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Thread: Mixing hand drawn and randomly generated elements?

  1. #1

    Post Mixing hand drawn and randomly generated elements?

    There are certainly folks here who mix hand and digital components. I'm just not sure if my attempt looks cohesive. Do my hand drawn coasts clash with my random bits?

    Further Reading
    It's just a basic outline. I don't intend to "finish" this right now. I just want to tear sections out and develop small regions as needed. The world map just keeps my work honest.

    I started by drawing some continents in with a Wacom tablet, and then created large 'blocks' of difference cloud islands (using RobA's random coastlines tutorial) and moved them around individually to generate broken coasts, islands, and large lakes. I didn't want to cover up all of my drawn coasts, as I liked some of the shapes.

    The file is 12.5 inches wide, so about 2000 miles per inch for a roughly Earth sized globe. My only concern right now is that the northern continent feels too close to the eastern one, given that the box on the eastern continent is the area where the city I discuss in this thread will be located. It makes the city a little less isolated than I intended... but I suppose trade winds could be set up to make the trip longer. 10 or 12 days maybe. That might be enough.
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    Last edited by Aristotle; 07-28-2008 at 09:16 AM.

  2. #2


    Looks great.

    I think one can obsess about making each step perfect. Try going further with it and see if anything really causes you any problems. If you work digitally, esp. in layers, you can always go back.


  3. #3


    Some of your coastlines are definitely more fractalized than others. I'm not sure I would have noticed except that you drew our attention to it, though. Have you checked the "Semi-Random Coastlines" tutorial? That one allows more control over just how random a coastline gets--you get to control the shape of the continents, and the level of blur you apply determines how "fractaly" the coast becomes.

    As for your northern continent's proximity to the other, you could just lasso select one of them and move it a little further away. I'm not sure the procedure in the Gimp, but in Photoshop it's pretty straightforward.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  4. #4


    My experiments with the tutorials lead to fairly uniformly fractalized maps. I think my goal, or at least my goal once I got started, was to create less uniformity by breaking up a few coasts severely and leaving others clean. My concern is that the clean coasts are too clean...

    I'll experiment with pressing more fractalized bits around the edges, so that I can continue to make some portions more broken up than others, but I think I should probably also heed the "don't obsess over every detail of something so large" warning for now too. I can always perform minor edits of coasts, islands, and lakes as I focus on individual regions.

  5. #5
    Guild Journeyer
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Toronto, Canada


    There does look an inconsitency with the coastlines. At first glance you can't see it, but then it can look 'odd'

    Is this RobA's tutorial you mention? You could work at a higher res than needed and then reduce, which will give you detail.

    I did a tutorial for Photoshop which is an alternative technique, which might help. RobA told me about his tutorial after I did mine, I'm looking into adding it in. We discussed it a bit here

    Map's looking good BTW

  6. #6


    It was RobA's tutorial. I dig the simplicity of that tutorial, but I never get exactly what I want. That's when I got the idea of using difference clouds and, doing something sort of like what you do, moving them around and stacking them to create coasts. The only difference is that I sketched out the continenets first and then just tacked the difference cloud bits onto the edges.

    Rather than go the whole way around with broken up coasts and islands, I left a lot of the drawn coast exposed. I may go in and use larger (more solid) chunks and fill in the rest with random bits.

    Thanks for the feedback thus far.

  7. #7

  8. #8


    ... your awesom.

    I've vaguely heard of google earth. I had no clue it could be used for maps other than earth.

  9. #9
    Guild Artisan Facebook Connected
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States


    Wait... that's his map pasted into Google Earth?

    How did you do that?

  10. #10
    Guild Artisan su_liam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Port Alberta, Regina(IRL: Eugene, OR)


    Heh... Yeah, tutorial time.

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