View Full Version : Stylized City Mapping

01-14-2011, 04:30 AM

I've only very recently become interested in mapping, and I am (slowly) teaching myself how use GIMP. This is my second attempt at mapping, or for that matter drawing anything in GIMP. I was hoping for some feedback, or criticism.

My first attempt used the excellent tutorial for realistic mapping, you can see the results in the thread below:


I decided that for my second attempt, I would try something different. To that end, I made a city map. I wanted this to be stylized rather than realistic - it is definitely not meant to be to scale. Rather, the buildings are supposed to represent the type of district. For instance, small huts on stilts are the poorest housing.

Most of the map is constructed using the path tool, and various calligraphy brushes. Obviously, I am very new to this, so there are some parts that are a bit sloppy...but tell me what you think, or if you have any comments.


01-14-2011, 10:00 AM
This is very nice !! I love the feel of the buildings. :)

01-14-2011, 10:19 AM
I like the style of this one; it's very clean and the building representations look great.

01-14-2011, 10:37 AM
Very cool!! Have some rep.

Just one thing if I may? :) I love the "handdrawn" look, but I think the copy\paste buildings pull the look down a bit.... It would go from 98% to 100 in my book if you make each and every building unique........ :) :) :)

PS: Defenitely gonna try this out myself...

01-14-2011, 10:52 AM
Thanks for your comments. I wanted to have the aesthetic be such that it could conceivably be 'handmade' and I did hold back on things like extra texture on the water, which would not make sense if it were drawn. I tried drawing the writing, but it didn't look right. Originally I wanted just one colour, but it was impossible to differentiate the roads.

I am a bit puzzled as to how I will draw things like trees\ vegetation in this style.

Definitely, the copy+paste of some of the buildings does take away from it, but it was a proof of concept as much as anything else.

01-14-2011, 11:21 AM
It's very good indeed, and a solid proof of concept. I think you've done a great job nailing the brush stroke calligraphic style with the path tool.

I think colouring the river by hand with one of the brushes would work well - at the moment it does look a bit like a bucket fill. Also, the drop shadow/outer glow on the text jars a little with the hand drawn look.

Lovely work - and a very good approach to the problem of city mapping. Have some rep!

01-14-2011, 12:09 PM
It's probably the use of the Calligraphy pen but it would work excellently for an Asian city map. I have never even used that tool. I love your buildings too.

01-14-2011, 12:25 PM
I really like this style. Try adding some feathery "ink bleed" to the linework edges to make it look even more authentic as the inked lines seem to float off the page in some places.

01-14-2011, 09:43 PM
Thanks for the suggestions.

I tried to add some 'ink bleed' and play around a bit with the river as well. I think the ink bleed idea worked. Although I am not happy with the river, I do think it is a little better.

05-29-2011, 04:23 AM

Sorry to bump an old thread, I thought it would be ok since it is very related.

I had a bit of a hiatus from map making, due to a lapse in gaming. ( I make these for a GURPS game that I GM.)

However, I picked up a wacom tablet for a good price, so I thought I would have another go at city mapping.

This one is also a bit of an experiment. I still don't have the hang of perspective; on a similar note, the darker sections of the city are supposed to represent the buildings being inside the cliff face, in a cave system. Does this work?

Criticism welcome, cheers.


05-29-2011, 08:39 AM
It's difficult to tell they are in the cliff face, it's definitely not immediately apparent to me. Also, I think that red is a bit bright compared to the rest of the map. That said, I do really like this map and it's a really nice style to develop!