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Thread: WIP: Birdseye

  1. #11
      AMXPariah is offline
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    I really like your layout and I'm interested in seeing a more complete profile view.
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  2. #12
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    Well, I’ve been absent from these forums for a very long time, and so I thought it was time to make another update before gonig back into hibernation.

    So, to business:

    First things first, thansk to all the people who commented on this map, and apologies for not replying earlier.

    @Max: thanks, we’ll see how it works out.

    @Chashio I: I also liked the handwritten notes. I like the idea of a map that can be literally read. So the notes will be back, in some form. I’m holding off for now so I don’t spoil the surprise.

    @Chashio II: I’ve quickly realised that trying to make an entire model of Birdseye in Sketchup would be one of the stupidest things I could do. Instead, quick mockups and close up views of some areas might be possible. My pictures below show some progress down that route.

    @Chashio III: the big problem is that the shape of the rock is so irregular and very specific. I’m still trying to figure out the terrain side of things. Frankly, play dough might be the best option.

    @AMXPariah: thanks. The profile was simply a quick sketch. My plan had been to do it more completely once the 3d model was finished, but that’s not likely to be anytime soon. Glad you like the layout – I spent a very long time working on it.

    So, what’s been changed? The entire layout of the town has been revised. Most of it remains the same, but some sections have been virtually started from scratch. The biggest change is that the bridge has been moved, and I’ve also added a map of what lies under the arch of the bridge (I haven’t uploaded that picture, though). The areas on the bridge haven’t been finalised yet.

    Why has this taken so long? Every part of this city has been scrupulously researched (Italian towns being my preferred type), and no changes were made unless I was sure they’d be worth it. To give some idea, I might spend a whole night thinking about the exact placement and arrangement of a staircase (and then change my mind and remove it the next day). I certainly can’t compete with Max for output, but [EDIT: bad joke].

    And what are these pictures showing? The first shows the revised town plan (minus most of the bridge). The second shows a very quick mockup of the town in sketchup, to give an idea of how it might look (the actual town is meant to look much steeper but I’ll worry about that later). And the third shows my attempts to model buildings for Birdseye. The method involves created discrete segments that can then simply be joined together in almost any arrangement. They’ll also need more work, but you can see the effect from just a couple of buildings put together. I’m pretty pleased with it, myself, and again, all tediously researched and based on pictures of Italian medieval houses (although the textures are a bit off, I’ll admit).

    Comments are, as always, very welcome. Please don’t be discouraged by the extremely long time between replying – I will keep updating this thread, it just might just take a few more months.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WIP: Birdseye-2.4.1-birdseye.jpg   WIP: Birdseye-2.5.1-birdseye.jpg   WIP: Birdseye-2.6.1-birdseye-buildings.jpg  
    Last edited by TheHoarseWhisperer; 07-07-2013 at 08:51 PM.
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  3. #13
      - Max - is offline
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    That's some interesting workflow so far and I'm really curious to see how the hand drawn stuff will render when you'll start on it. Keep up the good job ( whatever the time it takes )

  4. #14
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    Well I thought I'd post these...they're not quite updates; more like add-ons. Kinda just to prove that the city isn't forgotten.

    The first picture shows one city block, with 3d buildings in SU. Those who have followed this city's progress will notice that they lack the details like windows and doors that I added to buildings in an earlier post; I'll probably add those features in the hand-drawn part (many years from now, at the current rate). I've also discovered SketchUp's 'styles' feature, which has been fun.

    The second image is a quick sketch, showing the lower reaches of the city from the side.

    The third and fourth images show a portion of the Bridge. I've reconsidered the Bridge concept - it'll probably be more like Old London Bridge or the Ponte Vecchio (and Dain's amazing featured map, of course), rather than the monumental architecture I had planned before (still impressive though). I like the tightly-packed look of the buildings on the bridge, but I'm not too happy with the way the old stone texture meets the light grey stone texture. I tried a couple of combinations, though, and still thought it looked best as it is. Any thoughts, people?

    Lastly, credit where its due: all textures in the SU model are either those from the program originally, or were acquired from CGTextures.com.

    Always keen to receive comments, feedback, questions, suggestions, and so on.

