View Full Version : WIP--City map

02-27-2011, 08:05 PM
It has been a tremendously long time since my last post. I have not had much time to devote to mapmaking of late. Anyway, I thought I would post the little bit of work I managed to complete recently. What is shown is a rough division of city districts that surround a city castle as well as the city castle itself. Any thoughts or comments are certainly welcome.

02-27-2011, 10:19 PM
Pretty cool.

02-28-2011, 03:59 AM
Like the method and the clean style. Can't wait to see more of this!

Steel General
02-28-2011, 09:49 AM
Neat start, looking forward to seeing more.

02-28-2011, 11:38 PM
Looks good. I always get a kick out of maps with a clearly denoted "Thieves Quarter" I realize that if the map is for game use it would help to know the approximate locations of prominent thieves and fence locations and such. It's just that it's kind of funny that a cartographer would put that on a map. It's kind of bad for tourism after all... :)

03-01-2011, 10:32 AM
Interesting comment about the labels. These labels are all quick notes for me ( the map-maker ) and likely will be altered or removed once the map is more completed. I do like the idea of having a department of tourism though. ; )

03-01-2011, 05:08 PM
Just a little thought about neighborhoods placement. I find it a bit strange that an industrial quarter would be so close to the nobles estates, wizards labs and the palace and so far from the artisans quarter and the warehouses... Wouldn't it be more logical to switch the temple and the industrial quarter ?

Going further with that idea, it would seem normal to then switch the wizards and the (new) temple. Wizards play with powerful yet dangerous powers and it would seem appropriate to put them as close to the wall as possible (if not on the other side of the wall :D). This way the temple would be closer to the nobles estates and the palace, making it easier for the ruler to attend religious ceremonies without going through the whole town (an idea which his personal guard would probably approve)...

My two cents ;) Anyway, nice job !

03-02-2011, 08:40 AM
All good suggestions!!!!! really appreciate the feedback!

03-02-2011, 08:57 AM
Just to say I really love the clarity of design and the 'stacking' of roofs to show taller buildings. I may have to borrow this style for one of my future city maps, it's a beauty.

03-02-2011, 12:17 PM
That is very cool. My only comment right now is, "Please finish this". :)

03-02-2011, 06:23 PM

I like the clean lines in this map, particularly those on the castle. What program/software did you use to create this?

It all looks really good. Here are a few suggestions though.

In terms of placement of districts, I find it odd that the industrial and warehouse districts are on opposite ends of the city. Wouldn't it make more sense if the warehouse, industrial, market, and docks were all clustered in the same area? Then of course the thieve's district would be close by these as well. ;)


03-03-2011, 07:57 AM
This all started with a pencil sketch on graph paper, which was scanned in and used as tracing layer in Adobe Illustrator. However, I would think this could be done with any vector drawing program.

03-03-2011, 05:43 PM
This is a nice map, very interesting style. I like it! Although I agree that it seems strange the Industrial district being so close to the noble one. Also, many cemetaries were built outside of towns and then dug up as a settlement expanded.

03-05-2011, 01:03 PM
Thanks to all for their thoughts and feedback. I have tried to take all those comments into account and rearrange the districts a bit. Also started adding some roads and a few building details. All of this is far from finished but I wanted to post another image just to show that a bit of progress has been made. Will try and continue to work on this, and as always I welcome any comments or feedback.

03-05-2011, 10:47 PM
Looks great. I think you have all your districts well thought out. I like the fact that your thieves area is in your "old town" district. That always seems to be the way. Also I can think of several very famous fantasy cities with large cemeteries inside the city walls. Nobles and Kings need to be buried where relatives feel safe visiting them also there is the matter of grave robbers, it's much easier to patrol a cemetery inside the walls than out.

03-06-2011, 06:29 PM
Work of art in the making. Really clean and clear. I love it.

