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jtougas
09-09-2010, 07:52 PM
Now thanks to Pyrandon's awesome tutorial I think I am ready to post something for real I realized pretty quickly that CC3 is a little too "linear" for me. Meaning I also prefer the "artistic" style. After a few hours of reading (just about everything in the tutorial section which is just fantastic!!) and cozying up to my screen for the last few hours this is what I have so far. As you can see I've marked areas for the actual city as well as for Castle Shendenflar which predates the city hence the other wall. Here's a quick key

Purple=City Walls
Green=Primary Roads
Black=Castle Walls

I have a issue. 1.I like the way the basic shape of the rivers and the lake shore turned out however I am having a problem getting the delineation of the water depths right. The main river is fairly deep so the color is ok. The smaller river is shallow as is the water along the immediate lake shore. I'm not sure if I'm using the wrong tool but it looks to me like "something" is flowing into the lake like sediment. I'm sure that's not my ONLY issue but it's the one that's really bothering me at the moment. Any advice criticism or feedback would be GREATLY appreciated Thanks!!

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jtougas
09-09-2010, 09:02 PM
*UPDATE*

Well I can't leave this thing alone so I spent sometime trying to fix my water issue and this is what I came up with It's better and I can live with it for now. C&C and feedback still needed Thanks!!


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jtougas
09-09-2010, 10:04 PM
Ok here's the last one of the night...

I added some shadowing and began work on the layout and streets of the city itself. As always let me know what you think..Thanks!!

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Avengeil
09-10-2010, 12:57 AM
Congratulations on your quick start on mapping.It took me up to post forty something to start a project.
Well I can't pretty much comment on the technical side of the map but I can comment on how it looks.IMO the map ends a bit abruptly to the west, right after the city walls.If I were you I would make the image wider so it would include something of behind the city walls to the west.At the moment it seems to me like there is half a city waiting there.But it's just my opinion.

jtougas
09-10-2010, 01:56 AM
After having stared at this map for most of the night I never noticed how "off" the western part of the city looked. Thanks for the feedback I'll have to fix that tomorrow.

Steel General
09-10-2010, 08:21 AM
Looks like a good start.

I used Pyrandon's tutorial several times when I was first getting started, and still use bits and pieces of his techniques.

jtougas
09-10-2010, 05:05 PM
Ok..I spent the better part of 2 days staring at this thing and I just couldn't get my head around it. As I added things the scale just kept getting further and further out of control, as did my frustration. SO a few clicks here and a few "deletes" there and BAM! I present a "Pre-Civilization" Riverhewn...No?..Ok seriously There were too many issues with the old version so I'm starting over. This time I'm going to add in more time for just looking at the map to see if it fits what I have in my head. That's always something that I've done in hand drawn maps,step back and look,fiddle, fiddle,step back and look. I think with the advantages of digital cartography I assumed I would race through a map in a couple of days. NOPE...Most of my big hand drawn maps took months so why shouldn't this? I also realized that the city was just TOO small since I'm not looking for a building by building look the city needs to be bigger with wider streets and bigger blocks of buildings. All things to work on.


Ok enough of that... here's where I stand now.. FINALLY got the water where I really like it. As always C&C and Feedback wanted and appreciated. Thanks!!

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jtougas
09-10-2010, 10:28 PM
Well my "step back and look" system seems to be working. After messing around with the water even more I like it even better now. I feel like I learn something with every revison of this project. Now it's not much of an update but I added some texture to the land layer and finalized the water. Let me know what you think... Thanks!!

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ravells
09-11-2010, 02:35 AM
Your basic ground texture is looking pretty good, but some of your bump map is spreading into the water. I assume you have the bump map on it's on layer in which case it should be pretty easy to fix with a layer mask. With the city, the western side looks like it's been drawn to fit the edge of the paper (you're in great company here, old mapmakers did this a lot when paper was expensive!). In addition to the roads, try putting in some squares and think early what the scale of the city is going to be, what major buildings it will have and then make sure the roads work with the major buildings. Take a look at the tutorial in my sig regarding city building which may help with the process.
best
Ravs

jtougas
09-11-2010, 02:53 AM
Thanks for the advice. I actually am currently reading your excellent guide as we speak. I'm having a bit of an issue with scale. The original paper version of this map was HUGE and only showed the immediate city and some of the lake shore. Now believe it or not almost every one of Riverhewns 5000 buildings have at least a sentence or two in the way of detail ,but thats not what I'm going for in this version. I'm really just using this to learn some techniques. I want to depict the sheer size of the city but am only planning to actually depict a very few of the buildings with any level of detail. (the image size is 1500x1500px) I seem to be having a problem determining the size of the city blocks to convey what I'm after. *sit back and look..fiddle fiddle fiddle..sit back and look*...lol

jtougas
09-11-2010, 10:58 PM
Ok here's where I stand as of tonight. I added some farmland and a bit of forest. The city wall is a sketch to see if it fits. As always feedback is requested and appreciated. Thanks!!

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jtougas
09-12-2010, 04:22 PM
PHASE 2...hmm thats sounds ominous. Well the citizens of fair Riverhewn have undertaken a HUGE magical adventure and traveled back in time to before...(WHAT???)

Ok seriously here I am now I'm getting pretty happy with this one. BUT I'm not sure about the buildings. I freely admit they are clone tool construction and I have several hours of road construction and erasing to go. I guess what I am asking is does it look to scale?. The city wall is a sketch that I am planning on thinning down as is the castle wall. Feedback requested and appreciated as always..Thanks!!

