Trackhed's Texturing Journal

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by trackhed, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. trackhed

    trackhed L3: Member

    Positive Ratings:
    well since people are unshamefully helpless about the subject, i seek to inform.

    First what you'll need:

    A. Image Manipulation
    if you have a hook and a peg leg, or a lot of booty - Photoshop (dont even ask me to post a link)


    if you like things like free speech and free beer - GIMP

    B. VTFEdit - Used to compile your .TGA textures into .VMT(texture properties) and .VTF(texture graphic)

    This is:

    -*my* observations, techniques, insight and philosophies on the art of texture design.

    -not a [TUTORIAL]

    My Statement:
    I am going to attempt to explain the way I think about things as I am designing them.

    -To put forth an effort
    -Think critically
    -Care about your textures. Quality is not Quantity and nobody likes looking at ugly. (dont quote me on that)

    Do Not Expect:
    -A step-by-step guide to texture creation
    -Me to explain how to work : Photoshop - GIMP - VTFEdit : I expect prior knowledge in or the gumption to be interested in doing this before you do it.
    -Project files of my textures.
    -Professional results the first few times.
  2. trackhed

    trackhed L3: Member

    Positive Ratings:
    So let's have a go at it!

    Before you begin -

    Size matters:
    Textures are made big and shrunk to 1/4th the size within Hammer Editor to maximize detail.

    -Acceptable sizes:
    2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256 512 1024
    (I believe that you should keep the sizes to these numbers unless you are designing the texture VERY specifically to something odd shaped, experiment a bit)
    Width and Height sizes do NOT have to be equal.
    Doors are typically 128x256.

    -Ask Yourself:
    What "thing" are you making the texture for?
    Is it a tile or a single size texture?

    Whats a "thing"???:

    -Wall = Tile
    -Floor = Tile
    -Table = Single or Tile
    -Window = Single or Tile
    -Light Panel = Single or Tile
    -Ceiling Tile = Duh
    -Overlay = Single or Tile
    -Sign = Single
    -Most anything you could build in Worldcraft

    Tile or Single Size?:
    -Tile = Seamless - Could be any size - preferably equal dimensions
    -Single Size = Uses asymmetrical designs, so looks odd tiled. drastically differing dimensions can be used to created "grooved" or "grated" textures on surfaces when tiled.
  3. trackhed

    trackhed L3: Member

    Positive Ratings:
    Baby Steps - NOTE: I work with tiled images almost exclusively, that is how I will explain my design theory.

    Now that you've thought up what you're doing, lets get down to actually making something.

    Visualize it:
    Lay down layers on top of a background to express the different areas of the texture.
    If you have many layers all close to each other (think layers of paint) color them different shades of the same color. Usually I use white for the background color and greys for the layers. Youll be able to tell them apart more easily and work with the layers more fluidly.

    Example: Wall - Material Type Texture(painted?, concrete, wood, drywall) Baseboards, Any design areas(picture frame, painted designs, "show through" designs like wiring or pipes)
  4. trackhed

    trackhed L3: Member

    Positive Ratings:
    Who's on First?:

    You will want to make your background texture first, but it should be a seamless, flat, bump mapped texture. You want it to look like an undamaged untouched section of the "material" you are basing your texture on.
    Example : Painted Cement/Concrete Wall - Neutral Colored : half smooth is the best way it can be described. it's flat, but contains obvious oddities, impurities and defects. Small pits, grit, corrosion (who knows how many times its been painted over?). keep in mind when I give these examples of defects I mean these in the minimalist fashion. you want to keep the background simple yet effective.

    -Very dark sections
    -Very light sections
    -Major defects
    -Dividing lines

    -Pitted, Gritty, Bumpy, Speckled texture!

    For neutral : Take a middle grey color and slightly hue it to the shade of color you want.
    Greys, Greyblues, Offwhites and Browns are very acceptable neutral colors.
  5. trackhed

    trackhed L3: Member

    Positive Ratings:
    Whats your secret?!?!:
    40s Blunts and Hos

    Dodge and Burn!
    Dodge - Umbrella - Lightens
    Burn - Magnifying Glass - Darkens
    These two get their own little section because YOU WILL USE THEM I COMMAND IT.
    the ultimate texture preparing tools. First step is learn to use these wisely.
    opacity and exposure settings can be used to modify its tone.
    Brushes : grungy for the deformities in the material, artistic for certain paint strokes (sponged, angled strokes, special paint brushes that create effects when used)
    use your head
  6. Fragimus_Max

    Fragimus_Max L3: Member

    Positive Ratings:
    Nice. How about a tutorial on custom skyboxes?

    I'd love to add a starfield/galaxy to my map.
  7. trackhed

    trackhed L3: Member

    Positive Ratings:
  8. MacNetron

    MacNetron L5: Dapper Member

    Positive Ratings:
    How about your observations, techniques, insights and philosophies on creating custom skyboxes? I would love to see Fragimus_Max's night map! :p