View Full Version : Map Tile Set

03-05-2014, 12:24 PM
Like the thousands who came before me I've decided to do a set of tiles that can be laid down to form a larger battlemap. I'm going for intermediate scale, neither a full map, nor one where you need to lay out a large number of pieces for every single encounter. I have several questions that I'm seeking opinions on:
1. Grids- Dark, light, none at all? What do you find the most useful?
2. Scale- I have it set at about 5 ft. squares, so the whole thing is around 50' across. Does that seem desirable?
3. Overall Appearance- is this generally attractive or does some major element of it annoy you?

The white and the gridless one have been shifted so you can see how the tiling will look (this is just a test so the stream doesn't line up with anything) and the black gridded one left in normal position. These are about 50% the size of the originals which are perhaps overly detailed. I'm hoping the scale will allow me to include things such as small to medium buildings and the like. This first set will be for forest style encounters if it works out.

62043 62044


03-05-2014, 12:43 PM
Personally, I like them! Not overly cluttered, not to much going on! Reminds me of the D&D tiles!

Looking forward to seeing more with buildings. It's a nice start!

03-05-2014, 07:44 PM
First tile done with the alignment marks on it so I know that it will play nice with the tile next to it.

Also can rivers do this? I think even with the difference in light direction they seem to tile just fine to my eye, and I think directional light simply adds too much depth to do away with it.

03-05-2014, 10:03 PM
I don't see a river, I see an island in a pond. Or a man made moat. Shading and colors look good. Very nice overall.

03-06-2014, 04:37 PM
I did a couple more but ran into one of the many problems that tests my decisiveness (a test I am unlikely to pass). A number of the tiles as I had planned them take place in older forest, the type with big old trees and less undergrowth. Unlike the smaller trees the foliage is high enough up that it would not impede travel only the trunk would. I experimented with several ways to show this:
1. Dimmed cut off. Leaves me feeling like I want to squint at a part that isn't supposed to draw my attention.
2. Cut off view where you can see the rings of the tree. Doesn't look like its showing a break in the mapping, just a cut down tree to me shadow or no.
3. Blacked out. Seems OK information wise but not especially attractive.
4. Faded view of the tree top to keep in the style with the rest of the trees. Looks messy to me and doesn't highlight any useful information.

Here's the full view:

Any Advice or insights?

And several other completed tiles:


03-07-2014, 04:18 AM
Lovely tiles, especially the last two. Wonderful style - I usually dislike 'dungeon' tiles but these ones are special.

big old trees and less undergrowth
Option 2 looks great, but looks like a tree-stump. 1, 3 and 4 don't look good.
I advise you don't try to be too realistic here - just use your normal smaller trees and don't try to create a realistic big old tree with high foliage - I've seen lots of people attempt to show this on maps and it always look crap.

03-07-2014, 10:21 AM
Thanks, good to know which problems can't be tackled. I will simply make some large stumps instead of trying to show that they are trees.

03-07-2014, 10:41 PM
A couple more. Having the farm house at a straight angle sets my teeth a bit on edge, it would look 200% better at a slight angel, but would serve its actual purpose more poorly (until I can convince everyone that measuring tapes are better than squares). Any glaringly amiss elements?


03-07-2014, 11:22 PM
These are great madcowchef!

My 2 cents, ( OK, 1.5 cents )
I prefer no grid, but I don't mind the dark grid. Hate the white one.
The terrain is excellent, detailed, realistic, but general enough to be used for a lot of things.
The 10" x 10" size allows for much more natural looking tiles, and should work great with VTT's, but is not good for printing. 8x8 is better for printing, but then you have less natural layouts. Do it the way you like.
The rivers are wonderful and the waterfall is fantastic.
Looking forward to seeing ( and scarfing up ) more!

03-07-2014, 11:58 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I prefer gridless to, do you think that will suit the majority of folks needs? If I'm going to use things on the table I perfer to draw the grid on some plexi and set that on top, or better yet I like rulers as they don't suffer from odd and natural shaped objects. The printing issue is one I'm poorly versed in, my main goal is to make a fun set of free tiles for whoever wants them and make them as useful for that purpose as possible. I need to look into the right license nonsense so that I can put them up as "hey feel free to use these for personal stuff all you like, play with them at cons etc. just don't sell them. Any insights that make them more useful for said purpose are greatly welcome.

