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Thread: WIP: Birdseye

  1. #1

    Wip WIP: The City of Birdseye

    Allow me to present my latest mapping project (my previous one, on indefinite standby, has not been forgotten - I will finish it. Promise.).

    This is the Moste Beautifulle and Grete Citye of Birdseye. It is perched atop a pinnacle of rock, overlooking the sea. It was originally founded as a lookout, due to the dangers to shipping of a monster that lived in the nearby waters, but it eventually became a bandit stronghold, and then a town. An enormous stone bridge was constructed at a later date, to link the city to the mainland, and many houses have now been constructed even on the bridge's surface. There's a lot more to the history, which I won't go into right now.

    When drawing this city, I wanted the buildings on the rock to resemble an Italian hill town, and those on the bridge to be more in the pattern of northern European (Dutch, English) settlements (i.e. long narrow plots with the house at the front and sometimes a shed at the back). There's also a cluster of buildings that are inspired by Islamic houses, which I started adding but then decided didn't look right. They're near the Bridge. I did a lot of research to try and get the look and feel right for this city, and hopefully I succeeded in some areas. Strangely, there's just not that much information around on medieval Italian cities. You don't know of any good websites, do you?

    I've included the finished hand-drawn part of the map, as well as a rough contour map for the rock. I still want to polish it up a bit, perhaps redo some areas, and I have ambitious plans to make a 3d model in SketchUp, but that'll probably never happen.

    I'd really like to hear people's comments and critiques.

    Oh, and this is not a map by Larithas Stone, and so does not belong to the Dispatches series; this was, however, created by Stone's teacher at the CG (and a bit of a hero of Stone, it must be said), Titus Wolfgang.

    -TheHoarseWhisperer
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    Last edited by TheHoarseWhisperer; 08-31-2013 at 01:45 AM.

  2. #2
    Community Leader Gracious Donor - Max -'s Avatar
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    THW is back Looks very nice. Funny to call a top view city "Birdseye" Can't wait to see it inked...
    Last edited by - Max -; 04-09-2013 at 08:27 PM.

  3. #3

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    That does look really nice. I particularly like the street plan and the way the smaller plots have been done.

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    Guild Apprentice Gracious Donor veracusse's Avatar
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    This is a really beautiful map. I think you don't need to ink it as the drawing style of it has a lot of flavor already, especially with the roughed out notes and drafts in the background.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for those comments. Here's another picture of the city. This shows a handful of the houses on the Bridge, made in Sketchup. The purpose was simply to show the layout of the yards behind the houses, and the lanes that are interwoven between them. I should probably say that the map I posted previously, I've taken another look at it and I think it is probably a first draft. I'll probably redo some of the blocks which I wasn't too happy with. The street pattern will remain the same, though.

    @Max: perhaps this image means the city can live up to its name, eh. The name just came to me (I mean, obviously a city perched on a rock high above the sea will have a birdseye view of its surroundings, but it was still inspired, I think).
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  6. #6
    Community Leader Gracious Donor - Max -'s Avatar
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    Don't get me wrong, I like the name!

  7. #7
    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Chashio's Avatar
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    Seriously cool map! And that sketchup development... I may try that technique with my Moora Cinthe city to plot out the streets and buildings... except it's on a slant, hmmm...

    I do wish those notes were a bit more legible so I could read more deeply of them.

  8. #8

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    Max: don't worry. I'm not mortally offended by your comments. I try not to use 'em, but smilies make everything bad go away.

    Chashio: those notes aren't meant to be legible. Not yet, anyway. They were just done for my own reference. Thanks for the comments, though.

    To be honest, I don't really like the way sketchup looks with this; it's a bit too digital (and I'm not very good at it). My plan was, after modelling the city, to trace over it and redraw it from, that's right, a birdseye view. That way I can make sure all the perspective and proportions are accurate, while the whole thing has a hand-drawn feel.

    And Chashio, I know what you mean about the city on a slant. The Bridge of Birdseye is relatively flat, but the rock is meant to be really steep. If there are any Sketchup jockeys out there who know how to make terrain in Sketchup, I'd really appreciate some tips.

    To give an idea of how steep I want parts of it to be, the look I'm going for (with the edge of the rock, anyway) can be seen in Cuenca, Spain, and the diaojiaolou style of architecture in southern China. If you're interested enough, check those in Google Images to see what I mean.

  9. #9
    Community Leader Gracious Donor - Max -'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHoarseWhisperer View Post
    To be honest, I don't really like the way sketchup looks with this; it's a bit too digital (and I'm not very good at it). My plan was, after modelling the city, to trace over it and redraw it from, that's right, a birdseye view. That way I can make sure all the perspective and proportions are accurate, while the whole thing has a hand-drawn feel.
    I like that. Sound like an interesting way to map this town!

  10. #10
    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Chashio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHoarseWhisperer View Post
    Chashio: those notes aren't meant to be legible. Not yet, anyway. They were just done for my own reference.
    Darn. They looked interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHoarseWhisperer View Post
    To be honest, I don't really like the way sketchup looks with this; it's a bit too digital (and I'm not very good at it). My plan was, after modelling the city, to trace over it and redraw it from, that's right, a birdseye view. That way I can make sure all the perspective and proportions are accurate, while the whole thing has a hand-drawn feel.
    Yeah, I started (never finished) doing a little town map like this, setting up the basic shapes in sketchup and tracing and detailing in photoshop. It worked pretty well except sketchup is a bear to work with when every building has a different shape and roof slope... I was practicing 'off-grid' isometric layouts.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHoarseWhisperer View Post
    And Chashio, I know what you mean about the city on a slant. The Bridge of Birdseye is relatively flat, but the rock is meant to be really steep. If there are any Sketchup jockeys out there who know how to make terrain in Sketchup, I'd really appreciate some tips.
    One way to do this might be to have a flat plane to pull your buildings from and have a slanted plane above it that the buildings stick up through. Another is to take a section of terrain from google earth. There should be a button in the top menu that lets you do that, but it only allows you to take a small area of terrain (with the free version of sketchup, don't know about pro).

    At least for now, I've decided to try a more traditional means of modeling things. I made some play-dough today... we'll see how it goes.
    Last edited by Chashio; 04-13-2013 at 09:26 PM.

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