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Thread: Safeton city map CD3

  1. #1

    Wip Safeton city map CD3

    This is my first post on Cartographer's Guild, so I'd like to begin by saying thank you to the members for the tutorials and helpful posts which have been so very useful.

    Recently, I bought a copy of CC3 and CD3 and started up a project to learn the software. Prior to this, I'd done some mapmaking using Photoshop Elements, so although I'm new to vector graphics, I'm familiar with some of the basic concepts like sheets and layers.

    For my first project the goal is to depict a medium sized city. I chose the city of Safeton from the commercial RPG setting of Greyhawk. There have been some published references detailing some of the features of Safeton, which I felt would give me a head start on deciding the map's content. An article and sketch map can be found at

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=lg/lgmp/20071106a

    Here are some notes about what I've done so far.

    I began by inserting and scaling a sketch map. The Pdf CC3 manual was indispensable in getting things scaled and ready to go.

    Next I laid out the terrain and water. They're made of stock CD3 bitmaps on separate layers to take advantage of edge fade. I've read criticism of the overly glossy CD3 background textures, and I agree, although I think the edge fade at contour lines worked out pretty nicely. For now, it's ok enough.

    After terrain, I laid out the city walls. I found that I was unhappy with the appearance of the default CD3 walls, so I assembled crenelations and other wall parts in PE using components from the CSUAC, and inserted them into my CD3 project. In the process, I've learned that bringing bitmap art into CD3 has performance implications, and it would behoove me to pay more attention to Profantasy's recommended procedures.

    To depict conical rooftops over some of my wall towers, I laid down some multi-sided CD3 houses via the house tool. The conical houses don't cast conical shadows, which I've been informed is a limitation of CD3 or CC3, but their shading looks really nice.

    (Side note, this was the start of me creating things in CD3 by stacking things on top of other things. Doing this sometimes causes artifacts with directional shadows. Sometimes I can fix this with sheet ordering, sometimes I can't. There may be solutions within CD3 but I don't know em yet.)

    Next, I put in some docks using CD3's road tool. Gandwarf's tutorial on making a CD3 custom road was really helpful here.

    Roads came next. I created another custom road, using a stock texture that looks bumpier and more weathered than the default dust texture. It looks better on screen but doesn't come across too well in the accompanying lo-res PNG.

    Buildings came next, and that's where things are in progress now. I want to give each city area a character that dovetails with the fiction, so the dock quarter will be crowded and chaotic, and the marine quarter will have larger nicer houses, more appearances of wealth, trees, temples, etc. The "new city" outside the old city walls, which I haven't begun yet, will need its own character.

    I'd welcome any commentary and feedback on improvements.

    nematode
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  2. #2
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Welcome Aboard!

    Your map looks nice so far - looking forward to seeing it progress
    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.



  3. #3
    Community Leader Gandwarf's Avatar
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    Welcome.
    You created quite a nice map. What I like so far:

    - The general layout of the city
    - The walls (the low stone walls in the city are also very good looking).
    - The docks and especially the larger pier!

    Did you paste the map together from screenshots? As I can see some artefacts near the shoreline. Also, the southeast gate has a piece of wall that doesn't seem to fit in. Very interested to see more progress.
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

    Gandwarf has fallen into shadow...

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gandwarf View Post
    Did you paste the map together from screenshots?
    Yes, I threw it together in PE from about 9 print-to-PdfCreator jobs, and it's quick and dirty to say the least. The missing texture may be due to a problem with CC3/CD3 lopping off bitmaps which extend over the edge of a print area, but I'm not sure.

    I have been experiencing crashes when trying to use the built in "save as rectangular area image file" from CD3, so I've been using PdfCreator as a printer driver, with better results.

    nematode

  5. #5
    Community Leader Gandwarf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nematode View Post
    Yes, I threw it together in PE from about 9 print-to-PdfCreator jobs, and it's quick and dirty to say the least. The missing texture may be due to a problem with CC3/CD3 lopping off bitmaps which extend over the edge of a print area, but I'm not sure.

    I have been experiencing crashes when trying to use the built in "save as rectangular area image file" from CD3, so I've been using PdfCreator as a printer driver, with better results.

    nematode
    Out of curiosity, if you are using PDF Creator, why are you exporting the map in multiple files you have to paste together? Because when I use PDF Creator to export my map I just make one huge file. I used to paste together screenshots and I am very happy I have that all behind me
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

    Gandwarf has fallen into shadow...

  6. #6
    Community Leader NeonKnight's Avatar
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    Could the HUGE processing that is required to make a single image.

    I am currently doing a city map project and am 'pasting together' the submitted JPG to the publisher from four individual JPEGS. I have the Map Border marked in quarters and then just save as a rectangular JPG the four quadrants and then drop them into a single Photoshop image set to twice the quadrant's JPEG dimensions.

    Little more work, but I am not waiting 20 minutes for the computer to process to then 'crash' on me
    Daniel the Neon Knight: Campaign Cartographer User

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    MY 'FAMOUS' CC3 MAPS: Thunderspire; Pyramid of Shadows; King of the Trollhaunt Warrens; Demon Queen's Enclave

  7. #7
    Community Leader Gandwarf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeonKnight View Post
    Little more work, but I am not waiting 20 minutes for the computer to process to then 'crash' on me
    Understandable
    Although I must say my computer always crashes at the beginning of the process, never at the end. So once the computer starts processing I know it's going to make it to the end.
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

    Gandwarf has fallen into shadow...

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gandwarf View Post
    Out of curiosity, if you are using PDF Creator, why are you exporting the map in multiple files you have to paste together? Because when I use PDF Creator to export my map I just make one huge file. I used to paste together screenshots and I am very happy I have that all behind me
    I've been having a lot of crash problems with exporting. If I set the various export values too high, it'll die. I have been finding it very difficult to find a happy medium, and without a doubt, is the aspect of this project that is the most opaque and frustrating.

    My big bitmaps and an older PC are not helping things.

    So I went with a very conservative approach to make sure that I could get an image done. Even so, each of those 9 lo res images took about 30-45 minutes to render.

    I would love to have a bulletproof scheme to export CD3 and am keeping my eyes and mind open to ideas

    nematode

  9. #9
    Community Leader Gandwarf's Avatar
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    Did you use the "Save" function in CC3 or did you print them as PDF?
    Because the "Save" function is very slow for me as well and CC3 keeps crashing. Now I use PDF Creator and I can render maps in insane dimensions (think 15.000x10.000 pixels or something). It might take a few minutes, but it never crashes. My PC is also a couple of years old.

    Before I found this solution I was making screenshots of the map in CC3 and then pasting all those screenshots together in Paint Shop Pro. It was rather awkward and very time consuming.
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

    Gandwarf has fallen into shadow...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gandwarf View Post
    Did you use the "Save" function in CC3 or did you print them as PDF?
    Success!

    I'm able to export my entire map to a PNG using PDFCreator. Its about 15megs, and it looks about the same as my composited sectional image, but it took me *much* less time to produce.

    Hurdle overcome, back to the good stuff....more mapmaking!

    nematode

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