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Are printed maps possible now?


Rise of the Runelords


I tried opening up the pdf's in Photoshop so that I could blow up the images to 1" grid scale and print them out, however all the new files seem to be password protected and can't be access, nor can the images be selected and copied straight out of the pdf. Is there another way to extract the map images from the pdf's?

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm assuming you're talking about the Interactive Maps. Our security options prevent direct editing in programs like Photoshop, however, you can do something from our FAQ that might help:

Quote:
If you're viewing the maps in Adobe Acrobat, you can also save the pages as JPEGs (go to File->Export->Image->JPEG) and crop them in an image editing program.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I noticed that about the RotRL Anniversary Edition Interactive Maps, but I am able to copy out map images from the PDF of the hardcover.

I can then import the map images into MapTool and use them in my virtual tabletop, saving my hours and hours of re-drawing the maps!

Thanks Paizo!


I noticed that the other day, too. Yay!

Ruyan.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Haladir wrote:

I noticed that about the RotRL Anniversary Edition Interactive Maps, but I am able to copy out map images from the PDF of the hardcover.

I can then import the map images into MapTool and use them in my virtual tabletop, saving my hours and hours of re-drawing the maps!

Thanks Paizo!

Yeah, image extraction works with standard PDFs, but not interactive PDFs. Hopefully Adobe will fix that someday...


Ahh, thanks. Yeah, I hope that isn't breaking any copyright laws or anything, I'm just hoping to enhance the experience. I'll just have to wait for my hardcopy to arrive at the gaming store and just scan those. Thanks for the response =)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

laughmask wrote:
Ahh, thanks. Yeah, I hope that isn't breaking any copyright laws or anything, I'm just hoping to enhance the experience.

So long as we're talking about personal use and not public distribution, it's ok.


Vic Wertz wrote:
laughmask wrote:
Ahh, thanks. Yeah, I hope that isn't breaking any copyright laws or anything, I'm just hoping to enhance the experience.
So long as we're talking about personal use and not public distribution, it's ok.

I don't know if this is the forum, but thanks Vic and to the rest of PF crew. I am fairly new to PF and the experience has been great thus far. Keep it up guys and girls.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

laughmask --
If I might ask, what size paper do you print on? What kind of paper? What settings? Is it manageable, or just a personal mission to rid the world of colored ink?

I ask because at the moment I have my wife lovingly re-copy the upcoming battle scenes from the 8 1/2" x 11" handout to a standard vinyl battle mat using overhead projector markers. She's quite the artist, and the result is impressive, but not nearly as impressive as a full-scale printout out would be.
But I can't imagine printing out a fullscale version of each map (12-16 standard sheets) for an entire AP -- that seems like hundreds of dollars in ink and paper alone, much less the question of, "OK, I'm done. What do I do with 600 printed color sheets?"

In other words, I love the basic idea, but as I think about implementing it, I think, "Wow! I'd burn through a LOT of ink and paper FAST!!!"

I've come to appreciate Paizo's approach of making many of their standard encounter areas 'just happen to match' their standard flip mats for just this reason... but I'm very interested in how you approach it.

(My friend has an extra-wide black-and-white printer and MapTool, and does the occasional B&W map for me).


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've printed maps before. In theory you could have them printed out on poster paper at OfficeMax, but that's probably $100+ per map of any reasonable size. I have a color laser at home and I got at least a dozen maps (probably 12 sheets of paper each) plus lots of other random stuff before I had to start replacing toner. Here is my process:

1) Export the image in as high a quality as you can.
2) Crop the image. There are all sorts of pretty doodads on the maps that will just waste ink and paper if you print them. I recommend cropping exactly on grid lines.
3) Create a PDF using PosteRazor.
3a) You'll need to manually size the image - count horizontal and vertical squares then multiply by the map scale.
3b) Use small margins - my printer can handle .25 inches, which is perfect for later steps. Use a small overlap, I used .25 inches here as well.
3c) Check which uses less paper - landscape or portrait
3d) Export your PDF
4) Print the PDF. Make sure you don't scale the pages - PosteRazor creates pages that are smaller than your paper.
5) Trim excess paper
5a) Trim edges from all outside edges of the map
5b) pick two adjacent edges - trim all paper from these edges
6) Attach paper. See below for my experiences with adhesives.
Option 6-1) First create rows, then attach rows together. This is much easier, but if you misalign the pages in each row, you'll have imperfections along big sections of your map. I prefer this approach.
Option 6-2) Start from a corner and build diagonally. This is harder and sometimes involves squeezing paper between each other. Advantage is that you can position each sheet relative to its neighbors so it's easier to prevent misalignments.

Adhesive Option 1) I used to use rubber cement. It holds well, and allows you to fix mistakes easily. It also makes a mess and tends to come apart after a couple months of sitting around.
Adhesive Option 2) I now use double-sided tape. It holds well and doesn't make a mess. It's harder to fix mistakes (paper usually tears if you try to separate them) and is more expensive (but still probably less than the toner).

