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Thread: WIP: Kessila

  1. #1
    Guild Member Gracious Donor
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    Default WIP: Kessila

    I think I can turn this one into WIP thread. This city exists in an old fantasy world of mine (maybe 10 yrs old now?), but the city was never really important enough to be more than a dot on a world map. Late last year there was a challenge concerning colonies, and since this is a colony in that old world, I decided to finally sit down and make an attempt.

    http://www.cartographersguild.com/ma...e-kessila.html

    There has not been much movement since I developed it for the monthly challenge, but I thought it would be nice to show you guys some of the odd bits this map has collected during and after the challenge. First up is the process I used to develop the building plans shown in the challenge. They were based on the Duomo/Insula, and I find it a fun kind for plan to draw for some reason. In the latest I can find for my bldg plans, I've ripped out a few blocks of Kessila and begun redeveloping them in a more haphazard fashion, to add some much-needed variability. Here you can see some of the buildings still being drawn.

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    I like to start from the outside, with the rooms that touch the street becoming workroom/shop areas measuring roughly 10-12 feet square. Inside of that are a layer of rooms with similar dimensions, maybe 8 or 10 feet square that serve as larger storage areas, service rooms like kitchens and stairs, and household offices. Inside of that is another layer, this one of smaller storage rooms, roughly 6 feet square that are open to the inner atrium, which acts as the kind of nucleus that the whole building wraps around. Keeping to those dimensions makes the upper floor fairly easy to lay out as bedroom or bedroom suites that wrap the atrium on the upper levels.

    Here are a few bits that were actually worked on during the competition month:
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    That is the furthest I got with the perspective sketch I was going to add, unfortunately it only took timing those 3-4 buildings to realize that it would have taken me a month of hours to make just that drawing. Still disappointed I have not found a fast digital technique for this.
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    This was the north arrow I was working on, I really liked what I did on the inside, but the outer rings and pointy bits still need some work.

  2. #2
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    Default Making a turn towards the odd...

    When poking around in the Great Buildings (Architect Unknown - Great Buildings Online) link posted a while ago by Ravells, I came across the Baths at Ostia. Although a set of baths is probably not -quite- appropriate for Kessila (there are limited water resources), I thought it would be a good exercise to attempt a version here. It would replace the gymnasium and other athletic building I cut when translating the city's layout from Priene (the inspiration for Kessila).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    After remaking the baths I promptly placed them in Kessila....and decided to reorient them so my fancy solar-powered sauna rooms no longer get any sun. One interesting thing is that I drew my inspired baths to scale, and they squeezed into Kessila's street grid almost perfectly. I guess I owe a thanks to the exacting standards of the Greeks and Romans!

    I found an image of a belt buckle from an Anglo-Saxon burial site Sutton Hoo (File:Great Buckle.JPG - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) that had an intesesting pattern on it, and I thought that would look cool if the knotwork pattern was actually a series of path mazes that allowed entry into into the three knobs, which would then be towers. The whole thing would sit like a fortress on the arcopolis of Kessila. Unfortunately I only have one drawing of this, and its no longer in presentation form, but the idea is there!

    Expanding from the maze-like paths I found a picture of ice melting in Lake Baikal and decided to use that as inspiration for a broken landscape.(File:Circles in Thin Ice, Lake Baikal, Russia.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
    After I had gotten a little ways in, I thought it might be interesting to see how Kessila felt in this landscape, but I couldn't get the two ideas to feel good with each other.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The broken ice landscape and the belt buckle towers will probably get spun off into their own project, I like the idea of something in the middle of the fracturing land, just not sure it should be Kessila.

    Now I have to take these pieces and put the city back together again! I don't anticipate finishing soon.

  3. #3
    Guild Journeyer jkat718's Avatar
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    Default

    Keep up the good work, RK! I agree that the broken ice/belt buckle idea should be in a side project, it doesn't really mesh with the rest of Kessila (which, by the way, I really like).

  4. #4
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    Thanks, glad you like it too!

    I know it looks like a mess right now, but the thanks to the competition there is a framework just waiting for me fill in, which is not a bad place to be, I think. We will see!

  5. #5
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    Wip Has it really been that long...?

    Hello everyone! I know I have been away for a while, but I want to start carving out some real time for cartography once again. This map has not really been worked on in the last year, but there was a week I was able to do a study trying to fit this to a more mountainous terrain, as very originally planned. I was looking at glacial valleys, and made a first attempt (see attached), although the final result was too straight and flat-bottomed (amongst other issues) for what I wanted. Hopefully I can find a little time soon to try again!
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    Each square is 1 mile x 1 mile.

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    Here you can see the two topos I have done so far, neither is quite what I want for this place. The new one represents about 4x3 miles, so you guys can get a sense of the scale.

  6. #6
    Guild Journeyer jkat718's Avatar
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    Default

    From the color scheme, I'm assuming that you're using Sketchup as your modeling program of choice, correct? If so, how do you get those topographical maps imported so neatly?

  7. #7
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    Default Topo

    That is correct, I am using sketchup to build the topos.

    I am not sure what exactly you are asking since the importing step is just a click of a button, so I will go through my whole process.

    I start by drawing the topo lines all in CAD, in a flat plane. Optionally you can draw the topo lines at their actual elevations, but due to the program I use, it is easier to keep it all in the same plane. I then save the drawing as a .dxf file.

    In older versions of the free Skechup it used to be possible to import .dxf files directly into Sketchup. I still have a computer with Sketchup 7 loaded on, so I use that to get the lines in Sketchup. I am not sure but I think you can also import .dxfs in the current paid versions of Sketchup as well. The key with this step is to avoid any circles/curves, since importing the lines will turn the circles into polygons, which changes how some lines interact.

    Once the lines are in Sketchup I end up building the landscape as a stepped topo, and then use the 'From Contours' tool to let Sketchup generate its own smoothed triangulated mesh. You can see in my example the stepped topo sitting underneath the mesh. Sometimes depending on where different vertices are, wonky things can happen, so its worth it sometimes to adjust lines and redo the topo a couple of times. A stepped topo is not really necessary if your topo lines are already at the correct elevations from the CAD step, but there are a few reasons I like having the stepped topo, since it provides an easy visual check for wonkiness in the final step, and sometimes comes in handy for other modeling later.
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  8. #8
    Guild Apprentice Eld's Avatar
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    Default

    The city of Kessila has a greek style in its arrangement. I like that.
    It's astonishing what you could do with Sketchup. Once I tried to build a city in Sketchup on my own, based on a hand drawn map, yet I never got such good results. Maybe because of a lack of persistence.^^
    I hope you will soon return to the city itself as I'd like to see the progress there.

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