View Full Version : töff needs another project like a pig needs-- Jack Vance's "Ports Of Call" & "Lurulu"

07-09-2009, 03:25 PM
So yeh. I love the writing of Jack Vance. The latest that I read from him got in my head. I had to start a new map project. You know the feeling?

I compiled the place data, played with the overall route, and finally devised a three-loop arrangement that conforms to the story.

I'm now trying to arrange the stars & planets along the route.

07-10-2009, 07:46 PM
Jack Vance? You must be as old as me....at least. I'm sure he'd smile seeing this. More design brilliance please...MR TOFF!

07-10-2009, 08:14 PM
You must be as old as me..

So if I admit that I've read Virgil ... and really liked him ...
Heck, I've read Plato, too. Didn't agree with him, but I liked him.

Anyway, Lurulu came out in 2007. You don't have to be old to read Vance.
I'm waiting on his autobiography now!

07-10-2009, 08:15 PM
I'm sure he'd smile seeing this.

Probably not ... he's blind :( ...

07-14-2009, 03:05 PM
I'm really struggling with how to display the cities. Hmm.

I have a lot of elements & data per stop: star name, star icon, star number, planet name, planet icon, and 1-5 named locations per planet, plus the route lines that still have to squiggle in & out of the whole mess (only one yellow dotted line shown here, but there's at least six different overlapping routes that I intend to include).

There's too many ways to do it! I just have to find one I like.

07-14-2009, 03:06 PM
And plus, Illustrator's kerning is really misbehaving on those type-on-paths. :\

Steel General
07-14-2009, 04:18 PM
Personally, I like the version with the line having the dot on the end, though maybe make the line thinner and the dot a bit smaller.

Just my take on it...

07-17-2009, 09:47 AM
I like the version with the line

I played with the lines more but I didn't get anything that blew my skirt up.

I think the problem is that the cities need to be ON the planets. I can't use spatial relationships everywhere else and then throw them out the window for the cities. (Oh that was an odd metaphor.)

I'ma try to do get the city dots onto the planets. One planet has FIVE dots so I'm really worried about crowding.

Steel General
07-17-2009, 12:29 PM
Does it matter where on the planet the dot is?

If not, just spread them out in an appropriate gometrical pattern.

07-17-2009, 12:59 PM
Does it matter where on the planet the dot is?
I am not planning to go into that level of detail, mapping routes from site to site on a planet. I suppose I could, but I have not envisioned the overall style of the map that way. It'd be cool, though, dammit. But no. I cannot afford the time to go into that level of detail. Furthermore, at least one planet as has sites on opposite sides of the globe, and that would require a way to show planet backsides. I just can't go that far.

If not, just spread them out in an appropriate gometrical pattern. Yeh, that was the idea. But I still have a lot of elements based around each planet: its name, its star (also with a name), its sites (1-5) (also with names), and the route lines in & out. I think the route lines, though, can go underneath, so the site names overlap. The routes will be visible, and color-coded, between planets, so some overlap at the planets themselves will not obscure meaningful data.

07-21-2009, 12:53 PM
Omg. Brainwave. I don't need the city names at all.

That solves everything.

07-21-2009, 12:53 PM

I just thought of another way to include the city names.

07-21-2009, 05:26 PM
So I think this will work. Putting the city names in a box separates them spatially from the planets & stars. Otherwise the dots looks like they were in orbit around the planets or something, which was wayyy wrong. I will certainly dink with the style & coloring of the box & callout blend, but I think at last I've found a presentation style that I can live with for the cities. And they're out of the way of the route lines! So yay. I'ma go with it. Executive decision!

Steel General
07-21-2009, 06:59 PM
I think it worked out pretty durn good. :)

07-22-2009, 12:06 PM

Next up, I need to do the various routes. I am thinking color-coded is the way to go, although I'm not happy with the complex palette so far.

I'm doing some offset paths for the routes, like in the Formula One track that's currently discussed in another thread. My routes are anywhere from 1 to 4 lines between the planet stops. That's both even and odd numbers, so I have to center them twice. Oh the unfairness of it all!

I will also need to add in some directional arrows along the routes. I have a vague idea for that, something I want to try. I'll probably dink around with it for far too long and end up with less than I hope for. C'est la vie.

And then I think I'll just wonk it all up a bit in Photoshop for a stylized feel.

My book blog is stalled while I do this map. Sheesh.

07-22-2009, 04:10 PM
I love it toff, it's like a necklace against a backdrop of stars (if the background were black)...I feel like singing 'Slow Hand' by the Pointer Sisters!

More great design in the making....and I love SF stuff.

07-22-2009, 04:38 PM
Crap, I forgot I was gonna shade the two halves of the "necklace," one for each book. Hmm.

07-22-2009, 05:28 PM
It's coming along. I think I have everything in place but the arrows & book shades.

Then to see if I can polish it at all.

07-22-2009, 05:54 PM
Need bigger version, can't see the details. Looking nice though.

07-23-2009, 05:52 PM
Okay, I'ma call it done. I think it's alright.
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=6392 < finished map