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Thread: Cruach Emyn

  1. #1
      Shadowfane is offline
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    Post Cruach Emyn

    Hello all,

    This is my first post on Cartographer's Guild (hopefully first of many) - great site, hopefully this will become a rich resource and friendly community for cartographers of all ilks.

    I am also new to Campaign Cartographer, having recently purchased CC3, and I have to say that I was a little underwhelmed by the 'off-the-shelf' capabilities of the program - not to mention frustrated by the lack of an (easy to follow) tutorial and the alien (to me) mode of operating compared to other drawing programs.

    So it was with great pleasure that I came across Patrice Dumas' tutorial. Whilst not showing me how to use the basic tools of the program, which i picked up as I went through the tutorial by trial and error - it did open my eyes to the power and versatility of CC3. Thank you Patrice!

    I have produced maps professionally before, and Patrice's map style was similar to things I've done in Photoshop and CorelDraw. Of course, the beauty of CC3 is the fractal pens to get that organic and natural look! Overall, I'm not decided on which I program I prefer - they each have their pros and cons, obviously, and I am as yet still unfamiliar with CC3.

    I'd like to share my first map done in CC3 - something I'm working on for an adventure module for the Midnight Campagin setting (by Fantasy Flight Games). It's not finished yet; it still needs a border and a few bits and pieces aren't ideal yet, but I would welcome your comments and suggestions.

    I cheated slightly, adding the symbols and text in CorelDraw after doing the textures in CC3. It does look better in colour, but as the Midnight products are all done in grayscale (which definitely fits the setting if you are not familiar with it), I've prepared this one in grayscale too (with just a spalsh of colour ;>).

    Cheers!

    Shadowfane
    (Iain J Brogan)

    PS I have a full colour version if you'd like to look at that too.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cruach Emyn-steel_hill_environ_map2_233.jpg  

  2. #2
      Sir Alain is offline
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    That looks nice! I would be interested in seing the color version.

  3. #3
      Shadowfane is offline
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    Thanks, Sir Alain.

    Here's the colour version. Both maps are lower resolution jpg files for ease of uploading. Obviously the colour version looks nicer (and clearer); this will be a downloadable product (freebie, actually!) so I could include the colour version rather than the greyscale, which would be neccessary for a print version.

    I'm not sure the rivers and lakes work as is; what do you think?

    Cheers,

    Shadowfane
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cruach Emyn-steel_hill_col2_144.jpg  

  4. #4
      Sir Alain is offline
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    Ah, now that I like! Although both look very nice!

  5. #5
      ravells is offline
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    That CC3 drop shadow effect is going to get really popular! It does make maps look gorgeous.

    Have you tried making a clearing in the forest around the lakes and rivers and applying the drop shadow effect? Not sure if that would improve the map or make it unnecessarily fiddly.

    The only other suggestion I have is to consider making the width of the river larger from the confluence of the two tributaries.

    Otherwise I have no suggestions only praise.

    Ravs

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      Shadowfane is offline
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    Thanks guys!

    I agree about the river thickness and the lakes. It is principally laziness is stopping me going back and 'cutting away' the forest about the lakes at the moment as it means redrawing many of the contours. I've not worked out how to (significantly) modify an existing polygon in CC3 yet - PS or Corel, no prob, but this CAD way of working is counterintuitive for me!

    btw, if you want to check out more about Midnight, FFG have just revealed they are making a movie! (http://www.midnight-film.com/) I'm so excited, especially as it doesn't look too chessy (as I feared it might be). Now I'm really regretting writing for the setting as a freelancer and not for royalties

    Once I've made the changes and rethought out my border idea I'll post it up.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Cheers,

    Shadowfane

  7. #7
      Shadowfane is offline
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    This is more finished now - I created a ripped parchment with the Midnight motifs in the border, overlayed the terrain and gave it a hand painted look with brushed out edges and brush strokes for the texture.

    Rivers are a bit better now I think, but I didn't 'cut out' the forest as everytime I tried in CC3 it crashed on me (Grrr!) Eventually I gave up as I can't be bothered to redraw all the contours from scratch. CC3 does seem really unstable - that wasn't the first time it crashed on me on a regular basis when messing with fractal paths and polygons.

    The text I added in CorelDraw as that has superb text fitting capabilities.

    Hope you enjoy, comments welcome (particularly about the text).

    Cheers,

    Shadowfane
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cruach Emyn-sh_region_low_res_166.jpg  

  8. #8
      ravells is offline
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    I love the faded edges of the map just inside the border and the torn corner.

    I'm curious, what can Corel Draw do with Text that CC3 can't? CC2 (I assume CC3 also) has a text on a curve function - what other functions did you use/need? Kerning?

    Cheers

    Ravs

  9. #9
      Sir Alain is offline
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    Man! That is just outSTANDing! I just love the torn parchment. Was that also done in Corel?

  10. #10
      Shadowfane is offline
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    Thanks guys!

    Sir Alain, the torn parchment was done in Photoshop, as was the faded, brushed out edges of the map. The text was done in CorelDraw.

    To answer your question, Ravell, I'm sure CC3 can do everything Corel can with text, it's just I don't know how to do it! I found it easy to draw the main part of the map in CC3 and then apply the effects and add text using Photoshop and Corel.

    I need to get to grips with these more advanced functions in CC3, but time and the seeming instability of the programe have prevented me so far.

    Glad you like the map guys. If you have any thoughts on font style I'd be interested - I'm happy with the faded white text, but the others, not so much. It doesn't seem quite right. I wish I'd spaced the 'N' and the skull compass out a bit more as well. Unfortunately, I 'burnt' it into the parchment so I can't easily move it without deconstructing the image and replacing the parchment with a fresh sample. (not too much of an issue but I just don't have too much time at present).

    Btw, if you want the parchment for your own use, let me know and I'll send you a copy (as jpg, png or whatever format you'd like). My email is shadowfane AT ntlworld.com.

    Cheers,

    Shadowfane

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