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Thread: [WIP] - Bordovilla

  1. #11
      mearrin69 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by NatroN View Post
    you're an awesome cartographer btw!
    Nice of you to say. Thanks!

    It all depends on how complicated you want to get with it. I find a single layer with a bevel layer style doesn't achieve what I want so I usually use multiple layers:
    1) The base layer is the building shape layer. For Hania it was generated using RPG Citymap Generator, which basically spits out nice hard-edged building shapes. It's easy enough to do, however, with Photoshop's shape tool or marquee select (no antialias) and fill. However it happens, I'll create all of my buildings in a single layer (except maybe for walls, special buildings, etc.)
    2) A bevel layer. I'll usually just create a new layer and select the contents of the base layer (ctrl-click the thumbnail in the layers palette) and fill that with white. Then I'll apply a bevel and get the settings where I want them. I'll usually set that layer to multiply (other blend modes can give different effects) so the layer just modifies what's underneath (letting you see color and texture).
    2a) Photoshop's blend isn't perfect. If you want hard edges on your rooflines you'll also get an awful carved chunkiness wherever you've got lines that aren't horizontal or vertical. If I want hard edges I'll usually flatten the bevel layer (turn off blend and opacity before doing this) by creating a blank layer below it and merging down. Then I'll (painstakingly, by hand) go in and paint over that chunkiness to smooth out each side of the roof. Use layer and lasso select to only paint in the areas you want and use the eyedropper tool to choose the 'right' color for what you're painting depending on the angle to the light.
    3) If I want texture I'll do that by placing a layer under the bevel layer and adding it there. If the texture is fine enough you can often get away with not having it aligned with the buildings (I took some shortcuts with Hania...it's only aligned on some of the buildings). You can do this in a lot of ways. Sometimes I'll fill a patch on a blank layer and then drag copies of that around and transform them and merge them into a single texture layer. If you don't care about alignment you can just apply a layer style of texture to the base layer. For my Haibianr maps I made the texture aligned to each facet of the roof. Just depends on how much 'accuracy' you want.
    4) Shadows. I'll either add a dropshadow layer style to the base layer or, if I want to get more detailed, I'll duplicate that layer (filled with black) a number of times and shift each layer a little bit. When I'm done I'll merge those together and set a blend mode of multiply and turn down the opacity until I like it. I usually blur either the whole thing or, for more accuracy, blur each of the duplicate layers a little more the further they get from the building.

    In Hania, I think I also ran an edge detect filter and created an outline for each of the buildings. That map's a little more impressionistic than I usually do so it works there. I do use edges/outlines in some of my more realistic maps but they're much more subtle.

    Hope that helps. Will chime in if I think of anything else.
    M

  2. #12
      NatroN is offline
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    Woah Mearrin, thanks A LOT! I'll try that once I've had all layed out... since this is my first attempt I'm slow and have to go through a lot of try and error. I've found a setting that I like temporarely.

    The image is reduced at 45% of the original.

    Lot of things happened:
    Changed the shape of houses and layed down a few blocks. How are they now?
    Added the northern forest, still have to work on the particulars
    Added a creek. Part of the moat was carved out from the final part of the creek, so now there's a waterfall. The main reason I've added the creek is because I have some problems: all the river has steep margins, so there was no place for the mill and lumber-mill to take water energy.
    I'm not fully satisfied by the lumber-mill... the creek gives energy to the mill, but I know that the logs was usually transported using waterways... but there's no access now to the main river... maybe I'm too perfectionist, I know lol, but every advice on this is welcomed, as the lumber mill is one of the main encounter setting on my adventure.

    houses scattered on the south-west are the basic shapes and will be erased lately

    [WIP] - Bordovilla-bordovilla_mills.jpg

  3. #13
      mearrin69 is offline
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    Yeah. Those buildings are looking pretty sharp! Forest looks good too.

    Perfectionism is both a boon and a bane to the amateur cartographer. I suffer from it too. I take forever to make maps. Hania was actually a test run at putting something together quickly.
    M

  4. #14
      NatroN is offline
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    I've added an "halfling block" on the side of the small town's hill. I know there's a slight scale problem there, as those entrances are too big compared to the houses, but I'm quite happy with the overall look, and making those hobbit like entrances on the right scale will make them invisible :S

    As always any critics is welcomed as I'm learning here!

    [WIP] - Bordovilla-bordovilla_halfling.jpg

  5. #15
      mearrin69 is offline
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    Very cool. They might be a little outsized but they look good. Some more emphasized paths between the doors and roads will really make it clear to the viewer what they're seeing.

    Not sure I've ever seen anyone here include a hobbit district. Neat idea!
    M

  6. #16
    Professional Artist Justin Raven's Avatar
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    This is a really cool map, man. I like the sandy island sandwiched between the cliff faces. I can imagine standing on the beech and looking around. I work mostly traditionally, so I laud you on your creation. Very tight, evocative, and loving the narrative elements, here. Nicely done!
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  7. #17
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Nice, like the Hobbit-holes too!
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

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  8. #18
      NatroN is offline
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    Little Update:

    Changed the creek flow and adjusted mill and lumber mill accordingly. Now they can use the last part of the creek and the river to transport the logs to the bigger towns and cities on the plains. I've also added some more houses and changed the palisades completely. At 50% (the resolution of the attachment) it's not so visible, but both the palisades and the towers are now more realistic (dotted like logs). I have to add the reinforcements needed to keep the palisade up. Oh... that fortification is still under construction, as you can see on the western side of it.

    [WIP] - Bordovilla-bordovilla_palisades.jpg

  9. #19
      NatroN is offline
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    Almost finished with the main layout of the houses.
    Started the very big temple and ancient artifact on the western hill.
    Tried some new tricks on the trees and bushes: do you like them? Any advice is welcomed.
    Added a market too... still some work to do there, dim the shiningness etc...
    [WIP] - Bordovilla-bordovilla_temple.jpg

  10. #20
      ravells is offline
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    Looking great! I love the hobbit holes and the market! The trees and bushes look really good. Keep going!

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