PDA

View Full Version : Town Map



Torq
09-17-2007, 06:16 PM
Hi All

Here is a WIP for the town of "Bright Aurum", a mining town with a sinister past and a mysterious present. It was made using this wonderful freeware application http://www.drachenzahn.de/city_map_generator/city_maps.html . All the post work was done using the GIMP.

Comments most welcome.

Torq

jaerdaph
09-17-2007, 06:46 PM
Wow, very nice! I really like how you've done the trees. The only suggestion I have is perhaps remove the dark blue border from the river. I think it makes the river look more like a tube of water (or a pipe cleaner, if that even remotely makes sense).

I really need to find the time to learn GIMP because every day I'm more and more impressed by the output folks are getting.

ravells
09-17-2007, 06:50 PM
And maybe tone down the brightness of the river too...it's very bright - otherwise a fantastic map!

I'd like to say I'll check out the software, but I'm fast coming to the conclusion that it's better to master the software one is using than to keep chopping and changing!

Ravs

Fister
09-17-2007, 11:36 PM
I like the dark feel of your map. It will definitely convey a sense of dread to your players. I agree with the other comments on toning down the river's brightness, if only too better keep with the dark theme your map is achieving. You might even try for a polluted look by darkening the waters if possible. I also approve of your method of suggesting mountainous terrain but maintaining it simplicity and thus usability. I haven't played with the city map generator but it looks very promising and a great time saver too.

Jharviss
09-18-2007, 12:02 AM
Oh wow, I absolutely love your trees! How did you do them? I've been making all of these city maps recently and each one has a different style for trees, and I hate each and every one of them. But this, this is nice. Can you explain?

I'm not sure about the background of your map. It feels like a fairly stale background, almost like a picture of granite was taken and the map was placed atop it. I would bring it out a bit more, make it more lifelike. I would also darken the river and maybe make the bridges pop a bit. The river doesn't fit in with the rest of the map style right now.

Edit -- Also, I would move the shadows of the tall buildings a bit closer to the buildings themselves. Since the rest of the buildings don't have those deep shadows, having the shadows on the brown buildings definitely make them seem bigger. But right now they look like they're floating. Move the shadows in closer to the building to make it look less floating-like.

Torq
09-18-2007, 05:32 AM
Thanks for the remarks everyone.

"The only suggestion I have is perhaps remove the dark blue border from the river. I think it makes the river look more like a tube of water (or a pipe cleaner, if that even remotely makes sense)."

"You might even try for a polluted look by darkening the waters if possible."


I see what you mean. I think I will try a nice murky green.

"I like the dark feel of your map. It will definitely convey a sense of dread to your players."

Thank you. I was worried that I hadn't managed to get that feeling across in the map. I think the font helps a great deal too when it comes to the atmosphere.

"Since the rest of the buildings don't have those deep shadows, having the shadows on the brown buildings definitely make them seem bigger. But right now they look like they're floating. Move the shadows in closer to the building to make it look less floating-like."

Maybe I tried too hard to reinforce that the towers of the unfinished wall are actually taller by some way than the surrounding buildings. I will have another look at the shadowing.

"Oh wow, I absolutely love your trees! How did you do them?"

The trees are actually a texture of fallen leaves that I have saved at a pattern file (.pat) in the GIMP. I will see if I can find the original file when I get back to my mac at home. I then filled the areas where I wanted forest with that pattern. Then I used colour select to take out all the lighter areas between the leaves, inverted the selection and stroked the selection that remained with a 1 pixel wide black outline. Then I applied a shadow .

Thanks again.
Torq

ravells
09-18-2007, 06:11 AM
I'd agree with what Jharviss has said about the background 'granite' texture not integrating itself with the map. the elements almost look like they're floating on top of it and, if the background is meant to be mountains and such, they are at a perspective view and look 'off' as the rest of the map is an overhead view.

I love the forest as well, thanks for explaining how you did it!

Ravs

RobA
09-18-2007, 09:39 AM
The trees are actually a texture of fallen leaves that I have saved at a pattern file (.pat) in the GIMP. I will see if I can find the original file when I get back to my mac at home. I then filled the areas where I wanted forest with that pattern. Then I used colour select to take out all the lighter areas between the leaves, inverted the selection and stroked the selection that remained with a 1 pixel wide black outline. Then I applied a shadow .

Thanks again.
Torq

Torq - It looks a lot like the animated leaves (ivy) brush. Did you use that to create a pattern?

