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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.

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Graphic Content:
Back Again

By Christopher "shaithis" Buecheler

Grid's off, and the line blends in. How? Simple, really. I just took the eraser, using a medium-sized brush with soft edges, and erased most of the area around the line. The soft edges help ensure that the parts that don't get erased blend in well with their surroundings.

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Since I'm almost done with this texture, I've decided it's okay to merge. Anything more I do will be tweaks, and not new additions, so I shouldn't need to preserve the layers. I save again, and then merge everything together. We're now ready to start final testing.

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ALWAYS offset your textures once more before you do a final save, and here's why. I totally forgot that those bevels were no longer seamless. I want them to be.

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So, using the rubber stamp to clone out the lines, I make them tile. Save this again, as your final PSD, and let's make this texture game-ready.

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I'm reducing this texture now to 384x192. The final in-game texture is going to be 256x128, but if we drop immediately to that, it's too blurry. Yet if we then run sharpen, it's too sharp. A good solution, then, is the method I'm using here. Drop to 384 (a midway point between the two)...

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Then sharpen...

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Then drop to 256x128.

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And here we have a reasonable 256x128 texture. I'm opening up a 512x256 document so I can test the tiling by actually seeing it occur, rather than offsetting.

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And there we go. A reasonable idea of how a wall would look in-game if textured with this picture. In this particular instance, if I were planning for the texture to be tiled vertically, I'd probably spend some time with the rubber stamp tool (back in 512x256 size) making the beveled sections tile. However, I would more expect this to be used as a single strip of a wall (in fact, it would probably be resized even more. 256 units is four times the height of the Quake/Quake2 marine).

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And here's a screenshot of how it looks when applied to a brush in unrealED.

So that's the basics of how I go about making a texture. There's a lot of tricks and techniques I've picked up that I didn't use in this particular example, of course (otherwise all of my textures would look exactly the same), but it gives a good general idea of what's involved.

Hope this article was interesting for you guys. It was enjoyable for me (except that part where I had half of it written, but unsaved, and my computer crashed), as it showed me just how much I do when I make a texture. I'd never really though of it in individual parts like this, but a lot of work goes into it.

Incidentally, tho I didn't do it here, it's _always_ a good idea to generate a "base texture" out of anything you're working on (i.e. a texture that looks pretty much the same, but with no bevels/shadows/etc). This can be used for trim by the level designers, or as a base you can use to start custom textures.

That about wraps it up. Next time: Taking a look at procedural texture effects. What are they, and why are they important?

Until then!


- Christopher Buecheler is a freelance 2D artist.


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.