Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Digitizing Tékumel - Part 2

Here are some screenshots of the digitization process, as I've been doing it...

In the first one you see the general work area in Model Space. It's a bit cluttered because I'm trying various things. As you can see, I've traced some of the coast (as shown in my previous). Also shown are various Tsolyáni cities (the crosshairs).

This screenshot is zoomed in on the Gulf of Perudáya and Jakálla region. The coast is only roughly blocked in and I've made some first attempts to map the sandbars.

This screenshot is zoomed in again showing how the Jakálla and Pála Jakálla plans have been inserted. The converging lines that look a bit like arrowheads are keys I use so I can move the jpegs back out of the way if I want to track progress. At this point I have moved Pála Jakálla to the side and you might be able to see where I have been tracing the shoreline shown in the city plan.

Another close-up zoomed in even further. The Sákbe roads can be seen, heading east from Jakálla and down from the north to Pála Jakálla. I've drawn all three levels, but only as three lines. What I've done is offset the lines by the widths indicated in the source material. Note that this doesn't account for the wall thicknesses between the road levels. To add that I would have to work it out as I don't think the Professor ever went into that much detail.

Before blocking in the sandbanks I did a bit of research into RW examples. The Thames Estuary is a good example with tidal mudflats and sands extending out many nautical miles into the North Sea.

This screenshot is zoomed in on Jakálla. It shows how I've tried to orient the city plan with the rough trace of the coast. The rough centerline of the Eqúnoyel river comes up from the south and the Sákbe road runs east from the city.

Here I have zoomed in even farther to how the Sákbe road is drawn. The keen eyed will notice that the city plan is on a slight angle. This is because when I scanned the Swords and Glory maps I had to use a large format scanner. When they went in they didn't go through perfectly straight and I forgot to correct the image before I started using it. When I realized my error I rotated the object in CAD, which included the city plan.

I should probably rotate it back but really there is so much going to change I might not bother. You can see, for example, how the width of the Sákbe road is compared to that I've drawn. Even acknowledging that I don't show the wall thicknesses, the original city plan is exaggerated.

And that has been acknowledged for a long time. I think the Professor used to describe the plan as an artistic rendering. Indeed, the outer walls as drawn turn out to be 12 meters thick in most places. Probably what I will do is take the outer line of the walls but adjust the thicknesses to more reasonable numbers. Unless you think 12 meters is about right?  (I think the walls of Constantinople were about 4 meters thick...)

Zooming out slightly again, we can see more of the Gulf. The roughed in line of the Mssúma river can be seen top center. It heads north in a series of great curves for over 1000 kms. I will be able to tell you the exact length when I have finished tracing it. :-)

Of course, the large scale map leaves outs a lot of detail. I've been studying RW examples again, such as the Ganges river system. In my map - which I again remind you in NOT canon - the last curve will have various distributaries branching off from the river as it makes that last great curve. If you look at the first screenshot above you can see on the map scan that the Flats of Tsechélnu extend quite a ways north along the river. My assumption is that the river's course would naturally change of the passage of time and that when it dd so it would be more likely to do so in the Flats than in the higher lands (indicated in green). But more on that later.

Here is a screenshot of the Pála Jakálla area again. As I think I mentioned this city plan is to be found in the Tékumel Yahoo Group files section. It is from a campaign run by Jack Branagh Bramah (apologies for the spelling error, Jack!) and another, but I don't know who drew it. (Edit: Jack drew it!) It is used here without their his permission, but I hope they don't mind. I just happen to like their version of the city and as very little other information exists, who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth! :-)

I don't know if I have located it quite as they would have but I suspect I am using a little more precision in placing things than most, given that most people rely on the just the large scale maps.

Here is a screenshot zoomed in on the city plan with digitization in progress, using polylines to trace out the shoreline. They never gave that river a name and I am not sure if it is meant to be the Ranánga or not.

Here the city plan is moved out of the way to show progress. Tracing the more detailed city plan compares markedly with the straight lines of the rough coastal trace of the larger map.Obviously, I cannot detail every bay or inlet along the Tsolyáni coast so probably the level of detail I should be aiming for is somewhere between the two extremes.

Here it is zoomed out again to show the tidal flats. I've actually done a bit more since this screenshot. The first shot in my previous post shows some features I've added.

Here it is again. I've actually started thinking about layers and adding colours to help distinguish the features. The green circles are "places of interest". Note that I've turned that small river that runs through the Pála Jakálla plan into a subsidiary river branching off from the Mssúma river. My current thinking is that where the road crosses this subsidiary is perhaps marshy ground and that stretch of road might be wooden and up on piles such as around Pénom. This may change however - it's early days yet!

Note also the two ferry crossings. These are probably going to change. When I blocked in the coast I think I made the mouth of the Ranánga river a little too deep. So the so-called "New Ferry" will disappear and be replaced by a much smaller river crossing. The "Old Ferry" came about because the Pála Jakálla plan has a "Thráya gate/road" (can't recall which off the top of my head) and I thought "what is the point of the name if there is no connection eastward to Thráya?" And as the road goes around in a big loop I figured there must be an old ferry.

1 comment:

  1. The map was drawn by me (Jack Bramah). I am perfectly happy for you to use it. It was actually adapted from a map I drew for the "British" continent on Questworld, which was being developed by Dave Morris and Oliver Johnson. It seemed to fit PJ quite nicely with a bit of re-orientation. I seem to remember Dave sent a copy of it to the Professor, who thought it seemed to work (IIRC - it was 20 years ago)