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Ilanthar
01-21-2014, 06:50 AM
I finally decided myself to try a city map. Since I worked on Eldoran lately, I chose the famous city of Argona, unavoidable for this setting.
Argona is a flying city (the "port" is for zeppelins and other flying vessels) and the seat of the "Argonauts Company", a city made possible by a lot of magical properties (the crystal stone of the city itself mainly).

It's a work in progress that takes me a lot of time... here is just a part of the city (a quarter approximately) and I don't know what's looking better between those two effects... or no effect at all perhaps. Just wanted to have your point!

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Larb
01-21-2014, 06:55 AM
I think the second looks the better of the two for this style map rather than the bevel in the first one. It's looking very impressive, by the way.

- Max -
01-21-2014, 07:06 AM
I'm with larb on this, the first bevel effect just looks off for me. Nice work :)

TheHoarseWhisperer
01-21-2014, 08:14 AM
Seconded (or thirded, really) on the bevel. Also I think there's something about the port that doesn't quite work. It might be that it looks extremely unfunctional (what with the tight spaces your zeppelins must get into), but mainly I think it is how it joins the rest of the city--the waterfront (airfront? skyfront?) doesn't fit with the rest, at this stage. Nice job otherwise.

- Max -
01-21-2014, 08:31 AM
I agree with THW. Looking at the map again and trying to guess the scale on it, the port seems a bit complicated and not very functionnal on many parts of it.

Ilanthar
01-21-2014, 09:34 AM
Thanks for the support, guys!

Yep, the more I look at it, the more I prefer the simple shadow effect... and now that you're pointing it out, I agree about the port too.
There are not only zeppelins (flying creatures, airships propelled by air elementals, etc), so the spaces are not really an issue. But still, it do looks too complex, "overloaded" and the "skyfront" is indeed not well connected (like "skyfront" by the way :)).

To put it short, let's rework it!

Ilanthar
01-23-2014, 10:40 AM
Well, I took inspiration from my Dublin city map to do those new piers for the airport and skyfront. I changed the wood texture.
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Better in my opinion, but still not sure it's really working. Any advices would be very welcome!

Azelor
01-23-2014, 10:55 AM
I like it and I think this version is better too.

Jalyha
01-23-2014, 02:14 PM
I think it's really fantastic!!

I'm just trying to imagine... I know they are flying, but eventually everything has to land... or anchor, or something... right... and I'm trying to imagine your skyfront full of ships and flying things, and trying to navigate through those narrow areas?

I can see it as possible, and more possible depending on the size of those ships and wingedbeasties but I can imagine there would be many fender-benders, and accusations, and brawls on the piers because of it :P

I hope you have good peacekeepers! :o :p

Ilanthar
01-24-2014, 06:22 AM
Thanks Azelor and Jalyha!


By Jalyha
I can see it as possible, and more possible depending on the size of those ships and wingedbeasties but I can imagine there would be many fender-benders, and accusations, and brawls on the piers because of it

I hope you have good peacekeepers! :p

:D airships and winged beasts comes in different sizes, but you're right, it's certainly a busy place! Not so much true brawls on the piers though, because the port is mainly used by the Company itself. And yeah, the peacekeepers are quite good :)

The city never go to land or anchor ; it moves quite slowly and avoid the civilized areas for its own protection and keep its secrets and mysteries. A large part of the trade is made by a magical system of teleportation using big magic stones (of course well guarded) connected to Company counters throughout the world. The port is of use for those who are trusted and informed of the coming of the city and for Company explorations.

Jalyha
01-24-2014, 07:15 AM
I might just keep picking on things just so you will keep telling me more of the story :P :P :P (I might want to live there! :o )

aquarits
01-24-2014, 09:06 AM
I really like this last version.
I dunno if i am sure, but guess is some details/ divisions in the roofs will give some "reality irregularity".

I loved the idea of Zeppelins, i just can imagine how it will be. Just a idea, to not forget the high levels buildings for VIP airlifts. Some ppl will like to go to labs, political centers and events using Zepelins :D what will give a medieval hi-tech touch.

Ilanthar
01-25-2014, 09:40 AM
By Jalyha
I might just keep picking on things just so you will keep telling me more of the story

Well, I haven't decided everything yet, but Eldoran and Argona had already a lot of background written, so I could speak of it for a long time (or not so long, cause I'm not so fluent in english :) )


By aquarits
I dunno if i am sure, but guess is some details/ divisions in the roofs will give some "reality irregularity".

I've thought about that (adding towers or domes, inner roof divisions...), but my scale isn't really a good one for that... Besides, I already have a lot of things (too much probably) to add on the map.


By aquarits
Just a idea, to not forget the high levels buildings for VIP airlifts. Some ppl will like to go to labs, political centers and events using Zepelins what will give a medieval hi-tech touch.

There are three magic big pillars in the city designed for its magical protection. One effect is to forbid air devices (technical or magical) to get too close to the city (except for the skyport of course). But, there is a "transport in common" device which relies on cables and is like a "suspended tramway". I just haven't indicated it yet...

Tracker
01-25-2014, 11:35 AM
Hello:

Overall I like the map and concept. Looking at the history of airships on earth you can see that they required a great deal of area just to land. The hanger(s) that were in New Jersy and Germany for example had plenty of open space around them. This was due to logistical reasons for dealing with airships. Then you have the Empire State Building in New york city. It was designed for airships to dock at the top of the tower. Also are there any private fields docking areas for the VIP air ship owners or government use?

Tracker

Ilanthar
01-25-2014, 02:14 PM
Thanks Tracker,

I must confess that I did not take that in consideration. But, well, some of the buildings close to the "skyfront" are docks, shipyard or hangars actually. So I suppose some could shelter some zeppelins!

