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View Full Version : I am aware that this is a very stupid question, but...



dhokarena56
10-30-2009, 10:33 PM
I'm a pretty cheap person, and my atlas-although very detailed-I know the locations of just about everything major-is all in my head, and I am not the most talented drawer. In fact, I downright suck at it. Therefore, my software sucks.

What I do have is Photoshop Elements 3.0, and no graphics tablet. My question is: What is the minimum I need to invest (Windows is my operating system) to be able to make fairly decent maps, such as Mark Rosenfelder's Historical Atlas of ArcÚl (http://www.almeopedia.com/index.php/Historical_Atlas_of_ArcÚl)? (Besides a lot of time. I knew that.)

Immolate
10-30-2009, 11:08 PM
Do some tutorials, learn some techniques, then decide how lacking your artistic talent is. A lot of us don't have tablets and others cope with a variety of limitations. Gandwarf is a master of town mapping and uses CC3 to do it. I'm not a master of anything, but I do okay and I'm colorblind. Coyotemax does superb work, and he had all of his limbs ripped off in a tragic catnip accident.

The moral of the story is that you don't need expensive software or hardware to make good maps. That and don't mess with catnip unless you know what you're doing.

Ascension
10-30-2009, 11:12 PM
Well, the minimum you need to spend is $0 since you can download GIMP for free - it's similar to Photoshop but does some things better and some things different. Your link was messed up so I fixed that for ya.

RobA
10-30-2009, 11:44 PM
Rather than Gimp, I'd suggest Inkscape. It is a free vector program similar to illustrator and can create raster files easily.

-Rob A>

rdanhenry
10-31-2009, 02:22 AM
The great thing is, since GIMP and Inkscape are both free, you don't need to choose. You can have both!

Coyotemax
10-31-2009, 02:49 AM
Wow, I went from having a lower back injury to a full fledged quadruplegic without even realizing it! that should make it easier to deal with the insurance co now!!

Seriously though, it's not the tools that make the artist. Having the vision and finding a way to show it with the tools you are comfortable with (and have available) is where it's at. I know this is starting to sound a bit old, but for goodness sake, we have people using WORD to make maps :P

Mark Oliva
10-31-2009, 03:00 AM
Do you want to draw maps with your PC, do you want to use a cartographic program or do you want to do both?

If you want to draw maps, download The GIMP, as others have suggested. It's a great, free software program.

If you'd rather use a cartographic program, give Fractal Mapper 8 a try. (Trying it costs nothing.)

To do that, go to:

http://www.nbos.com

And download the trial version of FM8. It's the full version without the ability to print or save your maps, but that's enough for you to learn whether FM8 is the best tool for you. Being a cartographic program, it lets you make great maps without much regard for your drawing talents or lack of them.

After you've downloaded the trial version, click the Resources option in the NBOS website menu.

When the Resources page opens, go to Items and click Page 5.

Download the 160-page FM8 tutorial. It's listed as "Fractal Mapper 8 Tutorial PDF - 18.38 MB." It's one of the best-written, easiest-to-understand tutorials I've ever seen.

If, after evaluation, you think FM8 is the right tool for you, you'll have an investment of about US $40.00.

dhokarena56
10-31-2009, 12:32 PM
Maybe I should have said this in my first post...for me, the languages and history are the most important faucet of my conworlding. So this will mainly be white outline maps with rivers and a few mountain ranges; it's being able to put colors and borders in that matters-although I do not at all wish to disparage people with those nice-lookin' view-from-space maps.

Gamerprinter
10-31-2009, 01:18 PM
If you're looking for lineart geography with color and borders, there's a couple ways to go... here's an example of a map I created recently that seems to match your intentions.

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7450
Look at all three versions, especially the third one at the bottom of the page.

Now I hand-drew, then scanned the lineart in this map, then subsequently applied a parchment texture and coloring from my favorite graphics app (Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 - which is a $250 program, with a $49 lite version.)

As I say, I did this hand-drawn, which you may or may not be able to do yourself, however, there are lineart mountain and forest symbols that could be used as a "brush" element within Photoshop or GIMP that you could use to create your line art map. Of course specific coastlines and other elements might still be required to be hand-drawn (you could do this as a hard round brush in GIMP or Photoshop as well.)

Then apply color and borders afterward in those same raster apps. Thus creating the kind of map you're looking for, and doing it all yourself.

GP

Mark Oliva
11-01-2009, 01:40 AM
Maybe I should have said this in my first post...for me, the languages and history are the most important faucet of my conworlding. So this will mainly be white outline maps with rivers and a few mountain ranges; it's being able to put colors and borders in that matters-although I do not at all wish to disparage people with those nice-lookin' view-from-space maps.

Referring then to my last posting on this thread, I think FM8 might be just what you're seeking. Trying it is free, so give it a tray.