03-09-2014, 04:59 AM
Your texture work is awesome, really great quality stuff. I'd love to see your process in working the textures, and possibly get a glance at your library, since I'm building my own as I need them. Your water is especially good. Do you make those little rocks and plants by hand?

Otherwise, really interesting stuff. I can't say I'd have any use for them in my games right now, but I'm sure somewhere down the road I'll need one or two.

03-18-2014, 09:06 PM
I removed the grids and have about a dozen of these complete, but I fear spamming up the forums with them. I need to find a cheap way to host them in bulk for easy free handout. Most of my textures are derived from CGtextures, or I'd hand them out to you, but that would be against their policy. Mainly I just make them into seamless textures and add some extra randomness to avoid patterning on big maps like these with a lot or repeats. Both the rocks and plants are more a matter of custom brushes and a few layer effects than anything else (I use Photoshop). If I can figure out how to take a screen shot perhaps I could show a little more of the process.

03-20-2014, 10:48 PM
OK started an account on deviant art to host things you can find the forest map tiles (as many as I've completed at least) here (http://madcowchef.deviantart.com/gallery/48647465). I'm going to start on some caves and subterranean buildings next to skip around and because someone was interested. Here's my test tile for that set. The only thing I'm not sure if I am feeling are the mushrooms, which is to say yes those brown things are supposed to be mushrooms. The elevation lines are not subtle, but I find them hard to read otherwise to much? Feedback is much appreciated.


03-21-2014, 05:54 PM
And the test tile for the Lava section of the underground

03-28-2014, 02:05 AM
These look great, i would love to know how you make the elevations. do you make them entirely in Photoshop? or do you use something else first then touch them up?

03-28-2014, 10:58 AM
I've hosted close to a hundred of them over here (http://madcowchef.deviantart.com/gallery/48647465). For the shadows my elevation shadows I have to methods. For the forest tiles where I wanted rolling hills I just use a very soft edge brush on a layer set to low opacity and crudely paint one side white and the other black, with very little need for accuracy. For the sharper dungeon shadows I use a irregular soft brush on a low opacity layer paint on the black line then use a much harder eraser to take off the back edge. Sometimes I go back and do a little bit of highlights along the edge with a thin soft white brush on a layer set to overlay. Which is a lot of words to say I just draw some funky black lines and cut off the back half.

Once I finish a couple more types of sections I want to tile together a few dozen of them and put up a fun example map.

03-30-2014, 05:24 PM
OK a sampling of most, though not all the underground stuff I've completed so far. Next up I do the components for a large underground "great hall" like structures, then I move to underground ruined sections of city.


03-30-2014, 07:10 PM
These are really good MCC, I have to go checkout your DA gallery.

03-31-2014, 05:42 PM
OK a super-miniaturized version of the great hall tiles I just finish. This is about half of them shaped into a really pointless large room thing. They honestly lack a lot of interest but I felt that there was I need for them so I went ahead and assembled them anyhow. Should allow for great halls, vast subterranean temples and the like.


04-01-2014, 12:40 AM
I spent all last night downloading all the tiles from your DeviantArt Gallery, and now you tell me there are more!!!!!!

Great work, amazing tiles!

04-01-2014, 01:13 AM
The hard part is knowing what I should call the set done enough. At very least I need the transitions, water tiles for the underground section, and maybe a set of above ground buildings. The problem I have with the buildings is the temptation to add a second story, and they way lies madness as it would involve figuring out where to put stairs and if I want to do the upper stories on a separate tile or project them onto the same one. The first option would be flexible but you'd need to keep the two parts together somehow and the second option would mean cutting off a good section of every tile to do the second story as a projection. As is with the underground city I just figure if people want stairs between levels they can add some. and then the responsibility is on them to make things line up.

04-01-2014, 10:52 PM
My most recent baby of the set. I love doing the water but the mechanical element of the water wheel added a lot more thought and time processing to it. I'm not sure the underground dungeon dwellers deserve nice things like water wheels.


04-01-2014, 11:13 PM
These tiles are just... amazing. Really, really beautiful work! And so many of them, too! Wow... :o

Part of me wants to say how awesome it is that you're giving them away for free... and another part wants to ask, "Are you insane?!" :P

04-01-2014, 11:42 PM
Giving away: for when you have no idea how to sell anything. Hopefully it will lead to some fun and some very happy gamers. My distribution system could probably be improved from posting them here, and hosting them on DA as to not eat too much of the guilds server space, and nothing else.

