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Thread: [Region 1][Map 13][Town 02] Ascension

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  1. #1
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Post [Region 1][Map 13][Town 02] Ascension

    City mapping has always been difficult for me. I've attempted a tutorial now and again, but I've not managed to come up with a map that satisfies me. So I am going to try to develop a new style for city mapping in this thread. Any and all suggestions and pointers as I go along are welcome.

    I'll provide a bit of info on the town in a little while, but for now, here's a concept image for the river. It's simple enough: the river shape filled with a deep blue, new layer with an interior stroke in a very light blue for the shallows, and I then smudged the border between the two colors in the direction of the water's flow.
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    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
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  2. #2
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Alright, thinking about the environment of Upper Groam, it's a high valley between two mountain ranges, descending from a somewhat lower ridge down to the flatlands. I am imagining the area was built up over the eons by dirt blown up from western winds, so it's sandy soil and relatively arid, but not desert. Seasonal rains create rivers that may be dry part of the year, but they cut deep furrows in the relatively loose soil. The rivers are typically muddy and slow moving, and they are prone to changing their courses.

    The rivers carry a great deal of silt, making their banks fertile and attractive to farming. The largest are navigable most of the year, but for the most part, the denizens of Upper Groam do not rely on them for trade and transportation.

    Prior to the silver rush, Upper Groam was sparsely settled, but as mines sprouted to the north and south, many larger towns grew up along important routes from the mountains to the lowlands. Ascension was founded at the confluence of one of the region's only large rivers and a smaller seasonal tributary. The river is navigable during much of the year, so many silver and tin merchants set up shop to purchase metals from mining convoys and then send it the rest of the way to the lowlands by flatboat. Supplies flowed the other direction--up the river and into the convoys' carts and wagons.

    When plague began striking the miners, the flow of silver and tin ebbed, and most of the wealthy merchants went with it. They were replaced by refugees from the mines and the crumbling cities of the Tawaren Basin. The influx of diseased outlanders prompted the Silver Watch to quarantine the town early. The first of the great walls was built on the western edge of Ascension, along with a quarantine jail used in an effort to prevent the illness from spreading further. The effort failed, and the line of quarantine was moved further westward, leaving Ascension fully in the grip of despair and death.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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    Community Leader Torq's Avatar
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    Love it, Love it, love it! Great writeup as usual Mid. I'm really chuffed that someone is doing a Groam settlement. Its really what this project is about IMHO. I cant wait to see what you come up with.

    Torq
    The internet! It\'ll never catch on.

    Software Used: Terranoise, Wilbur, Terragen, The Gimp, Inkscape, Mojoworld

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Heh. I was about to apologize, but then I looked up the word "chuffed."

    The southern bank of the river rises steeply into a one hundred fifty foot sandstone cliff, limiting the town's growth to the north bank and providing a convenient citadel site for the Grey Watch to oversee the area. A mule-driven tram permits supplies and personnel to move across the river and up the cliff. Both ends of the tram are secure within fortresses on the west side of the wall. Climbing the cliff is possible, but difficult since the river is deepest at the cliff's bottom.

    Here's an expanded river image, with the confluence. I'll be altering the colors to represent the silty water eventually. I wanted to get that smudge-stroke down first, though.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    It's been a while, but I've finally gotten back to working on this one. This is what I had when I got distracted by Mennin's Hallow:
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    I imported a low-res copy of that image into City Designer Pro and started in on it:

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    Once I had a layout that pleased me, I brought it back to Photoshop:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I need to go back and match the resolution of the CC3 output to my original Photoshop image so I can recomposite it properly (the scale sketch is particularly odious).

    I still haven't quite arrived at a good way to render the cliff. Any other suggestions or comments? Questions?
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Wip

    I recomposited and cleaned things up a bit, and I tried out a hand-drawn hachure approach to the cliff. My next task will be to isolate the roads and houses, and recolor the houses so I can get all the roof shading going the same direction. City Designer didn't do a very good job with that.

    I'm not sure how much I like the cliff at the moment. I think I'll wait until I've done a bit of work on the houses before I decide. Once again, advice is not only welcome, but coveted!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Midgardsormr; 07-23-2008 at 12:31 AM. Reason: It'd be good if I attached the file, probably.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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