Map Creation From PDF

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Map Creation from PDF

Next, I want use of each battle map in d20Pro that is included in the PDF. So, I will skim the content of the PDF to locate each map. There are three battle maps for this scenario in the PDF, listed below. You will notice that some maps have references to another Paizo map products in high-res that are available for purchase.


Depending on the method you use to extract the image from the PDF, you may get the image only or the image with the markups/notes. Since I use Adobe Acrobat Pro X, I'm able to extract the image without the markups/notes. I left-click the image to select the first image then I right-click to select copy image (alternatively, I can press Ctrl + C). This will copy the selected image to the clipboard.

Develop map1.jpg Develop map2.jpg Develop map3.jpg

Prep Image

Develop map1 step2.jpg
The next step, I open up GIMP (a free graphic editing program) then from the Menu Bar I select File>Create>From Clipboard to create a new file using the content in the clipboard. From here, I will inspect the grid to see if I need to crop the image. I will crop out any part of the image that is not a full square of the grid (thus, I zoom in really close to each corner).
Develop map1 step3.jpg
Now, I use the rectangle select tool to select only the full grid portion of the map. I start from one corner then work my way all the way to the opposite corner.

Develop map1 step4.jpg
Notice that I am not selecting the entire image since I want exact dimensions of each square in my grid to make the grid 99-100% accurate. I then will crop the image to the selectable portion and start counting the grid squares from the left to the right, then in another count from the top to the bottom. In this case...

Left to Right Grid Squares: 27
Top to Bottom Grid Squares: 18

Find Scale

Develop map1 step5.jpg
Also note the size of the image (on the top of the window - says 1040 x 694). This is where MapScaleTool comes in really handy. You may want to download MapScaleTool from their page. I enter in the appropriate values for each entry to find out what I should re-size the image to so that the grid has an exact grid size for each square in the grid. This informs me that I need to re-size the image from (1040 x 694) to (945 x 630).

Scaling the image

In GIMP, I would goto the Menu Bar and select Image > Scale Image and enter the appropriate values as determined by MapScaleTool or if you prefer not to rely on Excel, here is the tool as a Google Sheet.

Importing the map

Develop map1 step6.jpg
Now, inside d20Pro, I would goto my Map Library then on the bottom of the window select the "Create" button. Choose "From File..." Find and choose the image saved (in this case, it's map1.jpg).
Develop map1 step7.jpg
Notice how d20Pro always will default to 50 pixels / square. Simply change the number of pixels / square to the one we selected earlier - in this case, it's 35 pixels /square. Also, make sure to name the map, name the folder, and choose to Save As JPG for smaller file size (this saves lots of time when transmitting to multiple players). The end result, we have a near perfect (~99% - we could go back to the image and adjust it some more, it looks like from the initial crop I could have cropped out another pixel or two) map (see below). You can change the Grid Color and opacity here or anytime later - for me, the default white at 100% is good.

I would continue this procedure for the remaining maps. I usually spend less than 2 minutes per map from extracting the image from the PDF to saving it in d20Pro with the grid lining up 99-100%.