An Introduction To My SCURK

Dear friends,

    Once again I want to thank you for visiting my website. I hope you have already received many enjoyment here.

    As I have stated in the very first page of my Simcity web, one of the image I have drawn was elected as the winner of a Hall of Fame. Personally, I don't think I can win this award, and I have never thought of my works would be appreciated by others. But since it is now fair for my images become 'qualified' one, I think I may have a duty to share my ideas on creating the Scurk graphics with my friends on the net. It is also my response to the repeating suggestion I received from some of you for a very long time.

    Thank you for your kind attention!

It may be a very boring portion of my pages, it just introduces how I work with the Scurk.

The first time I touched Simcity is the Simcity Classic in about 1989. But I had no chance to fall crazy on it since I hadn't got a PC for myself. 2 years later, I brought a Super Nintendo from Japan and began to play the Simcity Classic in that platform. I found I had became a Sim-mania immediately. I tried different way to build a perfect city. I didn't know whether the versions were the same for Sim-Classic Dos and Nintendo. In Nintendo's, any 2 residential or commercial towers will combine together under favorable condition to form a 'top' tower with 6x3 tiles. And the most successful city I had ever built had 15 top residential tower and 10 top commercial towers.

The tide began to fall after such an incredible success. And I have a little bit disappointment since the Nintendo version did not have the map editing feature. In other words, I couldn't build my Barca, Hong Kong, and anywhere. Fortunately, after about 2-3 years, the Simcity 2000 for Nintendo version was launched. And the tide rose again. For me, the game was very difficult. The time passed extremely slowly. And bankruptcy was common since it was still January 1900 when I spent all the $20,000. It seemed that it was the time for me to come back to reality.

In 1995, I got my first IBM PC. I had an Apple at about 15 years ago. The first game I bought was also Simcity 2000. I couldn't find the Classic anymore. Even now, I still want to get a copy of the Classic. When I began to play, I said to myself that I had fallen into Maxis' trap again. And this time, I know I could never escape. The map editing feature, the sign putting function, and the most important of all, the SCURK, are all evils' temptations. From 1995, I have never stop in building a virtual 'Simcity' world. When I saw the images of the SCURK artists on the internet, I was amazed. It was unbelievable! How can they make their images so real? Then I started learning from them. And by now, I got an award.

I still think I require more and more learning. I absolutely don't think my creations are good. The one which got the award is not appreciated by myself, I swear. If you want me to choose some masterpieces from my creations, it would be the following:

Landmark Tower Bionic Tower AFC Finance Tower

Although each of them requires at least 2 hours to finish, they are not good enough to compare with other winners' creations. They are created after many practice and learning. The first building I drawn was something like this:

Central Centre (A) Lippo Centre Hotel Ritz Citibank Plaza

Yes, it was quite stupid. Is it hard to imagine that image is made by me? I had no idea on how to use the SCURK in the first time I used it. I couldn't stop to ask how could one draw such living object with such a program? I thought that the images maxis provided with the game were not drawn by using SCURK, they made them with their special techniques.

But the difficulties I faced in SCURK had not killed my creativity. I began to made images with it. I was always wondering about the scale of Simcity. I didn't know why they made the building so large. The scale using in Simcity was better for using in Simtown. Every time when I wanted to make real world city, I had the problem of magnification or scaling. So, I began to make a tileset with a smaller scale. I also realized the necessary to create both the bright and the dark sides of an image (shadow effect) from observing the Original tileset.

Bank of China Floating Garden Commercial Blocks Le Louvre

It looked quite good to me. My city looked much better and much like a sim-city now. It was colorful, energetic, and prosperous. City with 10 millions of population should be something like that. I was very satisfied with my first tileset until I found it in the internet - Scurk Mountain.

halloffame017.gif (5383 bytes) halloffame001.gif (5666 bytes) halloffame002.gif (7035 bytes) Images Source:

Lesfreeman's Scurk Mountain

Oriental Pearl Tower Chrysler Building Tokyo City Complex

Lesfreeman's Scurk Mountain had cruelly told me the fact that anyone could make such fine images like Maxis. Even worse was some of the images I created before were also created by many other artists but with better presentation. Fortunately, it didn't destroy my incentive but rather increase on the contrary. I began to try again and again, to find out the way to make more realistic building.

Kowloon Station HK Stadium Taj Mahaj New World Centre

One after one, it seems that it is impossible for me to make certain images. But I still went on because of the encouragement and appreciation given by my friends from the net. They have hopes on me, so I had to continue to improve.

I began to look for reference from some expert artists' images on the net. Gradually I discovered the thing I missed in creating my images. I needed to work harder on the detail of the building, or the texture of the image. I imitated the way of expression from them. The first artist I took as an example for my building was the one who had an Europe tileset, and I created the following:

L'Opera de Paris St. Peter's Cathedral

They looked quite good to me, but I thought it required a different method for modern architecture. And my first try was the Jin Mao Building.

Jin Mao Building

Jin Mao Building is unique in shape, outstanding in appearance. It is hard for me to 'Scurk-it'. The mono-colored outlook posted many difficulties for describing the natural, gently sloping structure of the building. I had tried several times and also erased many drafts. The final image was not very good indeed. The structure of the building could only be shown in a fair way, and the image was not detailed drawn. But it may because of the extraordinary form of the building gave you the unforgettable impression and voted for me as my birthday gift.

The Hall of Fame honor gives me very much pressure. From now on, I will spend more times on any single image. (2-3 hours on average) And these are the result:

Central Centre (B) ICC IFC SAR Headquarter

The publication of these images let me know what I still need to improve on my SCURK. Such as, the scaling and the background / floor level landscape making.

Scaling is a major problem. I always make mistake in minimization. Usually I needed to re-draw the building when I finished its lower part because I found I didn't have enough space for the upper part. Sometimes, when I refused to re-draw the building, the finished image would look quite unnatural.

Cultural Centre Star Ferry HK Bank Clock Tower

Finishing the background is often neglected by me. I always feel exhausted when I finished 'Scurking' the main body of the building. One Chinese proverb said 'Flowers are not beautiful without leaves'. A suitable background will make an outstanding image even more outstanding.

Macau Tower Empire State Bldg Chang Kiang HQ

I hope the above story would give you certain benefit or fun. May my images continue to contribute the world of SCURK!

Below is a demonstration in making one of my building: Please consult the experts on the Internet if you are looking for expert advices.

1. Just imagine you are putting up a building, the first you should do is to construct a base.

2. Similarly, the next thing you have to do is to construct the skeleton of the building. Perhaps, experience is an essential element in this stage.

3. Then, you may start to 'paint the town'. To make it looks real, you need to make good use of the whole range of the colour you choose.

4. Other sides of the building, which are not facing the front, should be darker since they are not directly exposed to sunlight. The more you draw, the more you know how to control the use of color tone.

5. After you created a solid building, you may stop, or you may add details to it. Here, I put on windows to this office tower.

6. To make it more beautiful, I also draw the shadows of the windows. You can see the difference between this and the last picture.

7. When the main body is completed, you may start drawing the other parts.

8. The same rule goes every where.

9. The staircases.

10. The final decorations - FINISH!