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Gandwarf
12-18-2008, 06:57 PM
Well, I struggled about 16 hours with this map and now declare it finished. See this thread for more cities and the WIP: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=2991

I cut and pasted the map together again, so there might be some small artefacts. However, I think I tracked down most.

-----------------------------------

So, this is Ziadon (see http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2977 for its location on my world map).
It is one of five great cities in The Valley, my fantasy world. The city once started humbly as a mining town, as there is a lot of silver to be found there in the ground and mountains. Immense wealth attracted the wizards and from the time they got involved in the city its growth exploded. Mining operations moved farther and farther away from Ziadon, but the city prospered.

New walls were added over the years as the city grew. The last wall dates back only about twenty years. Construction was started during one of severals conflicts with the great city of Sirilion, that lies to the southwest.

A river that springs from the mountains empties into a small lake. The lake itself drains into several tunnels to lower grounds. There's a lot of catacombs underneath the city, most created by extensive mining in the past, and those that are not flooded are used to house the remains of the dead.

Ziadon is very rich because of its silver deposits, but it has always lacked other natural resources. Farmland is scarce and mainly concentrated near the river. It was so valuable to the rulers that large areas have even been walled off. Timber has also been a problem in the past and the forest in the east is the largest planted forest in the world. It is carefully maintained.

During the revolution the wizard that ruled Ziadon was eliminated by Alliance agents and a few weeks later the city was infiltrated through the catacombs by large numbers of Alliance troops. Ziadon was already on the brink of revolt and the garrison was overwhelmed. The palace guard, dark skinned mercenaries from Padras, renowned for their loyalty and battle skill, died almost to the last man protecting the lesser wizards still remaining. Most were able to escape thanks to the sacrifice of the guard.

Ziadon is now ruled by the Alliance and the slaves that once had to work the mines and farms have been freed.

ravells
12-18-2008, 07:22 PM
This is really beautiful! Looking at the map from a distance, though, I'd be tempted to desaturate the fields as they draw the eye more than the city which should be the main focus of attention.

Lovely work, Gandwarf.....city maps take ages and this is a beauty.

cereth
12-19-2008, 12:36 AM
Another great map! The mountains/rock seem a little distracting to me...maybe they're a little too light. Overall it looks awesome!

Steel General
12-19-2008, 07:36 AM
Gandwarf, you have the patience of a saint. I would have pulled out what's left of my hair and stabbed my eyes out with a spork before being able to finish these kind of maps.

Great job as always...

RobA
12-19-2008, 12:34 PM
This is a beautiful effort. The amount of detail you pack in is incredible!

A few suggestions for improvement (that may be a CD3 limitation, I don't know):

- Shadow lengths should reflect the relative heights of objects, and the farm wall shadows make them look the same height as the city wall shadows.

- The wall tower shadows look doubled up on the wall shadows.

- The jaggies. It is a limitation of CD3 that it can't anti-alias?

But really, another great city map!

-Rob A>

Gandwarf
12-19-2008, 12:41 PM
This is a beautiful effort. The amount of detail you pack in is incredible!

A few suggestions for improvement (that may be a CD3 limitation, I don't know):

- Shadow lengths should reflect the relative heights of objects, and the farm wall shadows make them look the same height as the city wall shadows.

My fault, I don't pay much attention to the shadows. I don't need large versions of my map, so the details can be a bit messy.


- The wall tower shadows look doubled up on the wall shadows.

This is a City Designer 3 problem I think.


- The jaggies. It is a limitation of CD3 that it can't anti-alias?

My fault, I should create the maps in a higher resolution. What I did now was zoom in a lot in City Designer 3 (at a level where you are zoomed in enough that you can see the jaggies), made screenshots and pasted them all together in Paint Shop Pro. I can't save these large maps because CD3 crashes (most likely due to memory problems).
But again, I don't need large versions of my map. CC3/CD3 can make crisp and clear maps if needed.


But really, another great city map!

-Rob A>

Thanks, still have a blast making them. I get a lot of new ideas for my stories because of these maps. I had some general ideas about the city of Ziadon, but most of the map was created on the fly. Like the layout, the waterfall, the lake, the large planted forest. So the end result is always surprising to me as well.

Midgardsormr
12-19-2008, 12:46 PM
- The jaggies. It is a limitation of CD3 that it can't anti-alias?



Unfortunately, yes. I struggled a lot with text aliasing on my first CC3 map. Eventually, I gave up on it and composited the text in a raster editor instead. The best solution I've seen so far is to export at higher than necessary resolution, bring it into a raster editor, do a 1 pixel blur, and then resample it to the correct size. edit: but now I see that that's not a viable solution in this case.

Gandwarf, I'm curious about what you were doing with the Sirilion map that was cleaning up the edges so well, but was so tedious that you gave up part way through. I wonder if someone else might have a suggestion that would speed up that process for you, or even automate it.

