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Lorne
05-14-2006, 12:21 AM
Hi all,

I thought it might be informative for the CG community to have a poll tracking the types of mapping programs folks here use, for the purpose of getting a pulse on what's most popular with members and to gain some insight about those programs we might not be using.

Understanding that many of us probably use different programs for different purposes, let's just include our most frequently used program in the poll responses; uses for other applications could be described in replies in this thread.

For my part, my primary map utility is Campaign Cartographer; I often use Photoshop CS for 'after-effects,' and I've just begun working with Dundjinni.

Thanks for reading,

Lorne

castlewalls
05-14-2006, 08:49 AM
Hiya Lorne! Thanks for the link! I voted for Corel ('natch)...
-Jim

Lorne
05-14-2006, 09:40 AM
Great to see you here, CW.

I knew there would be at least one entry for Corel. :)

Lorne

castlewalls
05-14-2006, 03:29 PM
BWAHAHAHAHA!

BWAHAHAHAHA!

BWAA *choke*.....urk...

Patrakis
06-28-2006, 12:43 PM
HI,

I voted for CC3 since i've been working with the CC series for so long, but i keep getting that nagging feeling i could do much more with a combination of photoshop and illustrator. I've tried a number of times over there years to learn the adobe duo but never had enough time to get it. Hence i always fall back with CC.

NOw, with CC3 and all it s marvelous new features, the demarcation has lessen a bit but i will always be a frustrated adobe wanna be :)

Pat

Sir Alain
07-15-2006, 05:01 PM
So far I've actually done most of my mapping in Flash. I have CC2, but to be honest I've never worked with a more non-intuitive Windows app. That's not to say it's not the best in it's field when it comes to results. It is. But for me, I use all the tools in my box, and Flash has a much simpler and more intuitive toolbox. I made an entire set of tree symbols in just a couple hours...

I like CC2, (CC3 in the not too distant future), but I have just found the learning curve to be more intensive than I have the time for at present.

LOL Ok, now all the CC loyalists can beat me up :P

Lorne
07-17-2006, 09:56 AM
Nobody's going to beat you up. It's been my experience that most of the criticism directed at all CC products involves the less-than-user-friendly interface, and I think those criticisms are largely accurate. In some ways, I've found it easier to figure out Photoshop!

But I also agree with you about CC products having the best results. Some of the most vocal CC critics are fans of java-based drawing programs (like Dundjinni), who have described CC maps as 'cartoony' or 'primitive' while pointing out problems with the interface. I concur that earlier versions of CC lacked the ability to handle transparent .PNG files, but the new version seems to address that issue well.

I'd be interested in seeing some samples of your maps drawn in Flash - I don't know the first thing about the program, and I'd like to see its capabilities.

Robbie
07-17-2006, 10:12 AM
I second that...lets see some flash maps!

Plus, with flash you can animate them easily right?

Sir Alain
07-22-2006, 02:53 AM
Some of the most vocal CC critics are fans of java-based drawing programs (like Dundjinni), who have described CC maps as 'cartoony' or 'primitive' while pointing out problems with the interface. .

I tried the demo for Dunjnni. It seemed interesting, but it bogged my computer down to the point of practical uselessness. I have a fairly late model comp too.... Anybody else have problems with it that way?

As for the cartooniness of CC, I guess that's what sort of drew me to it. Call me crazy, but I kinda like it. Flash too is 100% vector too, so I guess that's what makes it lend itself well to comparison. 'Course the price is no comparison LOL!

But really, the biggest problem with CC IMHO is the interface. Commmand prompt driven proggies are so.... 80's DOS. My wife's uncle is an engineer, in fact has his own company. He continues to complain bitterly that CAD programs need to get moe with the times...

Sir Alain
07-22-2006, 03:09 AM
I second that...lets see some flash maps!

Plus, with flash you can animate them easily right?

Actually my Flash map project is an interactive map/menu for my website, but it's only partly finished. It's actually a fusion of bitmap backgrounds generated in CC2 and the dynamic portions done in flash. Heres a couple jpgs of my work:

http://img301.imageshack.us/img301/8521/compassrosesum5.th.jpg (http://img301.imageshack.us/my.php?image=compassrosesum5.jpg)

http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/649/mapsymbolstq7.th.jpg (http://img230.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mapsymbolstq7.jpg)

http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/6663/heraldryqw7.th.jpg (http://img230.imageshack.us/my.php?image=heraldryqw7.jpg)

Oh, and yes, you can animate everything in Flash.

Robbie
07-22-2006, 02:58 PM
Thats awesome stuff! I really dig the compass roses also...I'm a big fan of compass roses though, as if you couldnt' tell by the site template. Umm...you should make some of those symbols into png's for CC3!

