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Fabrice
02-16-2009, 11:38 AM
Here is my first completed map, realised with CC3. The symbols are from the Fantasy Overland symbol set from ProFantasy. The "Terra Incognita" legend was hand-calligraphed (original size: A4), scanned, and imported on the map after receiving a glow effect.

For more details, please refer to this thread: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=4233

As for the backstory: a recently colonised continent, largely unexplored beyond the eastern montain ranges. The various settlements belong to different realms from beyond the sea, including a collection of keeps under the dominion of an independant knightly order (think: teutonic knights).

No explorer venturing beyond the montains was ever seen again and so would-be explorers are rare ; therefore the local lords try to keep the age of exploration alive by giving each sentenced convict the choice between execution or setting out to the unknown with a mission to seize lands and resources in the name of his liege.

The city of VilleFranche (FreeTown) may be independent from other realms, its inhabitants are actually prisoners in anything but name, having settled there as they lacked the courage to enter the Terrra Incognita, but unable to return to their homelands on pain of death. A bleak city whose economy is based on preying upon the never-ending flow of newcomers.

woekan
02-16-2009, 12:03 PM
Nice, i like it!

jfrazierjr
02-16-2009, 12:13 PM
Nice map. In general, I don't like symbol based mapping programs. I started out with Fractal mapper, but stopped using it due to problems I had with start changes in colors between one symbol and another or symbol vs background color. I think that if I were to do something with a symbol mapping program again (other than something like a dungeon map or perhaps a topographical world/regional map where these are really problems), I would have to use GIMP to do some post processing. I hope you don't mind, but I cut out a section of your map and did a bit of smudge and blur in GIMP to show what I mean. Again, this is not a criticism of your map as you have made some very nice choices with the symbols you used (I love those mountain symbols!), just a complaint against symbol based mapping programs in general.


Note that I did not hit every symbol, but if you not, you will see the colors on most of the symbols now have a very gradual transition from symbol to background color that looks a bit more natural. Also, I did not really try very hard to be perfect here, just enough to give the general idea.
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ravells
02-16-2009, 06:14 PM
Very pretty! I really like the topography.

CC3 is a bit of a curate's egg: the best CC3 maps I've seen don't actually look like they've been created in CC3 or at least keep you guessing. The problem with symbol driven software (for me) is that it's very difficult to personalise your own style with them although with CC3 I have seen it done with terrific results - but I think it's more difficult with CC3 than say, a raster or vector paint program where you are forced to personalise from the get go (unless you're following a tutorial - but even then it's so easy to just experiment and find something new). Of course if you're not after creating anything that's particularly original and just want to put a map together quickly that looks pretty good, then CC3 is hard to beat.

I do like what you have done with your map though, it has a self containment to it and it looks like a fair bit of thought has gone into the placement of the symbols.

Fabrice
02-17-2009, 11:13 AM
Thanks for the smudge tip. I will try it and report the results since I have the GIMP installed here.

For your information, it seems that some of the CC3 programers have heard your complaints about the symbols not blending in the background: many symbols come now in a multi-sheet version, with the outline and the color fill sitting on different sheets. This allows to keep the outline sharp and to add a blur on the fill to make a smoother transition with the background (see an extreme example below). Unfortunately I was not aware of this when I did this first map and I used the single-sheet symbols...

Your smudge tool still seems the more flexible option as I understand I can pick the areas that I want to modify, instead of applying the effect on the whole sheet.

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jfrazierjr
02-17-2009, 11:42 AM
Thanks for the smudge tip. I will try it and report the results since I have the GIMP installed here.

For your information, it seems that some of the CC3 programers have heard your complaints about the symbols not blending in the background: many symbols come now in a multi-sheet version, with the outline and the color fill sitting on different sheets. This allows to keep the outline sharp and to add a blur on the fill to make a smoother transition with the background (see an extreme example below). Unfortunately I was not aware of this when I did this first map and I used the single-sheet symbols...

Your smudge tool still seems the more flexible option as I understand I can pick the areas that I want to modify, instead of applying the effect on the whole sheet.


Your welcome. As I said, I REALLY like your map, my comments were more pointed at the tool as a whole. Note, you could just as easily use only the blur tool within GIMP to get the bluring... but I like the smudge tool(followed by a blur) so I can move colors around a bit and make each symbol look a bit more unique when compared to others of the same symbol.

As you said, at least CC devs have some thoughts behind this, but it's not always wanted to blur all around the symbol when you just want to blur the bottom edge....

Fabrice
02-18-2009, 10:48 AM
I replaced the pic of the first post of this thread with an improved version:

- the colors of some symbols were smudged in the GIMP, as recommended by jfrazierjr. I did not get results as clean as seen in the examples he showed in his post, but it does break the monotony of repeating symbols and looks a little bit less "copy / paste".

- the border received a couple of effects in CC3. It was looking a little bit "too perfect" for a supposedly hand-drawn map.

Looks like map creation in CC3 + final fine tuning in GIMP will become my standard operating procedure.

jfrazierjr
02-18-2009, 10:55 AM
I replaced the pic of the first post of this thread with an improved version:

- the colors of some symbols were smudged in the GIMP, as recommended by jfrazierjr. I did not get results as clean as seen in the examples he showed in his post, but it does break the monotony of repeating symbols and looks a little bit less "copy / paste".

- the border received a couple of effects in CC3. It was looking a little bit "too perfect" for a supposedly hand-drawn map.

Looks like map creation in CC3 + final fine tuning in GIMP will become my standard operating procedure.

Use the blur tool in addition to the smudge tool to help make it look better. What really bothered me the most, but not what I did in my "redo" was the rocks in the ocean... those contrasting blues(symbol vs background) was what drove me kind of crazy to start with.

One thing I have heard a lot of is that CC can't AA text for spit, so a lot of people leave labeling for a third party application such as GIMP... Gandwarf in particular has gotten some good results there....

Volsung
02-18-2009, 01:41 PM
Overall Nicely done map.

I do like the mountains. Better than what I have been able to manage so far anyway, but that is what I get for using a raster program I guess...

Other than some of the things already mentioned, I would only add that the text just doesn't seem to match up with the cities/mountains. The text is blurred slightly, which doesn't seem to me to fit with the mountains and cities, which are very sharp.

Midgardsormr
02-18-2009, 03:09 PM
CC can't AA text for spit,

To clarify that, "AA" stands for anti-alias, which is the effect of adding some intermediate colors along the edge of a line to smooth out the "jaggies."

Fabrice
02-19-2009, 10:45 AM
Since Volsung pointed out the blur on text, it became obvious (distracting, even) to me as well.

So I removed this effect from the CC3 map, exported it again and honed my skills at smudge & blur in GIMP once more.

I still need some practice to it but it looks better this time (I might be the only one to see any difference, but please do not shatter my dreams :lol: ).

I did some anti-aliasing in GIMP as well (thanks for the translation Midgard, I am still quite new to all of this).

Shikan
05-15-2009, 08:47 PM
you have my respect.:idea:

Gidde
05-16-2009, 09:11 AM
I really like the new version, well done on all of the blurring :)