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Thread: Isometric cities maps project

  1. #11
    Guild Expert Chashio's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Maine, USA


    Nice job. =) I like to start with sketchup to get the basic blocks and shadow positions, then export a 2D view to photoshop for all of the actual drawing work. At least for me, it's a lot more fun to get the gritty perspective stuff over with so I can concentrate on playing with everything else. Using the group function makes it easier to move, rotate, and multiply objects in sketchup. And it does have a freehand pencil tool that you can get from the drop menu (useful for city walls between towers, and rivers that aren't straight canals, and some roads and odd buildings). Anyhoo... =)

  2. #12
    Professional Artist Cunning Cartographer's Avatar
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    Feb 2012


    My first thought was the same as some of the others before me in that the textures aren't as good as the drawing itself (and does detract from it at the moment). That said, if this is a WIP and you're confident of the final style then I very much look forward to seeing the end results. Mixing hand drawn illustrations with some realistic textures is hard enough (Mike Schley does this a lot with some of his WOTC maps and even though I love his work I really prefer it when he barely uses textures) so to make map where its primarily (or solely?) textures is a big challenge, at least I would find it a challenge to do it skillfully.

    So again, I really look forward to seeing how this develops so keep us in the loop!

  3. #13


    Bhoritz, thanks for the advice, but if I reduce the vertical height I won't be able to add doors and windows to buildings as easily.

    Pryme8, I'm drawing by hand, so I can't be that precise. On the other hand I'm not making a real isometric perspective, I'm just adding height to a flat map of a city. So squares remain square, I don't 'skew' them as I should if I was doing a real perspective. Thanks for the data though.

    Chashio, I tried with sketchup but since I have to work over an existing map, I have to trace every shape and sketchup autosnaps to every vertex around, making things really tough. I didn't find a way to turn off that autosnap feature. I considered making the basic tracing in autocad and then importing it to sketchup, but I don't think I would have saved much time and is certainly way more boring that drawing by hand.

    Yospeck, although I really like Schley's work, it's not the style that I'm after.
    Last edited by rapatuan; 09-19-2012 at 09:19 PM.

  4. #14


    I'm back from holidays and I've retaken the maps. Here's another update. Right now I'm correcting some towers of the city walls.

    I still have work to do:
    - Add windows and doors to buildings in the lower part of the city
    - Add some palm trees
    - Add some decorations to certain buildings and finish the big buildings in the middle
    - Refine the coastline
    - Refine the river
    - Add a bridge
    - Touch up the ground
    - Add small details here and there

    I hope to finish it by the end of the week.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CITY_WIP2.jpg 
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    Last edited by rapatuan; 09-20-2012 at 06:57 AM.

  5. #15
    Community Leader Lukc's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    Lausanne, CH


    Woo, it's looking nice. However, I find the houses a bit more "cartoony" than the terrain, which makes it a bit dissonant for me. Honestly, I wouldn't mind a bit more of a cartoony feel in the terrain as well!

  6. #16


    I agree with Lukc. It's a really nice city but the terrain looks "too realistic" and the styles clash.

  7. #17
    Community Leader Guild Donor Bogie's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Maine, USA


    Excellent, I love what you did with both styles, I don't mind them together even though they don't match. I really like the terrain style, one of the best rivers I've seen.

  8. #18
    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    Jul 2007


    Very pretty. This is coming along nicely.

  9. #19
    Guild Master Facebook Connected jtougas's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Wales Massachusetts
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    This is really good. I love the style of the buildings and the terrain is so nice that I don't mind the clash of styles.
    I am the breath of Dragons...The Song of Mountains...The Stories of Rivers....The Heart of Cities.... I am A Cartographer....

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  10. #20


    Well, thank you everyone for the comments, I really appreciate it. As for the difference of style, you have to bear in mind that it's still a piece I'm working on, that's not the final terrain.

    It's taking me longer than expected, but I'm experimenting quite a bit with the drawing method to try to speed things up a bit as I have to draw another 25 cities or so!

    This is how I went so far with the terrain. It's not finished everywhere and I think I need to tone it down a bit, beacuse at the moment it seems to obscure the city a bit. I'm experimenting with desaturating the terrain and also darkening it a little, but I'm not still satisfied with the results, I'll keep trying. On the top left corner I have some final bits of terrain, the rest is ongoing at the moment.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CITY_WIP3.jpg 
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ID:	48945

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