04-02-2014, 01:36 AM
This is another fantastic map tile!

04-02-2014, 05:57 AM
I love that water wheel - you absolutely nailed the water on this map. Super work.

04-02-2014, 12:09 PM
Don't tell anyone, the water wheel is an air filter. It had the right flangy shadow stuff even if its not perfect. Sampler of the watery dungeoness:


04-02-2014, 12:59 PM
Don't tell anyone, the water wheel is an air filter. It had the right flangy shadow stuff even if its not perfect.
HAHA that's genius!

04-02-2014, 01:48 PM
My particular favorites are the whirlpool, the top right, the docks, and the bridge.


04-03-2014, 04:08 AM
Amazing stuff MadCowChef.


04-03-2014, 12:19 PM
Thanks all. I need to do the transitions from forest to caves, maybe a set to make extra large caves, a few more wet forest tiles, and maybe some outside ruins and buildings. Any major areas of adventure I'm missing? Here a sampler of most of the cavern Ruins/ongoing battle tiles:


04-04-2014, 06:33 PM
If you were asking "But madcowchef, what if I need a really big cavern to house my tarrasque?" here is the answer. A sample of the majority of pieces I did for a big cave construction kit. The scale leads to less detail, and as I envisioned my map tiles being good for quick setup putting together a big cave is somewhat guaranteed to take a few tiles at least so isn't at the core of how I pictured people using them. None the less I included them for the sake of completeness and including a big cave at the end of some little tunnels seems appropriate.


04-05-2014, 08:42 PM
Hmm I was testing to see if I set for a elven style tree city would be worth it. I'm not overly convinced with what I've come up with though. I figured I'd have elevation change only by a central spiral staircase in each tree, so you could effectively stack as many levels as you wanted linking them through the staircase vertically. For horizontal connections I was going to run rope bridges, I threw in a bad place holder for these. The easily navigable paths are laid down in a light wood with climbable branches depicted as is. I'm not sure if I'll pursue this set as its not the most common setting for adventures anyways and its so so at best.


04-06-2014, 07:49 AM
Excellent MadCow, that works for me.

04-08-2014, 04:10 PM
OK did some transfers between the caves and the forest so I'm back out in the open air again adding more rivers and some random ruins and classic encounter locations. Considering if I want to produce at least a small set of tree city style tiles or move to something related to inter-planar travel that's all the rage with kids these days. Here's one of my recent favorites I did:


04-09-2014, 12:13 AM
OK I'm revisiting the tree city just because even if a less common encounter location its one that seems to get to little attention at times., I'm wondering if I should fill the background with color, clouds, foliage, or a view of the ground? the idea is that these would be stacked several stories high so the view of the ground doesn't make a lot of sense if there is supposed to be two levels under it, but I fear the foliage fill would hide important details of the map. I think rather than rope bridges I might simply have the branches themselves join, less realistic but more visually pleasing and that way players won't constantly be trying to turn the bridges into movable scenery (which I'm trying not to map). Any thoughts on these problems are very welcome.

Edit: I hear pictures help

04-09-2014, 05:16 AM
The clouds looks best visually to me; however they look like ice not cloud, which is probably not a good thing. The black and green backgrounds are too similar in colour to the tree thing.

04-09-2014, 07:01 AM
I don't think the sky or the black make sense, I'd go for the other option. However, it might be better to grey it out a little by putting a semi-transparent black layer just underneath the current level, since that way the most important bits would stand out.

04-09-2014, 04:03 PM
Thanks for the comments, gives me a direction to go in, that set is proving challenging. Less challenging in my opinion is other new area for mapping, some sort of magical wasteland/hell that sort of thing. I debated going red or green for the magical glowing writing bits, but I want the lava/heat vents to be red so I didn't want the green and red Christmas in hell look so I went with red. Not sure if the highlights on the stone outcroppings (like the mound in my sample) aren't a shade to bright but I figured I needed some contrast. Anything stand out as bad in my test for the various elements?

04-09-2014, 04:35 PM
Excellent background texture.

04-09-2014, 06:28 PM
Looks good, the runes & pentagram seem to float above the surface, but I'm not sure how to fix that.

04-09-2014, 06:43 PM
Hmm maybe I need to turn up the shadow on the outer bevel I have set. Thanks for the additional eyes!

04-23-2014, 01:34 PM
OK here's a random arrangement of the tiles from my demonic wastelands, the majority of the tiles are shown:

04-23-2014, 07:56 PM
madcowchef your maps are amazing.

