Hey guys. Thanks in advance for any help and advice. I'm in a different situation than many people. I like 2d graphics, and 3d graphics, depending on the game and situation. But me personally, I'm not much of an artist, 2d or 3d. Somehow though, my simplistic 3d models(as rendered low-res for 2d games) end up more acceptable than my wannabe pixel art or other 2d art forms(vectors, simply drawing, whatever). Now, as far as making tiles for games, I'm not as bad, but when it comes to animating and drawing characters, that is another story. So, I'd like to find a way to make it work and have a nice cohesive style.
If I prerender graphics using a toon shader and either outline or not, I get one(or one of a group of) style/styles. But if I draw tiles using 2d(via pixel art methods or vectors or simply drawing in digital form), I get a different style. Are there any tricks to make these work together somehow?
Or...how possible is it to try creating 3d models for tile creation instead? I know for isometric projection it would work fine generally, but even then, what methods are possible for example to make two separate models(for different tiles) mesh properly together. If I were to do it pixel art form, I could create a base tile for grass, create some variations from it, and then combine it with say a sand tile with different corners as needed. The easy way to do this for me is using Cosmigo Pro Motion since it can easily let you draw seamless tiles by repeating them while drawing, and then allows you to draw via a sort of "tiling engine" in order to blend different tiles/corners/etc... But if I make tiles this way, it gets the problem I mention in the first paragraph.
If I render "3d tiles" I can't figure out how to make them blend together. If I use a seamless texture I can get a quad(or even bumpy terrain kind of thing) to be seamless when rendering if I'm careful, but how could I get for example grass to mix with sand? The only way I can think is to create a separate model of sorts and doctor it up, but that is much less intuitive than doing it with 2d.
The other thing for example, is if I want to create tiles for a side-scroller/platformer. If I want a grass platform(3d rendered for 2d), I need at minimum a middle and one endpiece(or two so I don't have to mirror). It is easy enough to create a single model 3x1 tile units in size for a render. But if I wanted to use it as a tileset, how would I then get the middle part to be seamless with itself? Maybe I'm wrong, but I would think there is some sort of trick to it. This also applies for example if I wanted to make a top-down game, shooter, space, whatever. How would I get for example an alien wall with endpoints and corners to be seamless between middle parts?
If someone wants examples of what I'm talking about, I can whip up some quick 3d renders with marking showing what I mean.