Our Annuals are designed to give value year after year – as an example, I give this flashback to May 2008 from my livejournal…

Many of us remember, and were inspired by Pete Fenlon’s wonderful maps for the Middle Earth Roleplaying Game. Today, Pete is Chairman and Studio Director at Mayfair Games. In January 2008, with Pete’s permission we released a style pack for making maps in his style as part of the Cartographer’s Annual 2008.

Steve Townshend produced this beautiful map in the Pete Fenlon style.

It uses only specially designed vector symbols combined with CC3′s effects to get the right look.

Style packs are preconfigured so that if you select a tool (for example, rivers, roads and terrain), it looks right for the map style. To create a forest, you just select the forest draw tool, click points for the border, and it does this, adding random tree tops and edge trees.

You building up mountain ranges by selecting a symbol, then placing. They are selected randomly from a collection of symbols. So this was one click per mountain, and the mess at the bottom is a mountain cursor. You can tab through random styles if you don’t like the current mountain at the cursor.

The distinctive ridges are also built up of symbols. On the left, with CC3 effects off, on the right, with them on.

Although the styles definitely make it easier to create maps such as these, Steve Townshend demonstrates that the human touch is still required to get an aesthetically pleasing map – style packs just make it easier to get the desired effect.

You can download the map in CC3 format here.

Overland Perspective Style

The January issue: A new drawing style

The Cartographer’s Annual is now entering its fifth year with the 2011 subscription available for purchase.* Check it out on its new website and purchase it directly from this link.

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We’ve just released the September issue of the Annual 2010. ¬†While also including a complete new style based on the work of fantasy cartographer Robert Altbauer, the accompanying tutorial focuses on how to convert Photoshop brushes into CC3 symbols catalogs. The quick and easy process opens up a whole lot of material to use in CC3, as there are many free-to-use brushes available on the web.

The included style uses a serial of brushes for mountains and hills, made available on the Cartographers’ Guild forum. Here is the example map created with the new style:

Robert Altbauer's style in CC3

And here's a sample of the Mountain symbol catalog created from a Photoshop Brush:

Mountain symbols created from a Photoshop Brush

We’ve just released the August issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2010: An overland style for creating physiographic maps based on the amazing work of American cartographer Erwin Raisz.

His maps take the bird’s eye view of the land and are works of art through and through. Accordingly, creating a CC3 drawing style that pays homage to his work and produces beautiful maps of its own was a real challenge.

We think the result speaks for itself:

Landform Example: The Great River Estuary

Landform style example: The Great River Estuary

Check our the Cartographer’s Annuals for many more mapping styles, tutorials, and tool packs. They provide an amazing wealth of new tools for Campaign Cartographer. 3

In March we held a forum vote on a number of user suggestions for future Annual issues. The most popular turned out to be a fantasy overland hex mapping style, reminiscent old pen & paper rpg products, specifically the original maps published for the Greyhawk setting.

Hex mapping has been a feature of CC Pro and CC3 since Cosmographer Pro was published, but it’s been underused for fantasy-style maps. So this was the perfect opportunity to combine the work on Cosmographer 3 with an Annual issue. I had to create new hex-styles for its Traveller-approved content anyway, letting me use the Annual style an exercise to remind me how these things work – I haven’t created many hex maps in the past myself.

Here is the overland hex style as it will published in the July issue of the Annual next week:

Annual 2010 July Style

In addition to the old Cosmographer Pro hex style, the new Cosmo contains two hex style maps using standard T5 world (and region) templates. The first is a relatively plain vector style, for GM reference, and for players mapping the worlds they explore:

Traveller Overland Hex Style

There will also probably be a black and white version of this style. But the other, very different, one is meant to invoke the feeling of satellite imagery with data overlays. Effectively it’s a cross between Cosmo’s bitmap overland style and the above hex-styte. Here is the same world as above:

Traveller Satellite Hex Style

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