Please tell me, how do you make these awesome walls? is there a tutorial somewhere I can read?


04-23-2014, 09:17 PM
Lots of the bevel tool applied in different ways and some cheesy layer effects. I use Photoshop so I can't say how much this applies to other programs. I should write something with more pictury examples to make everything easier to follow, but for now:
1. Lay down the basic texture for the rock and put an inner bevel on it only a couple pixels wide. Set highlights to overlay unless you are working with a shinier material.
2. Add the texture option to the bevel, any grainy stone will do, and adjust the depth of the texture so it isn't too overpowering but the stone looks like it has highlights and shadows to it (depending on texture anywhere from 10-80%).
3. New layer with a bunch of radial lines (you'll have to draw these or use the ones below) linked to the one below by making it a clipping mask. Apply an outer bevel several pixels wide, again with highlights on overlay. For a flat wall you can use a grid instead of radial lines.
4. Add the texture option to that bevel too, the one you used before, or an even rougher one with some cracks, again fiddle with depth till it looks good. You should now have a ring wall made of rough bricks. that will do for a building in good repair. but moving onward to more damage.
5. New layer render some black and white clouds, then render some difference clouds over that. Set layer to either overlay or hard-light and adjust opacity (I like around 60% depending on the darkness of the lighting). Make this layer a clipping mask to the first stone layer and then hide the whole thing with a layer mask. Add a drop shadow set to 0 distance and maybe a few pixels wide.
6. Now take a brush with an uneven edge and edit the layer mask, anywhere you draw over the wall you'll get sections of "broken" looking stone.
7. Use the same rough brush to take chunks out of the wall here and there.
8. Add a drop shadow to your stone layer(or better yet just draw your own on a separate layer).
9. Add a outer glow to your stone layer, set blend mode to multiply, and make the color black (this works better than drop shadow as you can make it either "soft" or "precise" which will look better for different projects). Set it to just a few pixels and lower the opacity down to 60-20% depending on what looks good.
10. Fiddle with all the opacity settings for the bevels to the light and dark balance is good.


04-24-2014, 08:15 PM
Some icy stuff for your northern needs. This is all of the winter set I've done, they were so close to fitting right when I laid them out at random I fiddled with them till they actually fit together without any inappropriate edge matches. Next up I'm going to do some fortification tiles as they are a common place to have encounters.


04-25-2014, 11:35 AM
These are tremendous. Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm really enjoying examining your tiles in minute detail for ideas on how I can get better at drawing. A generous contribution to the community, huzzah!


04-25-2014, 03:30 PM
Awesome work.

A little late to the party on this one, but I have some comments on the elven tree tile.

The cloud background doesn't make sense unless the tree is literally taller than the clouds.

The black background is distracting in its emptiness. Too much of a yawning chasm. What is the tree rooted in?

The grass texture makes the most sense from a naturalistic point of view, but it suffers from several problems:

1) it's almost the same color as the leaves;
2) it almost the same texture as the leaves;
3) the details of the leaves and the grass are equally sharp, despite different distances from the point of view.

That makes it hard to distinguish where the leaves stop and the grass begins. It also undermines the sense of depth.

I think you may need a different ground texture. Perhaps some leaf litter, with a blur and possibly some darkening on it?

Here's a very quick example:


This is just using a VERY quick mask of your sample image, so the edges are rough.

I added a leaf litter texture (this one from CGTextures (http://cgtextures.com/texview.php?id=26274)). In the bottom right third, it's just as-is. In the bottom left third, it's got a 2px gaussian blur applied to the leaf litter. In the top third, it's got both the blur and a bit of darkening.

Something like that might work. I think adding a bit of blur to the textures that are further away helps a good bit with adding a sense of height in a map like this.

Though obviously if you were doing it for real you'd need to do a good bit more to it. I totally ignored shadows, for instance, and you'd want to do something to break up the leaf litter so that the repeating pattern isn't so obvious.

EDIT: And on further consideration, the leaf litter I chose is too brown. It blends too well with the bark. The ground really needs a texture which is visually distinct from both the leaves AND the bark. Something with a good bit of variation to it. Maybe the leaves have an orange or red cast to them? Or at least a lighter tan instead of brown.

