PDA

View Full Version : Just a quick introduction.



eRaz0r
05-05-2010, 04:50 PM
G'day. I'm an ex-pat Australian living in the USA.
Learned alot just in the last few days. This is a fantastic site.

I'm primarily interested in battlemaps. I recently switched to RPTools' excellent MapTool product. One of our regular group was finding it rather difficult getting to sessions, and that's only gotten worse since he sired a son. So gone is the dry-erase roll-out map and dungeon tiles.. Hello to Photoshop, GIMP, etc.
For my first few sessions I used the WOTC pdfs from their site - just copy/pasted the images out of the PDFs right into maptools and it worked very well. But now I'm faced with preparing my own battlemaps for the next session. While maptools have a half-way decent set of drawing functions - very quick and easy actually - they lack a certain something. I was using SketchUp to produce some places (especially complicated multi-level areas), but it's not a quick solution for me, and not really useful for out-door or non-geometric settings.

So I searched around and stumbled on this site.

Nice place you have here :)
eRaz0r

torstan
05-05-2010, 05:30 PM
Hi there. Always nice to see another maptool user find their way over here. I'd certainly be interested in seeing the sketchup battlemaps you've used if you're willing to put them up.

Maptool has a few tilesets that you can download directly from within the program (under File-Add to Resource Library... ) but I'm guessing you've found those already. As for the rest, well dunjinni is a good resource for objects to place. Once you're into the business of making maps from scratch however then you're into the long grass of Gimp/Photoshop and others. Once you've settled on a tool of choice, check out the tutorials forum. There's loads of tutes on there for battlemaps in different styles. However the best plan is probably to post up a sample map and we'll chip in with advice when you get stuck.

Welcome to the forum!

Jaxilon
05-05-2010, 06:02 PM
Right on and welcome to the guild. I've just started into making VTT maps myself and want to do more. I have not put the time into figuring out Maptool yet however although I really would like to run some sessions myself some day. Hopefully I'll get around to messing with it. I want to get the lighting/vision settings figured out so I can see what it will look like from the players point of view. That is hopefully, my next step.

Anyway, as Torstan says, just post and there will almost always be someone nearby to help out.

eRaz0r
05-05-2010, 07:14 PM
Thanks for the welcome.
I posted some pics (as you already discovered, Torstan) of some SketchUp models I was using - in this thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?5440-Using-google-sketchup-as-a-battlemap&p=110228&viewfull=1#post110228) - but as you can imagine, the 2D pics don't exactly capture the full 3D experience. It's been a while since I played with some of those creations, and IIRC, the SKP files are actually really quite large (many MBs)
The Sharn Tower is something like 8 floors high, with almost everything one might imagine (it was my first SU creation, and it got a little out of hand - including an archery range, a billiard room and a pool on the roof . heh )

I find SU is best used as a sort of atmosphere builder - a kind of Player Handout, rather than an actual Battlemap. One key facility a software battle map needs is a shared environment. Map Tools can do this by restricting the viewable area to line-of-sight from the players tokens. About the only way I can think of to achieve that with SU is to have the model only on the GM's computer, and have him show the "current view" on a second monitor (or turn his screen around to show it).

That said, I enjoy using SU to model in 3D, and then export 2D snapshots, either of the players visual perspective for a handout, or of a top-down plan for use either directly as an actual battlemap, or as an import to some other paint program to tweak.

arsheesh
05-06-2010, 01:12 AM
Welcome eRazOr, I'm not all that familiar with battle-maps...yet...but there are plenty of folks here that are, and no doubt would love to lend some helpful advice. Good luck on your next session, and happy mapping.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

tilt
05-06-2010, 02:57 AM
welcome - I'm working on my first battlemap myself, but not for maptools, just for printing out - so I'm looking forward to seing more of what you do :)

Steel General
05-06-2010, 08:28 AM
Welcome Aboard!

NeonKnight
05-10-2010, 12:07 PM
Welcome to the Guild!