View Full Version : CD3 New Road Style - The Wagon Trail

04-21-2009, 04:55 PM

This picture is what I was trying to recreate in my CD3 maps.

After following Gandwarf's fantastic CD3 tutorials, I found that certain design elements (while great) didn't fit my particular style. The term 'organic' is often used when people talk about their mapping style and this definitely fits with what I'm going for. The generic roads built into CD3 might work well from a design point, they just aren't artistic enough to capture the feel that I was going for in my map. So I created a new road tool and style sheet to accomplish what I was looking for.

I'm posting the details here because I'd like feedback from some of the more experienced cartographers. I'm a complete novice at this stuff and the help that I've gotten in just a few short days by reading this site has been incredible so I thought I'd try for two birds with one stone, so to say.

#1 - Give something back
#2 - Get constructive feedback

So here's how I accomplished my Wagon Trail...

Create a new tool.

Start with...
All City Drawing Tools -> Advanced -> City Wall 10'

Click [New]
Rename it. I used "Wagon Trail"
Draw Method - Path Polygon
Click [Options]
Change to 'smooth'

Click [Outline]
Make sure 'extra entity' is selected and hit [Properties]
Color doesn't matter because we're going to be using a fill.
Width - Fixed, 4.0
Layer - Roads
Sheet - Wagon Trails
Fill Style - CD3A_Grass 1*
*use the same fill as your map's main land background. I use '...Grass 1'

Click [Ok],[Ok]

Now Click [Properties]
Click the color swatch and set your "use color" to #157
Play around with your colors and find one that works well for you. On my monitor, color #157 works well when combined with the sheet effects I've chosen (see below).
Width - Fixed, 10.0
Layer - Roads
Sheet - Wagon Trails
Fill Style - Solid

Click [Ok], [Save]

Your tool is ready to go and you can begin using it now to get a glimpse of what it looks like without effects.

Sheet Effects
Use [Move up] to position "Wagon Trails" above "Roads" in the list. We want the Wagon trails to be drawn and rendered before Roads. The reason I've chosen this order is that roads are more heavily traveled than wagon trails and should beat down vegetation remaining from the wagon trail.


Color 136,136,56 or select color #12
Strength - 0
Blur - 10.0


Color 203,167,138 or Color #43
Strength - 2
Blur - 2

Transparency - 80%

Blur - .5

Turn on sheet effects and check out your new Wagon Trails tool and effects.


Now as I stated above, I'm new to all of this so if anyone has feedback positive or negative, I would love to hear it.

Thank you all.

04-21-2009, 05:25 PM
Welcome to the guild Keith.
Can you post up an example of your wagon trails? Not everyone has CC3. Also people are generally lazy and will only try out stuff once they have seen how it looks (or is this just me? :D )

Anyway, I am very interested in new effects and styles, and I know more people on this forum are.

04-21-2009, 05:59 PM
I'm going to give Keith rep purely for that lovely picture. Welcome to the guild and thanks for the tutorial!

04-21-2009, 06:30 PM
Sorry. I thought about showing an example of the trail only after I sent the first post. Here are 2 examples of the trail. A distant shot and a closer shot. Both are shown with my sheet effects turned on.

I had to take screen shots and import into PS. Is there any way to export from CC3 that actually has decent quality? Both my bitmap and jpg versions were really low quality.

The map is a WIP and should look very familiar since it's a direct result of your tutorials Gandwarf.

Thanks for the rep Ravells, although I must admit that I didn't take this photo myself and found it while doing a search.

04-21-2009, 06:37 PM
That's a very nice effect Keith! I will certainly use this sometime in the future.
Be sure to post any progress on your map so you can get some criticism from your fellow guild members.

The best way to export I have found is using PDF Creator. You can export maps in huge dimensions and without crashing. See the last post in this thread for some pointers:

04-21-2009, 06:41 PM
Oh, and if you insist on saving from CC3, save as a rectangular section JPG. Before saving click "Options" and you can set the resolution of the map. Then click "Save" and select the part of the map you want to save. This way you can get some decent results.

The PDF Creator way is superior however I think (the Profantasy guys are even advising it) as it's faster and it won't crash.

Remember that the larger the map and resolution, the longer saving/exporting will take. My larger maps will take minutes to save and the software will behave like it has frozen. Fun, fun fun :D

04-21-2009, 06:55 PM
Thank you.

I'm getting PDF Creator now. As for the map updates, as I make progress and/or run into something I can't work through I'll post. I foolishly decided that my first city map was going to be the capital city and main port of my world map. So I've got multiple sections of the city to populate and hundreds of buildings and farms and trees etc. to put in. I'll be working on it for a while it seems.

04-21-2009, 06:58 PM
I foolishly decided that my first city map was going to be the capital city and main port of my world map. So I've got multiple sections of the city to populate and hundreds of buildings and farms and trees etc. to put in. I'll be working on it for a while it seems.

It's probably not a good idea, but I started with my world's capital as well. I learned a lot from that map and from the comments I received on this forum.

Good luck :D

Steel General
04-22-2009, 06:22 AM
I like the wagon trail idea/effect, I'm wondering if they need to be a little narrower though.

It almost seems like the track is wider than the wall around the town/village.

04-22-2009, 02:17 PM
Good eye, General. The wagon trail is a 10' wide object. The City Palisade is only 5'.

The width of the wagon trail can be adjusted in the tool properties.

The width of the 'outline' represents the grass area between the ruts. Just determine how far apart the wheels on your cart or wagon will be and add 6" to 1' to account for wheel wobble and deviation of travel.

The width of the tool properties represents the outer width of the two ruts. To make the trail a bit more narrow simply reduce this number a few feet.

After reading your post I reduced the wagon trail properties to 8ft wide with a 3ft center. It looks good without having to change the sheet effects. I think if you reduce this any further you'll need to also reduce the glow radii to avoid what I call, overblending.

Thanks for taking a look and sharing your thoughts.

05-04-2009, 03:34 PM
Well, I used the effect for the first time in a map:

Thanks :D