The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
Textures are an essential part of any game, whether it is Minecraft or not. Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with good photo manipulation skills, and many even lack Photoshop itself. However, that does not mean that your textures have to look ugly. In fact, it's actually quite simple to make a texture,(especially those based on natural blocks) that looks pleasing to the eye. I guarantee that this is a quite simple method to make any textures look nice.
If you have access to Photoshop, always use that instead. However, I am making the assumption that you do not have Photoshop, and will be using Paint.net instead. (http://www.getpaint.net/download.html)
Download Paint.net, and open it.
1. Go to the 'Image' tab at the top of the screen and select 'Canvas Size' from the menu. You can also hit Control+Shift+R at the same time.
2. Type in 16 for your length and width. If you would like a larger image file for your mod, you will have to specify that in your .json file. (?)*
3. Hit Ok
Zoom in. To do this,
1. Hit the 'Z' key.
2. Left-Click (Mouse 1) until the canvas is of appropriate size.
1. Go to Google Images
2. Type in the search term for the natural object you are looking for.
3. Press enter.
4. Click on 'Search Tools' by the Google Bar
5. Click on Usage Rights -> Labeled for Reuse. This way we avoid copyright!
6. Right Click (Mouse 2) -> Copy Image
1. Paste (Ctrl + V) into Paint.
3/2. Choose 'Keep Canvas Size'
2. Drag around image you want to texturize.
3. Select the area within the range of the canvas with the Rectangle Select tool. It should automatically select the whole area for you.
4.Control + C selection
5. Create new image; it should automatically keep the same canvas size.
6. Control + V
Now for the fun part! We start with rotating the image to see the image from different angles to see what looks best.
1. Click Image
2. Click either
a. 'Rotate 90 Degrees Clockwise'
b. 'Rotate 90 Degrees Counter-Clockwise'
c. 'Rotate 180 Degrees'
3. Find an angle that works best. Or not if you're a rebel.
(Adding Blur to Soften Pixelation)
A lot of images off the internet are in 'raster' form. They're made up of pixels. If, by chance, you happen to encounter a Vector, then you're golden. It should already be clear. But I doubt that.
To fix this,
1. Click Effects
2. Click Blurs
3. Click Surface Blurs - This is the kind we want. Trust me on this one; I've been doing Photoshop for a very long time now.
4. Don't worry if things look a bit crazy. This is normal. We just have to fix it.
5. You radius should ALWAYS be 1. No exceptions.
6. Set the 'Threshold' level to ≈12.
7. If this does not soften the hard pixel-iness of you image, tweak it until it doesn't. Don't overdo it, or you'll lose the colors to a blend of the ones around them. You kind of have to FEEL this one.
Adding Noise (Extra Color Differentials)
Now that everything is a bit softer now, let's re-add the variations in there, without destroying our previous step.
1. Click 'Effect'
2. Click 'Noise'
3. Click 'Add Noise'
3.5. Hold on; the pre-determined values will the disastrous.
4. Turn 'Coverage' to max. This will ensure all pixels are affected.
5. Set Intensity to ≈16. It should look less ugly now.
6. Set 'Color Saturation' to ≈65.
Time to save!
1. Click File
2. Click Save As
3. Find a place to put the file - I recommend the desktop
4. Name the file to what you want.
5. SET FORMAT TO .JPG!!!!!!!!!
6. Click Ok
Viola! All done! Feel free to leave feedback. I hope you have a great day.
I use Gimp rather than Paint.net. Gimp is free as well as open-source and has decent documentation.
I have used Photoshop before, and I have to admit it has a much more sleek UI than Gimp does. Regardless, Gimp has more than enough tools to handle basics like this.
Besides that, it's awesome that you include a step for "blur" or "naturalization". The filter I prefer in Gimp is under Filters > Noise > HSV Noise, but it looks like you recommend Gaussian blur with radius 1. Personally, I think this is the most important step in making any texture -- it prevents large sections of one color that end up looking cartoon-y.
Lastly, would this post fit better in the Modding Tutorials section?
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