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jtougas
09-12-2010, 07:49 PM
Whew..here it is in a nearly finished state. I would like to do something with the outlying roads still as well as start to sling some text on it. All in all I like it. it was a great learning experience and a lot of fun. I'm thinking it will be done sometime this week As always feedback requested and appreciated..Thanks!!

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Ascension
09-12-2010, 08:12 PM
I like what you've got goin on here...good stuff.

Avengeil
09-13-2010, 07:12 AM
It's coming out really nice.

jfrazierjr
09-13-2010, 08:31 AM
Nice start. Your farmland could use some better blending. If you don't have it this way already, put the farmland texture on it's own layer above your land. Then make your selection of the area you want it to fit into and save to a channel (Selection->Save to Channel). then right click on that layer and add the channel as a layer mask. Click on the layer mask in the Layers dialog and blur to taste.

Also, it appears as if the top part of your forest has a bit a blurriness to it.

jtougas
09-13-2010, 07:27 PM
There seems to be a pox upon Riverhewn Wood..The axemen have reported a great "haze" descended upon the northern part of the forest....

OR...I must have blurred that layer one too may times...thanks for the kind words and the advice I will work on both those issues

jtougas
09-14-2010, 03:04 AM
In other news:...The city of Riverhewn today announced that it would indeed spend the staggering sum of 12 gold pieces to sprinkle long trails of dirt in order to facilitate a transport system....

Here's tonight's update: I worked on the streets a bit although I can't seem to get them just right just yet..*stand back,look,fiddle,fiddle* I also "unblurred my forest" I'm not sure if the trees are just right yet*more standing back and looking*. I also reworked the outlying roads a bit and I'm starting to like them. jfrazierjr I appreciate the tip on layer masks but I can't for the life of me get it to work. Now it IS 3am here so maybe my brain has had a bit too much Shendenflar and not enough Monday Night Football I'm not really sure. But I'll give it another shot tomorrow after work. As always feedback is requested and appreciated. Thanks!!

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jfrazierjr
09-14-2010, 09:21 AM
Did you happen to take a look at my tutorial(in sig links)? If you are still having trouble and can zip up your xcf file and attach,I can show you what I mean(make sure to include your "farm" texture on an entire layer with nothing else.. The layer can be not visible if you want, but the texture needs to cover the entire layer)

mearrin69
09-14-2010, 02:17 PM
Heh. Hadn't noticed this one before. This is the first time I've ever been "sampled". :)

It's looking pretty cool, jtougas. I reckon my biggest gripe is the trees. They're out of scale and look a little harsh next to the fieldlands - and are now a bit grainy following unblurring. Might try turning an overhead photo of some trees into a seamless texture.
M

jtougas
09-14-2010, 02:58 PM
The thief crept quietly through the room until he reached his target. "Now" he said to himself "How to make off with a bagful of those little houses...."

If you'd rather I didn't use them I'd understand, but your blocks just fit what I was trying to do perfectly....and I see your point about the trees, they have given me nothing but grief since I put them there. They are just an embellishment anyway the area around Riverhewn isn't forested. Hmm..maybe a field of stumps?...

jtougas
09-14-2010, 03:58 PM
Well I think this is about it. I managed to get SOME text on it. I wasn't really shooting for labels the style of this map doesn't lend itself to that I don't think. I'll still sit back and look at it fir a few more days to see if I missed anything critical (like those trees..) And thanks to tilt for the awesome compass rose!! And jfrazierjr for his patient explanation of layer masks it might not be perfect yet but my understanding is growing with each day. Another great tool in the box. This has been a lot of fun. I sincerly appreciate everyone's advice and kind words. as always feedback is requested and appreciated..Thanks!!

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jbgibson
09-14-2010, 04:15 PM
Are the bastions on a separate layer from the walls? They don't seen to be casting shadows - it's most noticeable on the easternmost and southernmost ones, but all seem to be shadowless.

Dumb question, maybe - does the river flow into or out of the lake? The tributary *could* join like that, with river flow either way, but to me the angle says the main river flows north. They're pretty wide rivers - sandbars at a couple of places could 'trail off' downstream giving a better visual clue to flow direction.

The forest looks a little out of scale to me. I like the look of the trees, but I'd expect individual crowns to be what, 30-50 feet across? These look to be maybe 100-200 ft in diameter? If that matches what you intend, no prob. The size impression wouldn't matter if they were symbolic trees like on a regional map, but you're going for an areal photo vibe here, right?

Is there an active ruler in that castle, or is it a relic? The roads don't say "this is the center of the realm and all these peons exist to support My Magnificent Royal Person". If your nobles just CANNOT stand the smell of fish, maybe they stay away from the lakeside quay, but there's no carriage-width road toward the lake from the castle entry. I really like the look of the city, though.

Good stuff!

mearrin69
09-14-2010, 04:17 PM
The thief crept quietly through the room until he reached his target. "Now" he said to himself "How to make off with a bagful of those little houses...." If you'd rather I didn't use them I'd understand...

I don't mind at all. It was just sort of funny when I first zoomed in and thought, "he did those houses just like mine", then I realized the repeated and figured it out. Hmm. How about more fields. Don't want it to get repetitive but fields would make sense.
M

jtougas
09-14-2010, 04:30 PM
Are the bastions on a separate layer from the walls? They don't seen to be casting shadows - it's most noticeable on the easternmost and southernmost ones, but all seem to be shadowless.

