View Full Version : Photoshop settings for a solid map image

June 14th, 2015, 09:58
Hi All,

I've checked some of the free software and also CC3 which is nice but expensive, especially when buying on an exchange rate from Australia.

My question is what setting would you recommend in Photoshop to draw a dungeon battle map ? I've experience in PS, but not in the scale and resolution aspects I think I'll need for FG. Couldyou give me an idea on setting up my rulers and grids and what resolution I should be working in please. I would like nice maps but not 2 gig pushes to my players!

Thanks for the help. Cheers.

June 14th, 2015, 10:19
I usually start work in PS with a 5000x5000 pixels. Then use a 50 pixel grid and make dungeons in sections. These usually end up being somewhere between 1-2000 on each side. I copy those sections into another temporary image and export them with "save for web". High settings (60 quality) save a lot of space with very little loss of quality I think.

Other times I just make one large image, depends a bit upon the design of the dungeon. Luckily my players have very good internet connections, so I can get away with images with 2mgs size, but that is also the absolute max limit for me. I usually get them smaller.

For the basic setup of the dungeon design, I have 2 layers. Both have a pattern of some sort and the internet is full of useful stuff in that regard. The toplayer I then have a masking layer, which I use the grid to mask out the "corridors" of the dungeon. It is rather simple, but a good way to start. Everything else I put in, is just a bonus.

Example (https://www.dropbox.com/s/15m009cm4inyuot/Goblin-Mines.jpg?dl=0)

Dr. Zeus has some nice material on his website I might add and even a few videos as far as I recall.

Vires Animi

June 14th, 2015, 14:05
please check out http://pyromancers.com/dungeon-painter-online/ and http://www.mapeditor.org/
The second needs to be coupled with some tiles like http://www.rpgartkits.com/ or http://www.wyldfurr.com/ but so easy to use.

I also use GiMP which is similar to PS.
My maps are much smaller - usually less than 2000px a side (but not always) and I usually save right down to 40% jpg for my FG gaming....
50px grid is the most commonly used size - Id go with that if you dont have a need/preference for something else.

June 16th, 2015, 01:06
Thanks guys, So far I have it set up and started map building, but the file is very large (8Mb) once saved down to 40% jpg. It is a large page ( 5700 x 6500 px) and I have the resolution set to 50 px/ cm. Still seems like the file is way to large to use right, It looks good when I load it into FG besides the size. This is a large dungeon with a 300 foot single path between one end and the other, I was hoping to have it all on the map but I can "cut" 300 foot path so that only a bit of it shows and just explain that its x feet long, but I was hoping to find a way to have a large map on there without the large size. I also have a bit of blank space on all sides of the map as I don't like players seeing where it ends and I love hiding stuff, so really trying to figure out the best visual resolution on the screen at which 50 px per x cm sizing would work the best. How do you guys do large maps? Maybe I just need to have this pre loaded a session before we use it ?

Should I be working with 50 px per cm but using 5' per 1/2 cm to scale it down ?

Cheers for the advice and assistance.

Tailz Silver Paws
June 16th, 2015, 02:29
Do you need all of the map at once?

Will the whole map be the encounter area? Or just part of it?

In a very very large dungeon I'd make an "overview" map of the whole thing, for general exploration. Then "encounter" maps of specific areas which are "zoomed in" for greater map detail in areas where I have planned encounters.

June 16th, 2015, 12:47
Should I be working with 50 px per cm but using 5' per 1/2 cm to scale it down ?

50px per 5' square.
Taliz suggestion is good too - you can have a much smaller map that you use for general traversing of the dungeon and have some battle maps where the action will take place.
There was a thread a couple of months ago on a similar topic - about whether you use maps fpr everything or you do more theatre of the mind.
I think that its easier to get wedded to the map - but its probably best to describe whats happening in between rooms or show the corridors but dont have player moves their tokens *everywhere* just have them moving tokens in battle.

June 16th, 2015, 15:41
As Taliz and damned say, you can use a smaller scale map for general movement. I use a single letter P token to indicate where the party is. Use the "Order" tab of the party sheet to show the default party marching order - divide it in two with an arrow and have the players show the default marching order for single file (5' wide corridors) and wider corridors. Then when an encounter is triggered you can put the PC tokens on the more detailed encounter map based off the marching order and off you go.

The main disadvantage with this is that suddenly moving to a more detailed map is like saying "roll for initiative", or if there's no obvious threat the players suddenly become more cautious (looking for traps, etc.). So you might want to occasionally throw a detailed map out there even when there isn't any danger.

June 16th, 2015, 22:29
HERE (https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?18516-A-Question-about-Map-Size&p=146076&highlight=#post146076) is a post from awhile back that does a fairly detailed breakdown of how I approach the bigger maps with Photoshop.

June 17th, 2015, 03:47
Good advise guys thanks again for helping me out!