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thefallen
June 17th, 2005, 14:54
Hello all, I just bought the full version of FG and hope to set up a campaign for my friends. I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, but what program do you guys use to make those nice little tiled maps? Is is a function in FG that I haven't found yet? Thanks for the help in advance.

revenant
June 17th, 2005, 15:40
www.dundjinni.com is perfect for the job.

have fun!

thefallen
June 17th, 2005, 15:57
Okay, Dundjinni looks great, but I have to spend another $30 just to make the maps to go into FG? This is what they used? I was just curious. I've already bought the Full version of FG, then I'm buying the it for my wife as well, the lite version, and now this? Also, does Dundjinni let you create the tiles or do you just use them and have to create them with something else like Adobe?

Any other suggestions that might not cost as much?

gurney9999
June 17th, 2005, 16:56
For dungeon maps and some town level maps there are a couple of apps, dungeon crafter (http://www.dungeoncrafter.com)and dungeonforge (http://www.dungeonforge.com). Dungeoncrafter's town maps don't work for me, just because I'm colorblind and the colors are too wild.

Crusader
June 17th, 2005, 22:54
You could also check out MapX (http://www.realmcreator.com/olddl.php). There's supposedly a new version (http://www.realmcreator.com/) in the works, but I haven't seen any news on that site for quite some time - which is a shame really.

nix4
June 18th, 2005, 00:15
You could also check out MapX (http://www.realmcreator.com/olddl.php). There's supposedly a new version (http://www.realmcreator.com/) in the works, but I haven't seen any news on that site for quite some time - which is a shame really.

Or if you dont want to do any of that you could just use MS Paint...

the only requirement is that the map be in JPG or PNG format.

DM Greg
June 18th, 2005, 22:51
First it's nice to have a photo editor (or jpg/gif editor) like Photoshop. If, as it sounds, you don't want to put alot of money into anything then I suggest for your editing (cropping, resizing, layering, etc) you should get The Gimp - http://www.gimp.org/ IT'S FREE!

Next you need some maps:

Free map resources:

Map of the week from Wizards: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/mwa/archive2004

Most of them come with a grid so you don't need to place one on the map (right click and then use the radii buttons)

Dungeon Magazine - http://paizo.com/dungeon/news#v5748eaic9jyk

Paizo has been kind enough to put the last 8 or so issues of high-definition maps and handouts online. Even if you don't have the magazines you can use the maps.

Those two resources alone should be enough. Check out the fan forums at www.dunjinni.com for fan-based jpg's of maps and use those.

Good gaming,

Greg Volz
Natural Twenty Gaming
www.naturaltwenty.com

richvalle
June 18th, 2005, 23:38
As nice as it looks when you make the maps using dunjinni or some other software... I've been wondering if it would just not be a heck of a lot easier to just use the in game 'paper' and line drawing tool.

This ties in a bit with what MSD was talking about with going voip. If you used voice software to at least read the room descriptions and such and used the in game drawing tools (such as they are) you could run a game with very little prep time. I think it takes long enough to just create dnd 3.5 material and then to have to spend even more time to get it into FG might be too much.

Though... I didn't use dunjinni that much so its possible you could whip up much faster then I was able to with practice. Or if you are just better then me. :)

rv

Thore_Ironrock
June 19th, 2005, 04:55
Autorealm is another good basic one (http://www.gryc.ws/autorealm.htm). Before getting DunDjinni I would use this for the basic grids and such, then pull it into Photoshop for color, shades, and texture.

:D

Ilwan
June 19th, 2005, 11:02
I use Campaign Cartographer 2 Pro from www.profantasy.com but that is commercial. I would also recommend Autorealm as free software. Here is a guide to draw maps with it:

http://www.brodt.dk/peter/maps.html

Here is the autorealm page:

http://autorealm.sourceforge.net/index.php

And here some tutorials:

http://tutorials.autorealm.org/

For dungeons and floorplans DungeonCrafter is a good choice. Especially the combinantion of Autorealm and DungeonCrafter can make good results. Draw the floorplan is DC and import the graphic into Autorealm, where U place symbols on the images (instead of using DCs tile based bitmap symbols). An eample of that can be seen on my webiste:
http://www.earlsdale.com/cc2maps/details.php?image_id=26
Here I used DC and CC2 instead of Autorealm, but its the same process with Autorealm.

