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Archive for the ‘Illustration Software Review’ Category

Review: Campaign Cartographer 3

 :: Posted by admin on 11-02-2012

Campaign Cartographer is an interesting piece of software which can be used for map illustrations as well as to create illustrated maps. This program was developed by ProFantasy software, and is broken down into several different modules. The core application is designed for creating world maps, which can either be traditional illustrated maps, or the “hex-style” maps used in many strategy games.
Campaign Cartographer 3 is popular with people that enjoy role-playing games. It is often used by game masters to design maps to support the games they are playing, however this is not the only use of this application. Many fantasy authors use the software to create maps for their books, and it’s also useful for creating attractive maps for other purposes such as brochures and leaflets.
The software is primarily designed for gamers, and as such many of the map elements that are included with it are fantastic in nature. Instead of having modern buildings and landmark symbols, it focuses on taverns, castles, dragons, and orcs. Trees, mountains, and other standard symbols using for architectural illustrations are included, however. In addition, you aren’t restricted to just the symbols that come with the software. You can import PNG images to add your own flavour to your illustrated maps, and there are a lot of websites that offer CC3 ready packs for users to import.
Campaign Cartographer 3 is not a demanding piece of software. It will run on almost any machine that is capable of running Windows XP, however, you’ll have a far better user experience if you have a big screen and a good mouse. You don’t need to be a particularly talented graphic artist to use the software, but it can take a while to get used to its quirks. However, if you’re patient, and willing to rely on the stock symbols for most of the art, even a novice can put together some beautiful looking illustrated maps.

Review Illustration Software: City Designer 3

 :: Posted by admin on 01-21-2012

City Designer 3 is a companion app for Campaign Cartographer 3 by ProFantasy Software. City Designer 3 allows you to make cities map illustrations. As with Campaign Cartographer 3, this software is mostly aimed at making maps of fictional places for use in role-playing games. This means that most (but not all) of the symbols provided by the software are fantasy focused, however the app is still useful for all budding cartographers.
City Designer 3 operates on a smaller scale to Campaign Cartographer 3. Instead of focusing on country or continent-level maps, it zooms in to look at cities, towns, and villages. You can still add rivers and other landscape elements to your map, but they are not the focus.
City Designer 3 is incredibly easy to use. Instead of forcing you to draw one building at a time, it allows you to quickly and easily draw entire streets with just a few clicks. You can also make use of the house-builder tool to make custom buildings, and breathe life into your city with a selection of more than 2,000 symbols including ones themed to Fantasy, Science Fiction, the present day, and classical.
If you’re a fan of historic illustrated maps, you’ll love the designs that City Designer 3 allows you to create. The software itself is not particularly demanding, and will run on most modern computers (and laptops for that matter!). It can be a little tricky to learn, however it does come with a guide-book and 90 days worth of online support.
You can use City Designer 3 even if you don’t own Campaign Cartographer 3, and the symbols that ship with City Designer can be used in other company’s mapping software. This flexibility is a part of what makes the package so useful to would-be cartographers.