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feanaaro
08-17-2011, 05:58 PM
This would be a major city in my world (see: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?15469-Arya-s-experiment-with-FT-PS-%28and-minimal-illustrator%29 the city would probably be in the south of the large island in the north of the central "inner" sea).
It is my first attempt (again) so I am particularly open to suggestion and critique.
In particular I am concerned with:
- size: the city should be big for an ancient standard, but not enormous. More like Athens than Rome. Notice that the small buildings in the five "circles" are all 1-story houses, mono or bi-familiar, while the other houses are generally taller (2-4 floors) and more densely populated. Would you say that roughly 100thousand is appropriate (I still have to add some buildings, and other stuff around the city, like more trees, gardens, villas, cultivated fields, etc)
- streets-buildings ratio: most of the city has very narrow streets, because of population density, but perhaps I exceeded in that, what do you think?
- scale: at this resolution 2px = 1m (it is 1px=1m in my working file). Perhaps this makes most buildings too big, do you think I should say 3px=1m (1px=0,75m in my file).
- colours: I believe that most pre-modern cities have nearly every roof of the same colour, perhaps because they had limited access to different materials. Do you think I should conform to that? I used different colours because I wanted to emphasise the difference between the five "circles", the tower and the big central building (currently used as a big library/arcane university) which where built in an immemorial past by some kind of "precursors" http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Precursors) and the rest of the city, which is more recent and more "mundane". But perhaps the difference would be obvious enough without using different hues.

Let me know.

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Steel General
08-18-2011, 07:57 AM
I think this is looking quite good so far.

I think you're fine using multiple roof colors (my opinion), it helps to 'break things up a bit' so it's not a big blob of 1 color.

feanaaro
08-19-2011, 08:05 PM
After some more work.
Unfortunately, while rotating the image I messed with the size and did not notice until too late, so now I am not entirely sure of how many pixels correspond to how many meters. However, because the scale legend was added before the error, that at least is still right.

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feanaaro
08-20-2011, 08:01 PM
Here it is, more or less finished; though I would probably re-do it again when I will be more proficient with PS.
I also added a version with a more uniform roofs colour, but it does not look very good.

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Larb
08-20-2011, 08:19 PM
This is looking pretty amazing. My only critique would be to avoid using triangle-shaped buildings, or at least those with really acute angles. But that is the only thing I can think of. Oh, and your sea texture looks a noticeably repetitive. It might be worth adjusting it slightly so it looks a little more random.

feanaaro
08-20-2011, 09:46 PM
Larb, you are very right. I was lazy in both cases. Will correct both.

feanaaro
08-21-2011, 07:01 PM
Added some labels, changed the sea texture and removed some acute triangles.

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Sapiento
08-24-2011, 06:47 AM
How do you the coloring of the single houses? Each separately?

Great looking map!

feanaaro
08-24-2011, 07:08 AM
How do you the coloring of the single houses? Each separately?

Great looking map!

This map has indeed turned out a bit messy because I was using different ways as I learned them (it is my first city-map, I am trying to be more "regular" for the other one, MaŽren).
However in the beginning I drew each house as a poligon (very wrong, don't do it that way), rasterised, and then filled each one with a pattern. Later I started filling larger squares with patterns, then erasing streets and other blank spaces, and finally filling some houses with different patterns to differentiate. In other cases, for larger building or isolated houses, I drew each one with the square or round brush, and then coloured separatedly with the desired pattern. So, for the most part, I did the colouring each separately but with some shortcuts.

Sapiento
08-24-2011, 07:25 AM
This map has indeed turned out a bit messy because I was using different ways as I learned them (it is my first city-map, I am trying to be more "regular" for the other one, MaŽren).
However in the beginning I drew each house as a poligon (very wrong, don't do it that way), rasterised, and then filled each one with a pattern. Later I started filling larger squares with patterns, then erasing streets and other blank spaces, and finally filling some houses with different patterns to differentiate. In other cases, for larger building or isolated houses, I drew each one with the square or round brush, and then coloured separatedly with the desired pattern. So, for the most part, I did the colouring each separately but with some shortcuts.

I had thought so. I still have to find a way to make coloring with this technique easier, too.

feanaaro
08-24-2011, 07:33 AM
I had thought so. I still have to find a way to make coloring with this technique easier, too.

By the way, since I see that you use photoshop, perhaps you could help me with a tiny problem. That is, when I have a little square (house) of one colour, and then apply a texture to it with the filler, most often than not PS leaves me with a slighty enlarged house. This may have to do with anti-aliasing perhaps, but is there a way of avoiding it (if you ever encountered the same problem).
Thanks.

Sapiento
08-24-2011, 10:13 AM
By the way, since I see that you use photoshop, perhaps you could help me with a tiny problem. That is, when I have a little square (house) of one colour, and then apply a texture to it with the filler, most often than not PS leaves me with a slighty enlarged house. This may have to do with anti-aliasing perhaps, but is there a way of avoiding it (if you ever encountered the same problem).
Thanks.

