30 Jul 2016 1 Comment
The Online Maps are the first out of the 2016 revisions of my Flanaess map. More things are coming so stay tuned!
27 Aug 2015
It’s been a long time coming and some significant hurdles to overcome, but now its time to look at what my custom maps will consist of. This is a first of a series of blog posts looking at my mapping technique and products in depth.
RPG Maps have traditionally been very artistic and often great looking, but an area have only been covered in a single way. My goal is to create a virtual model of a fantasy world, and using that model to create a variety of maps to fill the needs of the most demanding gamer and world builder, and still look great! What are needed to accomplish this?
A set of 5 different maps and then to combine them in various ways to create a virtually unlimited amount of ways to visualize your world. First a disclaimer, all of the images in this post are preview images with many faults and not to be seen as a final result. At the top of this post is a look at these base maps and a couple of variants.
The first is the color texture of this area that is 2o miles across.
The color map by itself looks flat and doesn’t give any hints to the shape of the landscape. To show terrain elevation a special color elevation map can be a good choice like this.
Another more visually appealing way is to use a shadow map like this.
When you combine the color texture and shadow map you get an areal top down view of the landscape.
Now we have the top down basic map view taken care of, but often simpler maps are needed. This is when masks come in handy, and they can be used for a myriad of things. To create vector shapes of coastlines, roads, borders etc. Here are an example of a coastlines mask.
With a bit of skill using Photoshop, GIMP or your image editor of choice you can easily create political, religious, climate, trade and all sorts of other maps and overlays. When you use the masks and a bit of filter trickery you can easily create handout maps, parchment maps, stone and wood carved maps and other stylistic variants.
The last of the parts of the puzzle are the greyscale heightmap, presented below.
Not much to look at but an essential tool that describes the topography of the landscape in great detail. With the heightmap and color texture map you can look at you world from any angle and with the help of some computer magic, make it come alive!
Now you and your players can appreciate what your world looks like in breathtaking detail, from any angle you like!
It will be possible to create “landscape photos” of iconic locations of your world, in high resolution for poster maps or why not your computer desktop!
This is a first look at the possibilities and basic building blocks. In next installment I will look into labeling, presentation, formats and how you can order the map of your world!
26 Jul 2015
Here comes a set of handy Flanaess maps you can use to keep track of things like the spread of Evils sects, party exploration, where Orcs live, or to keep track of that undead infestation. The come in three different sizes: 300, 1000 and 5000 pixels, and three different colors, Light Grey, Dark Grey and Blue
Print and scribble notes on the, slap a layer on top in your image editor to paint a spread. Or use the Fog of World function in Realm Works to easily keep track of something that has a geographic dimension.
You find the the Spread & Notes maps here.
22 Jun 2015
Just finished my latest project, so today I used the day for some Flaness work I had on my agenda – bite sized squares for use with Realm Works. Each square is 3000 pixels across and will come in several varieties, first out is terrain only. This set will be followed by squares with hexes, symbols and text. This so you can have unmarked ones for player maps and other with everything. Legend and credits and heraldry are removed to show as much of the map as possible. They are made using my raw high resolution and then compressed into JPG’s for best results. Each square are around 1MB in size, so they should fit into your RW campaign.
19 Apr 2015
Time for some Greyhawk map upkeep. First out is my Flaness map in 24 x 36 pdf’s. This is the map only, I had to remove some extras in order to squeeze it into 12 24×36 parts. Hex layer is hidden but available using the layers panel, in case you want to view or print a hex map.
Yopu can find the PDF’s here: http://ghmaps.net/greyhawk-maps/flanaess-24×36-inch/
14 May 2014
A lot of behind the scenes work is taking place at mapping HQ at the moment. Most of my time is devoted to my overland hex map project. At the moment it is basic workflow, templates, textures and things that are very dull and aren’t much to show or talk about but are a necessary part of my kind of work.
The Flanaess Atlas is also coming along, and now its time to look at page set up. I’ve decided to try and make separate versions for Letter and A4 to be able to make maximum use of the page. It is a bit extra work, but worth it to try and please both U.S. and international Greyhawk fans.
The PDF’s are layered and the hexes are on a separate layer so you can turn them on or off. Each page is around 5MB which means that the whole Atlas will be around 500MB. Its a bit much, I’ll try and compress it a bit more. To make a decision in the trade off between quality and size is a major hassle, since I look the the original and don’t want to sacrifice too much of it.
My workaround will be to first make separate PDF’s for each page for print. Then to make a separate combined version for digital use that is more compressed.
You can download the test pages here:
Atlas test page Letter
10 Apr 2014
After a lot of work trying to fit over 100 ooo hexes onto my maps and still make it work, I’m proud to announce the arrival of a hexed version of my Flanaess map. You can find the hex map on the Online map page!
There is also an offline version in the GH SYNC share, usable when you game or plan without a proper Internet connection.
My Greyhawk work continues besides my future projects with “Campaign map tiles” and “Battle map tiles”, haven’t found proper names for the projects yet. I’m still in the early phase working out the concepts and the firsts sets of introduction sets, which will probably take me a month or two. I will be posting updates on both in a few weeks time.