Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
sanch3x

water tiles

This topic is 4829 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, I'm currently working on a top view puzzle/adventure game. I'm responsible for all the tilesets/sprites and I'm doing quite well for a first timer however I can't seem to find any good tutorials on WATER tiles. There's plenty of information on other tiles but I can't seem to find anything on water. I looked through google, the sticky post here but to no avail. Are my search skills horrible or is this information secret and kept only for the top notch artists... 'cause I doubt the top notch guys need the tutorials ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
I'd be interested in working with you if the conditions are right...I've already prepared some ocean tiles. Essentially, if you want to depict water, you should try to add some bubbles in the water, or like other RPG games design it like a swimming pool's bottom in the sun (when you see the grid-like fence-like sunshine which outlines the "waves").

When you have water overlapping water (like a wave), a lighter color will be used followed by a darker color, and the way this appears depends on the lightsource of course and the direction of where the overlap is. You might find this educational:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I usually get good results with water by starting with a stone base texture. I find a shot of nice light colored, flat, evenly lit stone that has a rippled or striated appearance for 'waves'. Something like this, maybe:



Then I'll do a number of things to it: make it seamlessly tiling, edit to remove weird highlights that stand out too much, dick around with the brightness and contrast, drop the saturation all the way down to remove any residual coloration, etc... After which I apply an overlay layer of color, fiddling with the exact shade of blue until I have something I can live with. Typically I'll apply a little bit of blur as well, to blur out some of the sharp, grainy detail of the stone, and make it more like the rippled surface of water. It's not always perfect, but I can usually get some pretty good water with a little effort. Here is a real quickie based on the above tile. I only spent about 5 minutes on it, so it's not perfect. But it'll do for demonstration purposes.



The main thing is to just fool around with things, figure out what all the tools and filters do, and think about how you can apply them to your work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You could even take that big image that was just posted, assuming the person doesn't mind, and reduce its colors. Contrast it first, then reduce the colors to about 3 or 4.

Then, go in and fine the lightsource. Where the bottom of the darkest colors are, you can add another darker color for extra shading. Then where the lightest color meets a dark color, that is descending--because it is descending, the light color is indicating a peak. Therefore you can guiltlessly add ANOTHER color for detail, a lighter color (which is now the lightest color).

You can add some dithering, as well, and come up with something like this:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I then went ahead and resized it to 16x16, and when I did so I tiled it and then modified it until I elminated the grid, which you should by now know how to do. Here is what it came out as:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Water has the potential to help shape your game because water is so essential to life. If a person sees water in a game and all of it looks like bile, that sets a tone. The more ripply and detailed the water, the more serious the element of the game is--the more involved it is. The smoother and more solid the water, the more responsible it is. You feel in control, you feel responsible, you feel adventurous and free...well, FREER at least, and MORE responsible.

When the water is like the one in this post, the character looks like he can get lost it, whereas if it is smooth, you feel like you can float about in clear air like a feather.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow nice work guys,

I'm actually going for a 32x32 size tiled and I'd like to stick with pixel art to keep the feel of the current graphics. I realize that water is a very important tile because it will be reused and, personally, is something I always notice in all the games.

Verdad that is some very nice work, did you make that yourself? I tried studying the water from Tsugumo's website but he doesn't really talk about the water... Like you said depth has to be taken into consideration but I have no idea how to make the waves look nice and realistic*.

Also, was the break in the wave just trial and error or did you find a good way to give it that bubbly/foamy feel to it?

I dedicated a good amount of time in making a tree and grass with limited "grid" so I'm ready to spend as much time (if not more) on my water.

*as realistic pixel art can get in a 32x32 tile restriction.

Edit:1) Uuugh how do you add pics in these boards? Do you have to link them via HTML because there doesn't seem to be an option.

2) You'd work with me in what conditions? Are you saying you'd help me learn how to make a good tile if I showed that I was dedicated to making a pretty killer water tile or are you saying you'd work with me if it pays well ;-) I'm not sure what you meant by it.

