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armoredgear7
06-25-2009, 05:03 PM
Formula D (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_de) is one of my favorite board games and by nature it lends itself very well to custom race tracks. Here's a layout I put together in Illustrator the other day, just to figure out the process of duplicating the squares and road styling of the game.

I still have to add the starting grid and finish line, but I think it turned out pretty well. I have plans to take it into Photoshop and render the off-track areas too; should be interesting.

töff
06-25-2009, 05:27 PM
One path for the shape, offset that path twice to make 3 tracks, then use multiple stroke styles? Nice! Did you place the numbers manually?

One Illustrator holygrail trick I haven't figured out how to do yet is to have a path with multiple stroke styles but also with text along it. It would be awesomely useful for street maps. If Illustrator had anything like 3DSmax's instanced geometry, it'd be simple (if if if).

Ascension
06-25-2009, 05:29 PM
You need a pit lane. Oh and some RV's, babes, and mullets :) Oh wait, that'd mean NASCAR would have to add a new road course (that ain't gonna happen). Doing the stands might be easier in Illustrator too and then leave the coloring, shading, and texturing for Photoshop, but I dunno.

Steel General
06-25-2009, 06:08 PM
Nice to see something different from the norm...

armoredgear7
06-25-2009, 07:13 PM
You need a pit lane. Oh and some RV's, babes, and mullets :) Oh wait, that'd mean NASCAR would have to add a new road course (that ain't gonna happen). Doing the stands might be easier in Illustrator too and then leave the coloring, shading, and texturing for Photoshop, but I dunno.

I knew I forgot something...

About the stands, I'll probably do all of the linework for the token-type objects in Illustrator but do most of the work in Photoshop.

armoredgear7
06-25-2009, 07:19 PM
One path for the shape, offset that path twice to make 3 tracks, then use multiple stroke styles? Nice! Did you place the numbers manually?

Essentially, yep! The spaces themselves are a pattern brush, but I did place all the type manually. The arrows in the corners actually took the longest, since I had to cut the path into many, many little strips before applying arrowheads. I then manually added all the extra arrows for the 2-direction exit spaces.



One Illustrator holygrail trick I haven't figured out how to do yet is to have a path with multiple stroke styles but also with text along it. It would be awesomely useful for street maps. If Illustrator had anything like 3DSmax's instanced geometry, it'd be simple (if if if).

I use expand appearance alot to create shapes and regular strokes once I offset the paths, so in this case all I'd have to do is offset a second path and use it for type. I think I'd still prefer to set my type manually though; it never looks quite right when the computer does it.

armoredgear7
06-26-2009, 03:20 PM
Updated with a pit lane, as per Ascension's comment.

It's now a fully-functional track for gameplay purposes. I'll see about adding some detail to the surroundings later.

mattperry
07-01-2009, 07:36 PM
That is a great map!

Could you accomplish this type of map with Inkscape? Or are the tools needed only in Illustrator?

Looks awesome!

matt

armoredgear7
07-02-2009, 10:55 AM
That is a great map!

Could you accomplish this type of map with Inkscape? Or are the tools needed only in Illustrator?

Looks awesome!

matt

Thanks. I'm pretty sure Inkscape has something similar to Illustrator's "offset path" command, but since I don't use Inkscape I can't say for sure.

torstan
07-02-2009, 11:14 AM
That's a great map. Nice work, and thanks for the break down of how it was created.

RobA
07-02-2009, 01:21 PM
Thanks. I'm pretty sure Inkscape has something similar to Illustrator's "offset path" command, but since I don't use Inkscape I can't say for sure.

Pretty easy, I think. Here was a 5 minute test in Inkscape, with a random bezier to start (using straight segments and arc section would probably improve things).

I duplicated and offset the bezier, once inwards and once outwards. Combined them into one bezier and made a copy, then set the stroke width of the duplicate to the same amount I had offset them. Turned the stroke to a path, and set it to a grey fill with a black stroke. I drew the two parallel lines (the same size as the track width) and used that as the pattern with the pattern to path effect (using the previous copy that was made of the thin paths):
14585

A bit more care and attention, but it is a good start, IMOO.

-Rob A>

armoredgear7
07-02-2009, 05:29 PM
Pretty easy, I think. Here was a 5 minute test in Inkscape, with a random bezier to start (using straight segments and arc section would probably improve things).

A bit more care and attention, but it is a good start, IMOO.

-Rob A>

I drew my layout by cutting together circles and straight lines. I drew in the circles first and then used a copy of them to make guides, so that I would have the centerpoint. My first try looked a lot like yours - the main issue I had with it was that the squares don't line properly on the straights. Getting this alignment took some finessing.

The other issue is that in the corners, each lane has a different number of spaces – the inside lane being the shortest. Using the pattern brush technique comes close, but it fails to get the spacing right. I found that I needed to use "expand appearance" on the squares and manually adjust the lines for the corners (making sure they aligned to the centerpoint of the circle that I made a guide for earlier).

armoredgear7
07-02-2009, 05:33 PM
I've drawn myself a map of what needs to go into the area surrounding the track, including the official buildings and grandstands. I see this locale as a small, scenic company test track set at the edge of a lake.

I've attached a rough outline of the terrain. I think it's pretty plausable, but feedback is appreciated since I haven't done much mapping on this scale.

ravells
07-02-2009, 07:37 PM
Works for me! Check out Genetica, which comes with a free viewer and textures. It might give you everything you need.

JDragon
07-06-2009, 10:30 PM
Very cool.

I had been wondering how hard it would be to make custom maps for Formula D.

