Community Atlas - Malajuri - City of Sanctuary (restarted)

LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

About a year ago I started a map of Sanctuary in this thread here.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to take the project very far, but I've decided to try again.

The new city map will be based on a large walled city plan that is automatically generated with a ready made citadel and temple by the Medieval Fantasy City Generator created by watabou (which, by the way doesn't work at all in Edge, but works fine in Firefox)

I generated the new city layout without the river because in my mind the generator produces rather strange rivers that are too wide and curiously angular, so I will need to chisel a path through the plan for the river to take before I get too far, which in turn means I need to think about the exact geography of the area before I even begin with the city.

Also this time I am trying my best not to add about a hundred new sheets, like I did with Merelan City. This is to try and keep the map as 'lite' as can be, considering that it will have to be fairly large. The map size is 5000 x 5000 map units right now, but if that's too big to be manageable as an Atlas map I might halve the scale at some point down the line.

I will initially be using the House button to add most of the buildings. If it turns out that this also causes too much of a drain on the memory I might have to adjust my approach, but we shall see :)

Here is the generated city...


There will be a whole lot more space around it than that in the actual map ;)


  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    edited April 2018
    Here is the location map


    The reference map


    And a map that Lorelei rather likes. (I do to, but we shall have to see if I can come close to it with a few HSL sheet effects)

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    edited April 2018
    I've downloaded the FT world to get the coast right and discovered that at city map scale the coast is a little bit too simplified. This works to my advantage in that as long as nobody minds I can create the inlet leading off from the bay to match the randomly generated city plan - like an estuary of the river Sanctuary.

    Here is a screen shot of the coastline with the approximate location of the city marked very crudely in red, and a slight diversion of the end of the river to take it through the city instead of to one side of it.


    I'm having an issue with scale.

    The city is approximately 3 miles wide, but at the standard city map scale of 1 map unit to 1 foot that means a map that is about 20000 units wide (1 mile is 5280 feet).

    Alternatively I can change the number of feet per map unit to something like 5 ft per map unit. This I have tried, but using the distance measuring tool still gives measurements in the old scale. Maybe I'm not changing the scale the right way? I've altered the number of feet per unit in the drawing presets dialog, but I must be missing something here.
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    edited April 2018
    Posted By: LoopysueAlternatively I can change the number of feet per map unit to something like 5 ft per map unit.
    Don't. This is just begging for problems.
    And it doesn't make any difference for CC3+ if your map is 10000 map units wide or if it is 10 map units wide. This isn't like a drawing program where more pixels makes the drawing larger. Map units are just a measurement unit, there are no performance gains of reducing the number of map units if you plan to include the same content anyway. So keep the map at the correct scale.
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    Thanks Remy :)

    So to get the distance measuring tool to show the right distances between things I would really need to make the map 20,000 map units wide and a bit less tall?
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    edited April 2018
    Yes. (Well, there are other ways, but you don't get any advantages at all by reducing the number of map units in the map. It is the level of detail that causes issues, not the size of these details in map units)

    You'll need to watch your detail level though, because mapping a 3 mile wide city at street level detail will be a burden on your system because of the sheer number of entities, but fiddling with the map size in map units won't help anything with that.
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    Thanks again :)

    I may have issues with the detail level, but I'm hoping it won't be too bad since I'm not planning on adding every chimney stack. Just the buildings. This isn't going to have 150 sheets like MC had.

    If I still can't afford a new PC in the next month, I will probably be able to double my RAM - if that helps. I only have 4 GB at the moment, and thanks to Win 10 and processor security updates messing everything up I have only 1.5 GB usable RAM. It will be really nice to have another 4.
  • ScottAScottA Surveyor
    Scale is always an issue I've had with city mapping (my own comprehension, not the program itself). To make something even as small as 1 square mile requires a seemingly enormous map.
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    It feels scary, but I've re-created the base map. Its now 18,000 x 15,000.

    We'll see how far I get before I get stuck for memory :P
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    edited April 2018
    Here is the first WIP.

