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Thread: [Award Winner] Making Not so Random Coastlines in GIMP - alternative method

  1. #41
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    That's a blend mode, accessible from the layers window. The layer you want to change needs to be above the layer you are blending it with. Then click the drop-down box that currently says "Normal" and change it to "multiply." You should see the clouds layer reappear with the black areas of your original shape superimposed on it.

    Honestly, I haven't been able to get this technique to work in Photoshop, either, but this is the first I've seen m5pig's translation.

    For the sake of further reading, here's a tutorial about the different blend modes and what exactly each one does:
    Last edited by Midgardsormr; 04-27-2008 at 08:24 PM. Reason: typo
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  2. #42
      Xeviat is offline
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    I just noticed that the ocean ripple distortion can create some interesting designs. If you start with black shape and use this method to create a coastline, you can hit the black shape with an ocean ripple filter before outlining it. I used it to make my islands more random, and it creates "wetlands" style coastlines with very ill defined coasts.

  3. #43

  4. #44
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    I don't know if anyone is still having trouble with this in Photoshop but I have had some good results with the following:

    1. Create a new layer.
    1a. Filter - Render - Clouds
    1b. Filter - Render - Difference Clouds (do this a few times until you get something with a large variety of white and black)
    1c. Image - Adjustments - Levels and move the black output levels to about 75-90 on the lower slider.

    2. Create a new layer above the first.
    2a. Fill the layer with Black.
    2b. Use the lasso tool, or the pencil tool or anything else to create some shapes and fill them with white.
    2c. Filter - Blur - Gaussian Blur, the amount will depend on your resolution, at 300px/inch I did about 40.

    3. Create a new fill or adjustment layer (the little half black/half white circle at the bottom of the layers palette) of the Threshold type above all other layers.
    3a. Adjust the threshold until you get what you want.

    This method has given me similar results to what Rob has produced in Gimp.

    ...and hi

  5. #45
      DoubleA is offline
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    I kept thinking that there ought to be an easier way to generate up a random coastline than just drawing out a coastline by hand and here it is. It took two tries to get something almost exactly what I was looking for.

    I am using PSE2.0(!) and, after I found all the locations of the functions, I was able to follow the tutorial pretty much exactly. There are a few functions here and there that aren't replicated but there might be a way around them.

    Thanks for taking the time!
    Last edited by DoubleA; 08-11-2009 at 06:12 PM.

  6. #46
      ravells is offline
    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
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    I keep telling RobA that he deserves Medals for this tutorial (I use this method pretty much all the time now)...but he's too modest to accept them!

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  8. #48
    Guild Novice absinthesparrow's Avatar
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    Aug 2009


    Wow, this tutorial is incredible. I've always drawn maps by hand (and not well; it's sort of a side-hobby to writing), but I tried my current continental layout with this technique and it came out beautifully. Makes me wish I hadn't spent all that time coloring my hand-drawn map!

  9. #49
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by absinthesparrow View Post
    Makes me wish I hadn't spent all that time coloring my hand-drawn map!
    Hand-drawn maps can be pretty darn awesome!
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  10. #50
      skolapper is offline
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    Post Making Not so Random Coastlines in GIMP alternative method


    Thanks Bulefooted, stunning image, and the tutorial explained a load of things Ive been wanting to ask for a while.

    Yay, its gonna be fun trying this out.

    I cant beleive your not a pro.
    Having quickly checked out your other stuff....
    I still cant beleive it


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