Any chance you could go in to more detail on how you've done the track part? Like how you determine how many spaces a turn will take and how many stops should be required?

Thanks

JD

armoredgear7
07-07-2009, 04:40 PM
Here's an update with the ground textures dropped in & blended. There's a lot left to do; most of the grassy space will be forest and the water texture needs work – I've already found better textures but just have to edit and drop them in.


Any chance you could go in to more detail on how you've done the track part? Like how you determine how many spaces a turn will take and how many stops should be required?

Well, I did it mostly by feel, and I compared corner lengths with the Monaco track from the base game. Most corners in the game are 1-stop, regardless of how sharp they are. Any compound corners seem to be 2-stop (S-curves) and really complex corner series (zig-zags) are 3 stops. I also found it useful to think about converting the dice values into speeds. A 12-space corner with 2 stops means cars will have to move 6 spaces per move, or about 60kph.

I drew the track layout with illustrator and just used the default placing for the track spaces (whatever the pattern brush gave me).

From there I dropped in the red outlines for the start/end of the corners, just going by the shape of the artwork, but the pattern brushes didn't give the right number of spaces for each lane. I expanded the pattern brush style and adjusted the spaces manually.

armoredgear7
07-11-2009, 02:07 PM
Updated with trees and redone water. I also added some guardrails around the track edges, and created a graphic for the tunnel that doesn't interfere with the track design too much.

Stuff left to do:
• building & pavement details for the track interior
• grass & smaller rocks on the mountain area
• more detail in wooded areas; bushes maybe
• corner markers (names & lengths)

Steel General
07-11-2009, 04:29 PM
Progressing along quite nicely...

Gandwarf
07-11-2009, 04:50 PM
I am not a fan of racing and I think your choice for mapping a race track is interesting to say the least :)

Still, I really like the style. The cliffs and trees are outstanding!

Ascension
07-11-2009, 10:19 PM
Lookin great, the cartoony trees and lines really makes it pop. On the tunnel maybe you add something like this over top to enhance the effect:

Up to you, no biggie, just me messin around in my lab again and I did it rather quick.

armoredgear7
07-12-2009, 02:40 PM
Lookin great, the cartoony trees and lines really makes it pop. On the tunnel maybe you add something like this over top to enhance the effect

I think your example, while realistic, is probably too dark for gameplay purposes. Counting the tiny squares on the board is usually the #1 activity in playing Formula D, and I want to make sure the tunnel maintains its contrast underneath the graphic so that the squares remain easy to see.

That said, maybe I'll darken it a little bit for added effect.

armoredgear7
07-13-2009, 11:58 AM
Added more detail to the mountain and surrounding woods.

armoredgear7
07-14-2009, 01:27 PM
Using a photograph of the official Formula D track as reference, I reconstructed the graphic for the turn markers in Illustrator. The gradients and overall slickness of the markers turned out to be a little tricky since I had to use the mesh tool. I also matched the typeface, which is Futura Bold Condensed.

Finally, I did some more work on the interior buildings. I think it's pretty much finished now.

Steel General
07-14-2009, 04:24 PM
Very cool stuff...and well done!

Ascension
07-14-2009, 08:09 PM
Those tree shadows really add something new and nice. Well done.

armoredgear7
07-15-2009, 12:12 PM
I forgot to add the track name & weather table box, so that's done now too. It also seemed like a good place to stick a signature to the map.

Anomaly
07-17-2009, 10:23 AM
Very, very pretty armoredgear7. I'm not familiar with the game it is for, but it looks fantastic. I was always a Car Wars guy myself. :)

ravells
07-17-2009, 07:57 PM
Sorry if this may be a bit contravertial, but I love everything about the map except the trees. If you had fewer of them and ones with alpha holes through the foliage with leaf definition, I think the map would be just about perfect for (for me). I think redrobes or GP put some in the elements forum...please try them. I think the map would be perfect with some good looking alpha masked, lipsmacking, alphaholing, greenywinking, trees.

Seriously, fewer trees and get some nice ones. Everything else is perfect.

armoredgear7
07-21-2009, 02:37 PM
Sorry if this may be a bit contravertial, but I love everything about the map except the trees. If you had fewer of them and ones with alpha holes through the foliage with leaf definition, I think the map would be just about perfect for (for me). I think redrobes or GP put some in the elements forum...please try them. I think the map would be perfect with some good looking alpha masked, lipsmacking, alphaholing, greenywinking, trees.

Seriously, fewer trees and get some nice ones. Everything else is perfect.

No worries about the criticism, Ravells. I haven't done much mapping at this scale before, so the style of the trees was really an experiment for me.

Without any offense to Redrobes, I don't really care for the 3d-rendered trees posted in elements forum, so I'll see about drawing trees with more detail & post the results here.

armoredgear7
08-01-2009, 09:03 AM
Well, it's been awhile since my last post.

I've been hard at work experimenting with new ways to draw trees. Currently, I'm creating a brush and layer style set to enable efficient painting of a variety of trees.

The actual brushes are created from overhead images of trees – some rendered, some real. The alpha holes in the trees need to be tweaked depending on the size of the brush, so I'll probably have to tweak my masks and make a couple versions for different sizes.

I've attached an image of the style I'm using right now, plus one of the brushes without any style.

Steel General
08-01-2009, 12:44 PM
Those look pretty nice...

Ascension
08-01-2009, 01:54 PM
We're always looking for good trees...can't wait for you finish this up and post the brushes. Good stuff.

Lwaxana
08-07-2009, 06:13 AM
Oooh I love Formula D Never thought about making tracks myself though. Thanks!