OK, I have the buildings for the entire city now. Only the "under city" is missing right now... But I think I'm gonna try some labels and indications right now!

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Any comments still welcome!

Jalyha
01-25-2014, 02:41 PM
Wow it's really looking great!!

Ilanthar
01-27-2014, 10:29 AM
Always struggling with labels... and I clearly need your point of view on this one (an objective view :)).
I know its french names, but did you read the street names :
a) easily
b) with high concentration and eye fatigue
c) not at all
d) joker

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Thanks by advance (and by the way, I wrote a "skyfront avenue" ;))

- Max -
01-27-2014, 11:31 AM
The street labels aren't cleary legible. I'd pick up a more legible font to do them.

Lingon
01-27-2014, 11:49 AM
Looks really good, Ilanthar!
About the names, I'll answer something in between a and b. No eye fatigue, but it did take some concentration ;)

Jalyha
01-27-2014, 12:54 PM
I hate to say it, because the font *looks* like it belongs there, but... it was a little hard to read in places.

It's not a big deal if your map will always be this size, but, if it were, say, in a book, it would be impossible :P

It looks so awesome though !! :o

Ilanthar
01-28-2014, 06:03 AM
Many thanks for your answers !

I'm not very good for labelling but I feel like I'm learning a bit more each time (and that's what matters right?). So, I'm gonna try a few other fonts.

@ Jalyha : the map is gonna be this size (and thanks for the rep btw :))

Jalyha
01-28-2014, 07:55 AM
@ Jalyha : the map is gonna be this size (and thanks for the rep btw :))


b... b... b... but I want to read the story :(

Ilanthar
01-28-2014, 01:49 PM
By Jalyha
b... b... b... but I want to read the story

:D I misunderstood your previous post perhaps... I will not include the map in my description of Eldoran but intend to use it as a tool for the players. Anyway, I'll prepare a text to give you a view on the city of Argona.

Here's a new test of font & labels. Think it to be better & hope you'll agree with me!
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Jalyha
01-28-2014, 02:22 PM
Oh, yes, that's a bit easier to make out!


(And I was teasing you to write a book for the city, lol :P )

Ilanthar
01-29-2014, 09:32 AM
Added a few things : air-rail in red lines with circles for the stations. My probable spots for locating buidlings (the round ones) and quarters/parcs (the squares). They lack the numbers, of course. Thoughts?

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And, I confess I am an "easy-to-tease" man :P - So here's a view of the city (beg your pardon for the mistakes...)

Argonauts's Company – General View
The Argonauts's Company is quite recent (at least officially, with storefront) but based on a solid reputation. The company stands out by its exceptions : international but independant organisation, and motivated by clearly more than the simple commercial benefits.
Some things are well-known and confirmed by the company, partly to stop some bad rumours. First, the company provides services for money or counterparts but with a unique and strange selection of its clients. Moreover, the company doesn't hide its ambition to make emerge the new heroes who will face the threats of tomorrow or prevent some possible wars-to-come.
An other thing largely known is the presence of the Pythia ever since the beginnings of the company. Many people believe wrongly the Pythia of being the leader of Company. Few are those who know the founding events of the Argonauts's Company and when it occured. The only presence of the Pythia, added to the city of Argona veils the argonauts in mysteries.

The mythic Argona
None of them will confess it, but some argonauts have entered the company only to get the chance to see Argona and walked its streets. The myth tells that Helios himself, right after the killing of a giant snake (the "Python", creature of the Astrals), offered the snake's magic scales to the oracle who told him where to find and how to surprise the monster.
From this event, the oracle came to be known as "the Pythia". Later, she was welcomed and saved (being hidden) on the board of the fabulous ship Argo (the "fast"). It was Actor's ship, built with the sacred wood of Odonias and secretly protected (and the crew with it) by the goddess Eôs, thanks to the nacreous enchanted prow which represented her. The sacred wood was supposed to have a gift of speaking and seering by itself. By the mean of the prow, the goddess was able to see and hear, and then to create a mist from the water to hide the ship before it crossed a danger.
Later, the Argo was severly damaged and ran aground on a beach of Ceredhrial. Only nine seamen were saved thanks to the Nine Waves of Vellamo. The wood, the prow and the seamen were placed under the protection of Lug himself.
What happened then is kept secret. Until the coming of the Pythia and Electryon who collected the remnants of the magic ship that had saved her. The Pythia gave the wood and the statue to Electryon and told him what to achieve with it. Electryon went to Oggùn who used its magic and the diadem of the defunct Ilmatar to build the flying city of Argona.
The Pythia settled in Argona, the company were founded, giving form and population to the city.

The magical Argona
The major part of the city is done of a magic crystal (supposedly coming from one of the moon arks collapsed on Eldoran). It has numerous properties, but mainly : it is almost indestructible by normal means and its properties (color, texture, opacity...) can be changed magically.
The wood of the ancient ship Argo has been used for the beams of the Dome of the Parcae and the three Norns's Pillars. The stature of Eôs stands in the middle of the Great Square and the scales of Python coverd the Adyton where the Pythia is living.
With time, a lot of new magical and technical elements have been brought to become parts of the city. And of course, with the new developments and the increase of population, a lot of new constructions has been built with non-magical elements (like the peers of the skyport).

