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Stilgar

Stilgar's Texture Creation Tutorial

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Yes, it's a texture making tutorial... something I've been meaning to do for a while. I'm mainly covering in this tutorial the technique that I discovered by accident a while back, which turns out to make creating rough and gritty textures like natural stone a lot easier. You probably don't want to try making clean techno textures this way, but grimy industrial might work!

Beforehand, I'm going to offer a few GIMP tips... if you don't use GIMP they might not all apply. This is hardly a lesson in GIMP use either, but some things you might particularly want to keep in mind when it comes to making textures:

- Use the offset tool (ctrl+shift+O) often. This will help you see if seams are creeping into your texture as you work. Don't rely solely on the x/2, y/2 button either, as it can create "blind spots" where a seam might creep in unnoticed.
- Use Map > Tile to create a preview of how the texture looks when tiled. This is also useful for picking up seams, and also seeing if any parts of the texture tile too obviously.
- A warning: you pretty much never want to use Map > Make Seamless, it blurs the texture onto itself, removing details and generally being ugly. Fixing the seams manually is a little more effort but produces a MUCH better result.
- When you use dodge/burn, bear in mind that dodge tends to have a stronger effect than burn does, so you may want to even it out by, say, using a lower "Exposure" when dodging than when burning. (It's a complex tool, and other settings can effect the strength of the effect as well... experiment.)
- The brush mode setting on pencil/paintbrush/bucket fill has some very useful things in it. Particularly notable is "Color" which allows you to color-change things easily. Try it out (try the others out, too.)

Okay... on to the technique. Observe:




1. When doing a texture purely by painting techniques, I start with a canvas 4x the size that the finished texture will be, and begin blocking out the basic light/dark places and colors. In this case, grey rock with a few brown splotches. This should VERY basically sketch out the form of the texture.

2. Now I use the smudge tool to blend the blotches of color together a bit.

3. Using doge and burn tools, I scribble over the texture, aiming more burn at the places where there should be shadow, and more dodge where there should be light, although some burning has been done over the light areas, and some dodging over the dark, creating seemingly random scribbles.

4. With a larger burn brush, I emphasized the cracks between the rocks more, giving them extra shadow. I also broke some of the large rock chunks into smaller bits, to improve the look of the tiled texture.

5. I added grit with the RGB noise filter, making sure to uncheck "Independent RGB" (if you leave it checked, you get colored dots instead of light/dark ones.) I set the noise amount to 0.1.

6. I use "scale image" to shrink the texture to the intended size, and convert it to the target palette. What you see here is the finished texture.

7. It's possible to combine a pixeled layout with the painting techniques. This works well for textures representing things that are artificial but still rough-hewn. For this texture, I began with a basic pixeling of the texture's layout at the texture's actual size, then proceeded to scale the image up 4x and perform dodge/burn and other painting. Afterwards, the texture was scaled back to its normal size to produce the end result on the right.

8. Number 8 was made similarly to number 7, and what you see on the left is the result of the painting phase. From there, I used a 1px dodge/burn brush to run along the edges of some of the darker patches of the texture. The lower and right edges recieved dodge, the upper and left burn. The result, seen on the right, is that the dark patches have become more defined as chips and cracks in the stone.

You'll probably still have to toy around a while to get it quite right, but hopefully this will help you along.

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Very nice tutorial! I commend you!

It's not often we get to see how people go about creating their textures, especially the ones from scratch. I will definitely use some of your tips from now on. The rock texture looks really good, and all of them seem like they would fit into Heretic or Hexen nicely. You should consider helping with the FreeHeretic project (I have no affiliation with it, btw).

I think my only complaint is that they seem too grainy. That can be easily fixed, though.

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EarthQuake said:

Very nice tutorial! I commend you!

It's not often we get to see how people go about creating their textures, especially the ones from scratch. I will definitely use some of your tips from now on.

Thanks!

You should consider helping with the FreeHeretic project (I have no affiliation with it, btw).

Well ahead of you there, that's actually what these textures were made for. Things have been going rather quietly with FreeHeretic (Now "Blasphemer") but we're hopefully gearing for an initial release of the current progress of the .wad/source soon, as soon as Jute Gyte is able to put it up on the site.

I think my only complaint is that they seem too grainy. That can be easily fixed, though.

True, if anything I probably err on the side of graininess with my textures, but like you said, that's not too hard too adjust for. Duly noted for my future reference.

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Heh. Nicely demystifies the whole process. Thank you.

Having done a few textures before, (though not recently) I know I can do 'tech' ones and ones with exact lines/shapes and make them look ok, but my rough hewn/rock ones tend to look more like your step 1. And that's after I've finished with them...

Thanks for posting this. Will file this thread away in my "useful stuff" file. :)

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Might as well post some insight on how one of the EDIV brick texture was made:

1. Starting with this image, that is basically a pencil drawing made in Painter. It has been smudged a bit smoother and then scaled down.

2. The base rough stone texture used for all the similar textures on the map. Generated in PSP by using lots of filters and layers, basically a trial and error effort until something looking like stone came out of it.

3. Applying image #1 on the base texture. Again, some experimenting is needed with different blend modes and layer opacities. In this case two layers, darken and overlay at about 50% opacity, were used.

4. Finished texture in Doom palette, with some final touches to reduce repetitiveness.

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