Grids are a necessity when you are making your battle maps and it is easy to add a grid in CC3+ through the Draw Menu (Hex or Square Overlay). And this is quite OK for many maps, but with just a little bit more work, one can make it much prettier. For example, a common desire is to only have the grid visible over the floors in the rooms, where the characters can actually walk. And maybe you have a tiled floor and want the grid aligned to that? In this article, I am going to discuss some of the things you can do with your grid.

 

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Community Atlas WorldThe community atlas project just finished it’s 500th map competition. The competition was all about making a dungeon with a fire an/or ice theme. 18 people participated, handing in a total of 30 maps. The voting is now over, but all the maps can be seen in the voting thread.

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to everyone who participated in the contest.

The winners are as follows, and all won vouchers to the ProFantasy store, sponsored by ProFantasy Software Ltd and JimP from the forums.

Best Map:

Coils of the Cold Coroner by Autumn Getty

2nd Place:

The Temple of the Burning Ice by AleD

3rd Place:

Kristol Caverns by Loopysue

4th Place:

The Fire of Lielt’ma by daperdepa

5th Place:

Klodevig’s Gauntlet by Lillhans

 

500th Atlas Map:

The 500th atlas map was randomly drawn between the maps of the contestants still eligible for a prize. And the winner of this honor was

Fifth Summer Palace of the Winter Queen by Wyvern

 

Great work everyone, and thanks form the Community Atlas Project for all the new wonderful maps for the atlas.

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In my latest live stream, I did use the RGB Matrix Process effect quite a lot for changing the colors of fills ans symbols. I this article, I’ll dive a bit more into this effect and describe it in a bit more detail.

The effect itself is just a basic color-replacement effect, but all those text fields with numbers can look quite a bit daunting when you open it up for the first time, but you can use it to make some nice results. You can see some examples in this older blog article where I also touch briefly on this effect, but today I’m going to explain it in a bit more detail.

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When using CC3+, you may have encountered symbols with behavior, like houses that aligns to and offsets from the wall and doors that align to, resizes themselves to match and cut holes in dungeon walls. These are what CC3+ calls smart symbols. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these symbols and we’ll have a look at how to make our own smart symbols. I’ll be using DD3 here, but this functionality is not restricted to DD3, and can be used in any kind of map CC3+ can produce.

Try it out

Before making our own smart symbols, to see the existing ones in use, try out how dungeon door reacts to differently sized walls. Start with a new small DD3 dungeon, draw a wall using the wall drawing tool (I recommend you right-click Default Wall and pick a nice looking one) at any angle. Then, make sure Snap (bottom right corner) is turned off and then pick any door from the Wall features catalog and hover the cursor over the wall. The door symbol should rotate to match the angle of the wall, and once you click, you’ll notice that it actually cuts the wall where it places the door. These are two of the features of smart symbols, aligning to existing entities and cutting lines.

This article is also available in a video version.

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In CC3+, each template is designed for a single style, which comes with it’s own symbols, fills and tools, while the resources belonging to other styles are not directly visible in the GUI.

This is intended behavior, because it puts the chosen style in focus. You know that all the elements you are being offered are designed to work with that style and fit with the visual design of the style. This behavior is both a blessing and a curse. Keeping the focus on the style is good. If you own everything, you’ll have about 40.000 different raster symbols (and a lot of vector symbols too, but I don’t have the count), you really don’t want to filter through all of these all the time when working on your map to find the ones matching your current map style, that’s just hugely impractical. But every now and then you want to be able to mix map styles, and you know of a couple of styles that work very well together. How can you easily access all the symbols from these styles?

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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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Recently – with Update 25 – we included a few new styles with basic Campaign Cartographer 3 Plus. As these were styles in the Cartographer’s Annual before, they all come with a mapping guide and example maps, and we want to highlight these to get you started using the styles as comfortably as possible. Let’s take a look at each of the in turn.

Jon Roberts Overland

CA51 The Bay of Ormal and SurroundingsThis overland style created by was created by fantasy cartographer Jonathan Roberts (famed for his Song of Ice and Fire atlas) specifically for Campaign Cartographer. Jonathan’s evocative style comes alive for CC3+ users with a full selection of overland symbols and background textures, organized in an easy-to-use drawing style.

The included mapping guide walks you through the whole process, from setting up the map in the new map wizard through outlining the continent, adding rivers, mountains and settlements, all the way to labeling the map with text. You can download this mapping guide here.

The included example map show the the Bay of Ormal and surrounding lands. Download it as a pdf file or in native CC3+ format.

CA54 Jon Roberts Dread DungeonJon Roberts Dungeons

Seeing the popularity of his overland style, it was only natural to follow up with a dungeon style and Jon was happy to oblige us. It includes a set of almost 150 symbols from rocks and stones of a cave floor to furniture to populate the rooms, as well 40 textures to depict walls, floors and terrain.

The mapping guide, which you can download here, teaches you to use the style by going through the process of creating a tavern and inn layout.

The style comes with two beautiful example maps, one showing the Dread Dungeon (pdf) and the other the Crossroads Inn (pdf) featured in the mapping guide. Download them in native CC3+ format here and here.

CA63 St AureliusJon Roberts Cities

Having an overland and a dungeon style, we of course needed to complete the classic trinity by adding a city style. Jon was able to produce that for us in 2012, and it remains one of the most beautiful city styles in Campaign Cartographer 3+. 37 textures and more than 70 symbols combine to make up a great resource for city mapping.

The mapping guide, which you can download here, takes you through the process of creating a city, and as such complements the City Designer 3 Essentials Guide very nicely. The St Aurelius example map is also available as a pdf and in CC3+’s format.

CA113 Owen's FarmNaomi Van Doren’s Floorplans

The fourth style included in Update 25 is another floorplan and dungeon style, created by map maker and graphic artist Naomi VanDoren. Her clear style lends itself excellently to illustrations and battle maps, and is featured in the 13th Age battle map products by Pelgrane Press. More than 200 symbols and 20 bitmap textures are included, and the mapping guide that teaches you how to use them is available here.

Two example maps are included: The Broken Shovel Tavern (png) and Owen’s farm (png), of course also available in CC3+ format here and here.

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