It Wasn’t A Sequel To Begin With
November 29, 2012 – 18:32 | No Comment

My 3rd novel wasn’t meant to be a sequel to the 2nd novel in the first place. Then something happened. Characters began to beg to be included in the story. Thus, a sequel was born.

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Home » Designing Tips, Media & Arts

Illustrator CS4: How to Draw Maps

Submitted by on March 6, 2010 – 02:307 Comments

I’ve just had a new client whose nature of business requires a lot of map drawing skills. He owns spots all around the country which he rents to others and earns money from rental. So we met up and discussed, and I found myself sitting in front of my computer having to draw at least 12 maps in a week’s time.

Maps are easy to draw, but it requires a lot of patience. While patience is something that takes time to cultivate, knowing the 3 simple steps I use for map drawing on Illustrator would definitely make things easier for you – (1) Look for the map, (2) Trace the map, and (3) Beautify the map.

Remember, these are not the only ways to draw maps on Illustrator. These are just ways I find make map drawing a simple task and less of a headache. If you have better ways, feel free to share them with me.

Step 1: If your client has not already given you a rough map to begin with, then the first thing you need to do is log on to Google Maps. Search for the location and print screen to save the visual. If you are using Macintosh, the shortcut key  is COMMAND + SHIFT + 4.

Step 2: Place the map on a new document on Illustrator. Make sure the size is viewable and comfortable to your eyes as you will be looking at it for quite some time.

Step 3: Using the Pen Tool, you can now start tracing the roads on the map. Normally, when you draw using Pen Tool, you will get a fine line. You don’t need to draw shapes for your thick roads. You just have to thicken the stroke of the lines.

Step 4: After tracing all the roads with the Pen Tool, you will get something like the picture above. One of the advantage of using Pen Tool is you can now control the width of the road. Simply adjust the Stroke accordingly to identify major roads and small roads.

Step 5: Sometimes I do this, sometimes I don’t. Depending on the situation. Once you are satisfied with the roads, click on OBJECT > EXPAND. This will transform all your lines to shapes.

Step 6: Just make sure you check Fill and Stroke when the Expand Menu pops up. Then click OK.

Step 7: You will then see that your roads current look like the above. This step is only necessary if you want to maintain the thickness of the roads as you enlarge/reduce the size of your map later. You can even change colours too. I’ll change mine to green in this tutorial.

Step 8: Now, draw a shape that consists of the area you need to appear on your map. We are going to throw away the access roads and lines in the next step. Select all the roads and group them together.

Step 9: Make sure the shape you have drawn earlier is on top of the road layers. Now select both the roads and the shapes, and use the Clip Mask feature. Your visual should look like the above. For Macintosh users, simply select both objects and press COMMAND + 7 (the short cut key to clip mask).

Step 10: Remove the map visual behind your artwork. You will now have the main roads on your maps. It’s that easy.

Step 11: Last but not least, it’s time to beautify your map. Fill in the street names, draw the buildings around it and start labeling the spots. Once you are done, the end result would be a beautiful map such as below.

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