As an alternative to software that is made for making maps I could recommend commercial game editors. Some games provide excellent map editors that can be used very well. Just make a screendump. Games that can be used:
-Heroes of Might and Magic (all versions)
-Age of Mythology
-Civilization (II and III)
-Neverwinter Nights (interiors and dungeons)

There certainly more games out there suited. Good thing is that U can get these for a very low price, since they are older.

thefallen
June 20th, 2005, 20:43
Hey guys, thanks for the all the help! I greatly appreciate all the support you guys have given me! I'm looking forward to using my new Fantasy Grounds Full version sometime in the near future. Its great to know I have a helpful community to fall back on with questions!

Thanks again!

JMOxx75
January 24th, 2006, 00:52
I'm finding a lot of information on what to use to draw maps, which is good. My problem is that I have already made my maps with fractal mapper and dundjinni but I don't know how to get them into my drawing in FG. I saved the images as .png and put them in the images folder under my campagne but how do I get them into a FG drawing?

richvalle
January 24th, 2006, 00:57
Hmmm, not sure if FG can do png's. Save them as jpg's or gifs and then put them in your images folder. Then when you click on the images icon on the right of your FG window you will see a list of the images.

Note: you can do this on the fly as you play. Drop an image in and pull up the images list and it will be there.

rv

Bumamgar
January 24th, 2006, 02:01
Fantasy Grounds supports PNG for sure. However, I recommend using jpegs as the files end up much smaller for the same image.

Morfedel
January 24th, 2006, 03:10
Speaking of.... which mapping program would you suggest? I"ve been eyeballing CC2 pro, which I owned once before in a previous version, and it was clunky, but powerful.

Dundjinni doesnt look to be quite as powerful, but faster... but appears to be heavily married to d20 as well, which I dont GM often.

So which would you each suggest, and why? Or do you have a third product you think is even better?

Thanks!

Morfedel
January 24th, 2006, 03:12
Oh, and those two vs autorealm? third mapping program I"m vaguely familiar with....

richvalle
January 24th, 2006, 03:18
I have Dundjinni but have not used it much. Right now I'm running the Worlds Largest Dungeon. Others have made electronic version of the map and I can just drop them in, zoom in and use them for both movement and combat. Very nice!

I like the maps Dundjinni makes. Its not really married to d20 but it is mostly a 'low level' map maker where each squre is 5 feet.

There are some art packs for higher level maps. I've not used them much. There is now a art pack for 45 degree views of a high level town view. Those look really nice.

The problems I have with Dundjinni is:

1. Its a bit slow.

2. It takes me forever to find the one item I want to use and I don't have the time to spend to reorginze them all.

3. You get stuck in a situation where, since there is so much art in there you feel like adding art for everything. Then, you realize it does have the art for X and you really need X to make that map. Now you are stuck where you have everything else on the map but X and it feels incomplete.

All the said, I do like it and, if I spent more time on it, I think I would get better at making maps with it. The boards there are very friendly.

You can also visit http://www.fouruglymonsters.com/ . Some of the Dundjinni folks are there as well and they have a forum for asking questions about both Dunjinni and CC2 (Ilwan is the CC2 expert).


I know some people that use maping software that they have gotten in games like Civ or others.

Good luck!

rv

Ablefish
January 24th, 2006, 05:49
I have Dundjinni but have not used it much. ... The problems I have with Dundjinni is:

3. You get stuck in a situation where, since there is so much art in there you feel like adding art for everything. Then, you realize it does have the art for X and you really need X to make that map. Now you are stuck where you have everything else on the map but X and it feels incomplete.



I've been looking at Dundjinni but at this point we're still working over some commercial Eberron adventures so the need isn't great yet. However, I do know the feeling you're describing - there are times when a scribbled map on a ****tail napkin would be totally accepted by the players (they are there to use their imagination...), but as soon as you add a few premade details, the rest feels incomplete.

