View Full Version : Snow Maps

10-01-2010, 07:42 AM
hi all,

I'm really new to the site and map making in general. I am working on a Dnd campainge set in a snow covered world.

But I'm finding it hard to make a snow floor that doesn't look just like a white sheet.

I have looked for some snow maps on here but have not found anything as of yet, if anyone knows of any that would be a great help. Also any ways of making nice looking snow would be wonderful. I'm crrently using CS1.

10-01-2010, 08:16 AM
The March 2010 mapping challenge (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?9820-***-March-10-Challenge-Voting-Take-2-The-Town-of-Iwaizumi-***) was about producing a winter map of a snow-covered town. Studying the excellent challenge entries (http://www.cartographersguild.com/utilities/Thumbs/Html/Challengers_Mar10.htm) may give you some ideas on how to depict the snow.

Aval Penworth
10-01-2010, 10:52 AM
So tell us more about this snow covered world... There must be features you could utilize to differentiate the landscape.

Maybe just try a low contrast, desaturated look like this. This is a very quick job, so don't look too close ;D

Aval Penworth
10-01-2010, 11:02 AM
P.S. Is this meant to be in subterranean mapping or regional? You are looking to make a regional campaign map right?

10-01-2010, 01:08 PM

Liking the tips!

The maps I'm working on are for a Dnd adventure so the scale is one inch to 5 feet, so more dungeon crawl type maps. The snow covered world has lots of vegetation, There are mountain passes that have glaciers running through them. These have ice cave within them. The vegetation if manly large trees that can withstand the cold, pines etc. In the open there are areas of sheet ice that the party will have to navigate, so any tips on how to differentiate between ice and snow would be really helpful

Aval Penworth
10-02-2010, 04:31 AM
For Ice Floors just google "ice textures" you will get a load of images, find some you are allowed to use as save textures and patterns for use in photoshop. You can make the ice a bluish colour to differentiate from snow. Most people will get that. For snow, try the same thing...although I am not sure how much snow falls underground.

You can make the ice a bluish colour to differentiate from snow. Most people will get that.

Also snow usually is not clean, flat and undisturbed. So dirty snow, bloody snow, churned up snow, ridges of snow etc, etc will all get you away from a plain white map.

10-02-2010, 05:50 AM
Welcome timbo, you have picked a particularly difficult terrain type to map. My suggestion is to look at plenty of reference pictures about snowy scenes because were pretty unfamiliar with snow - esp deep snow here. I would also suggest looking at snowscapes done by oil painters and other artists too because somehow they all have to capture the essence of snow. Sometimes snow lacks fiddly detail and shape and relies more on colour and shadowing to get the effect across. It can be hard to do snow in typical pen and ink style. Djekspeks snow on that challenge entry is worth a look cos a few washes of light blue brings out some great shadowing for it that shouts snow quickly.

If your looking at a battle map then thats likely to be top down so looking at snow covered foliage from above is even more unusual for us.

You could try to paint it or you could look at some procedural texturing of 3D terrain. I would point you to Terragen which has a free edition if you can stand the 800x600 limitation. It can do snow real well though I don't know how much effort it is to set it up for that.


Look through the gallery -> e.g. :


10-03-2010, 05:08 AM
Thanks for the tips guys,

I checked terragen out, its seems really complex! But have generated a quick Ice world, I think I need to learn the water so I can pop a glacier in.

I also used the high contrast to make a cave. I borrowed a map the Neon Knight had posted, created by WOTC, and just tweaked it.



10-12-2010, 08:08 AM
I think for the most part it boils down to choice of palette that makes the difference. Muted colors work just as good if not better then bright ones. Here is a link (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=30073&d=1286730145) to a map I made for a frozen elemental mote. I know it's a photo realistic battlemap which is much different style but dark colors can work, hopefully that helps!

11-03-2010, 07:34 AM
@Gearmon, nice map. The dark rocks are actually very good for framing the playable area.

11-03-2010, 10:41 AM
I was trying to go for a solid ice feel where the center had less light and therefore less refractive, but thanks!