View Full Version : an attempt at a city
02-07-2010, 07:41 AM
Here be my latest attempt at making a map. This is the beginning of Laer Ia'Bor, roughly translated it means "White Rock City" or "City of White Rock". In the Dal Lands this city is pretty much the centre of the educational world, housing the great Domma al'Sava (Tower of Knowledge) and the first and only university in the Dal Lands.
The city still has a lot of work needed before completion. A bit is borrowed from tuts posted here, thanks go out to Ascension, Pyrandon and Tamariel (check spelling), but most of it is just made up as I go along. The buildings shown here are still experimental, they will change, I'm aiming for something that looks like buildings, made from stone, yet are not too complicated or grab too much attention from the rest of the map. I'm also still playing around with the land itself, mostly to try and some trees that actually look like trees.
Looking back on it now do i realise just how many buildings I'm going to end up with, so glad I didn't decide to do them all individually.
02-07-2010, 08:49 AM
I can dig it. Looks good so far.
02-07-2010, 11:37 AM
I agree, very attractive so far, looking forward to watching this one develop.
I like it, it looks very nice so far and it's an impressive size. Given how big it is, I'd dread having to do all the buildings individually too.
02-07-2010, 09:07 PM
Wow, you can actually see each crennalation dot on the walls and towers zoomed in...great stuff!!!
02-08-2010, 07:36 AM
Making some progress, although slowly. Put down all the bases of the common district buildings, know you see where the city got it's name. I'm working on the road plan for the richer district and will then put down the buildings there. All also desturate the bright green land, it was nice to start with but now its too bright.
Next I'm going on a mass map cleanup and then will try to beautify the place. Not sure what to put in the large walled off area on the the eastern cliffs, was supposed to be the "Mount of the Honoured Dead" but it's position is all wrong. I am going to be put in two fortresses, one is "Droma Ia'Bor" (White Rock Keep) which will overlook the opening at the mouth of the bay opposite the walled area, and the second will be the "Jhotan al Sava" (High House of Knowledge) which is a large fortress acaedemy (think hogwarts without the magic) in the large walled off area in the west of the city.
I'm also going to be deleting large swathes of houses to make way for some special houses (key locations, warehouses, etc). Will put up a plan for these on the next map. Still can't make some decent tress though, will post some of my experiments to show you what I got. Also I need help in planning where to place my religious facilities, there needs to be one large grove and a shrine somewhere in the city in a place to be available to as many people as possible. I was thinking of putting it on the small island in the bay but it would be too close to the docks and commercial/industry area in the eastern sector of the city.
I like the building changes a lot more now, they make it feel like a dense, highly populated city.
02-08-2010, 10:01 AM
The river looks very deep and dramatic! Is it a major feature of your setting?
02-08-2010, 12:19 PM
I like the way your buildings are turning out as well. You would have gone nuts if you had tried to do them individually. I would like to know how you created them as I think they look rather effective.
02-08-2010, 08:53 PM
@ Aval - The river does play a part in the history of the city, mainly tradewise, and while it is large it's importance is overshadowed by several larger and more prominent rivers in the Dal Lands.
@ Jaxillion - The buildings were painted using the tut done by Talmariel, found here http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?8897-Quick-and-Dirty-Buildings-for-a-Town-Map-in-PS . Talmariel's results were a lot cleaner than mine but I used a different set of layer styles, will be trying to use his method again in placing features on top of the buildings e.g, gardens, roofs, etc.
02-10-2010, 05:21 AM
Alot of small changes here. I put in the bases for the lesser buildings in the Shi'Kia Terada'al, the rest of the space will be used for estates and gardens. Added a small wall to the tops of the common buildings, it's kinda hard to see but when you compare them to the newly laid buildings you'll notice it. The buildings look a lot liek the walls at this stage but that will change as i add roof gardens and such.
Fiddle with the land to add a little more detail and to make the transition from water to land a lot smoother. The changes aren't all that noticeable because I really had to lower the resolution to get the map to show up on this site.
Will spend more time cleaning up what I haev before adding new stuff.
02-10-2010, 07:06 AM
nice so far :) I just spent ten mins scrolling around and sightseeing :P
02-14-2010, 03:27 AM
Okay, haven't done alot. I've mainly just spent time cleaning up the common district buildings, a lot of them still look wierd but doing it all with a mouse is taking me forever.
While still cleaning up the buildings I added a small district of ramshackle hovels and stuff in the northeastern area, this is the Casteless District where the lowest members of the social ladder live. I've also added a layer that makes the areas around the roads inside the city and around the buildings look like they've been cleared off all vegetation to give the city more of a lived in look. Also been fiddling around with the settings on the buildings to try and make them better but I'm still experimenting (rather unsuccesfully) with methods to try and make them look more like buildings and make the city look more alive.
Next I'll be doing more cleanup and put down the boards and timber floors for docks and piers.
02-17-2010, 06:48 AM
Okay, i think i've killed this city. I can't figure out how to create some nice looking buildings and my experiments/cleaning have screwed them up beyond repair, also can't figure out how to create some decent looking trees. I found a map drawn in CC3 that had some nice building I would like to do but i can't figure how to do the same thing in photoshop without having to go in and do each house individually, with a city this size that would bring me to the verge of a mental blowout. I also have a map from long ago that has nice buildings made in photoshop but i can't seem to track down the artist. I can't post either map because I'm pretty sure both artists are members here on the Guild and I don't want to post their work without permission.
