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Thread: CC3 Continental Map: The Northlands

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Wip CC3 Continental Map: The Northlands

    Hello, everyone! I thought I would start a work-in-progress thread by way of introducing myself. The attached map is just barely begun, and it is my first attempt at computer-assisted mapping.

    I started by scanning a hand-drawn coastline into Corel PhotoPaint. I then printed a few copies and used tracing vellum to make new layers with mountains, forests, rivers and lakes, and roads & towns. Each of those sheets was scanned in to PhotoPaint, and I began trying to combine them. I quickly realized the limits of my skills--my artwork was marginal, my scans were awful, and it took me far too long to get anything accomplished in PhotoPaint.

    So, I downloaded CC3 and began the work again, saving only the coastal outline and using the fractal tools to trace over it. I've obviously got quite a way to go, but I thought it might be interesting for ya'll to watch a beginner's first map go from start to finish, and maybe I'll get lots of help along the way to speed my learning process.

    So, here it is. I'll post here again if I run into major difficulties or when the map has progressed significantly. In the meantime, many thanks to Arcana for providing this community, and thanks to everyone for all the terrific advice and techniques I have gleaned so far.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CC3 Continental Map: The Northlands-qoa-d-topographical.jpg  
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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      jaerdaph is offline
    Guild Artisan jaerdaph's Avatar
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    Woo hoo more CC3 people! Welcome, Midgardsormr!

    I think posting your first experiences and progress with CC3 is a great idea and will be of great use to others who might be interested in purchasing the program.

    Quick question - is the map you are showing all CC3 output or is it just the landmass outline on top of a scanned image? If it's all CC3, I have some suggestions for you.

    I've been using Campaign Cartographer in one form or another for about ten years and I love it. And CC3 is leaps and bounds 1000 times better than the first version I purchased.

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      jaerdaph is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post
    Does CC3 support a tablet and pen?

    Ravs
    Yes it does quite nicely. It even has configuration and calibration commands, and commands to turn it on and off within the program.

    Caveat: I haven't used a tablet with CC3 yet, but I used to borrow the Wacom at my old job and have used it with CC2 Pro.
    Last edited by jaerdaph; 09-09-2007 at 01:27 PM.

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaerdaph View Post
    Quick question - is the map you are showing all CC3 output or is it just the landmass outline on top of a scanned image? If it's all CC3, I have some suggestions for you.
    Thanks for the welcome. That's all CC3. Once I was done tracing the scan I deleted it. There is a very small amount of edge glow along the coastline. I haven't played much with the glow effect; I just saw it mentioned in another thread and thought I'd throw it on there to see what it did.

    Any and all suggestions are welcome!
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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      jaerdaph is offline
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    Here's my initial thoughts and suggestions.

    The mountain symbols - those are the single color "hand drawn" symbol set. Those look best IMHO on black and white maps or black ink on parchment background. They look neat in browns (and other colors) too, but usually on projects you want to look like someone drew by hand. I would suggest you look at the vector symbol set ("old school" CC2 Pro style symbols) with grey mountains that include some shading. While these too are hand drawn, they are also slightly shaded and include more colors. The reason I'm suggesting that is because you chose a vector style landmass and ocean color.

    I'd also suggest you consider changing the blue outline of the landmass to black - I think that might make it stick out better.

    I can't really see the details of the lake, but are you using one of the newer CC3 style raster PNG fills for that? If so, you might want to make it the same or similar "solid" color to the ocean.

    I'm having trouble seeing the coastline glow. There's also other things you could try, like adding a slight drop shadow to the land mass to make it stick out more.

    So in short, pick a "style" you want to emphasize, but at the same time, don't be afraid to experiment. I hope this was somewhat helpful.

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Wip

    That blue outline is actually the glow effect. I am punching the radius way up and changing the color, as you suggested. Now I am noticing that there is a sort of bevel along the edges of the landmass. It wasn't as noticeable when the glow was the same color as the background, but it really stands out now that I have a blue line between the dark glow and the now-cream-colored land.

    The lakes are use the "ocean" fill style. I'm assuming that's what you mean by a raster fill? I agree that the lakes and ocean should match, so I made a huge contour object with the fill and sent it to the back. That also had the pleasant side effect of hiding the default compass rose and scale bar.

    I haven't gotten very far with the rivers because I am not entirely sure how they work. Right now they look great on the wide view, but if I zoom in they remain hairlines. How do I add some volume to a line that remains an open path?

    Well, I could probably go on with more and more questions, but I think I'll take it in bite-sized pieces for the time being. Here's a new image:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CC3 Continental Map: The Northlands-qoa-d-topographical.jpg  
    Last edited by Midgardsormr; 10-25-2007 at 09:29 PM. Reason: Corrected a typo
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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      ravells is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaerdaph View Post
    Yes it does quite nicely. It even has configuration and calibration commands, and commands to turn it on and off within the program.

    Caveat: I haven't used a tablet with CC3 yet, but I used to borrow the Wacom at my old job and have used it with CC2 Pro.
    Thanks! I have CC2 Pro (although I haven't used it for awhile) and will give it a try with the tablet. Apologies for threadjacking.

    Midgardsormr, I really like the way your map is going and am looking forward to seeing more. For C&Cs jaerdaph has said pretty much everything I was thinking and more, so no further comments from me.

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      jaerdaph is offline
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    ravells: glad to be of help - just go to CC2 Help and search on "tablet" and you should find more info about getting started.

    Midgardsormr: Your map is looking very nice. The color scheme works great, and the hand drawn symbols look nice on the creme colored landmass.

    For rivers, I have two suggestions: One thing you could do is redraw the landmass so that the rivers are cut into it. That way the ocean background will show through and everything will be uniform. You'd have to cut out the lakes too rather than draw lakes. Otherwise, if you like the rivers you have now (which look good as is), You can always change the line width of the river after you draw it. *Right* click on the Change Properties button on the left side, select Change Line Width from the pull down menu that shows up, select the river(s), right click and select Do It, then type in a new width (try 0.5 first) and hit the Enter key. Zoom in and out to see how the river looks up close and at full zoom, then change the line width again if you wish to try something else. The default CC2 Pro style line width on the river drawing tool is 0, which looks the same up close and far away.

    Keep up the good work.

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Wip

    Thanks for the pointer about right clicking on Change Properties. That's been quite useful!

    I still have not discovered a way to get rid of that beveled edge on the landmass. It's not bugging me so much now, but I know when I make the political version of this map it will.

    Also, is there a way to cut a hole out of the center of an object? I liked your suggestion of cutting the rivers and lakes out of the landmass to let the ocean show through, but I couldn't figure out how to do it without pulling points from the coast. I tried using Trim Inside, but that did not work.

    Instead, I changed the line width and found out that I could add a fill to a line that has a width greater than 0. I think I am going to move the rivers onto a different sheet, though, since the glow has turned them black.

    One further question: is there a way to save a view of the map with a different zoom level? When I start doing detail work, it would be nice to be able to show just the areas I am working on rather than the entire map.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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