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Thread: ...make buildings on a large city map?

  1. #1
    Guild Apprentice lisze's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    The States

    Default ...make buildings on a large city map?

    I am currently stuck on my city Durndl. I would like to add buildings to the map.

    Map Dimension: 3520x3520
    Map Scale: 3 feet/pixel (any smaller and my map size was too large)
    Programs Used: Gimp, and recently Inkscape (I'm still learning the latter as I only d/l'd it last week); I am willing to d/l and learn another program, providing it is free.
    Limitations: I work on a laptop with a touchpad. I do not have a regular mouse or tablet. Also, the graphics programs work slowly on this map (gimp is better, but some things still take time and a prayer that the program won't freeze and shut off). I'm getting more RAM soon, but even so.

    City Population: 80,100 people
    Time period: A lot is based on 15th century Florence, but I steal from other time periods as it seems appropriate.

    Goal: I'd like to make buildings to fill each of the blank spaces between the streets.

    What I've tried: Creating a large page with shapes on it in Inkscape and then slipping that into a layer on Gimp; Using that large page to create a pattern on Gimp and using pattern fill; By hand on Inkscape using paths (very time consuming for a result that did not appeal, even as a base).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The colored sections are the wards, once an arbitrary division by the city police, but now governmental entities within the city.

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  3. #3
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    St. Charles, Missouri, United States


    I whipped this up in about 3 minutes but then took some time playing with prettying it up. First, I maxed the brightness/contrast to make it all black and white. Selected the white and filled it with red on a new layer. Then, I took your black, made it a selection, contracted it by 4 pixels (thus removing the roads), then expanded it by 4 back to the original size (roads still gone) and filled that new space with black to create the background. I took your black again and made it a selection and filled it with gray then deleted my black area from it to create a road system. I took the road system, made it a selection, expanded it by 4, then turned it into a path. Then I used a 10-pixel square pencil tip, increased the spacing to 125% and set the angle jitter to direction (this is PS so not sure what you can do in Gimp), then stroked that path with a brown color thus making lots of little brown squares to use as houses. There were some places where the roads are too close together so there ended up being no houses in those places so I repeated the path stroking process but without expanding the selection and with a 5-pixel square pencil at 200% spacing. I added a 2-pixel black stroke, hard chisel inner bevel, and a drop shadow. The roads were kind of thin so I widened them by 4 pixels (using a selection and new layer and fill) and slapped a blocks pattern on them. Last, I threw down some grass.

    This is a process I use a lot for putting down a ton of houses that all look the same. To really make it look like a city you have to erase city blocks and put in larger buildings and parks to break up the monotony. You also need to add more colors than just brown but this is just a quickie example of how to get started. If you want I can upload the simple version without the pretty-fying stuff.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Ascension; 12-14-2010 at 09:05 PM.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)

    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  4. #4
    Guild Apprentice lisze's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    The States


    Ascension-- Thank you!! I'll see how I can get that to work in Gimp.

    Ravells-- Hanging in there. I look forward to seeing what you have on the topic.

  5. #5


    Since Gimp doesn't have the angle jitter feature, you'll want RobA's rotating brush script. It's available here… somewhere.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  6. #6


    Ascension's process looks fantastic. I love the brush which cuts the selection into individual houses. I'm not sure what effect you're after exactly, lisze, but I can tell you how I did this map (although I should add that it's all in vector and requires some serious processing power and RAM).

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