02-17-2010, 08:27 AM
What is the City Map in CC3 you are refering to?
02-17-2010, 12:00 PM
Give us a sample of 1 building showing the style I am sure CG can find a way.
Also what is WRONG with your buildings? You have some great shapes in there and apart from the repetitive texture and limited colour variation I dont see any probs. Those two issues mentioned can be fixed quite easily with layer effects to break up the textures and the colour.
Considering the sheer size of the city you are doing great imo.
02-17-2010, 08:10 PM
looking pretty good so far! Yeah, the joy of creating all those buildings in a city :( still, looking forward to seeing the next layer placed on top. Btw you could check Sapientos (i think it was his map) entry for destructive land challenge (Atlantis), he did an amazing job on the buildings using some brushes, i think its posted in the thread. cheers
02-18-2010, 02:21 AM
@NeonKnight - The map is one of Gandwarf's maps, I think it was his Concentron map but I don't know. I have it on my hardrive somewhere, I'll find it and upload a small snapshot of the buidlings I found interersting. Hope you don't mind Gandwarf.
@Djekspek - Thnx, I'll look into Sapiento's maps, I think i was looking at them the other day.
@Najmir - Not all of the buildings are problematic, the method used to create them is good (thnx go out to Talmariel for the tut on how to do so) but my road plan screwed it up. I've posted some pics below to show what I mean by problematic. I want my buildings to like the ones in pic 1, a little adjustments and they'll be fine. The problem with my road map is that I either have plots of land too small, too triangular or too narrow. I either end up with buildings that are too weird of shape (pic 2), are too small or look too incomplete (pic 3) or take up too much of the plot becoming one large block (pic 4). I'm keeping the technique but I will need to redraw the road plan to make the plots larger and more open, this will make my city look smaller as a result but i'm willing to make that move.
02-18-2010, 03:54 AM
There is this city map by Gandwarf:
Is this the one?
02-18-2010, 04:06 AM
While that is sort of the style the map i was referring to is actually his Tweeberg map, just found it now. Very similiar but the buildings in Tweeberg seem a little more order and compact, perfect for a busy city.
Below is a snapshot from his Tweeberg map to show what I mean and the second pic is a snapshot form the other map i was talking about, it's called Hastad Ciudad (i think) and I'm not sure if the artist was on this site or deviantART.
02-18-2010, 10:33 AM
I had planned to work on some high density techniques/ I saw your post and thought I might have a look at the issue you have as a wip into my own technique. It is 1 am so I only gave it half an hour.
The below post shows an alternative to Tal's technique. This one uses animated brushes with random sizing to build up the buildnig lines. Then some texturing, bumping, and shadow to give the city area with flat topped desert(?) style roof tops. This technique still has some issues but i dont know if it is any closer to what you are looking for?
I hope you dont mind that I used your map to show a comparison? If so, let me know and I will kill it.
The random brush size is a little too random. If i get time tomorrow I will build a brush with a smaller range of random building sizes and try that out.
Anyways let me know if you are interested.
02-19-2010, 07:32 AM
No worries Naj, go ahead and experiment, it's nice to see what others can come up with. You'll probably succeed where i've failed.
As for buildings, i've decided to go in a new direction. Before I was aiming for stone buildings, now my buildings will still mostly be stone but with high pointed tiled roofs (these would the only visible part of the buidling seen from overhead, think buildings with a slight oriental feel), so i need to come up with a new brush that allows me make random rectangular houses. The idea behind my houses is that the main living quarters would be a large hall (in the local tongue the word for hall and home mean the same thing) with other rooms built off it or above it so i need rectangular houses with the odd add-on. The houses in the common districts need to be grouped close together but with some open areas, cluster people too close together and you get squalor and the Dal People are very touchy when it comes to squalor, also they believe that such close qaurters would bring some people together that shouldn't be brought together. Experimenting with this idea now, probably won't succeed but its worth a try.
02-19-2010, 08:04 AM
Have you got any techniques worked out. I have something similar that I used in my Shadow Crest WIP map that I have on CG. Though I made it less dense than you are looking for. I went for the tiled effect with standard roof shapes not so spikey.
If it looks like you're heading down the " probably won't succeed" let us know and I will give it a bash.
Anyways, good luck!
02-23-2010, 04:44 AM
Okay, so i hit the end of the "not succeeding" path and decide to screw it, I'm doing it the hard way. So now i'm doing all of the buildings individually, i'm still experimenting with a buidling brush and saved my original work to a new file just in case but now i must move on. The first pic below is the rough plan of where things are going to go, the light brown represents commoner residential areas, the dark brown is warehouses, the earthy brown is commercial areas like docks and workshops, the bright red are special locations, the dark red is the noble area, the really light blue are mills, the medium blue are ferry points and the dark blue are the houses of the warrior caste. The green was supposed to be swatches of trees but that is being discontinued. This plan is greatly subjected to change and i'm changing roads as I'm going along.
