Whenever you add a new effect to a map in Campaign Cartographer, you are presented with a small choice about which effect units to use. In these article, I’d like to talk a little bit about these choices, what they really mean, and which setting to pick in each situation.

In general, the effects units affect how you specify effect sizes, such as the width of an edge fade, the length of a shadow and so on. It does not affect the strength of the effect (although changing the size of an effect, such as a glow, will indirectly make it feel stronger as well).

The three available settings are

  • Percent of View Width
    This setting makes all effect sizes depend on your current view. This means that effects will actually change as you zoom in and out of the map.
  • Map Units
    This setting means that all effect sizes are absolute, and expressed in the same units as your map is in. For example, a (non-metric) dungeon map is expressed in feet, so this options means that the sizes of the effects is expressed in feet as well.
  • Percent of Drawing Extents Width
    With this setting, the size of the effects depends on the size of your actual map. For example, if you set the length of a shadow effect to 1, and your map is 400 map units, than shadows will be 4 units long (1% of 400 is 4). As above, what a unit means is based upon your map type, for example feet in a dungeon or city map.

So, let us look into what the different settings are most appropriate for, along with some examples.

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Beaumaris 3dThe May issue of the Cartographer’s Annual is now ready for download and installation. The map pack “Beaumaris Castle” is a complete re-imagining of a classic fortification from Source Maps: Castles! Sue Daniel rebuild the Welsh castle with modern bitmap symbols and textures, and we’ve included all those resources in the issue for your use in other maps and drawings.

Explore the beautifully mapped four floorplan levels, the stunning 3d view of the whole castle and a surroundings maps. Over 100 floorplan symbols, 30 isometric buildings and walls sections, and 33 new bitmap textures can be leveraged for other projects.

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

Dorina - Herwin Wielink styleWelcome cartographers to the April newsletter! Shall we have a look what is in store for this month? Of course, we shall.

News

  • We have two new Master Mappers among our ranks: Joe Sweeney (for 2017) and Christina Trani (for 2018). Congratulations!
  • The Tome of Ultimate Mapping has been updated with a completely revamped list of commands, and new sections on Dioramas 3, the Source Maps products and the Token Treasury.
  • The April Annual with Pär Lindström’s Moody Mansions style is available for download.

Resources

  • Remy Monsen starts a new series of articles for those who want to program add-ons for CC3+. Take a look, it’s easier than you think!
  • We have a new selection of Maps of the Month for April.
  • Want to create isometric maps with Perspectives 3? Get inspired by these examples from the user community.

Articles

The Perspectives 3 add-on has a special place in the Profantasy software library: it is the only one in the arsenal (except for one Cosmographer 3 star map style), which does three dimensional maps – even if it’s not full 3d viewing, but an isometric projection. The resulting map are wonderful to look at, give a great sense of space and really fire the imagination, but they can be a bit challenging to design. While Perspectives 3 makes the basic drawing part easy, the overall planning and layout can be a bit harder.

As a result the community output of isometric maps has traditionally been lower than for classic 2d maps, but recently some beautiful Perspectives maps have cropped out, which we would like to share to inspire more mappers to try their hand and isometric layouts.

Jean-Michel Bravo (aka Joachim de Ravenbel) is the undisputed master (and a master mapper to boot) of the isometric map. He cerate a lot of custom content to use with Perspectives 3, just look at this Egyptian tomb map.


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April is approaching its end and it’s high time to highlight another set of user maps that have been posted over the last month. Enjoy these beautiful artworks!

Lakeside Leg by Erik Korwin Z Ślepowrony Wroblewski

Erik Wroblewski - Lakeside Leg

Erik posted this beautiful battle (?) map in the Dungeons of Schley style on the Facebook group. A lovely way to depict the water!


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The Continent of Dorina
Dorina

A brief note about this article

The main reason I have never written about the special effects I use in my maps before now is because they have to be applied differently on each new map I draw. Differences in map style and the random variability of the way I chose to warp the colour scheme each time have made it very hard to nail down any particular method to the point of there being a right or a wrong way of doing it, and it’s nearly impossible to make a definitive set of instructions when nothing is set in concrete. I have often used similar combinations of effects on similar sheets in different maps once I discovered a useful result by experimentation, but I don’t think I have ever used exactly the same settings on any two maps. So what follows is more a train of thought and an explanation of my method as I develop two example maps of the same place in two different styles in tandem. However, and having said that, there are a few simple instructions on how to generate and process sea contours in the first of the special effects to be described.

