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Thread: How do I set the Scale of my different maps?

  1. #1
      Huma41 is offline
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    Question How do I set the Scale of my different maps?

    I have two different maps I am going to work on. One an island 40 miles long, and another dungeon which will be fairly large. I am having a hard time deciding on how to determine the scale of the maps. I have seen plenty of dungeon map tutorials on here and that looks pretty straightforward but the island has me somewhat puzzled.

    Should I base the size of my map a certain resolution and scale based on the size of the object I am going to map (the island) or should I just pop up a new image 2000 x 2000 pixels @ 72ppi and start drawing? I see lots of getting started tutorials out there dealing with the act of drawing, but I think I may have missed the ones that deal with scale and image resolution. Or is my Drafting and Design background making me too nitpicky? Heheh.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. :-)

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      Meshon is offline
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    I would say it mostly depends on what you're going to use your map for. I usually try to work large, as large as my computer can manage without trouble, just to give the most utility to the map. If you're going to print just remember to set the resolution to about 300 dpi and then set your scale according to the desired size of printing (2400 x 3000 roughly for an 8x10 sheet, fitting nicely on a North American piece of paper).

    If your map is ONLY going to be presented digitally then you're golden, since you can get away with lower resolution. You might just have a look at a couple of maps you like here and check their image size, and that will give you an idea of how much detail you can jam in.

    Good luck!

    Meshon

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      jugabyte is offline
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    Quick question, the map I'm working on is set to 8.5x11" big and after a kazillion layers it often crashes (I save often!). Is that size pushing the limit for normal computers or does no one else have issues with maps that size?

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      Azelor is offline
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    As Meshon said 300 dpi is the standard resolution.

    Regarding your map, it depend what you want to show and how much information you want on the map.

    To help you get a better idea, try to identify the smallest element of the map and make sure it's not too hard to see it.

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      Meshon is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by jugabyte View Post
    Quick question, the map I'm working on is set to 8.5x11" big and after a kazillion layers it often crashes (I save often!). Is that size pushing the limit for normal computers or does no one else have issues with maps that size?
    I use Photoshop, so this might be different, but in Preferences I just set the "Limit Layers to:" option at "kazillion-1" and I've never had a problem.

    I guess how well your computer reacts depends on the file size mostly, and layers can really bump that up. I have a battlemap in my gallery that's 4800x4800 and I had to flatten about 30 buildings on it into one layer while I was working on it because I was running into trouble. Even having done that, the .psd file is close to 1GB.

    Meshon

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Huma41: Meshon's advice is good. Determine your use case first, then your desired size, then set the resolution accordingly. Then rough out the map such that the composition is approximately what you want and measure a feature whose size you know. That will help you determine your scale.

    jugabyte: Are you in 32-bit or 64-bit Photoshop? The 32-bit version has more memory limitations. Also, you may simply be running out of RAM on your computer. You might want to version up and then flatten some of your layers in order to streamline the file.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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      Meshon is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgardsormr View Post
    Are you in 32-bit or 64-bit Photoshop? The 32-bit version has more memory limitations.
    Right! I suspected this but didn't know it for a fact, thank you. I just recently upgraded my Adobe stuff so it would play well with my computer. I had CS4 running on a machine 5 years newer and I wasn't getting the performance I thought I should be. Now that I've upgraded I can re-start some of those old multi-layer high-resolution projects I was stalled on...

    cheers,
    Meshon

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