Photoshop: Uneven stroke

Unfortunately I can’t find any topics to this specific issue. The ones I found are just “workarounds”.

I want to achieve following style in Photoshop (the white border around the map, uneven width and automatic, no searching with manual adjustments and Undos until the right border appears):

enter image description here

I know how to make “rough” edges or similar by using a different texture or something like that, also by manually editing a mask (with spatter or whatever filter) maybe. But how to just make the stroke layer style “uneven”? There aren’t any options with that style in Photoshop, are there? How is it possible to achieve this without having to do it manually?

Probably pretty much the “roughen edges” effect from AFX. So I can just put on an effect and the lines will always be uneven. Thanks.


I’d try something like this.

Note that there’s a lot of room to experiment here. Don’t just try to copy all the values I used.

  1. Take a selection from the land layer (Cmd+Click Layer thumbnail).
  2. Duplicate the layer Cmd+J
  3. Apply Filter > Distort > Zig Zag
    • Style: Out From Center and Pond Ripples worked the best.
    • I used Style: Out From Center Amount: 14 Ridges: 16
    • All of these values are pretty specific to my map and its size. I’m giving you them as an example.
  4. Apply the Zig Zag filter on the other layer with the same settings, but minus the same amount you used before. In my case Amount: -14 Cmd+Alt+Ctrl+F
  5. Merge the two layers Cmd+E
    • The edge may be a little soft in places where Zig Zag stretched the image the most. If you don’t want that, one simple way to handle it might be to duplicate the merged layer and merge down again.
  6. If the original coastline has sharp corners and you want those smoother out, you could take a new selection from the merged layer and Select > Modify > Smooth. I smoothed it by 3px. Then I filled a new layer with the coastline color.

…and this is what I got:

enter image description here

I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a manual push here and there so I used Liquify, as suggested by Billy, to do little fix ups. I didn’t go absolutely crazy with it, but my goal was to expand it a little more in places with more land mass and bring it in a little where there are like islands and stuff. For this one, I darkened the second coastline a bit.

enter image description here

Other attempts

This is what I got by applying Zig Zag with Amount: 3 Ridges: 3 Style: Pond Ripples and on the other layer Amount: -4 Ridges: 9 Style: Pond Ripples

enter image description here

I wanted to try and leave a more uneven coastline, so… Here I tried just using one layer and applying Zig Zag to it twice. First I used a minus amount and then I used Zig Zag again with a plus amount and a slightly different value for the ridges.

enter image description here

I also tried to add a tiny blur (0,5px) to the original coastline, which didn’t look terrible.

Source : Link , Question Author : sigug , Answer Author : Joonas

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