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  1. #1
    James Bearss

    Help Suggestions on how to complete my map

    I'm a DM who runs a lot of online adventures via roll20. The main problem I always ran in to was the maps. I toyed around with things like dungeon tiles and the like, but I got frustrated. So, I turned to Campaign Cartographer 3. I downloaded the Demo, and was impressed... however I decided that the program was still a bit too limited for my taste. So, I decided to try out Photoshop. So far, I'm loving it. I really think Photoshop includes everything I want in a map maker.

    All that to say, I need a bit of help with this map. I'm no artist... I've never done much more than doodles on scratch paper while in boring situations. Luckily I do know a tad about color theory, via my Sister who is a professional Artist.

    So, after a days worth of work, I'm decently pleased with what I've been able to come up with (I checked out a few tutorials from here, as well as on

    My problem is that I can't seem to figure out what to do in order to complete 3 parts of my map.

    The fountain, in the middle of the church's courtyard, should look like an old, moss-covered fountain.
    The ground/rock is a cliff overlooking a massive 500-foot drop into....
    The Ocean, which should look more storm-tossed.

    So, if anyone knows of any tutorials or tips they could clue me in on, it'd be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor Korash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Montreal, Canada


    First Post + decent first Map = Rep

    Welcome to The Guild, The Mappiest Place on the Web.

    Now about your questions....The fountain thing I think could be solved by either looking for a fountain object that looks like what you want. I would check here (Bogie is one of our resident MOMs (Master Object Makers) ) for ideas or even go and do a Google search for images of one, making sure that you get a top-down one. Once you find something that you like you would just need to mossy and grunge it up a bit.

    I like the cliff but it does seem to end abruptly at the water. What you need to do is add some sort of transition between the water and cliffside, and what I suggest is adding some crashing waves and blur the edge of the cliff. I believe you could do the blurring bit by feathering the mask used to create the cliff. Maybe also adding some exposed rocks in the water close to the cliffs might make the transition easier.

    Storm tossed sea...maybe darken the waters and adding ripples and then painting some white caps might work.

    PS, I am not a PS user so you might want to take my "instructions" as suggestions only and not as technical guidance. I do think the fountain object would be the way to go there though.

    **EDIT: I moved your thread into the WIPs because this is where you can get much better feedback than in the General forum.
    Last edited by Korash; 06-16-2013 at 11:14 AM. Reason: explaination
    Art Critic = Someone with the Eye of an Artist, Words of a Bard, and the Talent of a Rock.

    Please take my critiques as someone who Wishes he had the Talent

  3. #3
    Guild Artisan Jacktannery's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Dublin, Ireland


    This map is excellent - you are a better artist than you think!

    - for the overgrown fountain, Supercaptain made a good one and posted it in the dundjinni forums. I used his fountain in my Madness... maps so you can see it there (Map 13 follow link in my sig). If you do a google search for 'dundjinni fountain supercaptain' you should find a few nice versions of it - actually here is the link and check out page 2 for the fountain: Dundjinni Mapping Software - Forums: Jungle altar and grass transition

    - the ocean is very blue (blue = calm) - the stormier it is the whiter it would be. You can find on google images a high-resolution picture of stormy water and blow it up until it covers your entire map. Then you can either overlay it a few times over your existing water (or grain merge it) or else use it instead. Examples are here Download texture: ????? water texture 1993181 or here .

  4. #4


    I think maybe the cliff/rock probably looks flat because it doesn't cast a shadow like the building does, despite being much taller than the building.

  5. #5
    Guild Artisan Guild Supporter
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    Meshon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


    One thing I like to do to my maps is add messiness, debris and general decay. This doesn't apply if there is someone regularly cleaning the place but I think in most instances that is not the case. If you're using photoshop there are a few ways to do this but I like using the Clouds filter to generate some chunks. You can adjust the threshold or just use the Magic Wand and Select Similar to get some scattered, randomly-shaped areas. Then mask off the parts that you don't want and apply some layer styles, especially colour, texture, and pattern.

    For your fountain you could definitely make it overgrown with moss this way. I do something like that in my Cobblestones tutorial, so you could try taking a look at that for starters. I'm happy to answer questions about making maps messy!


  6. #6
    James Bearss


    Thanks for all the advice everyone! I'm sorry about my late response, but right after I posted this my D&D group went into a huge hiatus

    But we're getting things back together now, so I'm finally ready to finish this map off. I'll post an update when I have it.

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