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Lukc
11-20-2011, 05:44 PM
40109

This is a city I'm doing for GM Zork. It's set in Oerth, somewhere in the Flaenass, I'll wager, on the banks of a mighty inland lake, at the outlet of meandering marshy river. The city is home to some 40.000 odd souls (and a few soulless monstrosities, I'll wager). I started out the whole thing in photoshop, but switched over to a vector base, since it will make it easier to tidy everything up and around later on. As you can see, the main town structure is still taking shape. Just drawing out all the little buildings is a time-sink par excellence.

Comments on the layout and such welcome, I can't really ask for style comments yet, since this is all still very rough, while I sketch in the city itself.

Lukc
11-20-2011, 05:48 PM
40110

Whoops! That was an older version! I've "naturalised" the new city walls, not least because I kind of ran out of things to place on the map :). Still sketchy style.

Lukc
11-20-2011, 05:53 PM
Also, note that the labels are just guides for me to use while drawing. They're not final labels or anything.

ravells
11-20-2011, 06:10 PM
This is looking superb!!! Love the design, layout, space....everything so far!

anstett
11-20-2011, 07:06 PM
Couple of observations.

It seems like there should be either more bridges or more docks. Westreach is almost unreachable, I am guessing with a slow moving river that there are docks on either side that rickety cheap ferries take poor travelers across on. The tower on the point (NW section) needs a dock at the base for the lonely lighthouse keeper to get his supplies too.

The walls are spanning the river along the Shamblestretch area but not in the Wetreach area?

The one little half gatehouse out south of the city? Leper colony? Crotchety old wizard?

Just some ideas that occurred to me as I was thinking, hmmm where could I put this in my world ;)

Excellent map!

BOB

Akerbeltz
11-20-2011, 10:45 PM
Love it, can't wait to see this finished.

Lukc
11-21-2011, 02:58 AM
Eh ... the forum swallowed my replies. :S

Good point, I'll add more docks. I keep adding them to areas as I get to them, since the water layer is actually drawn above the terrain, and all the terrains are below the buildings.

The fortified bridge obviously doesn't look like a bridge (at the east end of the map) ... will have to work something out for that.

The escaped gatehouse is slated for deletion ... or maybe I'll convert it into a little ruin :D

Lukc
11-21-2011, 08:17 AM
40116

There we go, a few new docks and inlets added, south city mostly drawn ... now to go walk the dog and finish off the base layer this evening.

Green-Pilgrim
11-21-2011, 10:53 AM
awesome looking map.

Can I ask what programs you're using? The outlines of the walls and the city grid are brilliant!

-G.Pilgrim.

Lukc
11-21-2011, 11:03 AM
I'm actually using Adobe Illustrator, but you could get the same results using any vector program. Inkscape could do this easy as pie, I'm just more accustomed to Illustrator. All you really want is a vector program that has good layer management.

The only thing I'm doing so far is manually adding basic white shapes with the pen tool with a white fill. The walls are the same path, copied so you have one on top of the other, then I colour the top path a light colour and make the bottom, black path wider. Only thing that makes such a process annoying is a) the time it takes (but I listen to documentaries while I draw, so that's ok) and b) the hand cramps from holding a pen for so long.

40117

Also, I've made separate layers for everything. Obviously the terrain is one layer, with sub-layers for each elevation and the river. Another layer for all the defensive fortifications with separate groups for every set of walls, towers and gates. Then every city quarter has it's own layer. Finally, within every city quarter layer I'm grouping the "gardens" separately from the built up areas. Then there is a separate layer for the "named" buildings, which are going to be tagged in the final legend, so I'll find them more easily.

After the drawing itself will be done, there will be some more layers for grids, wiggly bobs and other thingamajigs too ...

mearrin69
11-21-2011, 07:24 PM
Wiggly bobs! That's what my maps need. Nice map, Lukc...looking forward to seeing it finished!
M

Steel General
11-22-2011, 08:49 AM
This is coming along quite nicely. Good job so far!!

cereth
11-22-2011, 08:54 AM
Wow, looking great as always!

pasis
11-22-2011, 02:24 PM
looking really great. Drawing cities is a hard "work", but seems to be paying off.

