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Thread: Westbar Redux - A Haerlech Study

  1. #1

    Wip Westbar Redux - A Haerlech Study

    So, since finishing this city map, I was happy with it but knew I could do better, and wanted to find an opportunity at giving it another try, and learning better techniques.

    I'm a great believer in the exercise of attempting to reproduce work that you're a fan of, just to get a feel for the process and have a better understanding of the building blocks. Stephen Fry once typed out one of his favorite novels from start to finish, "just to know what it felt like". This is kind of like that, though probably with more mechanical benefit.

    So, with that in mind, I'm taking my map of Westbar and starting over closely following the process used on J.Edward's city map of Haerlech. The WIP thread is full of incredibly informative step-by step images, and while it'll probably take me even longer than the year it took him, I'm going to try it out and see what I learn.

    Think of it as Tim's Vermeer, with less filmmaking equipment and more cartography.

    Step one: building outlines and roof shapes.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Guild Master Chashio's Avatar
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    Nice start

  3. #3

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    Excellent
    I like the layout and the color scheme so far.
    There's a nice disbursement of buildings. I like the round one top left.
    If you have any questions that go beyond the Haerlech wip thread or need any further clarification, just ask.
    I have been busy with work recently so I may have to follow the thread so I can keep up in case of questions.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Edward View Post
    Excellent
    I like the layout and the color scheme so far.
    There's a nice disbursement of buildings. I like the round one top left.
    If you have any questions that go beyond the Haerlech wip thread or need any further clarification, just ask.
    I have been busy with work recently so I may have to follow the thread so I can keep up in case of questions.
    Hi! Touched that you'd poke your head in and give feedback. I will definitely take you up on asking questions, though I'll try to do that here so that everyone benefits.

    Just as a kind of a base point, here's some reference in terms of what I'm starting with and what I'm hoping to accomplish and improve, other than simply using your process:

    - The WIP thread for the original map

    And here's the map with some specific notes:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    1. The High District is for the well-off citizens of Westbar, but the density of this area feels off and the building outlines are awful. I've been trying to find reference for "Fantasy/Medieval Architecture for Privileged Members of Society That Don't Have Castles", but that's a hell of a google search. (As you can see from the WIP image in the intro post, I'm already trying to address this but I'm still not satisfied.)

    2. With this new approach to the map, I'm going to have to actually think about the land surrounding the town and how the transition works between the city limits and the wilderness.

    3. Similar to Note #1 - the Garrison and Council on the island need to be visually interesting and that means giving considerable thought to their architecture.

    4. This transition between super-dense residential/commercial areas and farms is bad.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Edward View Post
    Excellent
    There's a nice disbursement of buildings. I like the round one top left.
    I'm not really sure where I came up with the idea for that.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    No idea at all.

    <.<

  6. #6

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    Quick little morning update: Wanted to take a small section of the map to skip ahead to try out the shading and coloring.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

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    It's very promising, Dumont! I like a lot your color palette.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilanthar View Post
    It's very promising, Dumont! I like a lot your color palette.
    Thanks, though I have to confess, it's the result of overlaying J.Edward's base flats from his early WIP's over my original map to have as reference - I doubt it's going to survive, though I am filing this palette away since I agree it's pretty.

  9. #9

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    Another test segment - improved building outlines for the big homes in the High District. It turns out that Google Maps is helpful for this, because a lot of 'McMansions' desperately try and ape a style similar to an Elizabethan era of architecture. Obviously, you need to be picky because of so much of it being awful design (see the website McMansion Hell for a lot of examples), but I liked this one as a first attempt because I had to think hard about which roof lines to render and which to ignore.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10

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    After working on this for more or less the entire day, here's the state of things:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Holy crap, I can now see why this has the potential to take a year.

    Notes:

    -Realizing I was too aggressive with my line thickness on the buildings, and I'm working through sections to dial it back.
    -The further I get with this the more I realize I need to figure out the layout of my city on the outskirts before I progress much more.
    -I just wanted to point out that the major government buildings being positioned on an island in a river is an homage to my hometown of Cedar Rapids, IA, one of only two(?) cities in the world to have such a feature in their city.

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