Tutorial – The Art Of Textures

When it comes to texturing, there are three types of texturers: Those who do it right, Those who do it wrong. Those who don’t bother.

It’s a shame that a lot of people fall into the later category. Texturing is fantastic at adding detail to a ride. It’s also great to accompany scenery and to create the atmosphere. Texturing doesn’t have to take long –  infact a lot of my base texturing takes seconds and is rushed.

Before I start a map, I zoom out as far as RCT3 allows, select a size ’1′ brush and choose 3/4 textures and randomly drag my brush over. It’s messy, It’s random, It’s quick — but it is 10x better than not bothering at all!

Set the brush to size ’1′ zoom out and randomly cover the map in a few textures. You have a nice base to build on and it took seconds.

So what textures are good to use? That is up to you. Come up with your own blends, be artistic.I have written a little bio about each listing my personal uses.

It is also worth using a small brush set at size 1. Colour one tile a time. May seem like it’ll take a while but once you know waht you are doing you will be very surprised how quickly you can texture,

The Grasses

grasses

1) The standard default grass. Very useful as it complements most styles

2) Grass with Flowers. Nice to ad some colour to your grass. Make it look lush. I use this in large quantities when doing ‘bright’ tropical rides since its makes the grass look very colourful and healthy.

3) Rough Grass. A great grass that works for mountains or hill sides. Also works perfectly with dark rock when used for mountain slopes and cliffs. Use anywhere where the grass would be unhealthy – up in the mountains, peaking through the snow, in the middle of the destert. Its dark and dull colour also works nice in a spooky map.

4/5) The last two grasses are nice to add bold lush green. If you want healthly grass this is perfect. Blend it in with the grass with flowers and perhaps grass 1). Due to the health of this grass, I avoid using it alongside mud or the rougher grass. Sometimes I use it highlight hills.

Muds

mudds

1)  Cracked mud. Use this for your dry deserts. I have used it for a rock face since the texture can look almost rocky.

2) As with most muds blending it with grass works nicely. However, for a desert is great. Be sure to mix all of these muds together. They all work well together.

3) Dark sand. This is also great for a desert. it’s a lot softer and lighter than other mud. I use this for underwater areas such as rivers or sea as well as for softing the other muddy textures.

4) Used a long side the dark sand, the Light Sand is a nice beach texture for more generic beaches. It is light but works well alongside the dark sand and/or the lighter sands. It’s good to blend the more golden sands with darker/mud textures.

5) Grass and mud. Nice to add some colour to your mud textures. Also works great on grass to add some mud. I  often use it blended into most textures. I have used it to spray under trees to help emphasis forests or along river banks.

6) Mud. A wet mud. Probably not wise to use to against dry mud – a bit of an unrealistic contrast. However, it’s texture is simialr to the pink and grey rock textures so it blends well with them or to enable a smooth transitation from rock to mud/grass. It also blends with the riough snow to help the transistion from snow to grass/mud. Since it’s wet it looks look on river or lake beds.

Rocks

rocks1) Rock and Snow. Whilst the obvious and biggest use for this is for snowy mountains, this texture looks amazing when blended with rough grass for a cliff face. Despite its name ‘Rock and snow’ it is a good all round rock texture.

2) Probably one of the most commonly used textures. This dark rock is a greta texture for most themes. However, like all textures, advoid repetiion. This texture works great belnded with all other rock tetxures. Even try it with the pink rocks!

3) A pink rock. Use alongside the other pink rock to help vary the texture. Also great with the grey rock (6) and the wet mud since all three have the same texture.

4) A grey rock. A very unique texture. It is very light and almost has a blue tint. Use with the other light grey rocks for a great effect.

5) Pink Rock. Normally used in desert or tropical maps. Blend with the other pink rock or sand/mud. Also works well with the dark rock.

6) As with the other pink rock (3) use with wet mud and three blend together well. Also use it as a base for the dark rock. Mix it in for great effect

7) This doesn’t really have much of a texture. A great texture for a base of a mountain. Also good to soften the texture. Due to its light colour I’ve used it alongside snow to reduce the brightness of the white.

Snow

snow1) A rough snow. It has a very strong texture. Use for snow scenes or place small amounts on the mountain tips. Blend with the wet mud or the rock-snow.

2) Ice. A pale blue cool colour. I use it for waters edges or for underwater scenes to make the water look colder. Ensuring the water is shallow with ice underneath makes the water look very cold!
3) A simple snow texure. Doesn’t have much of texture. Getting snow that doesn’t look bare and just white is difficult. Use the other snow textures as well mud and rough grass to help break up the white.

