View Full Version : Digital Cartography?!

09-18-2010, 04:28 PM
Oh man am I nervous. Really, really nervous. I'm purely a for fun/no talent/hack artist when it comes to maps... but I need them. I play lots of D&D (or more accurately, pathfinder these days), and I'm constantly caught by my players with silly-looking block drawings in my hands. So now that I've gotten my hands on a copy of photoshop, I'm planning on really going to work.

Any tips (really, anything at all) would be extremely appreciated. :blush:

09-18-2010, 05:39 PM
Look around through the forums, see what people have done that you like, then take a look at the tools they used to get there. There's a pretty good chance that there is a tutorial to at least get you close to anything you like. Ascension's satellite style is quite popular, and the Zombie Nirvana tutorials on YouTube are also a good place to start with Photoshop.

There are tons of tutorials in our tutorials section devoted to Photoshop, and most of the authors are more than happy to offer advice if you run into trouble.

Most of all, start a Work in Progress (WIP) thread. You'll get the highest quality advice from showing us exactly what you're doing, even if you're starting with nothing more than a silly-looking block drawing. And don't worry about where you are right now; talent isn't as significant as effort!

Welcome to the Guild, and enjoy!

09-18-2010, 05:41 PM
Hey Buzzwulf,
Looks like you're my northern neighbor. Welcome to the Guild!

My first tip would be to check out the Tutorials/How-to sub-forum and follow some of the ones that catch your eye. What sort of maps are you interested in? World, regional, city, battlemaps? There are tutorials for most around here somewhere...and the tips in them are often useable for lots of things besides the map type covered. If you've just bought Photoshop CS5 and don't have any experience with it then you'll definitely want to follow some of them to quickly get into using it...looking at a blank canvas is daunting. May I recommend you give Ascension's atlas-style tutorial a go? It's good one...though there are many, many excellent ones.

edit: ninja'd :)

09-18-2010, 06:02 PM
That's wonderful advice! Thanks, guys!

I've been messing around with Tear's Saderan tutorial for a couple hours now, but I'm pretty much doing just that: messing around. I'll definitely take a look at the tutorials you've suggested, and hopefully I can make a little better start there. I'll make sure to start up a work in progress thread, even if everything is pretty much irredeemable.

And to answer your question, mearrin, I'm mostly interested in atlas and region maps. I wouldn't mind knowing how to do a city map, but it's not the top on my list of priorities.

09-19-2010, 02:36 AM
welcome to the guild - we're a friendly bunch in here - best on the web - so just ask all you want :)

Steel General
09-19-2010, 08:40 AM
Welcome Aboard!

09-20-2010, 04:08 PM
Welcome to the Guild!

09-27-2010, 11:43 AM
I'll vouch for the tutorials - I too come from a no-talent background but by working through some of the tutorials my maps are already starting to look like somebody more talented than me worked on them!