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Thread: How to create a Dashed Border?

  1. #11
      su_liam is offline
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    I've been using photoshop since at least version 5, and I didn't know how to do this. Just because it's never really come up. Given a bit of time I could probably have come up with the solution, but that's just because I've been at it for a long time.

    Now this isn't meant as any kind of a flame, either, but for a newbie tutorials are key to learning an app as deep and complex as photoshop. They allow a new user to get something useful done with the app, which promotes further use and experience rather than giving up in frustration. Properly written, a tutorial can be used to demonstrate what those basic principles mean. This is especially important in a fairly uncommon niche like cartography and terrain-building. There are a lot of questions to ask that aren't answered in a standard, "Making your Digital Photos Prettier with Photoshop," book.

    That said, it's a really good idea to practice with those cookbook recipes, modifying them, seeing the results, and trying to understand the principles behind them. Think a lot about how you can adapt the various tools used in the recipe for other tasks. For instance, with the technique Ascension describes, you are creating paths, stroking paths and manipulating brush settings. There's a lot of power there if you learn it well and adapt it.

  2. #12
      RobA is offline
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    I'll add the technique I use in Gimp, as it may have an equivalent in photoshop, plus turn this into a mini tutorial. The basic idea is to use a checkerboard grid with a layer mask, plus some strokes. This also assumes you do not want to cover any of the existing map.

    1- Decide on the width you want for the lines, and enlarge the canvas to that size. i.e. for a 1200x800 map you might want a neatline 20 px wide, so make the canvas 1240x840, centering the layers.

    2- decide on a the number of segments you want. Keep it close to the same proportion as the image size so they stay square. For example, say 31x21 in this case. Using an odd number will ensure the same colour in all four corners.

    3 - create a new layer this size.

    4 - filters->render->pattern->checkboard, and select a value of 1 (pixel) The checkerboard is in your fg/bg colour.

    5 - scale the layer to the image size, with NO interpolation (this is the magic step that takes care of the nasty math!)

    6 - use the move tool to place it over the whole image.

    7 - create a selection bordering the area. Select->all, select->border 20 (the size we wanted)

    8 - add a layer mask, using the selection.

    9 - If you want to outline the checkboard in a different colour, use the select by colour tool and click on the colour, then stroke the selection with an even sized stroke.

    10 - Turn the layer mask into a selection and stroke the selection again, using a 2x the width in step 9.

    11 - add more borders, etc.

    Here is the result of this:
    How to create a Dashed Border?-border.jpg

    -Rob A>

  3. #13
      Tom_Cardin is offline
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    Simplest brute force method I would use would be to draw one set of alternating boxes exactly as you wish with border, spacing, coloring all established. You want to divide your map height and width to a nice number to create your grid spacing...Aesthetically you probably want the spacing to be an odd number vertically and horizontally so that your corners all look the same. Exactly what your example shows.

    1. on a new layer make a rectangular selection which is the dimension of one grid box. Fill with white. Click the selection tool again and nudge it to the right so that the selection box is now flush to the right side of the white rectangle you just made. Fill with black.

    2. Add details. I used a 1 pixel pencil and painted in the red and black lines - hold down the shift key to draw a straight line. Get as detailed as you want in this step but don't change the length of these two segements, the width of your map should be evenly divisible by these if you want the outline pattern to be semetrical.

    3. Make your corners. Select your double segment, copy it and paste it. Go to Edit >Transform>Rotate 90 CCW. Align it so that its overlapping the right side of the original bar - make sure to copy your original layer at this point as well.

    4. Use a one pixel pencil to repair where they overlap.

    5. Place a corner piece in each corner of the map. Again your math should be good or this won't work cleanly. Use the same rotate trick as in step 3 for each corner.

    6. Copy and paste in your sides from the original segment you drew. Try different layer overlay type to get different effects.

    You can do a pattern fill for the black and white area as well, but this method lets you really add lots of individual details. It's very straightforward and only prone to issues if your math is off...its sometimes easier to make your border then scale your map to fit.

    I like doing things this brute force way, I don't get lost in any trickery or smoke and mirrors. It's not very time consuming, in fact its quite fast considering other methods that would require more pattern set up and brush configuration.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How to create a Dashed Border?-mapborders.jpg  
    Last edited by Tom_Cardin; 09-21-2009 at 09:45 PM.
    My debut novel, The Final Warden is available on Amazon.com in paperback and on Kindle.

