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Thread: Convincing Coastlines

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    Question Convincing Coastlines

    I'm having a lot of trouble making my coastlines convincing. They're always either too jagged or too smooth, with no happy medium. They also seem to lack the realism of an actual coast, but I'm not sure why. They look artificial, I guess. How do you normally make your coasts? What are some characteristics of coastlines that I may be missing?

  2. #2
    Community Leader Gidde's Avatar
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    One thing I found really helpful was to look through the Coastal Landforms portal on Wikipedia (it's one of those nifty groups of topics with an index to the portal at the end of each page). In addition to being fascinating reading for a map nerd like myself, it gave me a good idea of which shapes are possible and why they tend to happen. The second piece is to guard against uniform variance (this is the part I struggle with). It consists of actively tryibg to make your squiggliness random, and takes some practice.

    Of course, this is all if you're hand drawing the coast from nothing; there are all kinds of tuts for random (and semi-random) coastline generation in the tutorial section.

    Sorry for lack of links ... tapatalk makes it impossible to hop out of a post in progress to grab a link and then come back and not lose what you already typed!


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    That portal is a very helpful resource. Having read your post, and looked back at my first few map attempts, I can see that I'm getting a bit better. Thank you very much.

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    Guild Adept Gracious Donor lostatsea's Avatar
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    Post an example of your work and what you don't like about the example coast in specific. It will be easier for someone to give advice from an example.
    "Aye The skies be clear , the seas be calm and the winds be with us .....

    ARGH!! but the damn compass be broken!! "

    Capt. Noah Swalter Last voyage of the " Silver Crest"

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    Administrator RobA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gidde View Post
    One thing I found really helpful was to look through the Coastal Landforms portal on Wikipedia (it's one of those nifty groups of topics with an index to the portal at the end of each page). In addition to being fascinating reading for a map nerd like myself, it gave me a good idea of which shapes are possible and why they tend to happen. The second piece is to guard against uniform variance (this is the part I struggle with). It consists of actively tryibg to make your squiggliness random, and takes some practice.

    Of course, this is all if you're hand drawing the coast from nothing; there are all kinds of tuts for random (and semi-random) coastline generation in the tutorial section.

    Sorry for lack of links ... tapatalk makes it impossible to hop out of a post in progress to grab a link and then come back and not lose what you already typed!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    This one:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...anic_landforms

    ???


    -Rob A>

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    Community Leader Gidde's Avatar
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    Now that I'm on the computer and can actually look up the link, this is a closer fit to what I was talking about (although I clicked one link from your link to get there, so the short answer is "close enough!"):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coastal_geography

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    Quote Originally Posted by T Mick View Post
    They're always either too jagged or too smooth, with no happy medium.
    A big part of the trick to making them look realistic is avoiding uniformity. A real continent/island will probably have very jagged and very smooth parts. It would almost never be uniformly jagged all the way around.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gidde View Post
    Now that I'm on the computer and can actually look up the link, this is a closer fit to what I was talking about (although I clicked one link from your link to get there, so the short answer is "close enough!"):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coastal_geography
    That's the one I found, and as I said, its extraordinarily helpful. Thanks a bunch.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwbjerk
    A big part of the trick to making them look realistic is avoiding uniformity. A real continent/island will probably have very jagged and very smooth parts. It would almost never be uniformly jagged all the way around.
    As I study real world maps, I'm starting to realize this. I think my coasts are improving as a result; I'm certainly not throwing as many maps away. Though the maps still need work.

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