View Full Version : [WIP] "Schley" Style Town Map

03-28-2012, 02:29 AM
I am now the proud owner of a WACOM intuos4 and I really love it!

I have always tried to make a map like the Ashenport (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?3135-Ashenport-Town-Map) map by Mike Schley (A pro artist/member here). I am still working on figuring out just how powerful the tablet is but so far I like the results.

This town on the water pays homage to Mike and his inspirational maps. In a non-stalker sort-of-way... ;)

It has some spacing issues and I am not sure about the "rock" in the lower left... I used Djekspek's compass tutorial (here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?16881-Step-by-step-tutorials)) for the rose and I like the outcome of the first try. I may end up drawing new trees later but for now I used the ones I made some time ago found here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?10041-Free-Hand-Drawn-Town-Buildings).


What do you think? Critiques are welcomed.

03-28-2012, 03:08 AM
Looks very good!

03-28-2012, 04:26 AM
That's really pretty and good likeness!

03-30-2012, 04:00 PM
Very niftily done!

03-30-2012, 04:23 PM
I really love the cozy feel of this town. There's something to be said for the buildings being gently clustered together instead of in an organized street arrangement. It pays more attention to the home instead of to the town itself. I'd live there! :)

03-30-2012, 04:43 PM
Very nice! Something you might like to try is using a large surface texture scan to give more visual interest to areas that don't have a lot of color detail or ink work. The idea is to use a large reference in a subtle manner, allowing it's natural randomness to show through. For example, In the sea area, maybe you could find or shoot a high-res photo of light reflections cast onto a pool or river bottom and overlay it for an interesting yet unobtrusive effect. Play around with the size of the reference and it's layer properties until it feels right. Make sure to keep the layer opacity fairly low though so that it doesn't become too distracting.

A neat example of this can be seen in older movies where naval battles needed to be shot using miniature boats. At a certain ratio, miniature waves begin to look much like large ocean swells when set against tiny boats. I can't recall the exact size ratio, but there's a sweet spot where the relationship just clicks. This same effect works when creating surface textures for mapping or cgi. Large or small, you can trick the eye into seeing a pattern as natural and real if it's got that randomness and variability inherent in textures pulled from direct observation. This trick also works in the same manner with dirt, grass, you name it. Don't overdo it though, less is more. :)

03-30-2012, 05:35 PM

It would be good to read your "how to" on this map, if you can spare the time!

03-30-2012, 07:51 PM
Thank you for the positive feedback! I have had so much fun making this map.

Mike! I am so glad you like the map, thank you for the information on the subtle textures. After staring at your maps wondering what kind of "grunge" brushes you use for texture... now things make more sense. I only got so far using the add noise then blur method :-)

- Added/copied some more buildings and things (a well and log wall for the fighters guild).
- Re-did the trees (I like my new tablet!)
- Added "dunes" or hills and some test rocks
- Added some subtle textures to just about everything
- played with the overall levels and hue/saturation
- Added numbers and a small guide to what they are... with the name of the town
- Made the compass smaller

Here is the latest WIP EDIT: and a non-textured version for comparison.

As to writing a "how to"... I am not sure I am ready to take the mantle of "expert" for this style of map but I will try to put some steps together for how I did this map... or maybe even a youtube video if I can figure out how to keep the information clear and short. (the how to will take some time though)

Thanks again for the encouragement!

03-30-2012, 07:54 PM
This looks fantastic. I've always loved this style, and you do it justice! One little nitpick: you have Thieves Den transposed.

03-30-2012, 08:30 PM
Yes! you are right... they must have stolen my ability to spell ;)


I will fix that before I "go final" on this soon.

EDIT: Here is the textures I used. Only I set them to 8-12% each.


03-31-2012, 12:30 AM
Yeah, the textures made it really pop. Thanks for showing us the textures you used!

03-31-2012, 03:26 AM
Very good job. I'm seconding, the textures look fantastic and it's a learning experience watching your map develop for me too :)

04-03-2012, 07:22 PM
I like the style. It reminds me of the old D&D days.

04-06-2012, 01:15 AM
Thank you all for the positive feedback.

I am calling this map "finished" now that I have added a few more things :-)

I hope you like it... I guess I should get back to the Underkeep iso map I was working on...


Varduh "Fantasy Town"

And w/o Test/Numbers

04-06-2012, 02:09 AM
Well done, Sir!

04-06-2012, 02:24 AM
Indeed! That's a fantastic finished map. :)

04-06-2012, 03:36 AM
Lovely map! :) Deserving of a finished maps thread.

04-06-2012, 01:09 PM
So, I am making a finished map thread for this map... but before letting go of the WIP I wanted to post a quick look at how I made the buildings.

Here is a building construction Kit...


The steps I take to make the basics.

Build the shape of the building on a grid, bigger than you need for your map. (First Layer)
Add details using a smaller brush.
Fill the main building shape with color. (New Layer)
Fill two sides of the building with a gray and set it to "multiply". (New Layer)
Use a "grunge" brush with a foreground/background jitter. Set the colors to (7F7F7F, BFBFBF) but any dark/light gray should work. Select only the building shape and brush, then set to Overlay. (New Layer)
Fill the building shape with a gray, set it to "multiply", Blur it, and move it into position as a shadow. (New Layer)
You should now have five layers.
Shrink to the size you want it to be for the map.
Repeat until you have a group of buildings.
Draw lines around the buildings with small brakes for grass type areas, then add other lines and some dirt working out. (New Layer)
If you don't yet have ground fill that with a tan/brown. (New Layer)
Color in the area around the buildings with a grass green color. (New Layer)
Add to more "dirt" layers using step 5 for the grunge/overlay. (New Layer x2)
Select each building (or several at a time and change the hue/saturation) to make them all different colors.
If you merged your buildings into one Layer then you should now have 6 Layers.
Now play with the overall levels and hue/saturation.

I hope this gets you started making buildings this way. Now I need to figure out my first finished map thread!

04-06-2012, 01:28 PM
Nice job, RPGmm.

04-06-2012, 02:20 PM
Ugh, I keep trying to Rep you RPGmm but it won't let me because I already did and I keep forgetting! Memory ain't what it used to be.

04-12-2012, 12:32 AM
Excellent map, I really like this style.