City Organisation
Approximately in the center lies the Adyton. Big improbable spiraled tower looking like a gigantic snake rolled around a stick turned toward the sky. The Adyton is 12 levels high and do not have any windows or visible openings. Few are those who are authorized to enter it.
Near the middle of the skyfront lies the Skald's Pillar, and on the opposite side, the Palatine Dome, with, inside its walls, the famous Dome of the Parcae, the Agora, the Hall of Mandates, the Sessrumne Palace and the Bachorbladhra University. On each side of the Palatine Dome, close to the edges of the city, lie the two other Pillars of Urd and Verdandi.
The city is organised in five Quadrants. Between the Palatine Dome, the Urd's Pillar and the Artery is the Quadrant of Alkeion. Across the Artery, facing Alkeion is the Quadrant of Oyà. Also bordering the skyfront is the Quadrant of Iarnabheil. On the side of the Verdandi's Pillar is the Quadrant of Onyotaaka. And at last, the fifth Quadrant named Dökkheim lies partly under the others with the Artery as a core avenue.

aquarits
01-29-2014, 11:40 AM
I have to confess that i am liking a lots this map, and for sure will be a reference for me when i try do city mapping. The sources of the city is nice, i like this type of envioriment, with old techenology.

I just want to do a observation coz i will try do myself :D
You used some shadows to represent the deep in some areas of your map, why not give a small inclination in the map tranfering some of this felling for the high roofs?
I used you map to show the shadows that you used and one try about wut i am saying.
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Is just a idea 8)

Ilanthar
01-29-2014, 01:05 PM
Thanks aquarits!

I've thought about that - and been a bit lazy I confess ;) The main reason is that I would have do it in another software...
I'm also a bit afraid of "overloading" the map, and some of the building blocks have different heights (even if the major part of the city is 3-4 floors. But MOST IMPORTANTLY, I don't really know if I could do something as good as your exemple! :D

Jalyha
01-29-2014, 01:09 PM
I forget what software are you using Ilanthar?

Ilanthar
01-29-2014, 01:13 PM
I'm using Paint Shop Pro 7 (and yeah, I know, that makes me an kind of an E.T. :)
I use GIMP, Wilbur and Inkscape for certain things only.

Jalyha
01-29-2014, 01:32 PM
Well I was just going to say (I don't know how paint shop pro works) but in Gimp, shadows are super easy and take like... a few seconds o.o

aquarits
01-29-2014, 03:16 PM
Just noticed that my example looks like a piece of cake lol

Well, u are using flight elements I believe that some depth in this map will make those elements shine imho. Anyway your map is great and still is a reference for me.

Ilanthar
01-29-2014, 06:57 PM
By aquarits
Anyway your map is great and still is a reference for me.

You're too kind to me, and you'll have to thank first Daelin and - Max - as I took great inspiration from Maffaton & Yphyrion Cities :)

I'm not proficient with GIMP... but after some missed tests, I found a way and here is a test... I've mixed feelings about it (looks fine but really makes the higher buildings standing out, no?).

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Jalyha
01-29-2014, 07:10 PM
Oh I like that! :D

Ilanthar
01-29-2014, 07:18 PM
Thanks Jalyha, that's reassuring!

It comes suddenly to me (but without damages :)) that I may apply the effect to all the buildings with different shadows. This way, it would be less "strong". I kinda feel a sense of "not harmonious" with this test?

Jalyha
01-29-2014, 07:31 PM
Honestly?

I've been doing shadows like... lots of layers, lol :) I do the shadows of the LOWEST items, so that they look semi-realistic. Then I merge the item with the shadow.

Then I make a larger shadow for the next size of thing... and merge those items with their shadows.

And so on, until the highest item. That way the shadows of higher items can fall on the lower items, but the lower shadows can't fall on the higher items.


So, for instance your lowest buildings/statuary/whatever would have a, say, 1 px shadow that falls on only the road/grounds, taller buildings might have a 2 - 4 px shadow, and so on. I would make sure you kept it so that your largest buildings shadows wouldn't cover *each other*, so probably less width than your streets at the most.


Did that make ANY sense? :? It did in my head, but not when I re-read it ...

TheHoarseWhisperer
01-29-2014, 08:23 PM
I tried experimenting with layered shadows in my Arabesque city map (which is somewhere on these forums--probably deeply buried now). I think it is a good method, but, using Photoshop, there is a lot of juggling of layers to be done.

Really good map, by the way, Ilanthar. Usually I'm really picky about city layout, and (if you don't mind me saying) I'm sure I could find places in your map which are not realistic to historic cities, but with this map I'm not really fussed about whether it is realistically arranged or not. I just like looking at it. (That might be a bit of a double-edged compliment, but it was meant with good intentions).

THW

Jalyha
01-29-2014, 08:53 PM
I tried experimenting with layered shadows in my Arabesque city map (which is somewhere on these forums--probably deeply buried now). I think it is a good method, but, using Photoshop, there is a lot of juggling of layers to be done.

There's a lot of layer juggling in GIMP too... I'm new at this, so I don't know any more efficient way, but it *does* keep the shadows reasonably size-appropriate. :P

(Is there an easier way to do that?)

aquarits
01-29-2014, 08:59 PM
I liked too

Ilanthar
01-30-2014, 06:54 AM
Well.... It seems to me that I'm not doing your method at all :D ! I'm using something called "xach effect" in GIMP and keep only the shadow layer.

Here's a test with 4 different shadows, the lowest on the top left, the normal a bit everywhere, higher for a few buildings as those with a air-rail station and the highest for the pillar. What do you think? Too similar or you can make the differences?
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- Max -
01-30-2014, 07:01 AM
I've never been fond of digital dropped shadows, that often makes the buildings looks like floating a bit :(

Ilanthar
01-30-2014, 07:10 AM
Yep, I don't know, I'm not completely happy with those tests. As I love the idea of showing the differences in height of some important buildings (like the pillars who are really higher than most of the buildings), there's something that disturbs me... Still get this feeling of disharmony.

I'm gonna try something with more different shadows but less dark in the same time.

Ilanthar
01-30-2014, 09:30 AM
OK, I think I'm more satisfied with this, more harmonious imo.

