Well, I’m redoing the whole map. Again. I’m not even going to bother trying to count how many iterations I’ve gone through. This time, though, I’m moving out of Photoshop and into Illustrator, and working with building lots instead of individual buildings (1st large map), or streets (2nd large map). I’ve also increased the size of the map (sort of). I wanted the city to be about the size of Tokyo; I discovered my map was a fraction of that size, so I had to scale it up. To work on it in Illustrator (or in PS without the software crashing or taking 5 minutes to draw a single line), I have to work on it at 1/4 the final size – at 1px = 1 m (or 1000 px = 1 km), that means my final size will be 47,000 pixels across (2209km²). Or approximately 13′ x 13′. Okay, that’s a lot bigger than I thought it’d be.
I’m building the map in Illustrator for a few reasons, however, all of which depend on the infinite scalability of a vector image. The biggest reason is that I want to print this map as big as I can possibly get it (which isn’t going to be much bigger than 3′ x 3.5-4′ or so, probably; and sadly). I’m also planning on creating a sort of “atlas book”, similar to the excellent and inspiring “Tokyo: Bilingual Atlas” (there’s also one for all of Japan; the link is to the revised edition on Amazon, although I’m currently borrowing the older edition from the library).
Now that I’ve figured Illustrator out enough to work quickly – a lot quicker than in Photoshop! – I just need to double check that I’ve scaled things down properly to 1/4 scale. I have a sneaking suspicion I didn’t … But we’ll see, and this will go a lot faster now. Hopefully I’ll have a preliminary map done by the end of the week, if not sooner. Then I can get started on labels and marking key locations, among other things. Who know, maybe I’ll even have my constructed language pretty well completed (which I’m in the process of revising, as per the previous post). That would allow me to label in my own language, or at least use characters as map symbols.