There are many things that sets CC3+ apart from other graphics and mapping programs. One of these differences is the size of the mapping area. In most programs, when you start a new file, you specify a size, and you get a canvas exactly that size. If you try putting something halfway outside the edge, like a symbol or equivalent, the spillover is simply lost. In CC3+ however, this is completely different.

CC3+ doesn’t operate with a fixed sized canvas, for most practical considerations it is infinite. There’s nothing preventing you from placing a symbol entirely outside the map area if you so wish, simply because your map only occupies a small spot on that almost infinite canvas. But if the drawing area is of infinite space, how do we determine the actual size of the map? And why do our drawing tools seem to only draw within the map area?

To understand this, we need to look at the map border. When we talk about map borders in CC3+, there are actually two different things we may be talking about. We might be talking about that nice decorative frame around your map. This is known as the decorative map border, and it is just that, decorative. Some map styles have a very elaborate decorative map border, while others have a much more spartan one, sometimes even just a simple line. It doesn’t have any functionality, it is just there to give your map a visual frame. Then we have the technical map border. This is what actually defines your map’s size on the canvas, and all tools that have a restrict to map border option, like drawing tools and bitmap exports work with this one. Usually, it will overlap in location with the decorative map border, but it is the technical map border that provides the functionality.

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Train StationA few months ago, I started the Rails & Trains mini-series of articles. In the two prior installments (part 1part 2), we looked at how to make the tracks themselves, now it is time to round it out by looking at rail cars.

We’ll have a look at how to draw the insides of a rail car based on a real blueprint, giving us a nice scene for a handout or battle. I am going to base my drawing on a blueprint from the early 19-hundreds. I mainly picked these because it is difficult to find older blueprints online with proper dimensions, and because the trains of that time still had the same basic layouts as earlier trains, making it easy to adapt them to earlier times. Of course, my procedure here works fine with any blueprint, so if you’re mapping for a modern train, just grab the appropriate blueprint and possibly a different drawing style better suited for modern maps, such as SS3.

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The latest CC3+ update is currently in beta, and you can download it from your registration page over at the main ProFantasy website if you wish to try it out. Of course, this is a beta, so only install it if you don’t mind potentially running into glitches and other issues (this is why we test new versions before releasing them after all)

In this article, I will take a short look at the new features that appear in this version. If you have the beta installed, you will have them right now, but if not, you will get access to them when we release the finished version of the update. In any case, there are several nice new features waiting for you in this update.

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One of the features for CC3+ symbol catalogs is the ability to arrange these into groups, and then set this group to place random symbols from the group, or apply random transformations to them, like rotations or minor scaling to give variety to otherwise identical symbols.

But, what if you are making a particular map, and you need some other kind of grouping? For example, when placing trees you want to randomly place Decid, Pine and Jungle trees among each other? There are no predefined group like this in most symbol catalogs. Well, for that you can quite easily set up your own personal random collection just for the current map (or you can save it into a symbol catalog if you want it available later).

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So, here you are, having just prepared the main location for tonight’s adventure. But then it dawns on you, you have no idea when players will actually visit this location. They may even drop by multiple times.

Well, today we’ll be having a look into how to set up effects to it is easy to switch between day and night views of the same map. In the day scene, we will be using regular wall shadow effects to have the buildings and symbols cast shadows, while the night seen will use the point light system in CC3+ to have light sources in the scene that causes the symbols to cast shadows. We will be using this to show how symbols around a fire casts shadows away from the fire, and how we can have lights coming from the windows.

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Last time, we discussed how to do ruined walls in Perspectives 3. In this article, we’ll continue on the ruined perspectives track, and this time I will be looking at how to make battlements.

Battlements have been an important defensive feature of castles and keeps for hundreds of years. The crenelations gave archers on the wall a way to shoot at incoming enemies, while still having ample cover available to them. It would be a real miss if we couldn’t have these important features on our castles. We don’t want our fantasy castles to be too easily overrun, right?

I’ll start by making the actual battlements, and then I’ll turn them into ruins. For this, we will use a very different technique from last time, a technique that can also be applied to all manners of custom objects, not just ruins.

This article is also available as a video, if you prefer that format, or simply need to see me perform some of the steps from the article. Continue reading »

Welcome to part 4 of the Shore and Ocean Effects for Overland Maps series.

The example map for this part may already be familiar to you, since it is Arumnia, which was used in Part 3 to demonstrate Rhumb lines.

This time I will use the same map to show you a fast and easy way to add beaches, and a couple of alternative ways of using a drop shadow effect.  The FCW file for this version of the map will be available at the end of the article. Continue reading »

Welcome to the third part in the Shore and Ocean Effects for Overland Maps series.

In this part we well be focussing on adding rhumb lines to beautify a relatively smooth ocean texture.

Arumnia, the example map used in this tutorial, was drawn in the John Roberts overland style, which was recently included with the core CC3 app as part of Update 25.  If your software is up to date you do not need to own any of the annuals or add-ons to make use of the FCW file included in this blog. Continue reading »

Welcome to the second part of the Shore and Ocean Effects for Overland Maps series.

The example map for this tutorial is Arokan and Demorak, and was created using the Herwin Wielink overland style.

Creating ocean contours will take you a little longer than applying the edge striping sheet effects described in the first part of this series, but I hope you will agree with me by the time you have completed your first contoured ocean that the process is still very much worth the time spent creating them. Continue reading »

The Shore and Ocean Effects for Overland Maps article series covers a range of techniques that can be used to modify the appearance of the open water in an overland map to make it work in greater harmony with the rest of the map.

The example map, the Allaluna-Meloa Isles, was created using the Mike Schley overland style that comes with CC3.  Links to the different versions of this map have been included in this article for you to examine at your leisure.

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