-Rob A>

Torq
09-18-2007, 09:52 AM
You're right. I had forgotten but you are quite correct. I didn't even create a pattern file I simply used the brush to fill in the areas I thought should be forested. Apologies for the incorrect info given earlier. The rest is correct though. Thanks RobA. You know your Gimp.

Torq

Torq
09-20-2007, 04:53 PM
Here is a revised version. I adjusted the shadows on the taller buildings which are the towers of the unfinished wall and changed the river colour. It really didn't come out as planned so I will probably have to do a rethink of that.

I also brought up the contours some more but increasing the strength of the bump mapping in Gimp, to give a better impression of what I'm trying to achieve with the background, which is a surface texture together with a bitmap heightfield generated using mojoworld.

Thanks for all the advice and assistance.

Torq

pyrandon
09-20-2007, 05:39 PM
Yeah, the river seems a continual problem, but man--those trees are worth the entire map! So all you did was have a leaves (ivy) brush set to green, then stamped it down a few times?

Torq
09-20-2007, 05:58 PM
Just used the ivy brush as it comes, out of the box. Dragged it around a little. Then selected all the green ivy leaves using colour select and stroked the selection in black (1 pixel wide) to give each shape more definition. Then applied a drop shadow. It could't really be easier.

May have used some blurring before applying the black outline. Cant remember. I was a little blurry at the time.

Torq

RobA
09-21-2007, 11:07 AM
So all you did was have a leaves (ivy) brush set to green, then stamped it down a few times?

Pyrandon - the ivy brush is a pre-coloured brush (called a pixmap brush)...it does not depend on the foreground colour, and is also known as an "image-pipe", "image hose" "tube" (psp speak) or "animated brush". (here is a quick tutorial on what they are and how to make them in GIMP (http://www.linuxfocus.org/English/November2003/article314.shtml))


Here is a revised version. I adjusted the shadows on the taller buildings which are the towers of the unfinished wall

Torq - I've attached a micro-tutorial for creating more realistic "long" shadows in GIMP using motion blurs that might help you here...(I have left the "shadows" at full opacity, just for ease of viewing.

-Rob A>

RPMiller
09-21-2007, 02:09 PM
For your river, make it a continual path and layer it under the layer with the bridges. Part of the problem is the 'outline' of the river is going along the bridges and breaking it up.

Set the outline of the river to a sandy or light brown and the river to a bluish-green with a bit more green set its translucence to about 80% and put another layer under it with a dirt texture/fill and set the river layer to multiply. That might give you the effect you want.

jaerdaph
09-21-2007, 03:26 PM
The more I look at this map, the more I'd like to see this style used in a Ravenloft campaign. It has a very Gothic feel, like a Hammer Studios horror flick.

Torq
09-24-2007, 05:52 PM
Relying heavily on the great advice received from everyone on this thread, here is the next version. I have changed the river (I think its an improvement), used RobA's improved shadow method on the towers. I've also added bridges. A few labels and I think its almost ready to be filed under "Great learning experiences on the CartographersGuild Boards".

"The more I look at this map, the more I'd like to see this style used in a Ravenloft campaign. It has a very Gothic feel, like a Hammer Studios horror flick."

One of the most fun campaigns I ever ran was Ravenloft, using AD&D 2nd Ed. My games, no matter what the locale always have a grungy, scary feel to them. Thats why I am running an Iron Heroes game now. Thanks for the compliment though. Hammer Studios Horror flick, I wish!. I'm sure "Bright Aurum" could be slotted into my IH game though.

Thanks again.

Torq

RPMiller
09-24-2007, 06:51 PM
The river is great!! Well done! I definitely think this was a great process you went through and the final product made it well worth it. Bravo! I'm giving you some rep for the job well done.

pyrandon
09-24-2007, 07:14 PM
Way to go, Torq! This turned out really well--great, great job.

That river is a HUGE improvement! Nicely done. The shadows are also nice--although the towers appear to have about a 6:00 pm sun while the trees/other buildings are closer to noon. Othewrwise, man! I can't think of what else to really tweak!!

ravells
09-25-2007, 06:28 AM
The river looks so much better! Great job! My only reservation is the top half of the background which looks a little 'out of sync' in the way the slopes and the buildings interact and the tower shadows as Don has already mentioned but apart from that I think it's stunning.

NeonKnight
09-25-2007, 07:42 AM
I concur this 'final' (if a map ever is final) version is a might pretty map.

Very sweet.

Have some rep as well from me!