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  1. #1

    Post [PS] Instant Random Coastlines in Photoshop

    I ran across this tutorial posted to another community:

    It doesn't go into any depth with actual mapping, but I thought the random coastlines with clouds + posterize was worth looking into. I invited the author to come by and have a chat with us here.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  2. #2
    Secret Super-User StillCypher's Avatar
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    Feb 2008


    Butch Curry over at Zombie Nirvana Games has another excellent and easy way to create random land masses in Photoshop. He details it in Podcast #14, but it goes like this:

    • Create a new document
    • Filter > Render Clouds
    • Create new Fill-or-Adjustment Layer > Threshold
    • Drag the little triangle at the bottom of the dialogue box back and forth until you've got something you like, and voilá!

    In the podcast he goes into further detail about how much more editable this method is than merely rendering clouds and going to Image > Adjustments > Threshold. It's definitely worth checking out the whole tutorial! It can be downloaded from iTunes or you can watch it here on YouTube:

    Fantasy Cartography with Adobe Photoshop #14

  3. #3


    I keep intending to run through the ZombieNirvana tutorials, but I don't have a net connection at home, and I don't have PS at work. I'll get around to them eventually, though!
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  4. #4
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    St. Charles, Missouri, United States


    Same thing can be done with Image > adjustments > brightness/contrast. Turn the contrast all the way up and then move the brightness slider around until happy. Levels and curves can do similar but take longer to manipulate.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    Same thing can be done with Image > adjustments > brightness/contrast.
    Yeah, that's the way I've always done it, just using the B/C slider.

    I've never had much of an actual use for random Photoshop land masses, but I'm addicted to toying with them anyway ... One of my old scraps over at DeviantArt combines random cloud generation and posterizing with a "base map" of a skull-head for hokey fun:

    ... and sometimes when I just want to stare at a nonexistent land-mass for no good reason (this happens more often than I care to admit), I have a library of Actions in Photoshop that will spit out various random maps for me in different styles with a single click I'll generate three quick results (takes about 35 seconds each) from my "Random Island Scraps" action below ... (created with a mix of clouds, difference clouds, various tonal adjustments and so on, but all automated for one-click fun and pixel-art simple in terms of the color range).

    As you can see, I have a mild fetish for seeing what's hiding under the water, too ... the result is nonsense, really, but it's pretty nonsense
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    S. John Ross Ghalev
    Who Dat? Games Fonts Uresia

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