04-25-2014, 03:50 PM
Great suggestions, they give me some ideas. Perhaps the problem is the leaf and bark colors. I could go for a more black/silver bark it would probably be more accurate than the browner tones anyhow, and the blue green balance of the leaves is also up for some contrast with a brown/yellow green background. Part of the problem is I envisioned that several of these might exist in a stack to represent a multistory house, so the background on all but the first layer where the ground is still visible (and there is an entry) should realistically be more treetops, but I'm going to need that to be blurred and darkened to indicate that its below the current layer. This is easily the most problematic of the set so far, and I am torn between the fact that its a less common setting and its an interesting setting that sees fewer mapping attempts.

04-25-2014, 04:34 PM
This is easily the most problematic of the set so far, and I am torn between the fact that its a less common setting and its an interesting setting that sees fewer mapping attempts.

It's certainly a tough project. But I think it's well worth it. Tree-cities are not exactly uncommon in fantasy and SF gaming. They positively drip flavor. And as you're finding out, they're a pain to map. Having a nicely designed set of tiles would be a really excellent contribution.

04-29-2014, 09:25 PM
Fort McMadCow is ready to withstand any assault, or it would be if it wasn't in ruins due to the incident with the pizza delivery service not being able to find the door. Which is all to say here is the sampler image of all the pieces I did for fortifications, should match up nicely with the forest tiles. I think its now time to poke at the tree city again.


04-29-2014, 11:59 PM
Fantastic map tiles MCC! Gotta love it!

04-30-2014, 12:05 AM
Here is my latest greatest attempt at the setup for a tree based city. Though the foreground and background blend a bit (the entry level ones will have ground on them rather than the foliage background on this one) I think that's OK as the paths are still highly visible and the over layer of foliage that would block line of sight seems well enough defined to me at least, though if you disagree I'd be interested to hear it.

04-30-2014, 09:22 AM
After all of the debate concerning this tree city, I think it's turned out very nicely. Good job, Mad.

05-01-2014, 08:45 PM
OK tree city sampler. Thanks for all the help and insight that made an initially weak attempt look far more passable. Only a few more sets of these planned, swamps, desserts, and some more countryside buildings.


05-02-2014, 02:52 PM
OK next up on my chopping block is deserts (versus desserts which would be an awesome setting for an epic battle but doesn't seem in high demand). Anything wrong or off here? The plants are only so so, but my method allows for a lot of customization at the cost of some of some quality foliage wise but do let me know if they are so off as to be distracting.

05-05-2014, 08:57 PM
The foliage looks a little dark, almost as if they were meant to be pits in the ground, but the textures themselves work really well together.

05-05-2014, 09:57 PM
Did you do all this in merely 2 months? Thats realy impressive!

05-05-2014, 10:00 PM
Thanks jkat718, guess my screen settings are a bit funky, I always have it turned down a ton which can lower the contrast on things a bit much.
Yes its a homage to the spare time I am currently blessed with and the higher speed one can do encounter maps at rather than regional maps.

05-05-2014, 10:40 PM
What kind of monitor do you use, just curious. I'm loving the look of these desert tiles.

05-05-2014, 11:40 PM
Hmm it says acer on it and its a flat screen, that's my full technical knowledge.

05-06-2014, 03:13 AM
Nice MCC!

What about tiles with a transparency for the background? For instance the tree city, just printing them off, then laminating and laying them over the existing tiles. I'm going to keep monitoring this thread and hope that you work your way over to sea tiles and ships. The internet is lacking in good ship battlemaps! Paizo made some a while back, but they have since been discontinued, and cost a ridiculous amount.

05-06-2014, 10:34 AM
Just popping by to say that the elven tree tiles turned out nicely, and I'll certainly be using them!

The desert has good textures. The plants look okay to me, though perhaps a tad on the lush side for an actual desert. Maybe some scrub.

05-06-2014, 03:03 PM
Desert is done. Next is swamp, but I have a few neglected side projects to get onto first.

05-07-2014, 12:34 PM
Oo, nice.

Looking forward to the swamp tiles. My campaign is likely to be needing some of those soon. ^_^

05-19-2014, 06:29 PM
Hi MCC, are you on vacation from MapTileLand?

05-19-2014, 06:48 PM
Briefly at least. Need to finish out the swamp before too long but I have started yet another game so need to bust out maps for it first.

05-20-2014, 05:42 PM
Very impressive work - will be thoroughly taking some notes on the many of the techniques you have here!

