Panorica – Creating an Overland Map

[Editor’s note: Forum member Mateus Buffone posts about his excellent Panorica map]

Some days ago Simon Rogers asked me if he could use my map as “The Map of The Month”. When I read it, I could not believe it. I started the hobby last year and I am still learning the tricks of the trade, so it’s an honor to have a map that I made posted.

This map is named Continent of Panorica and I did the first version of it in less than an hour for a RPG game that I would begin on the next day. The first thing that I neded was a style that would fit well in a continet map and that have a “fantasy” feel, as what I wanted was a fast and “cliché” map for a fast and “cliché” world. So I choosed the CA51 Jon Roberts Overland Style that is part of the 2011 Annual.

I generated landmasses in Fractal Terrians 3 until I saw one that would fit my needs. Than I exported it to CC3 and fractalized a little more.  After that I used the Land Default tool from the style and drew the islands, then used Fractalize on them to achieve a nmore natural feel. The next step was to place the mountains ranges. I was not concerned very much with realistic geology but I did not want to explain all my world with “magic!”, so I placed them first near the coast where I thought others continents would exist if I some day did the whole world. Then I placed the central chains as I needed a desert for my game. For the first version I only needed the central region so I placed some of the major rivers of the continent and dotted some settlements near the desert to form a pseudo-Arabian/tuareg region and called it a day.

But at that point I was in love with the project and wanted to transform it in my fixed fantasy map for the kind of game that I was running (a GURPS Dungeon Fantasy campaign). So I needed other regions and more details. So I begin to really think about the whole image: what cultures lived there, their society and political organizations. I decided to made the banners of the diferent kingdoms and others political organizations. For it I used the CA15 “Heraldry” from Annual 2008 and exported then as FCW entities to my continent map. I used some symbols found on the Map & Catalog Library in the ProFantasy home page. First I had a lot of dificults to implement the shields because messing with sheets is not very easy, but when you learned what to put where they are a big time saver! For the desert, florest, farmland and scrubland terrain to work on this map I had to rescale then for just 50% of their original size (this tip was gave to me by Simon himself).

[To rescale a bitmap fill style:

1. Click on the Fill Styles Indicator, the Bitmap Fills tab, and find the texture on the Fill Style Name pulldown.
2. Reduce the Scale Width and Height (maybe to 50%) and OK.
3. Try again until it looks right.]

Another point of interest was the underwater setlements (Forte do Sino inside Terras Alagadas and the whole southeast region). I spend a big time with then and in the final I only neded of an Transparency effect. And I think that this is one of the most import aspects of CC3. When you find good effects and know how to create and manage sheets for each of your maps you can achieve very good results.

I hope that you like my map and if have any suggestion talk with me on the community.

6 Responses to “Panorica – Creating an Overland Map”

  1. As I said above, I am honored to have my map here. Any grammar or spelling error on the text is my fault and have nothing to do with Simon.

  2. wwwwwwwwwwoooooooooooowwwwwwwwww

    Very Good Mateus!!!

  3. @Elow Campber,

    Thank you very much Elow! =) I am still working on it as there are some blank areas and details to finish (like setlements and roads).

  4. Congratulations Mateus. This is a great map!

  5. @jonasgreenfeather,

    Thank you Jonas! I am gadly that you liked it.

  6. Link for the newest version of the map in full resolution: