Everytime I'm drawing a city map, I'm using as inspiration cadastral maps (like this one), where every house is pasted to another, as in a real medieval city.
It's tedious by hand and, as I'm weak in Photoshop, more tedious with a computer.
So I've extensively browsed the maps and the tutorials of the great masters here (Torstan, Ascension, Pyrandon to name a few of this cartographic prophets), but everytime I was a little put back, because it wasn't exactly what I needed.
Sure, their maps are more beautiful, simpler, better in every way, but I still wanted my indivudal houses in blocks with no streets or pavement around them. Or I wanted straight, realistic houses, not a mosaic pattern which looks like bees have won the war.
Finally, with my poor skills, I've come to a technique to have what I want :
I'm beginning with the tutorial of Aidybaby (Pyrandon's or Ascension's is good too to begin, and a few others use the technique), where you make the roads and streets and little ways by litteraly erasing the buildings' layer.
- When my districts are made and the style layers set to bevel and emboss to give the look of roofs, my problem is : it just seems there are giant buildings, no little collated houses.
- So I work in the layer mask with the line shape tool (1 pixel sized, with pixels option, 50% opacity) to divide the big districts into little properties. It's better and less messy than with a brush, and you can have straight lines at every angle (no bee cities anymore)
I include a picture with only a few of the districts divided, so you see the difference. It's just a test file, do not pay attention to the esthetics, just to the goal I wanted to achieve.
I must add it's very easy with this method to change the color of building, to give individual meanings to each building (as in maps like these)
What do you think of that ?