Basement battlemap with a printing challenge!

Gday everyone. I was stoked to see the Mike Schley symbol set converted to CC3+ so have been working on this smallish battlemap for our D&D group that, after an eternal delay is finally about to start some adventuring. If I have done it right it will scale properly to print onto A2 sized paper (will print 2 A3's and glue them together).

Have attached the FCW if anybody wants it.

EDIT: Having trouble attaching the FCW for some reason, I will try again tomorrow so watch this space.
EDIT2: FCW is now attached below the image.

As always, critique is welcome.

With effects on the grid lines are really thick but when you print/save they get dimmer and look a lot better, and not as imposing as in the attached image even (the resizing of the jpg made them a bit more dense than they are at normal resolution).

I'm really impressed with CC3+ much more reliable and faster than CC3. A fantastic upgrade.

And here is the challenge: Using this FCW, what is the highest quality you are able to either print as PDF (my preferred method) or save as jpg/png etc.

Here are my observations with printing to PDF with CC3+:
* The PDF printing with CC3+ is a lot quicker than CC3 which is awesome!!
* I could print upto 1200dpi fairly reliably with CC3 with some pretty big battlemaps (bigger than this one) but CC3+ can only go as high as 720dpi before it crashes on this map.
* I use PDF creator v2.1

I'm a bit of a quality hog so always want to print things at the highest resolution possible. So if anybody can get higher than 720dpi printing to PDF I would be very keen to know what software and settings you use!



  • Just thought I would post this little bit about printer dpi versus inter dot spacing on paper and ink droplets. I do this because as even though there are these high resolution printers out there, software and how the image is put together really needs to be married up to the abilities of the printer that is intended to be used as shown in the text below. By the way, great looking map.

    "The printer (like most printers) prints bigger dots than the inter-dot

    The ink droplet covers a circle around 1/300 radius (or maybe a bit
    larger - a lot will depend on paper absorbance).

    The printer can place circle centres at 1/720 in the direction of paper
    motion and 1/2880 in the direction of head motion.

    So you get lots of overlapping circles on the paper. If you print at
    1/360 circle centres X and Y, then the ink droplets would cover the paper
    totally (no gaps would be shown).

    However, the edges of droplets can be positionned at the centre
    resolution - you can actually resolve details using this fact and it
    certainly helps when you're putting down multiple droplets for colour

    All this apart, the position choices are not infinitely variable,
    especially in the direction of paper motion. So if you want to print an
    image at an effective 426dpi it will need to be resampled to something
    that is based on the printer's actual capability. You can either use the
    ordinary printer driver to do this (the default if you print from a
    programme like Photoshop) or use superior algorithms in a programme like
  • edited June 2015
    Thanks Jigsawman. Yep off the top of my head I don't actually know what the limits are of my printer at home which is what I normally use. It's a photo printer and if I use A4 matt paper the maps come out looking really nice. For this map I will be sneaky and use our work one which is a A3 colour laser so hopefully should get a pretty good print.

    Yes, probably overkill on my expectations of resolution but I'm thinking about trying out some VTT software so if I can print the whole map as a really good quality PDF then save as JPG using Adobe Acrobat I can use the jpg on the VTT and zoom in really close to see all the nitty gritty details without pixelation.

    CC3+ is awesome but a bit of a bummer if the print to PDF is not quite as good as CC3. Maybe it's just me or the PDF software I use, I have found PDF creator is better than Adobe Acrobat, but cannot currently get the 1200dpi that I could with CC3.

    I've finally attached the FCW to the original post so it's there if anybody wants the map for themselves. Feel free to make any improvements and post the improved versions!
  • Allyn convinced me to go png instead of jpg. I've never looked back. Jpg is lossy format.
  • DigiartstDigiartst Traveler
    First of all I like it, but you said you are picky and I am picky too, so here is my personal picky-ness. To me there is no difference in your lighting effect, a dark non lit area is just as bright as the torch-lit area. Now granted we don't ever want pitch black for printed material to conserve the black ink, but a definition of the light and dark areas would make your map pop more to me, or just put torches, light sources, etc. everywhere
    to balance your light dark problem to all lit.

    Lastly I like it

    D&D 5.0 Adventure?
  • I think a list grayish wash for the unlit sectkons would work. However, my maps are typically for me in the past, so I don't have unlit/lit setions.
  • Yep, I have been thinking about this and have an idea for darkening whole rooms where there are no torches or parts of rooms by making filled polygons with a dark fill and then applying some sort of sheet effect, be it inner fade or transparency or some such thing. I will have a go over the weekend and will attach the results if they look any good :)
  • edited June 2015
    Hmmm found a weird thing and not sure if there is something obvious I’m missing here or not. Hot on the request of Digiartst I began working on creating darker rooms where there are no light sources.

    To do that I used the line tool to make lines around the wall edges, then made each room area a different solid polygon (the fill was Solid 30) by selecting the lines that surround a room and using the “line to path” tool. This was all done on a sheet I called “Dark regions” and I placed this low in the list of sheets so it would be sitting “above” most of the symbols so they would appear dark too.

    I put an “edge-fade inner” effect on the Dark regions sheet and at first glance it looks pretty good.

