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  1. #1
    Guild Expert Ramah's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    Default Quick Coastlines Tutorial

    Hey there,

    This is just a very quick tutorial on how to get some crunchy coastlines without having to mess around with layers and filters. It simply involves using a brush with some angle/size/scatter variation set and preferably a little variation in the brush shape. I'm including two basic brush shapes with this post at the bottom. They are both pretty similar to each other but subtly different. I use Photoshop but hopefully this will be relevant to Gimp too...

    Here are the steps...

    1) Download and install the included brushes in your brush directory.
    2) Open up PS and your map.
    3) Select one of the new brushes.
    4) Draw.
    5) Job done.

    And here's a few images of a landmass shape I just made. Took me less than 2 minutes in total. You can get better results than this if you take the time but I'm off to watch a film in 10 minutes so I'm in a rush.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    First image was me roughing in a large area with the brush set at 35 pixels.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    2nd image I lowered brush size down to 20 and added a few finer sections.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    3rd image I lowered brush again to 10 pixels and added some even finer sections.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    4th image I changed to white and cut away some sections to give some more variation.

    Like I say, this was done very quickly. I might spend some time tomorrow and refine this post.

    Hopefully this will be helpful to someone. Let me know if so.

    Here are the brushes... Coastline

    EDIT: Oh, and if anyone finds this useful and refines/makes new brushes that work well with this then it would be cool if you post them up in this thread for others to use.
    Last edited by Ramah; 08-07-2011 at 05:13 PM.
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  2. #2
    Guild Artisan eViLe_eAgLe's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Washington State


    Ill check this out later.. But, it looks nice ramah!

  3. #3
    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Coyotemax's Avatar
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    Jul 2009


    That's an awesome idea! Glad I thought of it!!

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Community Leader RobA's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Toronto, Canada


    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post
    Brushes downloaded, Thanks Ramah! This is kind of how I do my coastlines now in Serif Drawplus.

    can you share your Serif brush? I'm still getting familiar with the program...

    -Rob A>

  6. #6
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Ft. Wayne, IN


    Cool beans! Nice job Ramah, and thx for sharing.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

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  7. #7


    @ RobA: It's one which ships with the program - You will find it under the 'nature' folder and it's called 'fog'. The way I use it is to draw a rough coastline shape using the pencil tool, filled with black. Use the fog brush as an outline and use the pressure tab to make it larger / smaller along the circumference of the shape. Convert the shape into a bitmap (higher res = better crinkles), and then convert that into curves. Example attached.

    (apologies to Ramah for the Jack)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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