    THW
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WIP: Birdseye-birdseye-image.jpg   WIP: Birdseye-untitled-1.jpg   WIP: Birdseye-birdseye-bridge-1.jpg   WIP: Birdseye-birdseye-bridge-2.jpg  
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  5. #15
      Katto is offline
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    Really cool progress THW. You've got it: split the houses horizontal then vertical and add similar variations of props, assets or how do you call it. You can see an advanced result of this technique here.
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  6. #16
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    Thanks Katto. That's a great link and deserves to be posted somewhere on the forums that gets a bit more traffic. I reckon a lot of people here'll be interested in seeing that. Unfortunately I won't be able to do anything quite as ambitious as that project, but I'm still pretty pleased with how Birdseye is turning out.

  7. #17
      RedKettle is offline
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    First I want to say Thanks for posting your progress and development on this project. In addition to it being an exciting project, your July post helped my brain understand a different way of using components in Sketchup. I had used components before for smaller accent elements like beamwork or windows, and larger elements like whole buildings, but for some reason it never occurred to me to break down a building facade into repeatable elements. That helped me move forward on a couple of ideas I had been avoiding, so thanks!

    I like the tightly-packed look of the buildings on the bridge, but I'm not too happy with the way the old stone texture meets the light grey stone texture. I tried a couple of combinations, though, and still thought it looked best as it is. Any thoughts, people?
    What I see is that by aligning the building with the edge of the bridge you are visually combining the elements to create a unified blobby mass. The only way to correct that through colors/textures would be to assign textures that work on different scales, or to change the colorings for higher contrast. It could also be corrected using massing by adding detail at roadbed height to make a distinct break, like a curb or rail detail along the edge (and it could be more effective if set back slightly from the edge of the bridge). The buildings themselves do not need to end at the edge, and can either overhang (as was the case in both Dain's bridge and in google images of Old London Bridge) or be set closer to the center of the bridge. Finally, some small elements like bracketing (props and assets as Katto mentioned) can be added to cross the building and bridge masses, breaking up the sharp horizontal of the bridge edge. If I have done everything correctly there should be an image below exploring some of the massing ideas to see if that solves the correct problems, or if you need to pursue other options.

    Finally, I have been following the progress of Birdseye, and I am excited to see how it continues to develop! One small hint you may already know, there is a button on the Sandbox toolbar (I know it was there in the free versions of Sketchup 7 and 8, but not sure about the latest version) called 'From Contours'. It can quickly turn stuff into a triangulated? mesh for a smoother landscape/terrain treatment (to avoid the stepped terrain look).

    Good Luck!

    WIP: Birdseye-bridge-massingstudy1.jpg
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  8. #18
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    Thanks RedKettle. Those are some kind words and some good advice.

    Unfortunately the facade idea isn't working as well as I'd hoped. The goal of doing it like that was to reduce the amount of work, but it seemed to increase the amount. All buildings need to be of standard widths (eg multiples of 12'), and corner blocks present additional problems. I might give it another shot when I have time, though.

    Your comments on the bridge are bang on the money. I intend to have lots of areas where buildings are cantilevered over the edge. The bridge is, after all, prime real estate any the buildings there will squeeze every bit of land they can out of it.

    As for the sandbox approach, I am aware of the SU feature, but I am hesitant about using it for several reasons. Primarily, my model of Birdseye is huge - from the top of the Rock to the lowest point is nearly 3000' (and that isn't including the bridge); the terrain slopes a lot, and the people of Birdseye have coped by building lots of staircases - the SU model has hundreds, possibly thousands, of individual steps. And all of that is without adding the 3d buildings themselves (letalone the details that the facade-built method would add). I experimented with sandboxing briefly, and my experience was that it slows the program down significantly.

    Thanks again for the suggestions (and cool bridge picture, RedKettle). I'll try to post another update soon as I have time.

    THW

  9. #19
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    I love the fact the original image has the overhead view as well as space for a side view of the city, plus all the details the "original cartographer" wrote down. These sort of details make it more than a map, they bring a sense of life and ambience to it. Keep it up!

  10. #20
      aquarits is offline
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    THW finished it and posted in somewhere?

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