    Have a better look though and some of the symbols on the SYMBOLS LOW sheet are affecting the dark regions, but if understand things correctly, they should not because they are on a different sheet and positioned so they are “under” the Dark regions sheet. But even weirder, only some of the symbols on the LOW sheet cause the effect. Have a look at the attached picture. Althought all these symbols are on the SYMBOLS LOW sheet, the piles of rubbish and boards have the edge fade effect around them which I don't want but the stairs and pouches look fine. The edge fade effect should only be occuring on the edges of the polygon, not the symbols.


    Something weird going on or have I had a brain fade and am just missing something pretty simple?

    I wanted to attach the FCW but I keep getting this message:


    This method could have potential for me so would be great to know what’s up or what I am doing wrong. Probably tricky to solve without the FCW, any thoughts on why I cannot attach it? Some browser setting or something?? I've been able to attach FCW's in the past with no worries.

  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    I'd like to have a look at your fcw file to see If I can figure out why this appears.

    As for the upload problem, this forum software checks the content-type of the file to make sure it matches the file type (To prevent abuse I presume), and for some reason, your browser tells the forum that this filetype is of type application/download, which is clearly not correct. I suggest either try a different browser, or simply adding it to a zip-file and upload that instead. Latter is not quite as convenient, but an acceptable workaround.
  • I meant to type 'light gray wash' up there, not 'list gray wash'. Good grief.
  • edited June 2015
    Thanks Jim, yep figured out the typo ok. Gosh if I had $1 for every typo I've done I cold retire and pet my foots up in an island somewhere :)

    And thanks Monsen for putting your sleuthing hat on. Ok, I'm using Internet Explorer this time, fingers crossed for the FCW attachment. I renamed the troublesome sheet to "Dark regions" which is a bit more intuitive than "Shadow" and have corrected the above post to reflect that. In the FCW I have hidden all the sheets except Dark regions and SYMBOLS LOW.
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    As far as I can tell, there seems to be a incorrect interference from a lower layer. I've seen it happen before when using multiple bevels on top of each other for example.

    A workaround here is to create a new sheet, place it somewhere between the SYMBOLS LOW and the Dark Regions sheets, fill it with a solid filled polygon (True solid, not one of these solid xx partial transparency fills) and applying a transparency effect to this sheet (Set opacity to 1%, 0 doesn't work). Just completely hide the sheet when editing the map without effects on, and turn it on for final rendering or if you work with effects on.
  • edited June 2015
    Thanks Monsen. Your workaround works great. And here is the finished product. Started thinking the underground basement was in too finer condition for a home for evil men so added some crumbling walls. I'm glad Digiartst suggested some shadowy bits as it does make the map look better. Have attached the FCW if anybody wants it for themselves. Note when you open it up there will be lots of white which is the "dark regions mask", but it disappears once the effects are turned on.
  • 18 days later
  • I love the crumbling walls. I need to learn how to make ruins and stuff.
    Wonderful map!
  • 18 days later
  • I am also interested in how you "crumbled" the walls. I would like to make a battle map for ruined village and would like to have exposed buildings and debris around the map. Was this done in CC3+ under the dungeon pick with DD3 Dungeon or CC3 dungeon as drawing wizard choice?
    The Map looks great! What size is the full map when your done? Have you ever thought of printing them on vinyl or are these just one an done maps?

    Thank you

  • Gday SAbel. I used DD3 and either CC3 or CC3+ . The rubble are symbols from the SS4 Mike Schley symbol pack and to create the walls I used the drawing tools on the right side of the screen. I first made the outlines of the walled areas with the "Line" tool to make the straight lines and the "Fractal Path" tool to make the crumbly bits. Then you use the "MultiPoly" tool to select the outlines and it will turn them into a single, solid shape. Use the Fill Style box on top right of screen first to choose what texture you want the walled areas to look like.

    So most of the walled areas were created with those tools, but to create walls that could automatically cut away bits when I placed the doors, I just used the line tool with a line width of 1.0 as a multipoly does not allow the auto cutting of doorways. Make sure all the walls are also on the walls LAYER too, otherwise they won't cut.

    For using these tools, I recommend checking out these awesome tutorials by Joachim de Ravenbel. They go into lots of great detail about using these tools and more.

    As for the size of the map, I actually used it this weekend for our first D&D 5th edition adventure. I printed off a the top and bottom sections each at A3 size to be used as battlemaps. I just printed them on normal paper with the colour laser printer we have at work. Don't tell work though, I had to be sneaky.

    I used the whole map on my laptop + 28 inch monitor running Maptools, a VTT program. Worked great as the map was revealed as the players wandered around so I only had to print the areas where there were going to be fights.

  • 7 days later
  • edited July 2015
    Posted By: MappyI could print upto 1200dpi fairly reliably with CC3 with some pretty big battlemaps (bigger than this one) but CC3+ can only go as high as 720dpi before it crashes on this map.
    If you're running on 64-bit windows, the info in this thread might help you: click here

    I couldn't print your map at 1200dpi using Adobe with the base fcw32.exe file, but after enabling LAA (details in the thread linked above) I was able to print at 1200dpi: Output PDF
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