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View Full Version : [Award Winner] Old School Blue in Illustrator



delgondahntelius
07-17-2008, 10:52 PM
Don't forget to RATE the Thread!!! :D

Why not? An old school blue map in AI. I used Adobe Illustrator CS3 for this, and since this is really my first tutorial, and more for my own instruction, you will excuse the mess of it. Also, there is probably a much faster way of doing a lot of this, I'm still trying to get the hang of AI, so bear with me.

I wanted something simple. I started off with a 7 in x 7 in RGB document with 72 dpi. (turns out this was more than I really needed, but with illustrator, I like to start large and crop later on if I have too.) If you plan on Printing the map at some point, then you will want to make the document CMYK and whatever dpi is preferred to print with.

I put a new color swatch in for this, a light blue which mimics the old d&d maps (R 173, G 216, B 230) a nice light blue. That's (C 30.2%; M 3.14%; Y 6.67%; K 0%) and for s&g (H 240°, S 100%, V 40%)

All the blue maps have the ancient standard of ¼inch squares which usually equated to 10'. So to mimic this grid I created a new pattern which is fairly simple.

Make sure your grid is on and set to .25inch with only 1 sudivision. Set your grid snap and point snap on. Draw a bounding box of 1 square, then grab the line tool, set the point to .50 and draw a line down the left side of the box, and across the bottom of the box. Grab your selection tool ("V") and select the box and the two lines and drag it to your swatch box. Automatically saving it as a pattern fill. You can then delete the box and the lines.
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Then grab the box tool and create a 7x7 box (or whatever size your map is) x and y centered on 3.5, select the fill, and select your newly created pattern. You should have a nice ¼" inch grid in pasty blue.
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Then rename your layer GRID, create your other layers I always just pump out about 5 new layers and name them as I go... Lock this layer, and hide it, and start on a new layer named SYMBOLS.

Now for some fun stuff :D

delgondahntelius
07-17-2008, 11:11 PM
SYMBOLS :)

detach your symbol box for easy access. Its good to zoom in to about two grid boxes. (shortcut: SPACEBAR + CTRL to zoom in quickly, SPACEBAR + CTRL + ALT to zoom out quickly)

Now start creating the symbols you will need for the map. Its fairly simple process, so I don't feel much of a need to go into each one step by step. Just go from Grid square to square and put out a symbol in each one.

For doors, use a box with a white fill, to cover any lines you put them over.
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For your rubble, use the pencil tool with a blue fill and no select. This allows you to quickly draw rubble in. (pencil too: hold down ALT after you started your line, before you end your line and pick up your stylus, this will auto connect the lines.)
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Once you have completed all the symbols you think you will need, take your selection tool and grab each one, dragging it to the symbol box and naming each one (if you desire) and you are done with this layer, lock it and hide it and move on to the next layer
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delgondahntelius
07-17-2008, 11:41 PM
Grab you pen tool, for a standard no frills dungeon, you can leave the grid snap on. Make your line 1 point... and start mapping your walls. If you don't want your walls to stand out as they do on some old maps, you can skip this step and just block in all the solid parts and then come back and put walls in where they need to go. If you want your walls to appear darker than the fill then this step is where you make the difference.
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Be sure you put your symbols on a seperate layer than your walls so you can quick select the entire layer and change the color of the walls to suit. Once the walls are done, then on to placing symbols. I found it best to have the grid snap turned off when placing your symbols.
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Then, on another seperate layer (drop this one below your wall layer if you plan on having two different blues for walls and fill). Take your pen tool, fill with your (by now a very irritating blue) set your line to none, and block in all the areas that need to be solid blue.
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After that its some numbers, a legend and some labels if you desire and VIOLA you have yourself an old school blue map.... amaze your friends8), enjoy the envy of your peers>:), and now your maps can never, ever be photocopied again! :?:.... :D :lol:

and the symbols I made for this map 5330

http://i.creativecommons.org/l/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/88x31.png (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us)

NeonKnight
07-18-2008, 01:41 AM
Love seeing oldschool blue. Duly Repped!

Ghalev
07-18-2008, 04:40 AM
Why not? An old school blue map in AI.

Amen; that's how I do all my old-school dungeon layouts, too. Nice work on this tutorial.

HandsomeRob
07-18-2008, 09:33 AM
May I suggest, if you are planning on printing your map that you work in CMYK mode. RGB is only good for display on computer screens. Of course if you don't plan on printing, then RGB would be appropriate.

-Rob

delgondahntelius
07-18-2008, 11:51 AM
Love seeing oldschool blue. Duly Repped!
Thanx NK :) Knew an Oldschooler like you would like it ;D


Amen; that's how I do all my old-school dungeon layouts, too. Nice work on this tutorial.
It was actually the first one I've done (both tutorial and blue map), but that is the way I plan to do them in the future :)


May I suggest, if you are planning on printing your map that you work in CMYK mode. RGB is only good for display on computer screens. Of course if you don't plan on printing, then RGB would be appropriate.