Gandwarf
12-19-2008, 12:51 PM
Gandwarf, I'm curious about what you were doing with the Sirilion map that was cleaning up the edges so well, but was so tedious that you gave up part way through. I wonder if someone else might have a suggestion that would speed up that process for you, or even automate it.

The Sirilion map is larger than the Ziadon map. It's a beast and CC3 crashes all the time when I try to move around or zoom in. It's also REALLY slow. It takes about 15 seconds to load all the effects. I have to move around and zoom in to make dozens of screenshots and then paste them all together in Paint Shop Pro. It's almost impossible for me to paste them spot on and a few pixels difference can have some very undesirable effects because roads don't meet. Often I will only notice this when I have pasted some screenshots together and then have to redo some parts. Very tedious.

I read some other workarounds for the CC3 crashing problem on the Profantasy forums. Like creating a PDF. I will have to try that some time. Any other tips are certainly welcome :D

Gandwarf
12-19-2008, 12:54 PM
Also I am starting to realise I need to learn how to do a good border. And I need shields or heraldry for the larger cities (the wizard houses).

I suck at creating that kind of stuff though :P

NeonKnight
12-19-2008, 01:12 PM
I think you need to set up all shadows to utilise the Global Light Setting. As it is, your mountains/Hills appear to have the Light coming from the North West, while the ground shadows run opposite that.

Otherwise very imporessive.

Midgardsormr
12-19-2008, 01:13 PM
Well, I just recently made a handful of charges in Illustrator. There's a bull passant, a hawk, an eagle displayed, a lion rampant, and a tree eradicated at the end of this thread: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3627&page=3

They're all in simple black-and-white, so they can be recolored however you like, and they're relatively high resolution transparent PNGs.

Do you subscribe to the ProFantasy Annual? I seem to recall that there was an issue this year on heraldry in CC3.

Gandwarf
12-19-2008, 01:22 PM
I think you need to set up all shadows to utilise the Global Light Setting. As it is, your mountains/Hills appear to have the Light coming from the North West, while the ground shadows run opposite that.

Otherwise very imporessive.

Imporessive is something good? :P

Anyway, I didn't even notice the light sides on the mountains should have actually been the darker sides (if I keep the other shadows like they are). But you are right!

The mountains/hills are something I slapped together by using some several bevels and blurs. There's no real shadow effects in there, so there isn't a "Use Global Sun Direction" for them, unfortunately. If I want to fix them I have to edit the other shadows. Which is no problem, but rendering the map again will take about 1.5 hours work of cutting and pasting screenshots and *that* I refuse to do for now ;)

Gandwarf
12-19-2008, 01:28 PM
Well, I just recently made a handful of charges in Illustrator. There's a bull passant, a hawk, an eagle displayed, a lion rampant, and a tree eradicated at the end of this thread: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3627&page=3

They're all in simple black-and-white, so they can be recolored however you like, and they're relatively high resolution transparent PNGs.

Do you subscribe to the ProFantasy Annual? I seem to recall that there was an issue this year on heraldry in CC3.

Thanks Midgardsormr. I noticed them not long after you posted them. Most are not usable to be me. My world does not contain lions or eagles for example. Also I am thinking of something more like the heraldry on this map:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3613&highlight=logo

Unfortunately something like that is far above my skills. I like CC3 because it does most of the work for me. I just throw stuff together and in the end it actually looks quite decent :D (I do get jealous when I see what people can do entirely by hand).

I do not subscribe to the ProFantasy Annual. Only some editions seemed valuable to me and I dislike the fact you can't order them separately.

Steel General
12-19-2008, 02:32 PM
I believe those are Japanese heraldry symbols, I'm sure if you do a google search you can find some that are royalty free.

strokes
12-19-2008, 03:58 PM
I'm really impressed with this map, Nice work. I have CD3 myself, which I haven't had a chance to play with yet, but seeing your nice work has motivated me to try it sooner rather than later.

RobA
12-19-2008, 06:26 PM
Re: stiching...

If you make all the screen grabs overlapping areas a program like hugin can be used to autostitch them together.

I have used it to stitch together scanned portions of a large document and it had to compensate for rotation, so this should be a breeze!

Could you post up a set of overlapping grabs from a portion of the map? I'd be willing to test it out since I am familiar with the software...

-Rob A>

Gandwarf
12-19-2008, 06:34 PM
Well, this is going to be an interesting experiment. You mean something like this, right?
The hills are especially nasty, because CC3 sometimes renders them a bit differently if you grab several parts of a hill (has to do with the shadow effects getting cut off).

RobA
12-19-2008, 10:45 PM
Here is the auto-stitched result:

8600

There is some distortion, as the software thinks it is working with photos, but it is certainly easier than manually aligning it :P

-Rob A>

Gandwarf
12-20-2008, 06:02 AM
Wow, that result is pretty impressive. Did you have to fiddle with the software a lot?

RobA
12-20-2008, 11:54 AM
I just has to set the lens distortion parameter all to 0 and then tell the optimizer to only asjust X and Y and not the default roll pitch, etc.

I can give the steps.