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Lyrillies
01-30-2014, 01:37 PM
I'm with Max on this, liked it better before. Just fits the overall style a bit better with less shadow, I think.
Oh and beautiful map btw, love the idea behind it! :)

edit: forgot to say that while the buildings looked better to me without the shadows, or at least wit less shadow like in one of the first versions, I do think the shadow on the outer border is a good idea - I'm guessing there's a wall there so that people don't fall or jump off, and that certainly comes out better with the shadow.

Ilanthar
01-30-2014, 02:01 PM
Thanks Lyrillies!

I'll probably go with my last test (or the first version without shadows). And I'll keep the shadow of the wall, that's already clear in my mind!

FlatFoot
01-30-2014, 11:49 PM
I've been cooking a campaign idea that takes place entirely in a city for a while now and have been looking all over the web for inspiration. This, sir, is pretty damn good inspiration. I enjoy the simplistic detail the map provides. I will be keep an eye on this thread.

aquarits
01-31-2014, 06:32 AM
It is looking good for me, guess you showing the feeling of depht.

BTW i am still curious to see this concepty with some details in roofs :D:D:D:D

FlatFoot
01-31-2014, 11:03 AM
Also, what are the dimensions of this map? I assume it's quite large, and I want to get an idea of where to start when making my map. Thanks!

Ilanthar
01-31-2014, 12:24 PM
Thanks aquarits!


By aquarits
BTW i am still curious to see this concepty with some details in roofs

I don't think it's gonna happen. I fear the "overload of details" and don't really know how to do that either.


By FlatFoot
Also, what are the dimensions of this map?

Hum, what do you mean exactly? The size in pixels? Or the scale?
Whatever : the map is 4000x3000 pixels right now and the scale is about 2 pixels = 3 meters (so the width of the city is about 4,2 km on the artery).

And a bit more work on the Quadrant Oyà... I've decided to throw away the labels for quarters. I'll put the names in the legend.
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Ilanthar
02-02-2014, 11:05 AM
Just a bit more with the Quadrant Alkeïon. That's taking more time than I expected, I have to say... And the legend is gonna become a huge one, I'll probably have to enlarge the picture to have more place around the city (without speaking of the fifth quadrant !).

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Jalyha
02-02-2014, 11:10 AM
Just a little more here and I'm done...

Oh wait, here's a little more over there and I'm d...

THIS needs a little more and then ...


:P It looks perfect to me, but you keep improving it anyway :D

- Max -
02-02-2014, 12:59 PM
The red lines for the air-rail are barely legible.

Lyrillies
02-02-2014, 01:33 PM
I love your map, it somehow makes me feel good to look at it. It's probably the french, but I imagine it being built in the same style as Paris, only cleaner and less crowded and obviously in a different time… All the parks, and the big avenues … I'd like to go there :D

Can we maybe get a picture of the whole city again? I would really like to see how the entire map looks now.

Ilanthar
02-03-2014, 04:48 AM
Thanks Lyrillies!

That's good to know since I imagine Argona as a mix of big 19th european cities (London, Berlin, Paris mainly). And I'm probably influenced the most by Paris and "Haussmann rules", of course :)

@ - Max - : ha, good to know! I'll try to mute them a bit less.

RedKettle
02-03-2014, 05:32 AM
Very nice. There are a lot of things to like about this, especially the colors.

I think you have found a good balance with the shadows. It allows the blocks to pop out when viewed zoomed out, but still allows for the map to be read like a street map when zoomed in enough to read the text.

I am interested to see the full layout as well, including your legend.

aquarits
02-03-2014, 06:23 AM
You found the balance for the shadows! It is a smooth depth effect.

How long to finish? 8)

- Max -
02-03-2014, 06:41 AM
@ - Max - : ha, good to know! I'll try to mute them a bit less.
No, I mean't they're aren't very legible. So they'll probably have to be brighter or thicker instead.

Lyrillies
02-03-2014, 09:56 AM
I imagine Argona as a mix of big 19th european cities
awesome, that is exactly how I imagine it! :D So obviously you did something very right, since it really conveys that atmosphere. Very interesting how that is even possible with nothing but a few shapes, colors and names.

As for the red lines: I found them to be easy to spot and follow. Doesn't legible mean easy to read? But there's nothing to read on those lines? I guess I'm not getting it, sorry :P

Ilanthar
02-03-2014, 01:45 PM
Thanks for the kind words guys!


By Lyrillies
Very interesting how that is even possible with nothing but a few shapes, colors and names.

A good surprise indeed, I would not have imagine!

- Max -, I think I haven' been clear in my last post :) A new test for air-rail lines and "more brightness".

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By aquarits
How long to finish?
I'm working on both labels and the fifth quadrant right now... so, still a lot of work!

Ilanthar
02-04-2014, 12:19 PM
Here is the extended picture with the general layout of the Dökheim Quadrant (of course far from being finished).

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I used purple arrows for indicating stairs/elevators between the upper city and Dökheim. Is that enough legible? And the map globally?

- Max -
02-04-2014, 01:24 PM
Ilanthar, your attachment link is broken.

Ilanthar
02-05-2014, 06:22 AM
That's repaired I think. Anyway, new small update. I'm kinda wondering how do shadows (if at all) to obtain a feel of "under city".

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Jalyha
02-05-2014, 10:51 AM
Is it actually underground, or do you mean the rest of the city is floating, or like "skywalks" above it?

Ilanthar
02-05-2014, 11:45 AM
Hmm, the whole city is floating (a bit like a floating island if you get my view). So, the under city is "in" this island. A quick sketch :
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Jalyha
02-05-2014, 12:03 PM
So... Wouldn't the lighting be... darker? Or at least more like indoor lighting than outdoor lighting.

Ever seen those little "buildings" and pillars in a subway system?

Either there's deep shadows everywhere (if it's a poorly lit subway) or there's like... no shadows at all... (if brightly lit) cause the lights are *everywhere*, not from one specific source.

