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Simulating a hand-drawn line


I recently acquired CC3+ and.. well, I haven't created many maps (or finished them, at least) because I'm in the process of exploring CC3+'s potential. I've read the manual, and a ton of posts here in the forum. Plus, I've watched many hours of the live mapping sessions, and there's one thing I'm not sure how to do (or if it's possible):

Is there a way to draw a line (vector only, no bitmap images; just a CAD line) that appears to be hand-drawn? You know, some variation of the width, some jagged-ness, that sort of thing.

If so, how would you go about doing something of this sort?

Thanks in advance!


  • Use the fractal tool, with low variations, and smoothing (all on the submenu when you left click on Fractal button on the left, after you draw your straight line; alternatively use the right hand button, and alter the factors by using the arrow keys, then smoothing. hope this helps.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 35 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    Or... you can use the freehand drawing tool on a sheet with a slight Displace effect, followed by a subtle Blur effect to knock off the edges. Give yourself a bit of a line width as well. No pen or pencil has zero nib width like a vector line.

    Possibly the best psuedo-hand drawn lines I've seen are the ones that @Lillhans draws ;)

  • Thanks for the suggestions and pointers.

    I still need to try and tweak to see if I can come close to what I have in mind, but now I have a place to start.

  • Three polygons in a 5 ft square environment. Arc tool was used for the arc, and then Line-to-Path:d so as to make it possible to Trace the polygon along it. And you can do that with just about any of the line/curve tools so you are 100% not limited to straight lines.

    Granted, the longer the path, the more nodes you'll have to put down going back to the point of origin to keep width in check but, as @Quenten has already pointed out, fractal settings of the polygon tool come into play there also.

    So if I were to "draw" a straight line I would start with nodes A and B, having dialled the fractal count down to 0.

    Then, going back I bump up the fractal count and node my way back to A from B.

    So the boundaries of the polygon are the 4 nodes A, B, half-way between A and B, and finally back at A. The Closed polygon then, not knowing any better (bless its heart), fills the shape as per your fill settings (Solid of whatever colour of your imaginary pen, ideally).

    And the same would go for tracing along a previously established Arc or Circle or Fractal or Curved path.

    The rest is just the cunning use of Blur, as pointed out by @Loopysue, and putting your actual drawing skill to use or - as is the case with myself - emulating the drawing skill of others or just tracing over pre-existing imagery.

  • Ooo.. nice!

    I have to give this a try.

  • It's a wonderful time-sink of a trap 😆

    Oh, and also: mind the zoom level! Keeping a grid on is a great point of reference for rudementary width consistency. I forget about it often enough myself...

  • Wow! Great topic @roflo1 and wonderful solution @Lillhans !

    I am about posting on something similar, trying out different effects to simulate ink... But to be fair this solution results in an amazing effect!

  • It does the job for sketchy ballpen/goose feather rather well, I think.

    Finding the sweet spot with line width and Blur can get you that not-so-sloppy ballpen, allowing for using line/curve tools rather than polygons. Which of course is a bit of a time-saver and still very much capable of approximating hand-drawn qualities.

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