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Thread: A Steam Punk Teutonic Dwarf City

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    Guild Artisan Aval Penworth's Avatar
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    Default A Steam Punk Teutonic Dwarf City

    I thought up this city on the fly, last week and my players are absolutely fascinated by it. So I want to map it. I am going to force the action away from the city for a while to give myself a chance to better flesh it out.

    It is a big, noisy, clanging, city spanning a canyon. 9 heavy duty bridges connect the two sides. There are loads of steam punk elements including a steam rail system. Steam powered elevators and travellators. Unreliable ornithopters hopping from roof to roof. Vacuum powered message tubes. Dwarves and Gnomes getting about in tailored waistcoats, top hats, brass rimmed goggles and fob watches. Sweaty, dirty teams of Dwarves pulling ropes and turning wheels.

    This city will be set out in a very strict grid 9 x 9 major thoroughfares plus interconnecting alleys and streets.

    I don't want to go the individual building path. Way too time intensive and my computer will just crash any way. I am going to avoid textures and photo realism. So I thought, in PS I would just represent the city blocks on a colour layer with a slight bevel and draw the streets on another layer etc. And the just put loads of labels to denote points of interest. But then I thought maybe PS is not the right tool for the job.

    If anyone thinks that they know of a program or technique that would work let me know. Otherwise I will make a start in photoshop in the next few days.
    Last edited by Aval Penworth; 07-23-2010 at 12:54 AM.
    Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go..

  2. #2

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    I think PS would be fine, although it's been a while since PS6 so I don't really know how techniques translate from CS3. For example, Bevelling is a Layer Effect now, but it seems like it was a Filter in PS6. Anyway, it seems like the logical start would be to block out the silhouette of the city as a solid shape, and erase lines through it to represent the streets as negative space (like so, for example).

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    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
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    If you want super clean lines and resolution independence, then I'd suggest that vector is the way to go, although it comes with its own challenges.

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    I concur with Ravells. If you have a vector program use it.. though it is a bit different than PS. If you have never used a vector based program you might be better off with PS or any app that you know, unless you have the time to get to know the new app.
    If you do go with PS, you can always break the city down into sections, work on the smaller sections, then near the end combine the various parts into the final map.

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    Guild Artisan Aval Penworth's Avatar
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    I have City Designer 3 but I have 50 times more experience with photoshop.
    Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go..

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    Professional Artist Gracious Donor Sapiento's Avatar
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    I concur with ravells and DevinNight on the vector thing. Although it can be somewhat difficult to grasp the way it works, it's definitely worth the time and effort to learn it.

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    Guild Artisan Aval Penworth's Avatar
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    I had a go at starting this thing in CD3 but I don't think that it is gonna work. To test, I put a few hundred random polygons and into a file with effects and it crashed.

    Anyone got a more stable vector program suggestion? I don't mind buying a new program if it will do the job.

    Sorry if this is becomming a software disussion.
    Last edited by Aval Penworth; 07-24-2010 at 11:02 AM.
    Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go..

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    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
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    Try inkscape then

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    Administrator RobA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aval Penworth View Post
    I had a go at starting this thing in CD3 but I don't think that it is gonna work. To test, I put a few hundred random polygons and into a file with effects and it crashed.

    Anyone got a more stable vector program suggestion? I don't mind buying a new program if it will do the job.

    Sorry if this is becomming a software disussion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    Try inkscape then
    If you want stable, please don't put all your hope on Inkscape. While I think it is great and use it exclusively for vector work, it is not at a 1.0 release, can and will crash, and can be slow when using filter effects.

    -Rob A>

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    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
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    If you don't mind parting with cash, then I can recommend Serif Drawplus X4 (which is what I use), it's about £60 and has most of the functionality of Adobe Illustrator, is pretty stable and has a very easy learning curve. Another one to look at as well is Xara which Gamerprinter and some others use. If you have loads of objects using filter effects you are going to get a slowdown, whatever application you are using as the effects need to be redrawn everytime you make a change and the calculations your processor has to do can get phenomenal. You can (in Serif anyway) disable the effects to speed up rendertimes and enable them again when you want to see you image in all its glory.

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