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armoredgear7
08-08-2009, 12:22 PM
Oten'jo seems like a good opportunity to try making a city map, so here are my thoughts.

The more stuff I looked at, the more I decided that I ought to work out the skirmish-scale stuff first, like the specific details of the buildings. I've done a lot of this, so it seems like a good starting point.

Once I figured out how the individual houses relate, I began figuring out how big I could make each one on the map. This will determine the level of detail and I'm really hoping I can work detailed roofs and trees (at least, detailed to the point of my sketches) into the map.

Here are some of my sketches, mostly skirmish & neighborhood scale:

Gamerprinter
08-08-2009, 02:21 PM
AG7, glad to have you on board with the Challenge! The more the merrier.

I think there are many possible ways of developing a city map, since it is a more complicated challenge than a regional or world map - I don't think there is a wrong way to approach it. Your method seems viable to me.

As Mmmmmpig states, I like all the different styles and methodologies to getting the results you want.

I look forward to how this map progresses. Good luck!

GP

Koor
08-09-2009, 12:01 PM
Wow, very nicely drawn. A lot of detail in there.

What will the end product be, hand drawn, or will you scan it in and use a program for coloring?

armoredgear7
08-09-2009, 12:43 PM
Wow, very nicely drawn. A lot of detail in there.

What will the end product be, hand drawn, or will you scan it in and use a program for coloring?

Thanks. Right now I'm thinking I'll draw all the linework for buildings and manmade structures (canals, bridges, etc) in Illustrator, and then bring that image into Photoshop (at 11x17", 300dpi) to do the texturing, terrain and colour.

I haven't decided yet, but I'm also toying with the idea of drawing the buildings by hand and scanning them. It's probably too much work for me to bother for this challenge though. Something to keep in the back of my mind for a future challenge.

Gamerprinter
08-09-2009, 03:34 PM
Or, you could draw 25 individual buildings, scan them, then use 20 duplicates and scatter them about throughout your city. With that many original buildings, the copies wouldn't look so obvious. And you can slightly resize the buildings so you have larger and smaller versions and not obviously copies of others. Then make the specific unique structures: castle, 3 temples, 1 shrine/park, docks, walled sections.

Though still some work, its not like drawing 600+ buildings from scratch.

Just how I'd do it.

GP

Koor
08-09-2009, 04:01 PM
Or, you could draw 25 individual buildings, scan them, then use 20 duplicates and scatter them about throughout your city. With that many original buildings, the copies wouldn't look so obvious. And you can slightly resize the buildings so you have larger and smaller versions and not obviously copies of others. Then make the specific unique structures: castle, 3 temples, 1 shrine/park, docks, walled sections.

Though still some work, its not like drawing 600+ buildings from scratch.

Just how I'd do it.

GP

That's what I was thinking, along with the more selfish thought that he might then add those building patterns as a product that the community could use quick asian style maps.

Gamerprinter
08-09-2009, 04:25 PM
On Koors note, I've commissioned Devin Knight to create a couple dozen map objects of individual samurai, monks, farmers, merchants, Kaidanese women for use in Kaidan RPG for VTT (Virtual Table Top) usage.

DK, told me he's going to do a tutorial on how to create these kinds of models and post it in the tutorial section - coming up pretty soon, I hear.

GP

armoredgear7
08-14-2009, 12:04 PM
I've finished designing a few buildings for the map.

The plan right now is to do all the texturing & lighting in Photoshop, so the Illustrator artwork is mostly lines with limited color. The colors still need adjustment, something I'll edit when I move into Photoshop.

I've been doing a lot of experiments with pattern brushes & the appearance palette (to get multiple strokes on the same path) in Illustrator, to see about streamlining the workflow of making so many buildings. You can see the results of my efforts on the wall building (left). The low wall around the house is also a stroke style. Right now it looks like the buildings themselves will have to be drawn manually, although I have a brush to make variable-length buildings (so that the roof texture carries along) too.

Alfar
08-14-2009, 03:19 PM
Without knowing anything about Illustrator, could you make the roof endings as custom line endings? (the normal use for such a feature would be arrow heads)

armoredgear7
08-14-2009, 03:58 PM
Without knowing anything about Illustrator, could you make the roof endings as custom line endings? (the normal use for such a feature would be arrow heads)

I didn't post an image of it, but yes that's exactly what I've done.

armoredgear7
08-15-2009, 02:14 AM
After numerous hand-drawn sketches, I've put together a rough layout of the city in Illustrator.

