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Making Textures more "Texturey"

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Tybae
Posts:  64
Joined:  Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:44 pm
I use Photoshop for textures, however, my specialty in Photoshop is retouching and repairing photographs. This is severely getting in the way of making textures. I am looking for help as to filters and/or tips on using picture images and making them look more NWN texture like. Here's one texture that I have previously made. It looks great in game, but it still has more of a photo look to it.

Image

Any/all useful ideas would be much appreciated. :)

(The above image is not the image I'm using to make the texture, just an example).
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Estelindis
Posts:  291
Joined:  Sun Sep 24, 2006 12:05 pm
Folks like Rosenkrantz and Sixes would be able to give you better info, I think, but I'll take a quick stab at this anyway.

Experimentation is your friend. Try out different settings of brightness / contrast / saturation / colour balance / sharpness, etc. Also try out the various artistic filters that your image editor may offer (many are awful, but some are excellent). Sometimes a bump map, a watercolour-type effect, or a scatchy/degrade effect can work wonders, but you have to be careful with the settings. Also, filters can work well layered! In fact, they often work best that way, for reasons I will explain.

Layers are your other friends. You might apply an effect or filter and find that, even on its lowest setting, it's a bit much. However, you can copy the result, go back, and paste it down as a layer - then set the opacity to, maybe, 25% or 50%, and you'll be able to see a bit of both the original and the modified texture. You can add multiple layers of effects are various transparency settings, and increase or decrease their strength based on the overall look.

It's not much, but I hope it helps you even a little bit.
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Six
Posts:  17
Joined:  Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:14 pm
Few key things I've found myself:
- Source background materials and details from seperate photo sources (for instance on that shield, I'd source the plank seams from a plank photo and the main wood from veneer or something).
- Be creative and use photos completely unrelated to what you're actually making (if you want to make a plain wood plank texture for instance, you may find bark textures or even white painted wood useful for layering)
- Use Photoshop's Pattern Maker if you're really stuck. It can take many clicks to get a nice texture, and even then it'll need more manual work, but it can give you some good ideas.
- Don't put too much focus on making stuff look real - instead try making something that feels right.

Ever taken a close look at LR's swamp tileset? Looks pretty, but when you look up close, what the hell is that stuff on the floor? Just random pixels, that's what, but we love it anyway!
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Izk The Mad
Posts:  100
Joined:  Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:40 pm
Blending Options! Besides using separate layers and experimenting with transparency, I find trying different blending options in the individual layers helpful, especially when trying to add texture. "Overlay" works well. My camo horse for example, IIRC, used overlay blending for the fabric weave layer, and color blending for the camo pattern layer. I've also found desaturating layers can sometimes be helpful when blending them with other layers, depending on the blending method and color scheme.

I recommend working with duplicate layers when making major changes like adding filter effects and textures. Just like anything else, it's good to have a backup you can easily revert to. It's great if you make a lot of adjustments past your undo levels, and it often gives surprising results layered over the original, like Este said. As an example, I was recently trying to make a weathered green bronze texture, and I layered a semi-transparent "frescoed" version over the original and ended up with a nice "blotchy" multi-tone verdigris finish. I think I used the "soft light" blending option with that.

Also, I agree with Six. Unrelated textures can be quite useful, even just using Photoshop's built-in patterns in different ways. I've found Shale and Sandstone to be particularly helpful in creating different effects. The latter even causes a soft multi-tone noise effect when scaled and blended properly. Some degree of subtle noise or pixelation could also take the edge off of something appearing too photographic, or too smooth or monotone, for that matter. Even a simple blood stain looks better with a little pixel color variation.

I have to say, that shield you posted as an example looks great to me, but it does look brand-spanking-new. I could see wanting to add some weathering. A few nicks and dings would make a big difference. Depending on what you want to do with something like that, you could desaturate it a little and adjust the contrast, and/or even try blending a brownish-gray layer over it to tone down the grain, either a color overlay, or a finer, more uniform wood grain, like a veneer. I'm also wondering if you could try adding a duplicate layer with some noise, and adjust it's opacity and blending options. Adding a blur filter over the noise sometimes creates interesting effects, too.

Well, I hope some of this rambling was helpful. You certainly helped me a lot with my skies last year. I may even have to take my own advice and try adding more noise to the seam areas of a certain "unfinished" skybox that still vexxes me...
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Tybae
Posts:  64
Joined:  Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:44 pm
First off, thanks for the tips guys, and gal. :) I've put them to use, but my ISP at home has been down for a few days. :mad3: I'll post a couple of pics later this weekend, if my internet is working. They're supposed to be out tomorrow to fix it. Thank god I don't have Comcast. I'd be waiting a light year to get the internet fixed. ;)
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Borden Ha'elven
Posts:  30
Joined:  Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:18 pm
Here are a few textures I've been playing with. Hope you find them useful. Oops! one more than I'm allowed to upload. Here it is any hoo.:D
Image
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Estelindis
Posts:  291
Joined:  Sun Sep 24, 2006 12:05 pm
I'd say they'd mostly be useful as layers to give other textures more variation.
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Bannor Bloodfist
Posts:  1309
Joined:  Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:45 pm
Sorry for taking sooooo long to reply to this topic, but there is an excellent tutorial found on the nwnccgwiki located here Merging relief art into a texture

Depending on what source textures you start with, you can make almost anything appear to have more depth using this technique!
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