If I were you, since most people associate "under" with "dark" I'd simply do a deeper/darker shade on everything... and maybe some overhanging areas of "brightness" where the stairs/tunnels/whatever leads DOWN, is...

But then again, I'm weird :P

Lyrillies
02-05-2014, 12:06 PM
I love, love, love your city!

A few unimportant details: it seems that in comparison the fourth quadrant in the lower right corner is relatively colorless - have you thought about giving it a touch more yellow? And I think the purple arrows are a nice idea. But you have placed them so that they point "up" and "down" right? I think it might be better to point them in the direction the stairs actually go, like this:
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(or the other way around of course) I think that might look better than have them all face the same direction. :) Oh and again: The color. it does work the way it is, but it might work even a little bit better if the arrows had a slightly different color, since one of the quadrants is also purple. But again, this is really minor stuff!

As for Dökheim (interesting name btw): Same as Jalyha asked, how exactly is it "under" the city? Like upside down or just a lower floor? Unfortunately I have no idea how to make it look like that, a label specifying that this is the undercity might be your best bet?
Do the other parts of the city have names too?

I noticed that in the separate round part on the top city there are slightly blue lines with a shadow, so they are obviously not streets, but I can't really identify what else they are supposed to be - water lines would surely be on the ground, or not?
And I love that one single irregular street in the same section! I think it really is the only street that's irregular! Is there a story behind it? In my imagination this part of the city is the higher-class quarter where the rich people wearing lovely victorian steampunk clothes live…

Again: I really like this map and where you're going with it.

edit: whoops, took too long to write this post, question already answered :)

Jalyha
02-05-2014, 12:23 PM
I noticed that in the separate round part on the top city there are slightly blue lines with a shadow, so they are obviously not streets, but I can't really identify what else they are supposed to be - water lines would surely be on the ground, or not?


I assumed they were channels/pipes/tubes for water, since the city is floating :P But now I'm curious too!

Ilanthar
02-05-2014, 12:38 PM
By Jalyha
If I were you, since most people associate "under" with "dark" I'd simply do a deeper/darker shade on everything... and maybe some overhanging areas of "brightness" where the stairs/tunnels/whatever leads DOWN, is...

Woow ! That's an excellent idea! I don't know how to do it, but I love it. In fact, the quadrant is quite dark on large portions. The natural light is coming mainly from the artery. Elsewhere, it's artificial light, or almost no light at all in a few portions since some species are able to see in full dark.

Love the ideas you and Lyrillies had about the stairs too.

@ Lyrillies : you're right about the colors (yellow and color of the stairs/elevators). I'll try to improve that.
The quadrant of Dökheim is about 10 meters lower than the upper city (so about 3 floors).


By Lyrillies
I noticed that in the separate round part on the top city there are slightly blue lines with a shadow, so they are obviously not streets, but I can't really identify what else they are supposed to be - water lines would surely be on the ground, or not?
And I love that one single irregular street in the same section! I think it really is the only street that's irregular! Is there a story behind it? In my imagination this part of the city is the higher-class quarter where the rich people wearing lovely victorian steampunk clothes live…

Hum, that's covered streets. The pavement is made of a kind of blue marble, and that's why I chose this color... But if it looks like water, I guess I missed something.
You're partly true, there are not many inhabitants here. It's the HQ of the Argonaut's Society. On one side, the Sessrumne Palace where all the bureaucracy and leaders are, on the other side the Bachorbladhra University (where argonauts are learning and improving their skills and knowledge, and where R&D in technology and magic is done).

Lyrillies
02-05-2014, 12:54 PM
ooh the idea about the light flooding in from the stairs is really great, I somehow didn't see that before!

Ah okay, that is kind of what I expected. In that case you might want to check on the details. Because there are fine lines separating those streets from all others, giving the impression that there is actually a barrier between them and other streets. If only the texture would change, that would be fine. Also, on some of those streets the layers must be in the wrong order because there are actually parts where the streets themselves have a shadow as if they were on a higher level than the other streets without marble. See here (sorry for the awful sketch):
61059

Jalyha
02-05-2014, 01:16 PM
"covered" streets... the awning/covering would leave a shadow... and end at a certain point.


But it *does* look odd in a couple of places.. idk why

Lyrillies
02-05-2014, 01:26 PM
The way I understood it it's not actually an awning, it is just a different material on the ground - he said the "pavement" is made out of marble, and then it wouldn't have a shadow. Maybe Ilanthar can clarify? :)

On a completely different note: aren't awnings usually made out of fabric? Or did I get the word wrong again?

Ilanthar
02-05-2014, 01:43 PM
You are both right :D

The covered streets do have a roof AND the shadows were too strong and with errors !
Thanks for pointing that Lyrillies, I think it looks really better now.

61061

Jalyha
02-05-2014, 01:44 PM
I just didn't know what to call it so I said awning. :P


I meant, like...

61062

Maybe I misunderstood, too, though :)


Nevermind, I was too slow :P

Lyrillies
02-05-2014, 01:51 PM
oh haha okay, sorry then Jalyha :D But at least my understanding of the word seems to have been right, I looked it up. Learned something again.

As for the changes Ilanthar: It looks way better now! Love the change in color in the fourth quadrant, makes it look a lot more lively and integrated. And the streets are also a lot better. I think now it is now both visible that they are covered (with whatever it's called :P ) and that they are below the level of the buildings. So from my point of view it's great now :)

edit: also I think the fifth quadrant is coming along great!

Jalyha
02-05-2014, 01:59 PM
It's k. I say things that don't make sense. A LOT.

And I agree about the changes :)

aquarits
02-13-2014, 02:34 PM
It turned a nice WIP a lots of discussions and points. I am following close :D



61056


Lyrillies found a nice point and i guess you can explore this source more to represent other levels of the city.