-Rob
Good call HR, meant to say something about it and totally forgot. I'll update the post to include CMYK remarks... This is actually the first RGB file i've done in AI for such a long time it was kinda eerie .... :|

töff
07-18-2008, 12:10 PM
RGB is only good for display on computer screensThat's generally true, but the majority of printers, both hi-end and low-end, have fully automatic RGB-> CMYK filters and don't blink at RGB. The hue shifts, saturation, gamut concerns, rich black etc. generally don't matter unless you are a professional printer concerned with color matching (and even then, *ahem*).

I wonder WHY they chose that blue. Were they hoping for a "non-repro" effect? Anybody remember those days? :)

... /end OT.

Ghalev
07-18-2008, 12:41 PM
I wonder WHY they chose that blue. Were they hoping for a "non-repro" effect?

Yeah. TSR did a number of different anti-photocopying schemes over the years: blue dungeons, brown-orange character sheets, red-screened character sheets, etc.

And, of course, all those dungeons were designed and drafted in black; the blue was a spot ink.

ravells
07-18-2008, 02:16 PM
I really like the old blue dungeons! Repped and rated!

cklarock
08-19-2008, 10:16 PM
I wonder WHY they chose that blue. Were they hoping for a "non-repro" effect? Anybody remember those days? :)

I heard it was an overstock ink, and the printers gave them a deal. :)

Maybe they could only spring for 1-color printing, and wanted something other than black for aesthetic reasons? Whatever the motive, they definately created an iconic style that all of us old-timers associate with "the good old days." Here's to branding at its least manipulative.

Great tutorial, delgondahntelius, thanks!

delgondahntelius
08-29-2008, 06:13 AM
Well... I dunno if you actually did know why they chose blue... but in case you really don't know, the reason for the blue was because in the early days of black and white photos, the process could caputre most visible spectrums of light except for the color blue... something about the emulsion would render blue marks white, and thus.. invisible. Non Photo blue pencils became a standard in the print industry because you could sketch and ink over the blue marks... and in the final print the blue wouldn't show up.

Then xerox comes along and finds out that blue pen doesn't show up on copies made (because of whatever process that it used at the time) Since in the 70's and early 80's saw xerox machines as a main form of making copies, I'm sure TSR wanted you to buy and not copy thier stuff (pirate's eh?) they made blue a standard for maps in an attempt to keep thier copyrighted stuff from being sold on the black market for pennies they would never see... :D

This of course, is my theory on the matter....

and Thanks cklarock and ravs :D

Gamerprinter
08-29-2008, 11:31 AM
Yes, blue will not photograph in a dark room, nor copy on a xerox machine - this is true in the print industry and is in fact the reason TSR chose to use it.

Regarding "old school maps" and me - I've been playing D&D since 1977, so I'm familiar with old school maps. Although I appreciate the nostalgia brought to many oldtimers regarding old school maps whether blue or B/W, the main reason I got into creating maps for my RPGs, is I hate old school maps.

I've always been into full color for all my creations. Knowing the truth, that color printing has always been expensive, especially moreso in the past. I've always felt that old school maps were designed to be cheap and difficult to duplicate.

The very reasons I map at all.

I'm an old school gamer, but not an old school mapper - it really isn't me.

GP

delgondahntelius
08-29-2008, 09:49 PM
Yep, but the reason I like old school maps... it brings back a sense of nostalgia for me. That is the reason I like them... when I cracked open my first adventure to ever run (X1, Isle of Dread) and the excitement of running and playing a game... how a kobold was something to be feared at first level....
This is the reason for my love of blue maps.... that and bluemaps are the reason I started seriously mapping.... because I knew I could do better than that! .... lol... "I can make a better statue or an alter than THAT. I didn't even know that WAS an altar, I thought it was a two poster bed!" .... To me, they always looked something that was nothing more than a glorified Flow chart....

as to what kind of maps i'm into? color or blue, pen and ink or whatever.... doesn't matter.... I LOVE MAPS!!!! .... But I can't hate blue maps... they inspired me to be better.... they represent my youth (sad huh?) and have been host to some really good adventures!

As an aside note.... using non photo blue for maps really doesn't stop a determined mapper, one who has access to a pencil and graph paper... lol.

madirishman
09-07-2008, 12:01 AM
Glad to see other "old-timers" hung up on The Blue.

Be sure to check out my S1 replica map:
http://www.mad-irishman.net/pub_dnd_1e.html

I've got a lot more "blue" maps done, but they're all for upcoming projects... :)

Cheers,
Patrick

delgondahntelius
09-07-2008, 02:47 AM
Glad to see other "old-timers" hung up on The Blue.

Be sure to check out my S1 replica map:
http://www.mad-irishman.net/pub_dnd_1e.html

I've got a lot more "blue" maps done, but they're all for upcoming projects... :)

Cheers,
Patrick

Excellent replica, I tought about doing that particular map for the tutorial, but I felt I could get the point across with something a bit simpler... Blue maps do give that old school feel, for sure :D