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Thread: What are your Favourite Scales?

  1. #1

    Post What are your Favourite Scales?

    Its becoming apparent that I have to learn more about distance scales and appropriate views for role playing.

    This Map...

    This map is giving me some trouble coming up with a scale. It's supposed to be a swamp with a slow meandering river in it. The trees are only vaguely representative. Any scale will work if its believable but I don't really know what scale to set.

    Any ideas?

    What sort of scales do you use?


  2. #2


    I usually pick a feature that I have some kind of preconceived notion about how big it should be and base my scale on that. For instance, on this map I'd probably choose that brown sandbar, or perhaps the water channel that breaks up the road.

    I'm awful at gauging distances, though, so I usually have to base my measurements on known quantities, like the average height of a man or the width of my living room. On at least one occasion, I set my scale based on my desired travel times and then reworked everything else to accommodate that scale. At least one country wound up being much, much larger than I had intended, so I gave it a secondary population of nomads to justify the enormous land area.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  3. #3
    Community Leader Torq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Cape Town, South Africa


    I also struggle with scale, but I wanted to say I really like the map. I'm thinking about how best to use contours and that looks cool. I would love to stage a big rpg battle there, although combatants would probably be pretty silly to choose that as a battle site.

    The internet! It\'ll never catch on.

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  4. #4
    Guild Adept loogie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Strathroy, ON


    unless their frogs.

    i agree i like the map a lot, and the use of contours.. and also agree that with a simple change of the size of the trees, you could make this map into pretty much any scale.

    The way i do scale is the same as how klooge defines scale for their images you import. (unfortunately, its harder for us, so you have to guess/count meticulously)

    basically, like already mentioned, you find something in your map that you know the scale of (or have a general idea), I would however go with the trail... since its got a sort of scale to it in itself... is it a walking path? riding path? cart path? depending on how its used, it would get larger in width... cart paths with be about 1.5 times larger then the width of the cart (and if its used frequently, even more, like 2-2.5) so, take the average size of what travels on the path and do some simple math, and you get your result. From there, you select a portion of the road (klooge allowed for any direction, but for us its MUCH easier to go with horizontal or vertical). From that portion, you can count the number of pixels (i made a program that does this for me, but i'm sure there are a variety of tools that will give you either the count in pixels of a selection, or even x-y coords in pixels, then you just subtract the lower x from the higher x in horiz models, and y coords for vert... this gives you an outright scales (eg: 89px = 20 ft) and from there you can find the scale of the entire map... in this case, to make it easier to define acctual distances, i don't use 1px=1mesurement, since pixels are much to small.. so depending on the size of your map, pick a length, (since this isn't an exact science, i made it simple, and made it 80px = 20 ft) from there you can make a grid or measure distances, even figure out acctual measurement distances... (eg, 1inch = 40ft or something like that)

    tho it took a long time to explain, its really quite quick and simple... and not to hard on the math either (i'm not good in math). it also helps to place other items in the map in the correct scale (like those trees for example, you can get an idea before you place them of your scale, and size them accordingly)

    hope it helps
    Photoshop, CC3, ArcGIS, Bryce, Illustrator, Maptool

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