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Thread: Easy and realistic mapping distortion rendering in Photoshop?

  1. #1
    Guild Apprentice Blacky's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Provence, France

    Default Easy and realistic mapping distortion rendering in Photoshop?

    I'll soon (I hope) have an issue: I've created a map for my rpg, as things really are, for GM reference. This "gm map" is really what the world is. Done in Photoshop.

    To give some of it to my players, I would like to distort it, more or less given the quality of the map they buy/found, or their geography knowledge. Quite like the medieval or renaissance maps of our world. So something that will displace the geometry of the map, without being too obvious or unnatural.

    Does anyone have an idea on how best to do that? It can be destructive it doesn't matter, but it need to be easily done again and again when I export some more of my GM map.

  2. #2
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    tilt's Avatar
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    hmmm... I'd personally probably just throw some artistic filter on the map for a quick solution. You can also go to "liquify" and with a big brush move some things around depending on your map ... the really cool way would of course be to make maps for your players as they buy them from cartographers in world, that way you have full control of how "distorted" their world view is - especially fun to have two maps overlapping but not fitting
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  3. #3
    Administrator Redrobes's Avatar
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    There is some software about which takes a persons face and you manually drag coords about on it to map it to a new persons face then it can generate all the in-betweens and make a morph movie. So I would guess that it would store those distortions in some kind of project file. Just morph the map into a new one and keep changing the original to do it.

    Otherwise you can make a square in blender, grid it up successively many times till its like a high density mesh. Move the mesh about with some kind of magnet tool which is on all 3D apps like that and then render the mesh textured with the original map to produce the warped one. You see a lot of this with dogs and cats mouths moving on adverts. Does my head in adverts like that but the technique is not too difficult.

    EDIT -- No idea if this is any good but its free and appears to do what you want.
    Last edited by Redrobes; 10-31-2010 at 04:20 PM.

  4. #4


    I don't know if this will work, but you could try making an action that uses the liquify filter.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  5. #5
    Guild Expert Hai-Etlik's Avatar
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    The realistic way would be to look at the general relationship between the points and redraw the map from scratch so as to preserve those relationships, mostly.

    I can't think of an easy way to get the same results, particularly not with a raster map. With a vector map you could shift symbols and lines, and they would still be the same size and shape.

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