View Full Version : Modern city

02-20-2009, 12:45 AM
Here's another frankenstein from my secret lab. I started this last weekend then got sidetracked by other ideas (too many ideas to experiment with) and got back on it tonight. It's all created by me except the fields which are a pattern as are the river ripples and I started off way back in the beginning with the bison grass pattern. I'd like to put in some proper roads, streets, bridges, and highways (tiny as they may be) and some boats on the river and finally work out how to do some clouds.

Steel General
02-20-2009, 06:58 AM
Interesting idea, will be watching to see what you do with this... here's (http://www.photoshoptalent.com/photoshop-tutorials/pst/296/Making-realistic-clouds.html) the tutorial I used on my Magus Aerie for the clouds (or at least I think it's the one), if nothing else I'm sure it will give you some ideas.

02-20-2009, 07:48 AM
THe terrain looks great but what on earth are the stuff on the river banks?

02-20-2009, 09:45 AM
Agreed. The terrain looks exactly like a plane's-eye-view of the world. The city itself needs work, I think. The denser areas have a grid-like pattern that doesn't seem realistic to me (even modern cities built on a grid-street-system, I think, don't really look like this, and at this level, in a modern city, I think you'd be able to make out individual city blocks and their sky-scraper buildings).

...Actually, I guess that depends on the scale. Had a looksie at Google maps. A big city looks quite a bit different between, say, 1 mile per screen inch-and-a-quarter and 2000 feet per screen 7/8 inch (on a roughly 14-inch monitor on 1280x800 at 96 dpi, for total disclosure).

joćo paulo
02-20-2009, 10:28 AM
Like all have said the city does not seem very realistic, but surely this is a good idea.

02-20-2009, 11:05 AM
I love the blue shifted colours giving a sense of altitude. That terrain is phenomenal. The city needs work, but I'm sure you'll get there.

02-20-2009, 11:28 AM
There are no roads? Shouldn't there be roads?

Steel General
02-20-2009, 12:07 PM
There are no roads? Shouldn't there be roads?

He hasn't added them yet.

02-20-2009, 12:09 PM
I think you could do with a more extensive farmland texture. The one you're using is very persuasive, but its dimensions are too small at this scale, resulting in some very obvious tiling repetition.

02-20-2009, 04:18 PM
I'm probably going to scrap that city in favor of something slightly larger in scale...currently 1 pixel represents a building (no matter the size). I'm going to go in the normal direction and start with roads and then decide later on building scale.

02-20-2009, 05:37 PM
Nice terrain!

02-20-2009, 07:42 PM
Hrm, having mucho problemos reworking the buildings and roads...my brain just isn't working today. May have to turn this into a medieval city...I can do those :) The main problem is that I didn't leave myself enough flat ground to build a modern city upon. Been staring at Denver in FlashEarth and just can't get it.

02-23-2009, 11:52 PM
In case anyone has been wondering, here's what I've been doing...roads. Millions and millions of roads with millions left still to do. The red stroke just helps me to keep my place while working. I have the true color overlay turned off (medium gray with the slightest touch of tan) as well as a noise pattern to break it up a bit. I started with the city blocks then added in some highways. I'm working my way through the suburbs right now and eventually the rural areas. Then I get to try to figure out some way to depict the buildings without doing millions of buildings in SketchUp.

My advice...don't attempt this at home, you could hurt someone cuz I just want to break stuff. Do medieval cities instead...less roads and no skyscrapers :) At this scale I'd still like for my buildings to be only 1 or 2 pixels since the roads are all 1 pixel. Anyways, back to the grind.

02-24-2009, 01:20 AM
Here's a screenie at 200% with the road styles on and the original buildings back in...they don't look too shabby after all.

02-24-2009, 05:26 AM
Oooh, now I see. The weird stuff are the buildings... An they look good now!
Really cool style, very realistic.
Can you give a few pointers on how you did the river texture?

Steel General
02-24-2009, 06:51 AM
What, no cloverleafs on the highways! :D

This is coming along nicely.

02-24-2009, 11:11 AM
The roads help mightily to break-up the very straight N-S-E-W grid-orientation of the original building pattern that was so unnatural and inorganic looking.

02-24-2009, 12:56 PM
Looking Magnificent, Ascension!!!

02-24-2009, 05:35 PM
The river is just a shape I drew then filled with white. Put a pattern overlay of a grayscale water pattern (from the Dunjinni forums), teal color overlay (not sure what blend mode or opacity), and darker bluish-teal inner glow (set to center and not edge). Copied this layer, remove layer styles, fill to zero, inner glow of a brownish-green (set to edge this time) for the muddy banks under water and a different blue water pattern overlay and finally capped that off with an outer soft bevel set to down so as to give a false sense of depth.

Then I did the banks on a new layer with a scattered dry brush in a light yellowish-tan. The color shift/haze is my usual layer of white on top of everything, set to soft light (not sure of the opacity right now) with a color overlay of some light grayish-teal with around 50% opacity.

If you want, I can give exact specifics (like exact color codes, blend modes and opacities) after I start working on it some more tonight after I eat dinner and take a nap...weird I know but I sleep for a few then work for a few, etc...but this should give you plenty to start experimenting with. Here's a screenie with the haze layer turned off to give you some idea of the real colors.

