View Full Version : [WIP] A rather large city - commission

04-25-2012, 11:45 AM
Hi all, I've taken on a pretty big commission - basically, a hand-mapped pseudo-modern city for a novel ... a big hand-mapped pseudo-modern city, since it measures about 60x60 miles, which is why I have to use a lot of paper, so I'll be able to reduce the size for the digital version. Basically, imagine an extraplanar city ... The final map will probably be about 12xA4 ... anyway, here's a first sketch:


This is about 1/12th of the final city - obviously I haven't gone into tremendous detail, because this will be a small part of the final map (and I'm still working out the final style with the author) - but the light grey square indicates an area of the city that will be mapped in greater detail subsequently (i.e. - an extreme closeup).

04-25-2012, 12:06 PM
Holy moly! Good luck :)

04-25-2012, 01:59 PM
wow! I admire your courage :) This is going to be a huge job... but the start already looks very promising! cheers, DJ

04-25-2012, 04:01 PM
Wow, I sure hope you are being compensated hansomly for a job like that! I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with LukeC.


04-25-2012, 04:43 PM
Good luck, you'll need that ;). The start looks very promissing.

04-26-2012, 04:35 AM
I'll keep a room for you at the asylum. Good luck, Lukc!

04-26-2012, 09:21 AM
Oh my word. :S Good luck with this.

04-29-2012, 04:57 AM
The city's coming along quite well, we've agreed on a labelling scheme that's going to be layered over the base map. Unfortunately time isn't really playing along with me :S ... packing to move makes cartographication harder than expected! Anyway, here it is at app. 20% completion of base map. Aligning the scanned sheets turns out to be a tad difficult, but a bit of work with a textured brush in photoshop takes care of that - I hope.

The dark thick line is a mighty wall keeping the city contained.


04-29-2012, 02:34 PM
That's looking quite impressive, sir.

04-29-2012, 06:03 PM
Crikey! That's looking very, very big!!! Great work Lukc, use the force!

05-03-2012, 09:45 AM
Interesting. I'm assuming it's an unplanned metropolis connecting what were lots of smaller towns/villages, ie like most Old World cities rather than the grid patterns of New World cities. Intrigued as to why it has a city wall... makes me think of the Megacities in Judge Dredd :)

Just a on roads: transport and communications links are a big part of an evolving city, but your highways don't seem to be continuous, or rather they're quite broken up and tricky to navigate. In an anarchic unplanned city that's fine, but with modern urban planning it's likely various streets would be widened into arterial routes. You see main thoroughfares marked even in mediaeval cities. For this to make sense you'd have to think of where people are travelling to and from within the city.

05-03-2012, 11:11 AM
Robulous, he's making the map for my novel, in which the city grows organically (including the wall)--chaotically and unevenly, like patches of mold, etc. The city is entirely residential (no businesses, no industry), and most people there don't actually communicate with each other. In that context, its layout might make more sense :)

05-03-2012, 04:57 PM

Yup, I agree Robulous - modern urban planning *would* change it, but here it's more like it's being slowly shaped by the collective subconscious of the denizens (that's my take on it! Lachrymal might disagree). Anyhow, here is a detail map of one small region of the city ... still quite unfinished, admittedly!

(Also, this is a first for me ... mapping on the floor, with my laptop on a suitcase. Damn, but the Dutch seriously mean unfurnished when they say unfurnished. Not even any furniture in the common area!)

05-04-2012, 11:44 AM
That small region looks great!

But how can a huge city be entirely residential with no businesses at all? People have to buy food at the very least, which means markets or at least clusters of local shops, plus clothing and all the other things needed to run a household. Plus how do people feed themselves if there's no businesses for them to work in...?! I guess it makes more sense in the context of the story :)

05-04-2012, 01:18 PM
Remember Planescape: Torment?

That was a clue ;)

Anyway, here's a low-res colour draft of the work ...


I'm faced by the continual challenge of both making a bit of an artwork of the setting, as well as adapting to the limitations of b/w print and the e-book format.

05-08-2012, 03:20 AM
Wow, just wow, i really like that colored draft. Especially those small drawings that shows what's in that place. Really impressive.

05-16-2012, 04:45 PM
Phew ... it's been a hectic few weeks. Moving, new job, new country, strange language ... hectic. Oh, and the map is going to be published in the novel ... so ... that's also been occupying me, finishing it up, playing around, etc. Anyway, without further ado, the almost final WIP:


Edit: the map is basically a composite, but the base map - the streets - represent the (probably occasionally inaccurate) result of many years of observation and ink drawing by a character in the novel. The base map, to get a sense of scale, can actually be printed out at 150dpi at approximately 3 yards by 3 yards, or 2700x2700mm for the metrically minded.

Why did I make it so big? Because I could*.

*actual reasons may vary.

05-16-2012, 08:16 PM
Yikes! Looking good :)