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Thread: Question about processes

  1. #1
      jgerman is offline
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    Default Question about processes

    I need to make battle maps for my D&D 5E games. I did some experimenting this afternoon with technical pens and copic markers. It's not perfect but I'm happy with it. I drew the grid onto a square piece of foam core then did my drawing.

    This is the result: http://imgur.com/mciEIWT
    I'd like to be able to quickly develop a map, and this style is pretty simple. I can take one of two paths, develop some templates and tools for doing these by hand, or find an appropriate piece of software to build the maps out then print and glue to foamcore. So my questions are:

    1. If I go the hand render route drawing the walls is probably the part I'd like to be able to knock out the quickest. The only thing I can thing of is attempting to construct a template/stencil that is the right thickness so I can line it up on grid lines and block out straight sections to be filled in (or not filled in) later.

    2. If I go the software route, are there any suggestions on what to use? I could probably build up templates and tools with Inkscape or Gimp, but would a dedicated software package (like Campaign Cartographer) enable me to build maps more quickly and in the style I want?
    Last edited by jgerman; 08-03-2014 at 08:59 PM. Reason: Img url not working

  2. #2
      Azelor is offline
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    Is there something special I need to do to see the picture? As of now, it's not possible to see the file.
    Attachment limitations:

    bmp - 7.63 MB
    gif - 7.63 MB
    jpg - 4.77 MB
    png - 4.77 MB

    Image must have less than 30 megapixels (the limit depend on the resolution)

  3. #3
      jgerman is offline
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    Whoops, sorry I changed the image url so it should work now.

  4. #4
      TimPaul is offline
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    Consider this. Create a bunch of smaller hand drawn tile sets you can rearrange into different configurations as you need.

    Much like the dungeon tile sets WoTC puts out. You won't have to make a whole map from scratch each time.

    For special encounters you can make unique maps.

    As for software, there's so many options, it's all about learning it well enough. For example, If I wanted to go this route, chances are I would use Illustrator, where I could make all kinds of presets. But Illustrator is expensive if you aren't a professional creative (i'm an illustrator, I have Adobe CC, a $50 month subscription that gives me all their applications and more. Not something I recommend for the hobbyist).

    I've never used Gimp, which seems to be a simpler free version of Photoshop. As for the cartography software, I've looked into those, and they never impressed me at the time (we are talking YEARS ago). They are probably more customization these days, and might be a good option for you.

  5. #5
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    I think you'd enjoy playing with RobA's Map Prettier Script for the Gimp. You just block out the layout of your building or dungeon, and the script does the styling. Subterrainian Map Prettier Script
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  6. #6
      jgerman is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimPaul View Post
    Consider this. Create a bunch of smaller hand drawn tile sets you can rearrange into different configurations as you need.

    Much like the dungeon tile sets WoTC puts out. You won't have to make a whole map from scratch each time.

    For special encounters you can make unique maps.

    As for software, there's so many options, it's all about learning it well enough. For example, If I wanted to go this route, chances are I would use Illustrator, where I could make all kinds of presets. But Illustrator is expensive if you aren't a professional creative (i'm an illustrator, I have Adobe CC, a $50 month subscription that gives me all their applications and more. Not something I recommend for the hobbyist).

    I've never used Gimp, which seems to be a simpler free version of Photoshop. As for the cartography software, I've looked into those, and they never impressed me at the time (we are talking YEARS ago). They are probably more customization these days, and might be a good option for you.
    That's where I'm at right now with that test tile, and a larger single encounter map. Coloring is the current issue, copic markers are tedious, but since I want a physical map, scanning them in and coloring with software isn't an option.


    Thanks for the pointers

  7. #7
      jgerman is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgardsormr View Post
    I think you'd enjoy playing with RobA's Map Prettier Script for the Gimp. You just block out the layout of your building or dungeon, and the script does the styling. Subterrainian Map Prettier Script
    Funny you should mention that: My KotS WIP and RFC

    That's what I was doing years ago but I was using a VTT at the time. Digital maps are my fallback option, there doesn't seem to be a convenient place to print them though.

  8. #8
      TimPaul is offline
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    You could just buy Dungeon Tile sets. They are pretty cheap. ten bucks a set. Very useful. Double sided. all sorts of terrain

  9. #9
      JonPin is offline
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    Get a chessex grid mat. You use dry erase pens and draw out your layout. Pretty simple and extremely versatile. I use them all the time in my games. My advice: working on a map (or 3D terrain) for a few days just so the players see it once, for an hour of play... not worth it mate. Keep it simple.

    Like this.

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