Update 22 for CC3+ was just released, and in addition to fixing a couple of issues, it also includes some improved commands, as well as a few brand new ones. Let us have a look at these and how you can use them.

Trace

A new command for tracing the outline of images (and other CC3+ entities) and turning them into CC3+ entities have been added. This new command, simply called Trace is an easier to use variant of the Contours command from Update 16, and it also support colors.

There are two new commands here, TRACED and TRACE. The former allows you to select entities for tracing, and then it will pop up a dialog where you can set various parameters, while the latter is the silent version which just executes the trace using the current parameters (either set by using the dialog version, otherwise it uses default ones). The options in the dialog are as follows: Continue reading »

Update 22A new version of CC3+ is available now, adding full GUI access for more button sizes, as well as better custom palette handling, bitmap tracing, fractalizing and house symbol mirroring. Also a few smaller bugs where fixed.

Version Notes

CC3+ Version 3.91
=================
– Added PALLOAD and PALSAVE commands to load and save different custom palettes.
– Added GUI option (Screentools button) to allow user to pick any of the 4 available icon resolutions instead of just large/small.
– Added a TRACE and TRACED command to trace around a bitmap in a more general way than the CONTOURSM family of commands.
– Modified Fractalize (FRX) command to affect outlines even if they are separate entities.
– Modified roof shading code to flip angles by 180 degrees when specifying mirrored on bitmaps
– Fixed blur radius computation in effects when using Map Units.
– Fixed lighting direction on mirrored symbols (initial implementation in June was incorrect).
– When the system issues a “no matching drawing tool” message, will now show the tool name that it was looking for.
– Cosmographer 3 deckplan bitmap templates can now add new grids?
– Fixed bug in FastCAD core that was preventing higher-resolution icon sets from loading.
– Fixed crash on exit when writing XML file that was intermittently appearing as project changed.

Download this latest update from your registration page.

Rationale

The method below is to accurately display your FT3 map at any projection as a CC3+ map, with all the climate zones, altitudes and major rivers in their correct places no matter what the projection, and also to allow fine tuning the map in a way designed to add extra detail without changing the original FT3 map to any great degree.

The method requires as much detail in creating the FT3 map as possible – see articles on designing FT3 maps. Especially, this requires attention to altitude, climate zones, islands and rivers.

Prior to export

The most popular projections are:
• Equirectangular – increasingly inaccurate as you travel away from the equator
• Hammer – distorted increasingly as you travel to the east and west borders
• Sinusoidal – accurate and not so distorted, but discontinuous. Can be used to make an actual globe, especially the 18-way Stereographic Gores.
• Orthographic – allows you to centre on the landmass in question and see it most accurately of all in a continuous fashion. Used also to make maps centred on the North or South poles.
• AE Hemispheres – presents the map as 2 hemispheres (E and W). For best results, make your original draft map in FT3 as an AE Hemisphere projection, and then refine it at the equirectangular projection. This enables you to make sure there is not too much land overlapping each hemisphere – see below for preferred (left) and not preferred arrangements (right).
FT3toCC3-01
Continue reading »

CA153 Castle SamplesteinFor September we are happy to present a new contributor to the Cartographer’s Annual: Hans Anders Bergström. His maps caught our eye in the ProFantasy community with their unique watercolour look, which is very different from that is normally created with Campaign Cartographer 3 Plus. We approached Anders, and he agreed to let us create an Annual issue from his innovative work, even supplying a wonderful walkthrough of his process, which comprises the majority of the mapping guide.

At first glance it’s hard to believe Anders’ maps were actually created with Campaign Cartographer 3+, but his innovative work with sheets and sheet effects is really not that difficult once you know what he’s doing. And that’s exactly what this Annual issue does: it teaches you how to recreate Anders’ Techniques for your own beautiful watercolour-style maps.

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

Campaign Cartographer 3+ is an outstanding tool that excels in helping cartographers, authors, artists, and hobbyists bring their ideas to life. I imagine we all know this well!