06-02-2014, 10:51 AM
Man, can you give HD version of caveruinsampler.jpg and fortsamplerr.jpg ? Where each tile - 2000 px and resolution is 300 px/inch. Very necessary :(

06-04-2014, 12:32 PM
Not sure what resolution they are but you can get the high res version on the "free battle map tiles galore" link in his "signature block".

Madcow - Awesome stuff by the way - a well made single map can be an awesome adventure - but these contributions will build MANY great adventures!

06-04-2014, 05:00 PM
Ooops totally missed that one, thanks for the assist Kennyt. You might have to change the resolution, but that only effects print size not the detail of the image.

06-05-2014, 11:58 AM
I'd love to know how you did the grassy rounded clump thingies (sorry, technical term) on the desert tile set. They look a lot like the burial mounds that I'm doing for a project. Thanks!

06-05-2014, 01:17 PM
Do you mean the ones int the lower right hand corner or the top middle? Here's a tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/27077-battlemaps-photoshop.html) I did on how I generally worked on these maps, but I can give you much more tailored information about individual map tiles techniques.

06-05-2014, 03:45 PM
Do you mean the ones int the lower right hand corner or the top middle?

Top middle, I think.

Here's a tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/27077-battlemaps-photoshop.html) I did on how I generally worked on these maps, but I can give you much more tailored information about individual map tiles techniques.

Perfect! Thanks!

Um... step 1 says "Have talent". Think I'm in trouble :-)

06-05-2014, 04:12 PM
Clearly if it says have talent, then I as the author am writing about a subject I'm unfamiliar with. The two main things for making the mound in that picture are the cliffs, and making fake shadows and highlights to show that its a hill. Both are covered in that tutorial but here's the most important part:
1. pick the shape and direction of the sun
2. on a separate layer, set to blend mode overlay draw your white highlights, on a different separate layer set to multiply draw your black shadows. (I showed the two combined with normal blend mode so you could see what I was doing).
3. Mess with the opacities of your different modes, I did around 40% for my example.
4. If its too sharp edges, use a blur filter or go back with a lower opacity brush to and blend the edges on your highlight and shadow layers so the hill spreads into the surrounding terrain.

That's about it for faking the shadows. You can afford to be pretty messy as my example shows.

06-06-2014, 11:05 AM
Loverly. A mini-tutorial on top of the original! You guys amaze me with your willingness to share techniques. Thanks so much!

06-09-2014, 08:30 AM
MCC! Hey - i ended up using your desert tiles to create an underwater encounter scene, they worked perfect! I just added a translucent water layer and VIOLA!

( i also made some wave sea growth using a close up pic of my carpet, haha!)

06-09-2014, 12:42 PM
Nice! Very clever use of them. Your carpet idea is fun, just watch out, you'll start evaluating everything around you as a texture source before long and people will look at you weirdly when you stop to peer at a strange area of bark or a particular concrete with great interest.

06-09-2014, 02:51 PM
Nice! Very clever use of them. Your carpet idea is fun, just watch out, you'll start evaluating everything around you as a texture source before long and people will look at you weirdly when you stop to peer at a strange area of bark or a particular concrete with great interest.

My family gets a kick out of it when I pass a rural barn and comment, "Nice rust"

06-28-2014, 04:35 PM
MCC, have you put any thought into making a couple swamp - forest transition or even a swamp - cave transition tile? if you ever find a spare moment those could be a wonderful add to your collection . BTW thanks again, your tile sets are my go-to for map making!

06-28-2014, 08:51 PM
Excellent point, should be no problem to do the forest to swamp. The cave translations are harder but always with it.

06-29-2014, 01:07 PM
I would have put this in a private message but I don't have enough posts - I am not a contributor as I have very little talent for images.

Thank you so much for your efforts and sharing your talents; my games are better for your work, and my gamers have a better experience and immersion in the world you've allowed me to present. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I just tried getting devient art to let me log in/create a new account for the better part of 20 minutes so I could buy you some premium membership time; do you have a paypal donate link or something that isn't devient art?

07-01-2014, 11:46 AM
Just donate to the cartographers guild in my name. It will save that messy paper work from giving them my first born anyhow.

07-05-2014, 05:16 PM
It shall be done!

My power went out the moment I started logging into paypal; I'm doing it now... Done!

07-05-2014, 07:45 PM
Just donate to the cartographers guild in my name. It will save that messy paper work from giving them my first born anyhow.

