Moody MansionWe’ve added a few previews for the next months of the Cartographer’s Annual 2019.

For April we have a new floorplan style by Pär Lindström. The “Moody Mansions” style is perfect for modern horror games and similar mapping endeavors. Whether you are investigating a murder in Victorian London or hunting otherworldly horrors in Arkham, Massachusetts, the style provides the perfection location map.

Beaumaris CastleMay has another treat from the hand of Sue Daniel. She has created an updated and much improved version of one of the castles from Source Maps: Castles, the Welsh castle of Beaumaris. It includes floorplans for all the castle’s levels, an isometric view and individual parts to build your own fortification from.

Mountain by Foreign WorldsIn June we’ll be featuring an overland mapping style by a new contributor: Sebastian Breit of Foreign Worlds cartography. We love the maps he shows off on his site and look forward to seeing his work in CC3+!

As we are slowly heading into spring here in the northern hemisphere, it’s time to take another look at the wonderful maps the mapping community has produced. Here are five maps that caught our eye this month. Be sure to check out the forum and the Facebook group for lots more!

Thiatas Ashadarawesh produced this amazing world map in Fractal Terrains 3. Worthy of a “Best Coastline” prize.
World Map by Thiatas Ashadarawesh‎ Continue reading »

Many gamers use some kind of digital solution such as virtual table-top software to display maps on a projector or computer screen even when running a local game (as opposed to running a game over the internet, where such software is pretty much required). All of these software solutions have their advantages and disadvantages, but  CC3+ itself may actually be a very good solution, depending on your needs. Now, just to start with the limitations, CC3+ don’t have any kind of remote viewing/projecting options, so this do require that you share the screen you are actually working on (This can be a secondary screen/projector that is set up to mirror yours, or it can be done through screen sharing software, which allow others to see your screen even over the internet).

So, why would you use CC3+ for this? What advantages does it have over other VTT software? Well, the main reason CC3+ is good for this is that this is where you made your map in the first place. This means that the map is fully interactive, and you have all your regular CC3+ tools available to you to manipulate the map during play. If you export the map from CC3+ to an image file for use in a VTT program, then everything becomes static. In CC3+ you can hide or show sheets and layers, you can move symbols and edit whatever you need to do.

Of course, CC3+ isn’t optimized for use during play, while a VTT program is made just for that purpose, so some things are probably a bit more complicated to do in CC3+, so it is up to you if the flexibility CC3+ offer with regards to what you can do with your map during game play is worth it. For this article, I’ll showcase a few features of CC3+ that helps you during play.

Continue reading »

Traveller by Mark W. Miller was the among the first science-fiction role-playing games ever published and remains a popular game to this day. It’s sector maps and starship deckplans are iconic images of the rpg hobby and of course we had to include compatible material when we produced our science fiction add-on Cosmographer 3. Let’s have a look at what we included.

Galactic Traveller MapThe Big Picture

One of the signature styles of Cosmographer 3 is the big “Galaxy Map” style, and you might be tempted to recreate Travller’s huge “Charted Space” map in its beautiful blue, white and black colors. But you’ll find that is not necessary – as were tempted just as much and included this map as an example among the drawings that come with Cosmographer 3. Edit it to your liking and print it as a huge poster map if you like. Of course the matching template is there for you, if you have your own galaxy to map!

Dark Nebula SectorAll the Sector Maps You Need

Apart from containing normal templates for Traveller’s sector maps, Cosmographer 3 also contains a very powerful data import feature. It draws the numerical data of a selected sector from the web (www.travellermap.com) and generates a full sector map from it, including x-boat routes and allegiance codes. Watching the import and auto-generation process alone is just pure, unadulterated fun.

Tyler SubsectorYou can create such map in the bitmap style as shown on the left, or in the classical black and white print style of the published Traveller books.

Of course the smaller subsector maps are also available as templates, again both in traditional black and white (as on the left) or Cosmographer’s bitmap style. Wile they can’t be automatically generated like the sector maps, you can easily copy the necessary content of the sector map over into this smaller section.

