Generating Seamless Tiles Part 1 – Making seamless tiles in Campaign Cartographer

 

Following the Live Mapping: Repeating Textures session, recently presented by Ralf Schemmann, I will be writing a short series of blogs, or a series of short blogs, illustrating how I go about generating my own seamless tiles.  My methods are similar to those described by Ralf in the Live Mapping session, but I thought you might like to know a bit more about the workflow I use.

In this first blog I will be covering how I make seamless textures in CC3 using the available symbols from a chosen style.  This is one of the quickest ways to make a new seamless tile since it involves no drawing or any kind of work in any app other than CC3.

To make things even easier I have made a new template, which you can download from the link below and place in your C:\ProgramData\Profantasy\CC3Plus\Templates\Other folder:

Symbol Tile Generator.FCT

This is a very simple template, consisting of a black square on the BACKGROUND sheet, and the frozen MAP BORDER layer.  This black square is where you will be making your new seamless tile and will automatically define the extent of the export when it is time to export your new tile.

There is a series of red lines on a sheet and layer that are both called CROP MARKS.  These are also frozen so that you don’t end up picking them at any point and moving them around.  They are helpful guides intended to show you the extent of the tile you are making once the black square is all but covered in symbols.

The template is loosely based on the Mike Schley Overland style, and is designed to generate tiles that are 1000 px x 1000 px, but it can be used to generate symbol tiles in any style if you locate the relevant symbol catalogue by browsing the directory and adjust the export size.

For this example I will use the MS overland trees to create a seamless tile that I can use in conjunction with the published tree fills that come with the style.  This will help to break up any unwanted tile patterns caused by mapping extensive areas of unbroken forest using only the published tree fills.

The first step is to pick the set of symbols you want to use, and start pasting them all over the black square at the default symbol size (usually 1) until there is no more black to be seen between the symbols.  Don’t worry about pasting them so that they are in the correct order.  Just cover the black square.

Use Symbols-Sort Symbols In Map , right click in the view window and pick All, then press D for do it.

Now to move this block of trees and copy it so that we move the edges to the centre, just as Ralf did with his sand texture in the Live Mapping session referenced at the top of this blog.

Turn the SNAP and GRID buttons on and make sure you have the 50 mile, 2 snap grid selected when you right click the GRID button.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pick the Move tool and select all the trees with a box selection and press D for do it.  Then pick the trees at the central snap point and move that point to one of the four corners.  It doesn’t matter which one, as long as you snap the central point to one of the corners, like this.

 

Using the Copy tool, copy and paste this block of trees 3 times from this corner to all the other corners.

Once you have done this sort the symbols again as above, and hopefully you will have something that looks a bit like this

Now for the magical part.

File-Save as… Pick the PNG Bitmap file option in the Save as type: box, and open the Options dialog.  The template you are using has been set up to generate 1000 x 1000 pixel sized tiles, so set the height and width of the export to 1000 x 1000.  Make sure the checkboxes are ticked as shown, and CC3 will automatically export just the area covered by the black square, and no more or less than that.

I exported my example fill to a subfolder within the Bitmaps\Tiles folder.  I called my personal folder User, but you can call yours whatever you like.  It’s yours.

Ralf covered how to import your new fills in the Live Mapping session linked to at the top of this article, so I won’t make this article any longer than it needs to be by repeating it again right here.

This is the result of importing my new fill and drawing my first polygon with it.  Remember that I said the template is designed to give you a tile that is 1000 x 1000 map units?  Combine this information with the fact that symbols and fills are ideally imported to overland maps at a resolution of 20 pixels per map unit, and you get a scale of 50 map units to set for your new fill.  this should perfectly match the scale of the original symbols you used to create the fill in the first place.

When you have had a practice using just one random collection, try mixing collections, or even using a background texture and spacing out your trees.  You can also do this with other symbols, so you could try hills or mountains

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