Edit #2: BTW is that water animated? And do you have a website, I'm interested in seeing your work (out of curiosity mostly, there aren't that many active pixel art sites out anymore... not that I can find anyways)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No, you don't have to pay me but I don't work on any project that comes along :-) It has to be good, to me. Not only does the graphics style have to be good, but it sounds like this game will not be very good because its tiles are 32x32 ! AAAHHH. That's not so bad, I like actually doing such amateur projects, who ever said I am professional? Hehe...but, despite that, I do enjoy 16x16 tiles, they make for MUCH nicer levels, a MUCH wider variety. They save space, they look nice, they work well, and...well...are better than 32x32 hehe.

What would be great is if a game supported 8x8 tiles, but I have yet to see one. The breaks in the waves were not too hard, I studied Secret of Mana's waves, some actual wave graphics, waves in a dream (oh, yes, you can study art in a dream! With God all things are possible and indeed, I was studying waves in a dream to artistically draw when my body awoke again), water principles (they aren't so complex, believe it or not--they're very curvy, ripply, and quite easy to draw, as you will see for a given shade of water, about 3 colors will do to represent the color then highlight and shade).

I have also studied a painting on the wall in this house I am typing in, some waves from a comic recently, etc. Secret of Mana really inspired me and helped me get that ocean scene looking so good, but I have plans to make it better but one person can only do so much, I hope you find great inspiration!

As for a website, I have posted a thread with some other graphics recently in a thread in the "help wanted" sub-forum on this website which you may view if you will choose to. The ocean is not animated, but it should not be hard to do so; afterall, I don't think I was watching the tide animation in my dream for nothing...but then again perhaps its meaning has little to do with art, but I have the impression that it, in fact, did. Also, don't be afraid to expand your spirituality to getting to know Mother nature (the feminine aspect of God). Without God, no art is good...which is why so many games have realistic looking graphics but the game itself and the graphics feel lifeless and unappealing as they support death, violence, murder, and other atrocities. Such games actually do exceptionally poor, while games like Zelda, Super Mario Brothers, Yoshi's Island, Secret of Mana, Sonic, etc. do really well because they're not supporting a chaotic and hellish society whcih we all already live among and don't need duplicated in a video game.


These things are serious and you really ought to consider them, they will help you greatly. I also like to study game graphics, such as screenshot from Beyond Oasis, Secret of Mana (as I've mentioned), Zelda, Chrono Trigger, and others.

Basically, the break in the is essentially trial and error, as you will notice if you zoom in, there is a darker color to contrast it so that the foam loosk elevated and the water thicker; the darker depicts depth. Therefore you want to depict a break in a wave, you must understand that a wave is a higher point in...well...a wave. The crest, reaching to the sea floor, is higher than the bottoms of the wave. Therefore, even as the foam is white and light, around it some darker colors can be added to depict not only this depth but also the shadows of the foam. What I did was instead of creating a single wave tile, I made one long break wave tile which, really, is several tiles. Therefore, not only do I have more tiles to work with, but I also looped the ends (made it so they connect well) and then over course did diagnols. Because it was several tiles long, I didn't need to keep messing with a tiny area to try to perfect it, copying and pasting it to make sure it looks good and eliminating a grid (although it is possible to get it to work well without even needing to do such a trial an error), I simply got it how I wanted it and then that was it.

Some bubbles were highlighted as well with the foam, although I think those bubbles were already there. See, I made various water tiles (about 3, I think) and then I used those to build off of--making lighter waves, then making the heavier waves with bright foam. Therefore, I took the existing bubble design on it and highlighted it.

Essentially if you want to make good water you're going to have to practice. I made some waves in art class with paint before, and the more you do it, the more the spirit of water expresses itself through you--you can feel it in your arms. It's like animation and anatomy: if you want to create animation, you must feel the anatomy in your own body. You can't hate mother nature or your art will be limited. Therefore, if you see a creature whose body disgusts you for some reason (some people are disgusted by insects, frogs, fish, and/or etc.), your art will be greatly limited in that capacity until you are willing to rewire your disgust and accept the truth.

