Custom Map Tutorial?


  • Customizer

    Has anyone heard of, or could point to a tutorial on how to create your own maps to have printed?


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    Can’t say as I have seen any tutorials, as in videos. It is such a long process, seems like a video wouldn’t be practical or visually show anything of worth.

    However, I know that YoungGrasshopper and a few others have gone through significant troubles to print their maps. Maybe they can give a bullet point list of steps they took and things to do/not do. So you don’t waste your money.

    I would love to have something like that too since I intend to print my own map also.


  • 2016 2015 '14 Customizer

    The main tool you need is some high powered software, like Photoshop. Then lots of patience. As long as you can get a good clean, sharp image, and take it to a professional printer, the results can be stunning.


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    That is a good distinction and maybe I was not totally clear on what the question is. Are you talking actually creating/modifying a map or taking an existing map file and properly printing it? If the former then yeah, photoshop or equivalent is a must. That is lots of $.


  • Customizer

    Thanks for the responses guys. I have more than one idea for a map so the answer is yes on both counts. I have suggested a Global map to coach that is “blank” for customizable games. Just names of territories and some color graphics as well as borders and sea zones. You could use markers to denote anything else you want.

    I would like to make my own maps however I’m just not sure how to do it. I’m in my 30’s but I’m so old school I’ve considered buying an overhead projector and doing a custom map by hand. My artisic ability is not fantastic but little better than some.

    Anyways,  thanks for the help.


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    @toblerone77:

    I would like to make my own maps however I’m just not sure how to do it. I’m in my 30’s but I’m so old school I’ve considered buying an overhead projector and doing a custom map by hand. My artisic ability is not fantastic but little better than some.

    Anyways,  thanks for the help.

    Handmade maps can be very nice if done well. They can give an authentic feel that is difficult to replicate digitally without looking like you were trying NOT to look synthetic.

    I think you are sailing into uncharted waters. If you go handmade, that will likely be a first for that type of map on these forums (that I have seen). Being artistically inclined myself, I bet you could do a great job. I certainly look forward to seeing the result. Pro - you don’t have to buy/learn potentially expensive photo software, nor do you have to sit in front of a computer. Cons - mistakes are not easily corrected, frequently seen items take a long time to accurately duplicate. Unless of course you did something of a hybrid where the majority was hand drawn, but for cities/industrial complexes/convoy markers, etc… you digitally configure and print multiples to graft on the board.

    This is an intriguing idea overall and one I think with a great amount of potential. Will have to consider it myself when I get around to it.



  • There are a few really good map files already on here in different threads. I sent one of the files to Uprinting.com and they sent us a rolled 33x72 poster for $65. Nice work and pretty reasonably priced. (compared to our local print shops)



  • My experience with map creation is as follows…

    • Find a basic scanned file of the map you wish to customize (here is one for 1940 global https://www.mediafire.com/?o6z3o6w8m6r1ggc )

    • Find someone who is extreamly talented with Photoshop, in my case I worked with Ambilzi, however he is not a frequent visiter to A&A.org and I’m unsure if he’s still available.

    • In my case I gave him my ideas and asked him to design enhanced convoy and kamikaze symbols, connect the sz 6 border with Amur, place a 72 space income track along the bottom, add R&D Charts, and Combined Arms Charts in the bottom left and right hand corners.

    • I then used my limited Photoshop skills to add naval and air base icons on the appropriate territories.

    • Printing the file should be easy enough for any good printshop, I got mine done on styrene after a bad experience trying to glue lamination to my table, and some here have printed on metal with good results.

    • DON’T let the printer resize or alter the file from their computer, it will mess up the color profiles and it will turn out bad.

    • Although a hand drawn map would be original, I find that the Time vs. Reward would be better spent in Photoshop, even if you hire someone to help you create your ideas with a computer.

    • Imperious Leader may be able to add to this conversation as he has created many maps so I’m told.

    � Â


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    You can’t teach this because the learning curve is high for Illustrator CS, You just have to do it and struggle and it may take 10 years to be really good. I do suggest NEVER USE PAINT SHOP PRO. Their is nothing “pro” about it. It will destroy your computer from day one. Also, to save a few hundred bucks, buy an educational version ( its the same) using a student ID, you can just join the school and not even register for classes, just to get the ID and buy the program in the student store–make sure they have it in stock first.



  • @Imperious:

    You can’t teach this because the learning curve is high for Illustrator CS, You just have to do it and struggle and it may take 10 years to be really good. I do suggest NEVER USE PAINT SHOP PRO. Their is nothing “pro” about it. It will destroy your computer from day one. Also, to save a few hundred bucks, buy an educational version ( its the same) using a student ID, you can just join the school and not even register for classes, just to get the ID and buy the program in the student store–make sure they have it in stock first.

    You could register for a night class in basic Photoshop and Illustrator which would get you that student ID card and an introduction to the software.


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