well such as St. Aurelius and others. Doubt if I can ever attain that level but I can draw inspiration and knowledge and have fun getting there!

    I think JDR put it well (I'm paraphrasing here from another post): a lot of it's about exploring the possibilities within CC3 which seem endless!

    Thank you all so much! Now back to the map cave :-)
  • This map is quite fantastic. I really love the detail. What I like most is how you transitioned the environment well. Impressive. Well done! Could def be used as an alternate Game of Thrones universe :)
  • That's an amazing map.
    My only nitpick is the name of the Daggerthorn Mtns isn't easy to read the way you've chosen to render the text. That's also true of a lot of the smaller place names if you dont zoom in.
    But aside from that, it's a beautiful map - great water and fields and fantastic overall effect.
  • Good morning all.

    Thanks for the comments! It's been a real learning experience to be sure! And it continues.

    @FarsightX3 - Thanks so much, I'm glad you like it. I wanted a world with varying terrain for my campaign and hope I've done that to some extent - coastal/plains/highlands/mountains. There are many, many hours in the details. I'm no artist at all and am still learning some of the finer points of CC3. It's a labor of love. It's a large map (in total area) and I had envisioned exporting zoomed sections for gameplay, hence the level of detail.

    @MeMeMe - Yep, you're 100% spot on. And it's been bugging me badly for several weeks. I've tried various things but haven't yet settled on a final solution yet. But it's right near the top of my 'to-do list'.

    For now, the text is divided into 4 sheets:
    Large Features (like forests)
    Large City
    Small City

    Each sheet can/does have it's own sheet effects. And for now, when viewing or exporting the entire map I can hide the Small City text to de-clutter it leaving just the larger text and water text. Of course I have sheets for other components too like different background fills, different symbol types, etc. About 45 sheets in all I think.

    I have noticed 2 things though:

    1. Exporting can change the look of the text (and other things) quite a large bit - to the point where I've spent several hours just to change the sheet effects temporarily and solely for a single export. A bit of a painful and time consuming process. Each ieration takes between 5 and 10 minutes and is a bit of an educated guessing game. But I'll get there.

    2. The monitor you view it on has a very large impact at this level of detail (of course). It still needs work but it looks so much better on a good monitor. I viewed it on my friend's Thunderbolt display - what a difference! So much clearer and more vibrant. But not everyone has a display like that, including me :-)

    You've nudged me to work on it again - and I needed it :-)

    I greatly appreciate both your comments/feedback! I learn so much from the folks here. Many thanks.

    Take care and happy mapping!
  • 6 months later
  • Hail and well met fellow travelers of lost realms!

    A followup on the progress on my first map (Enaria) for any who might be interested. It's mostly complete and nearly ready for stout adventurers :-)

    It can be found here: http://www.filedropper.com/enaria26compressed

    You have to click on the "Download This File" button and wait ... it's about 198MB.

    NOTE: Oddly it is best viewed initially in MS Paint since Paint doesn't 'blur' the image at outer zoom levels.

    Open it in first MS Paint and zoom out to the 12.5% zoom level to get a feel for what it looks like. Colors are a bit 'hot' since it's optimized for printing.

    Other programs like Photoshop, GIMP, Paint.net, etc all blur it significantly at all but VERY 'zoomed in' levels ... at which point you can't see much of the map. But they are faster at panning/zooming.

    The real map is 25.5in X 24.4in. Printed on 24x36 poster paper it is *razor* sharp.

    As always, any/all comments/suggestions gladly welcomed.

    Humble thanks to all.
  • Forgot to mention ... the island in Denneshire Bay where St. Ives and Brannock are located are where the best ales and whiskies are brewed/distilled of course :-)
  • Wow - now that's a beautiful peace of mapmaking. Two thumbs up!
  • Thanks for your kind words. It was a labor of love and learning.

    It looks cluttered on a monitor but not so when printed full size. I learned a lot ... and it was my first attempt.

    Next map will probably be a different style .... still exploring and having a ball.

    Thanks again!
  • WOW. I have trouble believing this is your first attempt, this is simply stunning.
    This is one beautiful map, and I'm sure you'll have a blast doing any rpg playing with this map!
    Well done!
  • Awesome job.
  • WOW! Really amazing maps. Two thumbs up!
  • Hello all,
    I went back and tried to follow Ralf's suggestions and posting guidelines to include a small thumbnail below. I'm a bit slow to learn - apologies for that.

    The full image can be found here.

    Again, you'll have to click on the "Download this File" button. And use MS Paint at 12.5% zoom to get a sharp view of it.

    @khalestine Thanks! And yes, it was my first attempt at actually making a real map. But it took over 7 months of off and on work. My wife would call me 'obsessive' :-) Will probably work on subsection regional maps next. Or maybe another map in a completely different style.

    @Maki1975,@MadCartographer Thanks a million.

    Quick Thumnail (quite blurry):
  • Forgot to add ... that thumbnail is about 20% of the whole map. It's a large-ish world for adventurers to explore :-)
  • RalfRalf 🖼️ 16 images Mapmaker Administrator, ProFantasy
    Wow, a grand undertaking and wonderful map! I just love the immense amount of detail that went into it. :)
  • edited September 2015
    I really like how you placed additional symbols around the compass.
    The roads came out really great as well - they are well defined.

    I would love to see the whole thing. :-)
  • And that boarder... WOW! Would love to see how you did it.
  • edited September 2015
    Many thanks folks for the nice comments.

    @Ralf, yep it was a lot of work. But I found it a great learning experience and also a great way to relax. While making the map I often 'got lost' in the world spending time thinking about the towns/cities, rivers, lakes, mountains, roads. Who/what lived where? How did they interact? What was the history/backstory? It was great. And I knew it was going to be printed in large format as well. Loved doing it and CC3+ is a great piece of software and I've only scratched the surface. Many thanks to you and others here in the forums.

    @CharlesWayneRobinson, thanks for the comments. I had fun drawing the compass. Looked around for some but decided to do my own thing - something a bit different. Glad you like it!

    @MadCartographer, it sounds like you did, indeed, download the whole map to see the border. Everything was done in CC3+ except the outer screen PNG (the forest scene). It was intended to suggest what it might be like in one of the deep forests in Enaria such as the Lost Grove. That was a free wallpaper I downloaded and processed in Photoshop (soften/desaturate/remove some highlights/etc). The gold framing is just lighted bevel lines with drop shadows. The title is in the font "Evanescent". The words below are in an Elven font (Tengwar I believe) and say "May Enaril guide and protect servants of the light". The map scale is all CC3+ as well. The Elven words around the compass say "Hold fast the four winds and a true star".

    Thanks again! Can't wait to start on the next :-)
  • whoops, I just found the other link... works for me.
  • Cool. Thanks for taking the time to download it - I know it's a bit of a pain.

Sign In or Register to comment.