Aurora System MapLet’s Swing around the Sun Once More

One of the less iconic but no less useful type of maps used in Traveller are the system charts, showing the planetary orbits of a star system. These show the distances of the various planets and other celestial objects from their central star.

As usual the templates are available both in a black and white vector style and a full color bitmap version (depicted here). As they are much less setting-specific than the sector and subsector maps, these are useful for almost any science fiction setting beyond Traveller.

Traveller World MapsZoom in Closer

What would Traveller be without its world maps? Well, at least a lot less iconic. Of course Cosmographer 3 includes templates of the classic icosahedral projection, subdivided into hexes. These come in a variety of sizes, scaled to the standard UWP (Universal World Profile) designations of the Imperial Scout Service.

One of the two versions of the style depicts the world as if shown in a satellite image (while keeping the hex map aspect) and the other as a clear and simple vector abstraction, ideal for planning and hex crawling. The symbols depicting the terrain features in this style were taken directly from the Traveller 5 draft document (Cosmographer 3 was released before T5).

Traveller 100t ScoutAnd How Do We Get There?

Last but not least, Cosmographer 3 has the templates for the most important aspect of the Traveller setting: the starships. The classic black and white style is straightforward to use and shows everything clearly, but of course the Traveller ships can also be mapped in Cosmographer’s own more elaborate bitmap style. We’ve included templates for two of the most used ships in Cosmographer 3, the 100t Scout and the 200t Free Trader. The maps are outlines only, so any custom interior design can be added to the deckplan in minutes.

After Cosmographer 3’s release we ran a poll to see what other ships our users wanted to see and added the three most popular selections as extra downloads for free.

All of these maps and styles and much more non-Traveller specific resources are available as part of the Cosmographer 3 add-on for Campaign Cartographer 3+.

Moon Base ExteriorThe March issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2019 is available now. Create futuristic bases including exterior views and interior floorplans, with or without Cosmographer 3. The issue also comes with 5 example maps showing two example bases.

The 7-page mapping guide takes you through creating the base’s layout and exterior view, tells you how to easily create floorplans from the exterior view and explains how to link the various maps together with hyperlinks. While it is a self-contained style, it shares some resources with Cosmographer 3 and can therefore easily be combined with it for access to many more floorplan symbols.

If you haven’t done so already, you can subscribe to the Annual 2019 here. If you are already subscribed, the March issue is available for download on your registration page now.

This is part 2 of the “Making New House Symbols in CC3+” tutorial by Sue Daniel. Read part 1 here.

Download the full tutorial in pdf format here.

Drawing the map file

Show all the sheets, set the snap grid to 10’ grid 2 snap, and copy the whole house to one side, leaving about 30 feet between the original and its duplicate. Zoom in on the duplicate, edit the label to show that it is the map file, hide all the sheets except the two ***Separation shadow sheets and delete the shadows from the map file drawing. Show all the sheets again and delete the chimney pots.

Using the change properties button move the entire map file drawing to the MAP FILE OBJECTS layer, and make the MAP FILE OBJECTS layer the active layer. Right click the hourglass button on the left and choose Move to Sheet, and move all the parts of the house as follows:

IMAGE ROOF – level 1 -> MAP ROOF – level 1
IMAGE RIDGE – level 1 -> MAP RIDGE – level 1
IMAGE ROOF – level 2 -> MAP ROOF – level 2
IMAGE RIDGE – level 2 -> MAP RIDGE – level 2
IMAGE ROOF – level 2 -> MAP ROOF – level 2
IMAGE RIDGE – level 2 -> MAP RIDGE – level 2
CHIMNEY -> MAP CHIMNEY BLANK

You should now have something that looks like this, with a white line defining each section of roof.

Using the change properties tool, change the fill of all the roof ridges and the chimney stacks to solid white.

