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Thread: [Award Winner] Old School Blue in Illustrator

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    Tutorial [Award Winner] Old School Blue in Illustrator

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    Why not? An old school blue map in AI. I used Adobe Illustrator CS3 for this, and since this is really my first tutorial, and more for my own instruction, you will excuse the mess of it. Also, there is probably a much faster way of doing a lot of this, I'm still trying to get the hang of AI, so bear with me.

    I wanted something simple. I started off with a 7 in x 7 in RGB document with 72 dpi. (turns out this was more than I really needed, but with illustrator, I like to start large and crop later on if I have too.) If you plan on Printing the map at some point, then you will want to make the document CMYK and whatever dpi is preferred to print with.

    I put a new color swatch in for this, a light blue which mimics the old d&d maps (R 173, G 216, B 230) a nice light blue. That's (C 30.2%; M 3.14%; Y 6.67%; K 0%) and for s&g (H 240°, S 100%, V 40%)

    All the blue maps have the ancient standard of ¼inch squares which usually equated to 10'. So to mimic this grid I created a new pattern which is fairly simple.

    Make sure your grid is on and set to .25inch with only 1 sudivision. Set your grid snap and point snap on. Draw a bounding box of 1 square, then grab the line tool, set the point to .50 and draw a line down the left side of the box, and across the bottom of the box. Grab your selection tool ("V") and select the box and the two lines and drag it to your swatch box. Automatically saving it as a pattern fill. You can then delete the box and the lines.
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    Then grab the box tool and create a 7x7 box (or whatever size your map is) x and y centered on 3.5, select the fill, and select your newly created pattern. You should have a nice ¼" inch grid in pasty blue.
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    Then rename your layer GRID, create your other layers I always just pump out about 5 new layers and name them as I go... Lock this layer, and hide it, and start on a new layer named SYMBOLS.

    Now for some fun stuff
    Last edited by delgondahntelius; 07-18-2008 at 01:03 PM. Reason: Added CMYK remarks
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    Tutorial Continuing the BLUE

    SYMBOLS

    detach your symbol box for easy access. Its good to zoom in to about two grid boxes. (shortcut: SPACEBAR + CTRL to zoom in quickly, SPACEBAR + CTRL + ALT to zoom out quickly)

    Now start creating the symbols you will need for the map. Its fairly simple process, so I don't feel much of a need to go into each one step by step. Just go from Grid square to square and put out a symbol in each one.

    For doors, use a box with a white fill, to cover any lines you put them over.
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    For your rubble, use the pencil tool with a blue fill and no select. This allows you to quickly draw rubble in. (pencil too: hold down ALT after you started your line, before you end your line and pick up your stylus, this will auto connect the lines.)
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    Once you have completed all the symbols you think you will need, take your selection tool and grab each one, dragging it to the symbol box and naming each one (if you desire) and you are done with this layer, lock it and hide it and move on to the next layer
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    Tutorial Onward BLUE!

    Grab you pen tool, for a standard no frills dungeon, you can leave the grid snap on. Make your line 1 point... and start mapping your walls. If you don't want your walls to stand out as they do on some old maps, you can skip this step and just block in all the solid parts and then come back and put walls in where they need to go. If you want your walls to appear darker than the fill then this step is where you make the difference.
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    Be sure you put your symbols on a seperate layer than your walls so you can quick select the entire layer and change the color of the walls to suit. Once the walls are done, then on to placing symbols. I found it best to have the grid snap turned off when placing your symbols.
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    Then, on another seperate layer (drop this one below your wall layer if you plan on having two different blues for walls and fill). Take your pen tool, fill with your (by now a very irritating blue) set your line to none, and block in all the areas that need to be solid blue.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    After that its some numbers, a legend and some labels if you desire and VIOLA you have yourself an old school blue map.... amaze your friends, enjoy the envy of your peers, and now your maps can never, ever be photocopied again! ....

    and the symbols I made for this map blue.zip

    Last edited by delgondahntelius; 07-18-2008 at 01:05 AM. Reason: added symbols and CC
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    Community Leader NeonKnight's Avatar
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    Love seeing oldschool blue. Duly Repped!
    Daniel the Neon Knight: Campaign Cartographer User

    Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice!

    Any questions on CC3? Post them with CC3 in the Subject Line!
    MY 'FAMOUS' CC3 MAPS: Thunderspire; Pyramid of Shadows; King of the Trollhaunt Warrens; Demon Queen's Enclave

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by delgondahntelius View Post
    Why not? An old school blue map in AI.
    Amen; that's how I do all my old-school dungeon layouts, too. Nice work on this tutorial.

    S. John Ross Ghalev
    Who Dat? Games Fonts Uresia

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    May I suggest, if you are planning on printing your map that you work in CMYK mode. RGB is only good for display on computer screens. Of course if you don't plan on printing, then RGB would be appropriate.

    -Rob

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeonKnight View Post
    Love seeing oldschool blue. Duly Repped!
    Thanx NK Knew an Oldschooler like you would like it ;D

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghalev View Post
    Amen; that's how I do all my old-school dungeon layouts, too. Nice work on this tutorial.
    It was actually the first one I've done (both tutorial and blue map), but that is the way I plan to do them in the future

    Quote Originally Posted by HandsomeRob View Post
    May I suggest, if you are planning on printing your map that you work in CMYK mode. RGB is only good for display on computer screens. Of course if you don't plan on printing, then RGB would be appropriate.

    -Rob
    Good call HR, meant to say something about it and totally forgot. I'll update the post to include CMYK remarks... This is actually the first RGB file i've done in AI for such a long time it was kinda eerie ....
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    Guild Artisan töff's Avatar
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    RGB is only good for display on computer screens
    That's generally true, but the majority of printers, both hi-end and low-end, have fully automatic RGB-> CMYK filters and don't blink at RGB. The hue shifts, saturation, gamut concerns, rich black etc. generally don't matter unless you are a professional printer concerned with color matching (and even then, *ahem*).

    I wonder WHY they chose that blue. Were they hoping for a "non-repro" effect? Anybody remember those days?

    ... /end OT.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by töff View Post
    I wonder WHY they chose that blue. Were they hoping for a "non-repro" effect?
    Yeah. TSR did a number of different anti-photocopying schemes over the years: blue dungeons, brown-orange character sheets, red-screened character sheets, etc.

    And, of course, all those dungeons were designed and drafted in black; the blue was a spot ink.

    S. John Ross Ghalev
    Who Dat? Games Fonts Uresia

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