View Full Version : My Campaign Island - WIP

06-22-2010, 07:48 PM
I've finally gotten enough other projects out of the way that I can start on a large scale campaign map. I've played with CC3 for years but never really bothered to learn it so I'm actually tackling two projects at once. Gandwarf's Valley has been a huge inspiration for me and you can probably see his influence in the mountains that I've done so far. I'm pretty happy with them btw. After a lot of trial and error, I think I'm starting to get better.

Clearly this is just the beginning but I figured if I started a WIP thread, I might feel more pressure to work on it. : )


The final map will be printed out 36" x 36" at 600 dpi. I exported a PNG with those settings to see if CC3 would have any problems with that. After 10 minutes I went and made a burger so I don't know how long it really took but it wasn't quick. Then I reduced it down to 72 dpi (in PS) so it was a more reasonable upload.

Since the final image will be 36" wide and represent 500 miles, that means that the cartouche which represents 50 miles will be 3.6 inches printed. I fiddled with zoom until the cartouch measured 3.6 inches on my screen so I could see how big symbols would look on the final image. I think that's a pretty slick technique. Anyway, that's how I decided on the scale for the mountains. Not sure if there's a better way but I think the scale worked out pretty well.
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06-23-2010, 01:55 AM
good start oldguy, those are nice mountains ... lot of work left though, but I know the feeling of "putting it out there" :)
If you export to jpg you should get a smaller file as it compresses more - you can also use that for printing just remember to set the quality high.
Another test you can do is to print a section of the map - don't know how to do that in CC3 though, but if you pull your map into PS or Gimp you can cut out a piece and print it, then you'll have a real feel for size.. :)

06-23-2010, 02:59 PM
Good to hear my map has inspired you. I am certainly interested to see where this map is headed.

06-23-2010, 07:11 PM
Finished with the mountains (I hope). I've erased and redone them more times than I want to count but I think I'm happy with these now.

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06-23-2010, 07:26 PM
Looking good!

06-24-2010, 10:38 PM
Modified the mountain backgrounds so they sit a bit tighter around the mountains. Added forest backgrounds. Not sure what I'm going to do about forests though. I really don't want to use forest symbols the size of mountains but at a more realistic scale they aren't very recognizable and the repetition of the pattern is more obvious. I'll probably end up with a texture but I haven't decided on one yet. I kinda like the texture for the swamp (in the south west surrounded by mountains) but again it has symbols embedded that are out of scale. Need to decide if it's a big enough deal for me to change. Towns and roads are just placeholders atm but their positions are pretty close and they do represent the extent of human civilization.


I still need to come up with a better name for the island as well. : )
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06-25-2010, 02:07 AM
mountains look good... I don't know CC3 so I don't know the icons, but if you're in doubt - post 2-3 different type forrests and let's help :)

06-25-2010, 09:44 PM
I think I'm more or less done with backgrounds now. There's enough to show where everything goes. I started on lakes and rivers as well as a little terrain. I also added a number of place names which I think makes it start to feel a bit more like a real map. I played with genetica for a bit today but still can't find any textures I'm excited about for forests. I used an edge fade on all the backgrounds to give a softer transition which I like, but where two backgrounds are adjacent and share a border, the edge fade pulls the two backgrounds into themselves and away from each other leaving a bit of a gap. I think it looks a bit odd. I ran rivers down a couple of those gaps which seems to hide them pretty well. Hopefully when I get more terrain in that will make the gaps less noticeable.

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06-26-2010, 09:52 PM
My map has grown a lot since yesterday. Definitely not done but I like the direction it's taking. I've also learned a lot about CC3 and gotten more comfortable with it (not to mention learning its limitations and flaws). All in all it is a fantastic development environment. It's so easy to add, change, move, scale, delete entities. I realize that those are basic features of the cad engine but I didn't expect to find them so useful in fantasy mapping.

I think I may quit looking for a forest texture and just stick with what I've been using for the forest background. I'm starting to think it doesn't really need anything else over it. What do you all think?

The "Valley of a Thousand Caves" is giving me the most trouble atm. I've been using hills the same scale as the ones I use elsewhere but I think I need more of them to warrant the name for the area. But then It looks too busy and kinda silly. I've got some more ideas but I'm losing motivation for that section so it may have to wait until I get excited about it again.

I'm also not sure about the symbols I've added to emphasize areas (dwarf, elf, gnome, hobbit, and evil areas as well as ships as friendly settlements and the crown over the palace). Sometimes I think they look great, other times I think they look silly.

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06-27-2010, 04:55 AM
looking really good... it helped with all the finishing touches too... personally I'd probably want some forrest texture.. but not looking bad (and its a matter of taste) :)

06-27-2010, 02:19 PM
This (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=26276&d=1277523499) is the sort of texture I have been envisioning for the forest. I think it was an effect created in PS opposed to a texture though. I could probably create a similar look in PS but I've never been successful at creating seamless textures. I even played around a bit in genetica and was completely lost.

I have quite a number of top-down individual trees from CSUAC, SMAC, DJ, etc. I may try placing them that way at a very small scale and see how they look.
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06-28-2010, 03:30 AM
that could alwasy be a way to go... place a small group of trees.. merge them together and place a small group of small groups of trees... merge them together and place a small group of... you know where this is headed :)

there is at least one tutorial for making seamless textures in here.. .basicly you take your texture - cut it in half vertical shift the halfes so the outer borders are now in the middle - then you merge them again - then you cut it in half horizontally and shift the halfs again and merge again - so now all your outer borders are seamless cause they represent what used to be the middle. Then you fix the new middle with healing brushes, stamp tools etc to make it look good (remember not to get to close to the new edges) and Voila! a seamless texture :)

06-28-2010, 10:21 AM
really nice map.
To make a comment, I think the difference in tone/color between adjacent territories is a bit too large and takes away your focus from the rest of the map.
Other than that I can't se anything that I wouldn't like.

06-29-2010, 05:02 AM
I've been a little concerned about the contrasting colors. Are you just talking about the hills (brown/orange areas) or the forest as well? When I get done adding hills and vegetation on top of the hill background color, I think (hope) it will take the edge off. If not, I will definitely adjust that. I kind of like the deep green (forest) against the lighter green (grasslands) though. Do you think it's too much? I always intended to add trees (either texture or symbols) on top of the forest background but I haven't found anything I'm very excited about yet.

I probably should load it up on the other computer as well. I work almost exclusively on my notebook and forget that sometimes the colors are dulled due to power saver settings.
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06-29-2010, 05:52 AM
I am talking mainly about the hills, the color of the forest seems nice, and the grasslands works, although still too much of a contrast for my taste(just a personal preference I think).

06-29-2010, 06:51 AM
Not so keen on the "Forest of DOOOM" and "Mountains of BAAAAD" but hey, I've got some big piles of Gygaxian hangovers... so I'm partial to the odd "Cave of Sacrifices" and "Lair of the Red Dragon [insert consonants here]"

06-29-2010, 03:39 PM
Hehe.. most of the names are still placeholders. I wanted to see how the map would look with text so I just made up a bunch of names all at once. Over time, I'll see which ones stick. I originally named the hobbit area "Happy Valley" and it got renamed about an hour later. : )

In general, I do like to add in some "over the top" features though. I think it helps emphasize the fantasy aspect. Your comments are well received and appreciated though and I will definitely tone down some of the names.
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07-12-2010, 03:32 AM
I haven't been able to get excited about making the changes I know I need to make (do something about the orange areas and add the forest texture in).

Instead, I made a new border and compass rose, made some minor alterations, and started playing around with islands.

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