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The 'Zen' of texture creation

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I have no idea where to post this. Hopefully this is the right place. I am trying to create a decent tileset. My game engine allows me to use up to 16 variations of tile, plus 14 edge pieces. So far I have had little problems with creating a base tile, or the edge pieces. The problem I am having is with the variations of each tile. I kind of ''get'' the idea of creating a variation - add a crack, a clump of grass, lighten this, darken that, clone from here to there etc. The thing is that I always seem to mess it up and the resultant variations look far too ordered. Personally I think it''s a problem with my brain trying to force a pattern, even though I''m trying to make the variations as random as possible. Anyhow, I would appreciate any pointers that a better artist might have to try and overcome this unhealthy obsession with patterns that I am seem to have.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Creating good patterns is an art, as the human brain is awfully skilled at spotting patterns and repetitions.

Some tips:
-Try to avoid having parts of a tile standout too much. Your brain will notice that dark stain that shows up everywhere being the same. Keep the contrast low and do not have anything too well defined.
-Design your tiles in a way they can be combined with several other tiles, to create unique looking segments.
-Variations should occur preferably on the edges overlapping multiple tiles. (a crack which is enclosed in a single tile will not break the pattern)
-Get your engine to use rotatable tiles.
-A lightmap or such will break a pattern also.
-Take advantage of things that are tiled in the real world as well, like pavements, roof tilings, parking lots and the like.
-Have enough different tiles!

Hope this helps

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Thanks AP. That was all good. Most especially the contrast note.

I have a problem with the texture rotation, in that the textures make use of subtle lighting cues to give the texture, erm... texture. I'm trying not to make the lighting on the tile too obviously directional (because I'm using a bump-map to add detail to the edge tiles), but it is very noticable if I use texture rotation.

Is there a better way to hint at texture in the tile than to use lighting?

[edited by - SoaringTortoise on August 17, 2003 3:05:49 AM]

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