Preferred map building software

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Hello everyone! I was considering becoming a content creator (I just have to learn more about java/html right now so I could link a pic). I would like to ask other creators what software (and format, if not pc) they use for creating maps, and the pros/cons of said software. Pay software is fine to reference. I am currently using pyromancers.com for all my mapbuilding, and I'm running out of... everything. So what would you suggest?
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B Simon Smith
Marketplace Creator
First off, check the licensing of any map making software you use. I happen to use Inkscape for lines and text, then import it into Gimp for colors, textures, and shadows. Here's a sample of my work:
I use the Adobe Suite for map creation, usually a combination of Illustrator and Photoshop, trying to leverage the strengths of each. For the non-professional, I would suggest going the Inkscape/GIMP route if you are comfortable with the interfaces. Inkwell Ideas Dungeonographer and other -ographer family have very liberal licenses, but probably not for a standalone for-sale product. They might be very useful if your goal is to produce complete modules for which the maps are only a part of the package.
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Zeshio
Marketplace Creator
I stick with Adobe Illustrator, doing the linework, colors, and then dropping in textures. My style tends to be a bit more cartoony though. I've tried Inkscape but have a much harder time with streamlining my workflow on it, I find it a bit clunky. When I make pixel map tiles, I use PyxelEdit because it has some really helpful tile saving features. My example is for my next map pack coming up next week.
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Badger
Pro
Marketplace Creator
I sketch on graph paper, paint in Procreate on my IPad Pro, then shoot those files over to my PC and get everything working and clean on the grid in Photoshop.  Also, you need 100% own the rights to sell the content you put up on Roll20. It wasn't clear to me that the stuff on the Pyromancers site you referenced allows you to upload your own map bits or if you're building maps out of other people's art. Gotta build it out of stuff you either made or have commercial rights to. :) Here's a sample of some of mine...
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cecil h.
Marketplace Creator
Are you looking for software to illustrate maps, or are you looking for software to assemble prefabricated tiles that other people have illustrated (like pyromancers)?
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BP
Pro
man I need to learn how to use Inkscape. I use Gimp for everything.
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I'm currently messing around with Affinity Designer for dungeon maps. My idea is to have some kind of "dungeon template", where I can easily draw the dungeon walls and then just apply some styles to make it look more "dungeon like" - but with switching the styles, I also create a dungeon map for a handout. Same approach for my world map - this one is "growing" while the party is exploring the world:
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The Aaron
Pro
API Scripter
You might find my  Walls script to be useful.
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The Aaron said: You might find my  Walls script to be useful. I tried it, but Affinity Designer's SVG files are more complex than gimp's. Your script won't process it. 😞
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The Aaron
Pro
API Scripter
Bummer!  
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Yeah.. would have been perfect for the dungeons.
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Zeshio
Marketplace Creator
I would think that's easily done in Inkscape/Illustrator. Set up a grid view with snapping, draw your walls out, etc. Super easy. Then, just add another layer/layers adding in the detail/shadows, etc. And you have both pieces. Like anything else, just takes a little bit of elbow grease, but easily doable (especially if you aren't making anything detailed like furniture, etc)
The main problem I have with Illustrator is that it does not have a decent bevel filter, like the underlying code shared by Photoshop and Indesign. The closest they have is the ancient code they have retained from Adobe Dimensions, which doesn't quite do the trick and is very clunky. Walls would be much easier to render with a good, easily modified bevel.
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cecil h. said: Are you looking for software to illustrate maps, or are you looking for software to assemble prefabricated tiles that other people have illustrated (like pyromancers)? both
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both as in I would be happy with either. I have another campaign coming up, and ive been building everything. I need to stop regurgitating the same table for the 34th time. Photoshop sounds pretty intensive for my pc and myself. Pyromancers was easy to use. A 'layer' system allowed me to fix many of my mistakes while mapmaking. Being able to make my own little tables and such and floors and grass and sky and snow and etc etc etc.
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Again, have a look at Affinity Designer. It's an affordable hybrid of Photoshop and Illustrator, but it's not as bloated (therefore faster and easier to learn). Great layer support, texture brushes, boolean path operations, bevel filter (@keithcurtis) - it's all there. Get yourself a good collection of basic textures for it and you're good to go. As a graphic designer, I use Photoshop and Illustrator at work every day (and I claim to be quite experienced with it), but at home I actually prefer the Affinity tools.
Arthur B said: Again, have a look at Affinity Designer. It's an affordable hybrid of Photoshop and Illustrator, but it's not as bloated (therefore faster and easier to learn). Great layer support, texture brushes, boolean path operations, bevel filter (@keithcurtis) - it's all there. Get yourself a good collection of basic textures for it and you're good to go. As a graphic designer, I use Photoshop and Illustrator at work every day (and I claim to be quite experienced with it), but at home I actually prefer the Affinity tools. Thanks for the hint. I will look into it. I too use the Adobe tools daily (and have done since ~1988), so I have a huge skill investment in them. But I'm not averse to new tools.
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keithcurtis said: Thanks for the hint. I will look into it. I too use the Adobe tools daily (and have done since ~1988), so I have a huge skill investment in them. But I'm not averse to new tools. You'll notice quite some similarities to both Illustrator and Photoshop (I started using them somewhen in 92 or 93). It's like Adobe decided to start over from scratch and tried to do it it right this time. Some things are different, but the basics are pretty much the same. So don't worry, you'll feel right at home after a short while.