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The Vintyri™ Cartographic Collection


Tutorial:  Raster Mapping with Fractal Mapper™ 8.


Current:  February 1, 2012


A Vintyri Cartographic Collection Expansion

Updated Version 1.01 Released February 2012


A free, open 220-page PDF booklet with supporting files released under the Open Game License


overland_TN.jpg oldwellinn_TN01.jpg oldwellinn_TN02.jpg oldwellinn_TN03.jpg


Click here to skip the words and go direct to the download site!


oldwellinn_TN04.jpg Odinsdomov_TN01.jpg odinsdomov_TN02.jpg odinsdomov_TN03.png


This product is a second level instruction booklet that takes up where the free NBOS manual-tutorial leaves off.  The material all is presented in step-for-step detail with more than 270 color screen shots and illustrations intended to keep things understandable and easy.  It goes from the surface of raster mapping with FM8 into areas that usually are viewed as being of expert level.  However, because FM8 itself is so simple to use, even inexperienced mappers should be able to master everything in this volume with little trouble.


It should be noted that anyone pondering whether FM8 is the right tool can work his or her way through this tutorial without buying anything.  It will work with the free trial version of FM8 or with the full purchase version.  All other software required for the tutorial can be downloaded free and legally in the Internet.


The first chapter shows the cartographer how to best set up FM8 for raster mapping, explaining why these settings are made and what their advantages are.  It also explains what other free software products might be desirable and where to download all of them at no cost.


The second chapter takes the reader step-by-step through the making of the overland map on the cover of the booklet, producing it with two entirely different alternative ocean types.  A sample of this finished map follows:




The third chapter offers step-by-step instructions on how to create an FM8 "super zoom" map of a city, town or village.  One makes the following map of the town of Odínsdomov, which is a part of the free and open Jörðgarð™ campaign setting being created by the Vintyri Project.  Here is an overall view of the finished map:




And here are two zoom views into the town center:





Chapter 4 deals with the raster mapping of floor plans and dungeons in multi-layer technique.  This chapter devotes special attention to the mapping of a dungeon or floor plan in such a manner that the game master easily can show his or her players all things that their PCs can see and hide all things that they haven't seen yet.  The project in this chapter is the mapping of the Old Well Inn that once stood in the Northern Bavarian city of Bamberg.  The building has a cellar, a ground floor and an upper story.










In Chapter 5 one begins to see how to get the power of all of FM8's horses into a map.  The RPG world has a thing with raster maps.  It's said that if everything in a raster map is scaled fine, it looks like a mish mash on strong zoom-outs.  On the other hand, one claims, if things are scaled right for a wide scale raster map, most objects pixilate terribly on close zoom-ins.


With a number of graphic programs that's quite true.  FM8 is one of relatively few programs used to make RPG maps where this doesn't need to be the case at all.  FM8 has zoom controls that can and should make such problems superfluous in your map.  When you use FM8 well, important objects in your maps will have different scales at different zoom levels.  Chapter 5 shows how that works.


But there's more yet.  There are many game masters and cartographers who would like to have maps so versatile that one could zoom in on any settlement on the map, and instead of seeing the isometric or cartographic symbol that had been there, one would see a totally zoomable, detailed map of the settlement.


Chapter 5 takes a large scale overland map with scale dimensions of 3,900 by 2,800 miles.  The region mapped includes the town of Odínsdomov, which was mapped in detail in Chapter 3.  When one zooms in on Odínsdomov in the overland map, one sees the town map, completely zoomable down to the individual wood piles and outhouses.  How that works also is a topic of Chapter 5.


Chapter 6 takes on another important theme for raster mappers:  The making of presets is important knowledge for any serious mapper.  Presets make it possible for a raster cartographer to fill large areas quickly with credible symbols in full quality and with full zoom abilities.


Chapter 7 shows how to use FM8 to make raster symbols.  The topic in this section is the Eyerlohe hunting castle in Northern Bavaria, which is modeled into an FM8 raster symbol in FM8 without the help of any outside program.





For all of FM8's power, there are some things it can't do.  One of them is to create symbols with transparent elements.  FM8 can't do that, but it's an easy chore with a free graphic program like Paint.NET.  Chapter 8 starts out with a digital photo of two chickens that supposedly are of a race bred already in the 1400s and 1500s - two medieval chickens, if you will.


This chapter shows one how to pull the chickens separately out of the photo with Paint.NET and turn them into two FM8 symbols with transparency.  Once the symbols have been created, the digital medieval chickens can join the pigs in the barnyard, as seen to the right above.





Five files are available for download.  All are in the same download folder:


1.  pdftu01.zip is a necessary file.  It contains the tutorial PDF booklet (40 MB).


2.  tu01sptpack01.zip also is a necessary file,  It contains all the support files necessary

to do the exercises in the booklet.  Be sure to read the small PDF file in this zip!

It contains important information (47 MB).


The three remaining files are optional.  They contain finished versions of the three main maps made in the tutorial



·             overland.zip, from Chapter 2 (24 MB)

·             odinsdomov.zip from Chapter 3 (60 MB)

·             oldwellinn.zip from Chapter 4 (16 MB)



Vintyri Download Site


·       Click here to download the tutorial PDF booklet (78 MB).

·       Click here to download the support files pack (47 MB).


Optional files:


·       Click here to download the overland map (Chapter 2 - 24 MB).

·       Click here to download the town map (Chapter 3 - 60 MB).

·       Click here to download the inn floor plan (Chapter 4 - 16 MB).



Alternative NBOS Download Site (www.nbos.com)


·       Click here to download the tutorial PDF booklet (78 MB).

·       Click here to download the support files pack (47 MB).


Optional files:


·       Click here to download the overland map (Chapter 2 - 24 MB).

·       Click here to download the town map (Chapter 3 - 60 MB).

·       Click here to download the inn floor plan (Chapter 4 - 16 MB).



Click here for the alternate MediaFire download site!


REMEMBER when you load these three maps or the Fallen Lands map in the support pack to immediately

click the menu option Map in FM8 and then the option Display Quality.  Set the basic Display Quality to Highest

and then pick Special Effects - Medium Res.  Without these settings, the maps will not always work

in the manner described in the tutorial!