The second image is what i have done so far. I've completed the warehouses and dock areas and put in the details for both, i'm now carving the city up into blocks for the rest of the housing. A major downside is that the city is now going to be a lot smaller as a result, more of a large town instead of a real city.
Al. I. Cuza
02-23-2010, 06:01 AM
Nice work. I only have one question: Why does the city have walls near the cliffs, which are perfectly good natural barriers?
02-23-2010, 06:11 AM
Hmm gotta think about that. Besides just adding a litte extra defence to the keep i'm going to put there, each of the towers on the wall holds a large defensive weapin, sort of making the area an artillery position. I'd say the walls are there to protect against land attacks, alos i had planned to put the city/town prison up there so the walls were also supposed to keep people in. Now that i don't really have a jail for the city i'm trying to come up with something imprtant enough to be kept up there. Will have to think about this.
02-23-2010, 07:17 AM
I dont envy you having to draw all of those places in manually. But on the plus side the docks and wh areas are looking great!
Good luck m8
02-23-2010, 07:23 AM
I am glad you decided to do the buildings by hand. It's a lot of work, but it will show...
02-23-2010, 08:27 AM
Yeah, i agree with you on that Gandwarf, it is going to look so much better. I just whipped this up now, it isn't fully detailed yet but this is the central island area.
02-23-2010, 09:37 AM
That is looking great.
There is only one minor thing that seems a little out and it may not even be of concern with this style. Some of the buildings appear to have shading on diff sides of the roof. It is really only noticeable when the buildings are next to each other and running the same way.
02-23-2010, 09:48 AM
I knew the shading was going to come and bite me in the a... anyway. The thing is that normally i use a bevel which gets the shading right automatically but these buildings were made Ascension style in which i take a large line and apply a gradient to make a pointed roof, one side shaded and the other side not shaded. The line is then cut up and rearranged as i see fit. The light in this particular map comes from the southeast and alot of the buildings seem to be aligned to point towards that direction, a problem with my road plans. As a result It not always easy to tell which side of the roof the shading will be on but i will try to rearrange it so that the shading falls on the northern and western sides of the roof.
This will take time though, I working with a lot of stuff on the map which is really bogging down my laptop, its getting to the point where i can't have alot of things running in the background and need to hide half my layers to get a tolerable speed of work.
02-23-2010, 11:44 AM
This is coming along nicely...aren't city maps fun? :P
02-24-2010, 02:28 AM
Fun in an excrutiatingly tedious kind of way, but what the heck, i keep going back to it so i can't complain.
Because of the size and sheer number of houses i've divided up the city into smaller districts and will be working on each district individually. I'll be posting these districts individually instead of the whole city so that you can see the districts at full resolution. Completed the Central Island District, below. It's the same as before but now i've added cleared areas of land around the houses, struts/beams to the roofs of the larger better tan houses, fences and some gardens where locals can grow their own vegetables, because rice and fish can only go so far. I'm going to try and cram as much into the city as possible to try and bring a sense of life to it and, well, i just like adding little details. I'm also trying to come up with some imaginative names for each district, I wanted to call the Central Island District "Fisher's Island" but i've decided to move the fishing industries either to the eastern area or have fishing villages further up the coast, as far away from the nobles and main residential districts as possible. So now I'm thinking of calling it "Ferry Point" or the "Young Dock's" District.
02-24-2010, 08:25 AM
You have inspired me to have a go at a large city map myself. Just need to figure out where to start... !
02-24-2010, 09:01 AM
I know exactly how tedious and repetitive this is but it's the results that matter right? Lookin good my man.
02-26-2010, 10:16 AM
And so i trudge slowly onwards, i'm mainly just trying to tackle the large blocks of buildings within the city but i have done the area in the northwestern section beside the river, outside the city. For now it will be called the Northern Outer District and consists of some orchards (top left), a few mills (the water wheels need work), a stable, some houses and warehouses and a lot of trees. The trees are still in their experimental phase, they look good in small groves or individually but I have yet to come up with a good way of painting large sections of them. Looking back on the map now I've just noticed that i forgot to put in the cleared areas of land around the houses and roads.
NOTE: Progress will be slowed as we are about to move house, that and i'm still trying to increase the performance and speed of my photoshop, made some improvement but it could always be faster.
Al. I. Cuza
02-26-2010, 11:16 AM
I love the details! Very engaging.
02-26-2010, 06:06 PM
That looks great, man. Yeah, the trees are a little off but you'll figure out something...I never do trees the same way twice. The rest looks better than I could do.
The trees might look better if you tone down the ammount of white in your bevel/emboss, or use a different highlight colour. (assuming you're using a layer style)
02-27-2010, 06:38 PM
That is coming along nicely. On the trees, they seem to rise up from the edges to a flat top like it has been bevelled.. Maybe bump map low density noise in to the falt areas of the trees. Or even just for some light and shade.
