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Thread: First Time Cartographer, New to Software

  1. #1

    Default First Time Cartographer, New to Software

    I need some advice on what software I should be using to make a world map for starters.

    I literally have no experience with any software such as Adobe Illustrator or photoshop, and if possible I'd like to do my work without having to shell out hundreds of dollars just so I can make a few maps.

    Truthfully, I found this site, and immediately realized I was in over my head. There seems to be tons of intricacies and subtleties that I'm sure only only the most photoshop-savvy tech guys can put into practice, but I'm just looking to do something simple.

    Any software suggestions?

  2. #2
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Ft. Wayne, IN


    I would suggest GIMP (it's free), then check out some of the tutorials available here. That ought to get you started.
    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.

  3. #3
    Community Leader Gidde's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Michigan, USA


    Hiya and welcome to the Guild! And then, what SG said. I use GIMP myself, and love it. I'd just like to add that RobA's regional map tutorial is a fantastic starting place; he has a way of explaining things that makes the software a lot less overwhelming.

  4. #4
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    St. Charles, Missouri, United States


    Corel paint, or is it Corel draw - I forget - is fairly cheap and produces nice results but there aren't too many tutorials for it. There are a handful of guys using it, though, with good results...very painterly. Paint dot net is free. GIMP is a freebie Photoshop, Inkscape is a freebie Illustrator. Then there are terrain generators and 3d programs...I'd suggest reading through the software discussion forum here to help you decide.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)

    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

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