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Thread: Isometric cities maps project

  1. #1

    Wip Isometric cities maps project

    Hello everybody,

    I'm working on a project to make maps from some cities created with the free rpg city creator. I've got to make a lot of cities. I tried different ways of embossing the plan view that the software generates, but they were far from what I wanted. So I had to travel the tough route and hand draw everything. I'm giving perspective and shadow to the maps using strokes, textures, and embossed patterns, but as I have to make a lot of similar maps I thought of sharing the drawing method I'm using to see if anyone can come with some advice to speed things up a bit.

    For the moment I enclose a caption of one of the maps so you can see the style I want for the maps. The steps I follow to draw the map are basically as follows:

    1. I draw vertical lines on the vertex of the shapes generated by RPG City Creator. The length of these lines depend of the height of the building. I draw these lines in a layer with a stroke style applied, as well as a colour layout and pattern. This way I can easily adjust the color or texture of the buildings.
    2. In another layer I draw the roof on a layer with a pattern style applied. This way I only have to paint white where I want the roof to be.
    3. I draw details and windows on the building erasing with a 1 pixel brush.
    4. I erase doors
    5. I paint doors under the building's layer
    6. I paint shadows

    I guess it will be easier if I post some step by step captures of the process... I will do it as soon as I can.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Guild Journeyer Facebook Connected anstett's Avatar
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    Feb 2011


    It looks nice. I do wonder if the angle on the two rear square towers is correct? The roofs/Parapets look slanted to the inside of the city to my eye. The wall to the right of them blends into the roadway quite a bit also.

    The one thing I would definitely add is farmland to feed the hungry masses, something to supplement all the fish in their diet.

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  3. #3


    Well, I think the real problem is with the round towers. I haven't drawn them correctly for an isometric view, but there's also a slight inclination of the vertical lines that makes them bend over the village as you say. I still have to correct this. Thanks for pointing it!

    Regarding the wall that blends with the roadway, I still have to erase a dirt road under the two close towers and finish the main gate, wich at the moment is just sketched.

    As for the vegetation, it's a town in a desertic area, but you are correct, I still have to add some farmlands here and there though I haven't decided yet wich way to go as far as implementing it on the drawing. I've tried some textures I have, but they're top down views so I have to draw or add a perspective... I'm yet undecided.

    Thanks for your comments.

  4. #4


    you may be able to speed things up with a 3d modeler. i like povray's programmatic/text based interface, haven't tried others.

    with some familiarity, you could process your map into various versions and use each to generate height fields. use an orthographic projection, perhaps import back into your image editor (again, possibly process the scene in 'layers' for convenience).

  5. #5
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor arsheesh's Avatar
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    Oct 2009


    I really like the isometric town, but I must say that I don't think that using a texture for the land is the best way to go for a map like this. I'd recommend going for a more hand drawn background - even if all that means is adding a bunch of little clusters of dots to indicate sand, I still think it would be an improvement over the current texture.


  6. #6


    Really love this map (particularly since I've been doing a lot of desert themed stuff as of late)...really hope you do make a step by step tutorial with pictures...I would definitely use it.

    I actually kind of like the textured background...but then again, everything does look better hand drawn.
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  7. #7
    Guild Novice Facebook Connected HQCosTheta's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    British Columbia


    I have to agree, this would look better if it were hand drawn. It looks fantastic though. Must have taken a lot of work.
    [ Complete Maps | Hand Drawn Dungeons | Incomplete Maps | Textures ]

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  8. #8


    Thanks for the comments and advice about the texture, but bear in mind that it's a WIP image and what you see is the base texture of the land. I still have to add different textures on top of this one and blend them together. I'm confident about the results as I've already done it before and I think it looks quite good in the end and I'm sure you will like it.

    About the 3D Software, I started using sketchup to model everything, but it was really time consuming, so I opted to go the hand drawn way, wich is faster for me. Don't know if that POV Ray stuff that you mention would be faster than sketchup, but in any case I'd have to learn from scratch so, at least for this project, I'll have to discard it. I'll spend some time with it though in case I can use it for future projects.

    About the tutorial or step by step, I'll post it as soon as I return from my holidays. I'm just enjoying the beach and riding waves at the moment!

    Thanks once again for the comments and advice.
    Last edited by rapatuan; 09-01-2012 at 12:06 PM.

  9. #9


    I was wondering if it wouldn't look better if the vertical size was reduced. Most isometric view have a shorter vertical scale than the horizontal one. I think it would give a better result. Just my two cents...

  10. #10
    Guild Journeyer Facebook Connected Pryme8's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    A, A


    isometric is like 86.062 or something like that height in relation to 1 width.

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