View Full Version : The Ol' City

08-13-2010, 04:48 AM
This is the final of a commission I've been working on for an author (afaik unpublished but he seems to be going places having won a scholarship to an SF&F workshop run by authors such as George RR Martin).

Apart from the ornamental pictures (from stock) and a few elements like the trees, it's all done in vector. I've never attempted anything on this scale before, and it was a good learning process. It probably took something in excess of 70 hours, but a lot of that was experimenting.

Best viewed zoomed in a way using adobe reader.

WIP thread here. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?11234-City-Madness)

Steel General
08-13-2010, 06:40 AM
Nice job Ravs!

08-13-2010, 09:20 AM
That looks great, Ravs. I love how you've laid it all out with the illustrations and the title etc. Looks very effective.

As for the city... that looks like quite some work. :S Whenever I see a city posted on here I feel both relief that it is someone else doing it and not me and also guilt that I am yet to dare attempt one. Hehe.

Good stuff. :)

08-14-2010, 11:29 AM
Crazy city! That's a heck of a lot of work and you pulled it off quite nicely. Have some rep...if I can.

08-15-2010, 08:33 AM
Fantastic. So what are your final conclusions to doing such a big map in vector. What worked and what would you change next time ? How slow (and app stable) were the edits come the end ?

08-15-2010, 11:11 AM
Very cool - I love the 'flavor' this has.

08-15-2010, 05:50 PM
I'm a bit disappointed with it, truth be told. I was experimenting as I went along and each neighbourhood has such a different look I don't think it really holds together. But it did fit the brief so I guess from that point of view I'm happy. I really don't like the way some roads are far too wide or that gradations of the buildings are a bit clumsy from high density to low density.....but I learned a lot, so I reckon my next effort will be much better.

12-15-2010, 05:13 PM
Ravells, I would like to know more about how you put that map together. Even if I can't use it for this map due to size, I think it'd still be interesting to try.

12-15-2010, 08:49 PM
I love the way this map is laid out. It just oozes talent and class :)

12-16-2010, 03:52 AM
Hi lisze. It was all done in vector, but in Drawplus, not inkscape. Here's what I did:

1. Draw the roads as lines.
2. Converted lines into objects and merged them into a single object (call the result 'road object'). You could just autotrace your raster roads (I'm pretty sure Inkscape (IS) has an autotrace plug-in).
3. Gave the road object a white fill and black line.
Road Shape in Monketon
I went to Open Street Maps, downloaded an svg file of London and deleted everything except the roads, and made my road object of that. Then it was just a case of putting the roads over a background gray fill of the whole of monketon and subtracting the road shape. This leaves the buildings which I coloured gray and gave a a black outline to. It means each building is a separate object which gives you some flexibility about using different colours for different types of buildings etc. (although I didn't do that in this map).

For the house style in South Mondine and Central Jaz.
4. Copy the road shape, pasted on a new layer and used 'line styles' to add the buildings. I don't know what the equivalent in IS is, but it's a function which acts a bit like a spray brush where you can load a number of elements into the brush and it puts them along a line you draw. The elements were house shapes from a free programme called 'context free'. Another member of the site wrote the code to get it to produce house shapes. See this thread. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?6296-Need-some-programming-help&highlight=context+free)
5. So by using the linestyle function on the copy road shape I got it to add the houses, but each house is a separate vector object. I then merged all the vector house shapes and gave them a gray fill and a black line.

For the city blocks
These were just flat gray behind the road object

For the 'ruined house effect in Mangar'
This was a nightmare to do, but it was based on the above principles with lots of fiddling. I've forgot how I got there as there was so much reworking.

Hope that kind of helps (or at least gives you a few ideas). I had to deal with a lot of crashes when merging buildings (best to to do it a few at a time).

12-16-2010, 05:00 AM
Thank you, both for sharing and explaining so clearly. New RAM should be arriving this week, once I have that, I'll try this.