View Full Version : simple wiggly wave lines in PS

09-24-2013, 05:33 PM
OK this is my first ever mini-tut so don't be to harsh on me! ;)

So I've been doing an antique style map and wanted to do some woodcut/wave lines around my coasts, there's quite a few other tuts on this site that deal with this subject but they all seemed quite involved for a novice like myself so I had a bit of a play and came up with this method.

Oh and I'm gonna write it out in as much detail as I can so I'll try not to assume to much prior knowledge :)

step 1. Make the stripe pattern.

new document 1pixel wide by 4 pixels high.
you want to make the top pixel black and the other 3 white
then 'Edit', 'Define Pattern', and either give it a name or keep the default.

step 2. open the map your wanting to put the wiggly waves around.
I'll use this amazingly complicated example :lol: :

P.S. If you haven't got a 'land selection' layer already then do this:
Duplicate this layer, 'select'. 'colour range' (white) fuzziness 200% and delete.
Change the fill to 0% and rename it to 'land select' or something else meaningful.
You can then ctrl click this layer later to select the land mass only in any other layer.

09-24-2013, 05:42 PM
Step 3. create a new layer with the pattern

so 'Layer', 'new fill layer', 'pattern'


hit 'OK' and it'll come on to the pattern fill selection


pick a scale that seems about right for how far apart you want your wave lines to be (I went for 300% here)
when you hit OK this time youll just get a screen full of stripes over the top of your map

09-24-2013, 05:51 PM
Step 4. Make the lines wiggly!

'Filter', 'Distort', 'Ripple' ...Now you will get a warning message about needing to rasterize the layer, this is ok so just let it do it.


now you have the little 'ripple' window. play around till you've got something you like, I went for 65% & large.
and when you hit OK ...voilą screen full of wiggly wave lines

09-24-2013, 06:04 PM
Step 5. get rid of the white bits.

'Select', 'colour range' (white fuzziness 200%) and delete to leave just the black wiggly lines. Then deselect.

Step 6. get rid of the lines over the land.

Ctrl click the land select layer and delete.

09-24-2013, 06:16 PM
Step 7. delete lines far away from coast.

with your land still selected from above.

'Select', 'modify', 'expand' (pick a number that is about as far as you want the lines to stretch out from the coast. I used 30 px)

'Select', 'modify', 'feather' (pick a number that is about 2/3rds the number you went with above. so I used 20 px)

'Select', 'inverse' and hit delete, then deselect.

...and there you go, simple wiggly wave lines :)