03-07-2011, 12:35 PM
I just had another thought. You could add another thieves element to the foreign district. Thieves love visitors :)

03-12-2011, 11:28 AM
Another minor progress update. here is an example of how I am thinking of shading/rendering buildings ( all simple vector illustration stuff done by hand.) As well as another image of the entire city with additional roads and river work.

03-12-2011, 12:08 PM
The problem with pre-shaded buildings is that when you rotate them to fit a street the angles change and the shadows get messed up. I would recommend that instead of shaded roofs you use a simple line for the edge and then once the buildings are in place you can then shade them. They look good, though.

03-12-2011, 01:01 PM
Looks Great

03-12-2011, 04:32 PM
Thanks for kind words and great advice about the shading/rotation issue. The whole issue with shading became really obvious as I started doing test buildings. But I wanted to get a sense for what the final ones might look like so I kept on fiddling around with them anyway. The process is a lot of fun, but not particularly quick or speedy.

03-12-2011, 06:35 PM
Muddle, the whole process and execution of this is just fantastic...I'm glad you're finding it fun to do, because I'm finding it wonderful to watch. It's such a clean style and this map is just going to look gorgeous when you're done.

I await agog at more loveliness!

04-07-2011, 02:58 PM
Looks amazing so far! I love the style and the layout. A quick question, how did you go about designing your castle?

04-07-2011, 05:38 PM
started by looking at a bunch of architectural resources, books and online to get a feel for things i liked architecturally... looked at aerial views of architectural buildings like Saint Basil's cathedral in the Red Square ( it looks very different from above then from the ground ). I stated sketching on a piece of graph paper. ( I tend to like to work with 45 degree angles ) . Scanned the pencil sketch using a scanner, and traced the scanned image in adobe illustrator. ... hope this helps to explain the process better.

04-13-2011, 01:36 PM
Very cool!

RE: Shaded buildings.

I have been working on something similar for a city of my own, and shading in PS or Illustrator simply takes too much time to shade all of them by hand (IMHO). As mentioned earlier, if you rotate your nicely shaded objects, the shading is wasted...

Something to consider since you are using Illustrator (or any vector based application) is to drop the outlines into Sketchup (free) and extrude them. Then you can make copies and rotate/edit/combine as much as you want. Making simple shapes with sloped roofing is really easy.

Once you have made enough of the right buildings, export them and place them in your 2d maps with shading and all. Hope you don't mind but I used your graphic as a reference to show what can be done. Took me ~20 minutes and most of that was thinking about the best way to build the shapes.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_OT41YAHKUu4/TaXd5xIm2HI/AAAAAAAABrI/Qfm06QCexRI/s288/sketchupDemo.jpg (https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/4HJF00cbutRfLksmSED3sJSj3uEMSnyEJL-mqtAMUpg?feat=embedwebsite)

04-13-2011, 02:32 PM
Now that is very cool, Cannon Magnet, I didn't know that sketch up allowed you to import outlines! Does the free version of sketchup allow you to export the objects as .obj files?

04-13-2011, 03:44 PM
The only 3D formats available for export in the free version are: Collada (.dae) and Google Earth (.kmz) So no dice. Obj is reserved for the pro version...
3ds Max (if you have access to it) can import native .skp files.

You can import vectors from Illustrator, using the DWG or DXF formats: (http://sketchup.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=38575)

04-15-2011, 08:01 AM
Sorry for not responding sooner, been busy of late. I gotta say I was not expecting that those buildings would be used as examples for 3d renderings. Even adobe illustrator itself has simple 3d extrude features. ( something similar might be possible without even exporting out of illustrator. ) Given the general direction I am heading with this project I am inclined to keep everything in 2d. With a little planning the shading issues can be managed without much extra effort. ( pencil sketches really help planing the placement of building prior to converting to digital stuff. ) So I think i will keep things old school for a while. But I do appreciate the discussions about all the different ways buildings can be added to maps.

04-15-2011, 06:07 PM
I actually really like the line drawn buildings better. I think the detail makes it easier to imagine.