View Full Version : 3D Map Sketch?

01-08-2009, 12:03 AM
I was bored and decided to try an experiment.

The whole idea came from "Google Sketch" - this is a 3D program, that I don't use, and probably never will. To call a 3D app, "Sketch" seems inappropriate, since working in 3D is lots tougher than a sketch.

However, what would a Sketched Map look like in 3D, I wondered.

So this is what I came up with. I decided to keep the structure simple so this would be easy to do. Basically this is a very simple 3D model of a small cottage. All the textures on every surface was hand-drawn. It came out interesting anyway.

I don't think I'd use this technique to create many maps - it was fun though.

What do you think? Silly, huh? :arrow:


01-08-2009, 06:44 AM
Well, up close it looks rough but I bet its a lot better farther away. Also you dont have to make stuff fit the model - you just draw it on the right shape and size to fit so that's a bonus.

I guess by the time you put the effort in to make the 3D object then you gotta think its worth putting the effort in for all the textures too. But that is a slow process.

With a dash of equally quick color and maybe 5 or 6 different style houses I bet that it would look quite good.

01-08-2009, 07:36 AM
At least you should be able to use it to make some quick elements. Top down roofs with accurate shadows and that.

01-08-2009, 09:08 AM
Thats cool GP! This type of thing(with a few splashes of color) would be a very nice addition here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3726), especially if you did a few more(sans the yard part).

01-08-2009, 11:38 AM
In reality if and when I create 3D models of structures for top-down objects, I would do photorealistic textures, not hand-drawn versions. This was completely an experiment. Though to carry the experiment to it fullest extent, I may throw on a splash of color before I finish this, but that's about it.

Normally when I create top down models of structures, I don't go to the trouble of creating walls with doors and windows. I usually try to create the roofs only, then place a cube beneath to simulate proper height over the ground to achieve a realistic shadow.

I actually referenced some 17th century New England home plans before I started this project, to see if I could create something similar.

Anyway, I'll throw on some color and see what it looks like.

Despite being a user of 3D, I'm not a fan of isometric maps - just something I need to know and understand, not necessarily use.


01-08-2009, 11:54 AM
I find isometric maps useful for determining vantage points and potentially cover for my online games. I've fiddled some with Google Sketchup but not overly much. I've found several maps that people are making from the old D&D modules, which are pretty slick.

01-08-2009, 12:16 PM
I like it. I have to say that the style can be very effective - hand drawn 3D is precisely how I would describe the corpse-bride buildings. On the other hand, probably not so useful from a mapping point of view. Your actually hand drawn work is probably quicker and better. I suppose using sketch-up to get a basic layout and then doing a hand-drawn paint over filling in all the detail would be the closest to actually using it for a 3D sketch.

01-09-2009, 12:54 AM
In a campy sort of way, my intention was to look rough and sketchy. In fact I made the walls much like a card house, there is hardly any width to the walls, floor and roof. The walls don't even properly connect. Corpse Bride was kind of in the back of my mind as well, in the conception.

In a way, I've done this sort of thing before, differently.

In my Craefort thread the first of the encounter scale maps I created was the PC's clan fort. Here... http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3752

Then I created a map object for it (Nomadic thinks it should be a simpler map object, I tend to agree and may change it). First I created a 3D model of the fort's layout with the intended elevation changes I wanted to put in the top down map. Rather than texturing all the faces properly - lots of work. I used the 3D rendering to do a quick sketch.

Then I colored it in, in Xara - a quick splash is all. Afterward placing in this map. http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3826&page=4

Anyway, the following images are first: the 3D rendered model, then a lineart sketch of the model, then a quick splash of color - is this what you mean JFj? I can create a larger/higher res version as a tranparent PNG if you think it should go in Midgardsormr's thread.


Steel General
01-09-2009, 07:56 AM
Cool stuff GP!

01-17-2009, 08:47 PM
With a little crosshatch shading, GP, you'll be a regular David Macauley.