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Thread: Outlining Map in Vectors

  1. #1

    Question Outlining Map in Vectors

    Hey guys,
    I'm hoping you can help me with a project I'm doing. I've used a fractal world map generator ( to come up with a few continents for a project I'm doing. However, not being much of an artist, I'm at a loss as to how to accomplish something I'm looking to do.

    I would like to take the image that is created with that web site (it's a gif), open it up in gimp or PaintShop Pro (those are the 2 I have), and click a button that will outline the continents and islands. Then, I would like to get rid of all the colors so that I simply have outlines, and can fill the continents and oceans in with the colors of my choice. I found a way to do it with - simply load the image, then click "effects -> Outline," and it does it, then I use the color replacer to get rid of the colors. Unfortunately, the outlines in don't show up as vectors, so when you zoom in really close, it's very "blobby." Any advice? Or can you point me in a direction that maybe I don't know about yet?


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  2. #2
    Guild Adept Naeddyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    I would do this by first creating a black and white outline of the landmass by adjusting Hue and Saturation settings in GIMP. With some effort, you can transform each set of hue into white or black. Then import this into Inkscape (free and relatively simple vectoring tool), and use Object > Trace Bitmap to trace your black and white landmass thingie.

  3. #3
    Community Leader RobA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Toronto, Canada


    What Naeddyr alludes to is that you will never get rid of the "blobby" look when zoomed in, as all the programs you mentioned (gimp, paintshop pro, are all raster application. Even in gimp, you could take the coastal outline as a selection, and turn that into a path, but when you stoke the path it will end up looking "blobby" when enlarged enough.

    The only option with a raster program is to start with a large enough image that can handle the zoom you want.

    Otherwise... look to a vector program (and inkscape is quite good, and free...and does support bitmap tracing...)

    -Rob A>

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