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Fabrice
02-06-2009, 09:20 AM
Hello everybody

My name is Fabrice, I have been playing various RPGs since my teens but had to cut down these last years due to an assignment in a place where computer games are the exclusive diet of the gaming population.

I stumbled upon the Guild a few weeks ago and was amazed and inspired by what you people can create... So here I am, equipped with the CC3 software (my drawing skills peaked at age 4 and have been steadily decreasing ever since, so I like the wealth of ready-made symbols...) and with a first try of a map, based on some mini-setting I day-dreamed a few weeks ago, and that I would like to submit to this noble assembly, so that I may understand what is wrong and how to set it right.

Already I can see that the text labels are not easy to read, that the sea appears beyond the map border for some arcane reason, that the estuaries look odd... Any suggestion of improvement would be welcome.

Another thing that eludes me is how to make the white background surrounding the scanned, hand-"calligraphed" text on the right-hand side of the map somewhat transparent. Anyone able to teach me this trick shall be rewarded with a royal amount of gratitude, as I was kind of hoping I could insert compositions in the maps...

I apologise for the long introduction and thank you all in advance for your valuable advice.

Gandwarf
02-06-2009, 09:34 AM
Hi Fabrice,

Good to have another CC3 user aboard. I think your map looks great and I gave you some reputation for it. Where did you get the symbols you are using in this map, are they from one of the symbol sets?

Can't help you with your questions as I have been mostly using City Designer 3.

Steel General
02-06-2009, 09:39 AM
Welcome Aboard Fabrice!

...and since you uploaded a map in your introductory post (and a nice one at that) I dub thee newly repped *bonk*

Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

Fabrice
02-06-2009, 10:21 AM
Thank you Gandwarf


The symbols are from the Symbol Set 1, the "Fantasy 1" collection if I am not mistaken.

The fonts used were found on the Da Font website, except for the scribling on the right which is a scan.

Gandwarf
02-06-2009, 11:51 AM
Hmm, nice. I might have to purchase that symbol set.

ravells
02-06-2009, 02:08 PM
Welcome to the guild, Fabrice! This is a great start re your map, the only comment I would make is that some of your rivers have very straight lines and angular bends (I think you might have used the straight line tool there rather than the curved line tool). You'll find that we talk about rivers a lot here, some people even have badges...

RobA
02-06-2009, 04:47 PM
That is a really nice symbol set! I don't believe I have seen any maps here using it.

And regardless of what Ravs says, the rivers are fine, geologically speaking ;) If a king wanted to spend his time having people straighten rivers, that is their royal prerogative!

-Rob A>

ravells
02-06-2009, 04:52 PM
Big Badges like him ^ :)

Ascension
02-06-2009, 05:16 PM
Honestly, this is a great map. The only thing I might tweak is the text (which you have already pointed out); I can read it just fine but it looks overly italicized, maybe that's just the way it is. The "terra incognita" probably needs to be bigger or more prominent somehow to make it stand out as a title so I'd move it to that lower right corner and make it bigger. Again, these are very minor...that delta is great, the colors are nice, and the symbols are easily seen. Good job.

Fabrice
02-07-2009, 12:38 AM
Thank you all for the comments.

Ascencion was right, the "italic" style was ticked for all the text labels, so I corrected them.

I was trying to give a "streamy" look to the rivers in the montain by hitting the "fractalise" function, but then the whole river was affected. I corrected this by using the "split" function on the river when it goes out of the montains, and using "fractalise" on the upstream segment only.

I tried to move and enlarge the scan... but I am still not happy with how it sticks out of the rest of the map. I would appreciate any suggestion about how to make it blend better.

NeonKnight
02-09-2009, 12:35 PM
Anyong-haeseyo!

And that is the extent of my Korean ;) Much to my wife and here family's chagrin :D

If you are worried about 'straight rivers' use the the straight to smooth feature of CC3 and that SHARP, STRAIGHT river will become all curvy. Don't use the method detailed in the help file (that is kinda wacked!), but instead do the following:

Fabrice
02-09-2009, 11:13 PM
Kamsa Hamnida!

Thank you for the good advice... Much more simple than I thought (I actually re-drew portions of the rivers). I guess from now on I will right-click on everything on sight anytime I am stuck in CC3!

Midgardsormr
02-09-2009, 11:16 PM
Very good idea. It did wonders for me!

Feralspirit
02-10-2009, 04:14 AM
Fabrice, welcome! I have been looking around for inspiration and you have provided it! I do not have CC3, and while my artistic ability is, well, not exceptional, I believe I can actually manage to reproduce something like your deciduous trees. My current work has only an outline for my forest, and it definately needs help.

