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Thread: Software for the beginning RPG mapper.

  1. #1
      bigkilla is offline
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    Question Software for the beginning RPG mapper.

    Hello, I was looking for some advice on the best software for a beginning map maker to make some nice quality maps that will be used for Tabletop RPG'S, VTT'S and possibly put into print in PDF format. As of now I have really no clue on how to make maps of any quality (I really love the maps that Paizo makes for their Pathfinder products). I have GIMP and have messed around with it a little bit modifying existing maps and such for my personal use but as I am currently creating my own campaign I will need new original maps and I would like to create those myself.

    As I stated I have GIMP and I will read some of the tutorials for that and see what I could accomplish but to me it seems that GIMP would not be the ideal choice for making maps for RPG'S. I have been looking into CC3 and DD3 and were wondering on peoples opinions on that software for quality of maps produced and ease of use of the software, also I would appreciate any other advice on software that doesn't cost a arm and a leg that will produce quality maps that is easy to use.

    Thanks Bigkilla

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      RobA is offline
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    The software forum a a stick post on different software.

    It depends on your artistic skill. The people who make maps for Paizo have artistic ability, so keep that in mind. (If you can draw it with a pencil on paper you can do the same, or better, in gimp or photoshop or any other raster program).

    If you want to use clip art or symbol libraries, then you would be best to look at a product that specializes in that (Like CC3, or FM. You can use programs like gimp to make maps with symbol libraries as well.

    -Rob A>

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      Gidde is offline
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    Personally I find GIMP to be great for making maps to import into MapTool (one of said VTTs). It really comes down to which software you're most comfortable with. There are folks around here who actually make beautiful maps in MSPaint (/shudder).

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      tilt is offline
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    Other than Photoshop being the coolest program in the world (and most expensive) - you can make beautiful maps with GIMP, RobA is our resident expert/guro on that
    Just follow some tutorials and see if its for you
    regs tilt
    :: My art on Deviant Art :: My mapping blog tilts fantasy maps :: My work Catapult - Perry & Gehrke - EasyTruckIT ::
    :: Finished Maps :: WIP Cartographia - Breakwater -Market -Lands of Twilight -Battle City :: Competion maps Iron Giant ::
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    Works under CC licence unless mentioned otherwise

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    For overland maps, the Gimp is vastly superior to CC3, in my opinion. Not that CC3 isn't useful, but it's a bit limited. For encounter-scale maps and cities, CC3 with its expansions is very quick and efficient, particularly if you pair it with Gimp or Photoshop for post-production work.

    Do take a look around for what you can do with the free software before you drop any dough on other software. Then spend that money on a Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet instead!

    Oh, and I would be remiss if I failed to mention that Fractal Mapper has a free trial, as does Dundjinni. Last I checked CC3 did not, but that may have changed. And Inkscape is an open source vector drawing program capable of the sort of graphics that Adobe Illustrator can make (though it is not yet nearly so robust as AI).
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  6. #6
      Eidolon is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by tilt View Post
    Other than Photoshop being the coolest program in the world (and most expensive) - you can make beautiful maps with GIMP, RobA is our resident expert/guro on that
    Just follow some tutorials and see if its for you
    Paint Shop Pro is comparible (I actually prefer it) to Photoshop for a fraction of the price.

  7. #7
    Publisher Gamerprinter's Avatar
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    Or consider GIMP which is almost as powerful as Photoshop, and its FREE. I use Xara Xtreme Pro, which is not free and not an image editor like those other programs. For most of us a dedicated mapping app is unnecessary. Image editors and vector applications are most of our preference - I would rather use Photoshop, GIMP and a vector app like Xara Xtreme or Inkscape, long before I used a true mapping app - those are too limiting for me.

    You sound like you wanted a dedicated mapping program, so CC3 or Fractal Mapper are your primary choices.

    GP
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 06-14-2010 at 01:42 PM.
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  8. #8
      bigkilla is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamerprinter View Post
    Or consider GIMP which is almost as powerful as Photoshop, and its FREE. I use Xara Xtreme Pro, which is not free and not an image editor like those other programs. For most of us a dedicated mapping app is unnecessary. Image editors and vector applications are most of our preference - I would rather use Photoshop, GIMP and a vector app like Xara Xtreme or Inkscape, long before I used a true mapping app - those are too limiting for me.

    You sound like you wanted a dedicated mapping program, so CC3 or Fractal Mapper are your primary choices.

    GP
    Yes, I am looking to really only make maps for RPG'S. I Have GIMP and I am going to give it a shot but I guess i'm a really looking for something simpler, where you could just drag and drop tiles or something. Although I have seen some maps people make with GIMP and it blows my mind what you can do if you know what you are doing. I have to watch some of the tutorials.

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      tilt is offline
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    read the tuts, and post in the wip areas, and you got a whole guild to help you get better
    regs tilt
    :: My art on Deviant Art :: My mapping blog tilts fantasy maps :: My work Catapult - Perry & Gehrke - EasyTruckIT ::
    :: Finished Maps :: WIP Cartographia - Breakwater -Market -Lands of Twilight -Battle City :: Competion maps Iron Giant ::
    :: FREE Tiles - Compasses :: Other Taking a commision - Copyright & Creative Commons ::
    Works under CC licence unless mentioned otherwise

  10. #10
      Mark Oliva is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigkilla View Post
    I'm a really looking for something simpler, where you could just drag and drop tiles or something. Although I have seen some maps people make with GIMP and it blows my mind what you can do if you know what you are doing.
    If you really just want to move tiles, Dundjinni probably is your best bet. Check out the free trial version:

    http://www.dundjinni.com

    If you want the ability to make all kinds of maps easily, check out the free trial version of Fractal Mapper 8:

    http://www.nbos.com

    Also download the free manual/tutorial at:

    http://www.nbos.com/nox/index.php?action=1001&id=125

    which will give you FM8 at its simplest, vector level. If you're still interested, download our free tutorial for raster mapping with FM8 (advanced but still simple) at:

    http://www.vintyri.com/vintyri/tu1.htm
    Mark Oliva
    The Vintyri (TM) Project

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