Back when we aligned the fills and amended the automatic shading for the image file drawing, that amendment only worked for the textures. As soon as you change the properties of these aligned fill polygons to a solid colour the shaded polygons will show again and affect the blue and red values of the map file drawing, so we need to undo the alignment on all the parts of the roof that are aligned.

To do this make each of the 3 ***MAP ROOF sheets active in turn, and explode all the roof parts that are aligned on the active sheet (not the ridges or chimneys) so that the texture falls back to its default state. It is important to be on the right sheet for each roof part or the explosion may have unexpected results.

Open the colour palette and look at the top row of map file colours – the one with four colours in it.

The first map shade (178) is correctly set up for a north facing roof of standard pitch. Select it, and change the properties of the north facing rooftops to solid colour and shade 178. The second map shade (179) is set up for an east facing roof. Change the properties of all the east facing roof parts to this shade. This is how mine looks at this half way stage.

The third and fourth map shades are for the south and west facing roof parts respectively. So when you have finished changing the properties you should have a map file drawing that looks something like this.

And that’s all there is to it. The map file drawing is now complete.

Rendering the files

Create a new folder in the C:\ProgramData\Profantasy\CC3Plus\Symbols\User folder to be the home of your new house symbol. Mine is simply called “My Houses”.

Ensure that you have the 10’ grid 10 snap grid active and set to Snap, then use Save As… from the File menu, and pick Rectangular section PNG as the file type. Click the Options button in the Save As dialog and set the Width and Height dimensions to the dimensions you calculated for the render area rectangle, and which you should be able to read off the map. The filename you want is above the drawing.

Turn OFF the Antialias option.

Click ok and ok again, and when prompted for the first corner of the rectangle by the command line click on the bottom left corner of the rectangle around the map drawing, and then on the top right corner when prompted again for the second corner.

When this is done pan back across the map and do exactly the same thing for the image file drawing.

Making the background of both files transparent

Open the GIMP and go to File/Open and navigate to the My Houses folder where you saved your rendered images from CC3.

Open the image file.

Click the magic wand tool in the toolbox on the left hand side and make sure the Tool Options in the panel below the toolbox are set up so that the Mode is set to add to the selection, none of the boxes are checked, the Threshold is set to 130, and the Select by is set to Composite.

Then zoom in really close to anywhere on the left hand edge of the image by pressing CTRL and scrolling the middle mouse button, and click on the white area away from the house.

You should be able to see a black line down the edge of the image if you have zoomed in close enough. You need to click this with the wand, and also the white line right down the extreme edge until all the area that is not part of the house is selected in an area of ‘crawling ants’.

Go to the little thumbnail of the file on the right hand panel and right click it.

Select Add Alpha Channel from the drop down list, hover the mouse over the image in the main window again and press DELETE on your keyboard. This should entirely clear the background from the image file and leave a chequered pattern in view.

Don’t worry about the fact that the area is still selected. Go to the File menu, find where it says “Overwrite House 01.PNG” and click it.

Close the open file without saving it. You have already overwritten it with the new transparent version of the image file.

Select the wand tool and lower the Threshold setting to 50, then repeat this entire process for the map file, remembering to click the wand tool in all the islands of white in the middle of the map image. Make sure that all the white parts are gone.

Importing the new symbol

Go back to CC3+ and click the little button on the left under the Options button on the catalogue browser. There may already be symbols in there, but just ignore these. I have purged my own map of unused symbols just to make things a bit easier to see.

Open the Symbol Manager (menu item).

Click the Import PNGs button.

In the second dialog Browse to the My Houses folder in the Source folder box and double click on either of the files in the folder. The Highest Resolution should be set to 40 pixels per drawing unit, which is the default resolution for a city map. Check the Create other resolutions option and set the Symbol origin to the bottom right corner. Then click OK and wait for CC3+ to do its thing.

You will receive a short message letting you know that 1 new symbol was imported. Now check the view in the catalogue browser and scroll down to see if you can find your house waiting to be pasted.

And there it is.

Your new symbol has no specific settings, so you will have to manually choose the SYMBOLS sheet before pasting it to get the shadow around it.

