Tutorials by Topic
- Creating Realistic Coastlines — my preferred method of roughing up coastlines, by Mike Summers.
- Shaded Relief
- Blender Tutorial — cartographer Daniel Huffman's excellent video guide to creating shaded relief using height maps in Blender. The results speak for themselves.
- Planet Renders
- 3D Animation in Photoshop is Out of This World — this is the tutorial that got me started on planet renders. The video is filled with invaluable info from start to finish.
- Create a Shiny Earth with Photoshop 3D Layers — I found this tutorial provided some great ideas for doing clouds.
- Tutorial: Making a Planet — great ideas for drawing atmospheric glows.
- Photoshop: How to Make the Sun — lots of very useful techniques for creating an image of the sun from scratch, in under 8 minutes. I was able to incorporate various ideas from this video into my process despite some major differences with my own techniques.
- The Cosmos: Create a Red Giant Star in Photoshop — an amazingly detailed walkthrough for making a sun image in Photoshop, including a great section on the corona and coronal ejections.
- Design a Beautiful Cosmic Space Scene in Photoshop — a fun tutorial for making a space scene.
Tutorials by Software
- Adobe Illustrator
- How to Create a Banner Scroll — short but sweet guide to making a simple decorative scroll in Illustrator.
- Fractal Terrains
- Tutorial for Cartographer's Guild — a walk through all the major functions of Fractal Terrains by its programmer, Joe Slayton. Includes height map creation and editing, erosion, generating rivers, climate shading, and projection.
- Brief outline — a short but useful outline of the steps to take a map through Wilbur.
- The Cartographer's Guild — the forum for fantasy cartographers of every kind. Filled with amazing maps, as well as a friendly and helpful community of fellow mappers.
- CartoTalk — one of the main discussion forums for real world cartographers. This is another friendly and helpful community, with a wide range of topics related to making maps of the real world and all that involves.
- The Piazza — a wonderful place devoted to the discussion of roleplaying game settings. It is the main gathering place for the Mystara community. There is a sub forum at The Piazza dedicated to my Mystara projects, the most active of which is the Geographical Mapping board, which is not limited to my own efforts. The Piazza also hosts the main discussion board for Calidar.
- Map Projection Selection Tool — an interactive tool for choosing map projections based on distortion property and map extent. Designed for the real world, but you can also use it for your fantasy world by ignoring the real world map and inputting the map extent in lat/lon coordinates.
- World file calculator — a form for generating world files, small sidecar text files that define the geographic extent of their companion image file. This is a quick way to georeference a world map generated in graphic programs, without having to do it manually in a GIS program. I use it to prepare Equirectangular Projection world maps for use in Manifold.
- Mapping Scale Convertor — a handy tool for converting lexical scales such as 1:50,000 into fractional scales/ratios such as 1 inch = 1 mile. Includes both Imperial and Metric.
- Regular Polygon Calculator — for calculating the dimensions of polygons such as hexes.
- TypeBrewer — an set of templates for choosing appropriate fonts to use in maps.
- Jonathan Crowe's Fantasy Maps Project — a look at the wider topic of fantasy mapping, from an academic/critical perspective. Lots of interesting articles on the meta side of fantasy cartography. He also reviews books related to his project, which is very useful for expanding your reading list.
- Here Be Cartographers: Reading the Fantasy Map — examining maps of fictional places as part of their literary texts. The focus is on fantasy novels, with little or no mention of roleplaying games. The writer makes some interesting points; I can't say I agree with everything he says, but it's definitely worth reading as criticism of the genre of fantasy cartography.