02-24-2009, 06:21 PM
A simple "I used a texture from dundjinni forum and some layer effects" would have done it for me :)
I'l go check out that texture, It looks really good.

02-24-2009, 08:14 PM
Just thinking.... would you consider changing the scale? for the modern city, I can see 3 types of roads. 1px for 2 lane roads, including possible split highways and for suburbs, with 2 px roads for 4 some 4 lane city streets, and 2.5 px for 5 lane streets with center turn lane. Possibly some freeway roads at 3 or 4 px. City blocks would then average 4 times a 2.5 px road (so 10 px per block) and the most skyscrapers are a city block by themselves.

Anyway if you make changes or not (I am not saying you have to, just sharing some thoughts "on paper") this is a very nice map...

02-24-2009, 11:38 PM
I had actually started that way, even doing cloverleafs, but I got tired that night and accidentally hit close before I saved it and lost it all and decided I didn't want the headache anymore and went as simple as possible :) Good point about skyscrapers taking up city blocks...will have to ruminate on this.

03-01-2009, 12:20 AM
It's taken me all week but I finally got my roads done...I should call this masochism city. Put down some preliminary buildings as well; 2 layers for urban, 2 layers for suburban, and 2 layers for rural. Started the decorating process with a baseball stadium and a football stadium...should these be bigger? Going to add some parks, a zoo, some golf courses, two colleges, an airport, some docks and some boats n barges on the river. Haven't yet decided if I want to add some kind of world wonder like pyramids or something or if I want to put in some airplanes circling around...if I did something like that I'd probably opt for a dragon rider or UFO to terrorize the populace.

It looks very regimented right now...too regular and that's what the parks and stuff are going to be for...break up the space a bunch. When I get that part done I'll throw some variety into the suburbs with some taller buildings as hospitals or something.

03-01-2009, 03:41 PM
Can't find the stadiums at all...

Steel General
03-01-2009, 05:01 PM
Yeah me either...

03-01-2009, 07:31 PM
Oooooo I'ts like a big game of "Where's Waldo" (which I rather suck at)...

03-01-2009, 07:37 PM
Can you add an overlay so all the buildings are not the same colour?

Also- I like the building shadows on the water. I guess it isn;t possible to have the shadows cast on other buildings, too, eh?

-Rob A>

03-01-2009, 08:22 PM
That just looks magnificent.

Steel General
03-01-2009, 08:45 PM
I'll be honest, I never would have found those stadiums :). Though the map is looking quite cool.

03-02-2009, 12:15 AM
I have a shadow layer directly underneath each building type layer...tallest buildings on top (skyscrapers1, skyscrapers1 shadow, skyscrapers2, skyscrapers2 shadow, suburban1, suburban1 shadow, suburban2, suburban2 shadow, rural1, rural1 shadow, rural2, rural2 shadow, then streets). So the shadows do indeed fall on and across other buildings, although you probably can't tell (because of the tiny scale and blockiness) until I turn the shadows off...then everything gets quite a bit more brown. I believe that my shadows are currently at 75% opacity. I could go with a higher opacity and try hard light or darken for the mode. Alternatively, I could lengthen the shadows...my skyscrapers1 shadow is 12 pixels long with other layers being 8, 6, 4, 2, and 1. Lastly, I think that once I start breaking up the spaces with parks n stuff that this will probably go away to some extent. At any rate, I will keep this in mind before my next post and fiddle with things as necessary to bring out the shadows a bit more.

J -- yeah man, that's them...I should probably put some parking lots around em. Ooo, and I'll move the baseball stadium to the waterfront for splash down homers.

03-02-2009, 03:14 PM
It already looks great, compared to the original version. Great job!

03-02-2009, 03:58 PM
J -- yeah man, that's them...I should probably put some parking lots around em. Ooo, and I'll move the baseball stadium to the waterfront for splash down homers.

Whooohoooo! I WIN!!! :!::!:

Err... what did I win??:?:

03-04-2009, 05:15 PM
I've been taking some time off to play some vanilla Civ 4 so that I can get some ideas about what sort of buildings to add. I'll do up some SimCity and Ceasar 3 as well for my, uh, "research".

03-04-2009, 06:00 PM
They are excellent 'research' tools. Maybe see you again in a month or two?

It's looking great. I was wondering about the outlying areas. I think (though this could be nonsense) that houses normally cluster in the valleys around an area - I guess because of the water source. On your it looks like they are very evenly spread, or even more likely to be on the crest of hills?

Looking forward to seeing the next iteration.

03-04-2009, 09:39 PM
Dagnabit, why didn't I think of that?! To be honest, I just did up a noise layer at 2% noise and then deleted everything not white...hoping that it would look random. Guess I gotta put on my "rural housing planning hat" and redo them suckers. Thanks, man.

03-05-2009, 05:05 PM
Ah ha - I thought they looked a little too even. I'm sure you've still got the heightmap around - surely some combination of the heightmap and the noise layer will give you higher densities in valleys and fewer on the peaks? Sorry for waiting until it was this far along to notice :)

03-05-2009, 05:21 PM
Yep. I'll copy some of these layers back into the original terrain psd and do the select - color range - fuzzy white and delete some of these suckers. And if I find that I need more in certain areas I'll just use a scatter brush.