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
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.