One of the wonderful side effects of living in New York is the chance to run into great people from Tor.com. I’m now part of a semi-regular D&D game, and I draw the party dungeon maps.
City maps are complex beasts. There’s a balance to be found between detail and time. The ideal is to be able to imply all the detail of a city, without getting lost drawing every single roof tile.
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 “The Free City of Braavos”
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 “Drawing Buildings with Dynamic Brushes”
I ran across this video from Random House the other day. It’s the best preview I’ve seen out there of the maps I illustrated of the world of Game of Thrones.
Also, everything should be narrated by this guy. He could make the opening of the humblest letter sound Epic.
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.
Last year I started a series of quick mapping tips, meant to be read over lunch, that would cover a series of different questions. These are posted daily to my Google+ and Facebook pages. Rather than post them up everyday on here, I’ve opted to collate them on a weekly basis and plan to post these up on Saturday mornings for easy reading over the weekend. This week it’s City Map icons, mountains and creating aged paper map handouts. Continue reading “A Week of Mapping Tips – City Icons, and drawing Mountains”