I have Photoshop CS6 (I haven't installed it yet), and I was wondering if there was a good book or tutorial on how to get started on making my own video game textures.

SIDENOTE: I saw a question on this, but it was outdated and from 2011.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking for: Artistic information - gradients, blending, layering, "art stuff" or Technical information - normal/bump/specular maps, texture packing, powers of 2, "computer stuff" \$\endgroup\$ – Jon Feb 7 '15 at 0:47

This question is a bit broad and there really isn't a clear cut path in making textures as there are many different uses for textures (UI textures, UV model textures, seamless textures, etc) all depending on what you're making it for. There are a few common denominators though so I'll go over those.

Determine Texture Attributes
Based on how your texture is being used you'll need decide a few attributes at the start including:

  • Size - Pick a size based on how closely it will be inspected by the player and the style of the game it's in. Usually has width and height as a power of two, also square (this is a requirement that depends on your engine and implementation of OpenGL)
  • Seamlessness - Determine if you need your texture to be seamless for tiling over large faces if it'll be used in things like level design.
  • Supporting Files - Determine if it needs a normal map, specular map, other metadata defined to be displayed properly.

Make the albedo
Most textures start with an albedo. This is just a fancy word for the image that defines your texture. There's three ways you can get an albedo and it depends on your use case.

  • Find it on the internet - There's specific websites that have textures that you can freely use and download but be weary as images do carry copyright. You can also take an albedo that close to what you want and make it what you want using some image processing.
  • Make it yourself - You can draw a texture based on your needs
  • Take it yourself - You can take your favorite camera and go outside and take some photos of walls, floors, whatever else you'd like to use. If you plan on doing this there's lots of advice on the internet for taking good pictures for easy conversion later (like taking pictures when it's overcast as there isn't such harsh sun shadows).

Some uses require your texture be seamless. This will ensure that when you apply the texture to a face and it tiles, it does so without any visual disconnect between where one part of the texture ends and the other begins to repeat.
You can get plugins for this, external applications, and do it yourself with things like the clone brush. There are also ways to preview your texture to see if it's tiling correctly before you actually use it.

Including the supporting files
This really depends on the application of the texture.

  • Would it provide benefit with a normal map? You can generate one with a plugin or external application.
  • Is it going to be reflective and only part of it should be reflecting? Make a specular map.
  • Does the game need to determine what shader will be used to render your texture or other data? Write the metadata file.

There's a lot more that I could put here but I just put down some of the more common things.

Determine your output format
This is very application dependent (some engines a specific format you must useh when you export) but it's best to go with something lossless so if you go back to edit your texture it doesn't have artifacts. If you do need to use a lossy format, make sure to save a lossless copy.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How can I make my own albedo? \$\endgroup\$ – kprovost7314 Feb 7 '15 at 18:40

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