Ilanthar
02-16-2014, 10:44 AM
Thanks aquarits!

I was on vacations (skiing !!), but I intend to go back on this map. I just have a problem with my software right now and I think I'll have to reinstall it (no talking that I have a lot of posts to read everywhere in the guild :o).

I too like Lyrillies's idea, and will probably rework this.

Ilanthar
02-18-2014, 09:31 AM
A few tests. I added a few bars to the "stairs" and changed slightly the color (could not find something really convincing), I think it works better.

61524

A try about the shadows on the fifth quadrant. Not sure it's working. Any suggestions?
61525

Jalyha
02-18-2014, 12:12 PM
1. Welcome back! How was your skiing? :P

2. I like the faint lines on the stairs.

3. The fifth quadrant.... First, I think your highlights are too.... white. This is the underbelly, right? So the light is artificial - more yellow than white, and the light from above would be muted by buildings, distance, shadows... second, it looks really fuzzy. And it's so distracting it makes it hard for me to focus on your shadows :P (Maybe that's something that would change with a later step, but for now...


Second, the shadows are *too* dark.
It just looks like black roads.
I think that you took the realism of a dark under-city and ran with it, but you ran way out beyond the race track :P The level of detail below should match the level above, just... darker.

And if your shadows are darker, so are your buildings.


Idunnoifthismakesanysense.

How about this... Do the shadows the same way you did the shadows above.

Then, maybe... idk, can you add a layer of "night" to the whole under-city? Or burn shadows over the entire thing (except the stairs)?

I think that might work better than trying to fill all the streets with black, deep shadows, and then lighten them closer to the entrances.

(I wish I could show you what I mean, but gimp won't open, and paint is "not responding"! Lol :P )

Ilanthar
02-18-2014, 04:00 PM
By Jalyha
Welcome back! How was your skiing?

Thanks, a lot of snow and skiing was very well :P!

So many good ideas Jalyha!!! Many thanks!! I couldn't resist to find the time to try your suggestions (since my software works again after a good old reinstall :D)

So, here's the result (I haven't change all the stairs, that will come in time).

61537

Lyrillies
02-18-2014, 04:18 PM
welcome back! :)

the stairs do look a lot better like this, good idea to add the lines!
Also the lower level looks great, it might be very dark over all but this really creates a feeling of it being "underground" and is therefore perfect in my opinion. I would probably suggest making the edges of the spots where light falls in less sharp, just give the light a bit more space to fade away.

edit: oh, also I really like the border you added! :)

ravells
02-18-2014, 07:17 PM
This is just superb. I love the textures and the feel of it. I think it works great without any drop shadows at all. The floating effect is usually a problem but if you make the shadow 100% opaque and use a very small spread in a darker colour of the building colour it can sometimes look good. Your map looks so fabulous I don't think it needs it though as the textures are so well done.

Jalyha
02-18-2014, 10:51 PM
Alright, so... glad you had fun! :)

The shadowy looks a lot better. I think for the light, maybe make an "overlay" (rather, "underlay"?) type layer... dark, almost black, but in a yellow-family, if that makes sense... and I'd do it over the entire underground area, but make it a gradient-ish thing toward the "light" areas... up to a soft, nearly orange-y yellow... like...

Trying to think of something besides distant candlelight that has that color....

Maybe I will find it in my palette >.<

Anyway... any fade to white, I think, is going to make it look too bright for underground... and as Lyrillies mentioned, I think the change is too... abrupt?


Either way, it looks great (better than I could do, lol, even though I'm picking at you/it!)

Ilanthar
02-19-2014, 06:16 AM
Thanks a lot Ravells! I'm flattered :)


By Ravells
I think it works great without any drop shadows at all

You mean like the very first version? I get used to the shadows now, and it's a good tool to spot the higher/lower buildings... so I'll keep it that way.


By Ravells
as the textures are so well done

Funny, I can't have much credit for that since I mostly used the "base textures" of PSP7. Just a matter of settings in a way.


By Jalyha
maybe make an "overlay" (rather, "underlay"?)

The yellowish light more or less present is composed by two overlayers in fact ;)

And you and Lyrillies are absolutely right about the "light coming from the stairs". So, here's a new test which I think works better.

61551

Jalyha
02-19-2014, 10:21 AM
That's IT! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPeFGda8l4I)


But yeah, that's what I was thinking of. Maybe it looked whiter cause it was small? D:


Anyway that's exactly what I was thinking of ^.^

And I was trying to find some more stuff to nag at you about and I can't, so..... I'll just.... HERE HAVE A REP..


*runs awayyyyyyyyyyy*

Ilanthar
02-20-2014, 06:04 AM
After relaxing my poor ears for a moment... :D

Thanks to you both, Jalyha and Seredemia! All the contributions here are very supportive and keep me working on it, though it's more long and complex than I expected (even for a first try).

Some lights are still a bit small and white, just because of the shadows and narrow streets. But I can do nothing with that, so very glad you like it!

Now, I just have a mountain of labels to put all over the city!

ravells
02-20-2014, 09:41 AM
Ha Ha, sorry I was replying to a much earlier post without noticing that the thread and the design had moved on by a couple of pages!

Jalyha
02-20-2014, 10:15 AM
Ha Ha, sorry I was replying to a much earlier post without noticing that the thread and the design had moved on by a couple of pages!




I was so confused... :P

Ilanthar
02-21-2014, 12:04 PM
Hum, I already said I have a ton of labels to put on the map, but also beside it... And I am not sure what is better. As always, I worked hastily into what came first to me by putting as below. But maybe, I should put that on the side... does it looks overloaded?
61641
I'll have to put a legend, title and emblem too... so I think I'll have to put something on the side anyhow, but I don't know what is the most relevant.
I used the Dominican font which I recently found thanks to the guild :) Oh, and I added a shadow over some domes and the Adyton.