Lukc
11-22-2011, 03:32 PM
Well, it's not really "hard", just long! :D

Djekspek
11-22-2011, 04:24 PM
hehe yeah long is the correct word :) But this is looking very promising so far, and I really hope you can keep the mojo flowing to show us the endresult! cheers, DJ

Lukc
11-23-2011, 02:17 AM
It's a commission, so I have a pretty much right-to-the-point motivation: "I said I'd do it."

Lukc
11-24-2011, 02:36 PM
40177

OK.

The buildings are done. At last. Now I'm actually open to comments on, well, what to do to finish this map off and make it look pretty. I'm going to go do some other stuff, and by the time I get back, you're going to drown me in helpful suggestions and good karma :).

To do: More docks, Town legend, Border, Title, Better Color Scheme, Names for quarters and some more lettering.

Not to do: Major redesigns to the town and river system. :) (You can suggest this all you like, but it just won't happen :D Hey, did I mention, the water flows from left to right, after whirling around like a propeller?)

ravells
11-24-2011, 04:45 PM
Dinky little trees in the green areas....

Oh, and roof textures ;)

Lukc
11-24-2011, 05:19 PM
Spray on, randomized roof textures? Or just the kind you get from a straight inner bevel :D

Or, are you suggesting, I take the time to manually texture every single one of the app. 1000 roofs? :D

Edit: rinky dinky little trees are a good idea ...

Clercon
11-24-2011, 05:28 PM
This is starting to look really good. I like the clean look of it. And of course you should go for the manual texturing of your houses ;)

ravells
11-24-2011, 05:30 PM
Spray on, randomized roof textures? Or just the kind you get from a straight inner bevel :D

Or, are you suggesting, I take the time to manually texture every single one of the app. 1000 roofs? :D

Edit: rinky dinky little trees are a good idea ...

With a map of this quality, only individual manual textures will do <g>

Larb
11-24-2011, 08:32 PM
As said, some trees, maybe a little roof texture but I'm unsure. It looks really clean as is. The main roads into the city though and the fauxburgs outside the city gates (a big walled city like this will have them I suspect) and the farmstead buildings. Perhaps a little relief for the land outside the city? Or maybe cropfields? Not sure how to go about them on this style plan though.

But anyway. it already looks really awesome.

Lukc
11-25-2011, 03:07 AM
Yup, relief, roads, cropfields, the northern swamps ... maybe some depth guides for the rivers. I'm going to have to take a nice c. 1900 city map in had to have a look, because I think the style is going to be informed by that.

... fauxburgs? Like little manor houses with farm buildings?

Larb
11-25-2011, 10:44 AM
I may have misspelled it but I remember the term or something very similar from a book I read ages ago about old cities and towns. It refers to the small settlements that spring up just outside the city gates to cater to travelers when the gates are closed and whatnot (and also where people who can't afford property inside the city live).

GM Zork
11-25-2011, 02:05 PM
This is so awesome! Thank you so much!! :D I will be the envy of all other GMs!!

RobA
11-26-2011, 04:42 PM
Very nice!

I tend to chicken out on city maps... too much work!

-Rob A>

Lukc
11-30-2011, 02:42 PM
40282

There we go, Radigast is starting to take shape. I'm going to have to finalize the dimensions of the finished work with GM Zork - that will determine the final placement of the legends, the final size of the texts, etc. Right now this map has two obvious "mistakes" ... can you spot them?

There may of course be numerous actual mistakes, which were quite unintentional and thus do not get quotation marks. If you spot those, I'll be grateful too. :)

thebax2k
11-30-2011, 05:13 PM
Very nice city map so far, which is difficult to do. Market spaces, docks, arena, all there. I hope you are able to add outbuildings and fields by the time the map is finished. Have some rep.