The orange buildings are temples (I still have to decide where I'm putting the third one, and the shrine), and the white boxes are scale placeholders for buildings. All of the elevation shading and colors are just for my own reference at this point.

I'm still deciding whether or not to keep the north & south walls around the regular city area; they're pretty restrictive for building placement and I suspect they don't make as much sense as they should. I may also include a bridge between the merchant area and the opposite bank.

Any feedback (especially from GP!) at this point is appreciated. Is this a believable enough layout for the city?

### Latest WIP ###

Steel General
08-15-2009, 06:16 AM
Looking good so far.

Gandwarf
08-15-2009, 07:04 AM
I like what you got there armoredgear! The soft colors work really well together.

Ascension
08-15-2009, 08:23 AM
Yeah, another good entry.

msa
08-16-2009, 09:51 AM
I also like the colors and the clean lines. My one thought is that you might want to reverse the green colors... my eyes interpret darker colors as lower and lighter colors as higher in a topo map.

armoredgear7
08-16-2009, 08:48 PM
I've adjusted the road widths and laid down some more building placeholders for most of the map. The samurai district still needs to be done though.

Colour coding on the buildings is also reference for the time being - orange buildings are temples; yellowish are shops/commercial areas. white is obviously residential.

I've decided to keep the outer walls - the moderately wealthy and merchant class live within them, while the surrounding area is mostly slums. The area across the river will be mostly farmland when I get to it.

@msa: I did a test, reversing the coloring on the topographic levels and it wasn't really working for me. The lighter colours everywhere else look really strange up against a darker green for the sea level elevation. From what I can tell looking at other maps online, topographic gradients are usually light green -> dark green -> dark brown -> beige -> white, so I think my current system is works for now. I might still change it later.

### Latest WIP ###

armoredgear7
08-17-2009, 01:57 PM
Alright. This update marks the end of the placement phase - I'm pretty happy with the overall layout and scale of everything. From here, I'll be adding the actual graphics for the buildings and walls. When that's done, it'll be taken into Photoshop for texturing & lighting.

### Latest WIP ###

armoredgear7
08-20-2009, 04:53 PM
Alright. This update marks the end of the placement phase - I'm pretty happy with the overall layout and scale of everything

...Or so I thought. I decided to tweak the city to better match the chase map from Tanaka's challenge; the route is shown in red. I also made a few changes to the roads to improve defense and I made the castle cliff steeper.

I've also attached an image of the buildings I've done so far - they're all done with a pattern brush. The colored ones were an experiment. The shading & additional texture is to be added to the buildings in Photoshop. Trees, ponds, gates & low walls around the alleyways will also come later.

### Latest WIP ###

Steel General
08-20-2009, 06:32 PM
Looking very nice.

I'm still struggling with mine.

armoredgear7
08-22-2009, 12:29 AM
Here's an update for tonight's work; a couple hours' worth. Using a pattern brush makes this part pretty quick, although working to make sure everything lines up still takes some time.

### LATEST WIP ###

armoredgear7
08-25-2009, 04:56 AM
I finally got all the buildings placed & shaded, as well as a more organic set of roads & trails.

Moving onto the short list to do for Tuesday:
-bridges & wharves (drawn, just have to be dropped in)
-trees
-fields
-water detail
-rocks/cliff details
-final texture & colour, since the preview image has gone intense green.

Here's a 50% scaled version:

### Latest WIP ###

Gandwarf
08-25-2009, 06:26 AM
Gettind a red X when I click on the attachment :(
Even Firefox won't display it and says the file contains errors.

Steel General
08-25-2009, 07:10 AM
I had no problem viewing it.

Coyotemax
08-25-2009, 08:04 AM
It went for about 10 mins of attempting to load before I gave up.

Never actually loaded anything from this end..

Alfar
08-25-2009, 08:09 AM
Works for me in firefox on windows xp.

Immolate
08-25-2009, 08:46 AM
The attachment choked on me too. I'm running Chrome on Windows 7.

Jykke
08-25-2009, 09:06 AM
I never left-click any of the thumbnails on the page, as it usually loads the images more slowly that way for some reason.. opening them in new tab works so much faster. :S

Coyotemax
08-25-2009, 10:07 AM
Red X if i open in new tab.. (IE something or other on XP)... 7

armoredgear7
08-25-2009, 10:30 AM
I figured out why...

The previous files I put up were screen grabs, but this one I actually saved the PS file and I forgot that I was working in CMYK.

