View Full Version : How to make political borders?

12-01-2009, 01:35 PM
Hi everyone, I want to add political borders to my map; intermittent borders like this:


I'm making it in Photoshop, and I would like to learn a better method than drawing manually.

There's some brushes or similar stuff for that?

What method do you usually use for creating borders like that?

Thanks a lot guys :shock:

12-01-2009, 03:35 PM
First, make a single example of the pattern you want: single dash; dash, dot; dot, dash, dot; whatever.

Marquee select around that, Edit > Define Brush Preset.

You will find your new brush appended to the end of the brushes list. Now, go to the Brushes palette (F5), and click on "Brush Tip Shape." Turn up the Spacing until you can see a dotted line at the frequency you want in the sample space. Then go to Shape Dynamics and under "Angle Jitter", change Control to Direction.

Steel General
12-01-2009, 04:17 PM
I have moved this to the 'General & Miscellaneous Mapping' forum.

12-01-2009, 04:48 PM
I would also go so far as to highly recommend using the pen to draw out a path for the border and then using the stroke on that.

I played around with it a bit, and even using a tablet, i can't get the lines to come out nicely along curves.

I'm attaching a screenshot so murus can see what i did for the settings :)

The left hand line is done with a path, the right is me drawing as smoothly as I could with the tablet :) Note also that the shorter the long line is, the more it will fit to curves without looking odd.

12-01-2009, 09:42 PM
Thanks for your replies :)

Coyotemax your idea of a path with adding a stroke was brilliant, but what kind of shape for the stroke did you use in your example? the same as your brush?

I'd try my border brush desing for a shape stroke and didn't work :((

12-01-2009, 10:02 PM
Stroking a path is done with a brush tip (brush or pencil mode) following a path (pen tool) and is quite different than a stroking an object (like with a layer style). The terminology is confusing, I agree. What he did was make a custom brush tip that consisted of a line and a dot. Then he laid out a path with the pen tool, then he set the spacing for the brush tip to 586%, then he stroked the path with the brush tip. A layer style of stroke would give you a solid line or a pattern or a gradient.

12-01-2009, 11:46 PM
Oops, my bad. I'm getting so used to working with photoshop, that when i mean to help sometimes i might get confusing :)

What ascension said is correct. I basically did what Midgardsormr lined out - drew a dot and a dash and selected that, then turned it into a brush. Then I set that off to the side and grabbed the Pen tool (not easy to work with the first few times till you understand what it's doing, how it's doing it, and why, suddenly it's your best friend). Using the pen tool, I created the path for the brush stroke to follow. (hopefully that terminology makes more sense).
The rest of the process is exactly how Ascension laid it out.

If it helps to go into more detail, once you've drawn out your line, create a new layer (always best to put stuff like this to it's own layer when messing around) and go to your Paths tab. at the bottom of that window you'll see the Stroke for the path. Make sure you have your brush with the tip selected, adjust any settings you need (my screenshot should give you a good starting point, exact numbers will depend on your own brush) and then hit the stroke button. Note there are two next to each other - stroke and fill. If you hit the wrong one, just undo :)
Another thing to keep in mind, though not critical in this case, is that the brush will start it's stroke at the same point you started the path from. So if you are using a brush shape that IS direction sensitive (like using a duckling shape to create a line of ducklings following each other, or arrows, etc) this will become very important.

If you need more help, screenshots, or whatnot, let me know and i'd be happy to help out.

12-03-2009, 11:19 AM
Yeah, I did it!

In my case, wasn't necesary make a path with pen, only with the Control: Direction of the Shape Dynamics was enough.

Thanks Coyotemax and Ascension!! :):):)

12-03-2009, 03:44 PM
excellent! glad to have been of service.