Could Someone Give me Advice for Enhancing Custom Textures in Goldsource Engine? Created 3 weeks ago2024-06-20 08:55:45 UTC by Senju Senju

Created 3 weeks ago2024-06-20 08:55:45 UTC by Senju Senju

Posted 3 weeks ago2024-06-20 08:55:45 UTC Post #348904
Hello there,

I have been a long time admirer of the work and knowledge shared on this forum; and now I find myself needing some expert advice.

I am working on a Half Life mod using the Goldsource engine; and I am focusing on creating custom textures to give my maps a unique look. I’ve managed to create some basic textures using Photoshop; but I feel that they lack the professional touch and detail that I see in many community projects.

What are some advanced techniques or tools you use for creating high-quality textures? Are there any particular brushes; filters; or plugins in Photoshop that you find indispensable?

I am struggling with making my textures seamless. Despite using the offset filter and trying to blend the edges, I often end up with visible seams. Are there any tips or tricks to ensure perfect seamlessness?

How do you add details to make textures look more realistic and less flat? For instance; adding dirt; wear and other imperfections. Are there specific resources or tutorials that you recommend for learning these techniques?

Once the textures are created; what are the best practices for optimizing them for use in the Goldsource engine? I want to ensure they look good without negatively impacting performance.

Also, I have gone through this post: https://twhl.info/thread/locate-post/323949ccsp which definitely helped me out a lot.

Lastly; if you have any favorite tutorials; websites; or books that have helped you in your texture creation journey; I would love to hear about them.

Thank you in advance for your help and assistance.
Posted 3 weeks ago2024-06-20 15:50:35 UTC Post #348905
It is quite a tricky process to make your textures entirely in Photoshop, though it is of course possible. There are other pieces of software which a lot of people use these days, such as Substance Painter, but of course these come with a hefty price tag.

I personally do a lot of the basic work in photoshop, adding details and highlights and such, while the actual texture comes from a texture library online. I personally was a big fan of textures.com, which provided thousands of seamless textures, but unfortunately they stopped allowing free accounts to download textures.

Ambient CG is still free though, and they have a couple thousand, free, seamless textures.

Using different layers with display types in Photoshop, you can take a single texture from one of these sites and use it to add texture, a layer of grunge, even use it as a mask to make chipped paintwork and such. I did that here, making a VERY basic texture in photoshop and then used one stone texture from ambientCG to add detail.
User posted image
Unfortunately, in my case it was a case of learning Photoshop's features over a number of years and often times stumbling into an effect by accident.
monster_urby monster_urbyGoldsourcerer
Posted 3 weeks ago2024-06-21 04:58:27 UTC Post #348906
With texture tiling seamless I found the fast easy reversible way is the "cross technique". Theres some videos on youtube but the basic jist is just duplicate your texture into another layer, then use the offset filter, then place a image mask on that layer then paint white reveal around the cross edges. If you screw up you can reverse the mask by painting back black.
More advanced tilable usually involves either clone stamp or copy pasting some select details overtop. Patch select and heal brush can work as well.

If you have the issue of one side darker than the other then its a matter of light equalization which this tutorial covers:
https://tolas.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/tutorial-how-to-equalize-textures-in-photoshop/
another trick you can try with some stuff that this doesnt work is duplicating the layer, invert, turn the duplicate to "luminosity", create a black layer below it, merge down, then set that merged layer to "overlay"

As for brushes, look up grunge brushes or grunge brush packs. When adding dirt/darker details blend them with a multiply layer. When needing something with highlights or lightening use either "screen" or soft light. If you got a black and white noise or grunge texture you can use "overlay" which uses both black and white to darken and lighten. Another big thing is layering different grunge layers with low layer opacity.

A very under used feature is the layer style advanced blending with the "Blend If" sliders (double clicking the layer, then holding ALT and drag the blending arrow open: example image)

I have a lot more examples to draw from but I do have a list of links here:
https://the303.org/tutorials/gold_mdl_tex_links.htm

Lasty as for "optimization", thats kinda hard to really answer as if you mean texture sizes it could just be stick to the sizes of say original Halflife, or later CS games. also if you havent seen it check out my texture authoring guide:
https://the303.org/tutorials/gold_texture.htm

As for books the old PHOTOSHOP WOW books are great. 3D Game Textures by Luke Ahearn is also good for old-era stuff that would fit in with goldsrc look.
Posted 3 weeks ago2024-06-23 19:43:34 UTC Post #348914
I don't know if any of you have had any luck using AIs (like Stable Diffusion) to generate textures. I've tried it but sometimes getting what I want takes a lot of time. I'm kinda clumsy using those tools, truth be told.

SD has an option you can enable to produce tileable images in case you're interested.

There's also this online tool to make an already existing texture seamless.
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