How to Make a CUSTOM Cartoon MAP for FREE!

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Introduction: How to Make a CUSTOM Cartoon MAP for FREE!

Hey everyone!

In this Instructable, I'm going to show you, how to make a cartoon/fantasy styled top-down map for NO MONEY!

I made this because I needed a map for a scavenger hunt and I couldn't find anything online, on how to make one in the style that I liked. I also wanted to spend little to no money on it, because who doesn't like saving money?

Supplies

1) ASSETS

I got all the assets (AKA. the pictures) for this project from https://2minutetabletop.com/

They have great map assets that you can download for FREEor for very little money. Their website is easy to navigate, they have assets for everything you need, and they even have pre-built maps, if you don't want to build your own.

Be sure to check out the FAQ page! There you can see info about the maps, licensing, etc.

2) PHOTO EDITING SOFTWARE

For this project, I used Photoshop to put together this map, but you can use any photo editing software.

Some great free options are:

1) GIMP

2) Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 2019

3) Canva

...and many more.

3) PRINTER (optional)

If you would like to print out your map(s), you will also need a printer.

Step 1: Get a Satellite Map of Your Area

The first step is to get a satellite map of the area you are making a map of. Or if you want to make a fantasy map, then Azgaar's Fantasy Map Generator is a great option.

There are a few ways to get a satellite map:

1) GOOGLE MAPS

Google Maps is one of the best ways to get a satellite map of any area.

2) USGS EARTH EXPLORER

The USGS agency has the longest record of collecting free GIS data (free satellite images, aerial, UAV), which is made available via their EarthExplorer.

...and many more.

Sadly neither of them couldn't get close enough, to give me a clear and sharp picture of my home, so I used my country's satellite map, which could get a lot closer and gave me a better image to work off of, although I still had to go out and take pictures of my own to get the best result.


Step 2: Find Some Assets!

The next step is to find some assets.

As I mentioned in the supplies I got all my assets from https://2minutetabletop.com/

The asset packs I used were:

Bandit Camp Assets, Basic Building Assets, Buildings Pack, Camp Tokens, Grass & Road Assets, Meadow Ruins, Papercraft Cottage, River & Water Assets, Roadside Clearcut, Roadside Forest Tokens, Roadside Tiling Grass, Roadside Tiling Road, Tiling Grass Textures, Wonderdraft Town & City Assets Pt.2, Wonderdraft Town & City Map Assets Pt.3, Wonderdraft World Map Assets.

Phew... That's a lot.

Thanks to Ross McConnell for making these awesome assets and making them free.

Here are his Instagram, Patreon, etc.

(I also emailed him and he gave me consent that I can use his assets in this Instructable)

Step 3: Ground

The first step to start building your map is to build the ground.

At first, I took the grass pattern and tiled it to fit the workspace.

Then I added the roadside grass to where the forest is going to be. I also made it a bit darker so it matched the trees, that we will add later.

After that, I added the field that I got from the grass and road assets. I took the grass texture and made more yellow, to look like a field.

If you need a stone ground you can repeat the same thing, but with the stone or pavement texture.

Step 4: Roads

Next up I added the roads.

I had 3 kinds of roads:

A pavement, asphalt, and a forest dirt road.

For the pavement, I used the pavement texture. For the asphalt, I used the pavement texture, but I made it darker. For the dirt road, I used the roadside road texture.

Step 5: Bushes, Farmlands, Flowerbeds

Now I added the bushes, farmlands and flowerbeds.

This wasn't anything special. For the farmlands, I used the dirt texture but I made it a bit browner.

For the flowerbeds, I used the dirt texture and I lined it with rocks.

Step 6: Water Feature

Now I added the water feature.

For this, I used the river and water assets. I lined the water with rocks. I also added some lily pads on to the water.

Step 7: Buildings

Now we add the buildings.

I got the buildings from the buildings pack.

I modified some of the houses to fit the satellite image better. I also changed the roof colour and added some vines from the papercraft cottage. I also added chimneys to 2 of the buildings.

For the greenhouse, I used a building with a grey roof.

I also added a ruin from the Meadow ruins.

Step 8: Trees

Now comes a big step, well for me it was anyway.

We are going to add trees. There's nothing really to it. Just add trees where they are in the satellite photo.

I also added a clearcut to the right corner.

This definitely took me the longest, because I have a lot of trees around my house.

Step 9: ​Finishing Touches

This is the last step. We're going to add the finishing touches.

I added some rocks, a table, chairs, a cart, some crates and 2 fireplaces. I also added a compass in the left upper corner.

Step 10: The Finished Map!

And it's done!

I also made a night time version and an outline version, that I can print. You can find tutorials on how to do those on Google or YouTube.

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable, and I'm happy if it helped you.

Again, a HUGE thank you to Ross McConnell for making these assets and letting us use them for free.

Maps Challenge

Participated in the
Maps Challenge

1 Person Made This Project!

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