Being new to the guild and digital cartography I have little to say about your current work except that it looks great to me. Well, let me add this... being completely new to digital cartography it took me days to figure out some really basic functions. I had a torn parchment layer, and the layer that had my map, but my map either sat above or below the parchment, never on it, until I found the Color to Alpha function. This function essentially erased white on my top layer and allowed the parchment to show through. I am using The GIMP, and I don't know if there is a similar or corresponding function in CC3, but someone else here does. Gandwarf is proficient in CC3, and you might care to look through some of the tutorials for CC3 to see if someone has already answered your question.

I'd like to ask a small favor, is there something similar to your trees (having a simple, hand-drawn look) that denotes swamp/bog in your symbol set, and if so could you post it, or a few if available?

Thanks and Welcome again!

Fabrice
02-10-2009, 05:48 AM
Thank you for the advice. I downloaded the GIMP last week (but have not tried it yet) and will try to add the calligraphy on the map from there, using the function that you suggested.

As for the tree symbols, thank you for your comments but I do not deserve them, since they are part of the "SS1 Overland" symbol set from ProFantasy. I can not post the symbols here as this would be unfair for the folks who are feeding their families by creating and selling them (and would probably violate basic IP laws) but I will see if I can post a section of a map featuring swamp symbols that could serve as a source of inspiration for you.

Feralspirit
02-10-2009, 06:11 AM
Ah, yes. You are, of course, quite right and have spoken wisely. I continue to look through maps in the guild for something that works for me.

Yes, if you have GIMP already, the Color to Alpha function is conveniently found under the Colors tab. Good Luck!

Fabrice
02-10-2009, 11:48 AM
Feral Spirit,


The "Color to Alpha" trick worked perfectly. I can now post a map with hand-calligraphed titles blending with the rest of the map. As promised in my original post, a royal amount of gratitude will be your just reward for this deed(rep coming your way).

I am posting as well a small sample of a map where you can see some grassland and swamp for your inspiration. If you like this symbol set, you can find more examples on the ProFantasy site: click on "Fantasy Overland", then "Gallery" and the 6th picture will be samples of structures from this set.

Thanks again for the help!

Feralspirit
02-10-2009, 04:46 PM
NP, glad it worked for you. Though it does look better than before, without a closer look at the thumbnail your capital letters are getting lost in the mountains. Maybe apply a small glow?

Thank you for your other map, I will be certain to incoorperate it into my own campaign.

NeonKnight
02-10-2009, 05:07 PM
Looking at your map, your TEXT (the CC3 TEXT), is experiencing an issue I know of. For some reason, the BLACK of the TEXT changes to WHITE when it is placed overtop BLACK symbols and has a glow applied to it.

The Fix is very simple. Simply change the color of your test from BLACK (COLOR 0) to the darkest Grey (COLOR 240), or the Darkest Brown (COLOR 32). These two colors are fairly indistinguishable from Black, but doesn't fall prey to this little bug.

Ascension
02-10-2009, 05:48 PM
This looks nice and I had no idea that CC could actually do a nice hand-drawn style.

Fabrice
02-12-2009, 11:31 AM
I am almost done with this one.

I used NeonKnight's trick on the text; however I did not succeed in adding a glow on the calligraphed text.

I created a special layer for it in CC3, applied a glow effect, but instead of having the glow on the letters, it appeared on the edge of the scan (eventhough the background is now transparent).

I tried to apply a glow directly from the GIMP but -to my unending shame- could not find this effect in the various menus (the only things I found were "SoftGlow" which did not seem to have any visible effect and "Alien Glow" and "Neon Glow" which do not blend too nicely on the map!).

It might be sitting just in front of me but it seems like I will need some help here...

Thanks in advance...

Fabrice
02-13-2009, 11:14 PM
So now it is done.

I applied the glow to the calligraphed text from the GIMP (using a plug-in for layered effects found on the net... It was indeed simple) and imported the result in CC3.

I think I will now post it in the Finished Maps section with some background details, as this thread is already probably overstretched for an introduction post.

Thank you everybody for all the advice. I enjoyed very much doing this first map. This exercice gave me the interest in practicing both calligraphy and mapping again!

NeonKnight
02-13-2009, 11:41 PM
Congrats on a Kick Ass Map!

Redrobes
02-16-2009, 08:24 PM
Hi Fabrice, Didn't spot your thread until now. Nice map btw and I see your already on the members map. Well done. Welcome and see you around.