Outline a map

I want to do something like this:

Create an edge along all the continents and islands in the world. I have placed vertexes for about 2 hours now and I’m barely done with asia/Europe. I just wonder if there is some quicker way to do this, maybe extrude an outline from a black and white texture of the world map or something? A displacement map woudn’t work since I only want the edge. Any suggestions?

been done before

may not be a high precision map
only approximatively but should be good enough

happy cl

Yeah that’s the method I’m using, but it takes hours. I was asking if there is a faster way.

that is how the tut is made
has to be done by hand
otherwise will probably take as much time to clean up map in image editor

also are you doing it 2D or on a 3D sphere

happy cl

Convert the b+W map to a .svg file (use something like Inkscape for this) and import that into blender. or just find a svg version of the map on the internet. Then when imported convert to a mesh (Alt+C)

So, the least time intensive (free) way you can go about this would be:
• Download Inkscape
• Locate free to use world maps. Many are available and many are already in a vector format.
• Convert/save all raster or vector maps to .svg file type.
• Import SVG into Blender
• Convert paths to Mesh (Alt C) and extrude your shapes from there.

If I would use inkscape I would still have to use something akin to a lasso tool and outline the map in that program instead?

No. First, try to find already existing vector maps. If you can’t find exactly what you need, find nice solid color pngs or higher quality jpgs and then Trace Bitmap to get a vector shape. Starting with a vector means that you do not have to trace by hand unless you want to.

Thank you :slight_smile:


Yes, Inkscape will do this for you, as Richard Marklew explains.

Search the net for svg files.
I used this one…
in user preferences enable the import svg add-on
It imports as a whole bunch of curves.
delete the rectangular blue ocean curve and the outer rectangle.
Boundary select(B) all the curves and Join(Ctrl-J)
Then menu Object->Convert to->mesh from curve.
Now you should be able to go into edit mode, face select mode and select all.
Then Mesh->Edges->Select Boundary Loop
Duplicate those edges and Do what you want.

I looked closer at what your trying to do.
I used this map…
from this page… (check it out)

Same steps as above, but for some reason texas didn’t fill in, just ctrl-click it in edge select mode and it will select that outline. This gives extrudable outlines of each state. Or you can not copy the outline, and just extrude the states as they are.

If it’s the same svg I used above then the curve is not connected in the top left corner. In the tooloshelf press the ‘Toggle Cyclic’ button (Alt+C in edit mode) and then correct any minor errors