Sand and Tarmac

Sanf1) Tarmac. Normally used for paths or roads, however, as a texsture it is powerful. Used sparinlg tarmac can be used to darken any landscape. Use it on mountain peaks to darken them, or in mud/rough grass to make things look dark. Works well in spooky landscape or as a base of a volcano. I have used it in shallow water to give the water a darker colour. I also like using it against pink rock.

2) Plain sand. Plain, but good for beaches. Pehaps belnd some other sand in (including the light/dark sand we saw earlier)

3) Blend with sand. I also use it for underwater or to highlight hills.

4) Sand with stones. Blend with the sand. Good for underwater. I have also used it against dark rock, since the colour and tetxure of the stones in it works nicely with other rocks.

Examples

Here are a few parks I have done as well as a description about the textures.

Shot0492

For the base, I have used a light sand. Using my messy base technique I have randomly mixed in some cracked mud and darker sand. Since it features a river, the area nearer the river has grass with flowers to show luch areas. The rock is just dark rock. Since the mountains are small, I don’t think the dark rock is over used.

Shot0493

In this mountain range, the lower area was a rough grass, to show tougher, less healthy grass. Over the top I have mixed some grass with mud and some normal grass to give the grass some colour.

The lake and it’s bank is wet mud.

As for the mountains I have used rock and snow. On the peaks I have added snow. To break up the repitetion I added some dark rock and some lighter rocks.

The snow is a blend of smooth and rough snow. I have added snow underneath the trees on the grass land. Adding textures under trees helps emphasis them.

FrightNight

Not one of mine, but this in game park uses a base of normal grass and some mud. The borders of the cliffs use rough grass with a mixture of dark rock and rock and snow. You can see how effective the rock and snow texture can be when used without snow.

GhostTown

Another in game map. This had a base of light sand. Near the cliffs, dark sand was added. The mountains have a blend of the pink rock.

 

A final note on texturing, take your time intialy.

Do not waste your time. The less visible an area is the less time you should spend working on it. In fact, the area around the immidate ride is all you should spend much time texturing.

Have fun!

Tutorial – Mountains without the Mountain Tool

In my opinion, the mountain tool in RCT3 is a poorly named tool in the game. The tool creates a tall spike  - I don’t know about you – I have never seen a mountain that looks like that. So many parks I have seen have had these spikes sticking out the ground.

Spike Mountain

Spike Mountain not my favourites

Now I’m going to show you how make mountains that (in my opinion at least) look a lot more realistic without too much extra effort.

For our mountain, we are going to use the ‘Ridge’ tool. This will raise the ground more evenly. I suggest making the brush fairly big –  perhaps around 30-50 squares in size?

Now just drag over the area you want the mountain to be.

Of course, it is missing the key feature that exists on mountains – the peak/s. For this, we are going to stick to reduce the size of the ridge tool to as low as perhaps 8? The lower – the sharper the peak/s. 

Our Mountain To-be

Our Mountain To-be

 We are going to use this smaller brush to ‘rough’ up the mountain. We are going to add peaks to the sides and the tops of the mountain. Feel free to  experiment. Be careful not to make the peaks too big. Increase them fairly slowly.

Rough The Mountain Up

Rough The Mountain Up

I have turned the grid on so you can see the final result of our mountain.

Now for the textures. There are a huge variety of textures you can use for the mountains depending on your desired effect or theme. In this example, I am going to use a standard dark rock texture. Cover the mountain in your desired base texture.

You may want to touch up the parts around the mountain with as shown in the following image.

Shot0708

Using the squares you can see the areas where the ground is steeper than elsewhere. In the more flat areas we are going to add some grass.

Shot0710

Apply grass to the areas where the mountain isn’t as steep

Now, for the peaks we are going to add some snow. Hopefully this should finish the mountain off nicely.

A hint for apply these textures. Set your brush size to one square in size and make sure you colour one square at a time. It may take a while – but the effect is worth it.

I have only used three textures in this mountain. However, using more textures may produce a better result. Spending more time adding the peaks or blending the textures will create a better mountain.

Of course, different environments require different textures and mountains with different shapes. For example, a spooky environment I like using darker textures (such as tarmac) with steeper and more pointy peaks.

The choice is yours!

And here is my finished mountain!

Shot0712