Dumb question, maybe - does the river flow into or out of the lake? The tributary *could* join like that, with river flow either way, but to me the angle says the main river flows north. They're pretty wide rivers - sandbars at a couple of places could 'trail off' downstream giving a better visual clue to flow direction.

The forest looks a little out of scale to me. I like the look of the trees, but I'd expect individual crowns to be what, 30-50 feet across? These look to be maybe 100-200 ft in diameter? If that matches what you intend, no prob. The size impression wouldn't matter if they were symbolic trees like on a regional map, but you're going for an areal photo vibe here, right?

Is there an active ruler in that castle, or is it a relic? The roads don't say "this is the center of the realm and all these peons exist to support My Magnificent Royal Person". If your nobles just CANNOT stand the smell of fish, maybe they stay away from the lakeside quay, but there's no carriage-width road toward the lake from the castle entry. I really like the look of the city, though.

Good stuff!

The city designer hangs slackly from the chains as blood runs from the many scars on his back...."NEVER AGAIN will you fail me in this manner!!" screams the whip wielding sovereign...

In other news: The city of Riverhewn is in a state of total gridlock this afternoon after His Royal Majesty decided to take a coach ride to get a sampling of his favorite pastries. It seems that the coach became lodged between two buildings as a result of overly narrow streets. His Royal Majesty was quoted as mumbling "off with his head.."

Those thrice damn*ed trees. That's it there all coming down. jbgibson your absolutely right. The city streets are on my list of "fix it's" scale is giving me trouble here in the digital world. My hand drawn maps didn't suffer as much form that particular problem but I'm having fun learning. and I greatly appreciate everyone's advice and comments.

jtougas
09-14-2010, 10:25 PM
*The city designer sat gingerly in front of his desk looking at a blank piece pf paper...."Any thing worth doing is worth doing right" he mumbled to himself while reaching for the healing salve....*

Ok as the man said..The forest is gone the city is gone...to be replaced by something a bit better (we hope)

Phase 3
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Ascension
09-14-2010, 11:02 PM
The streets didn't make much sense but the buildings were done very well with all of the differing colors...wish I knew how to do that.

jtougas
09-14-2010, 11:44 PM
The streets didn't make much sense but the buildings were done very well with all of the differing colors...wish I knew how to do that.

No magic there I just *ahem* borrowed the building images from mearrin69 they were awesome but the streets bothered me as well hence the redo. No rush on this I'm enjoying the process.

Steel General
09-15-2010, 06:16 AM
I think street layout/design is one of the hardest parts of creating a city map. That's why I often use pieces/parts of real city maps to layout my streets.

Aval Penworth
09-15-2010, 08:09 AM
Just when I was about the give commentary, ye starts again. Glad you're having fun, and looking forward to the next post.

jtougas
09-15-2010, 03:09 PM
Taken from the Riverhewn Daily Gazette: City government seeks qualified person in the field of placing buildings in a coherent manner consistent with the overall scale of the city. Interested applicants should apply at the City Depot. Post must be filled immeadiatley due to the untimely death of former city designer.....

I am struggling mightily with trying to populate this map. I have followed Pyrandon's excellent tut but I can't get my city blocks to look right. Is there maybe a technique I could use to make the blocks "pop" a bit? I'm not getting discouraged just yet.....

jtougas
09-15-2010, 09:39 PM
In Breaking news: Riverhewn was once again populated today as thousands of displaced citizens flooded the city's gates. His Royal Majesty who rode into the city on a new narrow style coach commented that everyone had a place to live but him and was heard mumbling something about boiling soup and squirrels...

So as you can see I'm back to "borrowing" from mearrin69 (these houses are too good not to) I think I solved the problem by making the streets smaller. At this scale the previous streets were akin to the grand canyon. These are better.The city walls got "downsized" as well I reworked the farmland as it was also too large. I threw some trees here and there and added some "green space" to the city (a city this large HAS to have some parkland...) Still on the "to do" list is some kind of towers and reworking "Castle Shendenflar." I'm sure there are 2 or 3 hundred more things but those are the priority. Thanks to everyone here I'm learning what makes a great map. I'm not shooting for perfection here my first time but I would like to at least peek at it from a distance. As always feedback is requested and appreciated. Thanks!!
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mearrin69
09-15-2010, 10:52 PM
I really like your new trees and the streets in the city are looking very sensible.

My biggest issue with the map at this point is one of scale-matching between some of your elements. The trees look a little large in comparison with the field texture you have and positively gigantic next to the carpet of little houses. I'd suggest scaling them up a little bit. My Haibianr map as posted isn't full-resolution but it's pretty big so you should be able to grab out sections and leave the scaling up. the outer wall thingie strikes me as very large as well and I don't quite understand its purpose (sorry if I missed an explanation about that somewhere.

Another thing that strikes me is that you don't have any (well, many) buildings outside of the city walls. I'd put at least a few buildings near the gates and maybe even a small cluster or two along the main road at various places. Some farmhouses out in those fields wouldn't be amiss either.

Keep going. I think you're getting there. BTW, I appreciate the characterization in your posts. Thinking like that is a great way to get immersed as you're designing stuff you've never been able to experience yourself.
M

jtougas
09-16-2010, 09:24 PM
From The Riverhewn Daily Gazette: Thousand of Riverhewn residents were awoken today to discover that the houses they went to sleep in were not in fact the houses they woke up in. His Royal Majesty who was a bit terse due to the fact that he was forced to sleep in his coach due to the fact that Castle Shendenflar has dissapeared was quoted as saying" Forget the soup and the squirrels..someone get me a Llama and a bag of squash.....