Otherwise it is looking great. I have started working on a large city of my own. I doubt I will ever get it looking a nice as this and I dont have a spare year to spend on it :)
03-03-2010, 06:17 AM
I've completed the northwestern district of the city. Known as the Western Sprawl District it is the main residential area for the Commoner Caste. The large buildings around the square (or rectangle) are the Main Market and Mercantile Contract Buildings. Those of you who look closely should notice dark streaks on the roofs of some of the buildings, mainly in the northern sector, this was a mistake on my behalf that is currently irreversible. Instead of doing all of those buidlings again I've decided to include it in the background of the town, maybe there was a fire in that area some time ago, or maybe it's just a poorer area.
While not seen here, i've gone back and blurred the edges of the cliffs so that they blend into the water instead of sitting upon it. Seen here but not too noticeable, i've added an extra texture to the water to simulate some more waves and the direction of the current, and I've also tweeked the forests so that they aren't so flat.
Next I'll be jumping across the river to the central district, it's smaller and so should be done faster.
03-03-2010, 07:31 AM
Coming along quite nicely... but you know you're certifiably insane, right? :D
03-03-2010, 07:35 AM
I'm a psychology student so I'm allowed to be :)
03-03-2010, 08:09 AM
Sick mate! Have some rep. :)
03-03-2010, 02:01 PM
No wonder you're doing so well LWD, I have my Masters degree in psychology. We must all be detail obsessives.
03-09-2010, 05:26 PM
Wow, dude. Just wow. I am filled with the green wine of envy. :D
03-09-2010, 05:44 PM
Holey moley...hope you have time for your studies inbetween making cities!
03-11-2010, 04:26 AM
Nah, it's actually the other way around. I try to get snippets of the map done in between assignments, which is why i won't have an update on the map for a while now, nothing big anyway, don't want to take up your time with small tweaks.
Al. I. Cuza
03-11-2010, 09:17 AM
You are insane! :D This looks amazing.
03-15-2010, 03:09 AM
Not a major update, but i've reached a lull in my uni work so i've been able to get something done. I've made a tweek to the water, lands and forests. I've removed the texture from the water to make it look a little smoother, before and after pics below. For the land i've really toned done the brightness of it and added smaller areas of browner/muddier ground to break up the green. A new layer of forest was added in top of the first and both were given a dark green colour overlay to get rid of that flat-topped beveled look.
I've also gone back and redid the central island distrcit, it was looking a little delapitated and since this islands serves as a stop-off between the rich district and the industrial and commercial districts i decided to spiff it up a bit. I removed all of the grey commercial buildings, several of the warehouses, redid the tan residential buildings, put in more hedges, fences and trees and put in a new special building, the Companion Playhouse.
Almost done with district two, will post it soon along with a larger map showing all of my progress so far.
03-15-2010, 06:03 AM
I like where you are heading although your houses seem a little bit too similar to me. I think it would look better if you could get a bit more variation into them.
03-15-2010, 06:38 AM
There will be some variation added to the buildings, but not until much later, I'm just trying to get all the houses down right now. The problem is that there will be so many houses that adding variation to them would take forever, if i do a smaller map (town sized and under) then there will be a lot more variation.
03-17-2010, 08:32 AM
At first i thought that the map was too small, but grinding my way throguh it now i ask myself why i made it so large :( . Anyway, I've complete the second district, it's just to the east of the main residential area and is called the "Greens District" because it has proportioanlly more gardens and trees than the residential area and most of the cities foodstuffs can be bought here.
There are four special areas here, two large buildings, a field and a market. This market is for the trading of foodstuffs and most goods made in the city, the other market handles trade and labour contracts and carries goods from outside the city or higher price goods like silk. The large building on the left side of the district is the "Te Tan al Solak", or the House of Spirits, the cities equivelant of a temple. The other large building is the "Te Tan al Tenehal", the House of the Body, a medical clinic for the masses. The field is the "Huba Dnuk" field, a place where ball games are played.
Also included is a map showing all of the work i've done so far. Next I'm jumping further east to the industrial district but before i do that i have some thoughts i need opinions. I added some coloured lines on the roofs of the special buildings, these are signs. They work on the larger buildings but I'm thinking of putting them on some of the residential buildings to signify general stores and the like and to break up the sea of brown. I put some on the building in the Central Island District, the question is do they work, what do you guys think? Also, what colour should the house roofs of the higher classes be? There going to be tiled, like the special buildings, and i was thinking of a light grey so as not to contrast too much with the common houses too much but still stand out; but i've also done some experiments with a rich brown colour. Which should I used?
I've done half of the housing but i fear i will go made before the end of the other half. Now, if you'd excuse me, i need to sit in the corner and cackle maniacally.
03-17-2010, 11:14 AM
m8, you are an animal, that is some tedious work there. Hope you dont loose your marbles before you get to the end!
It is looking great. Trees are looking much better too.
I am not sure if I agree with Cal or not. By keeping the same style for the housing en masse you are communicating the idea of an ordered and planned city.Class distinction might be limited also as a result a result of levels of education I think you mentioned in your early posts. Graphically If I zoom in and focus on one plain area funnily enough it does look plain. However, I think that it is the plain that brings out the finer details that you have meticulously added and also emphasises the structures and areas of importance.
