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Thread: CC3 vs Photoshop

  1. #1
      Pilias is offline
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    Post CC3 vs Photoshop

    So I am looking through more of the stuff on the forum and I was curious about something.

    I noticed many people here use Photoshop as their main app for making maps and there are a ton of resources for using Photoshop in the tutorials. With all of that in mind, wouldn't it actually be easier to learn to do digital maps using a program like Photoshop rather than using CC3?

    Both seem to have a steep learning curve to them.

  2. #2
      Gandwarf is offline
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    With CC3 you can create a decent looking map right from the start and within a few minutes. The software was made for mapping and comes with a lot of symbols and styles you can immediately start using. The end result will look a bit generic (people will probably notice you created the map using CC3) and you will really have to dig into the software to create something more unique.

    With no Photoshop skills whatsoever, good luck creating a map right from the start

    However, once you get the hang of Photoshop you will be able to create really unique looking maps. You will have infinite freedom and could also use it to create other kinds of images or edit photos. Having Photoshop skills can be something desirable to have on your resume.

    It all depends on your needs I guess... if you are willing to make the investmest, Photoshop is probably the way to go.

    If like me you just want to create some decent looking maps without too much hassle, pick CC3.
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

    Gandwarf has fallen into shadow...

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      jfrazierjr is offline
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    And if you're really cheap, just save all your money and get GIMP..
    My Finished Maps
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    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfrazierjr View Post
    And if you're really cheap, just save all your money and get GIMP..
    Yup, can't go wrong with free!
    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.



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      Darken is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel General View Post
    Yup, can't go wrong with free!
    I personally go with Gimpshop, which works exactly like GIMP but supposedly better emulates Photoshop. I use it just because it better organizes the windows into a single taskbar item. Easier access.

  6. #6
      NeonKnight is offline
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    Well, for me, not knowing a lot about Photoshop or Gimp, I know with CC3, I can whip a map up (usually I make alot of Dungeon Maps) in about 30 minutes, and have it look good.

    But then, I have ben using CC3/CC2 for about 15+ years now.
    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

  7. #7
      Darken is offline
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    Here's my take on it:

    CC3 can create beautiful maps in a very short amount of time. But you are limited to what the software provides. I'm a bit OCD about my maps, so I prefer more traditional image editing program. It gives me more control at the cost of time, but for me that difference is worth it. And that is the ultimate decision you need to make.

  8. #8
      Nomadic is offline
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    As a long time Photoshop user I will say that it has an incredible range of abilities that are very useful for mapping as well as for other things such as general photo manipulation (which can make you big bucks). It is the perfect tool for making maps distinctly your own. For quick maps though CC3 is perfectly suited to such a task (in fact I am considering buying it just for that reason).
    My Map Portfolio
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  9. #9
      Sigurd is offline
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    I say this as someone who has not taken to CC3. They really have different strengths.

    CC3 has a wealth of included art in a structure that is organized for gaming. CC3 is a Computer Assisted aDventure program. Once you learn to use it and have enough of its art material there is nothing that will make a role playing game appropriate map faster. You will consistently be able to create, expand, adapt and recreate maps and locations in the style of CC3's art packs (which are many and very good). Some things, like consistent scale, and unified style are really very well done in CC3.


    Photoshop, and other generalized graphics programs are better at 'art' but have no included specialized material for gaming, no intrinsic style for anything you produce and you are the only source for structure and components. Thankfully there are places on the web you can find pictures, tutorials and components. You pay far more for your base tool but have less dependency on add on packs because the program is more flexible. You are left free to make your maps less consistent but more unique to you.

    Sigurd
    Last edited by Sigurd; 04-11-2009 at 12:04 AM.

  10. #10
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    CC3 is a Computer Assisted aDventure program.
    Clever; I like it!

    I like to use both. CC3 and its add-ons have some powers that Photoshop lacks. As has been mentioned, its ability to handle scale is very useful to me because I don't really have a very good head for distances. Ironic in a mapmaker, I know, but there it is.

    City Designer is extremely useful for laying down large numbers of buildings relatively rapidly, which is something Photoshop does not do well. However, a simplified image from City Designer can be styled in Photoshop or Gimp, giving the best of both.

    On the other hand, CC3 and its add-ons do tend to push the cartographer into a particular style of map—it's possible to break out of that, but it takes a bit of thought. Also, there are some image quality issues; I don't do any text in CC3 any more. I do that entirely in Photoshop or Illustrator now because it just looks nicer.

    Fractal Terrains, also, is much better when supported by Photoshop or Illustrator.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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