Ok here we go again...Gone are mearrin's great houses and in their place s new city blocks layout. Now I think this is a little better and maybe more to scale. I used some random roof textures on the blocks to give them some "life". And per mearrin's advice I added some houses around the outskirts of the city and in the farmlands.

Things still to do:
1. Figure out some kind of texture for my streets there too "flat"
2. Rework or redraw Castle Shendenflar
3. Figure out how to blend the "parkland" with the rest of the city

I'm sure there's more but that's what's next.

As always feedback is requested and appreciated. Thanks!!
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jtougas
09-17-2010, 01:41 AM
From The Riverhewn Daily Gazette: Riverhewn Guild Of Street Sweepers announced today that they have gone on strike to protest the sudden and apparently random appearance and disappearance of streets throughout the city. As a result a fine layer of dirt has appeared on all the city's streets. When asked for comment, street sweeper Halin D. Ung replied:"Are ye daft? the streets are made of dirt" No further comment was forthcoming....


Ok last one for the night. I think I figured out my streets. They were just TOO clean. I applied a "wash" of a brown over them (light opacity) and I like the result. I also applied this "wash" over the roof textures to dull them down and blend them a bit. Also added an "N" on my compass rose (kind of silly to have a compass and no directions on it eh?) As always feedback is requested and appreciated..Thanks!!
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Aval Penworth
09-17-2010, 02:36 AM
Check out the size of the buildings in the farmland. Some of them are bigger than your city blocks.

jtougas
09-17-2010, 03:50 PM
From The Riverhewn Daily Gazette: The Shendenflar Emergency Management Department was activated today by request of His Royal Majesty to deal with hundreds of displaced citizens whose houses and businesses again dissapeared overnight. S.E.M.D Director Nota Clu was quoted as saying "what?.".....

Well, Phase 4. I think I have a handle on my streets AND I learned a valuable lesson. Be neat where you place intersections. After applying stroke to my streets I suddenly found HUNDREDS of places where the streets weren't drawn precisely enough and resulted in "overlap". A hour or so of erasing and I've got it back mostly to where it should be. I'm fairly satisfied with the overall "feel" of the map now I think it's just a matter of standing back and looking at it to see what needs to be fixed. As per Aval Penworths suggestion I rescaled the farmhouses and the outlying houses(scale who knew it would be THIS hard..) I also added a few new pockets of "civilization" around the city. as well as a few new trees. I finalized the City Wall with towers and the gates as well.

Things Still To Do:
1. Castle Shendenflar. I am not much of a "artist" so this will probably be a block with some towers and maybe some kind of roof texture.
2.Text: I am not going to go TOO crazy with labeling this maybe just the major streets,rivers the new villages and possibly the City Gates.
3. Outlying roads: I like the way they look I'm just going to fiddle with them a bit to get them right.

I would again like to thank everyone for their feedback and encouragement. I am having a great time with this and feel like I learn something new every day.

As always feedback is requested and appreciated..Thanks!!

*Edit* I just realized that when I saved I didn't have the "parkland trails" layer visible. There are very narrow "trails that run through the "parkland" on the outside of the city next to the walls. I'll update that with the next installment.

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mearrin69
09-17-2010, 04:16 PM
Looking better. I'm not really reading your textured areas in the city as individual buildings. Maybe you could erase out some alleys and apply a bevel or something? Pyrandon's tutorial might apply here.

You still have some outsized buildings and trees on the eastern portion of the map.

At some point how about some minor roads/trails to the outlaying buildings?

I think you're getting there!
M

jtougas
09-17-2010, 07:30 PM
In Breaking news Citizens of Riverhewn were stunned today as every building in the city suddenly turned red. When asked for comment His Royal Majesty was quoted as saying:"What do I care? I'm still living in a coach."...


Ok here we go. (first a quick note to mearrin: man I'm gonna have to start paying you for all the help your giving me...)

As per the mans advice I added some alleys and broke up the big city blocks. Better? We will see...I also saved the right version this time so the new trails and other additions are visible.

Now to the BIG one. While I was playing around with the roof textures I came up with the idea you see in Image 2. Now I'm not sure I'm liking it just yet so I'm asking for opinions. Image 1 is monochromatic,image 2. is with roof textures.

As always feedback is requested and appreciated...Thanks!!

Image 1

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Image 2

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jtougas
09-17-2010, 11:39 PM
From The Riverhewn Daily Gazette: Citizens of Riverhewn flocked to the streets tonight to witness the "Grand Opening" of the New Castle Shendenflar. His Royal Majesty and his wife were said to be overjoyed at the prospect of finally being able to move back in. There have been no reports of strange goings on for the last day and all seems to have gone back to normal in the city. In the harbor however More giant letters were found floating causing a back up in ship traffic. When asked for comment on this situation His Royal Majesty was quoted as saying "Of course there are, of course there are...."


I decided to start labeling tonight and I think It came out pretty good. Castle Shendenflar is mostly finished it's not that fancy but it'll do. I also added barbicans at the gates. I think I might stick with the roof textures but I'm still open to opinions. As always feedback is requested and sincerely appreciated...Thanks!!

P.S 10pts to the first to spot the "inside joke".....
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mearrin69
09-18-2010, 12:02 AM
I *can* take credit cards...even American Express. :) Just kidding. I'm enjoying helping out. Can't spot the inside joke, though...I suck at that.

It's looking better all of the time. I think adding alleyways really helped out a lot.

