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Creating Base Textures

Rust textures By Luke Ahearn
Now you will look at various ways of creating textures. Which is the best way? There really is no one best way. You will use all the tips and tricks presented here, depending on your needs, and as you develop more textures and games, you will undoubtedly learn many more. Whether you start with scanned-in art or digital stills or are creating all your textures in Photoshop, you will always use a bit of each technique to get your textures just right.

The easiest and quickest way to create base textures is to use an image manipulation program such as Photoshop or something similar. Photoshop allows you to create game textures completely within the package, or by using other assets as a base. To start with, we will look at creating textures from the ground up, using Photoshop. Knowing how to do this will allow you to quickly generate placeholder assets for your project, so the programmers and level editors have assets to work with as you perfect your textures, and you will never be stuck looking for a good patch of stone to photograph or waiting for the programmer to bring the digital camera back to the office.

In the following exercises, you'll use Photoshop to create a few commonly needed assets in games. These assets can then be used to create more detailed and complex textures with techniques you will learn a little later.

Creating a Rust Texture

Figure 2.30, click images for larger view
Most computer games have a need for rusty metal, whether you are creating a space port with rusty walls and control panels, or a medieval fantasy world with rusty metal hinges and weapons. Rust is the game artist's best friend.

To create a rust texture in Photoshop, follow these steps:

1. Create a new image document and make it 600600. At times, I deviate from the larger 800800 size because the filters in Photoshop are affected by the size of the image.

2. Fill the background with a very light brown. I used RGB 158, 139, 117.

3. Add noise to this layer with the Noise filter: Choose Noise|Add Noise. Set the amount to 40, Gaussian, and make it Monochromatic.

4. Blur this layer by choosing Filter|Blur|Motion Blur. Set the angle to 45 and the Distance to 45. After you complete this step, your image should resemble Figure 2.30.

5. Distort the layer by choosing Distort|Ocean Ripple. Make the Ripple Size 9 and the Magnitude 9.

6. Make a new layer, then select a darker shade of the brown we used earlier for the background color (I used RGB 104, 66, 24).
Figure 2.31

7. Now use your Paintbrush, and with a really soft brush, paint some random lines back and forth (see Figure 2.31). You may want to use some Motion Blur on this layer if you don't like how it looks when you are done.

8. Change this layer's mode to Color Burn and set the opacity down a little.

9. Create yet another layer, and set the background color to black. Render some difference clouds (choose Filter|Render|Difference Clouds), change the mode to Color Burn, and turn down the layer opacity to about half. Difference Clouds generates a cloud pattern similar to Render Clouds, but instead of filling the image layer with the clouds, it blends the generated Clouds with the existing image.

10. Create another layer. Fill the layer with the brown color again and add some noise. Change the layer mode to Soft Light.
Figure 2.32

Now you have a really nice base rust texture (see Figure 2.32). We will be using this texture later, in several exercises, to make walls and other metal objects.

Luke Ahearn has authored and co-authored several books and articles for the computer game industry including Awesome Game Creation: No Programming Required! (Charles River Media) and Designing 3D Games That Sell! (Charles River Media). Luke started Goldtree, a computer game development company, where he designed and developed several game titles including Dead Reckoning and Sorcerer. Currently, Luke is serving as Art Director/Development Consultant on The Army Game Project; as well as, employed as a professor of computer science at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Click to see Amazon's Best price!
Publisher: Coriolis Group www.coriolis.com
Author: Luke Ahearn
Audience: Game Developers
User Level: Intermediate to advanced
ISBN: 1-58880-100-4
Pages: 408
Price: 49.99 U.S. 77.99 Canada
Media: CD-ROM
Date Published: Sept. 2001

Page: 1

Related Keywords:game development, tiling, 3d game

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