Anyways enough rambling time for some zzzs
03-17-2010, 06:25 PM
If you want to give your roofs some variation, create a new layer and put a pattern or some color on the layer. Then ctrl+click on the houses layer, Select - Inverse, then hit the delete key and deselect...this removes the color/pattern from the streets and land, etc. Then use the eraser on certain sections and finally mess around with the blend mode of the layer. This way you can add some "cloud-based grunge", "pattern-based noise or lines", or set up different classes to have different color roofs. Myself I use one of the default colored patterns in PS, called nebula I think, max out the scale and then reduce the opacity so that it isn't so vivid and a multiply or hard light or color blend mode. By the way, looks fantastic, but I'm biased of course.
03-17-2010, 07:23 PM
I think it's looking great. I don't think I'm ready to attempt this as I figure I would go cross eyed pretty fast :)
Keep up the good work!
03-17-2010, 08:19 PM
Wow... this is starting to look insanely good! I can appreciate the work you have put into this. This city is a monster :)
The roofs might need some more variety, as at the moment the city looks more like a military camp (very orderly, but that might also be the effect you are going after). Maybe some red slate roofs for the higher classes. Anyway, very, very cool! Hope you are able to finish it.
03-17-2010, 10:30 PM
Thnx for the kinmd words guys
I am going for some variation in the houses and Ascension pretty muched nailed the idea i'm working with, i just want to get all of the common and industrial houses down first. So do not fear, variety is on the agenda.
@Gandwarf - I'm avoiding using the colours red, it always struck me as bing a colour used in European cities and I'm trying to avoid that. Also local customs forbids living under a red roof, the Dal believe that the bloddy colour attracts malevolent spirits. Only one house in the city is going to be red and that is the house of the cities executioner and only because it has been properly protected by charms and spirirt barriers.
03-18-2010, 02:21 AM
Okay, i've added some variation to the roofs done once again by following the words of the mighty Ascension, the nebula overlay worked great man :) . Below is the before and after of the effect, i think it worked out well but it's my map and so i'm a little biased.
On a side note, I'm trying to come up with a look for my castle but can't decide on a theme. I've taken the Ursula K. Le Guin approach to fantasy by creating a culture that resembles some parts of other cultures but cannot be directly linked with a preexisting culture. For the Dal I've got kind of a mix of Japanese, Chinese, Native American and Celtic cultures but only two of these cultures really have castles and if i did my castles like them people would be very quick in making a connection. SO i was thinking of making a generic looking castle, large stone rectangles with battlements and a few roofs that are sort of like oriental roofs but with a tribal sense. I don't know how this castle should be laid out, so i'm asking, what are the key parts of a castle that i should have in my castle? So far I onlky have the main keep and a few outlying barracks.
Also, i've noticed that the maximum size of files to be uploaded has changed, what is the new maximum size for jpeg files.
03-18-2010, 03:31 AM
Here's a quick link (http://www.castles.org/Kids_Section/Castle_Story/). I have some more detailed drawings in my library but I have to find the right book and scan it first...if you need it that is. It has many more parts.
really like your thoughts on red roofs - nice :) ... and good link Ascension ... maybe we should make a book "Castles for dummies" :)
03-18-2010, 05:50 PM
No red roofs then :)
I like the effect you achieved in your latest examples. Keep up the good work!
03-26-2010, 08:27 AM
Update, completed District 3, that's all of the common districts completed and the better half of all housing.
District 3, known as the Eastern Industrial District is where the majority of the city's noiser and less fragrant workshops are, the area alway has the city's main dock and proportionally less gardens. There are also two new changes here that are being implemented across the other common districts. First, several homes have been removed to be replaced some smaller market stalls, just to break up the mass of buildings and add some more variety and colour. Second you'll notice those strange stones outside of the city walls, those are Kaija Stones and are placed around Dal cities to ward off malevolent spirits by forming a magickal barrier of sorts.
In district 3 there three major locations, the fish market, the Warden of Waterfront (Harbour Master) and the barracks and admin building of the cities patrol vessels. They are arranged north to south respectively, I'm now moving onto the upper-middle class district, the buildings here are larger so they should take less time to get them all down. Still haven't chosen a colour for the roofs yet, will have some examples of experimenting up soon.
03-27-2010, 08:02 AM
Here are some of the experiments i've done to try and create some houses for my upper class areas. The roofs of the houses are supposed to be tiled but getting a good look is bugging me, i need to find more patterns to use, i only have two that make for good tiled roofs. Will have to experiment more but i'm leaning towards something more on the lines of no 2, but lighter.
03-27-2010, 08:28 AM
It looks great LW but I'm wondering whether it might benefit from more negative space? The buildings look incredibly 'packed in'.
03-27-2010, 08:33 AM
The common districts are quite packed in, they're nicknamed the common sprawls, but the upper class district will be quite open, divided up by roads and fences but with a lot of open ground and more parks and stuff. I am going back and trying to break up the mass of buildings, the new markets were the first step, i'm also going back and putting in more gardens and some parks and stuff, it'll still be packed but sinse it won't all be buildings and featuring more green areas it'll give more breathing space.
03-27-2010, 07:11 PM
cool! looking forward to seeing them!
