It’s good to hand over final pieces. This one went out the door today – a city map for a client. The combination of detailed line art featured locations and more anonymous shadowed buildings seems to work well.
The featured locations were all drawn at many times their final size. You lose the precise detail when the locations are shrunk down, but the combination of the details provide a sense of the structure.
Cities and buildings come up a lot in questions. I’ll put together a software specific tutorial on buildings, but today I’m just going to go through my philosophy when illustrating a featured building like a castle or a temple. The process is the same, regardless of software. In this case – ballpoint pen on sketchbook paper.
Braavos is the second of the two cities to get a full map work up in the Lands of Ice and Fire (the other, of course, being King’s Landing). It’s also a city that was previously uncharted before this map – so I got to play in a wonderful sandbox whilst creating this map.
If you’re following the TV series, don’t worry – Braavos will become a major player in the plot in the future. For now, you can happily ignore much of this, but be warned – there are spoilers (and lots of detail shots of the city) in what follows. Continue reading →
Earlier in the week I posted a tutorial on how to draw buildings with the pen tool. But sometimes drawing each building just takes too long. For whole cities, you probably want a quick way to lay in whole blocks of buildings. Photoshop can help – using dynamic brushes. Continue reading →
King’s Landing, heart of power in Westeros, location of the Iron Throne. This city acts as the fulcrum for the plots and machinations of the warring factions of the Seven Kingdoms. This map is something of a dichotomy. It contains more detail than any of the world or regional maps, but fewer named locations. To see the high resolution version, you’ll need to pick up the poster map folio – The Lands of Ice and Fire – but if you want to see some detail shots, read on after the jump. Continue reading →
I’m jumping in at the stage where we’ve already got the terrain, major locations and roads mapped out. The next step is filling all the remaining space with buildings to turn a skeleton of a town into a town. The key here is to give the impression of a large number of buildings, without having to agonise over every single chimney pot and awning. Continue reading →
Today a quick mini-tutorial. This isn’t a photoshop tutorial, nor is it a tutorial for a polished finished map. This is a step by step in my own town creation method when I’m creating the first sketch layout. The key here is to have the town layout make sense.
This isn’t strictly a tutorial, but rather a step by step for a recent city map. I’ve been doing some city design recently for Rhune: Dawn of Twilight, and got the okay from Jaye Sonia to post some work in progress shots.
An example map using the city style - map drawn by Ralf Schemmann
Today Profantasy released my new fantasy city map style for Campaign Cartographer as their March Annual style. You can check out the full details here. The style contains 15 different house shapes, each with a range of colours and roofing, 12 different textures, and a bunch of miscellaneous extras from city walls and turrets to piers and trees.
I’m especially pleased with how the city walls and turrets came out. They can work as city walls, the walls on a compound, or even the structure in a full blown castle. Check out the full set, and the other example images.