We're still not seeing any real building definition in those blocks, though. What about using a 1-pixel eraser to create smaller alleyways, leaving building-like shapes in there (some courtyards in the middle of the blocks might help a little)? If you don't want to risk messing up what you've got you can duplicate the layer and do the erasing there then put it below your current, textured layer and do the Alt-Click thing to make the textures only show up on the layer above.

Once you've got building-like shapes it wouldn't hurt to apply a bevel to it to give them some dimensionality. If create a new layer above your textured shapes and fill it with white you can Ctrl-click the "base layer" (i.e. the one with house shapes) to select and then Ctrl-Shift-I to select inverse and delete non-building areas. Then add a Bevel and Emboss layer style and play with the settings until you're happy with it. Oh, forgot the magic trick...set the layer's blend mode to Multiply and turn down the opacity until you're happy with the results. Let me know if that doesn't make sense and I'll try to show you what I'm talking about. :)

Keep going. You'll make this one into an award-winner yet! ;)
M

jtougas
09-18-2010, 12:15 AM
Keep going. You'll make this one into an award-winner yet! ;)
M

You mean we'll make this into an award winner...;)

Jaxilon
09-18-2010, 01:02 AM
I have to say, I'm just now getting onto this thread and I love the way you introduce each change. It does make it fun.

The map is coming along as well. I haven't really gotten into a city map since that one time I tried it right after I joined up here. One of these days I will but I'm still too chicken :)

Avengeil
09-18-2010, 02:32 AM
I quite can't wait to see how this is going to come up in the end and now about the "inside" joke is it possibly the village of Merrian? (instead of Mearrin)If yes then crongratulations Mearrin you have a village that is named after you.

jtougas
09-18-2010, 02:49 AM
I quite can't wait to see how this is going to come up in the end and now about the "inside" joke is it possibly the village of Merrian? (instead of Mearrin)If yes then crongratulations Mearrin you have a village that is named after you.

10pts to you..And thanks for the kind words.





I have to say, I'm just now getting onto this thread and I love the way you introduce each change. It does make it fun.

The map is coming along as well. I haven't really gotten into a city map since that one time I tried it right after I joined up here. One of these days I will but I'm still too chicken :)

Thanks. I like to write and the humor helps me release some of the frustration that I occasionally feel while working on this..usually right after I read mearrins last post when I thought I had finally got it...Just kidding I really value all the feedback. I'm not sure what I was thinking trying to do a city map right off the bat but I'm having a good time fumbling through it and I'm glad other people are enjoying it as well.

mearrin69
09-18-2010, 03:21 AM
Know how you feel. I attempted a city map as my first big project. Can't begin to calculate how much time it took...and how many things I tried before I got it right. City maps are tough!
M

jtougas
09-18-2010, 05:19 AM
From The Riverhewn Gazette: His Royal Majesty's new city designer who refused to give his name was arrested last night after a drunken rant in the streets. Witnesses claimed that while most of his speech was incoherent he was heard to say,"It's madness! streets appearing,disappearing buildings changing color. I'm going to design cities in the Abyss it has to be better than this madhouse...."

I added some more little alleys to break up the city blocks some more I think it helped. Now mearrin I followed your advice on the bevel but it didn't seem to do anything. and I can't for some reason ctrl-click I'm not sure if thats a software thing or if I'm just dumb.

As always feedback is requested and appricated..(even if not always applied ..:D)

*Edit* although I DO have a nice bevel around the outside of the image...aargh......

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mearrin69
09-18-2010, 06:56 AM
Ah. I see now that you're on gimp. I use PS and don't know how gimp works. We need RobA or somebody. Will see if I can learn something about it tomorrow.
M

Aval Penworth
09-18-2010, 07:29 AM
Jt, have you selected the correct layer to bevel? That shouldn't have happened if you had the buildings on a separate layer.

How many layers do you have and what is on each?

jtougas
09-18-2010, 04:08 PM
In Breaking News : Riverhewn Was once again in the grip of chaos this morning after hundreds of citizens awoke sleeping in the streets. Witnesses claim there were beds, and blankets with people on or under them clogging the streets. One witness who declined to give a name reported that after leaving an "entertainment" establishment early in the morning, that he saw a man in the bath wearing nothing but as the witness put it "a look of shock" A unfortunate result of this latest round of bizarre occurrences is that hundreds of people were injured by being struck with carts driven by delivery men. One injured person was quoted as saying"It's all well and good to be struck by a cart but it's a whole different kettle of fish to be struck in your birthday suit......"


Good Morning...Here we go. I think I FINALLY got the bevel to work it seems to look better but time will tell.

Latest Additions:
1.I made the docks area larger as the more I looked at it it seemed like it should run right to the street.
2. I added a large warehouse complex to the docks.


Jt, have you selected the correct layer to bevel? That shouldn't have happened if you had the buildings on a separate layer.

How many layers do you have and what is on each?

Aval this thing is up to 100 layers and counting just about everything is on it's own layer (although I do occasionally forget...;)

As Always feedback is cheerfully requested and sincerely appreciated..Thanks!!
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Ascension
09-18-2010, 05:52 PM
The easiest fix for your city houses is to cut some holes in the middle of each large house/block. This will make a courtyard. Then, if you like, go back and use a 1-pixel eraser and put some tiny tiny alleys in and that sort of separates the roofs. Then you add a bevel and voila.

mearrin69
09-18-2010, 05:59 PM
That's basically what I was suggesting...in too many words. I just fired up my desktop and was going to do up an example from his posted map. Hopefully it won't take me too long.
M

edit: And, BTW, your "easter egg" is very flattering. LOL.

jtougas
09-18-2010, 06:27 PM
The easiest fix for your city houses is to cut some holes in the middle of each large house/block. This will make a courtyard. Then, if you like, go back and use a 1-pixel eraser and put some tiny tiny alleys in and that sort of separates the roofs. Then you add a bevel and voila.

