View Full Version : Questions for the map making gurus.

February 1st, 2016, 18:28
So I have decided to take the time to start inputting some home brew stuff into FG, and along with that comes the step of making maps to fit that go along with that. Artistic I am not, especially using map/photo editing software. This weekend marked the first serious attempt to create my own maps. I have had FM8 and the Campaign Cartographer suite for a couple of years, just never got around to doing much, also just downloaded GIMP and have been playing around following tutorials. A whole of bunch of symbol/token set downloads later, I begin using FM8. Now onto the questions:

1. What is the best map size (feet/pixels) to import into FG and maintain a decent resolution and the proper scale (assuming 50 px = 5 ft). I already learned that a 150 ft square outdoor encounter map that is 500 px square is going to have both horrible resolution in FG and a borked scale. Honestly don't remember reading about it anywhere or seeing it in any of the tutorials I watched.

2. Is there a way to export/save from FM8 that maintains the separate layers so I can work on the different layers in GIMP?

This is version/attempt number 3 of the map I have been toying with. Workable, but like I said the pixel scaling is off to work best in FG.


February 1st, 2016, 18:58
Export your maps from Campaign Cartographer as png files and multiply the width and height by 100 to get to a reasonable scale. Draw your maps in feet with a 5' grid. So if your map is 120'x80' export it at 1200x800. Then import the png into GIMP and export it from there as a jpg file with a quality of about 75%. This will give you a very high quality map (with a low size and therefore quicker to share) and the scale should be spot on. (For DM only maps you can reduce the quality even more).

Oh, and don't export with the grid. Draw a single square somewhere on the map the size of one grid (i.e. a 5' square) and then hide the grid before you export. That way there's not problems lining up FG's grid.

You can't export out of Campaign Cartographer in such a way that the layers are separate (except as a CC file of course) and then have those layers usable in something like GIMP since they are completely different animals. CC is a CAD based drawing program which stores all the drawing parts as objects; GIMP and other such programs are not CAD based (I don't know the technical term for what they are). However you can, as noted export out of CC as a png or jpg file and then do other stuff with it in GIMP or some other things like photoshop. However there's not a lot you can't do in CC so you don't really need to learn GIMP as well - especially if, like me, you aren't an artist. GIMP, I only use for the exporting thing and making the occasional scroll (since I saw a video of how to do that :))

February 1st, 2016, 21:48
Thanks Zacchaeus, extremely helpful tips. Pretty happy with the results, though I do need to remember to put the reference square in a spot that's easier to work with in FG. Now, I just need to figure out how I added the black outline around the road/trail so I can get rid of it.

Version 3.4 with reference square. Saving it at 70% quality gave me a map of ~500KB


February 1st, 2016, 22:23
The black lines are probably added by the sheet effects. Most likely with the one called Glow. Delete that or uncheck it for whatever layer your road is on and it will go away. Unless of course you drew the object with a line in which case you'll need to edit the line our or change its colour.

February 1st, 2016, 22:36
I used fractal polygon to actually draw the road, then played with the nodes and fractal settings a bit. Somehow I had put 3 copies of the road onto two different layers. The line appeared because they were all offset just slightly. Even happier with the result now. Thanks again for the tips.

February 1st, 2016, 22:59
Honestly i like to work with pixels as size. So i usally go for 1000-1500 pixels in size. 50pixels is about one square as a measurement.

February 1st, 2016, 23:20
I use 50px to 5' for file size optimisation. I will often save images as low as 40% jpg and still retain sufficient detail and quality.