Hail and well met!
My name is Mark. :-)
I have been playing RPGs since their introduction and I have been drawing maps since I was a kid. With the advent of programs such as Canvas 3.5 and Visio I began switching most of my work over to computer aided CAD type programs. However, I still like to just hand draw things and then scan them in. By doing so I have found that I can produce really bad maps (my drawing skills leave a lot to be desired) which I can then use to show my players. Their response is usually "What is that supposed to be?" which is how most of our games start out. If I feel I need to do so - I will redraw the maps but usually I just add layers of information into the CAD system as notes. By doing this I can create separate height fields, the location of underground items such as rivers, dungeons, and the like. By scanning at 300dpi I get lots of room to do any underground items without having to redraw the actual map. I am still in the process of trying to load in all of my dungeons and other things (yes - I did draw a lot of things). Recently I took my six foot by four foot hand drawn map of my world over to Kinko's and had it scanned in. It took six or seven tries because the map kept sliding in the scanner (I used Vellum) but we finally got it through. Over 700MB file! Gack! But Photoshop could handle it (although very - very - slowly). Anyway - I'm a computer programmer by trade as well as a really low quality graphic artist (think 3rd grader drawings) who can use CAD systems to make up for his shortcomings when drawing by hand. Also currently unemployed and looking for work. :-) Like who isn't anymore! :-)
Anyway! Hello and well met everyone! :-)
Hello back! I am a nub myself - to this site and to using software as well. I thought I would start with Gimp and Inkscape and go from there. In my profession I have used AutoCad and Microstation but not for my maps. I just draw by hand so far. I have yet to put anything I've made up on the internet. So I am new to that kind of stuff, though I am a wiz-bang at maps in many other ways.