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Thread: How to fractalize a coastline in CC3?

  1. #1

    Question How to fractalize a coastline in CC3?

    Ok, I tried searching through the forums for fractalize and CC3 and got a lot (!) of hits but most were for GIMP so I thought I'd try a more direct approach.

    I'm learning (or trying to) CC3 and I can't figure out how to fractalize a coastline - which I believe will make them more realistic? Or is there a better way in CC3 to make realistic looking coastlines?

    I'm using the terrain tool to draw the continents and islands, but when I zoom in, they don't so good.

    Anyone have a pointer to a "How to" make realistic coastlines SPECIFIC to CC3 (or CC2 possibly)?


  2. #2


    CC3 has a fractalize button. It looks like a straight vertical line and a horizontal arrow pointing toward a vertical jagged line.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  3. #3


    The easiest way to fractalize is to do it when you first start making your land mass. As soon as you place the starting point of your land, you can use the up and down arrows on your keyboard to increase or decrease the strength of your fractalization (is that a word?). You can also use the right and left arrows to increase and decrease its depth. So in other words, if you want extreme fractalization, push up and right a whole lot. Also, keep in mind that you can do this on each segment of the land mass as you place each point, so you can make some coastlines more fractalized than others if you want.

    If you want to fractalize an existing landmass, use the fractalize button (looks like a straight vertical line, an arrow pointing right and a vertical squiggly line, sort of like this: |->} ). When you push the button, you'll get a dialog box to modify your fractal settings. Make your mods and then click on the coastline to execute the command.

    One thing to note - the landmass will fractalize, but landmass borders won't. So use the borderless style. Also, the more fractalized your borders, the more processing will need to be done every time you redraw, so be prepared for a slow-down. - free fantasy maps for commercial or personal use ~ Campaign Cartographer 3 Review

  4. #4


    Thanks guys. One more related question (or 2) - What is depth vs. strength in terms of fractalization? In layman's terms I mean. I tried looking through the help files, but it doesn't really go into the mechanics of depth/strength. It seems that its assumed the mapper knows what depth/strength "is" or "isn't" - which I don't. Any good straight-forward help you would like to shed on this for me?

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Community Leader NeonKnight's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Surrey, Canada, EH!


    From the Help File:

    Strength %: affects the distance that an added node can be displaced from the middle of the line segment.

    A strength of 0% will put the new node directly between the two nodes of the segment. A strength of 100% would allow the new node to be placed anywhere from directly between the two nodes of the segment and 1.33 times the length of the segment, perpendicular to the segment.

    Depth: is the number of times that Fractalise will walk through the entity and add nodes. Fractalizing a polygon with a depth of 1 will double the number of nodes in the entity. Due to limitations in certain versions of Windows, there is a definite limit CC3 on the number of nodes a single path or polygon can have. Fractalise will only go to the depth that CC3 will allow, stopping even though you entered a higher depth number.
    So while that is for simply changing an already drawn entity, it's easy to see that strength determines how pronounced the fractalization will be, while depth is how often the factalization will occur between point A and B
    Daniel the Neon Knight: Campaign Cartographer User

    Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice!

    Any questions on CC3? Post them with CC3 in the Subject Line!
    MY 'FAMOUS' CC3 MAPS: Thunderspire; Pyramid of Shadows; King of the Trollhaunt Warrens; Demon Queen's Enclave

  6. #6


    Thanks for the explanation NeonKnight. To be quite honest, I had no idea what the difference was. I just keep pushing buttons until it looks right! - free fantasy maps for commercial or personal use ~ Campaign Cartographer 3 Review

  7. #7


    Ahhh. I see. I found it in the helpfile now too. Sorry about that. The helpfile has "FRACTAILISE" and "FRACTALISE". I hadn't read the FRACTALISE piece - LOL!

    Thanks again!

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