View Full Version : Does size really matter?

11-23-2011, 07:41 PM
Okay so my first attempts I made really small maps like 800x400, and though they were easily managed they didnt have much to them. I notice the "pro's" are anywhere from 2000x2000 to even bigger.

What is the best size? Do you start bigger to get the detail in so you can shrink it later for show-ability?

Any elaboration would be greatly helpful.



11-23-2011, 09:55 PM
Bigger is always better, you can scale down, but not up.

11-24-2011, 12:25 AM
Bigger is better, with the caveat that you have to stay within what your computer can manage. That'll vary by processor speed, operating system, amount of RAM, and the app you're using. So there's no hard and fast rule, sadly. You'll just have to try. When ( not if :-) .... ) your system bogs down or your graphics app starts to crash, you've reached your limit.

Save often.

11-24-2011, 02:25 AM
as mentioned bigger is better due to quality loss when you scale up. In addition to your hardware being able to handle big maps another thing worth considering is where the map is "going". Are you going to use it on a screen in a virtual gaming table program - then what you see at 100% would be the detail level you're going for. However, if you want to print it later on, a resolution of 150-200 pixels per inch would be prudent (300 if you want to print professionally) - so multiply the inches wanted (like for instance for letter format) with 200 and you get the optimal size for that document. The biggest map I'm working on at the moment is 16,000 x 12,000 pixels - so at professional printing quality that translates to 53 x 40 inches (134 x 100 cm) or a bit bigger than your desk top printer can manage :)

11-24-2011, 02:27 AM
Yup. At around 10,000 x 10,000 pixels you're getting into the high-definition areas. For me, 2,000 x 2,000 px is a display size for the web, more or less :) Broadband hath spoilth us!

11-24-2011, 06:19 AM
A map should be of a size, extent, and detail appropriate to its purpose. There is no universal 'right' size.

11-24-2011, 08:38 AM
Yes there is. The universal right size is 42.

11-24-2011, 08:52 AM
hehe... indeed it is :)

11-24-2011, 02:00 PM
Okay, that's the answer I am going to go with, from now on my starting canvas will be 42x42. Thanks guys. :P

11-29-2011, 06:10 PM
For me, it is just a matter of keeping in mind the ultimate application of the map. How big is it meant to be viewed? After you know the intended size, then you just need to figure out the resolution. Print rez is typically 300DPI, screen rez is ...apparently something I don't know, VTT console images are typically 100DPI (though I've seen some folks do 50 or 150 as well).

If it is just practice work, I like to pick an arbitrary "standard" paper size. Then I always have the option of printing it out and having it look nice on a page. I'm in America, so 11x17 works great for most world map projections, 8.5x11 for small regional stuff or, if you are ambitious, 36x24 poster-size for very ambitiously detailed/scaled stuff.

12-01-2011, 06:11 PM
screen rez is 72DPI

I haven't seen a 72 DPI monitor in ages. 100 DPI is typical of modern desktop displays.

12-02-2011, 04:16 AM
I haven't seen a 72 DPI monitor in ages. 100 DPI is typical of modern desktop displays.

Oh. Whoops!

12-02-2011, 12:09 PM
if you are ambitious,And have LOADS of RAM or are very very patient...
36x24 poster-size for very ambitiously detailed/scaled stuff.