We’re continuing Jay Johnson’s City Mapping article with the third and final part.

Adding Details

City with trees and paths in courtyardsLittle details add a great deal to a map. Look at these two images. The first is with trees and pathways in the courtyards. The second is without them. How much difference do these details make in your opinion? In my opinion, they make a big difference.

Shadows

Another detail you can work on is your shadows. I adjusted the shadow settings on my buildings so they intrude more into the streets. The places where the streets are covered in shadow creates a sense of danger and mystery, don’t you think.

The City’s History

City without trees and paths in courtyardsThink about your city’s history and include details that suggest a city that has evolved. Your city should have a nucleus (the original settlement) from which it expanded. Consider how this expansion took place and the different phases through which it occurred. Think about how your city has grown. If there were old walls, roads that ran beside them most likely now mark where they once were. Maybe sections of these walls still stand or roads pass beneath old gates that are located far from what is now the city’s perimeter. What other changes may have occurred as your city grew?

Some More Advanced Techniques

Let’s take a minute to talk about some more advanced techniques I have used. Some that require using other programs in conjunction with CC3+ and its add-ons. Continue reading »

Scott created this wonderful little symbol catalog of celtic dwellings which fits perfectly in with the symbols of City Designer 3, so we decided to make it available as a mini-add on. The download is available from your registration page if you have City Designer 3 registered. Here is Scott’s introduction to the catalog:

Celtic VillageThe Celtic symbol set started quite by accident. I was building a set of texture fills in Genetica and decided to include a thatch. That was achieved by layering dried grass patterns in Genetica and then using GIMP to hand-drawn in individual strands before finishing it back in Genetica by softening and blurring the image and making it seamlessly tileable. Once finished, I wanted to test it out on a typical round Celtic house and was mostly pleased with the way it looked. That just happened to coincide with something I was reading about the Iron Age, so I delved deeper into the details of Celtic villages. The variety of building styles intrigued me. While the majority of the structures were round, they did raise the more traditional square buildings, as well, for barns and storehouses and eventually as houses.

Typical Celtic villages were set up around a large common structure where the village could meet. Security was in the form of either an earth and stone berm, or a stockade fence built from sharpened logs, sometimes with an elevated walkway used as a lookout and for defensive purposes. Buildings started with a stone base; log supports were added and covered in thick bound thatch, overlapping bottom to top to keep out rain. Trenches were often dug around buildings to move rainwater away from the structures.

The lack of chimneys is not an oversight. Celtic structures had no chimneys. Holes in the roofing caused updrafts which threatened to set fire to the thatch, so fires were built in the center of the structures and the smoke simply rose and seeped out through the thatching. The smoke was also a deterrent to mold and fungal growth in the damp thatch.

The final set of symbols is quite different from the originals, with ragged edging and steeper pitches to the roofs. Numerous color shades from greens to yellows to browns were tested on the thatch texture until I decided on the hue. The various symbols represent different types of Celtic structures, from small grain silos to houses and barns to large meetinghouses. Still others existed. The initial symbols were created in CC3+ and then modified in GIMP.

The map was made in CD3, Bitmap A style, with a few fills imported from the Overland catalog. It is just a quick example. I’m very excited that ProFantasy deemed my little collection of symbols worthy enough to offer to CC3+ users, and hope people enjoy and can use them. Besides thanks to the ProFantasy staff, a thanks needs to go out to mapping maestra, Sue Daniels, who was instrumental in helping me get the symbols to their final finished stage!

City Designer 3 is now compatible with CC3+, and to celebrate, here is a round-of maps, tutorials and resources for cities.

NaturnsTable.jpg

 

CD3 ScreenshotCity Designer 3 now works with CC3+. It has shiney new icons, and you can make use of the lighting speed and new effects of CC3+ to create your city maps.

So, if you own CC3+ and City Designer 3, head over to your registration page and download the free compatibilty update – CD3 Setup for CC3+. You’ll find the link among the City Designer 3 files on the Downloads & Updates tab.

It took a few weeks to create this update, because we had to polish up the House and Street tools, as their code wasn’t working properly with the updated CC3+ programming. The House is some of the earliest we wrote – it goes all the back to the tools we used to create the Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas.

The good news is that most of the upcoming compatibility updates don’t need much additional programming. Updating their templates, symbols and drawing tools will be a more straightforward process. Next up is Character Artist 3.

If you are a subscriber to the current Cartographer’s Annual, the April issue (Black and White Towns), which makes use of the City Designer tools, is now also available for CC3+.

Originally posted on mappingworlds.wordpress.com

This is a map of the City of Lost Souls. The map is done in City designer 3 (CD3) from Profantasy combining the included styles A and B with the latest annual city style by Jon Roberts. The end result from CD3 has then been quite heavily edited in Photoshop, where the labeling also has been done.

In the next post I will go through the process of creating the city. Until then you can have a guess on which two real world cities that inspired me while making the City.

As always when I make maps I try to add a story to it, this makes it easier to picture what I want and what to put into the map. As for the City of the Lost the story goes something like this:

Continue reading »