View Full Version : Hello from a lurker and hopeful beginner!

11-18-2012, 06:02 PM
Greetings to all from someone that's been lurking around on this forum far longer than he should have been. :P

The name's Aaron... Good grief, I saw a thread a day or two ago that had someone named Aaron in it....more of us in the world than we realize.

Anyway, I guess I should start with a little bit about me. I'm in my twenties, I'm a website designer and graphic designer (usually logos and things). I've long been told that I have an artistic bent, Always sketching, doodling, things like that. I love doing art, but I'm rather hard on myself with it sometimes... I think my sense of perfection and attention for details actually sometimes gets in the way of me completing projects if they don't turn out right the first time.

Anyway, in my spare time I have a passion for Role-Playing, both video games (generally) Such as Skyrim and the like, and also through writing. I have never played what some might consider a true 'RPG', the old style games. I do build worlds, but I do it through words with writing partners, not game mechanics.

This brings me to my interest in making maps. My goal in wanting to make maps is to illustrate the worlds that I write about. Though I may never publish any books, I would love to be able to have a reference to the world, and have something to 'show off' to my writing partners. I've seen the awesome work that people do here, and I can only hope that someday I'm as good at doing some of this as you all are. It's my intent to learn what I can and put it to good use. In that vein, I'll ask a question or two here.

After browsing through the forums, I see all the different sections for different kinds of maps, the tutorials section, and even free resources. I'm primarily interested in a couple types of maps, and if people could point me in the right direction for tutorials or whatever could help, it would be great!

The first type of map that I'm looking to make is large scale... continental almost. I have, for instance, a world created that is based on our own planet earth. The difference is that there is a continent hidden by magic in the pacific ocean. A very large continent, able to contain at least two countries inside of it. I'm wanting to be able to design that continent, perhaps showing bits and pieces of the world around it and how it relates.

The second type of map would be city maps. I grabbed the excellent Town Map Tutorial by Lerb, and am already working through it. I wondered if anyone has particular suggestions on other great tutorials or resources for that sort of thing.

And the final type of map would be interiors, floorplans. Mostly fantasy based. Things like Inns and rooms of castles would be wonderful.

I guess to answer any of those questions you'll need to know what I'll be using to create the maps. I've got Photoshop CS5.5 and a basic drawing tablet that works well enough and I'm fairly good with. Ideally I would love to use it to make maps, though I'm open to other software. I do have Fractal Mapper 8 as well, though I'm not really all that familiar with it as of yet. Working with it in the limited capacity that I have, I'm still sorta stumped over getting a sense of scale on everything. And I know that some people might suggest CC3... Unfortunately I don't have the money right now to grab a copy of it, and seeing as I'm already experienced with PS, that would be my ideal choice, as I said above.

Anyway, I hope people don't mind me asking questions in here.... if this isn't the right place, please let me know where the best place would be so that I can put them up in that location.

Looking forward to seeing what I can do!


11-18-2012, 07:05 PM
Welcome to the Guild Aaron! Well there are tons of great PS tutorials for world/continent maps. You might want to start by checking out the tutorials created by Ascension, Tear and Pasis (when doing an advanced search, just type their user name into the search field and select "tutorials" as the sub-forum for the search). Ascension also has a nice town tutorial as well. At any rate, look forward to seeing what you come up with.


11-18-2012, 07:07 PM
Welcome to the Guild. You've come to the right place to learn and get inspired. Let's see if I can answer your questions. As far as a large regional map goes there are several great tutorials covering how to create these. the fact that you are already fluent in PS will only make learning how to create maps with it easier. Depending on what kind of map you want to create there are tuts for "artsy" style maps and more "photo-realistic" or satellite style maps. (maps that use textures and effects to create geographic features) Here are a couple of good tuts to take a look at: Saderan a tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/8086-%5Baward-winner%5D-saderan-%96-tutorial.html) This is a lovley style of map with soft colors and a very fantasy "feel". Ascension's Atlas Style Tutorial - Revised Presentation + Actions, and Video! (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/18643-ascensions-atlas-style-tutorial-revised-presentation-actions.html) This is another great tut for another more "satellite" style map. This is a great town or city creation tutorial: Photoshop Town Tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/6536-%5Baward-winner%5D-photoshop-town-tutorial.html) As is this: A medieval town map tutorial in Photoshop (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/1150-%5Baward-winner%5D-medieval-town-map-tutorial-photoshop.html) I hope I've given you a point in the right direction and I look forward to seeing your work. :)

11-18-2012, 07:46 PM
Thank you, thank you both! I will take a look through the resources you've pointed me to and see what I can do! :)

I might post a map that I've already done for a friend as well....