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Duarthei
12-09-2008, 02:18 AM
Hello All,

My name is Michael. I just joined this forum. My interest in cartography is for mapping my fantasy world for D&D and stories. I don't have much artistic talent but in the past I have drawn maps by hand. I recently purchased Fractal Terrains and Campaign Cartographer in the hopes that they could help me make some higher quality maps. Unfortunately, the learning curves for these two programs is steeper than I had anticipated and the accompanying manuals are not helping much.

Actually, I haven't played with CC that much yet as I am still trying to figure out FT. I was wondering if anyone here knows of a better Fractal Terrains tutorial that what is provided with the software. Also, is there perhaps an even better program than Fractal Terrains for generating real looking worlds? Because so far the worlds I've generated in FT don't look very real to me. But maybe that's just me not using the right settings.

My ultimate desire is to have my whole world in digital form and when I need regional maps I just zoom in on the required area and generate a new map.

Gamerprinter
12-09-2008, 02:50 AM
Welcome to the Guild!

Don't be too harsh with FT, as Waldronate, a member here is the developer of that application, and the free Wilbur app as well. ;)

I'm sure one of local FT experts and CC3 experts will get you on your way.

Theres lots of other apps to consider as well, many free, like GIMP.

Again, welcome.

GP

Sagenlicht
12-09-2008, 08:11 AM
Welcome aboard :)

I think we got a few nice CC tutorials on this site. At least for me, the best way to learn a new app is by doing a few tutorials.

Steel General
12-09-2008, 08:27 AM
Welcome Aboard!

I hereby banish your 'Blue Pip O'Anonimity'! *bonk*

Redrobes
12-09-2008, 08:32 AM
Hi Duarthei, theres a keyword index link in my sig for threads about stuff. Theres CC3 and FT lists with tutorials and stuff too. A few people have said that those have unlocked the potential of it. You could check out Wilbur too, also by Waldronate which jezelf and others have had more success with. You could check out L3DT too - maybe thats a different direction for you which might work.

NeonKnight
12-09-2008, 12:32 PM
Welcome to the Guild.Any questions on CC3, just shout out and I will answer what I can.

Turgenev
12-11-2008, 01:50 AM
Welcome to the Guild, Duarthei. This is the right place if you have any questions about the various mapping software that is out there. There are many knowledgeable and friendly people here.

Duarthei
12-12-2008, 05:12 PM
Thanks for the welcomes. I will try not to be too harsh on Fractal Terrains. I'm sure it's a powerful program, I'm just having trouble figuring it out. Hopefully I will learn more here.

El Hakim
12-13-2008, 05:19 PM
Hello All,

My name is Michael. I just joined this forum..

Hi Michael, I'm new here too.


Unfortunately, the learning curves for these two programs is steeper than I had anticipated.

That was my experience when I first started with CC. I found FT easier to figure out, though, since I had been using CC for awhile by then.



Actually, I haven't played with CC that much yet as I am still trying to figure out FT.

I don't know if it would help, but you might try mastering CC first, and then go back to FT. I know that's backwards from your plan, but it might be worth a try.


Also, is there perhaps an even better program than Fractal Terrains for generating real looking worlds? Because so far the worlds I've generated in FT don't look very real to me. But maybe that's just me not using the right settings.

I don't know. I went through a lot of iterations trying to find one that I liked, changing the settings to get different results. That wasn't as much on account of the realism as just not being inspired by what I was seeing. How many have you generated so far?



My ultimate desire is to have my whole world in digital form and when I need regional maps I just zoom in on the required area and generate a new map.

You make it sound so easy. :)

ravells
12-14-2008, 12:11 PM
Welcome to the Guild. Check out the software section for different types of app that we use to make maps. FT is a great program, but I think it really shines when it's used in conjunction with a raster editor. Also, look around for the free FT add-on (I'm having a senior moment and can't remember what it's called), but it gives you very beautiful Gaia effects. The author of the add-on is on these forums and he will be able to help you get the most out of FT as will Waldronate.

Gandwarf
12-14-2008, 12:26 PM
Welcome!

I found CC hard to get into also, but nowadays there are some excellent video tutorials:
http://www.profantasy.com/community/user_tutorials.asp
Should get your started on the basics at least and they are not overly long to watch.

Duarthei
12-15-2008, 05:19 PM
I don't know. I went through a lot of iterations trying to find one that I liked, changing the settings to get different results. That wasn't as much on account of the realism as just not being inspired by what I was seeing. How many have you generated so far?

I've generated tons of worlds with Fractal Terrains and played around with it. I'm slowly figuring out how to apply the painting tools. I found another tutorial on this forum that helped a bit, but I still don't feel very confident with my results.




You make it sound so easy. :)

Probably a sign of my ignorance, but I was really hoping that it was that easy. My ideal program would create a completely realistic planet that you could move around in, kind of like a Google Maps for fictional worlds. Even better would be one where you could specify plants and animals and civilizations and then simulate their effects on the world.

Is a full scale planet simulator beyond the capabilities of a desktop PC?

Ascension
12-15-2008, 05:45 PM
I'm looking for that type of God power to make my own world and go trekking thru it as well. Let me know if you find something :)

Gamerprinter
12-15-2008, 08:04 PM
Probably a sign of my ignorance, but I was really hoping that it was that easy. My ideal program would create a completely realistic planet that you could move around in, kind of like a Google Maps for fictional worlds. Even better would be one where you could specify plants and animals and civilizations and then simulate their effects on the world.

Is a full scale planet simulator beyond the capabilities of a desktop PC?

That's kind of a Holy Grail for many digital world developers, publishers and gamers - and no that really doesn't exist yet. Using the various fractal world generators and/or applications like Redrobes developes, you can do alot, but to "push a button" and populate with appropriate animals and monsters, click another button to create map... you're thinking of a Holodeck and that will be available in the 23rd century!

Because I am a cartographer who depends on my creativity to generate maps, I don't really want that to exist at all - I can see its value, and many would want that.

But no, that doesn't yet exist, sorry.

GP

waldronate
12-16-2008, 12:28 AM
Bah, creativity is overrated. Simple mechanistic rules are where it's at!

Duarthei
12-16-2008, 02:31 AM
Well, I have to admit that cartography isn't one of my favorite parts of world building. Indeed, one reason I looked into mapping software was because I hoped to make this part less time consuming.

But, now that I have the programs I'm going to try to learn to use them. Who knows. Maybe it will grow on me.

Thanks again.

Redrobes
12-16-2008, 07:30 AM
Is a full scale planet simulator beyond the capabilities of a desktop PC?Probably, it would depend on the level of detail that your wanting. The area to be simulated is also the other big factor.

What I would like is to generate some random terrain and then physically modify it to make it look ok which were getting close to. Then it would be fun to take that and randomly spawn people and monsters and plagues on that and that lot move around eating people and growing crops, getting hitched up, dying, procreating and finding jobs to do that increase their power and wealth or other basic traits. Like a Sim game it would evolve until you had a lot of everything where you would know the age, race, job, friends, and skills of everything in it.

Long way off tho. Havent seen anyone even remotely get anything like that yet tho. Best I have seen is lists of randomized people with some minor attempt at hooking up people and procreating so that there is some family history but its nothing like enough.

Ascension
12-16-2008, 06:08 PM
The closest thing I've ever seen is Earthsim. However, I play all of those city-building and world-building games of all genres like Populous, Ceasar 3, Stronghold, SimCity, etc. and sometimes I just let the game run and watch the people walk around and do stuff.