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volume 1, issue 13

Today in loonygames:

New!! The Archives have been cleaned up, fead links fixed, and printable versions restored! Also, don't miss the new comments on the front page!

Livin' With The Sims: theAntiELVIS explores the wild and wacky world that is Will Wright's The Sims, asking the inevitable quesiton, "is The Sims the first step toward a virtual life where everyone is Swedish?"

Pixel Obscura: Josh Vasquez on Omikron: The Nomad Soul.

Real Life: Check out our newest comic strip, Real Life! Updated daily!

User Friendly: Updated daily!

Related Links:

DRAW Partner!: Chris Buecheler's article on games and 2D art.


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Random Feature :

Put a Little Love in Your Pocket!: Trying to understand Pokemon? Our loony editor got to the bottom of the GameBoy phenomenon.

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Graphic Content:
Back Again





By Christopher "shaithis" Buecheler

ast issue left off with an unfinished texture, a missing paragraph, and a reversed sentence. Not exactly a stunningly error-free article, but as I said, I'm new to this journalism thing. :)

At any rate, I forgot to mention what I did to those scribbles we were working with. I'll cover that in this issue though, so it shouldn't be a problem. Apologies for the mistakes.

Oh, by the way, if enough of you are interested (read: email me and let me know), I'd be happy to do a "how shaithis makes an entirely handmade texture" tutorial at some point. Most companies like to see that a person can do both, so it's a good idea that you develop skills for actual generation, as well the manipulation skills you improve when working with scanned pics.

So at any rate, let's kick back, turn on some Orbital (just bought "In Sides". Cool album), and finish up this texture.

Click for fullsize image

This is essentially the same image as the last one from Graphic Content #2, but the grid's been turned off. The main reason I'm showing this is not to point out what the offsetting we did looks like, but to show what I did with that scribble layer. If you look at the layers window, you'll see that the scribble layer (deftly named "Layer 1". You can name your layers if you like. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't) has been set to "Burn", and its opacity has been dropped. Doing this causes the any visible layers below it to appear as if they've had their saturation increased anywhere that the squiggles lie. By touching up with the eraser and adjusting the opacity, we can get this effect to look as we want. I chose to go with a pretty subtle effect, using the scribbles just to add a bit of saturation here and there.

Click for fullsize image

Here I'm using the inner bevel filter from Alien Skin's "Eye Candy" plugin set. It's a good set. Nice interface, lots of very versatile filters, and if I remember correctly, it's pretty cheap (my boss bought this one, as well as Photoshop. I'm lucky like that ;)

I also use, on occasion, Extensis's "Phototools" plugin set, mostly for their Photobevel filter. It offers a bit more versatility than the Eye Candy inner/outer bevel filters, but the interface isn't as good, and it's a bit slower. Both Exntensis and Eye Candy have a benefit over Kai's Power Tools (the best known filter set for Photoshop, probably, and one I do use on occasion) in that they don't produce quite as easily-recognizable effects. KPT has a real problem with making stuff that any photoshop professional can look at it and "Oh...you made that in KPT."

Click for fullsize image

I selected the bottom bar, hit CTRL-F (repeat last filter. Photoshop's hotkeys are a blessing. I'd recommend using as many as possible), deselected, and turned off the grid. Now we have a texture that's starting to make more sense. You'll notice the offsetting on the bars doesn't look strange anymore. The bevel helps with that, and in turn the offsetting helps the bevel not look odd either. Had we not offset, it would've been more obvious that the dirt and scratches continued right on down the texture, which can look weird, and hurt the "3D" illusion.

Click for fullsize image

Gah! This looks like a significant change, but it's really nothing major. You'll see. All I did was take a new layer, select the "inside" section of the texture, and run a black to white gradient downwards. I'm then going to take the layer mode, set it to multiply, and drop the opacity to about 70%. This will give us the drop-shadow that shows up in the next image.

Click for fullsize image

See the shadow? A very subtle change, but it enhances the depth a bit. I've also (obviously) done some color-alteration on the center area. I decided it'd be more interesting to have some variation. so I played around with hue and saturation for a bit, and came up with this.

Click for fullsize image

Just want to point out the layers window again. You'll note that I have three layers of essentially the same background. I do this so that, should I want to revert back to a previous background, I can. So I have a layer with the initial tiled texture, then one with the bevels, and now one with the bevels and color alteration. These levels are all 100% opaque, so none of what's below is showing through the current one. I don't know if anyone else uses this technique, but I've always found it helpful. I have friends though who don't have the benefit of a p2-400/128mb, and don't like using too many layers because it slows things down, so that's something to take into consideration.

Click for fullsize image

(Continued on next page)



Credits: Graphic Content is © 1998 Christopher Buecheler. All other content is © 1998 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't do it, or we'll paint you white against a white background.