View Poll Results: What mapping software do you use? (multi select enabled)

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  • Raster (bought) [e.g. Photoshop, PaintShopPro, Painter]

    665 54.15%
  • Raster (free) [e.g. GIMP]

    485 39.50%
  • Vector (bought) [e.g. Illustrator, Corel Draw, Xara]

    276 22.48%
  • Vector (free) [e.g. Inkscape]

    235 19.14%
  • Vector (Symbol driven) [e.g. CC, Dunjinni]

    308 25.08%
  • Online Generator [e.g. City Map Generator, Fractal World Generator]

    106 8.63%
  • Fractal Generator [e.g. Fractal Terrains]

    174 14.17%
  • 3d modelling [e.g. Bryce, Vue Infinite, Blender]

    157 12.79%
  • Scanned hand drawn maps

    412 33.55%
  • Drawing Tablet and pen [e.g. Wacom]

    338 27.52%
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Thread: New to Digital Cartography? Software General Information

  1. #111
      trevor is offline
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    The tricky part when comparing VTs is that for the most part, if you can drop down an image for the background, and put images down for tokens, you'll pretty much get the same result from every VT.

    The key is finding a way to compare the unique features, or perhaps illustrate what makes each map particularly interesting for each VT.

  2. #112
      dormouse is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPMiller View Post
    I will be most interested in how the various VTTs compare to each other.
    I'd be interested in that too. But I'll only look at their performance in making the maps, not in their use within the VTT.

    Quote Originally Posted by RPMiller View Post
    I have wanted to do some mapping comparisons between the most popular ones, but I can't possibly afford to buy all of them.
    I don't know how many I'll look at. I'm not totally sure how useful it will be either, since I think that most people will still produce their base maps in something else. But will certainly be interesting to see how much can be done natively, and how quickly and easily, and how much the VTTs differ from each other in this.

  3. #113
      dormouse is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by trevor View Post
    The tricky part when comparing VTs is that for the most part, if you can drop down an image for the background, and put images down for tokens, you'll pretty much get the same result from every VT.

    The key is finding a way to compare the unique features, or perhaps illustrate what makes each map particularly interesting for each VT.
    All I'll be looking at is the VT's ability to create maps. I think they do differ on this. Different tools, different ways to access them, different ways of browsing for images etc etc. MapTool has a much wider range of zoom than BRPG, for instance, and can use much bigger maps. This may or may not be an advantage for it as a VT, but is certainly an advantage for it as a map creator. I don't know how many VTs can really be considered for this at all. Seen as a VT, ViewingDale clearly has a great deal more advanced map making abilities than most VTs. I think BRPG is map making abilities are just designed to support play on maps that are predesigned outside the VT. It's a long time since I looked at the others. What I've seen of MT and VD also suggests that they could have a single map that acted as a home for lots of other maps: something that some of the mapping programs can also do and worth looking at more closely.

  4. #114
      trevor is offline
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    As you mention that, I'm reminded of a for-fun "contest" we had a number of years back: Make a the cliche forest road scenario in one minute

    Here's one that Dorpond put together:

    http://rptools.net/dorpond/demos/QuickMap/QuickMap.html (1 minute)
    http://rptools.net/dorpond/demos/Qui...QuickMap4.html (2 minutes)

    And one he did with a slight modification on theme (2 minutes):

    http://rptools.net/dorpond/demos/Qui...QuickMap3.html

  5. #115
      trevor is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by dormouse View Post
    All I'll be looking at is the VT's ability to create maps. I think they do differ on this.
    True, very good point

    Quote Originally Posted by dormouse View Post
    ViewingDale clearly has a great deal more advanced map making abilities than most VTs.
    Interesting discussion point. It definitely has the most capability to cram the most stuff onto a map space and navigate around. But if we're talking about map making, where the end result is a jpg, is it a great map maker ?

    iirc (correct me if I'm wrong redrobes), it doesn't have drawing tools, so all of your page content has to be premade images or text. And there isn't a visual way to browse for images to put onto the map, which would make map making a tad tedious (unless you have all your image names memorized).

