View Full Version : Ascension... let's get started

dr Jack
10-29-2009, 04:41 PM
Edit -- Ouch... I see that there's a Community Leader with the same name of the city. Well, if it's a problem I'll change the name of the topic.

I need to train a bit. Well... I think more than 'a bit' :p.
When I created Ascension for one of my stories I designed a sketch of it, so I think it could be a start.
To make some exercise I'll try to make it more nice.

The first thing you like to know is that Ascension is in a lake. It's not an island, but a platform magically floating IN the lake. Then:

- 1 Big central market between 2 big warehouse.
- 4 big roads that finish on a drawbridge.
- 4 tower that command the drawbridges.
- 1 hospital (digged in a big pearl transplanted from another plane) with a private dock.
- 1 garden.
- 4 big quarters divided by the main roads.


I used only autorealm to create it, now I'll try to read some tutorial around and see what can I do. I think to start using gimp and Inkscape.
I'm reading tutorials and other topics around... and as you can see I really need suggestion, I have a lot to learn :).

10-29-2009, 04:48 PM
This might get confusing... Ascension is also a community leader on our forum :P

10-29-2009, 04:50 PM
No, there's no need to change the name of your city. I find it rather funny and can't wait for all the confused people stumbling into this thread (like I did) ;)

dr Jack
10-29-2009, 04:59 PM
Well I called it Ascension because it was a city created from an ancient race. They wanted to use it as a siege engine to break in the heavens.
I thought Ascension was a good name that give the idea :P.

(In the past was flying... now the humans can only make it floating in the water.)

10-29-2009, 05:00 PM
It sounds like a cool background for that city! Breaking the heavens would probably be a bad idea ;)

At the moment I don't fully understand your drawing by the way. I don't understand where the drawbridges are located...

10-29-2009, 05:30 PM
Actually, I was hoping it was going to be a map of Ascension in Groam, for the CWBP. I started that map a while back but dropped it about halfway through.


10-29-2009, 05:38 PM
I fell for it. :P

dr Jack
10-29-2009, 05:38 PM
There's a drawbridge at the end of every road.
They're not permanent drawbridge like the one in the castles, are more similar to bridge (maybe I'm using the wrong word) on a ship used to mooring the city on the coast.
Ascension can move on the lake, is a sort of big ship...

For now on the map there only two tent to defend every drawbridge, but no symbol for the drawbirdge himself.

10-29-2009, 10:17 PM
I like the concept (and the name).

I'm not fully understanding the four roads, however. On your sketch they're quite large (wide but short) but where do they go and how much traffic do they carry? Just from the edges to the center? Is there traffic from the edges at all? Where does it come from?

Does the city move or just float? Maybe if it moves it could dock at various ports-of-call. Might be interesting.

Just some thoughts.

dr Jack
10-30-2009, 07:16 AM
The roads are big because I wasn't good to draw them :p.
They're the biggest road in the city, and maybe a little bigger than normal. But not so big like in this sketch.

The ancient civilization created them to help the troops to go in the middle, but now it's a normal city e no more a siege engine city, so someone have build on it.

The market of the city is the one in the center, the blue thing is a huge portal where they took in food and other goods. They come from everywhere.

The edge is used less. The traffic is more in the center.

The city can move, but the lake is not an ocean. They use it as a good defence.

Well, the city economic is based on tertiary sector.
Scientist, lawyers, magician, medics, archivist... ecc.

I think the city idea is really more complex than his map :p.

For now I read this tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2844).
Within some hours I plan to read and applicate this (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=530)or this (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1150).
But they're both for photoshop, if you know something better for Gimp / Inkscape, or you think there's a better tutorial for my idea, I'll be delighted to use it.

10-30-2009, 11:30 AM
The roads are big because I wasn't good to draw them :p.
They're the biggest road in the city, and maybe a little bigger than normal. But not so big like in this sketch.

Oh well, I thought they served some sort of ceremonial role.

dr Jack
10-30-2009, 01:20 PM
Ok, I'm following this tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=530).

Well... easy for now, I've no river, and no hills. Only a plain circle.

I finished the first part today, I'm not sure is all right, but I hope to become better.
Tomorrow I'll do the second.

Here we're :).

A little note.
I used gray for the ground because it's constructed on a rock material, but now I'm not so sure of the color now.

dr Jack
10-30-2009, 01:25 PM
Oh well, I thought they served some sort of ceremonial role.
Eh... well.
Ancient ones planne to do ceremonies when it was a siege engine city, but they use underground tunnels (maybe I'll try to map it after this first map).
Up they used only barracks and a big portal. Now the humans changed it.

dr Jack
10-31-2009, 11:44 AM
Ok ok.
Some hours ago I wanted to stop... there was too much pain in creating this map :p!
I'm really happy now :).
Yeah, I know, thinking that you could like it is a too ambitious objective.
But maybe now the map won't offence your sense anymore.


- I changed a little minor road to show the old scheme, but I'm still not sure of these roads.
- I applied the GIMP mosaic filter. I love it.
- I've not finished yet, I'm at the second part of the tutorial, at the posterizing part.

10-31-2009, 11:49 AM
That's starting to look pretty good! Have some reputation.
The water is very blue though... you might want to soften it up a bit.

10-31-2009, 12:30 PM
I think that's looking pretty sharp. The mosaic filter is a little random for my tastes but it definitely gives your city a distinctive look. If you can define what each of the districts do and perform a little bit of by-hand cleanup to make a few of those details pop I think this'll start to shine.

dr Jack
10-31-2009, 12:31 PM
Thanks for the reputation and the suggestion.
What you mean about soften it up?
Change a little the color? Or you mean to apply some blur or other filters?
(I'm a noob)

10-31-2009, 12:50 PM
Sorry, I meant softening the colors a bit (lighter colors).
It's your map though, so don't change it if you like it the way it is.

dr Jack
10-31-2009, 01:03 PM
little bit of by-hand cleanup to make a few of those details pop
Noob question: clean up how?

I meant softening the colors a bit (lighter colors).
Ok thanks, I'm applaying also some filters. I'll show you when I'll finish.

10-31-2009, 01:43 PM
Noob question: clean up how?

I just meant to maybe zoom in and erase/paint a little by hand, using the mosaic filter's results as a starting point. Maybe add an alleyway here or extend/combine buildings there. I think it'll help you define a few important areas of the city and remove that "this was generated with a filter" feeling by taking away some of the regularity.

dr Jack
10-31-2009, 04:50 PM
Here we're. I followed the tutorial from the beginning to the end, only two thing outside of the pdf:
- Used the mosaic of Gimp to create the buldings.
- I've not created any castles but I used some other symbols to create warehouses, towers and drawbridges. The Refuge of the Blissed is created using only layers.

I tryed to make the lake more laker and I added some details.
I like the lake :P, but the other details are not so good. I don't know how to do better for now, we'll see the next time.
If anyone had suggestion I'll be delighted to hear them.

10-31-2009, 04:54 PM
The southern part of the Pool Market looks like a piece was cut off. Was that deliberate?

dr Jack
10-31-2009, 05:18 PM
Well the portal is becaming worn for the use, and the roads are taking space from it, but I agree with you, the southern part is too regularly worn. I'll try to give some noise.
I'll wait for other eventual suggestion before I publish the last.
Thanks for your help, Gandwarf ;).