One minor quibble is the font being used for "Radigast City 2000". Not sure why, but it stylistically doesn't seem to mesh well with the rest of the map.

maxsdaddy
11-30-2011, 09:00 PM
I'm no professional by any stretch of the imagination, but I agree with thebax2k on the title font. Looks a little "sci-fi ish".
That said, great map. Just "lost" another 15 minutes of my life happily scolling around it.:) "Mistakes" The unattached water bits in the marshes? I really like the overlapping walls below Hightown.

TregMallin
11-30-2011, 09:24 PM
If you're going for the Radigast city of the Flanaess, the lake is the Nyr Dyv, also known as the Lake of Unknown Depths.

Lukc
12-01-2011, 02:04 AM
Well, you've found both "mistakes" - I made up the name of the lake, because I couldn't remember Nyr Dyv, and yes - the title font. The title font looks wrong, because it's a geometric 1920s font often used in the 1970s, while all the rest is a digitization of a hand carved 17th century font. I was tired and didn't feel like searching around for an appropriate display font for the title. :)

And yes, I'll do some farms and fields and such ... but I'll wait to do the legend first, so I don't end up doing a bunch of features that end up being covered up!

Lukc
12-27-2011, 02:58 PM
40836

There we go, more or less finished-ey ... :) The legend got quite long, it was a bit of a struggle to fit in all the names on the maps, so numbers it had to be!

Bogie
12-27-2011, 05:08 PM
Excellent map Lukc! I like the details here a lot. Well done!

pasis
12-27-2011, 05:41 PM
Great map indeed! The paper has stains etc on it and it would be great to have the ageing on the texts too. I think it would add authenticity to this piece even though it is fantastic already.

ravells
12-27-2011, 07:31 PM
Truly superb work!!! Take a bow!

Jaxilon
12-27-2011, 08:30 PM
That is awesome! I really like it.

The only thing I even wondered about where the walls...would they look better aged or maybe with a stone type texture?

It's still great just like it is.

Clercon
12-28-2011, 03:00 AM
A really great map. I like it a lot!

Lukc
12-28-2011, 03:25 AM
@Pasis - agreed, though I'd have to run a screen effect on just the fonts. The ageing was just an afterthought for posting, to be honest, since the commission was for an un-aged map ;)

@Jaxilon - well a stone texture wouldn't add anything to my mind, but yes, I should have run a screen pass to lighten some of the blacks. Like I said above, it wasn't a priority, but I really should have taken a minute more! :P

Sapiento
12-28-2011, 05:36 AM
Great map!

Katto
12-29-2011, 04:07 PM
A really superb city map. I agree with Pasis and Jaxilon about aging the text and city walls.

Lukc
12-29-2011, 04:37 PM
40857

I took all that into account, made an extra-aged version ... and promptly forgot to upload it! Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

dangerdog15
01-06-2012, 04:53 PM
And I thought you were great with Sketchup. This is so nice and shows incredible versatility.

Lukc
01-07-2012, 03:25 AM
I'm so-so at Sketchup and I'm ok at Illustrator. Illustrator's a horrible behemoth of a programme ... when I first fired it up I stared at it like a bunny rabbit caught in the glare of a car's headlights. It's learning curve reminded me of rock climbing. :P

veracusse
01-10-2012, 11:27 PM
I like this map and the aging effects you have done on it. My suggestions are, try reducing the opacity (just a bit) on the stains. I'd also suggest applying just a slight gaussian blur (0.5 px) to the stains. You may also want to blur the text and the black lines and then overlay a layer with a texture on top of the black lines and text layer(s). I would reduce the opacity of the lower layer (text and line work) just a bit. That might give a slight aged look. You may also want to apply a gaussian blur (0.25 to 0.5 px) to the entire image to soften it a bit. Mind you these are just random ideas I have that may or may not be relevant to your map, since I have no idea what your layers are like for this map.

