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Thread: Digital Cartography?!

  1. #1
      Buzzwulf is offline
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    Default Digital Cartography?!

    Oh man am I nervous. Really, really nervous. I'm purely a for fun/no talent/hack artist when it comes to maps... but I need them. I play lots of D&D (or more accurately, pathfinder these days), and I'm constantly caught by my players with silly-looking block drawings in my hands. So now that I've gotten my hands on a copy of photoshop, I'm planning on really going to work.

    Any tips (really, anything at all) would be extremely appreciated.

  2. #2
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Look around through the forums, see what people have done that you like, then take a look at the tools they used to get there. There's a pretty good chance that there is a tutorial to at least get you close to anything you like. Ascension's satellite style is quite popular, and the Zombie Nirvana tutorials on YouTube are also a good place to start with Photoshop.

    There are tons of tutorials in our tutorials section devoted to Photoshop, and most of the authors are more than happy to offer advice if you run into trouble.

    Most of all, start a Work in Progress (WIP) thread. You'll get the highest quality advice from showing us exactly what you're doing, even if you're starting with nothing more than a silly-looking block drawing. And don't worry about where you are right now; talent isn't as significant as effort!

    Welcome to the Guild, and enjoy!
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  3. #3
      mearrin69 is offline
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    Hey Buzzwulf,
    Looks like you're my northern neighbor. Welcome to the Guild!

    My first tip would be to check out the Tutorials/How-to sub-forum and follow some of the ones that catch your eye. What sort of maps are you interested in? World, regional, city, battlemaps? There are tutorials for most around here somewhere...and the tips in them are often useable for lots of things besides the map type covered. If you've just bought Photoshop CS5 and don't have any experience with it then you'll definitely want to follow some of them to quickly get into using it...looking at a blank canvas is daunting. May I recommend you give Ascension's atlas-style tutorial a go? It's good one...though there are many, many excellent ones.
    M

    edit: ninja'd

  4. #4
      Buzzwulf is offline
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    Default

    That's wonderful advice! Thanks, guys!

    I've been messing around with Tear's Saderan tutorial for a couple hours now, but I'm pretty much doing just that: messing around. I'll definitely take a look at the tutorials you've suggested, and hopefully I can make a little better start there. I'll make sure to start up a work in progress thread, even if everything is pretty much irredeemable.

    And to answer your question, mearrin, I'm mostly interested in atlas and region maps. I wouldn't mind knowing how to do a city map, but it's not the top on my list of priorities.

  5. #5
      tilt is offline
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    welcome to the guild - we're a friendly bunch in here - best on the web - so just ask all you want
    regs tilt
    :: My art on Deviant Art :: My mapping blog tilts fantasy maps :: My work Catapult - Perry & Gehrke - EasyTruckIT ::
    :: Finished Maps :: WIP Cartographia - Breakwater -Market -Lands of Twilight -Battle City :: Competion maps Iron Giant ::
    :: FREE Tiles - Compasses :: Other Taking a commision - Copyright & Creative Commons ::
    Works under CC licence unless mentioned otherwise

  6. #6
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Welcome Aboard!
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



  7. #7
      NeonKnight is offline
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    Welcome to the Guild!
    Daniel the Neon Knight: Campaign Cartographer User

    Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice!

    Any questions on CC3? Post them with CC3 in the Subject Line!
    MY 'FAMOUS' CC3 MAPS: Thunderspire; Pyramid of Shadows; King of the Trollhaunt Warrens; Demon Queen's Enclave

  8. #8
      Mordizer is offline
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    I'll vouch for the tutorials - I too come from a no-talent background but by working through some of the tutorials my maps are already starting to look like somebody more talented than me worked on them!

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