The same problem happens when you add color to a map... unless its done right, it just looks thrown together. Not everyone has access to photoshop, but this can make a color map look a lot more 'legit':

1. Make a layer out of your map, and put it on top of your favorite parchment texture.
2. Desaturate the map layer and change it's blending mode to Color Dodge.
3. If you need to tweak it (maybe it's tough to make out some details), select the map layer and press ctrl-u and play with the sliders.

My wife just bought an interior designer program at Costco. I'm going to see how it's mapping works. :) Doesn't look like it displays a grid, but I guess I can get that right in FG if I need it.

danielpryor
January 27th, 2006, 10:32
As nice as it looks when you make the maps using dunjinni or some other software... I've been wondering if it would just not be a heck of a lot easier to just use the in game 'paper' and line drawing tool.

This ties in a bit with what MSD was talking about with going voip. If you used voice software to at least read the room descriptions and such and used the in game drawing tools (such as they are) you could run a game with very little prep time. I think it takes long enough to just create dnd 3.5 material and then to have to spend even more time to get it into FG might be too much.

Though... I didn't use dunjinni that much so its possible you could whip up much faster then I was able to with practice. Or if you are just better then me. :)

rv

I personally use Dundjinni to recreate D&D maps already made, but it takes hours and hours of time each week. I fyou don't have that kind of free time I suggest scanning the maps in at like 100 or 200 dpi resolution and save them as a .png file format, erase all the secret doors, room numbers, etc. and then use FG to put tokens and notes on it. Very simple solution that way, each full 8x10 map would only take like 15 to 20 minutes to edit in this way, compared to the four hours of hell I put myself through for each map each week.

richvalle
January 27th, 2006, 13:20
Yeah, thats a great idea.

Right now I'm running Worlds Largest Dungeon so my map making skills are not needed as I just use an electronic version of the map for everything. God, I love the zooming feature!

rv

Morfedel
January 28th, 2006, 01:43
I don't use prepublished stuff as a general rule; I create my own stuff.

Actually, I don't even do a lot of prep time, I tend to make stuff up on the fly. But this makes me want to make maps.

You know, I'd love to have a DM layer on FG. Or does it, and I missed it?

gurney9999
January 28th, 2006, 04:16
No DM layer... some people use multiple versions of maps to handle this.

Stuart
January 28th, 2006, 08:29
I use cc2 and will be moving to Devinn's overhead tokens (do check them out).

CC2 allows a mapper to have any number of layers showing secret doors etc - these layers can then be saved as difft maps (jpg etc). It used to take me hours to create a map ... it still does but they look good and the map is an entire dungeon level that generally serves 3 or 4 sessions, about a month of FG playing so worth it imho.

I tried Dundjinni but needed something that mapped cities, dungeons, outdoors, political and global so adopted cc2. Harder to learn as a full CAD system but worth it I think.

Stuart

danielpryor
January 28th, 2006, 21:39
Fantasy Grounds supports PNG for sure. However, I recommend using jpegs as the files end up much smaller for the same image.

Not true, on average all my png files end up about 15% smaller in size than the jpg files AND they look clearer, even when using 1% jpg compression...

Also, the best map editor out there is Dundjinni IF you are using miniatures and battlemaps for encounters. If you neeed to make campaign or "world" maps then just use CC2 or one of the previously mentioned bits of software. However with the new improvements I've seen people are making campaign maps easily with Dundjinni too. The great thing about CAD programs like CC2 though is that the more advanced interface gives you more control over data and the graphical layers. It really depends on what your needs are. I supposed I'm recommending Dundjinni because I mainly use the room to room encounter type graphics for miniature battles and rarely use regional maps. I find that most of my players care less about the world maps and more about what they're seeeing as they go room to room. Hope this opinion helps.

Crusader
January 29th, 2006, 20:12
Well, my jpg's always end up smaller in filesize than the png's - even though I crush the png's. I agree about clarity though, since png's have a nondestructive compression.