    I've done the city walls and put in most of the roads - including all the tiny threads that run through the poor sectors.

    This is not the true colour of the map. I've had to increase the contrast so that the finer roads are visible.

    To give an idea of scale the finest roads (paths) are 5' wide.


    Here is a close up of a section of the wall.


    Closer still


    The roads need some work on them to make them look natural - a bit of corner cutting and uneavenness in width, but I will do that another day. For now I am resting after completing the first major job in a single day.
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    Just a quick general shot of the city centre :)
  • oooooohhhhh! I like where you are going with this
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    edited April 2018
    Thanks Lorelei :)

    The basic concept of a tiered harbour area is a shameless rip off from that map you gave me as an example. I just thought it could do with one of those garden water features that seem to be so popular these days.

    I discovered a new use for the HW snow fill. If you stretch it by setting the width to 100 and the height to 1000, wack the brightness and saturation right up the scale with an HSL sheet effect, and if you then align the fill in the direction in which the waterfall is facing, it actually makes a half reasonable waterfall. I haven't got it quite perfect just yet, but using a fill instead of drawing all that detail with hundreds of little blurred lines helps to cut down on the node count ;) If they were really so inclined a person could redo the falls as a smaller map - when I've finished this one :)
  • ScottAScottA Surveyor
    Very clever! Love it.
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    Thanks Scott :)

    it took me AGES to work that one out.

    I'm looking to keep this as low poly as is humanly possible, so a lot of the effects I used in Merelan City will have to be adapted to suit that ideal. I'm thinking of using as many standard building symbols as I can, because the buildings generated by the House command contain a lot of nodes and shaded polys which seem to eat memory a lot faster than the ready made symbols. Once I get outside the city wall I might even resort to Hadrian's method, and create the impression of buildings by using a bevel effect.

    I'm going to set up the background with all the fields and forests and stuff, and then I'm starting with the buildings inside the wall, so we'll see how its going by the time I get to so outside the wall. Although its not on the scale of Hadrian's cities, Sanctuary is approximately 3 times larger than Merelan City.
  • Hey Sue, this is looking great so far! And since I'm going to be doing a city map very soon, this may be good inspiration!

    I do have a suggestion in regards to your water fall, if you're interested. I noticed that there is a slight gap at the middle waterfall. The pool of water doesn't go all the way to the edge. The suggestion I have, is to draw the pool, so that it actually connects with the water down below, just over the edge, then place the glacier fill on top of that. That way, it looks like the water is tumbling over. In that middle pool, the water doesn't connect to the glacier, and it sort of breaks the illusion of the water going over the cliff (that is a cliff, right?).

    I look forward to seeing how this one turns out! Your Merelan City was awesome! I know you will bring the same beauty to this one.

    Oh, and Congrats on your Atlas Award!!!
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    Hey Storm :)

    Thank you :D

    I know there's a gap. I just haven't got around to doing anything about it right now. That's because I keep darting around doing other stuff. The monologue in my head goes a bit like this:

    Let's experiment with that idea you had about the grass last night... oh look, there's a gap between the water and the fall... yes, but I have a bit of grass on my cursor right now, I'll look at it later... ok, but while we're on grass don't you think we need to add a few trees so that we can do a quick colour check... ok - now where did I put that tree catalogue... there's a gap in that waterfall... stoppit! I'm trying to find the trees... why the heck do we want the trees.... to check with the grass... ok, but there's still a gap in that water fall...

    And so on :P

    Now that I've started this, and if you're looking for any helpful advice, I'd say its really important to have something to start with - like either a PF random city, or one from watabou (link above). City building is about a million times easier if you have a nice attractive road system to get you going.

    But you don't need to stick to the initial plan. I've already ripped the heart out of the watabou road system I started with to make way for the tiered harbour area. The initial plan is only there to focus your efforts. In no way should it limit your creative instinct ;)
  • I might try it the next time I'm making a city for myself, or something... but this commission comes with a general outline already... so I sort of need to go with what the client wants :). But I do appreciate the advice! :)
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    I hope he/she has given you a good one, then ;)

    Will you be showing a WIP thread here, or is it one of those hush-hush no display arrangements?
  • WIP will probably be on the guild thread because he's a member there, but I will be able to post finished product both places.
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    edited April 2018
    I'll look out for it then - when I can log back on :) I'm having BB issues right now.