Oh boy..The Streetsweeps are going to have my head...






That's basically what I was suggesting...in too many words. I just fired up my desktop and was going to do up an example from his posted map. Hopefully it won't take me too long.
M

edit: And, BTW, your "easter egg" is very flattering. LOL.

Yeah..sorry M I'm a little dense when it comes to some of this stuff I looked up what a bevel is supposed to look like and I aint got it...and your welcome I had to give you credit somewhere

mearrin69
09-18-2010, 08:16 PM
NP. It's not like this stuff is easy! :) Take a look at the capture file...sort of shows what I was talking about. In the hopes that it's useful to you I've attached a PSD file. I think they open in GIMP. Basically I took a snip of your map and blew it up a bit (I assume your working file is higher resolution that what you're posting) and then did some work on it. I lifted the buildings and made them a single-color base layer and then did some judicious erasing and painting to suggest building shapes and courtyards. Then I took that layer and duplicated it to apply a texture and a bevel (and a color adjustment for variety since I'm only using one texture). Got carried away prettying up the courtyards and such...might not show on your map depending upon scale. The PSD should, hopefully, answer any questions but, if not, let me know and we'll figure out how to translate this from PS to GIMP. Hope it helps.
M

Edit: That frame's on there because the bevel gets borked if it goes right up to an edge and I wanted to keep this a live file (not flattened) so you can see it. Sure hope the layer styles translate to GIMP. If not we may have some more figuring to do.
Edit2: Added a little zoomout of your map with my excerpt circled.

jtougas
09-18-2010, 08:18 PM
Wow...That looks awesome I was just about to quit and In fact had posted my "uncle" post for this map and then I saw that...Ok you did all that work for me there's now way I can quit on you now. I will get this figured out even if I have to start all the buildings over again. M again thanks so much. Oh and because I thought it was slightly funny In my fit of frustration I did the map I should have started with...



In The Magical Land Of Algabreium Sits The Isle Of Right.....


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mearrin69
09-18-2010, 08:23 PM
Hey. No worries. It's a great map...especially for a first time city map! :)
M

jtougas
09-19-2010, 05:42 PM
In Breaking News: Disaster once again struck the city Of Riverhewn overnight as a bizarre white hue settled over the city. In a fit of insanity the city designer at great cost teleported himself to the Isle of Right in the parallel land of Algebraium......


So here's where we stand as of today. removed all of my building layers as the more I looked at it the more all the different roof textures became a distraction. I am in the process of redoing the city blocks. As always feedback is requested and sincerely appreciated...Thanks!!
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Ascension
09-19-2010, 07:15 PM
As I'm always telling my employees, "anything worth doing is worth doing right". Glad to see you sticking with this and taking the time and effort to make it right. It can get tedious at times but, in the end, it's worth it. So...with that bit of down-home philosophy out of the way I'd say take them houses from the farmlands and put a few scattered around the city to make sure that you keep the scale right.

jtougas
09-19-2010, 07:56 PM
Scale...I'm going to have that word tattooed on the inside of my eyelids so I don't forget.......

mearrin69
09-20-2010, 02:08 AM
Good advice about keeping the scale. I blew this concept with my NYC map and ended up sketching a whole bunch of trees at entirely the wrong scale...because I thought I had it sussed and zoomed in to 400% to work on them. Wasted at least an hour on it.

BTW, while you're working on this, I'd suggest considering rotating each of your farmhouses (and other extra-city buildings) randomly a little. If they're on separate layers this should be easy. If they're all on the same layer it's probably not much harder...in Photoshop you just select one using the rectangular marquee or other tool and then transform and rotate. That transforms the selection but keeps it in the same layer. Not sure if that works in Gimp or not.

Bevel Police? Great, another badge to try to earn. :)
M

jtougas
09-20-2010, 07:38 PM
From The Riverhewn Gazette: The newly formed Bureau Of Bevel Management announced today that it had restored the "uprightness" of the city of Riverhewn. Citizens were overjoyed at the sight of their houses and other buildings returning to a more "traditional" form. In related news, the Street sweepers Guild has gone back to work ending their strike after finding the streets of Riverhewn were transformed into a easy to understand grid. Guildmaster Halin D. Ung was quoted as saying" Right that's more like it now ye can sweep a street knowing it'll still be there tomorrow..at least ye can hope...."

There be Bevel here...Now I think we are getting somewhere. I finally figured out how to achieve the bevel and I'm a convert to that black art.

Recent Additions:
1.Bevel!!
2. I added a layer of color variation to the roofs (thanks mearrin for that awesome texture!!)
3. I once again resized the outlying villages I think there pretty close now.
4. I added some new ground texture which came from the Genetica Viewer and a little messing around by me.
5. Started to label the major streets

All in all it's coming along pretty good I think. The only thing that kind of bugs me is that it looks a little too orderly for my tastes (I like a city with streets that wind this way and that with plenty of blind alleys for a thief to hide in..:) )

As always feedback is requested and appreciated...Thanks!!!

