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  1. #1
    Guild Journeyer Vandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Durham, NC USA

    Post Vandy introduces himself...

    Good Morning and Hello to my Fellow Cartographers.

    My name is Gary and I go by Vandy on the 'net, however; I'll answer to either name. I'm a 58 year old male living in Durham, NC USA. I've been invloved (as an amateur) in map-making since I was a teenager.

    In the very early 1960s, my best friend and I use to create maps on paper -- notebook paper or, if we could get it, typing paper (none of the cheap stuff. No sir! The good heavyweight bonded paper...).

    We would hand draw continents, islands, bays, harbors, rivers, mountains, marsh and swampland, etc. Then, countries would be defined and borders drawn in. Explorations occured and land was annexed or marked as "owned". Cities grew and developed, capitals were named, alliances were formed and, inevitably, wars occurred. Country boundaries changed, countries were "eliminated", alliances changed, etc.

    By the time we were "done" with a map, there wasn't much space that didn't have faint pencil marks on it as well as there were more than a few weak spots or tears. It certainly was quite a bit of fun.

    Time passed and so did this type of map making fun. As I grew into adulthood, I would occasionaly make another such map but it didn't seem to have the same "riveting attention" that I remembered as a youth.

    In December of 2004, I received SimCity 4 as a Christmas present and it was like the heavens had opened and presented me with an updated and more sophisticated way of making maps.

    Currently, I create maps for SimCity 4 and post them on a number SimCity 4 Fansite File Exchanges. After four years, I still very much enjoy making them.

    Initially, my SC4 maps were created with the help of an application called Landscape Designer. They were passable maps but quite simple in their design. I did use (and still do use) Paint Shop Pro, version 9.xx to edit them. Also, I have created SC4 maps by drawing them on paper, scanning them then using Paint Shop Pro to create a useable grayscale image.

    Approximately 2 1/2 year ago, a Simtropolis member by the user name "wouanagaine" wrote an application destined to change the way maps are created for SC4. The application is SC4Terraformer. It allows the user to create a 3D map with a set of terraforming tools. This is now THE TOOL of choice for maing SC4 maps.

    Over the years, I've also used Terragen and World Machine to create terrains. Lately, I've started to experiment with using a .TER Terragen terrain file as a device input into World Machine. The resulting .TMD World Machine file is saved as a 16-bit .PNG file. The .PNG file is then imported into SC4Terraformer, "tweaked" and used to render a SC4 map.

    I "stumbled" upon the "Cartographer's Guild" Website by accident and am so very happy that I did. I am quite impressed with the maps I've seen and already know that I on the brink of another "leap" into the larger world of map-making.

    I need to further study and read through the threads here but I'm starting to already form an opinion on the software that I might best use. I would really appreciate and value your input on my thought processes. The software I think I would most benefit from is the Pro Fantasy Software "The World Builder" bundle. I'm really not "in" to creating characters or dioramas but am very interested in the other applications in the bundle.

    Finally, I would like to ask if anyone would be interested in viewing any maps created for SimCity 4 or, is this site more dedicated to the type of map created by CC3?

    I do look forward to chatting with y'all and am very please to become a member at this wonderful site.

    Have a great day!


    Gary (Vandy)
    Last edited by Vandy; 12-10-2008 at 10:22 AM.
    In the end you will see, you is you and me is me.
    © May 29, 1980

  2. #2
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Apex, NC USA


    Welcome Gary! your right down the road from me. Show us anything you've got(map wise anyway). I would be especially interested in anything you handdrawn and then scanned and colored. You can post up any finished maps in the Finished maps forum or anything your working on in the WIP forums. Also, be sure to check out the tutorial section. I don't know off the top of my head if there are any PSP tutorials, but many concepts of Photoshop and GIMP can be transfered to PSP from what I understand.
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
    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


    Welcome! Good to have another paperphile with us.

    Since you already work with heightfields, I suggest you try out Wilbur:

    It's written by Joe Slayton, the same fellow who wrote Fractal Terrains for ProFantasy, and he's also a member of these forums (Waldronate), so hunt around for his tutorials. "Fun with Wilbur," I think is the title of them.

    You might look at the map galleries on ProFantasy's web site before you put down any money. CC3, while powerful, is best at making a certain kind of symbol-driven map. Although its capabilities are growing, if you prefer to work with shaded relief or more photographic type maps it's not the best tool you could choose. I don't mean to downplay PF products, though. I use them, myself.

    I'd hunt around these forums, see what kinds of maps you like the best, and let that guide you on what software you choose. Of course, items like Gimp and Inkscape are free, so you really can't go wrong there, and that savings will let you put your money toward buying a drawing tablet, which I highly recommend.

    Anyway, good to have you here, and have fun!
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  4. #4
    Community Leader NeonKnight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Surrey, Canada, EH!


    Welcome to the Guild.

    I would love to see them CC3 maps
    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
    Administrator Redrobes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Blog Entries


    Hi Gary, welcome and were all keen to see some stuff. We have just a few Terragen people here some now using TG2. A few have used World Machine but not that many and none that post regularly with output from it so if you can show any maps on that it would be cool. I have seen the erosion pics and I think WM has the best erosion of terrain anywhere. I have a keyword index for guild threads. Theres loads of CC3, a couple of Fractal Terrains and some others. I might have to check how many Terragen ones there might be if I added it to the list. Post some demos if you have them. This site does all sorts of maps, hand drawn, photoshopped, rendered, 3D, historic so lets add SimCity maps to the list.

  6. #6
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Ft. Wayne, IN


    Welcome Aboard!
    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.

  7. #7
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    St. Charles, Missouri, United States


    I'm a big SimCity fan myself so I'd like to see those maps. Welcome to The Guild.
    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

  8. #8
    Professional Artist Turgenev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Toronto, Canada


    Welcome to the Guild, Gary.

    Paratime Design Cartography

    "Do infants have as much fun in infancy as adults do in adultery?" - Groucho Marx

  9. #9


    I'am interested in your map-works too.

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