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Thread: How to get natural, organic looking rivers (Photoshop)

  1. #1

    Default How to get natural, organic looking rivers (Photoshop)

    I'm using Photoshop CS4.

    Is there a way to draw the basic shape of a river, and then use some method to get it all nicely organic/squiggly like so?

    I don't have a height map/etc, so I'm drawing the rivers manually, but all my efforts have it looking a little unnatural, and I was hoping some filter might add the right bit of randomness to it.

  2. #2
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Unfortunately not. There are other programs that you could import the terrain into, like Wilbur, and have it generate rivers for you (based on a height map) but I find that they make the rivers too straight for my liking. You make like the results, however. So it's back to the drawing board, literally, and just practice until you get used to it.
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  3. #3


    Ah, pity. Thanks for the word though

  4. #4
    Guild Expert Hai-Etlik's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    Inkscape has a tool to do this called "Fractalize", and I believe someone here has written a version of it for The GIMP, but not for Photoshop.

  5. #5


    In the past I've just used the Ripple filter. Not quite perfect, but does a decent job.
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