Update 25In light of the recent world-wide developments, were many people are stuck at home, we’ve decided to extend the content in basic CC3+ to include more material for dungeons and cities, so you can use CC3+ alone to make everything from world maps via cities down to floorplans and dungeon maps. You can download this latest update from your registration page to get the additional tools and drawing styles, and the full CC3+ setup will also include them from now on.

What do you get specifically? We’ve included a selection of Annual issues, some of which were already available for free and other which weren’t so far:


Here are the release notes for version 3.94:

CC3+ Version 3.94
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– added new drawing styles to CC3+ install: Jon Roberts Overland, Jon Roberts Cities, Jon Roberts Dungeon, Namoi VanDoren Floorplans
– added city and dungeon menus to base setup
– added basic city and dungeon tools to base setup

New StylesAs a result of the outbreak, until further notice, our flagship map-making software CC3+ is half price.

There’s never been a better time to map out the worlds of your imagination. ProFantasy’s software has always been good value, but not affordable for everyone. We’ve decided to include new, free dungeon and city design capabilities with our core software CC3+, and offer it at half-price – just $22.45 for a permanent commercial license. This is everything you need to start making great maps.

And making maps at your PC doesn’t mean you miss out on a sense of connection. Our users have formed great online communities (check the Forum and the Facebook group) which offer support and feedback to each other – get inspired, help others and have fun.

In addition, we’ve also discounted our introductory bundles further, and we’ll donate 10% of all bundle sales to The Cochrane Collection COVID-19 resources.

Virtual tabletops (VTTs) are a great way of playing role-playing games together when you can’t meet physically. They make it easier to play with people from all over the world, and are a nice substitute when it becomes impossible to bring the old gang together in the same location any more.

One of the main attractions for these programs when compared to general-purpose meeting/teleconference software is their focus on displaying maps to the the players, enabling you to fight your miniature battles digitally. And maps are always an important aspect in most role playing games. I myself actually use VTT software to display the battle maps, even if my group always meet physically at my place and roll physical dice, because I can more easily do things like display the map on a projector, and only display what the players see (automatic fog-of-war/lighting/sight ranges).

So, today we will look at how to take those dungeon maps you’ve lovingly crafted in DD3 and make them available for use in the a VTT environment. Now, there are lots of different VTT software to choose from out there, and I can’t really cover them all, but I’ve tried to cover some of the more popular ones, such as MapTool, Fantasy Grounds, Roll20 and D20Pro. And many things, especially all the various concerns when exporting the map from DD3 will be the same for most software solutions, so this article should help you out no matter the system.

Continue reading »

The German role-playing, games and fantasy online magazine Teilzeithelden (“Part-time heroes”) has reviewed Campaign Cartographer 3+.

In my previous installment of this series, I talked about, among other things, composite symbols made up from multiple raster images. This is cool and all, but it raises one interesting question; what about effects? When you place a symbol, all parts of that symbol is grouped together into one entity, which lives on a single sheet.

If you make a symbol that contains a small cottage, with a tree and a few bushes outside, you’ll probably want different shadow lengths on each of these components. But, to do that, you need different sheets, right?

This is where multi-sheet symbols come in. Basically, a multi-sheet symbol is a symbol that gets split into multiple symbols when you place it, thereby putting each component of the symbol on the appropriate sheet. This may sound a bit like exploding a symbol, but with multi-sheet symbols, it is the designer of the symbol that decides which sheet each part should go on without any manual intervention from the symbol user.

Continue reading »

In FT3 you can simply change your colour scheme by loading a new one. With some minor limitation this is now also possible for your topographical maps in CC3+. Here are some supporting files:

Exporting coloured topographical maps from FT3 to CC3+

Fractal Terrains 3 (FT3) is a great tool to create new worlds or to visualize our own – earth. Here I will focus on how you can export a topographical map to Campaign Cartographer 3+ (CC3+) and change its style easily.

When you export contour maps from FT3 and CC3+ you usually get the expected results – as long as you use the predefined colours from the built in palette or standard colouring schemes that follow with FT3.
FT3 to CC3+
Color PaletteAs soon as you start to use non predefined colours in your map the export from FT3 to CC3+ will give unexpected results.

The built-in colour palette in FT3 matches the default palette used in CC3+. As long as you only use the predefined colours when you design your own style for topographical maps, the colours in both FT3 and CC3+ will match. As soon as you start to use your own or blended colours, the result in CC3+ will look different and usually not match your style anymore.

How to use other colour styles

With the November 2019 issue of the Cartographer’s Annual come several very useful and inspiring colour schemes by the artist Sue Daniel. These where actually made for use with Wilbur (another very handy application by Joe Slayton, the creator of Fractal Terrains). She also gives an example of a colour palette for CC3+ that can be used to colourize your imported height contours from FT3. But you have to do it the manual way – one by one.

While you can change the look of your maps completely in FT3 only by loading another colour scheme, you have to colorize each contour again from scratch in CC3+. You also have to adjust the 256-colour palette when you not find your favourite colours that match your style.

Color Palette 2This had me thinking about a workaround. There must be a way to skip the manual work of colouring contours and there should be also a possibility to make it much easier to change the
style of your map – just only by changing the colour palette in CC3+ which has become much easier since Profantasy introduced the new command PALLOAD.

Sue used 10 colours for different sea depths and 25 for altitudes. She replaced “unusual” colours in the 256 colour palette of CC3+. Why not expanding those colours ranges was one of my first thoughts. Why shouldn’t I force FT3 to use a certain colour instead of leaving it up to the program itself (trying to find a matching colour)? And how could several colour styles be used without having to export a map several times from FT3?