I would say that is indeed an effect of anti-aliasing. You could of course contract the selection by one pixel, but this can result in a pixelated edge of the house. A possible way to avoid this could be to duplicate the layer and add the texture as a layer effect. Then you have to erase all rectangles you don't need. That's just a quick idea, but it could work.

feanaaro
08-24-2011, 11:10 AM
I would say that is indeed an effect of anti-aliasing. You could of course contract the selection by one pixel, but this can result in a pixelated edge of the house. A possible way to avoid this could be to duplicate the layer and add the texture as a layer effect. Then you have to erase all rectangles you don't need. That's just a quick idea, but it could work.
In this way would not I had to have a layer per each texture? That could be too much for my macbook.

feanaaro
08-28-2011, 08:02 AM
Trying to re-do it bigger and (hopefully) better.
Do not laugh on me but I just discovered how to scatter a brush, thanks' to Ascension's quick town tutorial (but this is not being really quick), this should help in obtaining a more organic look. Now I am basically doing the reverse than before, first filling with random buildings, then regolarise it by hand. Much more time consuming, but perhaps the result is better.

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Ascension
08-28-2011, 10:20 AM
I like it so far but I think it needs more buildings to make it "feel" like a city - this feels like a town to to me due to the number of buildings. I really dig the cliffs.

feanaaro
08-28-2011, 10:34 AM
Do you mean more buildings in the whole city, or more buildings for a given area (more density)?
However I have still to fill the ring, add other external quarters and some notable buildings etc.

Ascension
08-28-2011, 10:37 AM
If there buildings outside the main wall then disregard what I said for now.

feanaaro
08-29-2011, 06:46 AM
Some progress. Now the problem is that, while adding some more sings of the cataclism which twisted the land and wiped out the "precursors", I am growing the insane idea of doubling the mapping, before and after. That would be a terrible terrible thing to do.

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Clercon
08-29-2011, 07:47 AM
Terrible things are often the best things to do :-)
The map looks great by the way.

bartmoss
08-29-2011, 08:15 AM
Nice map, I like the design and layout of the city. One thing, it seems that there should be buildings outside the city wall, and there should be fields all around it too to supply food for the city.

feanaaro
08-29-2011, 08:38 AM
Thanks. It is still WIP, there will be buildings outside the wall, and some fields too, albeit not many, the city is fed mainly through commerce from the sea and with the sourronding populations, the citizens themselves do not sow much, just some fresh produce which could not be brought from afar.

feanaaro
08-30-2011, 05:35 PM
This second attempt is becoming very time consuming... I just hope I will be able to finish it...

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Ascension
08-31-2011, 01:03 AM
City maps are always time killers, sometimes they make you crazy and then we stick you in the dungeon asylum we have here at The Guild.

Steel General
08-31-2011, 08:10 AM
Ditto what Ascension said... :D

feanaaro
08-31-2011, 07:10 PM
Crawling... toward the asylum, that is

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Ascension
08-31-2011, 11:29 PM
Looks fantastic, though. The trees seem too bright to me. I know the ground is fairly dark and you want them to stand apart so maybe make them really dark or maybe brownish. And since they are trees you can use a drop shadow to help show that the branchy part is up in the air. Just remember to go back and draw in tree trunk shadows to connect them.

feanaaro
09-01-2011, 12:32 PM
Thanks ascension. I will do something for the trees. I would be glad to paint each trunk shadow by hand, but unfortunately I cannot really afford the fee of the nearest mental asylum at the moment :)
Do you (or anyone) have any advice on how to "finish" the map. I mean those things like the frame, legend etc, I have not been able to figure how to get good (to my eyes) results in that area.

Ascension
09-01-2011, 03:29 PM
You're askin the wrong guy there. I couldn't design a fancy border to save my life. The basics that you need are a compass and a scale bar and a key/legend to denote important places. Fancy borders and images are just fluff to fancy up a weak composition so if you don't need them then don't hide behind them. I like to use the good old rectangles from the scale bar as a border.

feanaaro
09-01-2011, 03:32 PM
Well, to be honest, I tried, but I have not yet managed to use the good old rectangles as a border :-/

feanaaro
09-01-2011, 07:59 PM
Still quite far from completion, just for fun I tried to quickly produce this B/W version. It cannot be neat as it could be in a vector program, and there are various small errors due to the imprecision of the selection tool, but it looks nice to me.

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feanaaro
09-06-2011, 02:01 PM
This will never be finished...
however, I tried to correct the trees, and added some more quarters.

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RevGunn
09-06-2011, 09:38 PM
Beautiful work. I'd be insane by this point.

Hugo Solis
09-06-2011, 10:06 PM
Looking real good. Love the overall shape of the city!

feanaaro
09-07-2011, 07:32 AM
Thanks for your appreciation.
I was insane to begin with, so not a big deal after all.

Steel General
09-07-2011, 09:11 AM
Don't give up on it, you'll see light at the end of the tunnel eventually... just hope that it's not an on-coming train. :D

feanaaro
09-10-2011, 08:28 AM
Seeing the light?
I have almost decided not to insert any cultivated field, to emphasise the commercial and marine nature of the city. They probably get all they need in term of crops from commerce with near and distant populations.