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mearrin69
09-21-2010, 03:27 AM
Getting there indeed. I can give you a tileable version of that texture to use...the one from my example map had, of course, seem various lighting effects applied to it so this would be cleaner. I think the houses in town look pretty great. Maybe play with the lighting a bit? I usually lower the opacity of the highlight and change the shadow until I like it (sometimes darker, sometimes lighter). The buildings are a bit washed out looking. Also, there's some fuzziness going on in a couple of places (northeast of the castle is one I think). On scale, honestly, I think you might have gone too small with the buildings in the towns outside of the city. LOL. Sorry.
M

jtougas
09-21-2010, 12:40 PM
I'll gladly take a tileable version of that texture. As far as scale goes I think your right time to grow those outlying buildings again. I'm still not 100% certain that I like the overall layout but I'm going to look at it some more and maybe it will come to me. I'll try your suggestion about lighting too. Thanks!! :)

jtougas
09-21-2010, 06:13 PM
*Sorry Guys No Funny today The Riverhewn Gazette has suddenly turned into a spice shop....*


Riverhewn Phase VI...

Well after looking at this map for an hour or so this morning I realized that I just didn't like it. It had no "soul" it was just a collection of little buildings on nice orderly streets, fine for realism I suppose but not so much for my tastes. I like a city with surprises and a lot of back alleys and secrets. I also realized that I was mapping a city that I knew and I mean knew I've spent years and years in Riverhewn I feel like if it suddenly materialized somewhere I could go there find my favorite tavern the "Grumpy Goblin" and have a drink with Rog Henshen the old tavernkeep. In my "obsession" to make a great map I forgot what I was making a map OF. Riverhewn isn't just a city it's a collection of stories, characters, and adventures with just as many twists and turns as it's alleys. When I was hand drawing the original I was writing and playing all the time it was easy to think about a certain story or a certain character and picture the location. I think that's where I went wrong this time. I hadn't EVEN looked at the original map. I was mapping a city not a "feeling". SO out came the two giant poster boards out came the tacks and up she went. I must have looked at it for 3 hours remembering this adventure or this encounter or that character. My little girl (who had never seen the map) was fascinated. She would still be asking me questions if her and Grandma hadn't left to go to Maine for a few days, and I would have gladly answered them. I realized then that I wasn't so much making a map as I was "solidifying" a idea, or a story. This new map might not be as orderly and it sure won't be technically brilliant BUT it will be my idea of how Riverhewn feels and I guess that's what I wanted to do all along.....:)

So onto the map:

Now I didn't change much on the outside of the city except scale things up a bit. Here's a list of things that happened in the city itself:

1.Obviously all the neat little rows of buildings are gone. This is more like the "Real" Riverhewn
2.Added the "Old City" and it's wall (explanations for all of this are coming up)
3.Added the "Garden Of Kings"
4. Added Markets
I haven't added any "dimensionality" to it yet I just wanted to look at the layout and make sure it felt right first..:)

All in all I think this version represents the "actual" Riverhewn a little bit better I've gone up in scale so I can show some of the details that make the city what it is.

The Old City
The city of Riverhewn was founded almost 400 years ago. At that time it didn't have a name it was merely a debarking point for servants and representatives of Overking of Aerdi who used what would become Shendenflar as a vast hunting preserve. Riverhewn in it's earliest days consisted of a few buildings and a great manor house that served a a hunting lodge and residence for the Overking and his staff when they visited Shendenflar. Over the years as the region became more and more independent and the Overking's visits became less and less frequent, Riverhewn became a city in it's own right. Merchants and others who were fleeing the constant wars the Overking delighted in waging came to Shendenflar. Trade with neighboring Perrenland across Lake Quag helped the fledgling city become prosperous. Now 400 years later and the area of the city known as "The Old City" with it's wall still stands as a reminder of those earliest days. Some of Shendenflar's "first" families" still reside in the "Old City" and it is a place of stately wealth and ruthless social warfare..."

The Garden Of Kings

In the strip of parkland that rings Riverhewn lies the "Garden Of Kings" a large cemetery that is the final resting place of Shendenflar's rulers and their families. This is a noble place where the guards that monitor it are honored by their assignment . In the center of the garden is the memorial to all the men who have served Shendenflar as it's King. An entrance at the base of the memorial leads down to the mausoleum complex of the individual Kings. This entrance is heavily guarded and only the royal family may enter here anyone caught will be dealt with most severely...

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mearrin69
09-21-2010, 09:17 PM
NOW we're talking. This is how I made Haibianr. I wasn't making a city map, I was putting the stories I had written in my head (and wanted to write into adventures) onto paper in map form. I think that's the reason I'm personally so happy with it...and it might be why other people seemed to like it as well.

Don't worry about dimensionality or color or anything. Just get those buildings and streets in the right place and then worry about it. While you're at it, and I know you're tired of me chiming in on this stuff, I'd use exactly the same technique to create the little towns and your little farmhouses and such. Make all of that stuff on the same layer and worry about making it look like buildings later. I think you'll find, in the end, that this will make everything feel much more "tied together" when you DO add dimensionality and color and whatever else.

I really think the buildings are your main issue. The landscape looks really good already.
M

jtougas
09-21-2010, 09:22 PM
NOW we're talking. This is how I made Haibianr. I wasn't making a city map, I was putting the stories I had written in my head (and wanted to write into adventures) onto paper in map form. I think that's the reason I'm personally so happy with it...and it might be why other people seemed to like it as well.