You must feel the slime of a slug's skin on your skin, the holey, porous skin of a mother frog whose babies burst from eggs inside her back, the hard belly of a turtle, the hairy-yellow hair of a yellowjacket, the flow and force of a breeze, the ease of a silk blanket, the vomit on a drunkard's chin--yes, you must feel and accept the truth. That does not mean you have to like it being drunk and pukey or the perversion of sex acts, but what you must be willing to accept is the freedom God has given us, and that includes your right to master the wild, to master the beast. Therefore, slap it tell it who's boss if it tries to own you--become the water, become the wave. Feel yourself oozing over a smooth flat surface. Wherever you are, you are the highest point on the surface because you are like an object. Feel yourself as you curve and flow, as light reflects off your edges which are very round and bubbly. Remember how bubbly a water drop us? Remember how bubbly the overflow of a penny gets when you drop waterdrops on it, before it bursts and runs off?

Yes, water is bubbly--masters is bubbliness. You do not have to become it, but master that beast! So many things are looking to scare you...are you limiting yourself because you're disgusted by the truth? By the reality of a female frog who has holes in her back with a skin growing over them while tadpoles grow beneath? Are you honestly disgusted by this creature? No, you are limiting yourself (if you are) because you are afraid, and all fear will kill you.

Until you master the beast, you are limited to the degree you have not yet mastered. Life is a journey, a constant growth and self-transcendence. To depict artistically is to express what you feel--imagine your body being a turtle and/or your back having holes in it with tadpoles growing beneath your skin. Gross? Some might think so, but toughen up! Some creatures think your body is gross, despite the fact that you only have it for some 100 or so years (MAYBE), although most people have their body some 80 years. In millions of years those tadpoles may evolve into a society as smart as human-beings, using computers. What then will you say? You denied their spirit because you thought they were gross? You refused to love them? For what? Fear? Yes!

Therefore, I urge you if you do not understand, MASTER your feelings, and those feelings are not limited to who and what you think you are now, now those feelings including everything you ever experience or see. Master it, accept it, take ownership of it, then you will see clearly what to do, be it a bubbly break in a wave, a blobbly cluster of leaves, a patch of grass, facial expressions, and the like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also keep in mind that water doesn't have be the best. As seen in Beyond Oasis, although it is smooth, it presents a mysteriousness to it:
http://www.rpgclassics.com/shrines/genesis/beyondoasis/walkthroughs/walk03.shtml

They have GREAT art in that game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with Kazgoroth, I've never seen someone get so carried away about their work, it's quite inspiring!

The game is in fact a zelda-clone and this is the first game I make so I guess you could call it a hobby game.

Do you really think 32x32 limits you? Is 16x16 really the preferred choice? All tutorials I've read seem to have used 32x32 so that's why I made that decision. See I'm very new to all of this and although I've played video games all my life to build them from scratch is still something I'm unfamilliar with.

I'm a 3rd year software engineering student so I kind of know what's going on but I was lucky enough to find another student that goes to the same university who wanted to create a game. So basically we are taking our time, I'm making tiles at a casual pace so I don't tire and submit work of lesser quality.

It's too bad I'm at work right now because I would definatly load up ms paint if I wasn't :)

Thanks for the insight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks, I actually posted a tutorial in another thread here...I think people overlook the fact that graphics is more than drawing, analyzing, and practicing. If you cannot feel an object's composure, you are like a computer who spits out memory and when someone asks it a question it doesn't answer...so I thought I should post it :-)

Anyhow, a Zelda clone? Interesting, what really helped awaken my interest into the Internet and video game design was inspired by a zelda-clone-transformed, also known as Graal Online.

It's been a bumpy road, but all of my own choosing, I created and road the bumps. But, anyhow, unless your game is super-size and the tiles are 32x32 for that, indeed 16x16 or even 8x8 are best. Think about it: if you take that ocean graphic or any tiles graphic and put it into tiles, how much of it are you gong to work with? Not only would a single tile require more graphical-work to fill it up, but you have less tiles to work with. A 32x32 tile breaks down into four tiles to play around with, put together, and make nice levels, so you're less likely to have a bug chunky, blocky, griddy feel to it.

Likewise, you can get more creative with the tiles. Think of it this way: would you like to try to make a graphic if all you had to work with were a few predefined pixel-designs? Suppose instead of doing pixel-by-pixel work, you had 2x2 pixels to work with. Some pixels were half black and half white to allow for diversity, but when you consider your options, it is better to be able to draw pixel-by-pixel because it adds for better detail and maneuverability. Then if someone wants to use the "32x32 tile", they can take the four tiles and line them up in the level and they also have those four tiles independently to move around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!