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Thread: What program to buy?

  1. #1
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    Post What program to buy?

    Hey Everybody!

    I wanted to draw a map in the style of the Tolkien maps from the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Is there a specific program that has this style with it's symbol set? Does anyone know of anything similar?

    Thanks!

    CH

  2. #2
      Arcana is offline
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    Well if you REALLY want an artistic style map with minimal skill...go for something like CC3...it has some easy to use features once you get past the learning curve of navigating the program.

    If you want to go more artsy and you actually have some art skill (not required) and you absolutely want to pay for something...go with Adobe Photoshop.

    If you want to go more artsy and you actually have some art skill (not required) and you absolutely DON'T want to pay for something...go with the GIMP...

    We have tutorials, expert advice, and lots of information on all of the above and more
    Robbie Powell - Site Admin

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      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcana View Post
    Well if you REALLY want an artistic style map with minimal skill...go for something like CC3...it has some easy to use features once you get past the learning curve of navigating the program.

    If you want to go more artsy and you actually have some art skill (not required) and you absolutely want to pay for something...go with Adobe Photoshop.

    If you want to go more artsy and you actually have some art skill (not required) and you absolutely DON'T want to pay for something...go with the GIMP...

    We have tutorials, expert advice, and lots of information on all of the above and more
    I would also add Fractal Mapper as a nice entry level mapping program IF you don't want to start from scratch with PS or GIMP. FM has many of the features of Campaign Cartographer but the trade off is a lower learning curve for FM vs CC3's large number of symbols and hugh community. Also note, you can create nice looking maps very quickly and with little artistic talent than with Photoshop or GIMP.

    Even if you decide to go with something like CC3 or FM8 which has included symbols, I would still recommend learning some basic techniques in GIMP or Photoshop. There are just some things that are easier (once you learn the program) to do than in the CC3/FM8 programs. Personally, I have a few maps I created in FM8 when I first got into mapping around 2 years ago, but plan to recreate them in GIMP for an added extra "umph"

    Joe
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
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    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  4. #4
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    Thanks!

    I've been thinking about getting CC3 for a bit now. Just needed something with the symbols already created. Something with drag and drop symbols I can make quick maps with. The operational side of it looks a lot like AutoCAD. I think I remember seeing a map with that Tolkien-ish style at one of the GenCons.

  5. #5
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    CC3 can produce a Tolkien-style fairly readily, but you'll need some different symbols than what come with it. If you like the style of the MERP maps of Pete Fenlon, there is an issue of the ProFantasy Annual (an additional cost beyond the base cost of CC3, but well-worth it) that emulates that style. Fenlon's style is strongly influenced by Prof. Tolkien's, but is more refined and in color.

    I do recommend using CC3 in tandem with another program, like Gimp or Inkscape, since CC3 doesn't antialias very well, so some elements, especially fonts, don't look as good as they might. Simply exporting at a huge resolution, then using the Gimp to resize down to your target resolution can mitigate that, though.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  6. #6
      RobA is offline
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    There is also a fair bit of classical cartographic clip-art, brushes and symbols at DeviantART that an be used in a variety of programs.

    -Rob A>

  7. #7
      dittotb is offline
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    Post Tolkien style

    CC3 also has an extra subscription service that they the Cartographer's annual. This past January's issue (Jan 0 was a style pack matching the efforts of Peter Fenlon who did all that great cartography for ICE years ago. Check in out at
    http://sub.profantasy.com/2008/january08.html
    and
    http://sub.profantasy.com/2008/gallery.html
    You should keep your mouth closed and just appear to be dumb rather than opening it up and removing all doubt

  8. #8
      landorl is offline
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    I like CC3 a lot. It is easy to come up with a quick and decent looking basic map, and with a little bit of work, you can start to get into some very good looking more advanced maps. The only bad thing is that if you are not careful, your maps can quickly end up looking the same.

  9. #9
      peanut is offline
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    Thanks for the post. I am looking into CC3 for developing Tolkien style maps to combine with Tolkien font downloads.

  10. #10
      bartmoss is offline
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    Did they massively overhaul campaign cartographer? I tried it some years ago, and I found the usability... lacking (to the point where I would say it was so unintuitive as to be basically unusable). I am not sure what version that was, though... I am thinking cc2.

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