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Guest GolanTrevize

Creating Generic Texture Tiles

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Hi there,Can someone explain breifly how one would go about creating generic ground textures that can tile without looking tiled. So basically all the edges need to match with the opposite edge.Are there any programs that can help with this or is it all a painful manual process?Not looking for detailed instructions on how to put them into FS, just how to create the image itself.Thanks,Gary

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Hello Gary,Since nobody else has responded, I shall give it a try.Jason Waskey, who was head of the FS Art Team, wrote a very descriptive illustrated guide to creating tiled ground textures over 8 years ago. He pretty much covered all the essentials. His pdf document is part of the FS 2000 Terrain S.D.K. which can be difficult to find - this web site lists it for download:http://www.simtakeoff.com/fs2000util.htmbut I have not tried it so cannot guarantee that it is really available there.In any case, making tiling ground textures is possible if a few considerations are kept in mind. For example, I was working on (yet another) South Florida scenery where I was not particularly happy with the default ground tile. This is how the ground looks from the air (Google Earth):http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/193054.jpgThe farm land is quite typical and very common throughout the world, I imagine:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/193055.jpgBut the default ground texture for hot irrigated farmland looks nothing at all like that:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/193056.jpgSo, I simply took the Google image and created 7 or 9 different smaller images of different locations in this area making sure that they had about the same resolution as the default tiles. The Google images, as usual, were too blue so I corrected the colors - here you can see the original textures and the corrected version that blends in better with the surrounding default tiles:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/193057.gifYou must be careful of autogen annotations; if you are using the new textures in a local scenery folder as a land class replacement and if you do not include autogen annotations, then the game will use the annotations of the default land class that you are replacing and that can be rather unsightly. So you should probably include your own annotations to those new tiles.I have also done this in many other locations - salt ponds, marshes, etc. It works pretty well. Holger, I think, also has great experience in this and probably some others as well. Just give it a try and you will quickly find the difficulties and their solution.Best regards.Luis

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Hi Gary,here's an approach that I have used (in Photoshop) for a number of texture sets:I start out with whatever source imagery I have and crop it to the required size, e.g., 1024x1024. Then I select the lower half of the texture, make a copy, paste it in a separate layer and move it straight up so that its upper edge touches the top of the 1024x1024 sheet. Next, I select the upper half of the base texture and copy & paste and then move it to the lower edge. In other words, I swap the lower and upper halves of the base texture. Then I repeat the same for the left and right halves.Doing this means you quickly end up with a fully tileable texture. Obviously, now the outer seams are in the middle (in a cross shape)and mismatched. I then use additional source imagery of nearby areas to select irregular sections (use selection feathering with a 2-4 pixel width to avoid sharp edges unless required) and copy & paste them into the base image so that the seams get covered.Many texture sets have more than one variant. In those cases I create a common "frame" from the first tileable texture by drawing an irregular selection along the outer edges, 10-30 pixels wide,(again, with feathering), which I can then copy & paste onto each of the other variants.Making textures tileable is relatively easy, the bigger issue is to find the balance between desired content and decent visual display without obvious blocking and repetition (one reason why many of the default textures are so "bland") as well as to find hue and brightness values that blend well with the surrounding default or custom texture sets. Last but not least, make sure that the scale of your source imagery is appropriate, especially if it contains anthropogenic elements like roads or building footprints.Good luck with your project!Cheers, HolgerP.S.: it doesn't look as if the link to the FS2000 SDK is still active. However, Jason's conference paper can be downloaded directly here: http://www.gamasutra.com/features/gdcarchive/2000/waskey.doc

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Thanks Luis and Holger! Great examples! I was wondering what you meant by this Holger:>Many texture sets have more than one variant. In those cases I>create a common "frame" from the first tileable texture by>drawing an irregular selection along the outer edges, 10-30>pixels wide,(again, with feathering), which I can then copy &>paste onto each of the other variants.I understand how you do the seamless approach now, very simple but clever! I was wondering how you guys go about doing more complex tiles such as cities and towns? Does the same principle apply? I'm assuming this relates to that quote above, but I didn't quite understand.

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Hello Gary,this is not a simple question. There are no software tools for this, as I know. I do it manually with Photoshop but you can use a simple graphical tool like Paint. You should create a "rama" for every tile. The best way to create one is to take a tile, crop the top of the tile (about 10-15 pt), and copy it to the bottom of the tile. Then do the same with the left and right side of the tile. After this, you should make a transparent hole in the middle of the tile. Then copy the "rama" to every tile of the subset. After this you should blurry the the contact line beetween the rama and the tile itself. It's not easy, but there's no other way to do it. I hope, I was clear (my English is not so good).Regards,Gyula Kalcs

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