View Full Version : The Wall (Song of Ice and Fire)

12-17-2013, 02:57 PM
Here is my swiftly-drawn representation of a section of Castle Black, next to The Wall, in the book series Song of Ice and Fire. Made in Photoshop CS.
Now, I tried to make the shadow of the wall doom over the village, standing a lot higher, but the option "drop shadow" in photoshop makes it look (at a certain point) like it is floating in mid-air. How can I make look (without using a brush) like has a very large shadow underneath? I feel like it lost the sense that The Wall is, well, 700 feet high.
Also, I've been working on the Winterfell City map (that has, of course, a different style than the one used in this project), but I've come across one problem. How can I make it look, at least subtly, like it is hand-drawn?
Glad to see your comments, thank you.

12-17-2013, 03:49 PM
This is a perspective issue really. Going straight down, no walls, type of look will probably be a bit hard to portray a wall like that. I think if I was going to do it, I would try to put something on top of the wall to dictate the size disparity and thus force the perspective a bit. You could also extend the shadow farther to give it a taller perspective, and you could play with that to help give the land some additional depth as well.

Quick side note, for your training yard, the two main ways to practice will be pairing up and pell work (http://www.lordsandladies.org/pell-training.htm). Considering this used to house many people, with an avid recruiting plan that would make many a military jealous, I would recommend giving it more space and create a condensed area of pells. Make sure to give a solid 6-foot minimum about the pells as well, I speak from experience with that one. Unless your people are fighting like fencers, they're going to take up a lot of room with a minimum of 3-feet if they only stand in front of it and do little footwork(a key factor in sword fighting). Add to that, it's referenced that they had a penchant for longswords(also known as the bastard sword) which is a hand-and-a-half sword(can be used in one, or two, hands). For a rough estimate on their length from pommel to tip, it would be from the ground to about elbow level(quick side note, as if I haven't already gone on a tangent, well made longswords weigh about 2lbs 8 ounces).

12-17-2013, 05:53 PM
You are right, I should have used some sort of slight isometric view, so we could see the whole altitude of the structure, instead of a plain, 2D, birds eye view. Also, regarding the training grounds and considering the amount of people that lived in that very part of the fort, I think the size is quite alright; a maximum of 10-15 people trained in that yard. And then the pelts, yeah, I guess I could have lowered the size of them, but I was mainly playing around with some decorations.
Thank you!

12-17-2013, 05:57 PM
Well the way I do my hand-drawn style maps, all the linework is done by hand with a pen on paper. I scan this and import to my graphics software and apply a stained-glass transparency (something I do in Xara Designer Pro) which makes black 100% solid and white 100% transparent. Then I make my map digitally like any other map, but place the hand-drawn scan on top. So though all my maps get beveled objects, drop shadows, and digital coloring, a hand-drawing sits on top. You could optionally use a drawing tablet instead of pen and paper, but same process.

For a top down wall, I'd use beveled edges, as the bottom of the wall is wider than the top. Also I'd include the ice jail cell with top of wall access with stairs down into - since the ice jail cell was mentioned twice in those books. Also I might place some kind of ballistae or other seige machine at the top. I'd also include the ice stairs from the base of the wall up to the top. As well as the gate passing through the wall. All these were significant elements used in the actual series itself, so I'd definitely include those features.

Here's a five minute attempt at doing what I suggested - note no ballistae nor hand-drawn linework, as this is a five minute quickee attempt... (that looks like a fine top down ice wall to me and no need to go isometric just to show the wall.)


12-17-2013, 09:03 PM
Thankfully I've got a drawing tablet. Are you suggesting that I would need to put the hand-drawn picture on top of everything else, and lower the opacity? Or should I set it at a 100%?
And, yeah, I noticed I missed a few elements that were on the books... I planned to put some smoke coming from some house's rooftops as well, but I forgot to do it, and now the only version I have of the picture is the rendered one. Little mistakes like these; I will have to remember them in future maps.
Thank you both, have some rep for helping me! :)

12-17-2013, 11:42 PM
Yeah, draw it right on top of your finished map. Focus on the outlines of structures and the wall, put some subtle ground detail, you don't need too much. Merge the layers when you're complete, and as long as you're careful with the hand-drawn linework, it should really get that hand-drawn feel to your digital map - it's the primary style I use in maps I do for RPG publishers.

If you click on any of my gold compass badges below my avatar, most of those challenge maps use my hand-drawn/digital hybrid style, I describe in my previous post - if you want to see the result of this map technique.

Edit: also I'd create a masked shape filled with light gray with about 70% transparency applied as a shadow, instead of using a drop shadow, so you can extend the shadow way out away from the wall to simulate a wall of great height (700').