It’s also a fabulous tool for the well-prepared DM/GM, for creating homebrew maps or spawning maps for existing published content that better fit the needs of a particular gaming group. Drawing maps and exporting or printing them before a gaming session is a wonderful way to immerse your players in a tabletop roleplaying experience, whether you prefer “theatre of the mind” style combat or gridded battlemaps with miniatures.

But did you know that CC3+ is also an excellent tool during a gaming session? This article explores the many ways that DMs can use CC3+ as a “game-time”, not “design-time”, gaming aid.

Overview: CC3+ During Your Gaming Session

There are several advantages to using CC3+ to help power your next gaming session. Some of these require a bit of advance preparation; others can be used immediately no matter what maps you use.

1: Dynamic battlemaps for sprawling or unexpected encounters.
2: Easy-to-hide secrets.
3: In-person VTT capabilities.

Solution 1: Dynamic Battlemaps

If you’ve been a dungeon/game master for any length of time, you know that no matter how much you prepare, and how many different paths you predict and plan for, the players are going to do whatever they damned well please. While that element of surprise is arguably the best part of a tabletop RPG experience, it can also be very frustrating–not only for the GM who has to scramble madly to accommodate the unexpected, but for the players, who one minute are dealing with elaborately-drawn battlemaps and the next minute are using hastily-scribbled pencil drawings on a pizza box. (This latter example may sound extreme, but in middle school I resorted to drawing encounter maps on the lids of pizza boxes all the time. If my seventh-grade self could have seen what CC3+ made possible, he would have exploded in envy!)

Succinctly, then, the problem is, no matter how many different individual battlemaps you prepare ahead of time, PCs’ actual use of those in an encounter could very easily expand beyond the boundaries you drew. This is especially true in open-air or wide-space encounters: plains, wilderness, ocean, mountains, and expansive underground chambers and caverns.

How, then, can CC3+ help this phenomenon during a gaming session?

Simple: don’t export JPGs or print out battlemaps before a session. Use CC3+ to display the battlemap that applies, on-screen, DURING the gaming session.

I started using this approach during gaming sessions as an extension to my “Unified Battlemaps Approach” to drawing maps. You can check out a complete description , but essentially, instead of drawing individual battlemaps, you have a single, giant map file for an entire “level” or region of your game. Then, you zoom into pieces of it as areas of interest, and flesh them out with detail.

If you take this approach, you’ll end up with a massively-detailed regional map, and you can zoom into it for individual battlemaps. But even if you don’t take this approach, you can still use Dynamic Battlemaps during a gaming session using CC3+.

The approach involves the following steps:
1A: Create Named Views
1B: Use Named Views
1C: Zoom & Pan as Needed

1A: Create Named Views
Sure, you can use Zoom Window to get a close-up on a particular map region. But if you have certain areas of interest you know the PCs will have encounters in, you can save yourself some time by creating Named Views, so you don’t have to draw the zoom window precisely during a game session.
Mine Level 6 Overview Continue reading »

SS5 LogoDear mappers, welcome to ProFantasy’s August newsletter! We have released Symbol Set 5 – Cities of Schley and some great articles for you this month.

News

Resources

Articles

August is coming to an end – a busy month with GenCon and the release of Symbol Set 5 – Cities of Schley – so let’s take a little breather and see what beautiful maps the user community has come up with in this time.

Joshua Plunkett‘s first Cities of Schley “Zelkor’s Ferry” map is a beautiful little village map, enhanced by the great post-work.
Zelkor's Ferry Continue reading »

Mappa Harnica“Mappa Hârnica” probably sounds familiar to many of our old-time users and brings up fond memories. It was (or is) an awesome fan-crated add-on for Campaign Cartographer 2 Pro, which allowed the creation of overland maps, cities and floorplans in the style of Columbia Games’ Hârn RPG. Unfortunately it was never updated for CC3, mostly because it included such a wealth of content which was not very easily transferable into CC3’s new setup of sheets and drawing tools.