    Here's a small update of the harbour area. These are supposed to be ramps, and yes - I know the falls still aren't right ;)


    I'm starting to have problems with CC3 slowing down, but this was only to be expected with such a large map. I may have to cut this one into quarter mile squares, and do a separate more basic map of the entire city. I which case I need to create the grid and concentrate on finishing the border areas so that its ready to cut up without any discontinuity problems.

    Then, when all the quarter miles are finished, I'll combine all the rendered images into one map, reduce it, and draw the basic city map a lot smaller.
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    edited April 2018
    Steps forward and backward all over the place - adjustments to the cliff lines, a cluster of buildings discarded, another added and a bit more work on the waterfalls (I gave up trying to make the snow fill really work, and drew a new symbol - just the one). There's now a boatyard - the beginnings of one anyway. I've improved on the ramps - getting rid of the hard glow line at each end. These are huge constructions by the way (this is 1/4 mile square section of the map), intended to withstand the storms and be broad enough for heavy loads to be transported up and down the city to and from the docks.

    The falls are named after three very famous sisters, in who's memory the merfolk (as I understand there are a lot of merfolk in the oceans of Nibirum) sent a great storm to carve the narrow gorge of the mouth of the river Sanctuary into the three tiers on which the city is now built, so that the peaceful people of Sanctuary might have their precious gateway to the sea despite the cliffs that extend for many miles east and west.

    BB problems! I will upload the image as soon as I can...
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    edited April 2018
    I can't edit the previous comment without crashing most of the apps I'm running (I think its my machine), so here is the 1/4 mile map.


    Well that worked! :)

    And here are the new waterfalls:


    The new fall symbol isn't quite right, but I need to talk to Remy about whether it can be included in the tree symbols and fills I already have stored in the Atlas once its finished.
  • ScottAScottA Surveyor
    You changed the waterfall symbol from the HW snow fill or done something more to it. I really love it! With some tinkering, it would also make a great avalanche!
  • Another Fantastic Map !
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    Thanks, both of you :)

    Scott - I drew the waterfall in GIMP, because I just couldn't get the effects to do what I wanted them to do in less than 5 sheets. This way, I get to delete those 5 sheets, which saves precious memory and keeps the map nice and undemanding. The only problem is if that waterfall symbol can't be included in the Atlas for some reason. Then I will have to go back to the snow filled falls.

    Its not perfect yet - it feels kind of truncated - too short somehow. I'm sure the water should fly out further from the lip of the cliff...
  • oooooh those falls are lovely!!!!
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    Thank you, Lorelei :)

    If Remy agrees I'd like to add it (there's only one symbol) to the set of trees that already exists in the Atlas. It might be a bit of an odd thing to do - to include a solitary waterfall to a set of trees, I mean, but there is only that one. I might do more when I've got time - maybe make a set for the community art collection eventually ;)

    I will ask him if it can be done.
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    edited April 2018
    As long as it is something you have made yourself, it can be distributed with the atlas, as long as the total size of such added resources is kept low (I've set the limit at 10MB per map, otherwise it is too easy for a single map to multiply the download size of the atlas, which I do want to keep relatively small.
    Make sure to use the map relative path of $..\Resources\Sue\Symbols\.... for all such resources though, so I can include it in the atlas properly.
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    Thanks Remy :)

    I drew it from scratch myself today.

    I will email it (and the catalogue I created for it) to you, since its a bit too big to upload right here. I'll also send you a screen shot of where the folder is and what its called.
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    I don't need it until you are done with the map.

    But do note what I wrote about the path you need to use above, it can sometimes be difficult to fix later, depending on the path used. Custom artwork is always a bit more tricky when making maps for the atlas, in interest of making it easier to use for those that download it.
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