Jalyha
02-21-2014, 12:28 PM
w......ow.

that's a lot of words. :P


I don't know what's relevant either since I don't understand it, but it doesn't look *bad*.

I get the feeling I'm looking at some government, zoning-board, informational map...

Or a really good tourist map :P

idk. it doesn't look out of place to me, but then, IDK what it saays so... :P



Edit: Also, you have the Adyton, which is written "L'Adyton" which to my very english-speaking brain reads "Ladyton". Weird twist... :P

seredemia
02-21-2014, 12:39 PM
I like all the text! But then again, I might be a bit biased since I love maps with lots of text on anyway... I don't think it looks overloaded though. But hhmmm, have you tried putting the text below the map instead?? Unless you plan on putting the legend and other stuff below the map, maybe adding the labels there might be better?

Ilanthar
02-21-2014, 01:06 PM
Well, I realize that I have been short a good example :)
My first intention is something like this (I copy the labels I haven't written yet, just to show what I mean), with legend (about air-rail, stairs, etc) + title and blason on the right side.
61645
Hope it's more clear now.

ravells
02-21-2014, 01:54 PM
I just hope that this has not broken you and will not be your first and last city map!

Beautiful work!

Jalyha
02-21-2014, 02:19 PM
Aye, it's pretty intense for a first :P

And now you have to do the English translation so I can read all the pretties.... no? okay :(

but yeah I think it's fine with the text.

seredemia
02-21-2014, 02:25 PM
OHHH yeah I understand the layout now! I think it's fine the way it is then. I'm guessing you're putting the other text on the side, yeah?

Lyrillies
02-22-2014, 07:10 AM
I like the general idea but I must admit there's still a few details I would change:
I think it would look better, if you gave the text a little more space. I love that the text is on the actual map, that is something I always prefer over text that is on the side, but it does look just a tiny bit cramped there. If you make the surroundings of the city a bit bigger you would also have enough space to put the title there instead of on the side which would -in my opinion- suit this map a lot better. Same goes for Dökheim, I think the title needs a bit more space there. Also concerning Dökheim: the map looks printed due to the fonts you used and the background, but the top and bottom borders of Dökheim end rather abruptly, making it seem like it was digitally placed on the map. Maybe there is some kind of filter or brush or even texture you could use to smoothen that edge a bit so it looks more like the rest? And if you still have to place text on the side I would place it on the left side of the map in this case.
- If you still have the energy to work on this stuff I think it could improve the overall impression even more :)

Disclaimer: These are of course all minor details and I'm "complaining on a very high level" here (is that how you say it in english?) - you already know that I am in love with your map :)

Ilanthar
02-22-2014, 08:03 AM
By ravells
I just hope that this has not broken you and will not be your first and last city map!

Hehe, I'm still alive. And I do have some important cities that would need a map for my rpg settings :)


By Jalyha
And now you have to do the English translation so I can read all the pretties.... no? okay

Ouch! I fear I won't able to translate... There's a lot of "old french" and wordplays. So, I would have to ask a very good translator for that!


By Seredemia
I'm guessing you're putting the other text on the side, yeah?

Exact :)

But, then, I read what Lyrillies wrote... and it makes sense. It's so simple and obvious that I feel a bit stupid to not have thought of this!

And yes, I just forgot to apply the same effect on Dökheim title and text!

Thanks everyone! Time to go back to work ;)

Jalyha
02-22-2014, 12:57 PM
It's k... I was kidding anyway :P

@Lyrillies: You said it right. And the common term is "nitpicking" or (more common now) "neat picking" :P

Ilanthar
02-25-2014, 07:30 AM
Latest work on labels. I'm almost done for the upper part of the city (lack the emblem and the scale, mainly). *Deep breath* and all Dökkheim, obviously.

61770

Lyrillies
02-25-2014, 08:48 AM
I really can't say enough how amazingly beautiful your map is! Love the style of the title and the additional details on the labels. And I am extremely impressed by all the energy and time you are willing to put into this. I wish I could rep you again and again, but I can't...

Ilanthar
02-25-2014, 12:20 PM
Thanks a lot guys :)!


By Lyrillies
And I am extremely impressed by all the energy and time you are willing to put into this

It's partly "despair energy", partly because I really need the map for my rpg setting... I just want to finish it quickly, or I'm afraid to give it up.
And don't worry about the Rep, I've been more than supported, enlightened AND repped for a WIP! :D

Plus, I need good counsels again... With narrow streets and darkness, it's very difficult to put and read labels for Dökkheim. Are the few ones I put legible? I could try with another color (maybe a kind of yellow to match the torch lights) or something more white, but I'm not sure about it. And there's maybe another way... I'm just thinking it's too hard to read.

61775

Raptori
02-25-2014, 12:26 PM
Yeah I didn't even spot them initially!

Ilanthar
02-25-2014, 01:03 PM
What about this?

61777

Raptori
02-25-2014, 01:08 PM
They're a bit better, but still don't stand out very much since they now match the roads so well. A drop shadow or a stroke on the text would make it clear, but then it wouldn't match the rest of the text... :/

Azelor
02-25-2014, 01:22 PM
Yes It's hard to read by why is it so dark ? I like the idea of using light colors to match the torch or keep the black labels and add ''Lueur externe''.

I admit that at first I was not sure I liked the style but now I think it's pretty good (based on post 98)

Ilanthar
02-26-2014, 11:21 AM
Thanks Azelor! You mean, your post? I think it's post 8 actually ;)

I did everything in the same "torch" color. I think it's legible and correct... what do you think?