Overall, this is a very well done map. Congratulations.

Master TMO
01-11-2012, 12:03 AM
If I still played D&D, I'd use it! :) Greyhawk has always been my realm of choice.

Lukc
01-11-2012, 04:56 AM
I like this map and the aging effects you have done on it. My suggestions are, try reducing the opacity (just a bit) on the stains. I'd also suggest applying just a slight gaussian blur (0.5 px) to the stains. You may also want to blur the text and the black lines and then overlay a layer with a texture on top of the black lines and text layer(s). I would reduce the opacity of the lower layer (text and line work) just a bit. That might give a slight aged look. You may also want to apply a gaussian blur (0.25 to 0.5 px) to the entire image to soften it a bit. Mind you these are just random ideas I have that may or may not be relevant to your map, since I have no idea what your layers are like for this map.

Overall, this is a very well done map. Congratulations.

Well, this aged version is just an "online display" version of the map. The original version is in illustrator - so quite stain free - and runs to Idon'tknowhowmany layers (but they're grouped - so one layer for terrain, one for water, one for docks and bridges, one for gardens, one for buildings, one for trees, one for texts, one for additional decorations and thingamabobs - 8 all told). Since the map is in vectors, it's sharp as a knife in the original ... A slight bit of gaussian would be great, but I'm calling this one finished (I think the version in Finished Maps is a bit different)

Anyway: here is the finished maps version. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?16958-Radigast-City-(Flaenass-Oerth-Greyhawk-Setting))

Arkaalis
01-30-2012, 04:32 AM
That is quite incredible stuff.

Lukc
01-30-2012, 05:19 AM
Thanks, glad you like it. :)

angellus00
02-06-2012, 11:02 PM
Wow, this is just amazing. I wish I could make something like this.

Any chance you'd publish a tutorial on how you did this?

Or any chance you take commissions?

If so, please contact me at angellus00 -- at -- gmail -- .com

Thanks!

Lukc
02-07-2012, 03:47 AM
A tutorial? Well ... it's embarassingly simple and time consuming. Pen tool and illustrator and lots & lot of layers.

Robulous
02-11-2012, 01:36 PM
Wow that is outstanding. I really should take some time to learn Illustrator, I currently do everything in Photoshop but it has it's limitations.

And it's a really low blow, but Radagast is one of the wizards in Lord of the Rings :p

Lukc
02-11-2012, 04:11 PM
Yes, I know. Radagast the Brown, who lived in the lodge along the upper course of Anduin the Great, where he was encountered by Bilbo Baggins and the Dwarves. Don't ask me! Gary Gygax put Radigast into the Flaenass! :D

ravells
02-11-2012, 05:06 PM
Radagast the bird tamer, Radagast the fool!

(Sorry, just had to).

nichollsr
02-13-2012, 03:23 AM
Holy cow im going to go and cry in a corner somewhere. I was just starting to look at creating a city map. I think i'll just stop now - that is awesome.

Lukc
02-13-2012, 04:13 AM
It's actually very easy to make a map like this - the only thing you need is time.

In all honesty, I think I goofed this map a little bit - I should have made the river wider. Oh, well ... :) live and learn!

the-golem
02-14-2012, 05:34 AM
Holy cow im going to go and cry in a corner somewhere. I was just starting to look at creating a city map. I think i'll just stop now - that is awesome.

I'm with Nicholl on this one. If you need us, we'll be in the corner, crying in our soup/cereal/beer.

Robulous
02-14-2012, 08:56 AM
It's actually very easy to make a map like this - the only thing you need is time.

In all honesty, I think I goofed this map a little bit - I should have made the river wider. Oh, well ... :) live and learn!

Don't worry about it, maps don't have to be to scale - mediaeval maps were more about giving an impression of a place rather than measuring things exactly. I'm just about to post up a WIP map I had been quite proud of until I saw yours, lol.