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mystic badger
03-11-2013, 12:58 PM
Everytime I'm drawing a city map, I'm using as inspiration cadastral maps (like this one (http://www.lectoure.fr/sites/default/files/images/recherches-biblio_505.jpg)), where every house is pasted to another, as in a real medieval city.
It's tedious by hand and, as I'm weak in Photoshop, more tedious with a computer.
So I've extensively browsed the maps and the tutorials of the great masters here (Torstan, Ascension, Pyrandon to name a few of this cartographic prophets), but everytime I was a little put back, because it wasn't exactly what I needed.
Sure, their maps are more beautiful, simpler, better in every way, but I still wanted my indivudal houses in blocks with no streets or pavement around them. Or I wanted straight, realistic houses, not a mosaic pattern which looks like bees have won the war.

Finally, with my poor skills, I've come to a technique to have what I want :

I'm beginning with the tutorial of Aidybaby (Pyrandon's or Ascension's is good too to begin, and a few others use the technique), where you make the roads and streets and little ways by litteraly erasing the buildings' layer.

- When my districts are made and the style layers set to bevel and emboss to give the look of roofs, my problem is : it just seems there are giant buildings, no little collated houses.
- So I work in the layer mask with the line shape tool (1 pixel sized, with pixels option, 50% opacity) to divide the big districts into little properties. It's better and less messy than with a brush, and you can have straight lines at every angle (no bee cities anymore)

I include a picture with only a few of the districts divided, so you see the difference. It's just a test file, do not pay attention to the esthetics, just to the goal I wanted to achieve.

I must add it's very easy with this method to change the color of building, to give individual meanings to each building (as in maps like these (http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a337/Gor-Dis/Tharbad8.jpg))
52792

What do you think of that ?