Don't worry about dimensionality or color or anything. Just get those buildings and streets in the right place and then worry about it. While you're at it, and I know you're tired of me chiming in on this stuff, I'd use exactly the same technique to create the little towns and your little farmhouses and such. Make all of that stuff on the same layer and worry about making it look like buildings later. I think you'll find, in the end, that this will make everything feel much more "tied together" when you DO add dimensionality and color and whatever else.

I really think the buildings are your main issue. The landscape looks really good already.
M

That is a very good idea..and what gave you the idea I was sick of you chiming in....:)

mearrin69
09-21-2010, 09:36 PM
Heh. Well, *I* would be sick of me chiming in. :)

When I made Haibianr I drew each of those friggin' little squares and rectangles and squiggles by hand. As I was doing it I was thinking to myself things like, "That's a barracks and these would be little shops here and these, these will be warehouses..." Sometimes I'd sketch in something unique and come up with a story for it. I didn't have the whole thing planned out by a long-shot, but taking that kind of care with it made me think about what I was doing and where I was putting things. Now, I certainly don't recommend every map to be made with that sort of insane OCDness but a little of it can help.
M

Ascension
09-21-2010, 11:01 PM
That's how I do cities as well, I make the whole layout then place my perfect lil story buildings in appropriate places (butcher, haberdasher, baker, furrier, etc). It's very OCD but I think, on some level, all of us here are a bit obsessive about our babies. You can tell a finely crafted and thought out town from one that's just plopped down and that's what makes for a fine map...that loving care and attention to detail. Of course, once you're finally done with it you feel like you've been running a month-long marathon so you're totally burned out and spent and your next effort isn't quite so good. But after a while you get your mojo back and things are good again.

jtougas
09-22-2010, 12:42 AM
That's how I do cities as well, I make the whole layout then place my perfect lil story buildings in appropriate places (butcher, haberdasher, baker, furrier, etc). It's very OCD but I think, on some level, all of us here are a bit obsessive about our babies. You can tell a finely crafted and thought out town from one that's just plopped down and that's what makes for a fine map...that loving care and attention to detail. Of course, once you're finally done with it you feel like you've been running a month-long marathon so you're totally burned out and spent and your next effort isn't quite so good. But after a while you get your mojo back and things are good again. I actually just read through your city/village tut and I am amazed at the level of detail you go into. It's funny when I was hand drawing the original I would leave great swaths of the city blank because I hadn't "gone" there yet. Even after 20+ years I haven't seen all of it. I guess i'm looking to evoke a emotion and a story instead of just an "accurate" depiction of streets and topography. And to your "burnout" point I know what you mean. Although I enjoy this so much so it's not bad.:)

jtougas
09-24-2010, 12:44 AM
Smallish update this morning. I started adding roof texture to the buildings and threw a bevel on them to see how they would look,for the most part I like it. I added a few "unusual" colors (such as the green) to coincide with story and adventure snippets I had written down when originally drawing this map. I recently found a couple of my old notebooks that were filled cover to cover with building descriptions and ideas and story and adventure hooks. It was like finding a long lost friend and having a long conversation.. :) As always feedback is requested and appreciated ..Thanks!!
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verdilak
09-24-2010, 01:29 AM
I really like the farm lands and acreage and whatnot. Did you do that in CC3? I've been trying to do that sort of thing in PS but nowhere near succeeding. I've never been a huge fan of being able to see textures on buildings.. kinda like when you google map something, you can see the roof and anything unusual on it, but you dont see the tilework or the shingles. But, thats totally, MY thing. Regardless, I can't wait to see how this turns out (as hopefully get some pointers on the farmland plots and possibly trees).

jtougas
09-24-2010, 01:23 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I'm using gimp to make this map. As far as the farmland goes it a texture I modified from the Genetica Viewer. I've attached it for you if your interested.. :)29656

verdilak
09-24-2010, 03:06 PM
Thanks! I'll be utilizing that soon enough I am sure.

jtougas
09-25-2010, 12:40 AM
Yep Phase VII The longer I looked at this map the less I liked the "too" randomness of it. So because I can't get any of the city patterns that I like to work the way I would like them to..I am going to do it all by hand..(or by mouse to be precise) I drew up the "Ward" boundary's so I could properly place the "landmark" buildings. This will be a long and tedious process (and one that I will not share nightly with you to save you from falling asleep at your computer from boredom.. :) but I think In the end I will finally get the results I have been after... :)

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Ascension
09-25-2010, 11:18 AM
You may be onto something with this one. The lil markets seem to fit very well.

jtougas
09-25-2010, 08:52 PM
After having read the thread about using other peoples stuff without permission or credit I find myself guilty of it as well. Here is a list of all the items and or locations in this map that were NOT created by me

1. Roof texture created by Mearrin69
2. The original building pattern was taken and modified by me from a texture in the Genetica Viewer. (I don't know who originally created it)
3. The last building pattern was also modified by me but not created by me. If you recognize it let me know and I will credit you and Thanks!!
4. Map descriptions: The words "Riverhewn" "Merrian" "Northrun" "Southrun" "Lordsrun" "Fishome" " and "Woodsgate" are all original The following words were taken from the "World Of Greyhawk" Campaign Setting "Fler River" "Lake Quag" and "Dramidj Ocean".

Whew..There very well may be more stuff that I haven't credited if you see something that's yours let me know so I can credit you...:)

jtougas
10-12-2010, 09:18 PM
Whew... I'm going to call this one done. I went yet another way with this at the last minute. It's not perfect but I like it. It "feels" right .
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