Shiran CityBut we’ve never forgotten about it, and we would really like to see a new edition of this tool set for CC3+. Currently we are looking at the possibility of re-developing the Mappa Hârnica styles, either as a stand-alone mini add-on or as Cartographer’s Annual issues. If you are interested in helping with this project and perhaps know a thing or two about the maps of Hârn, let us know, and we’ll make sure to keep you in the loop. Especially if you’re one of the original authors, get in touch with us!

If you are interested in the wonderful cartography of Columbia Games and Hârn, check out their current Cities of Hârn Kickstarter:

Cities of Hârn is a collection of 7 different urban environments.

Each city has information about its history, economics, government, religion, military forces, residents, culture, and more. The consistency and comprehensive details about urban life is unmatched. A framework for compelling adventure and immersive storytelling is provided while leaving GMs infinite room for their own creativity.

You can start using Shiran right away, for one dollar, which you will receive shortly after pledging!

What is a symbol really?

One common way to look at symbols is to separate them into raster and vector symbols, where a raster symbol is a png image file on disk, while a vector symbol is built from regular CC3+ shapes. While there is truth in this, it is also an oversimplification.

If we look at things from the perspective of CC3+, there is no difference between these, it is just a symbol either way, and is treated exactly the same. And all of this becomes evident when we look at what a symbol really is.

If we go back in time, Campaign Cartographer didn’t have symbols at all (at least not as we know them today), it had parts. Put simply, a part is a CC drawing, which you can insert into another drawing. Being an actual drawing, it could contain everything a regular drawing could. It is from this concept of insertable parts that symbols arose. Just as with parts, a symbol is just an ordinary CC drawing that can contain (almost) all the features of a normal drawing. One of the main differences between symbols and parts is that one file can contain many symbols, allowing for the symbol catalogs we use today, while parts must be one file per part. (Also note that a symbol catalog file is just a standard map file with a different file extension, there is no difference in the file format at all.) You know the symbols that show up in the symbol catalog window if you click the Symbols in Map button? Those are the same symbols which would be available to other drawings if you loaded the current map up in the symbol catalog window while working on another map). Another big difference between symbols and parts is that when you use symbols, the symbol definition is stored exactly once in the drawing, and each placement of the symbol in the map just reference that definition, while when you insert a part, the entities in the part are simply being inserted into the drawing each time.

So, where am I going with this? Well, as you probably already know, in CC3+ you can use Draw –> Insert File to insert different things into your drawing, one of the possibilities being an image file in png format. Doing this simply inserts a picture entity into the drawing. A picture entity is one of the standard entities in CC3+, just like a line, a polygon or so on, the difference is obviously that it references an external image on disk. And this is exactly what a raster symbol is, it is a standard symbol that happen to include a picture entity. One interesting fact about how this is done is that you could insert images into your maps all the way back in CC2, so technically you could have raster symbols in CC2, even if it wasn’t officially added until CC3 (CC3 improved the functionality a lot though, such as support for transparency, the png format, variable resolution, varicolor and much more) Continue reading »

Curious what’s around the next street corner? Let us show you.

From the sprawling imagination of award-winning cartographer Mike Schley comes a whole new style of cities for Campaign Cartographer 3 Plus, featuring leaning shanties, decrepit ruins, gleaming palaces and soaring towers.

Unashamedly old school in outlook, but with the quality and beauty you’d expect from a master mapmaker, The Cities of Schley features more than six hundred high-resolution symbols and textures and all the tools, effects and templates you need to create breath-taking cities of your own. A simple setting allows you to transform a full-colour map into a black & white illustration, or a sepia-colored parchment. There are houses, workshops city walls, tombs and crypts, boats and wagons, shrubs and trees – everything you need to design great cities.

Check out the SS5 product pages for more information.

Weepingford Eample Map

Briarpond Example Map Detail
Briarpond

Step into the streets, if you dare, of the Cities of Schley!

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