03-27-2010, 08:07 PM
Still looking great... can't wait to see it all together :)
03-28-2010, 12:26 PM
Okay, my tweaks didn't work out quite as well as i had hoped but they accomplished their primary goal which was to break up the mass of buildings a bit more. I'm moving on from the common districts for now, i'll revist them later but before i go entirely nuts I'm having a go at the upper district. I do intend to add more white areas of cobblestones because after all the city is called the City of White Rock
Here is the map of the city as it currently stands, i've also added an extra level of elevation to the cliffs just to make them rise up a bit more and made them look rockier.
03-29-2010, 03:43 AM
My next batch of roof experiments using a new texture, still not quite there yet but getting better.
03-29-2010, 01:41 PM
This thing is HUGE, I'm surprised you're still sane! The addition of negative space makes it look a lot better for me. Couple of questions: What are those little (Pillars?) around the town with a red spiral pattern coming out of them? What resolution are you mapping this at? I love the touch of having little crates on the quays. Absolutely lovely work.
03-29-2010, 02:46 PM
That's really incredible. Great work throughout - but especially that forest texture. That really is beautiful. I love how this is coming along.
My one note so far would be to tone down the water a little. The gradient from white to blue is pretty heavy and distracts from the focus of the piece - the city itself.
As for the roofs - the blue and the yellow are a bit OTT but the others look great.
03-29-2010, 11:30 PM
Thnx guys, I've chosen my roof style, it's going to be alight grey with a very slight blue tinge.
@Ravells - I've really had to turn the resolution down because otherwise it would be too big to post, but my final version will have its res really turned up. I think i posted out it before but those pillars outside the walls are Kaija Stones, pillars enscribed with enchanted Kaija blood when linked together like this create a magickal barrier around the city thats supposed to ward off malevolent spirits, it wont do much against the big gribblies but there are ways of dealing with them too.
@Torstan - I'll look into the water, i havent;t touched it in a while but now that the buildings are there it does look a little bright.
04-07-2010, 07:02 AM
LonewandererD, to make your 'poor districts' a bit more filled with negative space, there's a little trick to remember. Cities where usually built with buildings in surrounding an open space. As the city grows, and the inhabitants need more room, they can only expand their houses directly inward. This means the open space in the center of a city block gets smaller, the older a city gets. This also means that usually somewhere near the center of a city-block there's still this little speck of open space. Houses are long, and have their short ends facing the road.
The main implication for your map (or future-maps, since it would be a break in style for this map I guess) is that your city-blocks are a bit on the shallow side. Some blocks can only house two houses with the short end side-by-side.
Also, the red roofs depend on what kind of roofing you use. Thatched roofs are something Medieval like cities want to avoid at a certain point. Medieval cities with thatched roofs are INCREDIBLY dangerous to live in. It's a question of WHEN the city will completely or largely burn down, rather than if. In such cities and towns, pyromaniacs will probably be hanged first instance they get caught. A city with thatched roofs is absolutely going to have a prominent place for it's gallows or other execution methods. It'll also display the bodies of the criminals as a warning.
Secondly, if you use rooftiles, they're probably going to be clay. This means you have only limited colours to choose from. Unfortunately, hues of beige and red feature prominently in the possibilities. I grabbed this list from a random roofing-website, I'm in no way an expert on roofing, but if you aim for something medieval, you probably won't get anything glazed, which rules out A LOT of colours.
* Terracotta --> too much like red.
* Pink --> too much like red.
* Clay Red --> red...
* Forrest Green --> this could do.
* Moss Green --> this could also do.
* Light Beige --> nah, could be interpreted as 'light red' or something, but perhaps.
* Dark Brown --> Maybe.
* Tobacco --> Could be...
* Brown Blend --> blends are rather modern I believe.
* Green Blend --> ditto.
* Tan and Beige Blend --> ditto.
* Burgundy and Tan Blend --> ditto.
* Green and Tan Blend --> ditto.
A final and highly northern European option would be slate, which is mostly black or grey. Another, more unusual option to make it a bit more lively is for cathedrals and other important buildings: copper (or bronze). This usually makes roofs go green.
04-07-2010, 05:02 PM
I missed the latest update. This is turning into a very respectable map indeed ;)
Or what I mean to say: yes, it's freaking huge and it's going to be an amazing sight once it's finished (I am awestruck already). I applaud your efforts.
04-07-2010, 05:12 PM
We will all visit him at the asylum when this is over :)
04-20-2010, 10:01 AM
Unfortunately the asylum doesn't allow visitors; not after i inspired the inamtes to riot that is. I been busy the last few weeks with moving houses and uni assignment and only got my internet back today so i haven't been able to spend a lot of time on the map, that shall soon be recitified.
@Meridius - Thank you for your suggestions and insight but i unfortunately i've gone abit too far with my buildings to change the common districts now. In this city the "poor" district which is acutally the district of the "casteless" would not be built within city walls, it's acually going to go in the large open are in the north-east of the map. The cities roofs vary from common to upper districts. The common district roofs are made from sturdy wooden beams and wooden tiles which are then painted which is why there is a lot of colour variation in the city right now. The upper district is a little more uniform with the roofs being made from light grey tiles, i don't know what the tiles would be made with. The red roof i'm trying to avoid isn't going to be tiled but again painted wood; commoners avoid the colour red, or atleast a particualr shade of red, becuase it the colour of blood and the realm of blood is the realm of the warrior caste, not the commoner caste.