    Although this could just be me not knowing the UI well enough.

    Maybe Redrobes can post a screencast of him building a map from scratch, perhaps the "Forest Road" scenario. (Note: I've seen the tutorials on his website, but I didn't see one that constructed a scene from scratch, just one that connected two already created map sections together, let me know if I've missed one)

  6. #116
      trevor is offline
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    Coincidentally, a user just posted a map he created using dungeon tiles that will be part of the official MapTool 1.3 build:

    http://forums.rptools.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9079

    complete with downloadable campaign file, might be a good starting place

  7. #117
      Redrobes is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by trevor View Post
    Interesting discussion point. It definitely has the most capability to cram the most stuff onto a map space and navigate around. But if we're talking about map making, where the end result is a jpg, is it a great map maker ?

    iirc (correct me if I'm wrong redrobes), it doesn't have drawing tools, so all of your page content has to be premade images or text. And there isn't a visual way to browse for images to put onto the map, which would make map making a tad tedious (unless you have all your image names memorized).

    Although this could just be me not knowing the UI well enough.

    Maybe Redrobes can post a screencast of him building a map from scratch, perhaps the "Forest Road" scenario. (Note: I've seen the tutorials on his website, but I didn't see one that constructed a scene from scratch, just one that connected two already created map sections together, let me know if I've missed one)
    Heh - just looking at Dorponds 1 min forest path. That looks like fun - ill have a bash at that in a mo. I'll get some buildings in and a big red arrow and see if I can do that in a minute. To answer questions...

    Your right, it does not have drawing tools you do have to make tokens with a raster package. You can ask for a new token and it brings up the text browser of token file names. For each file you can get a preview by pressing space bar on any token from there you can use up and down arrows to get previews of next and prev tokens. On the latest version there is a create directory contact sheet option too so you can create all of the tokens on one page on one collection which makes finding the right one easier when there is a vast array of them to look at.

    The problem here for me is that normally each token is the base of a hierarchy so the visual effect of that token is the tokens image and all its child tokens and all their (grand) children etc so the token is not a static bitmap with a thumbnail to be stored away somewhere for quick browsing.

    This is what makes me feel a little daunted by the comparison with all the mapping ability. If you try to force the app to make the maps like the others then it probably wont come off as good. However if you tried to make the kind of maps that VDale likes with the others then I think they would come off worse. The comparisons could be open to a lot of prejudice.

    Right, ill get a cuppa, boot up CamStudio and try the 1 minute challenge ! I think here it will shine...

  8. #118
      RPMiller is offline
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    I believe I was involved with that one minute challenge. I think it was back when I first started getting serious about using MapTool in fact. Here is my attempt from way back when:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrFaHKAmXdY

    Oh, and now with the new random drawing macro, I'm betting we could do these in like 30 seconds and make them look awesome.
    Last edited by RPMiller; 04-30-2009 at 06:53 PM.
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  9. #119
      trevor is offline
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    wow, that was from a loooong time ago, the UI has changed a lot ! It's fun to look back where we've been

  10. #120
      Redrobes is offline
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    Ok here we are. My god I have had some problems with the video conversion tonight. Dont know why but had to use the Cinipak thing, convert to H264 and then into XviD before it was happy to play it. I think I have broken my MediaPlayer....

    Anyway, the one minute path in a forest. Heres the vid. Took another 45 secs to put the arrow and text down.

    Vid1

    I then went on and added 45 secs more of dressing...

    Vid2

    ...and then another two minutes adding some forest fluff and some characters to the scene.

    Vid3

    So what this is saying is that for a whopping 3-4 mins of effort you can get a pretty decent battle map with characters placed down and it looks pretty reasonable zoomed up to character scale too - which is the whole point of using the zoom browser feature of a mapping app.

    I have also used the preview mode in a few places just to show in action.

    Hope thats explained it a bit more.

    EDIT -- Just gotta fiddle with it a bit more. Prob half hour in total. Pic below.
    Last edited by Redrobes; 04-30-2009 at 09:06 PM.

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