View Full Version : Curious about something...

07-13-2008, 04:52 PM
I really love the style of the maps on pgs. 199 and 206 of the new D&D 4th Edition Dungeon Masters Guide. What I'm very curious about is; a) how, specifically, they were created and b) what kind of tools would I need to create similar maps?

Thanks in advance!

07-13-2008, 07:22 PM
I'll see what I can do to create a similar look in CC3 and post up my results. (Probably in a day or two).

07-13-2008, 09:05 PM
Thanks, NeonKnight, really looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

07-14-2008, 09:02 AM
I don't have the GM's guide but had a quick look at one in the bookshop today. The map styles don't look that difficult to recreate. I would guess they were probably done in Photoshop or Gimp. You could probably also use a reasonable vector drawing program to create them as well, such as inkscape, Xara or Drawplus.

The key would be to find similar textures, and there are a lot of stone like textures out there on the web which are near enough.



07-14-2008, 09:09 AM
My guess would be that these were done in photoshop with a graphics tablet. Gimp (http://www.gimp.org/) is free and will do most of the things that photoshop can do. Graphics tablet (best to stick to the Wacom ranges) are best picked up 2nd hand on eBay.

It seems that the main shapes were possibly drawn out in Illustrator, or with paths in photoshop to give the layout and the houses were dropped in as premade shapes. Then the terrain lines - cliffs, hills and so on - drawn in by hand. Finally the colours would be applied with some overall highlighting and shading work. The whole image is then laid on top of a photo of a piece of rock, that provides the border.

Well, that's my guess, and that's the process I have followed when doing my own maps which are definitely influenced by this style of map.

07-14-2008, 09:25 AM
Ah, I was looking at the dungeon maps at about page 200. My bad!

07-14-2008, 02:46 PM
Ahhh, ok I looked at the DMG, and the map on 199 is the town of Fallcrest, and the map on 206 is the overland area.

I could make something similar to these in CC3, but it would be a lot harder to do. Might even require some after work in GIMP or photoshop.

I too was thinking of the dungeon map itself.


07-14-2008, 03:01 PM
I've seen a LOT of WotC and Paizo maps with elements dropped in from Campaign Cartographer. I imagine they BUILD the maps in CC2 or 3 and then save them out to image file and load it into photoshop and hand draw over it.

Go back to the last few issues of Dungeon Magazine before they stopped printing them and you'll see lots of CD2 buildings...I even posted a thread about it here a while back when I noticed it.

07-14-2008, 10:13 PM
Thanks for all the comments/suggestions everyone!

Arcana (or anyone), would it be easier for a relative newbie to make a map in CC3 and then do post-work in GIMP or PS? As opposed to doing all the work in GIMP or PS, that is.

07-14-2008, 10:45 PM
Learning one program is easier than learning two. However, there are some things that CC3/CD does that are much easier than accomplishing the same feat in Photoshop. For someone experienced in both programs, the two combined would be quicker and easier. For someone starting to learn, I'd recommend choosing one or the other.

If I were setting out to make something like the Fallcrest map (for instance), I'd start with a layout generated with CD Pro, then take it into Photoshop and do a paint-over. The end result wouldn't look nearly that good, but I'm not (yet) a professional artist, like Mr. Schley.

07-14-2008, 11:30 PM
Honestly, as a starter, I'd agree...pick one and go with it...perhaps go through a tutorial or two here on the site thaat uses the software you like...we have some GREAT gimp tutorials developed in-house that would probably get you well off...I'd also reccommend for cities, something like pyrandons koppolex (or was it eneini?) tutorial that takes a city from a generator and makes it artsy.