View Full Version : new to mapping software but well practiced at hand mapping

01-31-2012, 09:56 AM
Hello everyone,

My love of cartography began in the Canadian Armed Forces where I had to learn in a hurry how to draw an accurate map in, well, not the best conditions. I was in a reconnaissance unit, so accuracy was the top priority and I taught myself how to draw realisticly by, well, drawing things around me. I use to think I was pretty good at it, then I found this site and was humbled :) I'm out of the force now and draw maps as a hobby. I play RPG's as well but I usually prefer to use printed adventures, though as GM I'm thinking of writing my own campain and world. I'm kinda lazy though :p I just bought Fractal Mapper 8 since, well, it looked easiest to use to make a decent no frills map. (Though it seems with more effort you can make really nice ones.) Anyway, I'm new to forum posting so please don't talk acronymes to me if it can be avoided, the Army made me memorize enough of them I don't have any brain room left! Hope to see you around.

01-31-2012, 03:58 PM
LOL!! :)

I know what you mean about acronyms.....Korash be Gunner for 17 years....17 years out though....in good ol' CF.

Let me help with a few pointers:

WIP = Work in progress. We have plenty of forums here that are for posting projects that are still in the working-on stage. These WIPs are open for comment and critiques (and we frown on flaming someones work here at the guild) and it is generally where you will get the most benefit from this community. We all want to help make your maps better.

GIMP = An open source raster program along the same lines as Photoshop. I wouldn't say one is better than the other as each has their own strong points and weaknesses, but are comparable in features and results, with both having LOTS of tutorials here at the Guild. One advantage GIMP has is that it is free.....

Raster = basically, an image pieced together using pixels instead of lines

Vector = Basically an image made up of computer generated line art

My best suggestion is for you to wade in a start a WIP thread as soon as you start a map and let us help you through the Digital Mapping experience.

and welcome to the Guild, the Mappiest Place on the web :)

02-01-2012, 01:25 PM
I bow to your experience, as I have but 9 years under my belt :) Only a bit less then a year out, though I'm thinking I may join the Reserve this summer. So, are you Sherman qualified? :D I kid, of course. Question for you since I got your attention though, I havn't seen a single map on here yet that is not made by a computer, is posting a hand drawn map gonna be weird? I doubt anyone will ridicule it but if it gets no attention, what's the point right?

02-01-2012, 01:35 PM
Actual hand-drawn maps are around here. A little hard to find because "hand-drawn" is also a popular style for computer-generated maps (and stylus users make computer-generated maps that arguably are hand-drawn in some cases... the term is getting harder and harder to justify for pen-and-paper only). However, actual physically-produced hand drawn maps are welcome. One of the recent monthly challenges was for hand-drawn maps, and proved sufficiently popular to get a chorus of "let's do this again sometime soon". I think most posters probably started with hand-drawing and many still do (if only to scan hand-drawn elements to add to their computer generated maps).

02-01-2012, 08:11 PM
Yeah, what rd said.

good ol' pen and paper maps are very muchly appreciated, and often drooled over. There are a FEW tutorials on the subject, but most people do use the computer at some point, if not from the start, then at the end to add some finishing touches like aging it or adding folds...All in All, if you want rep (the little star at the bottom of each post will let you add reputation to the poster if you like what they have put up. Nothing more than a pat on the back, but shows that Someone likes what you do which is always nice. :D) post a hand drawn pnp (pen and paper) map.

And NO I did not drive the Sherman....the black hats worked those. I meant Gunner as in Arty. Watch any real WWII footage showing American guns firing, and it was THOSE types of things that I manned. My first one dated back from the Korean war...believe it of not... nothing like the CF for working with things MUCH older than you are....

02-02-2012, 11:35 PM
I was a black hatter myself, I heard "gunner" and thought "main gunner", sorry! No offense intended! Started my career in a 12-tonne hulk that was 15 years my senior. Changing to Armored Recce was a blessing, even if I was on foot half the time.

Thank you both for the advice and encouragement. I may just post a map in the regional/world forum and see what happens this weekend some time. (Kinda embarrassed by how nervous that thought makes me!)

02-03-2012, 02:39 AM
Greetings and welcome Canadian! :)