I'm still on a journey to make a CC3 library of symbols, but it takes time, and thats so limited lately.

Sir Alain
07-23-2006, 01:15 AM
I probably will, but I'm still a bit of a heel dragger whan it comes to CC3. I will probably get it once all the known bugs are worked out...

Interesting side note (well, maybe not), I actually drew the celtic knots on paper then scanned and traced them in flash.

Yep I know about the "time" thing too.. LOL

Sir Alain
07-23-2006, 01:38 AM
Hiya Lorne! Thanks for the link! I voted for Corel ('natch)...
-Jim

Those are some way nice maps. You made them all in Corel?

Lorne
07-24-2006, 01:01 PM
Yeah, he did make them in Corel - Jim's got great talent, which is one reason why Darkfuries has retained him for maps & cover art.

Castlewalls is the King of Texture fills, also - if you ever need a texture, shoot him an e-mail. He's great to work with.

Intermagus
10-08-2006, 04:49 PM
*sneaks in quietly and votes for using a paint program*

Hi.....behold the caveman.......still using PaintShop Pro 8 to draw my maps, basically since I would be the quintessental dingle-wit when it comes to mapping. Mostly since the maps I make more easily flow from a magnetic pen onto a digital canvas rather than to try making symbols to plug into one program, then another.

I tried Campaign Cartographer once......about 6 years ago. Got lost......went back to painting the maps.

Maybe hanging around here might net me some insight as to why I sat staring dumbfounded into my screen at all those controls in Campaign Cartographer and perhaps get on with making my campaign setting as I've been promising to do for.....oh, I don't know.....7 friggin'years now......for my gaming group.

By the way, thanks for inviting me, Arcana.

Sir Alain
10-08-2006, 06:12 PM
Yeh, If PS or PSP ever adds athe capability to use a symbol library and adds a fractal pen, my CC days are over...

ravells
10-08-2006, 06:28 PM
Illustrator has the equivalent of a fractal pen...so the days are numbered, I think.

I pretty much only use CC2 for its symbols - the rest is done in PSP or Serif Drawplus (superb budget mix between a raster and vector package). You can't get the same rich textures in in CC2. CC needs brushes...badly, they are so incredibly useful when drawing maps.

Ravs

Intermagus
10-08-2006, 10:36 PM
Actually, symbols are a snap to make in PSP 8.....but you might call them something else in PSP tools, though......picture tubes.

Tell me what a fractal pen is, and I bet I can find something reasonably close with PSP. I don't generally see eye to eye wih Photoshop. Too many convolutions that I cannot find my way through (methinks I sees a pattern, cap'n!).

Sir Alain
10-09-2006, 02:34 AM
Ah yeahh! I remember tubes. It's been an age since I messed around in PSP. Not sure if you can rotate or transform though... I might have to revisit! Actually, I think Flash has the symbol management system most like CC, only much easier to use. Maybe now that it's owned by Adobe, they'll incorporate it into CS.

I have Adobe illustrator too... haven't tromped around too much in there so far, still buried in Photoshop. I would be interested in how to achieve a fractal pen effect in it though. (The wavy line like tool in CC).

'Course now if PF would quit defending 30 year old CAD archiecture and listen to what the buying public wants, and actually producing it. they could really have a premium piece of software.... but that's just me.... I know, I know, the .png's.... but for the two or so years I've been in CC2-L I've never really seen folks clamoring over bitmaps much. It's usually the same newbie questions over and over about the same basics that really should be a lot more intuitive ("Why doesn't such-and-such work?). It's the interface thing again.... Streamline the danged interface!

*dives off soapbox and runs for cover* :P

Robbie
10-09-2006, 07:54 AM
Alain...I think the problem with Profantasy is that its not THEIR cad software...or am I wrong...does profantasy actually own FastCAD or are they just licensing it for development? If they'd bite the bullet and develop their own interface, your right, interface could be a lot easier.

I will say this though...if you're capable of mastering the CC2/3 interface, you're capable of mastering the 3D Studio or Maya interface...and I'd reccommend doing so.

Sir Alain
10-12-2006, 12:42 AM
As I understand it, they are licsenced to use the fast-cad engine, or maybe it is open-sourced? But yeah, a ground up approach might be something they want to think about.

Don't have 3D Studio, or maya, but am muddling through hexagon and bryce... I have had CC2 for a couple years now, but there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day...

jpstod
11-19-2006, 04:48 PM
I use CCPro (and CC3) for Campaign and City Scale Maps
and I use Dundjinni for Detailed (1"=5' Scaled) Detailed Maps

A Note about DJ : It is a Java Platform Application to Make it Crossplatform so Mac and PC Users can Use it. It is a Memory Hog. Yes It does Bog down quite a bit. Still I won't give it up for anything to map detailed maps.

