View Full Version : Cliffside port - B&W 3d drawing WIP

10-31-2011, 04:36 PM

I've been asked to make a city map for a book. Since I document almost every step I take with this image (because I need the author's approval) - It made itself into a nice story of how I'me making this.
Since this is the first time I'm trying to do a serious project - so any help from you pro guys would be most helpful!

If this thing works out ok - It'd make a great tutorial (I hope)

1) Plan the basic layout
It's a city at the edge of a deep Fjord, with cliffs all around it. There's a system of lifts for transporting goods down to the city & up to the plains above. there's a system of dams for pushing back the sea & gaining some ground for the city to be built upon.
here's the first sketch of it:

2) Decide on "camera angle & lens type"
The request was that the entire city would be visible from above & some of the surrounding cliffs.
this is the list of possible viewing angles:


3) draw perspective
we've decided that the best one was a view from above the sea with a kind of "fish eye lens" effect for maximum viewing angle. here's the layout:


4) draw outline
with a 3px pencil tool i made the rough sketch on a large format paper (6000*6000px)
here it is:

5) draw line art
since this thing should be Black & White only - the last stage before effects & small fixes is the line art.
I'm currently in the middle of it, drawing at 200% zoom with a 10px pen tool, while the end result is a 20% view of the scene.

here's where i'm at so far:

so that's it for now.
i'll update as soon as I finish inking.

10-31-2011, 06:15 PM
Amazing! *claps*

10-31-2011, 06:44 PM
This is great, I can't wait to see the final product. Great going so far!

11-03-2011, 09:08 AM
Wonderful! What a great way of representing a city! Is this "projection" an original idea?

11-03-2011, 10:00 AM
By projection you mean the geometry? It's the 3d perspective that was needed for all the cliffs around the city to be seen. It can be a bit tricky doing this on paper, but you can always "cheat" & try it out with a 3D sculpting tool before drawing (I sometimes use Sculptris for that).

11-03-2011, 10:56 AM
Will you be posting a slightly larger version too? I imagine this will have all sorts of awesome little details!

11-03-2011, 11:05 AM
looks great allready.. looking forward to seing more - and as Larb says, we hope you post a larger version or at least some detail shots when you're done :)

11-03-2011, 11:14 AM
Well, If the people i do the project for say it's ok - i'd love to post the full size version.
the thing is - since the final image should be the size of an A5 page - there really is no use going crazy with detail, so most of the buildings are just blobs.

11-06-2011, 05:38 PM
I love it, looks amazing.

11-08-2011, 10:05 AM
Ok, B&W drawing is finished. here it is:


workflow tips derived from this project:
- no good way to convey a sense of depth when using line art with fixed width - should have tried thinner lines for faraway places & thick lines for the foreground
- at high zoom levels it's very hard to keep the perspective in mind, and many housing blocks are too straight & look "crooked" in relation to the perspective
- more planning was needed before starting - some of the topography looks a bit Escher (3d doesn't make sense), should have a more detailed plan before starting

Right now I can't decide whether applying paint would be a good idea or not...

Anyway - this was fun, hope the next illustration for the book would be as interesting as this one was.