View Full Version : Highthrall Cityship

06-15-2012, 10:39 PM
So I've made a few excellent city maps by completely wiping old city maps (Dublin, Berlin, etc.) and adding my own names to it. This is my first attempt at doing a city map from scratch, and I'll be sharing the process with you here. If it turns out awesome, then perhaps I'll do another one with a tutorial. At any rate, here is the first portion, which consists of the background and the coastline.


06-15-2012, 11:14 PM
What is that last grey bar on the coast line? At first I thought it was a wall but it's a little irregular to be a city wall.

06-15-2012, 11:16 PM
What is that last grey bar on the coast line? At first I thought it was a wall but it's a little irregular to be a city wall.

Yeah, the innermost wall is just the coast. It's thicker because I wanted to be able to see it better when zoomed all the way out. The image is about 5000px wide at full size. The straight parts along the shore are docks and such.

06-16-2012, 01:16 AM
So I changed the coastline to make it more simple and easier to see, then added some gradients to the ocean, plus a river. My next step is to add roads. I'll start with the larger ones that seem to have no purpose, as cities tend to come from settlements, and the first roads are usually built out of convenience or with specific terrain considerations. The planned roads are built after those, so that's how I will add them to the map.


06-16-2012, 03:46 AM
This is the last minor update I will post, I just wanted to show the progress of how I do the roads before I show a version with all the roads in there. Once I finish the roads I will go through and add buildings and landmarks and such.


I did the first of the smaller roads with the pencil tool because I can use the SHIFT key to go through and put them in really fast. The major roads that I did (the large black ones) I used the line tool and just warped them to get the curves (because I hate the pen tool). After that, that district you see on the bottom there was done with the pencil tool until I discovered the line tool was much faster and it looks better. I also added the bridges on there, which I used the polygonal lasso tool.

06-16-2012, 11:41 AM
How large is this map? If the river is to scale, and if it is a significant river, then the city will be enormous.

06-16-2012, 02:20 PM
The full-size version is 5000px wide. I haven't decided on the scale, yet, but yeah, the city is going to be enormous.

*EDIT* - I mistakenly saved it while it was reduced to a size of 1800px wide (so I can save snapshots of the progress) and I made too many small changes while it was at the smaller size to undo back to where it was high resolution at 5000px. This is actually the second time I have done that, one other time was with another humongous map. So looks like I'll be working from a smaller size from here on out. :((


Blaidd Drwg
06-16-2012, 02:53 PM
This is looking hugely ambitious and pretty. Keep it up! :D

06-16-2012, 03:46 PM
I saw cityship and was expecting a city on a big ship. Guess I will note that down as things I will have to make. Map looks nice so far.

06-16-2012, 04:58 PM
I saw cityship and was expecting a city on a big ship. Guess I will note that down as things I will have to make. Map looks nice so far.

Oh. Yeah, I hadn't thought of that, yet. That would be a cool project. I use the word Cityship in all my books because I just think it's cool. And obviously this is larger than a township, haha.

And thanks for all the kind words, guys, I'm actually having a lot of fun with this particular one.

06-19-2012, 02:18 AM
Adding the buildings, which is most likely going to be the final step. I have about 50-60 different building shapes which I have made.


06-20-2012, 05:28 PM
This looks really, really great! I can't wait to see the end result! :)

06-20-2012, 05:47 PM
Wow, I'm digging this Janden, can't wait to see the finished product!


06-20-2012, 08:00 PM
I don't see the proportions here. Either your river is a small ford, and the whole city is quite small, or your average buildings are hundreds of meters long.

06-21-2012, 02:24 AM
The river is a little less than a tenth of a mile wide, which puts it around 500 feet across. The largest buildings are probably a quarter mile in length. The rest are way smaller than that. Also keep in mind that I'm only putting in these large buildings first. The really tiny ones, which will make up the bulk of the buildings, are really time consuming, as I'm adding them in one at a time.

As an example, here's an clip from a really old map of Glasgow. I chose it for the river and the building sizes. The river is slightly larger than mine, but some of the buildings in it are nearly 1500 ft in length.

06-21-2012, 06:10 AM
But but... your city appears to be at the mouth of the river, if it is so, 500 ft means a very small river (and then, why the big city is placed there and not on a more significant river?). There was a discussion a while ago about how rivers are usually much wider at the mouth.

06-23-2012, 01:45 AM
No, that makes sense. I don't know. Thanks for pointing that out. When I made the river and then added some of the other elements I wasn't sure yet of the scale. I suppose I could have just justified it by saying there are other rivers just off the map, but meh. I'll just make the adjustments.