[WIP] Port City Map - Watabou to Ferraris Style

So my current project is taking a Watabou City Generator map of a port city metropolis, and adapting it to the Ferraris annual style. The challenge here's two-fold. First, I want to make a tiered city, with the sea-facing docks in the basin, the urban settlement mid-tier, and the farmsteads and suburbs at the highest level. Second, it needs to be a large, abstract city which can believably hold 35-40,000 people - so detailed-building city styles like the MS (which is my general go-to) are just too detailed.

This is the Watabou-generated 35,000-population port city I opted to use as a basis (14,000ft by 7,400ft):

And here's what I've got so far as a WIP:

You'll notice a little splash of green in the middle - that was just proof-of-concept for using Colorize effects and layers for buildings to differentiate between the city's various districts - deep green for the riverside docks, light green for the farmsteads, red for the military district, etc.

All input gratefully received!

GeorgeRicko HascheJimPLoopysueroflo1MonsenQuentenMapjunkieAleDItalo Dudeand 4 others.


  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    Wow! That's quite a feat.

  • How are you doing the buildings in ferraris - are you converting the Watabou stuff directly, or just drawing over the png?

    I really like this style for Watabou cities of large volume, so i would love a detailed methodology.

    Inspiring stuff.

  • edited July 12

    I’m tracing over the png - it takes a little time (the above was an evening’s work, off and on) but I didn’t really have another option since I wanted the layers of relief in the map (which means editing the block layouts to avoid houses going over cliffs, etc).

    In terms of the methodology I’m following:

    1. Trace the water features
    2. Informed by the Watabou blocks (but not limited by them) decide on my contouring and insert the contours.
    3. Add farm land to the outskirts (I tried a little visual trick here where the highest elevation farms are all bigger than the handful of mid-elevation, just to emphasise the idea that the highest elevation is closer to the eye)
    4. Add other non-urban features. I made some edits to the terrain sheet edge fades, since for a map of this scale the defaults looked a bit too crisp for my liking.
    5. Duplicate the buildings layer, once for each district (I’m using my own districts, not the ones Watabou generated). Add a colorisation effect to each (different colour for each district) and edit the inner glow effects to match that district’s colour.
    6. Trace urban blocks, making adjustments for the contouring and what that means for cliff side roads, etc. Also Watabou sometimes places blocks over the edge of water, so trimming to avoid that.
    7. Once all urban blocks are traced, move blocks in bulk to the correct district sheet.
    8. Add final urban features - city walls, fortress, piers.

    I’ll post updated WIPs in the thread, let you know how it goes ^_^

  • Thanks for all of that. I am going to give this a go once I finish my current projects

  • Almost finished with the urban blocks - only the basin to do - then it's on to additional features (city walls, interior fortifications).

    Definitely feel like it's starting to take shape...

    Ricko HascheMonsenLoopysueAleDJimProflo1Italo DudeQuentenEukalyptusNowpablo gonzalezand 1 other.
  • Here's the last WIP image - I've added every feature I planned to add, and all that's left (I think) is to colour code the buildings by district. Of course, if there's something I've missed, all suggestions gratefully received:

    MonsenLoopysueQuentenGeorgeLoreleiEukalyptusNowRicko HascheItalo Dudeadelia hernandez
  • edited July 14

    And here's the final product - thanks for the input!

    JimPQuentenMonsenLoopysueMaidhc O CasainScottAroflo1DaltonSpenceEukalyptusNowGeorgeand 3 others.
  • That is one gorgeous map!

  • So, I thought I was done with this map, but I decided to experiment with something inspired by the amazing maps of Alyssa Faden. I created some new building tools and layers, and applied some slight texturing, to try and mimic the way she does roofs. This allowed me to recolourise the Districts a bit brighter, and to give them (I hope!) a bit more character. Lastly, I labelled it all up with the district and borough names, and highlighted some key buildings.

    JimPMaidhc O CasainGlitchLoopysueroflo1Ricko HascheEukalyptusNowpablo gonzalezadelia hernandez
  • I must say I prefer the more subdued colours. But that is just a personal opinion. Your city is awe-inspiring

  • Tried a more subdued colour scheme, and also put together a regional map for the city's immediate surroundings:

    Maidhc O Casainroflo1Ricko HascheQuentenJimPLoopysueGlitchDakItalo Dudepablo gonzalezand 4 others.
  • Hi Mythal82,

    What art style have you used for the regional map, I really like the hills in the map.


  • Hi Dak,

    I used the Ancient Realms style from the 2015 annual - it’s one of my favourites, mostly due to the hills and the way it handles forests



  • 1 month later
  • FrostyFrosty Traveler

    Very Impressive, Lots can learn here for any project.

    adelia hernandez
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