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Thread: need help on islands

  1. #1

    Help need help on islands

    Ive been having some trouble determining the size shape and placement of islands. Can anyone help me? (Just a note i dont use software. With instruction i could use anything free, though.)
    Last edited by trayn9; 08-25-2014 at 06:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Guild Novice Facebook Connected
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    Mar 2013
    United Kingdom


    From what I gather people generally make it up. What are you using to determine that your decisions have been so far wrong? A lot of the time island shapes sizes and placements are either generated procedurally by using noise and various filtering techniques or they're drawn in based on the creators own preferences. I don't think there are any hard and fast rules you need to stick to with shapes and placements.

  3. #3


    Ok. I thought i might be wrong because i wasnt sure if islands would really be the shape and size i am using.

  4. #4
    Guild Apprentice Gracious Donor
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    Maezar's Avatar
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    Greenest, NJ


    For me, the secret to creating islands is to imagine what's happening under the water. They aren't like tall pencils, squeaking up from the depths... the water simply cuts a plane to shape their contours. A jagged undersea mountain range might appear on the surface to be a series of small jutting rocks. A swirling scene of sand will have totally different shapes. I recommend a trip to the beach or the backyard to play with sand, rocks, and water. I predict you'll be inspired.

    Or go look at some real topography maps. The canary Islands might be a fun place to start.

    You can also use totally creative techniques. Photograph paint drippings on cardboard and then trace the outlines. Play with paper tissue in a tray of water. Run the hose on some rough asphalt or concrete.

  5. #5


    Ive seen continent shapes in a lot of places. I could use them on a smaller scale as islands.

  6. #6
    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor lostatsea's Avatar
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    Shapes are everywhere. Here is one of my personal translations.
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    Placement can be tricky depending on how much you are worried about geographical correctness. Tectonics play a major part in the placement of most islands in the real world. There are several members here with expertise on that subject. If you are not so worried about real world island placement rules then place them wherever look best to you.
    "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"

  7. #7
    Guild Adept johnvanvliet's Avatar
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    it really would depend on your map projection and the lat/long of that island

    simplecylindrical is the normal average format

    there are a bunch of tools one can use
    i use ISIS3 and GDAL /fwtools
    FWTools on Linux (i386/x86_64)

    but for some simple things "MMPS" is useful
    Matthew's Map Projection Software

    Ive been having some trouble determining the size shape and placement of islands.
    well placement is up to you

    as to shape
    a plasma noise works
    then adding some rivers then doing a "skeleton" to add a topo heightmap
    Gimp and Gmic is a good tool for a 1024x1024 tile of noise

    There are a few programs on google code that will generate a "island"

  8. #8


    Ok. Thanks.

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