View Full Version : Branwynn - Step by step

01-05-2009, 11:21 AM

In these topic, I'd like to show you how I build a small town, from the very begining.

Hope you enjoy it.

I don't know how you proceed, but I'm not able to start with the software without a first preparating sketch. The first map shows the general shape of the town. The following shows the main elements.

Next step will be to place the big things

Comments welcome

Enjoy :)

Steel General
01-05-2009, 12:30 PM
Sketches are a great way to start. I'd do more of mine that way but I have as yet to get off my butt and get a scanner. :D

Looking forward to seeing how this progresses.

01-05-2009, 01:12 PM
I sketch, but i do it with my tablet. I might sketch something on paper if I bring a sketchpad with me and find myself bored.
All my maps have the same major sketch layers, in order: Terrain outline, elevation, major roads, town growth (different colors for different eras), walls if any, outlying areas (farms, suburbs). I go over each layer 2-3 times and refine them.
Sketching on paper seems like a waste when I have a tablet.

It will be fun to see your methods if you post every step.

01-07-2009, 12:50 AM
Hurry this morning... Just time to post the next step...
With the ground layer, some relief and the river... Also the walls of the city and the major cobblestone.

01-07-2009, 05:43 AM
Everyone makes big stone walls. Have you thought about doing a pallisade?
It seems like a small place. A pallisade would be much cheaper and a much mess labor intensive project.

01-07-2009, 08:51 AM
Everyone makes big stone walls. Have you thought about doing a pallisade?
It seems like a small place. A pallisade would be much cheaper and a much mess labor intensive project.
Thanks for comments, Hoel.
So here are the answers :
As this city is seated in the center of the realms, risks of major invasion are quite low.
At the very begining of its history, it was a place gived by the king of the realm to ensure security on the river. The first shape of the city was the castel and the quarters inside the walls.
The lord of the city (Heward Vo Branwynn) holds taxes to every caravans crossing the bridges.
Time passed and the region became more prosperous, so the city grew : people settle outside the walls.
The stone walls (grey lines between the towers) are 6 meters width. I have to place the scale.
Outer relief is used as the basement of the wooden palissade (still to draw).

Considering your comments, It looks that the cobblestone streets were to wide (14 meters, it's very big in such a place) So, they were reduce to 7-10 meters wide streets. The map of this post shows modifications

On the next post, I'll show you the earthed roads and the streets netting the city.

01-07-2009, 12:20 PM
Just wanted to let you know I am following this map closely. It's a joy to see lots of people doing cities these days!

01-09-2009, 08:40 AM
These quarter is the most populated of the town...
Almost every house is made of log or plank washed by harsh winters and poverty.
Streets are full of dishes.

A part of the wall have crumbled... It houses the thieve's guild (wich is tolerated, as rats are part of a whole system)

Hope you enjoy...

Sorry to have post late, but all these barracks took time to be placed... I hope that other quarters will be constructed faster ;)

01-09-2009, 07:05 PM
Here are two more quarters : residentials ones.
Those on the north helds the wizards guild (the hex structure)

What do you think about the texture of the streets and the ground ?

01-10-2009, 12:35 AM
Lookin pretty good so far but I think the paving stones in the streets are too big. Might just be me but I'd shrink that down quite a bit.

01-10-2009, 04:53 AM
I think you could stroke the roads to break up the edge of the texture.
Some of the roof shadows are all wrong, sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right.

01-14-2009, 05:48 PM
Thanks for comments; Hoel... Be sure you drive me mad for night...

I think you could stroke the roads to break up the edge of the texture.

Have to be done

Some of the roof shadows are all wrong, sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right.

Be sure you drive me mad for night... But I'm affraid you point there a limit of FM8 Software... Save you can solve these problem.
Consider the "map" below
From these wheel, houses radiate. Some were drawn from the center ; while other were drawn to the center (to be ensure that dropping shadow wasn't a matter of direction).
As you can see, shadows sometime twist... :(
Should you have an idea, I'll go for it.

01-14-2009, 05:53 PM
After all the "sunny babbling" ;), as you can see, houses unfold along the streets.

Note that the cobble texture have changed... Hope it would please you.

01-14-2009, 06:21 PM
Coming along nicely. A lot of little alleys and streets there. I like it.
I don't know what the prob with the shadows are, I'm not familiar with the software at all. Could you rotate them manually?
How do you set the direction of the light?
I think i see some kind of pattern in your illustration above, Could you try making two spirals beside one another, one drawing in and one drawing out?

