Ground Textures

Ok, so the first thing you need before you are going to create a texture is:

    Photoshop (I use 6, but I think any version should work)
    A decent reference picture
    A few minutes (migth turn into hours if you are really slow)
    I also use a Wacom Graphire 3, but its not needed.

So I start out with my reference picture, which I found on some reference picture site, if you don't know of anyone, check these links:

So, now you got an idea about where to get your reference pictures, they are really handy.

Now I'm going to show you how I make a ground texture, I use the same technique for grass, dirt, gravel and plane texture bases (such as concrete and rust).

Ok, so I start out with my reference picture, it was 1600x1200 but I resized it to 800x600.
Grab my reference picture here:
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So now I create a new image, at 512x512 (you should know how to do this: File > New and set size to 512x512). And then I place my reference picture in the new image, so that it looks something like this:

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Start off with a simple offsett: Filters > Others > Offset
With these settings:

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The reason that the Offset is 256 both directions is simple, the picture is 512x512 and I want the egdes on the middle of my image. If the image was 256x256 I'd set it to 128, got it?

Ok so now it looks pretty messed up, wierd or whatever you'll call it.
Now its time to get your Clone Tool (S) and these are the settings I used:

    Size: 50
    Hardness: 0
    Opacity: 80%
    Mode: Normal

You should really find your own setting, since I used my Wacom for this (so I adjust the hardness with the pen, and not in Photoshop, so trail and error is your best choice).

I got my reference picture in the back, so that I can clone parts from it onto my upcoming texture (alt + mouse1 then click on the edges on your texture).
I tryed to use only the dark parts of the grass, since I think that they look better than the light\dead parts.
It ended up looking like this:

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And now I do the Filter > Other > Offset again (with the same settings as last time), since I know that the texture won't tile properly due all my cloning. So now it looks like this:

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I pick my Clone Tool again (S) and make sure that I don't clone on the edges of my image (not the offset edges, but the frames edges).
Now it looks like this, its tiling almost perfectly:

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But if you now make an image that is 2048x2048 and put it 4x4, then you notice something:

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The light spot of the grass is repeating, and you can see it pretty clearly, so ingame the texture wouldn't look that good. Remember, repeating textures are shit.

So therefor, I clone away the light grass from my texture, so that it looks like this:
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Now this texture can be used ingame, or for whatever purpose that you made it for.
But I'm not finished yet.

This texture is pretty blurry due all my cloning with a low hardness (if the hardness is high, then you get a sharper result, but its harder to make it tile) on my brush.
So I duplicate the layer Image > Duplicate and add a sharpen layer (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen) and set the opacity to 50% like this:

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And then I merge them together (Ctrl + E while the top layer is selected).

So now you got a pretty sharp texture, that can be used with a good result in Source or any other game. But I really don't like the color that much, I think its abit to light.
So I duplicate the layer (Image > Duplicate) and Desaturate it (Image > Adjust > Desaturate), so that the layer is greyscaled.

And then I lower the brightness with -25% (Image > Adjust > Brightness/Contrast) like this:

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Now I give the dark layer the blending mode Luminosity and 60% opacity.
And then I'm done with this texture. It should look something like this:

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I hope you learned something by reading this, if not, you just wasted a few minutes of your life.

- st0lve

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