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Arthur
06-27-2008, 03:26 AM
Hello all! I'm Arthur.

I just heard about the Cartographer's Guild in the Exalted Compendium Redux (http://patternspider.net/forums). Wordman (I believe he is registered here too) was the one who suggested it to me. Well, being here and being lost, I'll take advantage of this thread to say some stuff that I wouldn't know where to post anyway:

First, about the forums. I was always interested in cartography, specially for fantasy scenarios, and I was very glad to find out that a community dedicated to exclusive discussion of the subject actually exists. I don't know how much I'll be posting here, but I do think I'll pass by once in a while. I would also like to suggest (for the moderators and such) a more detailed FAQ session. Really, explain the basics. What the Cartographer's Guild is would be a good start. Then, what to do if you are a complete ignorant in map designing, what to do if you have notions, what to do if you are an expert. That would all have been very useful to me, and I believe that for other new users as well.

Second, I don't know a thing about digital cartography, and I'll send here my cry for help. I have lots of free time and I intend to design a map for the city of Denandsor (http://wiki.white-wolf.com/exalted/index.php?title=Denandsor), which is a very old, partially ruined city in the scenario of Exalted (http://wiki.white-wolf.com/exalted/index.php?title=Exalted_%28game%29). Thing is: I don't know where to start from. So, instead of creating a short-lived single-question thread in another subforum, I'll just ask here: where should I go? I already took a look in the Tutorials Forum, and I'm browsing it right now. Any other suggestion? I have very basic ideas of Photoshop usage, but little besides that. My intention is to make a map more or less like this one (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2347). The least I use of free hand drawing, the better. I have as much hand ability as a hippopotamus with leprosy, and I don't have easy access to a scanner.

Thank you all very much, and nice to meet you!

Edit: Also, I'm on a Mac, which may restrict a little my software choices.

Edit #2: I'm also following some of Pyrandon's tutorials. He just got a new fan.

jfrazierjr
06-27-2008, 09:11 AM
Hello all! I'm Arthur.

I just heard about the Cartographer's Guild in the Exalted Compendium Redux (http://patternspider.net/forums). Wordman (I believe he is registered here too) was the one who suggested it to me. Well, being here and being lost, I'll take advantage of this thread to say some stuff that I wouldn't know where to post anyway:

First, about the forums. I was always interested in cartography, specially for fantasy scenarios, and I was very glad to find out that a community dedicated to exclusive discussion of the subject actually exists. I don't know how much I'll be posting here, but I do think I'll pass by once in a while. I would also like to suggest (for the moderators and such) a more detailed FAQ session. Really, explain the basics. What the Cartographer's Guild is would be a good start. Then, what to do if you are a complete ignorant in map designing, what to do if you have notions, what to do if you are an expert. That would all have been very useful to me, and I believe that for other new users as well.

Second, I don't know a thing about digital cartography, and I'll send here my cry for help. I have lots of free time and I intend to design a map for the city of Denandsor (http://wiki.white-wolf.com/exalted/index.php?title=Denandsor), which is a very old, partially ruined city in the scenario of Exalted (http://wiki.white-wolf.com/exalted/index.php?title=Exalted_%28game%29). Thing is: I don't know where to start from. So, instead of creating a short-lived single-question thread in another subforum, I'll just ask here: where should I go? I already took a look in the Tutorials Forum, and I'm browsing it right now. Any other suggestion? I have very basic ideas of Photoshop usage, but little besides that. My intention is to make a map more or less like this one (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2347). The least I use of free hand drawing, the better. I have as much hand ability as a hippopotamus with leprosy, and I don't have easy access to a scanner.

Thank you all very much, and nice to meet you!

Edit: Also, I'm on a Mac, which may restrict a little my software choices.

Edit #2: I'm also following some of Pyrandon's tutorials. He just got a new fan.


Welcome to the Guild Authur!


If you are new to Photoshop in general, be sure to check out both

The sticky by RPMiller here: Photoshop Basics (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=574) and

Pyrandon's VIDEO tutorial(s) for the PS neophyte100% Photoshop mapping newbie? Here's a video tut for you (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2235)

City map tuts by Pyrondon: http://www.cartographersguild.com/images/cartographer/misc/paperclip.gif (http://www.cartographersguild.com/forumdisplay.php?f=48&sort=postusername&order=asc&daysprune=-1&page=2#) Eneini: a medieval city tutorial (in Photoshop) (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=530)
Koppollex: A medieval town map tutorial in Photoshop (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1150)



Ravells: how to draw nice maps - intro level [photoshop] (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1413)
Pyrandons map for making an artsy type regional map:My Thracioth map walk-thru (Photoshop) (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=572)


Also, don't be afraid to take a look at some other tutorials after you let the above sink in. Though some of the techniques might be a bit different, many of the things you can do in GIMP can be done in Photoshop and visa versa, though you might have to get some creative workarounds.

Also, post up your works in progress in new threads and let us know the software used each time (or put it into your sig if you use the same thing). We will be more than happy to help point you in the right direction along each step.


Design philosophy stuff:

Though there are many different thoughts, here are my thoughts on how things should be done and the order:

Regional or World map:

Land/sea
Mountains/hills
Rivers/inland lakes/seas
Forests
towns
labels
legend (though a simple, throwaway scale is nice at the first stage!)


For Cities and towns, you have to do some more thinking ahead of time. For example, is the town/city planned or did it just grow? This is super important if you want to put up any type of stonework or walls or such. If planned, you have a bit more free reign, but if it grew slowly, then you have to be careful with your placement of walls. Very few fantasy cities could afford a 3 mile long wall circling a city unless resources were abundant or some type of magic was involved. What generally happened if a city was constantly being attacked is that multiple walls sprouted up from around (ie, radiating outward from) a central defensible point over time. So a small wall is built, then as people move to the city and live on the outskirts and get attached, a new wall might be built a bit larger around the original and this process may continue several times over a hundreds of years. Likewise, unless the land outside the city is super bad, there will always be some outliers for farms, perhaps brave nobles, etc who don't want to(or can't afford to) live in the city proper. For farms, you must have someone to tend the crops and in most cases, someone is not going to walk for an hour from the city out to the farms everyday.

Another thing to think about is where does the waste go? Dead, food scrapes, human waste, etc. A fast moving river is usually a good dumping place (well, for the people who need to get rid of it, not necessarily in general or for the people downstream!) Things like paved streets, while nice are not going to happen often again unless magic or the kingdom is wealthy, at least not on every path (there may be some.) If you try shadows on buildings, be careful, a drop shadow tends to make things look like they are floating while an outer glow gets the illusion of height without the floating thing.

Well, I am sure there is some stuff I missed, but this should get you started. And again, if you are not sure of something, just post up a copy of your map and we will try to help you out.

Joe

NeonKnight
06-27-2008, 10:37 AM
Ummmmmmmm, yeah, like what he said ;)

Welcome abaord.

Arthur
06-27-2008, 12:26 PM
That you both for the kindness, and thanks to jfrazierjr (I can't even start to pronounce your name, hehe) for the help.

I'll create a thread in the apropriate subforum. I'll post a link here soon.

Arthur
06-27-2008, 01:14 PM
Here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=24355#post24355)is the thread.

Steel General
06-27-2008, 04:21 PM
Ahhh yes... fresh meat for the soup pot *rubs hands together and cackles evilly*

Seriously though...Welcome!