More updates soon
04-29-2010, 11:56 AM
Wow D! This is looking absolutely amazing! I've been gone for a while but I remember taking an interest in the early versions of your city map. It looks like you've gone through a tremendous amount of work to fine tune the look of the city. I am very impressed. Have some rep.
04-30-2010, 12:19 PM
You are QUITE mad, you know? Seriously awesome detail in that map. Nice stuff.
04-30-2010, 02:25 PM
I am seriously becoming a psychology major just so I can try my hand at this ^.^ On the other hand, this map is so overwhelmingly fantastic I doubt any of my own attempts would rate "insane" ^___^ Gorgeous map, and good luck with all those buildings! Just a quick note: the buildings are all outlined and heavy/solid feeling (they look great) but the soft sandy-beaches look along the coast line is, well, soft feeling. I love the city itself, I'm just wondering if maybe the sandy beaches are a bit out of place compared to the city itself. Other than that, brilliant work ^.^
05-01-2010, 04:44 AM
Thanks for all the kind words guys, the next update should be up soon, the latest district is more of a hassle than I expected.
@alizarine - The building had to be outlined with a black stroke because the land around the buildings was a brown colour so i had to make a clear divider between the land and the buildings or else the buildings would blend into the land. I have scaled back the beach abit so it's not so bright and noticeable but the overall effect is still there, I wanted to look like the sand was slowly dissapearing under the water. I fiddle more with these things as i go along.
05-02-2010, 09:17 AM
An update, finally...
This is the beginning of district 5, I haven't done any of the detailing for this district yet, I've only managed to put down the buildings, roads and cleared lands. I have done the special buildings and docks for this district though, the rest is still at a very rough stage. It's the largest of the 6 districts, which is why it's taking me so long, but now that the buildings are in place I should have more updates up sooner. This is the district of the upper class of warriors and so i wanted it look a little more important than the common quarters, or something like that. You'll notice that the main buildings are divided into three types, smaller buildings for the lowliest of the warriors (city guards, etc), larger buildings for the middle ranked warriors (proffessional soldiers and families with merchant buisinesses) and small manors for the higher families (the nobility). The three special types of buildings are the citie's bathhouse (the lower right buidling), the city administration building (the bottom building of the three clustered in the centre) and the upper market buildings (The other two buildings clustered in the centre).
Next on my to do list for this district its
- Creating more variation in the building colour
- Seeing that all the homes have access to a well
- Seeing that all homes have access to a merchant stand or shop
- Seeing that all homes have access to a yard or garden of some kind
- and seeing that there is plenty of trees and small areas of greenery to break up the mass of buildings
After all of this I don't think I'll be trying city maps for a good long time...
05-02-2010, 05:00 PM
The cliffs to the southeast are very well done, by the way.
05-02-2010, 05:20 PM
I agree, those cliffs are excellent! Talk about structure. This city clearly had a strong director behind it's design because it looks like it could be a military base.
05-02-2010, 06:25 PM
still amazing, keep it up, the end product will be absolutely outstanding!
05-02-2010, 11:23 PM
Yeah, you took my messy tut and really knocked it out of the park, LD. Still lookin sweet.
05-05-2010, 10:31 AM
So much done, yet so much still to do.
District 5 is now completed. District 5 is the Upper Warrior's District, home to the Warrior Caste who are the ruling caste of the Dal. Completion of District 5 marks the completion of the last, and largest, block of housing. Next I'll be moving onto the field in the top right of the map, originally this would have been a poor, run-down district to house the casteless people but I figured that the casteless would be so despised by the warrior castes that they would be driven into the forests and mountains, away from the cities. Now, to replace the housing district, I'm just going to put in several large fields to hold livestock for trade and to have areas that travelling merchant caravans can set up shot while they're trading with the city; it'll be so much simpler to do while still fitting in and serving some purpose to the rest of the city. It should aslo prevent the map from feeling too crowded by too many houses; it'll be full without being too full, if that makes sense.
More to come soon.
05-06-2010, 08:37 AM
Maps of small sections make for light work. I can now finally see light at the end of the tunnel.
This is the Beast Trade District, where animal products such as furs/hides, milk and fresh meat are purchased. The small compound of buildings in the bottom right of the screen is where animals are milk and where the hair of the "Tershi" beasts (which has similiar qualities to alpaca) is collected. The small compound in the top right is the butcher, since the Dal believe that raising animals specifically for meat is wrong only animals that are hunted or die naturally are sent here, which is why the area is relatively small. The two fields on the left are for holding the pack beasts and livestock of visiting merhant caravans. As can be seen from the tents a caravan has already stopped by, caravans actually get quite larger than this so this is probably a vanguard for a larger caravan or a small party sent to trade with the city with the intent of meeting up with the main caravan later.
Finally the small cluster of domed buidlings in the centre are the roofs for under ground ice houses which are very similiar to the Persian "Yakhchal". For more information on Persian "Yakhchal" follow this link, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakhchal . I got inspired by the idea of small underground ice houses that I've put them in several areas across the city and will put a few in the fortress and university areas. Am i putting too much thought into this map?
