View Full Version : Site is Excellent

yu gnomi
07-29-2008, 05:15 AM
I want to thank Gamerprinter and Torsten for recommending site to me. I have found it to be a source of some really great tutorials and chock full of links to useful resources.

My experience with graphic software is somewhat limited. In High School, I took two years of C.A.D., with a version of Autocad that is probably beyond obsolete now (I think it was version 5). I am comfortable working with software that works in similar fashion.

More recently I downloaded and briefly used Auto Realm. However, it ran lousy on my computer, and I have been looking at other software. Currently I have Xara Extreme Pro 4 installed and it seems to have the potential of being only graphics software that I need. Although it also seems likely that a more specialized software package might be better for my current needs.

My recent interest in graphics software is because I anticipate Dungeon Mastering for 4ed in near future. Don't have a group yet, but I live close to a game store that hosts RPG groups. While I like many of the published adventures, I have found that a lot of the fun of DM'ing is in making my own adventures.

07-29-2008, 05:32 AM
Welcome yu gnomi. Its great to have you here. The tutorials are great IMHO but they are a stepping stone to get you doing your own stuff better. Dont be shy to post anything you do. You'll find the people here are very friendly and helpful. Thanks for the kind words about the site. I happen to agree.

See ya round.

07-29-2008, 05:36 AM
Hi yu gnomi! Great to have you on board. Gamerprinter is our resident Xara expert and if you do a search on the maps he has produced using Xara, you will see that it is a great application for mapping in the right hands. Many of the maps that GP has produced are simply stunning. If you have a moment, please click the link in my sig which will take you to the 'what software do you use' thread. On that thread you will find some discussion about the pros and cons of the various items of software available.

Enjoy your stay at the guild!

07-29-2008, 07:11 AM
Welcome to the Guild!

07-29-2008, 09:54 AM
Yu Gnomi, glad to see you finally made it here in person.

I was finishing the dungeon tut last night, when I had a virus attack on my system from a client's thumbdrive. So I will finish it up today. Written part is done, I just have to redo the graphics.

Welcome, ask many, many questions, YG!


Steel General
07-29-2008, 06:03 PM
Welcome aboard!

yu gnomi
07-31-2008, 04:35 AM
I didn't want to start anew thread just for this, so I decided I would ask here. I have downloaded a great many .png images, which so far have covered most of my needs. However, after extensive searching of links and forums (especially Dundjinni's which is very rich with .png objects), I am still missing a few things.

Could anyone help me find top down views of wall sections from dungeons, taverns, & other fantasy settings -or give me ponters on making my own?

Some nice top down views of doors, which indicate swing direction, would also be nice, but I can probably make my own.

Similarly, I could also not find a resource which had common architectural floorplan symbols, in a format that I could use in Xara as clipart. If someone knows of a site that has these as gifs, jpegs or pngs, I would appreciate the assistance.

Thank you in advance to anyone who attempts to help me.

07-31-2008, 09:14 AM
Could anyone help me find top down views of wall sections from dungeons, taverns, & other fantasy settings -or give me ponters on making my own?

Walls are one of the hardest things to manage in a top down map, as most of us map top down assuming an orthographic (parallel) projection. In other words, you realistically shouldn't see the sides of the walls!

The most common way photo-realistic application are used is to apply a bevel to the edges of the walls.

-Rob A>

yu gnomi
07-31-2008, 09:48 AM
I am fairly certain that Xara does bevels, although this would make it one of a thousand features of Xara that I haven't used yet. I admit that I was hoping that there was an easy sleazy way of doing it (like downloading pre-made wall sections).

07-31-2008, 11:35 PM
Believe me, its "easy sleazy": create a rectangle, apply a stone texture fill, apply a straight bevel, apply a "glow" shadow... you've got a wall that gives the illusion of height. All that takes about 30 seconds to create.

Or follow the steps in the tutorial I just posted in the tutorial forums and you'll have your entire dungeon in short order.

dungeon Xara tutorial pdf (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=28218#post28218)


yu gnomi
08-01-2008, 03:23 AM
After experimenting a little with bevel tool, I think you are right. It is both easier to use and more configurable than I originally gave it credit.

08-01-2008, 05:38 PM
Ah, missed the intro thread. I'm glad you made it over here from ENWorld. Xara looks good - I'll have to delve into it one of these days. I'd also continue to recommend Gimp, but I know you already have it on your to do list!

08-01-2008, 06:41 PM
The way most people seem to represent vertical walls in a top down view is to apply some fading black shadow to the sides of the wall. This is so-so realistic as some walls might actually increase the lighting but it does a good job to fool the brain into thinking that theres some depth going on. Similarly with objects that sit above the floor but differ only a little in texture. Most of the pngs that you pick up might have a shadow effect already included.

My personal opinion is that its easier to draw the floor and walls with some paint package or texture application and use the pngs for almost everything else. You need so many bits of wall to make one look good its hardly worth it. Maybe thats why there are so few objects around to pick up. Also I think Dunjinni has some drawing tools and fill to represent walls so people use that instead of making png tokens for them.