I should have fully explored your DeviantArt profile; I didn't notice you do commissions until now. As funds become available to me, I'd love to have you work on some DarkSun themed city/undercity/arena areas as your desire and schedule permit. Your rates are extremely reasonable as well.

07-05-2014, 08:21 PM
As a fan of that setting box, I would love to see what MCC would do with it!

07-05-2014, 08:32 PM
Wow, how did I miss all this? Astounding work, MCC. Have some all-purpose rep from me.

07-07-2014, 09:05 PM
Suweeeeeeeeeeeeeet..... as I stare, drooling.

Rafael Lazzari
07-25-2014, 12:40 PM
..... I really don't know what to say. You're awesome dude. Thank you very much for this impressive work.

07-25-2014, 01:33 PM
You're very welcome, happy to support my favorite hobby and others who enjoy it.

08-10-2014, 08:18 AM
MCC, question for you - how did you make the "pebbles" on this map - ingeniously random and believable. http://th08.deviantart.net/fs71/PRE/i/2014/113/6/b/ruined_tower_tiledt30_by_madcowchef-d7dnsge.jpg

08-11-2014, 12:52 PM
I used the same method I show in my battlemap tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/27077-battlemaps-photoshop.html). Step 3 discusses the brush I used, and 4 the layer effects. Basical I use a dynamic brush with scattering and a lot of randomness to place rocks where I think they go in a vague way, and then use some bevel and drop shadow to make them look a tad more 3D. If that doesn't answer your question let me know and I'll try to be more specific.

09-14-2014, 10:19 AM
Very good job on these! I like when people pay attention to little details in their works.

10-18-2014, 09:25 PM
wow these look really nice.

This is my personal preferences though but hope it helps atleast.

1. Personally i prefer gridless, i myself use roll20 for my online games and it applies a grid. often its a great deal of trouble to align those gridlines to the gridlines on the map despite the function to align to grid built in. if i were to choose i would definitely prefer the dark grid over the white grid as it doesnt stand out as much.

2. 10x10 5ft grids are the perfect size in my opinion. if it is designed as tiles that can be added side by side to make a larger map its neither so small its annoying to put together or too large.

3. the maps look amazing, quite detailed. if i were to say a thing it would be that i miss large obstructions like trees for example that blocks field of view. i am a big fan of the dynamic lighting functions and i think it adds to the enjoyment of a map. but that is just my personal preference. (granted what i see on the map tiles you made i see as bushes. outlining dynamic lighting on maps requires drawing borders past which players cannot see and that doesnt work all too well with the kind of bushes that are there.)

sorry if this is a bit incoherent as i just finished a 10 hour d&d session and its 3:30am hehe.

10-18-2014, 11:27 PM
wow these look really nice.
sorry if this is a bit incoherent as i just finished a 10 hour d&d session and its 3:30am hehe.

Never apologize for playing D&D to the point of incoherence.;)

10-19-2014, 01:32 PM
Thanks for the imput. The dynamic lighting interaction with odd shape objects seems a bit problematic in general, blur circles instead of straight edged ones would be a good solution.

01-19-2015, 08:26 PM
Your map style is really fantastic, and I'd like to try to learn to emulate it.

I have a quick question. When you create the floor texture here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=62828&d=1396302158, is that just pulled straight from cgtextures or is there some kind of post processing? Specifically, are the lines between each individual stone a part of the original texture?


01-20-2015, 01:08 AM
I do a couple of things typically after getting a good tiled texture, all aimed at making it look like the texture doesn't repeat as often. I usually do one or multiple of the following:
1. Use the tiled floor pattern as a texture for the bevel effect in PS over a different stone texture.
2. Put a different pattern (often a cloud like one) of larger size so it doesn't line up with the first faintly over it. I do this step pretty much every time.
3. If the pattern allows for it make a copy rotate it and randomly erase parts of the top layer so that any unique sections aren't repeated as often.

01-20-2015, 01:44 AM
The Gimp has a plugin from Gmic
it has a "crack" and a "mosaic" filter
examples : - i used the select tool to make a circle and used the plugin on the circle
http://2.t.imgbox.com/vlsru8tL.jpg (http://imgbox.com/vlsru8tL) http://6.t.imgbox.com/SGhjnVtX.jpg (http://imgbox.com/SGhjnVtX) http://1.t.imgbox.com/10NzE9T9.jpg (http://imgbox.com/10NzE9T9)

both can be used to make paving stone area

01-20-2015, 06:53 PM
Thank you to both of you for the quick replies!