01-14-2009, 10:43 PM
Lookin pretty good there Mork but I have one thing that's messin with my eyes and I'm not sure if it can be corrected or not....the terrain looks kind of blurry while the other stuff is in focus. This makes it look as if it's "closer" to the camera and, therefore, in focus while the other stuff is further away and thus blurry. This would be a great technique for a floating city. Again, I don't know of the terrain can be sharpened up or not but it's freakin my eyes out in some tilt-shift photography way. Also, again, aside from that, it's lookin great.

01-30-2009, 02:03 PM
Branwynn still growing up...

Here are some news...

Actually, I must confess that this map is very loud to modify... A reason why I let it some days... Wonder if CD3 is faster... Would like to have Gandwarf advise, for example :)

01-30-2009, 02:44 PM
What advice do you need Morkhdull?

CD3 tends to slow down on the really large maps, but my computer is older. Also there's a few ways to increase performance. It's all very manageable.

01-31-2009, 08:58 AM
Nice to see you haven't given up yet.
I have slow down issues too. It's not very good at redrawing with effects turned on and it leaves artifacts everywhere. I'm a bit dissapointed, i thought a vector program would be faster.

01-31-2009, 10:45 AM
@ Gandwarf : thx for your advice... Actually, I used to draw with CC3 (basic set). But found it very slow... When I saw your cities, I wonder if the roofs and the quarters was made with some texture pattern or something else...
I'm still askin if I should try CD3...

As you said Hoel... Moreover, with all your comments and, as time flows, some elements have been worked on... So, on this new view, you can see that uncobbled street have been changed, as somme fields.

Finishing this post by telling that there's a file on the computer containing all the evolution of the map... It's very funny to see how the wip grows :)

01-31-2009, 11:55 AM
Most of the houses in my city have two roof styles. Some of the larger cities have four.
Still, CD3 will slow down when there's hundreds of houses to display. Especially with effects on it will be very slow. It will take 10 seconds just to turn on effects in some of my larger cities.

02-01-2009, 07:08 AM
Gandwarf: I have 10 second redraws with just a dozen houses when turning on effects!
How big do you do your documents?
I have put in 1000x1000...

02-01-2009, 07:12 AM
LOL Hoel... it's not that bad on my computer.
My maps tend to slow down a bit when there's 100+ entities. It gets worse and worse from there. The Concetron map has thousands of entities for example :)
Most of my maps are 1000x800.

There's a few way to increase performance. I never have effects on while actively building and you can decrease some effects. See my second set of tutorials how to do that. It will be a lot faster. Unfortunately the eye candy suffers of course.
CAD programs are known to require insane amounts of resources :)

02-01-2009, 08:10 AM
Building without effects is a given.
I can run crysis on max without any slowdowns, but not a simple vector program... thats sad.

02-01-2009, 09:27 AM
Agreed, I would like it to be faster as well. Unfortunately it's not like Photoshop. I think CAD programs have some specific requirements.

Still, it's fast enough for me and you know I have created some very large maps.

Back on topic: do you think you are going to finish this map Morkhdull?

02-01-2009, 10:56 AM
Slight jack here: don't worry about PS, sometimes when doing a layer style it will spin my hard drive for 20 minutes before actually doing anything and often it will start popping up numerous "help" windows.

02-01-2009, 11:24 AM
Back on topic: do you think you are going to finish this map Morkhdull?

I hope so... Workin on...
Branwynn is a major city in my campaign.

Here are the latest up :)

As you can see, some elements have been modified regarding to comments

Thanks for all your posts... Enjoy

Steel General
02-01-2009, 01:08 PM
@Ascension - I get those annoying HELP windows too at times, though I rarely have the delay problem.

@Morkhdull - This is coming along nicely.

02-01-2009, 07:08 PM
Merci mon général...

Still so much to do...

02-02-2009, 02:01 PM
Well this is the new addition...

02-02-2009, 02:08 PM
Good to see that you keep coming back Morkhdull.
One question: what's up with the domes in the river? They look to be flooded at the moment.

02-03-2009, 02:51 AM
Giant Volvox specimens to provide food for the city in case of emergency?

02-14-2009, 01:40 PM
I'm sad to anounce you that the file is corrupted...

It's impossible to open it... By now... So this is the last view it can be posted.

Hoping an answer can be find...

All my apologies

Steel General
02-14-2009, 01:44 PM
What a bummer!

02-14-2009, 01:51 PM
Been down that road so I feel for ya. On the bright side, though, this looks good :)

02-15-2009, 04:54 AM
What a pity, this was looking really good.

02-15-2009, 10:35 AM
On another hand, I think it could be possible to take this .PNG file and follow the building of the town...
By now, I confess I'm a bit sad to consider that all this work could be useless :(