View Full Version : N00b! (Me that is)

03-09-2008, 03:47 PM
Ok I'm new here!

Names Rob, and i've been gaming and drawing maps on graph paper since i was 10 years old, which put me at 13 years of experiance! Just started delving into digital graphics, so I'm looking for advice from people who know what they are doing!

I'll be posting stuff as I make them, but It's a long process for me to learn as I'm doing it.

03-09-2008, 04:04 PM
So what kind of maps do you want to create, Kagehito? What kind of software do you have or aim to get?

Basically Mapping/graphics software can be apples and oranges in how and what kind of maps they generate. CAD applications like AutoCAD or CC3 are completely different than vector drawing apps like Illustrator, CorelDraw or Xara Xtreme - which are completely different from image editors like Photoshop or GIMP. All these apps are used to generate maps. But how the final map will look will be based on which apps you used to create them.

In some cases base maps are created in CC3, then post-process enhanced using image editors or vector apps - in other words you can mix apps to get the best map you are looking for.

Anyway post early any map work and we'll be more than happy to give you tips and directions on how to improve them or go to the next step... 8)

Welcome to the Guild!

03-09-2008, 04:17 PM
Pretty much i'm doing either 100% from scratch Fireworks (since I don't have Photoshop.) Or Hand drawn scans, Editing in Photoshop.

Back in my early years, I used a program called Wilderness mapper, but it was so limiting... I didn't get into it to much.

Pretty much I just love making stuff in general, and just got inot digital art so i'm combining my love togther into cartography!

Thats pretty much it... I have been drawing on graph paper for 13 years... I thought it was about time ofr an upgrade.

03-09-2008, 04:44 PM
I use a little bit of everything. Really depends on what I'm looking for as an end-of-result map.

I have CC3, Dundjinni, and Fractal Mapper 8, I have Illustrator, Micrografx Designer and Xara Xtreme, I use Photoshop, Painter, ZBrush and dabble with GIMP, I use 3D apps like Nendo, Raydream, Carrara and Cinema4D. I also use little software apps like the Random City Generator, PD Particles and many others. It really depends on what I'm looking to make.

Often I mix and match. Because of Xara Xtreme's versatility and ease of use, I almost always use it for compositing, applying fonts, grids, some special effects like shadowing (when not using actual 3D shadowing) as Xara is an all-purpose Desktop Publishing app.

I like to experiment and having access to a big toolbox of software - note, however, as you'll see in several of my map challenges, I like to work with straight hand drawing, digital scanned, cleaned up in photoshop, converted to PNG and imported to Xara to finish it up.

There is no one best way to map and very many styles you can apply... use what's best for you!

Note: I'm a pro graphic designer with my own shop - so that's why I have so many tools at hand.

03-09-2008, 05:03 PM
ok so essentialy i have Fireworks, and paint.

Thats it.

What should I look into investing in?

03-09-2008, 05:27 PM
Since you probably want to keep your costs down... you should probably consider downloading the FREE apps like GIMP (image editor like Photoshop), Inkscape (vector app like Illustrator).

If you're not afraid to spend some money, the basic Profantasy Campaign Cartographer is about $40. However, you might also want the Dungeon Designer and City Designer add-ons, which are $40ish each as well.

You must know what Photoshop costs, so there are many apps that are available if you have a big wallet.

More likely try GIMP and Inkscape - they're free and powerful applications.

There are many tutorials for GIMP, some for Inkscape here, and more elsewhere online, there are even a few printed books at bookstores with instruction on GIMP - plus the gurus here to give you tips and direction.

The Cartographist
03-09-2008, 05:30 PM
Kagehito - Welcome to the Guild. You've come to a really great place. Hope that you stay awhile.

My first recommendation would be to NOT invest. At lot of people around here use GIMP, which is free for download and very powerful.

03-09-2008, 06:19 PM
Hi, Kagehito. It's me, Pyrandon; we talked in another post. Remember? ;)

Okay, first off, welcome to the Guild. As you have already experienced, we have wonderfully helpful and knowledgable members. And from what I've seen of your postings (13 in about an hour! Wow!) you'll fit right in, helping others and receiving help at a shameless rate!

Second, I'm sorry, but you are no longer named Rob. We have like 200 Robs here and we are no longer accepting Robs. You are now called Ignatious. Iggy for short.

I'm with Cartographist: go GIMP first. A great program and very powerful. And free. You won't be sorry.

Once again, welcome to the Guild!

03-09-2008, 06:24 PM
Greetings and Welcome Iggy!! Glad you found us and we look forward to seeing more of your maps :D

Yer in the right place for advice and help ... everyone here is courteous and generous with their feedback and critiques.. so have fun and happy mapping


03-09-2008, 09:45 PM
Hi there! I see you're already receiving plenty of good advice. I thought I'd mention that Fireworks is a fine program for preparing images for display on the web. I frequently use it to convert images to PNG because my other tools don't seem to make an image that is fully compliant with the standard, even Photoshop gives me problems with PNG. It's also much quicker to do simple tasks like cropping and scaling than a heavier program.

03-10-2008, 12:26 AM
Greetings and Welcome Iggy!!l

Ummm...I was only kidding about the renaming thing. :) :) ;)

03-10-2008, 01:57 AM
Welcome to the group. Much as I luve CC3, I agree, if you can get away without purchasing it, try the Gimp route. If, however, you do want to get CC3, they have bundled packages you can purchase the program through and save some cash.

03-10-2008, 10:38 AM
Hi Iggy, err Rob, umm, Kagehito!

As a few have mentioned, GIMP and Inkscape are great, free tools that can go a long way to making maps. If you are looking for a more symbol based solution, there are other CC style options out there that are free, as well.

More important might be a tablet, if you intend to do a lot of drawing work. Most people who have tried wonder how they survived without one for so long...

-Rob A>

03-10-2008, 06:16 PM
Ok thanks for all the advice guys!

Also I'd like to just throw out that it was NeonKnight that led me to this place.

So give him a round of aplause!

03-10-2008, 09:40 PM
Ok thanks for all the advice guys!

Also I'd like to just throw out that it was NeonKnight that led me to this place.

So give him a round of aplause!

Whoops pressed the wrong button agan (sorry there):

Ahhh, From the WotC Mini's Board then.

03-10-2008, 11:08 PM
Indeed! I believe you were the first person to welcome me there too...

I believe the exact words were

"Welcome to the addiction."

I've passed that on a couple of times myself :)