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Ascension
09-10-2011, 01:01 PM
I'm sure the peasants can't afford to buy stuff at market everyday, though. Hate to say it but ya gotta have some fields. Looks good.

feanaaro
09-10-2011, 01:05 PM
I'm sure the peasants can't afford to buy stuff at market everyday, though. Hate to say it but ya gotta have some fields. Looks good.

Paesants? If there are no fields there are no paesants.
However, cultivations could be there, just a little bit farther away from the town. The main things is that I have not found how to do them decently with this kind of terrain.

Ascension
09-10-2011, 01:34 PM
If there are no peasants then no work will ever get done. The merchant class isn't going to do any hard labor - like unloading ships, carting goods from one end of town to another, tending the animals that pull the carts, cleaning up dung in the streets from animals pulling carts, fixing broken carts, serving as town watch or firewatch, warehouse guards, etc. and the clergy and nobility aren't going to do much of anything. Medieval towns are not like modern towns so they rely on the backs of laborers. In modern times all the hard labor is mostly in places we'd like to overlook and forget about...but it still exists (that shirt you're wearing wasn't made by someone knocking down $50,000 a year living in a 2,500 square foot home with 2.4 children and 2 nice cars in the garage and a pool out back). Also, refrigeration wasn't available so produce and dairy had to go from field to market rather quickly. Meats could be salted for some basic preservation but they wouldn't last all too long. If you have a town full of middle and upper class they need people to dust the shelves and sweep the floors and cook their dinners so you can never escape peasants. They may not be as trustworthy as you'd like them to be but they do the things others folks don't want to sully themselves with so they're very necessary.

As to how to do the fields nicely, that is trial and error. I struggle with fields all the time myself. I can do lots of different styles of crappy fields but not one style of good fields. :)

feanaaro
09-10-2011, 01:56 PM
Hm, sure, I took "paesants" to mean "farmers", not "laborers". Of course there are workers and laborers, mostly sailors and fishermen, and also personal servants, builders etc etc. Though it is probably the richest city in the world (albeit not the most grandiose, because those people don't build much in terms of monuments), it is still quite full of poor people.
The city is supposed to have intense and daily exchange with nearby populations, which are however different populations, used to sow and till the land while those one are sea people. I don't think that if the fields are, say, 4-5km outside the city (~1 hour walking) that would prevent dairy and produce to be consumed there. I mean, the difference between walking 2km between the margin of the city and its centre or 6 km from the fields to the centre is just not that big. Even if fields started just at the precise margin of the city, they would extend for an area big enough that a lot of them would be farther away.

Kelron
09-10-2011, 05:24 PM
I really like your upper/middle harbor region. I think there would fit some towers well to fortify the defence.

But I`d stay on the colored version, IMHO it looks better with this style

feanaaro
09-10-2011, 05:55 PM
The lack of fortifications in the walls due to the fact that in the pre-cataclysm city it was an inner wall, not really meant for an hard defense. However, it is practically insuperable by the tecnological standard of the "current" world. This is not that important for the city, after all, because an enemy should first put foot on the large island on which the city now is located, and that would be prevented by the total control of the sea Iramir enjoys.

feanaaro
09-12-2011, 02:30 PM
Is it finished?
For sure my computer cannot handle much more than this.

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Mateus090985
09-12-2011, 03:10 PM
Is it finished?
For sure my computer cannot handle much more than this.

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I LOVE the details in the botton showing the bigger picture!
Your tools are just FT and Photoshop? You must a mage in Photoshop to achieve such high quality material! Its a shame that I cannot find myself with Fractal Terrains Pro, the programa is too dificult for me.

feanaaro
09-12-2011, 04:35 PM
You are too kind Mateus. I am not good at Photoshop, and there is not much in terms of technique here, just endless repetitions of the same basic steps. However, this city is exclusively photoshop. Fractal Terrains was involved in the world and regional maps.

Edit:
Perhaps this more "papery" background is better

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NatroN
09-13-2011, 03:39 AM
I really like this one feanaaro!! Davvero bella :)
I'm with some others here on the fact that there should be some fields near the city, as the only reason not to (in real life) would be a sterile terrain (desert of some sort)... but then again in real life there won't be a city like that at all, unfortunately, so let's say they all live on imported goods and fishing... lots of Omega3!!

feanaaro
09-13-2011, 04:08 AM
I promise that my next city will be repleted with fields, it will be totally overwhelmed by fields. But not this one, I can't see them fit here.

NatroN
09-13-2011, 04:58 AM
Lol I agree, this one is good as it is. Is it realistic? No. Have to be realistic? No. Realistical cities are often quite boring, that's why we love making fantasy ones!
My city map have a lot of unrealistical features, like an halfling district!

feanaaro
09-13-2011, 06:49 AM
Well, it could still be not unreasonably unrealistic. If the fields are, say, 2km away from the city that does not prevent a daily inflow of food. It is just that these people do not till the land, they are mariners all the way down.