Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

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Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby Thorf » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:59 pm

Illustrator CS6 is coming out in about 2 weeks, along with the rest of the Creative Suite. The most interesting feature from a mapping perspective is that it's now 64-bit, and is said to have been redesigned to make it faster and more able to handle large, complex artwork. This is very good news for hex mapping. Hopefully it will mean much less slowdown and freezing when working on large maps (such as the Trail Maps, for example).

There are a few other new features that could be helpful, but what I'm most excited about is their new subscription service, the Creative Cloud. You pay a monthly fee (in my case 3000 yen) to get access to the whole Creative Suite, as an alternative to buying it outright. This makes it much more affordable, especially for people just starting out - no longer do you have to make a huge payment upfront just to start using the software.

I never upgraded to CS5 or CS5.5, so the new features from those releases will also be new to me, although I'm not sure there was much new stuff of interest to hex mappers anyway.

One last thing: they also provide 20 GB of online space for storing files to keep them in sync across multiple computers. I'm not sure exactly how this will work yet, but one potential I can see is that if I keep all my mapping files in my Creative Cloud account, it may well be possible to make them available to the community from there, which I know would please quite a few people who over the years have asked for access to my files.

All in all, CS6 is looking to be quite an interesting release.
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby Culture20 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:56 am

Is the Creative Cloud thing sort of like an Adobe version of Microsoft's Sharepoint (a pseudo SVN/git for Office)?
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby Thorf » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:06 pm

I don't know anything about that, so I can't really say.

The Creative Cloud is essentially just a subscription service that gives you access to the most up to date versions of the software in exchange for a monthly fee. It also includes online storage space and community elements, but the software is the main thing by far.
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby Culture20 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:07 pm

Ah darn, I was hoping it might be something that might facilitate collaboration with adobe products.
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby Thorf » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:15 pm

Culture20 wrote:Ah darn, I was hoping it might be something that might facilitate collaboration with adobe products.


Perhaps it does - I haven't been able to find much info on the precise workings of the actual cloud elements yet. That it gives you online storage and lets you share files has been announced, so it may well allow collaboration too. Personally I'm hoping I'll be able to use it to share all my mapping files with anyone who wants them in a more visual way than I currently can.
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby alanshutko » Thu May 03, 2012 6:19 pm

It's supposed to allow at least some collaboration (comments) but I'm not sure how much. I've linked some videos on it below.

What I'm most excited about is gradients on strokes. RIVERS HEAVEN!

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/cs6-creative- ... fessional/
http://tv.adobe.com/watch/adobe-creativ ... ive-cloud/
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby Thorf » Fri May 04, 2012 11:27 am

alanshutko wrote:What I'm most excited about is gradients on strokes. RIVERS HEAVEN!


What, for linking them seamlessly with a differently-coloured sea? CS5's variable width strokes seems more useful for rivers, allowing you to easily program different widths for each river at each point.
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby alanshutko » Fri May 04, 2012 3:52 pm

Thorf wrote:
alanshutko wrote:What I'm most excited about is gradients on strokes. RIVERS HEAVEN!


What, for linking them seamlessly with a differently-coloured sea? CS5's variable width strokes seems more useful for rivers, allowing you to easily program different widths for each river at each point.


That, and making them darker as they get bigger. Combining variable width with gradients makes me happy.
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby Thorf » Fri May 04, 2012 4:50 pm

alanshutko wrote:That, and making them darker as they get bigger. Combining variable width with gradients makes me happy.


Interesting idea.

Incidentally, I never upgraded to CS5 so both features will be new to me. :D
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby Thorf » Fri May 11, 2012 5:52 pm

Creative Cloud was released today. They haven't yet implemented the syncing features of the Creative Cloud storage space, so it's hard to know how well that will work yet. But they have implemented sharing, so we can see how things are going to work.

Here's an example:

https://creative.adobe.com/file/7ba1e1d ... c4e099929e

Follow the link to see my map of the Gulf of Hule. The panel on the right gives you a number of options, accessible through the icons at the top. Info shows general info and dates; next there's comments, which allows you to comment on the files directly; and finally download, which allows you to save not only the original (PDF-compatible) AI file but also high resolution PNG files (and JPGs if you should feel the need, even though PNG is vastly superior for my maps). This last feature is really cool, because it gives you a higher resolution PNG than I usually post, and it does it without taking up server space or bandwidth on my site. Moreover, it's exceedingly fast - much faster than it takes me to export a PNG to upload, in fact.

Once they implement syncing with files on your desktop, I will upload all of my maps to the Creative Cloud and share them.

