View Full Version : How do I get started with digital mapping ???

09-05-2012, 07:00 PM
Ok little background here, I'm really old school here. Took mechanical drawing for three years in high school back in the dark age. All triangles and t-squares then, with emphasis on hand lettering. The nifty new tool was a parallel bar and drawing board cover!! Which I saw my second year in college. Iíve always have had a love of looking at maps, old and new. The art of them just intrigued me. I've cruised the site looking and it has been enjoyable to look at the imagination you guys exhibit. Iíd like to try my hand at a map but I'm really lost on how to use any of these new fangled electronic tools. I see that there are programs for programs  So where do I start? What is a good dumbass newbie tutorial to get me going? Iím sure Iíll struggle quite a bit with the software, so this will be an adventure in frustration as well LOL. Thanks for any help ya all are willing to share V

09-05-2012, 07:02 PM
I've been going through ravells quickstart guide

09-05-2012, 07:24 PM
Hi Vellum and welcome to the Guild. The quickstart guide is a good place to start. Also check out the software section of the forum which has an explanation of what is out there in terms of software, the cost etc. If you are very new to using image editing software / painting and drawing software it may be frustrating at first but as with all things, if you stick with it you will improve.

In terms of map making, some of the very best maps we have seen here have been drawn by hand. Hand drawn maps have a vitality and feel which is very difficult to replicate on the computer so don't throw away your drawing board just yet!

p.s. I've edited the title of the thread for clarity.

09-05-2012, 08:33 PM
Thanks for the post edit ravells, still learning my way around the forum. I’m going to use CS3 PS as I have that installed and can follow / give a shot at ascension’s technique, which should kill two birds, one help me to learn PS as I have in reality zero skills and I can maybe accomplish a basic map. I’m assuming I should start a thread in the regional / world mapping forum. Can I post images in the forum directly or do I need to get a hosting service? Again thanks V

09-05-2012, 08:41 PM
You can Look at my old WIP here, its my way of a total noob to a Carographers Choice Award. http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?16069-Arden-A-Fantasy-Dystopian-World-Map-Critiques-welcome

I am sure you can find some tips within that thread.

Use the Advance posting mode, it allows you to upload images.

09-05-2012, 09:00 PM
Thanks I'll give it a read :) V

09-05-2012, 09:18 PM
Ah and if you like to see a map fully made from digital, look at Ascensions "The Baker and the other guy" map ! Its fantastic, and the WIP very informative

09-05-2012, 10:21 PM
Software gives you various powerful replacements for traditional tools, it's just a matter of learning. Line tools let your draw straight lines, as does holding shift and dragging the mouse across or down. And that's before you get to the hardware like drawing tablets that mix both worlds.

There's a learning curve, but if you pursue the tutorials you'll find it is worth it.

09-07-2012, 01:30 AM
You can also check out Butch Curry's tuts on you tube. Google: Fantasy Cartography using Adobe Photoshop