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  4. #14
      ravells is offline
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    Doesn't PS have a 'Replicate' command which will replicate the boxes across the map? Or am I confusing this with another application?

  5. #15
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Illustrator can do that, but I haven't seen such a function in PS. That doesn't mean it isn't in there somewhere, of course.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  6. #16
      Tom_Cardin is offline
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    No replicate that I am aware of. One could make an action to do it but I am not sure how you could set one up to be usefull more than once since the size and placement would vary from map to map.

    I think its assumed one would use pattern fills or brush spacing to achieve such affects.

    One thing I have found invaluable for my pixel pushing duties is the Smart Guides. I am not sure which version of PS introduced them, I am using CS3...very handy little buggers since I hate using snap features.

    In 3D Studio Max there are all kinds of duplicate and array abilities that would make creating this sort of doodad a snap...but thats another tutorial all together.
    My debut novel, The Final Warden is available on Amazon.com in paperback and on Kindle.

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    TomCardin

  7. #17
      ravells is offline
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    I just had a hazy memory of it from the Lyzard Stomp site (the best photoshop tutorials I've ever seen for my purposes) but it's off air now. I don't use PS anymore so I was working from a vague memory.

    To be honest, I use vector to make my borders, I find it so much easier.

  8. #18
      töff is offline
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    If Buntings follows any of these tutes at all, I hope to hell he does them all. Every one.

    Then I would love him to post another method that hasn't been covered yet. I would so rep that.

  9. #19
      buntings is offline
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    Right, thanks to all for the very informative, constructive and educational comments.

    I liked the bruteforce approach and agree that often the simple ways are the best, on the otherhand I was learning a lot fiddling around with some of the more smoke and mirror approaches so I went that route.

    So, heres what Ive actually done - with my sincere thanks to coyetemax who has been working away in the background to guide me in the right direction as well as being a useful sounding board for some other ideas.

    I was looking for a red/white dashed border ( although Im now wondering if black might be more suitable - thats another story! ).

    First I created the rectanglar border on a seperate layer called "border" thus:-

    Created a rectangular selection
    fill red
    contract 1 pixel
    fill white
    contract 4 pixels
    file red
    contract 1 pixel
    delete

    so I now have a 4 pixel wide border around my world map, filled with white and edged with red.

    [the procedure from this point forward is credited to coyetemax ]

    Create and select a layer called "grid"

    created the required "grid" using the single column/row marquee tools ( in "add to" mode so the whole grid is eventually selected )

    Fill the selection with red and deselect.

    So I now have a double red border on one layer which is in effect intersected by the single pixel wide red grid on the other layer.

    Now have to remove the superflous lines ( ie anything except those lines within the double border )

    Select the border layer and using the magic wand select everything on the outer side and inner side ( ie where the map goes ) of the border.

    select the grid layer

    Hit delete

    Merge the two layers into the "border" layer ( so the grid layer goes ) to leave a red border, filled with white and broken into dashes by red lines.

    Then simply hop around and bucket fill the appropriate squares with red.

    Job done.

    Looks long winded when you write it down but in reality its quick, simple and works a treat.

    Frankly had I been left to my own devices rather than guided in the right direction I would have likely have come up with the brute force approach reasonably quickly but learnt little that I didnt already know. There is nothing wrong with the brute force way and it will work - however being patiently guided through this layered approach, not spoonfed but rather pointed in the right direction - left to some trial and error but being helped when necessary means that my knowledge has over the last few days increased tremendously. More importantly Ive started to think in the right way to build up an image from scratch rather than amending existing images which is what I am used to.

    More than that, whilst this was to be a "one off" image Ive actually been inspired to make a few more maps ( when I finish this one! ) - Ive seen potential for the techniques Ive found here to create a 3 dimensional map of my village ( a very old village in the hills of central England and famous as the home of Florence Nightingale ). The local parish council were looking for some new tourist boards - and Ive been inspired!


    Thank you!!
    Last edited by buntings; 09-23-2009 at 09:31 AM.

  10. #20
      Coyotemax is offline
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    Glad to hear things are working well! And being inspired is a good thing, I look forward to seeing the finished work.. yay!

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

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