View Full Version : Phaeselis Mapping Help! -- Illustrator, Photoshop.

02-08-2014, 09:45 PM
I'm designing a city that might put Ptolus to shame or make it bask in it's magnificence. Only problem is, I can not really do maps and I need some help in doing a good looking map. :)

I have photoshop, and I have Illustrator and Indesign along with Dreamweaver, being a graphic artist. I'm looking for a particular tutorial on how to do a map with these programs, preferably a step by step.

I wanted to illustrate the city, but I don't know where to begin, again. The city is bisected by a river, and is predominately Hellenic/Ancient Greek. The world it's built in is based on the Conquests of Alexander the Great. I was searching for Hellenistic architecture I can use, pictures, 3D models, anything, and I can't find any good reference points. Let alone one to do a photomanipulation.

So if someone can help me out, I'd be grateful if someone could help me rediscover a lost talent. :)


02-08-2014, 10:21 PM
It does not matter if you use a computer or draw the map by hand. Where, and how to start are questions everyone needs to answer. Additionally what type of map to create. Do you want to make a 3/4 perspective, a top-looking down, etc. These are questions that need to be answered. Also everyone might not answer them the same way. Actually I am sure that we all start differently. When I am starting a new map or fixing an existing map I start off with a blank piece of paper and a piece of collage rule line paper. I will sketch out the city, country, or whatever on the blank piece of paper and take notes on the lined piece of paper. This is not art or even will like a map. This allows me to figure out what type of map I want to do and what information i want on the map.

Now you are doing a map of a city. Here are some questions
What is the tech level of the city. Are you doing a medieval or future city, or what have you.
What buildings do you need or want in the city?
Does the city have a city wall?
Is it on or near water?
How big do you want or need the city to big?

This is a start. I hope this helps.

02-09-2014, 01:01 AM
Well, a popular place to start for cities in Photoshop is Pyrandon's Eneini tutorial: http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/530-%5Baward-winner%5D-eneini-medieval-city-tutorial-photoshop.html

This style has the advantage of not needing serious architectural reference since it won't involve creating many (if any) individual buildings. In addition, it's well suited to making very large cities since it, again, doesn't depend on detailing each structure.

For guidance in Illustrator, and city design in general, I suggest searching the forums for posts by ravells.

And, of course, welcome to the guild!

02-11-2014, 06:21 AM
What I see being asked are a couple different things, and I might be able to help with one of them.

1 How to use Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign - Others are probably more qualified to answer this than me, but there is a collection of tutorials which can be helpful.

2 References for Ancient Greek architecture/urban planning?

***Please note I am not a Ancient Greek expert, so follow this advice at your own peril!***

In my opinion, the best way to get a feel for Ancient Greek town/cities is to Google Image Search some of them. I know there are plans for Ancient Corinth, Priene, Halicarnassus, Tyr (not quite Greek but who is counting!), Alexandria, and Miletus (look at this one if you can only look at one).

If you are more interested in reading there is a book now in the public domain by Haverfield called "Ancient Town-Planning" that talks about some of these (it has some illustrations too, for those of us who only 'read' pictures!). I am sure some of the information is out of date but there are some measurements (which hopefully should not be changing over time) that can be used as a foundation for building your own city.

For real life stuff there are still ruins of some stone structures, the Athenian Acropolis is famous for its collection. I know there is also a reconstruction/replica of the Parthenon in Nashville, TN, USA, but it is unpainted (apparently the Ancient Greeks painted stonework in bright colors). The Ancient Greek Amphitheaters are pretty famous as well.
Acropolis of Athens - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acropolis_of_Athens)
Parthenon (Nashville) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenon_%28Nashville%29)

For the non-monumental buildings there is always Wikipedia for plans and descriptions. When I do this type of fantasy setting I tend to blend in a little bit of Roman influence from the Domus and Insula, just to add a little detail.
Oikos - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oikos)
Domus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domus)
Insula (building) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insula_%28building%29)

If you are looking for illustrations, you may be able to find some of the towns/cities I mentioned above through an Image search as well. I know National Geographic Magazine had a bird's-eye illustration of Alexandria in an issue a few years back.
Cleopatra - Map: Cleopatra's Alexandria - Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/07/cleopatra/alexandria-map)

Finally, the Romans were notorious for copying many people, including the Greeks in Art and Architecture. If you are going to steal from the Greeks, look at the Romans first, they probably already stole the best parts! The main differences to keep in mind are that the Romans had cement and arches, which the Greeks did not.
And finally finally, I attempted an Ancient Greek inspired map a few months ago in a monthly challenge, and maybe that can provide a little bit of inspiration, even if it is still unfinished.

I am sure others have more/better sources as well. If you gave a little more information on what style of illustration you are attempting, it might help others tailor their advice.

Good luck!

02-11-2014, 10:50 AM
First of all, creating any map takes some skill with your chosen software and lots of practice. City maps are among the most complex type of map to create and sometimes a difficult task even for an experienced cartographer. So despite your goal (which is a good one) you are putting a huge challenge before yourself in attempting to do a city map with no experience whatsoever. At least Greek architecture is pretty defined and refined - lots of squares, rectangles, t-shaped structures, all using domes, and columns extensively. I think of all the modern public buildings that use Greek styled architecture - Wall Street building front, the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials in Washington DC. Not to mention (as already mentioned above) all the great Greek buildings of the classic period - the Parthenon and more. I'd also do a Google search for a classical map of Athens, if you can find one - I'm sure one exists.

Just to note, I am a very experienced cartographer and have created several cities, but city maps are among the least number of maps made by me, since each one requires such a huge amount of work. You've put a huge challenge before, good luck!

02-11-2014, 12:17 PM
Just a note, the Greeks didn't do arches, that was the Romans. The Greeks did just basic old posts and lintels. So no domes actually.

02-11-2014, 12:38 PM
Hellenistic domes are rare, but the Greeks did build domed structures by the third century BC, though you're right domes really didn't take off until the Roman/Byzantine Period.

02-12-2014, 01:21 PM
Interesting. I would have thought the general architectural formality of the Greeks would have precluded any real development of arches. I wonder if it was foreign initiatives that resulted in these domed structures in Greek territories. Indeed by that time the Romans were already coming into power, I imagine their influence was being felt all through the Mediterranean.