This article focuses on two versions of the continent of Dorina shown above in the Mike Schley style (MS) and the Herwin Weilink style (HW). I have chosen these styles because they are available to all CC3 mappers, and because they are so different in nature that the special effects will have to be applied differently to each one. By describing this process and providing the finished FCW files for reference purposes, I hope that those of you who have requested tutorials about how to get similar special effects to mine in their own maps may at the very least gain some useful information and ideas.

The effects I will be working on in this article are oceanic contours, global colour shifts, contrast adjustments, snowfields and something I’ve called ‘midnight’, which entirely changes the nature of the map in a way that makes it vaguely reminiscent of a view seen under brilliant moonlight.

First off, then, I should probably start with the basic stuff – how much I have already warped the default styles to produce the initial maps before we get started on the special effects. Please note that for some reason I set the scale of these maps completely wrong, but it was too late to go back and start again by the time I got to the finishing touches. I didn’t realise until I was adding the scale bar and it was out by a very large factor.

Dorina - Mike Schley styleDorina – MS

The MS style is beautiful in its clean and radiant pastel colours. Unfortunately for me it is those very same pastel shades that make doing the kind of special effect I do quite difficult to achieve on an MS map. While I can appreciate the loveliness of many very different styles my personal taste tends more towards richer, darker colours. If you open the Dorina – Mike Schley.FCW file you will see that the sheets have been dramatically altered, so that while I tried very hard not to take it too far away from the intended appearance as to be unrecognisable as an MS map, I have used lots of Adjust Hue/Saturation and RGB Matrix effects. I have also swapped out some of the textures for others in the same set and changed their colours accordingly. I love the grassy texture of the Marsh_MS fill, and so I have abused it by using it for anything that is at all grassy in nature. There are other fills I’ve substituted, but even though I’ve bashed it about quite badly (and I cringe to think of what the purists would say) all the fills are MS fills and part of that style. There is nothing there that doesn’t come from the Mike Schley mapping style.

Dorina - Herwin Wielink styleDorina – HW

You might think the HW style is made for me, with my already stated preference for darker, richer colours, but my taste is less subtle and a couple of degrees lighter in tone. I have done exactly the same thing with the HW map as I’ve done with the MS style – lots of colour changing sheet effects aimed at making everything a little brighter than before. I haven’t swapped out so many of the fills, but I do very much like the grassland fill and I’ve used it in several shades on different sheets. There are couple of sheep and cows and a horse that remain from the MS version where there is no HW equivalent.

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The Master Mapper award has been on hiatus for a few years, but certainly not because of a lack of awesome cartographers out there! It’s our fault due to being busy with other things and not being able to make our mind up who among so many great Campaign Cartographer users we should single out. Well, we are certainly going to change that and start out by awarding the honor to not one, but two deserving mappers! For that we are going back a bit in time …

Rapture Galaxy MapMaster Mapper 2017: Joe Sweeney

Awarding Joe Sweeney the Master Mapper title for one specific year is like saying “D&D was the most popular role-playing game this year” – it’s true, but it doesn’t say much! Joe has been a great asset to the community for years, creating templates, maps, free resources and videos.

As Joe has been supporting the CC user community for ages and we felt it was high-time we properly recognized that contribution.

So we just picked a recent year and declared him Master Mapper of 2017 for:

Trader's Peace Pirate City Map

We can’t thank Joe enough for the support he has provided to the Campaign Cartographer community over the years. You are a true Master Mapper in all meanings of the word!

MalajuriMaster Mapper 2018: Christina Trani

When looking at all the beautiful maps submitted to the community in 2018 we at first felt overwhelmed at all the material. How could we decide on a Master Mapper from among all those great cartographers? But one did indeed stand out when we looked a little closer. There are so many consistently beautiful maps created by Christina Trani (Lorelei on the forum), it became clear to us she is indeed the Master Mapper of 2018.