The only slight irritation is that each file will need to be shared manually, which will take a while with so many files. I will likely incorporate the URL for each map into the Atlas of Mystara Wiki.

There's one other function in Illustrator CS6 which might interest people: hex patterns. CS6 now allows patterns to be tiled in a hex grid design, which means hexes can theoretically be made using patterns now instead of symbols. Personally I have no intention of going back to such a system, but for those who don't like the symbols system it may hold promise.
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby alanshutko » Fri May 11, 2012 6:45 pm

I love the map, of course.

I agree with you... The symbol method you've come up makes it so easy to place things that I will be sticking with it.
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby Thorf » Sat May 12, 2012 12:37 pm

Good news and bad.

The good news is that Creative Cloud includes an option to download as PDF in its features. This means I will no longer need to create and upload a separate PDF version for each map, but can instead just update my main file, sync it to the Creative Cloud and be done with it. Visiting my file at the Creative Cloud will allow you to download the original Illustrator file, a PDF of it, or a high resolution PNG of it. I will keep a normal resolution PNG of each file at the Atlas Wiki and the rest can be left up to Creative Cloud.

The bad news is that right now the fonts seem to be broken, so that PDF, PNG and JPG downloads of newly uploaded files don't include the correct fonts. If you don't know what I mean, check out this newly uploaded version of the map I linked to above, and compare the two (even the preview at Creative Cloud shows the wrong fonts):

https://creative.adobe.com/file/82f1ed1 ... 1f08ad9ec9

I'm sure this will be fixed before long, so in the long run this should make providing my maps a much smoother business. I'm very excited about it.

While I'm here, here are some files I've been preparing to distribute through Creative Cloud:

https://creative.adobe.com/file/00584ff ... 8ae23db74a
https://creative.adobe.com/file/fb6dfc5 ... d3affe3615
https://creative.adobe.com/file/dae5007 ... 52663f8cca

They are all CS6 Illustrator files, but you will be able to see nice previews and download PDF and PNG files even if you can't use CS6 files.
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby Thorf » Fri May 18, 2012 1:55 pm

Just a little update: I posted about the problems with fonts in the Creative Cloud forums, and after a few days got a response from an Adobe employee to say they're looking into the matter. :D

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1003345?tstart=0

Let's hope it gets sorted out before long. The download features are really impressive when the fonts are properly in place.

Once that's fixed, I will be waiting for the release of the syncing software that lets you keep the files on your hard disk synced with the files in the cloud. There's no news on when it will come, but it's an integral part so it surely can't be too far away. As soon as that is out, I will be uploading all of my map files and publishing the URLs on the Atlas Wiki, so everyone will have access to all my map files, in your chosen format of AI, PDF or PNG.
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby Morfie » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:38 am

If the fonts are not part of the Adobe programs then we cannot create a preview image using those fonts. We do not have access to your non-Adobe fonts or have the licensing rights to use them.

It appears the fonts won't work if they are not the base Adobe ones.. how odd. So goodbye to Feinen Bold/Baldurs/Myztara on the CC.

PS:Your file links are now broken.

PPS: Sorry to disturb you Thorf, as you are probably now flat out working on Calidar.
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby Thorf » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:37 am

Quick update on all this stuff...

The fonts seem to be working on the previews right now. I haven't kept tabs on this issue for a while, so I don't know what has happened over the least year or more.

The links in this thread are indeed broken... It seems that Adobe has instituted a new form of link, but actually I suspect this may be due to me deleting the linked files during housekeeping on my Creative Cloud account. Those were early uploaded versions, which have likely been updated since then. You can get working links to a lot of my maps by visiting the Atlas of Mystara Wiki and checking the file page for each map. The Gallery of New Files shows which files have been updated recently, and you're most likely to find Creative Cloud links in the files towards the top of that list.

I know, my Wiki needs a lot of work. I just don't have the time these days, unfortunately. :(
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby stanles » Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:55 am

Thorf

is it OK to get any updated versions of maps from your Wiki for the Vaults?
Visit the Vaults of Pandius http://pandius.com, the official website for the Dungeons and Dragons setting of Mystara.

Submissions to the Vaults can be made directly to webmaster@pandius.com
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Re: Mapping with Adobe Creative Suite 6

Postby Thorf » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:04 pm

Certainly Shawn — in fact feel free to add or update any and all of my Mystara stuff. No need to ask permission. :)

You can find the PNGs on the Wiki, but also the PDFs, which are links to my original files in the Creative Cloud, and are therefore by definition the most recent versions of my maps. I'm not sure how many Creative Cloud links I have made so far, though. Probably not nearly as many as I would like.
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