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Thread: Nentir Vale Map - Pete Fenlon Style - First crack at CC3

  1. #1
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    Map Nentir Vale Map - Pete Fenlon Style - First crack at CC3

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm brand new to CC3, and to the Cartographer's Guild. I decided to give it a shot and share my first attempt at doing an overland map using the CC3 program.

    First, an introduction of sorts. Some 20 years ago, I both played and wrote a few books for Iron Crown Enterprises, four of which were for their Middle-earth Role Playing game. I was admittedly taken with the maps that Pete Fenlon did, and when I had a chance to write for them to actually see some of my own ideas done with his hand had me nerding out big-time.

    Fast forward to the present, after having returned to my home town after a decade and a half, my old RPG group has come back together, and oddly enough we are playing 4th edition D&D and enjoying ourselves immensely. Working with the stock maps was fine, but I looked into Campaign Cartographer 3 as a way of enhancing the game. When I went to buy CC3 imagine my surprise to see the Annual 2008 containing symbols in Pete Fenlon's style. This was too good to pass up, and it would give me a way to cut my teeth on the program.

    Anyway, here's how my first attempt has turned out. This is a smaller picture:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have a much much larger version here:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v5...Detailed-1.jpg

    This includes most of what is present (I think) in the various Nentir Vale resources that are out there. I've designed the map so that I can remove any or all the labels so that I'm not revealing too much to my playing group.

    Anyway, the nice thing about this map is that I can keep expanding it. My plan is eventually to work my way south and east, and perhaps even cover areas like Moonstair, Sarthel and the Dragondown coast.

    Feedback would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Guild Adept Gracious Donor Lyandra's Avatar
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    A beautiful map and great use of CC3. I really like how you've managed the terrain. All features look very natural. I especially like the rivers and how you can look at the map and know at first glance that it is a valley - what I mean is that you have managed changes in the hight of the terrain very well. What bothers me is the tiling of some of the textures, visible especially in the Witchlight Fens and forests, but I guess it is a shortcoming of CC3, one that is not easily overcome... Overall a great map. I am really looking forward to seeing what lies beyond the Nentir Vale. Welcome to the Guild!

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    Guild Master Facebook Connected jtougas's Avatar
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    I am always impressed with people that can use CC3 to make such lovely maps. I could never get a good handle on the software. This is very good and I enjoyed roving over the larger version taking in all the details. Have some rep
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyandra View Post
    A beautiful map and great use of CC3. I really like how you've managed the terrain. All features look very natural. I especially like the rivers and how you can look at the map and know at first glance that it is a valley - what I mean is that you have managed changes in the hight of the terrain very well. What bothers me is the tiling of some of the textures, visible especially in the Witchlight Fens and forests, but I guess it is a shortcoming of CC3, one that is not easily overcome... Overall a great map. I am really looking forward to seeing what lies beyond the Nentir Vale. Welcome to the Guild!
    Thanks for the feedback. The swamp texture is my least favourite in terms of how this map came out. There is also some tiling in the forests which as you say is one drawback to working with cc3... But it's a small shortcoming. I suppose I could use a blur or clone tool to reduce the tiling appearance, especially in the forests, which is where I noticed it the most. Thanks for the reputation from both of you. Didn't expect that on my first outing

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    I'll add some more rep of my own, just 'cause I'm crazy for Fenlon's maps, and this is a pretty good facsimile. Which MERP books did you write? I have a pretty good collection of them, and one of these days I'm going to get around to framing that poster map that was in the 1st edition boxed set. It's not in great condition, but it sure has some memories attached to it.

    The tiling in the swamp doesn't bother me much because there are no really salient features that draw they eye to it. The forests are a bit different, though, since there are many very obvious horizontal and vertical lines. If this were my map, I'd very likely bring it into Photoshop for some touch-up, but it's possible that there are some things you could do within CC3 to fix those. It might take quite a lot of time, though. I haven't used CC3 in a while, so I can't really say much more than that. If NeonKnight is still around, he may pop in with some advice.

    edit: I take it back. When I zoomed out, the swamp texture tiling became much more obvious. Many CC3 users recommend not using the symbol fill function, instead placing symbols by hand. It takes longer, obviously, but you seldom have tiling issues. I don't know if that texture is available broken out as symbols, but even if it isn't, you could probably convert it.
    Last edited by Midgardsormr; 10-28-2012 at 01:58 PM.
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    The MERP books I wrote were Ghosts of the Southern Anduin, Hazards of the Harad Wood, Rogues of the Borderlands, and was a primary co-author of Gorgoroth. I also had a Space Master and Shadow World book as well.

    I can check the tiling issues as well. The Swamp function and the forest function seem to draw a set of symbols on the symbol layer, and a background colour on the land features layer. The only thing is that the swamp symbols don't seem to be available as just a standard symbol set, while the forest symbols do. I could do some experimenting and see if it is possible to play with it. I think the challenge is that the Witchlight Fens in the Nentir Vale are so large, and the swamp function in the Fenlon set isn't intended to be quite that large.

    As for the forests, I suspect that the cloning tool in photoshop will be my friend to reduce a lot the tiling look in the forests. I'm not sure if there'd be a different way to do it by creating a textured fill.

    Thanks for the rep, BTW.

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