View Full Version : Help with stairs and multi-level maps using CC3

08-06-2012, 05:41 AM
I've been DMing some online DnD games and recently got fed up with simple drawing tools and pregened maps, so I decided to take the plunge and start doing my own cartography. I've been reading these forums quite a bit and have found it extremely helpful in hitting the ground running with the software I use (CC3). Anyways, I've created and played a few maps so far and I'm having a blast - great maps add an extra level of immersion, my players love them, and it feels good to use something that you created yourself.
One concept I'm having a hard time portraying though, is showing multiple elevation levels, and specifically stairs. For now I'm using a pretty generic symbol and scaling it down to show up/down, but I'm not very happy with it and it can be confusing. Here's a pretty simple example (http://imgur.com/h2YsV). I've got a lot of great inspiration from talented mappers here, so if ya'll could give me some advice, I'd greatly appreciate it.


08-06-2012, 10:29 AM
I've had this problem...couple ways you can go depending on how neurotic you wanna get with detail. Easiest fix is to place those stair symbols as you have them without resizing and then apply a transparent shadow layer over them. So, create a new sheet and load up the transparency symbols (Bitmaps -> Tiles -> Transparency). You'll see that you have varying shades of grey. Pop in those varying shades with the lightest on the 2nd floor and darkest at the foot of the stairs.

If you wanna get into more detail - those stair symbols you have already have a shadow created for them. So putting one next to the other may look a little odd. To get around that, you could individually draw each step and put it on its own sheet and add a drop shadow effect to the sheet (messing with the sun direction to make sure the shadow faces the stair below it). I've done this for maps that have a few steps - never as many as you have here.

Alternatively, you create a new symbol in photoshop and drop it in. I'm unfortunately not very good at that...

Hope that helps.

08-06-2012, 12:32 PM
Well, I am completely new to CC3 (picked it up last month and yet to have the tinme to play properly), but I would suggest creating a stair symbol as suggested above, with a generic drop shadow with it. Once you have that place the stairs as required. After you have have those stairs placed, put a gradient from top of stairs to bottom of light (very) to dark grey. How dark you want the bottom to be would depend on how deep you are going, and vary the opacity to what suits your needs. I know placing all of your stairs first is a small hassle, but it will avoid having stairs that alternate from light to dark and back to light again...as apears in your example...

Remember, I don't know CC3 much so please ignore the above if this is not possible in that prog....