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Thread: Burramesh city map

  1. #1
    Rik
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    Wip Burramesh city map

    This is my current map of the city which features in my other WIP - my science fiction novel. It needs some help.

    The city is set in a tropical "jungle" on an alien planet. It's only connection with the rest of the world is by river. The technology is a mixture of modern and mediaeval - thus it has some electrical capacity and piped water, but no cars or mass transit systems. The better parts of the town are stone-built, while other parts rely on wood for walls and roofs.

    The walls surrounding and dividing the city are primarily to protect the city from fire and riots (internally) and flooding (externally) - the river floods impressively following the spring melt in the mountains. The walls don't go all the way around - the northern section is protected by poisonous alien plan/animal "hybrids" I'm currently calling monkeyrats.

    In the vague hope that I ever finish the first draft of the book (currently 92k words), I think a map of the city would be a good addition to the text. I drew this map in the Gimp.

    I'd very much welcome advice on how to improve on what I've already got here. Ideally I want something stylish but not too fantasy, initially in colour but able to convert to black'n'white or greyscale, and easy to follow eg including text for the main streets and buildings. 3D would be ideal, but my artistic skills are, let's say, negligible.

    Help?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Burramesh city map-burramesh-city-map.png  

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    Rik - Nice map.
    The things that I reallly liked were:
    - The color shift for the higher elevations.
    - The seeming (whether intended or not) effect that the elevation had on the streets in the city.
    - The fact that you thought about and included a flood plain on the map.

    Might I suggest that you shade the water according to its depth, i.e. darker blues for deeper and deeper water.

    I'll continue to think on it, but it's a really good start.

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      RobA is offline
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    The city layout is nice - with a modern grid that is forced to follow some of the contours of the terrain.

    Colour-wise it is a bit jarring to see diagramitic map elements (walls in red, streets in yellow) contrasted with the hypsometric colouring of the terrain. Not sure of suggestions there, though

    Lastly, are the hydroelectric generators "real" or "future-tech"? Most current hydroelectric generation relies on significant head (difference in elevation of the water from the upstream side to downstream side) as power output is proportional to head x flow. This also implies the need for a structure (dam/weir/natural) to maintain that head. I can't tell by the map if there is a significant change in elevation of the water there, but judging by the floodplain, there wouldn't be. So where you show hydroelectric generation "jutting out" into the river doesn't make much sense in conventional hydroelectric terms.

    There are, however mall scale/experimental generation types that utilize rotating, floating buoys (that look a bit like the blades of a push lawn mowers) to generate power. And if this is future-tech, then you can make it up as you go along

    -Rob A>

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    One other nit-picky comment.

    It appears that your docks lie completely on the floodplain. Are there any pieces that jut out into the river? I would add docks that branch off from what you have out into the water. Typically there would be a large number of platforms that reach over the water (assuming that Burramesh conducts any trade or travel by water, which your description seems to indicate).

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    Rik
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    Many thanks for the comments (so far)

    re colours: this is one of the key things I want to change - I was thinking along the lines of those pen-and-ink city maps you sometimes see, possibly with a bit of 3D relief. I could add watercolour style washes as a separate layer, but my attempts to date of doing the outlines have not been worth saving. I'm looking (like everyone else, I suppose) for an easy way to tackle this while making it look (almost) professional ...

    re hydroelectric generators: it's all very small-scale, and highly inefficient - I was thinking something like underwater jet engines that funnel the river's current past the turbine blades.

    re docks: I haven't added the piers yet - having a couple of boats in the river and some more tied up to the piers would add to the scene, I think (though then it might get too busy and ruin the map).

    re floods: I was thinking of something in the order of a 1-2m surge after the spring melt, lasting perhaps a month - thus the brown bits are very flat mudflats and mudbars.

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    Regarding the hydroelectric generators. Remember this basic principle - Water always takes the path of least resistance. Therefore those generators would probably never get the amount of pressure they would need to spin as the water chose to go around that area instead of through it. You really have to force the water to go through them if they are going to work.

    A perfect example is the old grain mill with the water wheel on the side. Look at some of those for inspiration in the placement of the generators.
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  8. #8
    Rik
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    It's not pretty, but at least it's a start. 2 maps attached - with slight differences in the altitude/blur stuff. This is mainly a playing-with-and-learning Gimp attempt - I've used the default patterns (which are a bit limited in scope) for texturing walls and roads, etc.

    I eventually want to have key buildings in my story shown in faux-3D (like the walls), and to have space enough on the key roads to include their names. Showing the cultivated and jungle areas would be a nice addition. And I'll have to include the monkeyrat grove that protects the northern side of the city - once I've worked out what a giant monkeyrat tree looks like, of course.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Burramesh city map-burramesh-071203-x1.png   Burramesh city map-burramesh-071203-x2.png  

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rik View Post
    It's not pretty, but at least it's a start. 2 maps attached - with slight differences in the altitude/blur stuff. This is mainly a playing-with-and-learning Gimp attempt - I've used the default patterns (which are a bit limited in scope) for texturing walls and roads, etc.

    I eventually want to have key buildings in my story shown in faux-3D (like the walls), and to have space enough on the key roads to include their names. Showing the cultivated and jungle areas would be a nice addition. And I'll have to include the monkeyrat grove that protects the northern side of the city - once I've worked out what a giant monkeyrat tree looks like, of course.
    I like the walls - care to share how you made this "faux-3d" effect?

    I think the blurred one looks good on land, but you have lost the defined shoreline. Also, the colours look posterized , but this could be my screen

    Lastly, if you are using 2.3 or 2.4 GIMP, just a tip that anything in the copy buffer is immediately available as both a fill and as a brush! It shows up as first in the list of the respective tool palettes.

    -Rob A>

  10. #10
    Rik
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    Thanks, Rob. The 'faux 3D' is the old way of making 3D text - stamp the letter (or walls), colour them black (or brown in this case), then repeat the proces a few pixels up and to the left - this time colouring them light brown. The black lines are strokes around the light brown and both browns. I added an extra pattern layer to cover the whole thing, at about 25% opacity.

    I like the fuzzy colour map, but don't like the way the river detail has been lost. So I've gone for contour lines to help mark out the boundaries - which I think is a better solution for now. I've also added in the Governor's House (did I warn people I was crap at art?), and some text.

    Oh, and the greeny squiggly things at the top left are supposed to be terracing walls. Not working at the moment. Oh, well ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Burramesh city map-burramesh-071204-x1.png  

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