You can't view it because your browser doesn't support CMYK images.

### Latest WIP ###

Coyotemax
08-25-2009, 11:35 AM
ah hah! Nice work ont he map, it just keeps getting better.

This really is going to be a tough vote. That's the part i'm not looking forward to :)

Steel General
08-25-2009, 03:38 PM
This really is going to be a tough vote. That's the part i'm not looking forward to :)

I almost always have a tough time voting.

Gandwarf
08-25-2009, 06:24 PM
This is certainly going to be one of the tougher votes. I hope for 2 votes per person, but I don't think we have enough contestants for that...

armoredgear7
08-25-2009, 07:15 PM
This is certainly going to be one of the tougher votes.

There are a lot of good entries this month, that's for sure. Let me continue to make your choice tougher :)

Finished:
-bridges
-wharves
-ground/road texture
-new castle walls
-rivers (maybe? I might still go back and tweak them)

Remaining:
-trees
-building colours
-farm fields
-ponds/gardens for wealthy houses
-defense towers along city walls
-waterfall beside northwest temple
-mountain detail & cliff around the castle

I'm still doing alright for time, so the map should be done by Wednesday afternoon. Here's another 50% preview.

### Latest WIP ###

armoredgear7
08-26-2009, 02:15 AM
Moving right along, I've made some changes to the city walls and added ponds & trees.

From here it's just adding rockiness to the mountain area (and a few more trees on top of that), a cliff for the castle to sit upon, some farmers' fields and a waterfall for the temple. There might be also be a backyard islet or two that still needs a bridge.

That's it for tonight; I'll finish things up tomorrow afternoon.

### Latest WIP ###

MysticMagellan
08-26-2009, 03:45 AM
Very cool. I like all the roads and paths. Makes me want to rework a few of mine, but I don't think I've got the time.

armoredgear7
08-26-2009, 05:05 PM
After working full tilt most of today, my map is roughly 95+% done.

I might make a few tweaks before I post the larger size later. The file I'm working on takes a long time to flatten or save and I'm off to work until later this evening. Here's a preview:

### Latest WIP ###

Gandwarf
08-26-2009, 05:19 PM
You made some cool additions, like the hills to the west. Very nice!

Immolate
08-26-2009, 05:43 PM
Rep for a job well-done AG!

armoredgear7
08-27-2009, 12:51 AM
Thanks Gandwarf & Immolate!

Here's the final at full 300dpi resolution, but compressed to Jpeg quality 9 to keep the file size down.

### Latest WIP ###

Ascension
08-27-2009, 01:46 AM
This looks great AG.

Coyotemax
08-27-2009, 03:43 AM
About the only thng that looks a tiny bit off to me is near the top of the map along the riever, on the west bank there's a few docks that look like they're higher than the beach area, kind of floating overtop. Or perhaps that's a compression artifact thing? I was originally going to mention about some of the bridges in the gardens that go over the ponds, at first it looked like they were solid brown, but I can just barely make out the planking now.. that's definitely a compression issue.

It really is a freaking gorgeous map.

ravells
08-27-2009, 07:24 AM
This is absolutely Juicy!!!! Must have been a ton of work. Lovely road texturing - there's even a little tea-house on an island!

Voting this month is going to be a real bear!

armoredgear7
08-27-2009, 12:44 PM
Just a couple of tweaks before the deadline, as per Gandwarf's comments. The wharves & bridges to the islets have been fixed.

I also decided to add a few pink cherry trees :)

### Latest WIP ###

Jykke
08-27-2009, 01:21 PM
Looking good, though I'm not sure did they used fence around the fields in jpn. :)

armoredgear7
08-27-2009, 02:01 PM
Looking good, though I'm not sure did they used fence around the fields in jpn. :)

Thanks. When I finished drawing the fields I felt the map looked too empty on that side, so I decided to add some low walls. Besides, even though the Japanese didn't usually put walls around their fields, who says the Kaidanese don't?

Coyotemax
08-27-2009, 02:20 PM
Dang.

the only thing I can say at this point is "Wow, that's sexy"

armoredgear7
08-27-2009, 04:03 PM
Dang.

the only thing I can say at this point is "Wow, that's sexy"

Thanks! This has been a fun map to work on. I think my only regret is getting started a little late, but I also don't think it's hurt me any.

Gandwarf
08-27-2009, 04:05 PM
Congrats, you were in, just before the threadlock :)