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Effortless Terrain Tile Making Tutorial

Discussion in '2D Art Tutorials' started by Strydhaizer, Sep 3, 2020.

  1. Strydhaizer

    Strydhaizer

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    Effortless Terrain Tile Making Tutorial
    Note: This is for Classic/SD only, Reforged/HD tiles are kinda more complicated since it have three layers therefore it is not included in this tutorial.


    Description

    Have you ever wanted to make a tile, but you don't know how to? Worry no more, I will be teaching you how to effortlessly make a tile by yourself. I do personally use this method in my tiles so this has been tested multiple times. This same transparency (that I will provide in the tutorial if you follow) have been used by multiple tile makers back in the day (tobyfat, Nan0, WerbackIII) because of its cool "blend/blurring transition" effect.

    Tools

    What tools do we need? Well, GIMP. It's a free tool that you can download here - GIMP - Downloads. You will also need blplab for conversion.

    Steps/Procedures:

    1. Open GIMP
    After downloading the GIMP you have to fire it up.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    2. Finding a tile-able/seamless texture

    So we'll need to find a tile-able seamless texture, you can search for tile-able/seamless textures online although be careful as some images online might have copyright. If you're a professional artist, you can probably make a seamless texture yourself.

    The texture I will be using in this tutorial is from textures.com, you can get free real and tile-able textures from that website.


    [​IMG]


    3. Importing the image
    Now that you have a seamless texture, you will now have to import it to GIMP. You can either go to your desktop and right-click the file, click "Open With" and choose GIMP, or alternatively in GIMP you can just go to File (at the Toolbar) > Open and find the image you downloaded.


    The desktop method.

    [​IMG]

    Or alternatively opening it in the GIMP.

    [​IMG]

    This is what it looks like in the canvas.

    [​IMG]


    4. Resizing the image
    In order to be able to use the tile transparency that I provided in the attachments, you will have to decide what texture resolution you want.
    • If you want a 1024 x 1024 tile texture, you will have to resize the image to 1024 ÷ 4 = 256 (256 x 256)
    • If you want a 512 x 512 tile texture, you will have to resize the image to 512 ÷ 4 = 128 (128 x 128)
    • If you want a 256 x 256 tile texture, you will have to resize the image to 256 ÷ 4 = 64 (64 x 64)
    It is divided by 4 because Warcraft 3 tiles are tiled in a 4 by 4 pattern (basic pattern). Warcraft 3 also supports 8 x 4 pattern (for tiles with variation) but I am only teaching you to make basic (no variation) tiles in this tutorial.

    In this tutorial, I want a 512 x 512 texture, so I will be resizing it to 128 x 128. To resize the image in GIMP, go to Image (at the Toolbar) > Scale and input 128 x 128.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is what it looks like when resized, obviously lots of quality have been lost, we can't do anything about that; unless you decided to make a higher resolution tile.

    [​IMG]


    5. Tiling the image
    After Step 4 your texture is now ready to be tiled in a 4 by 4 pattern. In order to tile this image simply go to Filters (at the Toolbar) > Map > Tile.

    Remember what resolution you have picked in Step 4. In this tutorial, I mentioned that I will be making a 512 x 512 tile texture so the tiling size should be 512 x 512 image. If you want to make a 1024 x 1024 tile then input 1024 (width) x 1024 (length), if 256 x 256 then input 256 x 256.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    6. Importing transparency to GIMP
    Now that you have a texture in a 4 by 4 pattern, it's now ready to have transparency, so you can use it in the game.

    Download the image with transparency (provided below) and load it in the GIMP.
    Like I mentioned in previous steps I am making a 512 x 512 tile so I downloaded and imported the 512 x 512 transparent image.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Now you will have to copy the transparency of the image (provided by this tutorial) to your tile. In order to do that, go to Layer (at the Toolbar) > Mask > Add Layer Mask then pick "Layer's Alpha Channel"


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Now do the same in the tile you created.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Now that both have layer masks, go back to the image with transparency that you downloaded, and copy the transparency from it, then paste it to your tile. To copy the transparency, be sure to select the mask of the image. I marked it red in the screenshot below so you can see it.

    After selecting the mask, hit CTRL + C to copy it.


    [​IMG]


    Now go to your tile, then select the mask aswell. I marked it red just in case. Then paste the transparency mask by hitting CTRL + V. It should look like this.


    Before pasting

    [​IMG]

    After pasting

    [​IMG]


    Now anchor the mask you copied to your tile.


    [​IMG]

    Now it's done!

    [​IMG]


    7. Exporting
    Now that you successfully made a tile, you can now export it (I recommend exporting it to targa format/.tga format). Just name your exported file to "<filename>.tga" or alternatively look for the targa extension under "Select File Type (By Extension).


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    8. Converting the file and testing the tile ingame/in the world editor

    You can use blplab to convert targa/.tga image to .blp or .dds to be able to use it ingame. Here's what it looks like ingame (along with another tile I converted). You can download the test map here.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2020
  2. Strydhaizer

    Strydhaizer

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    Please let me know if I need to revise it. English is not my mother-tongue so there might be some broken grammar at some parts of this tutorial.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
  3. Mayday

    Mayday

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    Excellent guide for tile-set beginners!

    Your grammar was good enough to read though with no confusion, though I did not extensively look for errors.

    The only thing you could revise really is at the top you have listed "Also you will need blplab for conversion."
    While later you have listed "You can use blplab to convert targa/.tga image to .blp or .dds to be able to use it ingame."

    Blplab is not required to convert to .tga or .dds, which I would suggest both over .blp


    Gimp, Photoshop and Paint.net can all handle .dds / .tga formatting, and blplab is not a required tool.

    It's optional however, if you're looking to use this method for maps patched pre-1.32 (which do not support .dds, but they do support .tga)
     
  4. Chaosy

    Chaosy

    Tutorial Reviewer

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    I fixed a few grammar errors.

    Otherwise solid.

    My one nitpick would be that a tool list looks better.

    Tools
    • Gimp - link here
    • blp lab - link here


    Approved.