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    • CommentAuthorSilverdrop
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2018 edited
    Alright, kind of challenged by Loopysue, I'm going to do a work in progress of a new city I'm preparing to map. This however is not going to be just a map by itself, but the map is going to be a case study for me to develop my own custom style for my city maps. The mapping I do is primarily for my own fantasy roleplaying world, and I am trying to get a cohesive feel between my maps. That means different maps are going to be done in the same style.

    So why a new style? Well with the big city I've mapped it didn't quite feel like it matched up well with my overland maps. Now I'm trying to figure out what I can do to make city-maps mesh better with overland maps. And when looking at styles the realization comes that for fantasy overland maps there are a ton of beautiful styles (at least for me with all the annuals), but for fantasy cities the choice is limited. Jon Roberts style definitely looked like a contender, but when doing a bit of tryout mapping to get a feel for the style I found it lacking in symbol variety and the fills less suited to doing larger cities. Since I'm much more comfortable mapping overland maps, I scrutinized over other city maps, especially on here, seeing if I could find examples of city maps that had characteristics that I liked. Loopysue's mapping of the city of Sanctuary particularly caught my eye, and it helped me get things into a better perspective.

    I'm going to be mapping larger as well as smaller cities and towns. This means that the style should look good at different scales. In other words it needs fill styles that have a broad range of looking appealing. A lot of fill styles are nice zoomed in, but zoom out a little too far and the repetition of the tiling attract way to much attention to itself. This means a fill style needs detail, but not a lot of unique detail since those immediately jump out to the eye when the pattern is repeated. I'm also going to be mapping cities and town in varying climates and culture in my world so I will need to have a good variety both in symbols and landscape fill styles so towns from different geographic regions can be distinguished as such but at the same time the maps are still in the same style. Everything considered I feel this will be best served with a pseudo-realistic style, which will be easier for me to extend with existing textures for fills and with Bogie's and CSUAC as resources will already have a solid pool of symbols

    So I dived into the Tome of Ultimate Mapping and went about figuring out how to create my own style as template and wizard within CC3+ so once I have figured out the style with this map, I can do other towns and cities without having to adjust everything again from the basis. The structure part of that is done. I got my own style as a wizard under the cities category when starting a new map. With that done it's time to actually start working on the style. The basis for the style is the CD3A city style as it sits closest to what I want, and it fits relatively well with Bogie's and CSUAC. I'm not yet sure what all I will do with the style but all options are open. I'll be modifying and/or adding fill styles and adjusting or making drawing tools.

    Now that the basis is sorted I will be using the medium sized city of Spellwind in my world as city to map out and use as a test-bed to see how thinks work out with the style. Spellwind is located in an area of importance to my players so it serves a function and it already has backstory, which may help me with mapping it. It's located in at the point where a river exits from a large lake at the northwestern part of that lake and the city is on a major east-west traveling route. As a result trade and transport will be a significant theme in this city.
    It's located in Nehlin as seen below.
    Nehlin Spellwind cutout.JPG

    As a basis for the map generating a city using Watabou's Medieval Fantasy City Generator. This will be the starting point for a general layout of the city as it provides pretty believable city-structures, but I'll modify things from there on to suit my purpose

    I have no idea if this will be a glorious success, a miserable failure or anything in between. I haven't developed my own style before, only used other styles presented to me by Profantasy. So who knows where this will end. Bear with me as I'm not a particularly fast mapper (Work, family/social life, other hobbies and all that) so this may take quite a while.
    • CommentAuthorSilverdrop
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2018 edited
    Given the criteria for Spellwind it took going through quite some generated cities until I had one that I decided to go with. It's got the main east-west road going through it and is at a northwestern edge with a river exiting. The river goes north initially, but can turn west off-map easily (as it goes on the overland map).

    The result is this:
      Spellwind final small.png
    • CommentAuthorSilverdrop
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2018
    As my first task I wanted fills for water and land that were not too repetitive zoomed out, but I wanted more detail than the CD3A fill styles. Hunting the internet for good free textures, and adapting them a bit to my needs (thank you borysses on DeviantArt).

    I started working towards a basis of a map. I don't like the walls going the way they are in the generated city and after looking at some historical cities next to rivers or water A wall along the riverbank made more sense to me. I've used Sue's technique for the walls (as detailed in the sanctuary thread) and changed the drawing tools for towers and walls to make that quicker and easier. They don't have crenellations yet, as I'm afraid I'll have to dive into macro's to make those automatically with the drawing tools. I may make a valiant attempt at automating that at some later point, but right now that would get in the way too much. So for now I'll live without the crenellations.

    So the very first early stage of the new map is here, with my own fills (only the roads are bogies' brick 08 with an RGB matrix processing on it).
      Spellwind progress 1.JPG
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2018
    Oh this looks really interesting :)

    What a great project!

    I didn't know it was even possible to automate that city wall thing I did. That would be really useful. I always get a bit confused at the crenulation stage :P

    Watching with interest...
    • CommentAuthorSilverdrop
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2018
    Thought I'd do a little update, even though I haven't had a whole lot of time to map (also had to do two battlemaps for my campaign in between).

    Basically the additions are lots of smaller roads, backgrounding for the docks areas and adding areas of dryer terrain.
      Spellwind progress 2.JPG
    • CommentAuthorGThiel
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2018
    Where the river approaches the Northwest wall is giving me a major optical illusion. One moment the river is rising up from its banks ready to overflow the city, the next it is back down in its banks, gently flowing along. :-)
    • CommentAuthorShessar
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2018
    This is coming along quite nicely. Are you creating your own fills or using what is already available? I really like the fill for the drier terrain a lot.

    I do agree with GThiel about the wall messing with perspective. This may correct itself once other buildings are added. You could also try adding a small black glow to the wall to lift the whole thing up a bit.
    • CommentAuthorSilverdrop
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2018 edited
    @shessar:The drier terrain, as well as the grass and the water are all fills made from textures I found online.

    Now that the area has been pointed out I do notice what you mention. I think it's the compound effect of the wall just covering the inner glow on the water, combined with just a hint of darkness from the directional wall shadow. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Ill just move the tower and wall a bit so a little bit of green can be seen between the wall and the river. That should eliminate the optical illusion.