Great Community Here
Hello all. Was just looking for some help on setting up some maps and stumbled across this site and am very impressed with forums! I have already found some great ideas. I am used to using Photoshop from my photograpy, but I am starting cold with Campaign Cartographer and Illustrator and while I am having fun with both I can tell I will need help. I am enjoying plowing through the topics here and think this site will be a great help, hopefully I will get to where I have ideas to give as well.
You're in the right place! Welcome to the Guild! We have people who have produced beautiful maps with all of the software you mention and combinations of them too. It won't take long for you to start to produce beautiful looking maps.
Welcome to the Guild Tancread! I would also suggest looking at some of the raster programs, either Photoshop if you have it or GIMP if you don't feel like spending the money for it. There are tons of tutorials that would work for either on the site also. Plus it's always good to have many tools in the toolbox so to speak....
Sooo.... start posting up them maps and works in progress are more than welcome, so don't think you have to wait until you have something finished to post.
I use Campaign Cartographer 3 to start, then move over to Photoshop as I can't get some things to work at all in CC3, like rivers. I am sure I will get it eventually, but was in a hurry today. This map is for a D&D game for my son and some of his friends. It is a Norse themed game but the Norse is only for flavor really as the kids want straight up dungeons and the like. Not happy with the middle, a bit empty north of Tyrdrakken and south of Grimthorpe, but hey for a first cut I am happy. Need to make the text more readable, works printed but looks muddy in the image. Learned a lot about doing things in order and need to learn to work with layers in CC3 as I screwed up order of placement a couple of times and couldn't correct. As I say, this one will work for a starter and if I get time I will rework it some. Lots of dead ocean space now that I look at it.... Sigh. Anyway, that's me starting out on the path anyway.
For your text, you probably want to choose a color for the glow that contrasts with the color of the text. That will allow the text to stand out better.
This map is simple and functional--perfect for what you need it to do. It could maybe use a bit more visual pizazz, I suppose. You might be able to reduce a bit of your negative space by adding a compass above the scale bar. And maybe replace the bar with a larger one.
I'm not a big fan of putting a grid on an overland map, but if you need it there, I'd suggest that you add a transparency effect to the grid sheet so that it doesn't overshadow the map's features so much.
Yeah, I hate the grid. After it was placed it was one of things I wanted to go back and fix but couldn't figure out how. I watched a tutorial that pointed out you set the grid on a low opacity, which I think would look much nicer. I am still figuring out how to work on elements once they are placed, CC3 is great, it does a ton to make the work look nice, but it is the opposite of intuitive for me, Photoshop layers I know and love, CC3 layers and sheets are still a mystery to me. Anyhow, thanks for the tips, when I get a minute I will give it another go and see what I can do.
Just a hint to help you out there: a CC3 sheet is analogous to a Photoshop layer. The sheets determine rendering order and can have effects applied to them.
CC3 layers don't really compare to anything in Photoshop, but that's okay because CC3 doesn't have channels, either, so everything stays fair.
For the first few maps, you can probably safely ignore the layers issue. However, they can be useful for isolating certain objects to be edited. For instance, if you call up the Layers window (double-click on the L: <layer> below the toolbar), you'll see three columns of check boxes: select, hide, and freeze. By hiding layers, you can find and manipulate certain objects without having to worry about changing the ones around them. It'll take some experimentation, but once you get used to the CAD methodology, you'll find it quite easy to get what you need done.
Welcome aboard! I have a thread:
Where I am trying as best I can to help explain Sheets/Layers in CC3. I am not dwelling on the effects and things, but more on what can be done with them and how they interact.
If you don;t like the grid at all, you can just hide that sheet.
I figured hiding the grid out this morning. I guess what I am struggling with is in photoshop all the options for tools are generally in the tool itself, it isn't simple or intuitive, but over time I have worked it out. In CC3 there are many features that I would think belong in the tool, that turn up in the sheets page and some I haven't figured out how to get to even with a tutorial at hand. Anyhow still plugging away at it. I did go read your sheets and layers and it did help, but I am a long way from feeling at home in CC3 yet. Still the tutorials and inspiration here is great and very much appreciated.
I think you'll find as I did that you'll play with a couple of tutroials, find the things you like and start mixing and matching for whatever suites your fancy.
Oh yeah, welcome aboard!