We’ve just released the June issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2013. Check out the Comic Book look of this vector overland style.
Comic Book Map
This style has been inspired by the artwork of illustrator James Stowe.

The May issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2013 is now available. It contains a set of symbols to highlight actions, points of interest or reference material on your maps, as well as a series of tutorials on how to create more vector symbols yourself.

Here is last month’s example map, with some of the this month’s symbols highlighting a military campaign.
CA77_Example

We have released the April issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2013: The Midgard World overland style. Created in cooperation with Kobold Press and Jonathan Roberts, this style recreates the maps published in the Midgard fantasy campaign setting and the accompanying iPad atlas. You can now add your own regional maps for this setting, or recreate another world in the same mapping style.

CA76 Example

Even better, the Midgard World style is compatible with the Jon Roberts overland style from the Annual Vol 5. They can be combined for a greatly enlarged variety of symbols and fill styles.

We’ve just released the March Annual issue: Flavio’s Myrr Overland style is now available as a download for the Annual subscribers.

His beautiful and unique overland style is based on intricate bitmap texture and shaded contours, as you can see from this sample:
CA75 Myrr Dominion

You can subscribe to the current Annual here.

Vadsbro
To get more ideas for maps to do I’ve decided to make a fantasy adventure. First of all I need a campaign map of the area where the actual adventure will take place, with that one in place it will be easier to plan the other maps I need to draw.
To make the map I decided to use the style I made for the December issue of the Annuals from Profantasy. The style was made for creating campaign maps for smaller areas, so it will fit very well for this map.

The adventure will take place in the country Armadien, close to a city called Vadsbro (Littlebridge in my Armadien map). Vadsbro is situated close to the Armadien border, next to the Traal infected Skymningsskogen (dusk forest) and the Traal mountains, so there will be a lot of forest in the map.

As soon as I started on the map I realized that I had to improvise a bit with the style. The main feature in the map, except for all the forest, is the river that split up in two rivers closer to the mountains. The rivers in the style aren’t really suited for depicting a main river in this scale, so I decide to use the ocean texture for the rivers. In this way the river will look more like the dominating natural feature in the area.

The river tool however comes in handy to show smaller rivers connecting into the main branches, but I had to change the colour of the rivers to blend in more with the main rivers. When I created the style, which is based on my Truscian map, I wanted the rivers in a darker colour and the ocean in a lighter one. That works very well if you do a more zoomed out map. But if you zoom in closer to an area for a map, and you suddenly want to use the ocean textures as rivers, the colour for the river tools don’t really blend in. So I decided to change them.

It is actually quite funny how a style you’ve created yourself, suddenly needs to be trimmed when you start working with it. But I think you can say that for all styles. At least I always trim the styles so they’ll fit into my way of working.

Now that the map is done it will be easier to decide what more maps I need to do. You can say that I’m making my adventure from the maps, the story I have so far will probably change a bit with every map I make. But that is the fun part of mapping, to weave a story around your maps instead of making maps from your story.

Originally posted on mappingworlds.wordpress.com

The January issue of the Annual 2013, entitled “Investigation Props”, is now available. Be it your classic Cthulhu campaign set in 1920s and 30s, games set in even more recent times like Night’s Black Agents and Delta Green, or sci-fi settings like Ashen Stars – the January issue contains the tools to create handouts, charts and other props for any of these.
CA73 Corkboard
You can subscribe to the Annual 2013 here.

The Annual 2012 is our fastest selling annual since we started producing Annuals in 2007. We’ve had amazing user maps created and proudly displayed on our forum. Why? Well, I think the maps and comments speak for themselves. Here are my favourite styles for this year.

Herwin Wielink‘s overland style was the single most popular style every created for the Annual, measured by the amount of maps shown on the forums. So popular in fact, that we published an extension of the style with more symbols and textures. Use Elothan said here “It is a dream to work with i must say, I originally got it for the isometric dungeons, but this style is good at it is almost worth the price of the annual alone”

Herwin also created another of my favourites – his isometric dungeon style is just extremely clever and beautiful. I used a map created in this style for my annual mammoth D&D session.

2012 Isometric DungeonThe user map in Herwin’s Overland style was done by Modric, and the isometric dungeon here by forum member Tommek, who even commissioned custom symbols for his map from another artist. There are other amazing maps in this style.

On top of this we have the 13th Age style – a look I didn’t think even Ralf could reproduce, but he surely did, and Clercon here shows us how to use it.

And these are just three of the many styles available from the 2012 Annual.

We’ve just released the final issue of the Annual 2012, and a fine one it is! Pär Lindström – creator of our popular Fantasy Worlds style – has created a beautiful mapping style for regional maps.

We’ll be releasing information on next year’s Annual soon!
Example CA72

As you might have noticed I really like to make city maps. I don’t know why but I just love to see how a blank paper slowly turns into crawling streets and vast parks. It makes my imagination really spin.

Most of my city maps I make in the program City designer 3 (CD3) from profantasy. It is a great program with a huge toolbox you can use to make the creation of your cities a much smoother experience. To make the maps more unique I also like to edit them a bit in Photoshop afterwards.

When I bought CD3 my first impression of the program however was quite different. You can easily describe it in one word, overwhelmed. Just the sheer number of tools and objects made me fear for my mental health. The first time I started the program I think I just closed it immediately.

So how did I go from there to where I am now? Well the answer can actually be divided in three parts. First of all practice. I started out quite small with a little village and first after a couple of small practice maps I went for the bigger cities or towns. Secondly I looked up some tutorials, especially Gandwarfs tutorials over at the cartographer’s guild where extremely helpful. Thirdly there was a black and white city style released in the 2010 annual from Profantasy.

So what was so great with the black and white city style? First of all you get a very nice tutorial in every edition of the Annual, this makes it very easy to learn a new style, you can just follow the steps described. For me this meant a lot when it came to learning CD3, because I could in this way quickly pick up the different tools to use.

Secondly the amount of objects decreased quite a lot in the black and white city style compared to the coloured styles that were included in the actual program. This might sound a bit odd but the good thing here was that suddenly the program didn’t feel as overwhelming as before. When the choices in objects decreased, it kind of made it easier to grasp the program and find what you were looking for.

The map included in this post is a map that I made while trying to learn CD3. It was one of my first experiments to make a really large city map. I especially experimented a lot with the random street tool in this one. The random street tool is really a great help when you quickly need to fill and area with many houses.

When I was done in CD3 I opened the file in Photoshop and added some cliffs on the northwest side of the city. I also draw my own arena object to add to the city, I really missed that object in the style. As a finishing touch I made the map sepia coloured and placed the map on a paper background.

Well after that I just continued doing city maps and slowly the interface started to make sense and nowadays I rather feel that the there are too few objects in the program then too many :)

Originally posted on mappingworlds.wordpress.com

The November issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2012 is out now. In response to popular demand we’ve expanded upon Herwin Wielink’s extremely popular overland style (released in April), adding 150 new symbols, a dozen new bitmap fills and 30 drawing tools. To bring it all together there’s a 2 page guide listing the new material. Together with the original material from April this makes a 6-page guide to mapping with this wonderfully attractive style.

CA71 Narsaria

The new material integrates seamlessly into the existing style, and can be added to both new and existing maps.

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