Next on my list is the Fortress which is going to be in the walled off area overlooking the cliffs in the bottom right of the main map. I'll put up plans for the fortress after I've done some more research.
05-06-2010, 12:06 PM
Sheesh D, still amazing work here, keep plugging away, cause its exciting to see something like this being put together, but all to often they'll bail on the project until a far later time... so keep it up, one of the best city images, or I guess the best city designs I've seen yet!!
05-06-2010, 04:30 PM
It's so much fun isn't it? Well at times. You really feel like your making the town come to life by designing buildings and placing them just so. Then ya put in a fence and work yard and boom, you've lost 4 hours.
05-08-2010, 11:43 PM
And the ideas keep flowing.
Here is the plan for my castle, i've already put in new walls and altered some of the old ones, i also removed the roofs off the towers as they felt too european. Anyway, onto the plan. The red areas in the outer area are going to be armouries and barracks while the cream buildings are smithies, fletchers, etc. The red in the inner ring are warehouses and the main entrance to the keep. The dark purple on the walls are going to be extra sections built onto the walls to hold war machines like ballistas, the larger dark purple section on the wall of the inner ring is going to be a fortified gatehouse and the final dark purple section (the largest one) is the base level for the keep. The lighter purple areas are the upper sections of the keep. It's not an overly large keep, only about 3-4 stories, as this is a small city compared to the other clans of the Dal. Finally, white equals roads/courtyards, the cold storage areas have already been put in and the yellow star is going to be a shrine.
I'm holding off doing the keep as I don't have a style in mind for it. Dal architecture is a mix of celtic, oriental japanese and some native american. I want to borrow the "feel" from each of the three cultures without too closely resembling any one of them.
More to come soon.
05-08-2010, 11:51 PM
That looks really cool!
05-09-2010, 10:23 AM
Some progress on the castle.
I've put down all of the bases for the areas in the plan and I'm now working on detailing. I've put in new towers on the walls that resemble the larger brown towers (you can see six of these larger towers scattered around the entrance into the bay). I've put in a small archery range and a fenced off sparring area. I've altered the cold storage houses slightly and put the roofs on the warmachine bays along the walls and put the roof on the gatehouse. Next I'm going to be focusing on the main keep and start to really fill in all that empty space lying around. On that note I have a question. This city is noted to be rather peaceful and is bound by an ancient treaty that protects it from attack but also forbids it from raising an army to attack anyone else, so would it be acceptable to have trees and a lot of greenery in the castle grounds as the area would probably not see a lot of major activity? Also, what else can i throw into the castle grounds to fill it out a bit?
More to come soon.
05-10-2010, 05:19 AM
Castle area complete; at least for now.
I'm now moving onto the cliff area directly opposite the castle, i'm going to put in a few houses, a light house and a lot of trees.
More to come soon.
05-10-2010, 04:39 PM
Looks great. Wanting to see the whole map together again :)
05-10-2010, 04:45 PM
yeah I agree with Gandwarf, still great stuff though! Wish I had the patience for it all =D
05-11-2010, 08:19 AM
Ask and ye shall receive, here is the whole map.
As you can see it is pretty much done, I just have to clean it up, label it (creating one map with English labelling and one map with Dal labelling) and add a decorative border, key and title. But before that, i've still got a few things I want to experiment with, like the dirt roads and water, so I invite all members of the guild to really tear into this map and point anything that seems off that I may have missed, please.
PS: Is the limit on jpgs still 4.77 megabytes? If it is, is there another way of lowering the total data size of my map without having to lower the resolution because, not to sound pretentious or anything, lowering the resolution is hurting my map a bit.
I unfortunatly don't believe there is any other way. Jpg compress really well, and normal pics you can lower to 60% or even 40% without any great loss. But with crisp images like yours the loss comes a lot faster. But it looks fantastic, really great job, have some rep for that... again ;) you deserve it :)
05-11-2010, 12:30 PM
D Thas amazing! I'll pour over it some more, to see if I can find anything (first look throughs everything look good)
05-11-2010, 01:18 PM
This city is absolutely amazing. It makes me both excited and frightened to begin work on the several (gulp) large cities I've got planned. I'll definitely have to look through all the tutorials and play around a bit before I get too involved. If you've got any suggestions or pointers from your experience with this map, I'd love to hear them. What do you wish you had done or setup differently from the start, now that you've made so many little adjustments?
This is another one of those maps that just begs to be printed at poster size and framed. Absolutely gorgeous work! Keep it up, and have some rep!
05-11-2010, 03:27 PM
Ah, great to see the entire city again. It looks like most of the work is done, fortunately?
05-11-2010, 08:49 PM
Congratualations, really impressive.
05-11-2010, 10:03 PM
Thnx, i really think I should change the name of the thread now, its far beyond an attempt at this point :)
Once you feel it is done, post it in the finished map forum, following the instructions in the sticky.
05-12-2010, 10:40 AM
Map is now finished, check it out here http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?10353-Laer-Ia-Bor-finished!&p=111573#post111573
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