This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post “Exporting My FT3 World Back To CC3”.
Creating the Background Map Image
I created a sample world in FT3 (circumference 7,000 miles), set the latitude and longitude for an area I liked, and set scale to 0.18. This gave me just over 400 miles vertically and considerably more horizontally in my window. I then exported a PNG file at ten times the resolution of the miles visible (taken from the View Properties window). After loading the PNG into Photoshop, I set canvas size to 4000 by 4000, with the image centered, in order to strip away what I didn’t need. Then I saved it again as a PNG.
Inserting the Image
On to Campaign Cartographer. I already had a map with a border I wanted to use that was 500 miles square. I made a copy of it, deleted everything I didn’t need and resized the rest to 400 miles square. Then I inserted the PNG onto its own sheet and layer and placed it below all the other sheets.
I created a vertical hex grid 200 miles wide (again on its own layer and grid). By default, CC3 starts the grid in the lower left corner. This doesn’t work for me as I want one hex in the exact center of my map. I used the Select Points option and placed the grid at 0,-90 to 400,400. This gave me the grid I wanted but also created excess grid below the map. I hid everything but the grid, exploded it, trimmed/deleted the excess grid pieces, and unhid everything.
Shading the Surrounding Hexes
Each map is designed to display one hex. I could edit each map to actually show just that hex but it is easier to leave everything square. Plus I think it looks better. In addition, I find it helpful to show some of the surrounding area as well.
Initially I intended to have the center hex in color and the surrounding area in grayscale. While trying to figure out how to do that, I decided to apply a 20% opacity effect instead. I made a Mask sheet and layer (placed just below the grid sheet), created a polygon of the center hex, another of the entire map, and then used multipoly to use the first to make a hole in the second. Then I applied the transparency effect to the layer.
Everything worked pretty much as expected and I think it looks beautiful. Now, I just need to delete the image and I have my template all ready to go.
Here’s a shot of the finished product. This JPG is 4,000 x 4,000 (click the image for full size image) so you can see the level of detail that would be available at considerable zoom. On my screen, this gives me about 15 miles per inch, which is far greater than I expect to need. Anything more detailed will be put on a City Designer or Dungeon Designer map.
This map is just a quick test to setup a template and make sure everything worked right. In the final map, the terrain will be smoothed and eroded, river beds will be in place, and it should look much more realistic.