Just got CC3 Disc and am still awaiting the DD3 Disc so I have not tried it yet to make any detailed interior Maps

SJMiller
11-21-2006, 04:03 PM
Hi folks!
I am pretty much one of those old time hand drawing cartographers. Sure, I could learn one of the various mapping programs, but I spend enough time in front of a computer. Sometimes it is nice to sit with pencils, pens, ink, and paper and draw a map. Sometimes making copies involves a light table, but that's half the fun.

Robbie
11-21-2006, 04:16 PM
Nothing at all wrong with old fashioned! I liek those maps too! Post some samples if you got any scans! I'd love to see yer work in the gallery forums!

Kepli
11-22-2006, 03:11 AM
No surprise I voted for Dundjinni of course LOL
I do a lot of art work in PS too (art pieces for use in DJ) and I do have CC3. The UI of CC3 kept me from really starting to use it (yet).

Yes, DJ's ability to be cross-platform has the downside of being a memory hog. There are a few things you can do to make that better though.
The Java problem is one of the things that will change with the new DJ version we are working on :D

Robbie
11-22-2006, 07:50 AM
No surprise I voted for Dundjinni of course LOL
I do a lot of art work in PS too (art pieces for use in DJ) and I do have CC3. The UI of CC3 kept me from really starting to use it (yet).

Yes, DJ's ability to be cross-platform has the downside of being a memory hog. There are a few things you can do to make that better though.
The Java problem is one of the things that will change with the new DJ version we are working on :D

Sounds like you guys are going to be addressing a LOT of the reasons myself and many others avoided Dundjinni.

Although I must admit, I'm normally a multi-tool kinda guy...I usually like to have more than one type of a program...the main reason I stuck with CC is because of the investment I already had made into the line when DJ came out. Now though...I'm not as poor as I used to be.

Kepli
11-22-2006, 08:07 AM
I know what you mean ...
I started with just DJ, after making maps in MsWord for years ;)

Then I got Paint Shop Pro for my birthday, started using Bryce, Poser, the Gimp, Texture Maker, Photoshop, Project Doggwaffle and Vue. Tried some other progs too in between ...

Right now I use a combination of Vue, Poser and Photoshop to create objects that I use in DJ and Texture Maker and Photoshop to create textures.

Since I got CC3 for free, I don't mind not using it at the moment ;)

I try to use only the money I make as webmaster for models and software.

Robbie
11-22-2006, 09:43 AM
I'm not making any money as a webmaster here yet...Google only pays out in blocks of $100...and I'm up to 20 bucks now I think hehehe. I'm hoping to get the site to at least pay for itself, which isn't much.

As for software...I use Photoshop, and 3d Studio Max 8 for ALL my graphics work (including the layout of this site and the creation of the textures and stuff in the wallpaper I based this site on) and CC3 exclusively for mapping until friday when I get dundjinni.

Kepli
11-22-2006, 10:31 AM
If you need any help with DJ, either post something here, or at the DJ site ;)

Maldin
11-22-2006, 04:22 PM
I use CorelDraw, Illustrator, Photopaint, and a few others, but most of my work is done within Photoshop.

Denis, aka "Maldin"
=========================
Maldin's Greyhawk http://melkot.com
Loads of edition-independent Greyhawk goodness... maps, magic, mysteries, mechanics, and more! Lots of maps. ;-)

loydb
11-26-2006, 11:00 AM
CC2 has been my software of choice, combined with lots of Photoshop and 3d Studio (started with the DOS version, now up to Max v8), plus a smattering of VistaPro and Bryce.

I'm about to start a major re-mapping of my campaign world (4th in 27 years), and I'm waffling about CC3 (I own it, but haven't started using it yet).

Like everyone else, I hate the CAD engine GUI. Everything is so bass-ackwards that it's actually painful to me to use, and the lack of documentation is frustrating.

I've looked at Dunjinni, but I've never seen much in the way of great world/overland maps done with it. I'm watching the progress on Cartograph as well, but I'll probably end up going with CC3.

loyd

Kepli
11-27-2006, 04:07 AM
Hi Loydb,

True, Dundjinni was originally created for top-down mapping purposes. Some people have extended it's use to campaign and iso mapping as well though. Not that DJ is made for those, but you can ... ;)
There are samples at the forum that show there is a lot possible for overland mapping ...

RobA
04-11-2007, 12:23 PM
I'd be interested in seeing some samples of your maps drawn in Flash - I don't know the first thing about the program, and I'd like to see its capabilities.

I'll second that! I'd like to see what can be done in flash.