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Thread: [Award Winner] Step by Step workflow: Saventh-Yhi, City of the Seven Spears

  1. #11
      Kelron is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyotemax View Post
    this is one of my favourites of yours.. good thing there's lots of pools in that map, i drool every time i look at it
    seconded

  2. #12
      ravells is offline
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    You so need an inkling! Looks like it would go perfectly with your workflow.

    I love your approach and am envious of your artistic skills!

  3. #13
      Hugo Solis is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post
    You so need an inkling! Looks like it would go perfectly with your workflow.

    I love your approach and am envious of your artistic skills!
    Oooh having and Inkling would make me shed a few tears of joy...

    Even thou I'm a "digital illustrator", ALL my work is pencil sketched first, I just love the hand-made feeling and having a physical original of my stuff, even if its only a sketch.

  4. #14
      Hugo Solis is offline
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    The inking step in this case take quite a long time, mstly for all the topographic leves and the few hundred buildings. I didn't wanted to make too many "copy-paste" buildings but after doing a couple dozen "unique" blocks I dropped the dream of unique buildings and started copy pasting more of the same. I tried to make as many changes as possible on the blocks so that the copy-paste repetition. Even so there a maaany unique buildings around, specially the larger-than-a-house ones.

    The building design isn't much at random. You'll see neat two-row aligned clusters of 8-12 square piramid-like buildings near the biggest ziggurats, those are supposed to be military quarters. The sigle row ones that are alike are supposed to be priest quarters. The rest of clustered mixed shaped blocks are the regular homes and business/store buildings. There are many "palaces" around and you'll see those mostly perced on the rock columns on the edges.

    A little "secret" of mine when I furnish a city is to think GM minded. I always try to place buildings as if my players were walking through the city and "living" it, so the city needs to make sense and to have every type of building a real fantasy city would have. In geneal nobody notices this, but it helps me visualize it and helsp me enjoy the process a lot more, kinda like as if I was describing/writting the city as I draw it.

    I'll get to the details of the wards in the next post.

    [Award Winner] Step by Step workflow: Saventh-Yhi, City of the Seven Spears-02-saventh-yhi-outline1.jpg[Award Winner] Step by Step workflow: Saventh-Yhi, City of the Seven Spears-02-saventh-yhi-bnwoutline2.jpg

  5. #15
      ravells is offline
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    This is so cool. It may sound odd but I actually prefer your work in progress images to the final product! Looking forward to the next instalment! Thank you so much for sharing your techniques with us!

  6. #16
      Ascension is offline
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    Agree with Ravs. I think us artsy types always prefer the sketchy steps as that gives us more information than anything else. Must be something in our brains.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  7. #17
      NatroN is offline
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    I'm "artsy" too... and I definitely have something in my brain, it made an odd sound everytime I shake my head lol.
    Please Hugo... more!!

  8. #18
      Hugo Solis is offline
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    I get anxious before finishing the outlines and I start to lay down the flat colors (not a very patient guy!)

    The first thing I do is set the base "mood" on the colors and start dividing the main areas (mountains from water from ground) and setting the main colored features, in this case the parts overrun by jungle (the ligth green), the height variation on the surrounding rocks, which in this case two simple levels (thou there is a third one in there), from darker (highest) to lighter (white) and of course the water in blue, with the deepest parts in darker shades. I should had separated the ground level in heights by color too but I didn't kinda regret it now...

    [Award Winner] Step by Step workflow: Saventh-Yhi, City of the Seven Spears-03-saventh-yhi-pre-draft-alldigital.jpg

    In this next illo you'll see all the outlines completed (a few hundred detailed buildings... MADNESS I tell you!).

    And here it comes the dreaded and shameful "3d" effect bevel and emboss (Bad cartographer, BAD!). I think is not 100% bad to use it but it is if you abuse it like I did...

    Also you may notice that on the mid height level of the rocks you'll see several heights of effect, and this is still the same layer. This is a simple trick achieved by Ctrl+click on the layer frame (on the layer tab) of the outlines to select them all, and then going into the colored layer with the bevel effect while still having the lines selected and then deleting the selected area on the colored layer, thus erasing the areas of the outlines and creating more contours to be (abused) by the bevel filter. This is easier than coloring each area by hand and far more precise.

    You'll also see the different leves of sharpness on the filter depending on the height. The higher, the softer. Buildings and vegetation get the same filter effect. You'lll notice that the vegetation gets a nifty texture effect with the bevel and emboss... I'll get to that laters

    I colored the city's floor darker -thus breaking the darker to lighter height order- to make a nice contrast with the buildings which I made lighter. I could (should?) had done it on a different color but I didn't wanted to expand too much the color palette, specially if some of the buildings were going to be colorful.

    95% of this is pretty basic Photoshop stuff, but since this was my first map using (abusing) of these effects, I was kind of doing trial and error here, so all these things I explain are what I "just found out" myself and I'm sharing it as I found it useful. If I'm just ranting stuff everybody knows by now, then just try and ignore my giberish

    [Award Winner] Step by Step workflow: Saventh-Yhi, City of the Seven Spears-04-saventh-yhi-pre-draft-alldigital-2-.jpg
    Last edited by Hugo Solis; 09-14-2011 at 10:55 AM.

  9. #19
      ravells is offline
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    And here it comes the dreaded and shameful "3d" effect bevel and emboss (Bad cartographer, BAD!). I think is not 100% bad to use it but it is if you abuse it like I did...
    This gave me a really good belly laugh!!! Everytime I try and find a lazy way of making a city somehow, somewhere the bevel and emboss creeps into the equation and then I despise myself!

  10. #20
      Hugo Solis is offline
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    Now that all outlines are done and the main areas colored, I start adding details a some tweaking to the layer effects to add depth and some sharpness to the mountains.

    [Award Winner] Step by Step workflow: Saventh-Yhi, City of the Seven Spears-05-saventh-yhi-draft2.jpg

    -I added some "random" green areas around to give it more of an "abandoned jungle city" feeling and added shades of green with a texturized brush. Some of the green areas got clearded to leave open spaces and give a feeling of importance to certain buildings.
    -The water got the same texturized brush treatment and got burn/expose to enhance the deep effects.
    -The sunken buildings are a whole different layer using under the water layer which has a multiply effect.
    -I made the floor brighter to make it more "readable".

    At this point everything is plain detailing, so its pretty much ground work...lots of it.

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