Snikle
February 22nd, 2006, 18:00
I want to bump this thread as I thought of a feature that would completely rock for FG, I am sure it has been mentioned previously. DM layers, but I am not talking about inside FG, I want importable layers from FW/Photoshop. This would make the map files much larger, but think of the possibilities.

A overland map with buildings on it, players move to the local inn and head inside, remove the roof layer and now you expose the interior of the buildings and continue play.

Players move through an open area and then head into a forested area, remove the treetop layer to revieal the placement of the tree trunks, improving tactical application of the map.

Of course the normal DM layer ideas still work as well, secret doors, traps, map notes, etc.

sunbeam60
February 22nd, 2006, 19:07
I use Paint Shop Pro exclusively, but there's always Paint.Net for a free graphics app. Paint.Net is perhaps a smidgen easier to get into compared to Gimp.

Sigurd
February 23rd, 2006, 20:10
Hey Snikle your talk of integration with a graphics package is brilliant. (So is all of the graphic work I've seen from you by the way.)

Ignoring License, scheduling and IP issues for a moment I think the only realistic program to do this with would be CC2 or 3. The cad basis for CC makes the individual elements very small and I think they would be the most condusive to bandwidth limitations.

Personally I think FG should cozy up to the PNG format because it zooms so prettily. Sometimes its larger, sometimes smaller but you know that it shrinks and grows better.


Sigurd

Snikle
February 24th, 2006, 03:01
Thanks!
I wouldnt want it tied exclusively to a particular program, there are too many programs that people use (plus the one I use is unique and I seem to be the exclusive user in these circles!) and you would undoubtedly anger someone (read: me) ;-) I thought of another way to do this that I think would be easier than getting FG to accept the different file types with layers: load multiple images into the same window with the option to share/not share each.
If FG would support loading multiple images into the map window (versus now how it opens them in seperate ones), you could load the dungeon layer map, then on top of it, load the DM layer (use pngs of course so you get the excellent zooming and the perfect transparency) that shows secret doors, etc. Those of us making maps could easily export our layers seperately and then DMs import and share as needed.

Morfedel
February 24th, 2006, 03:44
Two things:

1) I can't get the dungeoncrafter link to work
2) using something like Neverwinter Nights, what would you do, just use the Printscreen key, then edit it in a program to save it as a .jpg? Because I can't find an option to save the image otherwise.

I'm kinda torn on the whole NWN thing. I LOVE NWN, but using its maps for a PNP RPG... I dunno....

Sigurd
February 24th, 2006, 17:53
Multiple images would be more generic but you'd really have to be able to lock smaller elements into a lower layer and, probably, embrace transparencies.

I can imagine that it might be a trick for some graphics cards. I imagine that layers in one file format is easier on the desktop. The program hits the layered image - resolves what can be shown with lots of expected internal organization - and then moves on. A pile of images would have to be given a Z axis value (somehow) and then built from back to front. A constructed image as a pile of varied formats would seem to be an invitation to ghosts, artifacts, and wierdness - althought thats just a guess.

Dunjinni seems to do ok as a stack of BMPs. The token system in FG seems to be pretty stable. I might be over cautious.

Sig

richvalle
February 24th, 2006, 18:08
Multiple images would be more generic but you'd really have to be able to lock smaller elements into a lower layer and, probably, embrace transparencies.

I can imagine that it might be a trick for some graphics cards. I imagine that layers in one file format is easier on the desktop. The program hits the layered image - resolves what can be shown with lots of expected internal organization - and then moves on. A pile of images would have to be given a Z axis value (somehow) and then built from back to front. A constructed image as a pile of varied formats would seem to be an invitation to ghosts, artifacts, and wierdness - althought thats just a guess.

Dunjinni seems to do ok as a stack of BMPs. The token system in FG seems to be pretty stable. I might be over cautious.

Sig

We had some weird token issues last night. Several people were seeing 'ghost' tokens of some of the player tokens. I could see things fine on my end and I didn't want to reboot since I'd have to setup the init tracker and stuff all over again.

rv