Tarkas (a border outpost)

This is my first city/town/village map in CC3+. I did some post processing in Autodesk SketchBook and Photoshop. The Wasteland background was down in SketchBook using a reptile skin brush. The grass background was done by combining several layers of color in Sketchbook then importing into CC3+ (as a PNG) for the background. The houses in the village were done with the random street tool with my own settings. The buildings inside the garrison were all done with the house tool. The style set is Jonathan Robert's Cities (The Cartographer's Annual Volume 6). Two Annual's that I really like are Volumes 5 and 6. The compass rose was made using the mobile version of Sketchbook on my Samsung 2014 tablet using the symmetry tool.

After I did this map, I discovered the displeasing patterns on the roofs I was getting was from rendering to too small of a canvas. You want to ensure that not only is DPI sufficient (I render at 300 dpi), but also your canvas size is large enough. I discovered the solution to my problem while rendering PNGs for the Melekhir map during the early stages and the roof patterns looked really bad. I thought it was a CC3 issue, but instead it was a dumb me issue. Once I upped the canvas size, the roof problem was solved. For small sections on Melekhir I render 12x12 inches at 300 dpi. If I go for a very large section of that very large map I up it a little. Actually, I have done many shots of that map at 8x12 and 6x8 sizes if I recall correctly.


  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    Inventive techniques there, Jake, but it's all good.

    I like the landscape texture you produced in the southern half of the map particularly. Mind if I try to create a fill something along those lines one day?
  • You can even get that fill off CG. I posted it there after I created it. It was my first attempt at making a background. I added additional shading to bring out the hills that were already suggested by the bitmap. The trees are all from the JR Cities style. I added the rock outcroppings by using a multiply layer and one color, a redish-brown or gray I think, and a dotted brush. One outcropping suddenly took on the look of a grotesque gnome while I shaded it. It wasn't my intent, but I went with it and embellished it a bit. If he was so intent on appearing, who was I to deny him. Now that detail is something my character will notice and comment on—another revision to book one.
  • It's a beautiful map. That reptile pattern for the wastes was a good choice. I'd like to see more of a transition zone between it and the grassland areas -- some sort of a blur? And the town is quite nice: the regularity makes me think this is a military outpost, much like the great Roman camps. Finally, where did you get that compass? I really like it.
  • It is a military outpost with a small garrison of approximately 250 soldiers. They watch the border and ensure the Old Highway remains clear of bandits.

    I made the compass on my Samsung 2014 Note 10.1 tablet using the Android version of Sketchbook. See below for the PNG. Feel free to use it (and anyone else who would like).
  • edited October 2018
    Here is a version of Tarkas that is 100% CC3+. This is before I had attempted using any other software in conjunction with CC3+. I believe the scroll I used is one of Sue's. The Wasteland was not quite how I wanted it (but I was satisfied with it) and the background fill showed quite a bit of quilting (which I did not notice until someone else pointed it out).

    Trying to fix the background issue and a chance discovery of SketchBook (the Android version) while on a business trip introduced me to the world of digital drawing. I ended up downloading the PC version of SketchBook and determined I had to have a drawing tablet (I bought a $50 Huion 1060+ off Amazon). This opened up the world of modifying (then making my own) symbols for use in CC3+.
  • edited October 2018
    Here is the background I made in SketchBook to use in the CC3 Tarkas map. I did this by blending separate color layers and parchment images and adjusting the blend mode and level until I had what I wanted. I had no idea what I was doing, but I ended up with a pretty decent product. Sometimes you just get lucky ;)


    You can see the suggestion of hills. This was not planned by me, it was just a happy accident.
  • Here is the map with the new background. I solved the quilting issues, but now the grass background was one-upping the Wasteland. So I decided to work on making the Wasteland better. Another issue, which I would tackle later in the process, was that the format was not really book friendly. It was oriented the wrong way. I would need to reduce width and increase height to make it fit the page (without having to turn the page for proper orientation). Of course, this (the format) should have been establish from the start and not corrected down the road when I realized it was an issue. This was due entirely to me be being a novice and learning on the run.
  • Here is the background that I made with the new orientation and the upgraded Wasteland. I actually redid the Wasteland before I change the orientation then had to redo the whole process to make a new background. Additional work because of lack of foresight on my part. I imported the background into CC3+ and redid the roads to fit the new background. If you note, the Wasteland has a path already in it for me to place the road in. I did some additional highlights and contrast to the grass background to bring out the hills more. I also added the rock edge where the grass meets the waste and created some exposed rock on some of the hill faces. All the work on the background was done in SketchBook.
  • After I finished working on it in CC3+, I imported back into SketchBook and added some more details. I shaded the bottom of the mound the palisade is built on and more shading and detail to the terrain. I also touched up the roofs that had a hatching I didn't like (the result of me rendering at too low of a resolution I later discovered). When I finished this I loaded it into Photoshop (PS) and did some minor special effects (the compass rose received some beveling for example) and did the lettering. I have noticed that sometimes CC3+ spaces characters inconsistently when doing text along a curve and I was having issues with this. I much prefer the way you layout text along a curve in CC3+ to how it is done in PS—it seems much more natural and precise in CC3+.
  • Any chance of putting the 100% CC3+ version into the community Atlas somewhere?
  • edited October 2018
    I have no problem with it. Where would you like to put it?
  • I'll have a look - and then tell you how to go about it.
  • Posted By: BarlimanIt's a beautiful map. That reptile pattern for the wastes was a good choice. I'd like to see more of a transition zone between it and the grassland areas -- some sort of a blur? And the town is quite nice: the regularity makes me think this is a military outpost, much like the great Roman camps. Finally, where did you get that compass? I really like it.
    Thank you for the comment, I am glad you like the map. The transition is abrupt, but I am incline to leave it that way. I do certainly appreciate your comment. Blending and easing the transition may look good and I may try fooling around with it to see what it looks like. That would have to be done in either Photoshop or SketchBook. At the moment I am involved in other projects, so it will probably be some time until I get around to it. You have pricked my curiosity, though.
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