I decided to use 32 colours for altitudes and 16 for the sea. If you always use colour no. 223 for the lowest land level and no. 192 for the highest one then you make use of exactly 32 colours for altitudes. The same applies when you always use colour number 224 for the sallowest sea and no. 239 for the deepest. This way you use 16 colours for the sea. (Note that I changed the order of colours for altitudes over land compared with Sue’s approach).

If your world is between -32.000 ft and 32.000 ft – what are the needed depths and altitudes to be exported from FT3? If you want to have equidistant high levels then we have 32.000 ft / 32 colours = 1.000 ft / colour (and for the sea 2.000 ft, because we have only 16 colours here).

Export ColorsSo in this case you have to set up a Campaign Cartographer Export in FT3 that exports 32 altitude levels from 0 ft to 31.000 ft (32 levels, the last one reaches up to 32.000 ft).

You force FT3 to use colour no. 223 for the first level – 0 ft. For the second level 1.000 ft use no. 222, for the third one no. 221 and so on. Concentrate on the numbers and do not get disturbed by the pink/purple or nearly black colours that you select when setting up the template. Then you generate 16 levels of depth from -32.000 ft to -2.000 ft and force the level -2.000 ft to choose colour no. 224, the next lower level uses no. 225 and so on. This is the most time consuming part of this procedure.

If your world expands from let’s say -4.800 m to 4.800 m you have to define another Export template with 150 m steps for altitudes and 300 m steps for the sea. Unfortunately you cannot change the height levels afterwards. You have to delete existing ones and have to add new ones when you have copied an existing template. Basically you can set up your heights and depths as you wish – as long as you follow the procedure above with exactly 32 levels for the altitude and 16 for the sea.

You may object that setting up an individual export is as time consuming as having to colourize each contour separately. You are right as long as you only want to create a single map and do not want to change the style of it afterwards. Until now there are only quite a few colour palettes available for CC3+ and almost all existing colour schemes in FT3 do not match the above approach with 48 colours.

Purple ColorsSo my personnel challenge was to create colour palettes that fulfill my requirements and the matching colour palettes for CC3+. With a little programming my PC did this job. And now you can take a look at your exported map. When you still have the default palette loaded it will look like the one on the right! This is not quite the look we wanted – but it is the style we defined in our FT3 to CC3+ export template!

And now to the fun part: Start loading the new specialized colour palettes and see what happens. Download some example color schemes for FT and CC3+ here.

ComparisonWe start by typing PALLOAD into the command line and press enter. We press enter once again – no entry given for the palette name. A file selection dialog opens and you can pick the colour palette of your choice – here I use the one with the same name that I used for my FT3 visualisation. It’s the Wilbur Old Map style – based on an idea by Sue. (Eventually you have to press enter two times again before the effect takes place).

Compared to the original map (generated in FT3) this one exactly matches our style in CC3+. Finally, you can change the style easily only by loading another colour palette – and there are quite a lot to choose from. Your map gets a totally different look in no time…

Here are a couple examples in the Dark Parchment and Arctic styles.

Dark Parchment Example
Arctic Example

About André alias WeathermanSweden

André has been working as a forecaster southwest of Sweden’s Capital Stockholm for many years. While weather maps were his daily duty he always had a big favour for astronomical and topographical maps as well. He is fascinated by fantasy worlds and loves all the incredible maps presented by the community. Since he has been back to his roots in northern Germany he runs a little campsite together with his parents south of Lübeck. Despite the weather and the stars he is also interested in 3D rendering, photography and nature, where he spends a lot of time with his dog.

Some places just deserve to be exported in a nice high-quality export so you can properly examine all the details of the map.

The City of Sanctuary from the community atlas is certainly one of these places. This lovely city by master mapper Christina Trani and resident artist Sue Daniel is a visual masterwork of a city map. So, I decided to try to make a proper high resolution export of this map. The result is a map 200,000 by 200,000 pixels, or 40 gigapixels in size. The .png file for this map is over 12GB in size, and even though I have a powerful computer, actually opening this source image in an image editor is almost impossible without it crashing.

Of course, providing such an image for download is useless, since nobody can actually use it, but a far better approach is to provide it as a zoomable image on the atlas website. The image viewer used for such a zoomable image loads different images depending on your zoom level, ensure that you only load what you need at any one time, making it reasonably easy to explore this gigantic export with reasonable loading times as you zoom or scroll. You can explore this zoomable image yourself by going to the City of Sanctuary map page, and then click the Zoomable Image button located over the map image. It should load reasonably quickly, but your physical distance from my server would affect loading times. I recommend you click the fullscreen button in the toolbar at the bottom of the zoomable image viewer for a much more impressive experience.

So, how did I accomplish this feat? Well, let me start by underlining that this was not a simple one-click task, it did require quite some work and a lot of computer time. Continue reading »

The November 2019 Annual issue is a very special one this year – it contains a huge tutorial and tool pack created full by Sue Daniel, which teaches you the techniques to create amazing world maps with a combination of Fractal Terrains 3 and Campaign Cartographer 3+. Like this one…

With more than 40 pages of detailed instructions, three full-fledged example maps each in a variety of styles, support files for FT3 and CC3+ and a whole bunch of pre-generated FT3 worlds for you to play with, the content of this issue is huge. And even if you don’t Fractal Terrains 3 yourself, the included CC3+ maps are a treasure trove in themselves.

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

CC3Plus 3.92Unfortunately a little problem crept into the previous update to CC3+ and affected the display of sheet effects for some users. Thanks to prompt reports, we were able to fix this problem quickly and just released a new update (23) and full setup for CC3+ version 3.92. As usual you can download them from your registration page.

Version notes

CC3+ Version 3.92
=================
– Fixes bugs in effects system
– adds command EFFECTSDLLS (listing active sheet effects and their source) for future de-bugging

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 »

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