You can carry on drawing and adding new house symbols in the same file until you have all that you want.

To make proper use of your new symbols you will need to make a catalogue of them. How to do this, and how to add the full functionality of a regular CD3 house symbol is covered in the Tome of Ultimate Mapping, and in part by a range of tutorials available from the sticky resources thread at the top of the Profantasy forum.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, and that you get at least one new house symbol out of it. If you have any problems creating your new house symbols please drop by the Profantasy Forum and let us know. Have fun 🙂

About the author: Sue Daniel is active as a cartographer and artist both on the ProFantasy community forum and the Cartographer’s Guild. There, she has won 1 Lite Challenge and 3 Main Challenges, and just recently one of the annual Atlas Awards for most creative map in 2017. She has produced many beautiful art assets for CC3+ (such as the “Sue’s Parchments” Annual issue) and mapping in general that are free to use for anyone.

Adult Red DragonDear map-makers! Here is the February newsletter with lots of mapping articles and our latest products!

News

Resources

  • Check out a selection of beautiful user maps in the Maps of the Month.
  • Remy Monsen does some very cool stuff with interactive maps in CC3+, moving a party of adventurers (or more precisely their viewpoint) through a dungeon, opening doors and triggering effects.

Articles


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Orc HutYou might be wondering what yours truly has been up to now that the first Token Treasury is out. Here’s a little update about what’s on my desk.

There is of course the Cities of (Mike) Schley you’ve all been wondering about. Progress has been a little slower than expected for a while, but we are now moving along nicely again, with Mike regularly submitting new house symbols – check out the gorgeous little orcish hut here. Of course the map (shading) files for all these houses need to be created, but we do have an expert on this now, don’t we?

CrocodileSecondly, after the Token Treasury is before the Token Treasury. We are very happy with the artwork that Rich Longmore has produced and our customers seem to agree. So we’ve commissioned him for a second set and the first pieces are rolling in. Check out the gorgeous Papa Croc (my nickname) on the left.

There are a few slots left on our monster list for issue two (the list of monsters for the first issue is here), so if you have any wishes, post the below!

Finally ProFantasy will be exhibiting at a new convention (new for us that is) this year. We’ll be at UK Games Expo in Birmingham, and that wants to be organized including travel, rooms, booth space and everything that goes along with that. I’m certainly looking forward to being in Birmingham for the first time!

Here’s a new selection of user maps that caught our eyes this month. Enjoy!

We’ll start out with an awesome “first” by Facebook community newcomer Kristinn Agnarsson. Looks at this simple, but wonderful tavern map created with Dungeons of Schley and DD3.
Tavern by Kristinn Agnarsson
Continue reading »

Software required:
Campaign Cartographer 3 Plus (CC3+) with the City Designer 3 (CD3) add-on
A bitmap editor (The GIMP v 2.10 is used in this tutorial, but any editor will suffice)

You can download a zip folder of the three files that comprise the template for this tutorial called
“House Builder (basic)” used in this tutorial from here.

Download part 1 of “Making New Houses in CC3+” in pdf-format.

How CD3 house symbols work

Whenever we paste a house symbol into a map what we are actually pasting is a very flat image that probably looks a lot like this one.

CD3 symbols do not have roof shading. There are no ‘dark sides’ or ‘light sides’ in these flat-packed roof images, yet they appear on the map fully shaded the instant the symbol is pasted in the CC3 environment. So how is this happening?

CC3+ obtains information about the pitch and facing direction for each part of the roof by reading the colour coded message in a second file stored in the same location as the image, but which is never shown in the CC3+ environment. This second file has the same name as the image file, but with a “_map” suffix.

We need to make both types of file for our new house symbol, so to distinguish between them I will call them the image file and the map file respectively.

And here (below) is the symbol House 01 arranged in CC3 to show how the shading changes with the rotation of the building – all calculated by CC3 using the information contained in the map file, and adjusted to take account of the global sun setting and the rotation of the symbol.

Continue reading »

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