Storage: Printed paper maps curl like nobody's business. If you assemble them a short while before your session, you should just store them flat. If you do store them in a tube, give yourself time to curl them in reverse and still expect that you'll have to weigh down the corners.

I forget the exact weight of the paper I use, but I found the 20lb was too flimsy. I think I ended up using 24lb. Regular copy paper, nice and bright.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I wouldn't try printing anything as large as a full 30x24 battlemat - there's just not enough resolution there to support it. And even that's not large enough for some of the situations.

For example, the Sandpoint glassworks in part three of "Burnt Offerings" really wants a map that's around 40x30. But the image in the PDF is only 921x714 pixels. Printing that at full 1" scale would give you less than 25 pixels/inch, which would look pretty blocky.

There's more than enough resolution for printing a nice 1/4" scale map for a quick GM reference, though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Have I ever mentioned that Paizo's players and employees both rock?

Thanks, fanguad, I was thinking of thick (30 lb) photo paper and full color, and it's just overwhelming to consider.

And JohnF's point is right on -- I hadn't thought of the resolution issues.

I guess my wife will just keep drawing! ;-)

(Seriously, though, I'm trying to convince my friend to invest in a projector so we can just hang it from the chandelier and project the map directly onto the table, solving all of my issues for a mere $750)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

re: resolution
I really wish we had access to the high-resolution images. The interactive maps are great (no more photoshopping out secret doors), but they do get grainy.

That gripe out of the way, this isn't a problem with most maps. Sure, the resolution isn't the best, but it's still a lot more detail than I get by drawing it. I found that scanning the images at super-high DPI then downscaling gave me nicer results than exporting the images from the PDF. I ended up with "blurry" rather than "grainy".

re: projector
I've done that, too. For enormous maps (Castle Scarwall) it's better than printing it all out, but it has disadvantages. Fog of war was cool, but a PITA (still worth it for that adventure, though). It's not as bright, especially if you want to play in a well lit room. Moving the map is a pain and the shadows (from your head or hands) are more annoying than you'd expect.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
fanguad wrote:

re: resolution

This isn't a problem with most maps. Sure, the resolution isn't the best, but it's still a lot more detail than I get by drawing it.

Oh, definitely.

When I run "First Steps Part I" I use a map I made by taking a slightly cropped copy of the warehouse image, printing it on heavy cardstock in four 8x10 panels, and taping the quadrants together. That gives me close to 40ppi, which is good enough for tabletop use. I'd have no qualms about using any reasonably-sized map from a PDF to create a 16x20 battlemap. If you do want to create a larger map, scanning the printed image (or the equivalent digital processing of the extracted image, if you know your way around Photoshop's blur and anti-aliasing filters) is the way to go.

Andoran

So a friend of mine works for a printing company and said I might be able to get some of the maps for free through him, (awesome!) but I am worried about the resolution on some of the maps. Particularly the first Thistletop map. It's a great map, but at least a couple of hours of prep to draw. I was thinking about getting it printed. Does anyone know if it will translate well either from PDF or from the interactive map to full 1" scale to be printed?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I extracted the images from the 3.5 pdfs in order to print out maps for my players. Printing all the maps from book 1 in color, laminated, cost about 212 dollars.

The resolution was indeed pretty low -- I sized the images up to 100 dpi in paint.net first. Also, in the 3.5 pdfs, the images for most of the maps came out in 4 different files that the PDF had overlapped on one another to make the finished map image, so I had to manually piece those back together, which was annoying.

I had to split the Thistletop dungeon into two parts -- the land side and the island side. It was almost too big to fit on my table anyway. Also, in retrospect I really wish I had cropped out the ocean around the Thistletop island. That was unquestionably the largest map, and I think it drove up the cost a fair bit, and it's not like there's anything interesting to see out in the water. I wound up actually cutting off the water portions because they weren't useful. Though they do make handy backgrounds for ship-based stuff, I suppose.

The result was decent. A little fuzzy from the sizing up, but still an order of magnitude more detailed than just marker lines on a battle map. Also, much MUCH faster than drawing out all those rooms!


NobodysHome wrote:

laughmask --

If I might ask, what size paper do you print on? What kind of paper? What settings? Is it manageable, or just a personal mission to rid the world of colored ink?

Sorry for the late response, basically I was just printing on regular 8.5x11 paper. I did catacombs, glassworks, and thistletop, as well as well as a map done for the cathedral square in Dundjinni, and realized that I just used about 100$ in ink. I used high resolution scans from the internet rather than extracting the images from the 3.5 PDF's because it kept the resolution a lot better and turned out great. For the thistletop dungeons however, I just did engineer prints at office depot for them and it turned out great. Although it's black and white, the quality is excellent. I was also able to go in and boost the contrast a little more to help the grid stand out and make things pop in black and white.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I removed a link to a bunch of maps that are not distributed in accordance with our Community Use Policy.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Update: I've been using 28lb paper for my maps (not 24lb). It didn't feel flimsy, but was still able to be rolled up.

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