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Thread: Help needed in making hand-drawn coastline

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    Guild Novice Edward Protera's Avatar
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    Question Help needed in making hand-drawn coastline

    As the title says, I need some help. Coastlines have always been a problem for me. It's exceedingly hard for me to create detailed, natural-looking landmass outlines, mostly because I have no real process for it.

    Anyway. Basically, I'd like to know how you do it, in hopes of picking up some techniques. What's your process, from blank page to detailed outline? I don't need anything really in-depth, although I certainly don't mind detail. :3
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    Guild Novice Edward Protera's Avatar
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    Well, no, I haven't. I hadn't considered looking at tutorials meant for a given program. n.n;

    EDIT: Having checked out the thread, it's really not what I'm looking for. See, I'd much rather be able to do it using only my tablet and ArtRage, without the use of layer effects and all that.
    Last edited by Edward Protera; 07-31-2008 at 09:16 PM. Reason: Didn't want to double-post
    "Is Eris true?"
    "Everything is true."
    "Even false things?"
    "Even false things are true."
    "How can that be?"
    "I don’t know man, I didn’t do it."

    ~ The Principia Discordia 5th ed., Introduction

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      RobA is offline
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    Went to the artrage site:
    ArtRage makes it easy to recreate photos or other images using its paint tools. When you load a Tracing Image the original is projected on to your canvas so that you can use it as a guide while you sketch and paint.
    Couldn't you just draw a smooth coast then using the quoted feature, trace over it "squiggly" with a fine brush?

    That is how I do it by hand with tracing paper....

    -Rob A>

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      Ghalev is offline
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    My process boils down to:

    Constantly ogle real-world coastlines as if they were porn. Notice the way a bay curves, the way rivers break up a smooth curve, the way islands fragment away in tandem with the fall of mountain ranges and ... anyway, as if they're porn.
    Because they are porn.

    ...

    ...

    I'm sorry. I forgot what I was saying. Something about coastl ---

    I'll be in my bunk.

    S. John Ross Ghalev
    Who Dat? Games Fonts Uresia

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    S John Ross is a dirty, dirty man...

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      torstan is offline
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    I had noticed a certain lowering of the tone whenever he pops up.... though the firefly references add a whole new depth.

    I'd sketch the shape you are after roughly on one layer, not worrying about much other than a nice shape. Then I'd locate major features like rivers and mountain ranges on a new layer. As Ghalev says, note how they affect the coastline - google maps is the best way to nail this. Then rebuild your sketch on a new layer with these effects in mind. That should give you a believable shape. Finally. go around the coast carefully with a fine brush and allow your hand to squiggle as you do. I find that my own hand jitter is lot better than any built in jitter.

    I don't have art rage, so these are my steps in Gimp. They should work fine in other programs though. It's also an interesting exercise to import a real image of a coastline and trace around the edge. You can always rotate and/or flip it, to make sure no one will notice where it is.
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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    That's a good point, Torstan. It's also sometimes useful to use, say, an island and rescale it for use as a continent. Not many people are likely to recognize the shape of a random Philippine island, especially if it's being used to represent something much larger.
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      jezelf is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgardsormr View Post
    That's a good point, Torstan. It's also sometimes useful to use, say, an island and rescale it for use as a continent. Not many people are likely to recognize the shape of a random Philippine island, especially if it's being used to represent something much larger.

    You could go further with this and take various bits from different islands you like and add them together to break up the shape. As long as you don't choose too big a piece that could be easily to identify.
    Last edited by jezelf; 08-02-2008 at 05:07 PM.

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    Guild Novice Edward Protera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgardsormr View Post
    That's a good point, Torstan. It's also sometimes useful to use, say, an island and rescale it for use as a continent. Not many people are likely to recognize the shape of a random Philippine island, especially if it's being used to represent something much larger.
    That's a great idea, actually. I remember having a student teacher in my Junior year of high school who took the Philippines (I think) and turned the whole island chain into the landmasses of a world...

    also, something I've noticed in fantasy-themed video games is that most of them tend to take a map of the Mediterranean and deform, rotate, whatever it to turn it into a world. I think I might try this. :3
    "Is Eris true?"
    "Everything is true."
    "Even false things?"
    "Even false things are true."
    "How can that be?"
    "I don’t know man, I didn’t do it."

    ~ The Principia Discordia 5th ed., Introduction

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