The Master Mapper award for 2018 goes to Christina for:

  • Creating a large number of amazingly beautiful maps.
  • Pushing the boundaries of what can be done in Campaign Cartographer, expanding the horizon of all its users.
  • Being active in the Facebook user group and the community forum.
  • And for supporting and contributing to the Community Atlas project.

Thank you Christina for being such a great part of the Profantasy user community. Please continue amazing us with your beautiful maps and pushing the boundaries of CC3+. Continue being a Master Mapper!

If you want to check out which user have been awarded the title of Master Mapper in the past, check out the Master Mapper page which lists them all.

A new update to the Tome of Ultimate Mapping have just been published. If you already own the Tome for Cartographer 3+, just go to your registration page and download the new and updated installer. It can be used both to update a previous install or for a new install. If you don’t own the Tome yet, check it out in the ProFantasy store >>>

The Tome is now 760 pages of descriptions, tutorials, helpful guides and technical information about CC3+, all it’s add-on products as well as Fractal Terrains 3, accompanied by a lot of support files, such as example maps, step-by-step maps for the tutorials, and other helpful files.

What’s New?

The old version already contained a considerable amount of material, but CC3+ and it’s add-ons have evolved since the previous Tome release, so I did find a bunch of new things to add to this version, in addition to some general improvements and issues fixed.

  • 50 more pages of content
  • Completely revamped the list of commands. It now contains every command in CC3+, both built-in commands as well as the macros shipped with the program. All commands are described, and all commands that can be used in a macro have their full macro syntax  The lists in the book itself contains all the commands you will ever use for CC3+, while a spreadsheet found among the support files also contains deprecated and outdated commands. The spreadsheet is of course fully sortable by command name, add-on or category.
  • New commands added to CC3+ have been documented, these include; Symbols In Area, Contours, Exclusion Commands, Perspective Scaling, Simplify and more.
  • Added a pdf file showing the graphics and names of all toolbar graphics, very useful if you customize the toolbars.
  • Annual reference is up to date with the complete 2018 annual.
  • The chapter on Dioramas (and the support files) have been updated to Dioramas 3 (From Dioramas Pro in the old version)
  • The Source Maps series (Castles, Cities, Temples, World War 2) have been updated to be compatible with CC3+, so the corresponding chapters in the Tome have been updated to match.
  • Added a mini-chapter on the new Token Treasury series
  • And many more minor additions and fixes….

 

Campaign Cartographer 3+ is a a very configurable and extensible program. In addition to the core program, users can purchase official add-ons, providing not just new artwork, but also new tools. Users can easily add new artwork such as symbols and fills, and many users with an artistic talent create such resources themselves and import into CC3+ for use with their maps. It is also easy for users to create their own drawing tools and organize symbols into symbol catalogs. For the more advanced users, it is possible to customize the menus and toolbars, and write macro commands which can be used to add additional functionality or automate tasks.
But, the most powerful option is the possibility of writing your own add-ons, or XP’s. While you can do a lot with macros, you are still limited to the commands actually provided by CC3+. Clever combinations of these commands can yield interesting results, but sooner or later you will run into things you can’t do. And this is where XP development comes in. By writing your own add-ons for CC3+, you get direct access to the building blocks of your drawing, and can write your own commands for CC3+ to do all kinds of stuff.
In this series of articles I will teach you how to write these add-ons yourself. A word of warning here; these articles will teach you about XP development, but I’ll have to assume you actually know something about programming, and in particular, C++. If you don’t know that, I recommend you find yourself a free C++ tutorial on the internet and start there before coming back, as you will have problems following the tutorials otherwise.

In this first tutorial we’ll look at how to set up your programming environment, as well as making our first code.

Note that you can easily find all the articles published in this series so far by using this link.

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CA148 deVille Mansion Ground FloorThe April issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2019 is available now. Between dusky bookshelves, rickety doors and moldy armchairs, Pär Lindström’s new style “Moody Mansions” is perfect for creating building floorplans for horror- or mystery-themed adventures and stories.

Whether your players are investigating that haunted house on the hill, or your story revolves around that last lonely occupant of a deteriorating home, the “Moody Mansions” style will create a matching map.

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

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