61805

Lyrillies
02-26-2014, 04:01 PM
I like it, it is definitely more legible and emphasizes the fact that Dökheim lies under the rest of the city.
One last thing I saw (sorry): The Dökheim map has shadows on the right and the left side but on the top and bottom part the image is simply cut off rather abruptly, that looks a bit weird, too sharp somehow. Like, if it was done in ink, the darker Dökheim ink would have soaked into the background paper a little bit - with the rest of the map that effect is achieved by those light shadows on the sides, but not there:
61812

Ilanthar
02-27-2014, 05:46 AM
Yep, you're right obviously. That's not much work, so don't be "sorry" for this common " Jalyhan neat picking" ;)
On the contrary, I would have missed that!

jbgibson
02-27-2014, 10:44 PM
I appreciate all the tips and tweaks that are making something good even better, but with or without the improvements, your city is made out of awesome, frosted with awesome, with a side dish of awesome.

Staring at it - which it draws one into doing - a possible enhancement i could think of might be for the buildings to be different heights. At the moment they look all the same - a few longer shadows, including some lapping over onto others' roofs, would tell a story of where your (relative) skyscrapers are. BUT! strictly as a set of symbols, the current view is fine, if you aren't going for photorealism.

TheHoarseWhisperer
02-28-2014, 12:24 AM
I haven't followed the progress on this map for a while, but it's looking really great now. jbgibson forgot to mention that it's been served with a glass of awesome in the awesome house of Mr Awesome. I really love the way you did the undercity. It really looks like a place lit only by streetlamps/ceiling lights.

I disagree with jbgibson about adding height shadows. I don't think it is necessary, but perhaps something could be done to highlight the notable places/buildings in your city. My suggestion would be to darken or burn those buildings a bit.

The only problem with this map (and I used to complain about this to Max, too) is that it makes me want to learn French.

I'm pretty sure once this is finished, there'll be a new Cartographers' Choice prize awarded.

THW

Ilanthar
02-28-2014, 06:49 AM
Thanks so much jbgibson and THW! I'm just a bit speechless... I feel a bit lost in the too many "awesome" of your both comments :D


By jbgibson
BUT! strictly as a set of symbols, the current view is fine, if you aren't going for photorealism.

I'm do not intend to get a "realistic" feeling, more for a "city map" in a guide.


By TheHoarseWhisperer
The only problem with this map (and I used to complain about this to Max, too) is that it makes me want to learn French.

Well, I'm sure you could actually learn french :P

Both of your comments makes me have some doubts. Before reading it, I was going to post the picture below with the comment "almost done, just lacking the logo of the Company"... But now...


By TheHoarseWhisperer
My suggestion would be to darken or burn those buildings a bit.

Well, I am sure I won't change the shadows (I am just glad of it like this), but I'm intriguing by your suggestion THW. What do you mean exactly? I fail to see how it could show the different levels. Could you explain?

61883

Ilanthar
02-28-2014, 01:25 PM
Just added the last touch : the stamp of the Company of the Argonauts and the stamp of the Cartographers. I'll wait for your explanation now, THW ;)

61891

Lyrillies
02-28-2014, 04:33 PM
Absolutely amazing. I would agree that this definitely deserves a cartographer's choice award when it's finished!

As for your latest changes: Dökheim looks a lot better now, the shadow helps a lot :) I would probably place the stamp and the logo a little lower, especially logos tend to be placed more in corners. Since these two things are not part of the key it would also be fitting to separate them more clearly from all the beautiful explanations on the side.
Oh and I have a question: The "Schéma des Arrondissements" is currently aligned on the left, with the other key-boxes above it. But the Arrondissements-box is shorter than those, and "Ponts de L'Artère" (which is also a shorter box) is aligned in the center - did you do this on purpose? Or do you think it might look more even if the arrondissements-box would be aligned in the center as well? … Hm I have the feeling I didn't do a good job of explaining it, so have a picture:
61893

Apart from that I think Argona is perfect. I wouldn't change a thing anymore if I were you, it is so amazingly beautiful, awesome and incredible!

edit: oooh I just discovered the Parc de Phosfère! Is that really a phosphor-park? What a lovely idea! :D

TheHoarseWhisperer
02-28-2014, 07:09 PM
Bit of a misunderstanding. My suggestion wasn't to do with showing levels. I just think the map might benefit from highlighting the notable buildings you have in the legend. I've included an image to show what I mean, although I have to admit I was starting to have doubts whether the idea would be any good.

THW

Ilanthar
03-01-2014, 11:22 AM
By Lyrillies
Oh and I have a question: The "Schéma des Arrondissements" is currently aligned on the left, with the other key-boxes above it. But the Arrondissements-box is shorter than those, and "Ponts de L'Artère" (which is also a shorter box) is aligned in the center - did you do this on purpose

No, that wasn't intentional at all! Thanks to point it out, I corrected that.


By Lyrillies
oooh I just discovered the Parc de Phosfère! Is that really a phosphor-park? What a lovely idea!

Yep, you got it right :) That's a parc with phosphorous plants, both for wanderers and to grow those plants for


By TheHoarseWhisperer
Bit of a misunderstanding. My suggestion wasn't to do with showing levels. I just think the map might benefit from highlighting the notable buildings you have in the legend. I've included an image to show what I mean, although I have to admit I was starting to have doubts whether the idea would be any good.

Ah OK, indeed. I understand now. I do like the idea to show more precisely the location of notable buildings (especially when it's just a part of a buildings block), but I don't want to underline too much this. I could add lines to separate each buildings, but I'm afraid it will overcharge the overall thing. So, I'll probably keep it like it was.

61918

arsheesh
03-01-2014, 10:06 PM
Wow, this is turning out to be an impressive piece Ilanthar!

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Ilanthar
03-02-2014, 09:36 AM
Thanks Arsheesh! I'm calling the map (endly) done, and you can find it here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/26380-flying-city-argona.html#post239517).