Saturday, December 12, 2020

City Design WIP: Part Three

About two weeks into the process, a more finalized look finally emerges for the bright and beautiful city of Mythuín. As the result of "real life," I spent anywhere from 2 to 9+ hours each day actually working on the map (no weekends for indie publishers, of course), so work hours are indeed piling up. So far, the computer has had no problem handling the growing file size.

For the previous article, click here.

Much of the effort aimed at developing outlying suburbs and natural-looking terrain. At this scale, it was a challenge. After a few scrapped attempts, I happily settled on textures for farmland, woods, and hills.

The image above shows the South Bridge district. The section north of the river isn't finished. The farmland pattern came from an aerial view of fields in England, roughened and slightly blurred. I rendered it in a partially transparent layer over a mottled green-brown texture. Both components are feathered to smoothen out their edges. The process is simple: 1. Select areas on the map, 2. Copy the textures from separate files, 3. Paste to fill the selected areas. Repeat for each layer.

The image above shows the west bank. The step following the placement of farmland addressed small rivers and pathways. A new layer farther down received a mottled brown texture akin to bare dirt. I then traced pathways and riverbeds through the farmland with an eraser tool to reveal the bare dirt on the lower layer. In between those two layers, I drew white lines within the riverbeds, and replaced them with a water texture. When done, the edges of the pathways and the river textures got feathered for a more natural look.

The next image displays parts of the old town, the seaport, and the so-called Tower Hill area. The old town, known as "Old Meru," marks the location of the original Meruín settlement, wedged between a natural cove and a hill. The Meruín are aquatic elves, so their dwelling and street design reflects "fluid" lines. I altered the initial coastline inside the port and added docks and wooden piers. The hill presented a challenge. I scrapped a few attempts before settling on the present look. There are five separate layers, starting with the basic green-brown mottled texture I used for farmland. I tweaked the brightness, contrast, and hue of the first three layers. The last two consist in a brown rocky texture. All these layers were heavily feathered and blended together for the final result.

The Skyport and its warehouses lie on the north side of town. I copied original skyship artwork from earlier projects and rescaled it. This shows how large the city truly is. Most of these skyships are about 30-35 yards long. Ideally I should alter the edges of the river, since its banks are masonry. There ought to be docking features here and there alongside the river. The top of the image also shows a forest texture. It's layered directly on top of farmland, feathered, and rendered partially translucent to better blend it into the image. I also knocked out the grid from the city center, for clarity.

A riverine port and shaft lock are adjacent to the skyport. I had some fun showing rougher waters past the bridge and the waterfall. A shadow hints at the position of the cliff bisecting the entire city. The north bank shows a small suburb at the end of the bridge, a nearby forested stretch, and marshes below the cliff. The edge of the riverine port will be altered to look more like docking facilities. 

Talking about scale: here's a bit more  on the subject. The 1mm = 11 meters indication refers to the scale on the printed map. 100 meters = approx. 110 yards for those of you unfamiliar with the metric system. I also included travel times for characters moving about the city.

That's it for today. Hope you enjoyed the tour!

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