Page 1 of 1

Making Hex and Grid Maps: What do you use?

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:01 pm
by Piperdog
Mainly a question for Pete, but anyone feel free to jump in.

Pete, how did you do the Haunted Highlands map hexes? I assume you did the whole thing in Photoshop? How do you make high res hexes? I snagged a hex pattern from the net, but it is poor resolution. If you don't want to give tutorial on the forum, I totally understand, but maybe just point me to a tutorial online.

The other thing is doing dungeon maps. Is it easier to do maps in Illustrator (I don't own this...yet) but the vector lines seems like it would be the way to go. My goal is to do high quality publishable maps that are functional and very pleasing to the eye.

Any pointers or suggestions?


Eric Piper

Master of Peach Cobbler

Re: Making Hex and Grid Maps: What do you use?

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:40 pm
by gideon_thorne
Actually, there's this program on the web that was shown about here and there for making hexes. I don't understand a thing about it myself, since it involves computer coding. But James Mishler worked it out and set up the base hex dealie we use.

Although, specifically for Haunted Higlands, I did pull a hex thing off the net and just used the 'stroke' function in photoshop to make the lines thicker.

I tend to avoid using hex map set ups as a rule myself, unless someone absolutely insists on it for a project. Don't care much for hex maps.

But as for Grids. I make the set up in InDesign using the line tool and the step and repeat function. I then save the file to pdf, which I can open in photoshop, and thereby have a series of blank grids at various scales I can draw onto.

I do all my maps in Photoshop. But you are correct, the vector lines in Illustrator are much cleaner for some things. Especially cities. You can do vector lines in Photoshop of a sort however, with the line and stroke tools.

I just dont like going back and forth between software any more than I need to. One can't really get the textures I use in Illustrator without using up more time than I care to waste.

I'm not fussed about sharing my knowledge with folks. Seems kind of silly to make a state secret out of ones methodology. If I've got any useful advice im happy to share it.

Also, in general, I find it easier to draw a rough sketch of the map I intend to make first, then use various layers to 'cut' the shapes of land and terrain out of the patterns I cobble together.

Naturally, millage may vary from artist to artist. My methods work for me just fine though.
"We'll go out through the kitchen!" Tanis Half-Elven

Peter Bradley

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:50 am
by Rhuvein
Here's a thread about Hexmapper, where I show a map I created with this fun program: ... llordgames

Here's a link to the site where you can get Hexmapper and some additional times:

Count Rhuveinus - Lejendary Keeper of Castle Franqueforte

"Enjoy a 'world' where the fantastic is fact and magic really works!" ~ Gary Gygax

"By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes:" - Macbeth

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:10 am
by gideon_thorne
This works

And this works even better if you can figure it out.

Stuffed if I can understand that second one though. Me no speakie computer gibberish.

"We'll go out through the kitchen!" Tanis Half-Elven

Peter Bradley