View Full Version : Village and Town/City Building

05-15-2011, 06:57 AM
Hi I have seen a great many fantastic maps of villages, towns and cities but would really appreciate any help (especially with a .layered .psd file) on how to create building shapes and then create layered roof tops with occasional different styles and colours? I'm more of a writer than an illustrator and any help from any talented individuals would really be appreciated..


05-15-2011, 09:20 AM
If you're doing top-down buildings then all you need are some building shapes and some roofy patterns. Merge the patterns to the shapes and then you can start rotating the shapes to fit the streets. To get the angle of the roof you just use a bevel/emboss or you could hand-paint the slope with a muted black. As for creating the house shapes, well only your imagination is the limit there. You can check out my house brushes to get some ideas, though...the link is in my signature below.

05-20-2011, 04:02 PM
That all sounds well and good when your a Photoshop master :-) but us newbies find the talk a little difficult. Would anyone be willing to post a small .psd here and steps on how to create one or two small buildings, with roof's, chimneys...

I'm sure other newbies wold love it as much as me.


05-20-2011, 05:12 PM
Ok, I'll share with you how I do mine though it's only one method and there are many other great ones too. I use this method for both small towns and large cities. This is all done in Photoshop.

1) On a new layer (labled buildings or something) use the line tool and set the width to the width of your building/building segment and just draw out the footprint. Make sure anti-aliasing is on. The line tool is great for this 'cause you can effortlessly draw the building chunk at any angle.

2) Double click the layer to open the layer style window. Select stroke and make it black. Set it to 2px or 3px depending on preference and centre. Select drop shadow. My drop shadow settings are: Opacity 75%, Distance 4, Spread 0, Size 5.

3) Ctrl-click your layer thumbail so you select only the stuff on that layer (the buildings). Select the line tool and the black colour and draw the roof peaks on by hand. You don't have to worry about starting outside of the building 'cause you have your selection on! Then, with a hard mechanical brush set to the mode Darken, pick a colour that is darker than your building colour and paint in the shadows. Because it's set to darken, it won't paint over your roof peaks that your just drew on.

4) This is where I use a tablet. Pick a black hard mechanical brush, 1px, set to opacity - pen pressure in brush options. Sketch on the tiles/thatch/whatever. I guess you could use a texture or pattern or something, I dunno. I prefer the drawn look but I've not tried other methods.

5) To make chimneys, on a new layer, use the line tool set to about... 4 ot 5 pixels or however big you want them to be. Draw on some little grey rectangles. Then open the layerstyle menu for them and add a 2px or 1px stroke. Add a little dropshadow if you want to (only a small one). Then select Inner Glow. Set blend mode to normal, select source: centre, the colour black, and bring down the size/choke/etc until you get a hard black colour in the middle. When you're making lots of chimneys, this just makes it all faster.

6) Details! Optional. To make smoke, on a new layer, just take a low opacity soft mechanical white brush and paint in some wisps of smoke. You can also do things like add a little moss to the roof too if you like.

Couple of points:

If I'm adding large/tall upper bits to a building (like a tower), I will make that part on a new layer on top of the existing building so the drop shadow falls on top of it.

I tend to do all buildings of the same type on a single layer. So all my red-tiled town buildings will be on one layer, all my thatched huts on another. In case I want to make any big stylistic changes to them.

I do fences and things on a seperate layer with small shadow and stroke. Also, it's worth leaving the smoke from chimneys on its own layer so you can lower the opacity of the whole thing if you feel it's too strong, or just simply erase bits of it.

Hope that helps. I'd love to see other people do theirs, especially the textured buildings.

05-20-2011, 05:18 PM
Very cool. I like the hand drawn buildings too although most of mine involve textures, I'll see if I can bang something out tonight. :)

05-20-2011, 05:19 PM
OMG thank you x x x x
I'll have a play and post some of mine next week...

Has anyone else got examples and ideas...PLEASE SHARE X