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Tutorial - 'Cheap way of making original tiles' by DarkPriest

An item about RPGMaker 2000 posted on

Blurb

DP demonstrates a cheap way of making original tile goodness.

Body

Alrighty, welcome to DPs Easy-Tile-Making tutorial.

First, lets see what youll need...

1) Paint Shop Pro (Get an evalution version at Jasc Software).
2) No artistic talent
3) An hour or two

Note: that you can not use this tutorial if you are using IDraw, Paint or some other more simple paint program
because they dont have many of the effect features used here.



Chapter 1: The Basics



So, what is this tutorial about ? It is about making 32*32 24bit tilesets without any artistic talent required.. Why 32*32 and 24bit? Because this is published on the RPGToolkit week of course ^_^!
As you probably know, Rm2k uses the resolution of 320*240 and 16*16 tiles. As most RPGToolkit and Sphere games use 640*480, then 16*16 tiles would be awfully small.
Youd have to use 40*30 tiles to fill one screen. So, 32*32 tiles being twice the size of 16*16 you only need 20*15 of them to fill one screen, which is a good ratio.
Also, having twice as big tiles on a twice as big resolution leads to having twice as good graphics (not that it matters too much but eyecandy is always a good thing to have).



Chapter 2: Starting a set



So, you have your PSP (paintshop pro) started up and youre ready to get working ? Great. First think you need to do (obviously) is to click the "New" button. As for size, choose 128*128 for now. Its enough for 16 tiles. For background color, black is good and for color dept, choose 16.7 million colors (24 bit).



As we are working on tiles afterall, a grid can come very handy. So lets set that up next. Go to View -> Grid And Guide Properties. Here, on the left side, you can set the grid. Choose 32 for both spacings, pixels as Units and grid color whatever strikes you fancy. A light gray or white is good. Choose "Snap" to Upper Left, and mark the "Snap to Grid" option. "Snap influence in pixels" is good at 15. Then press "Ok" to save your changes. Now go to View -> Grid and youll see the grid. Very handy when moving tiles around etc.


Chapter 3: The Basic Tiles



This guide features a method which I call FNB, which stands for Fradient-Noise-Blur. Those are the 3 main tools were going to use to achieve the wanted good look for the tiles. Well start with the infamous grass tile, which is something no RPG should go without.


Step 1: Fill

First use the "Selection" tool to select the first tile in the grid. Then take the "Fill" tool, choose a medium shade of green and fill the tile.



Step 2: Noise

Next go to Effects -> Noise -> Add. Set the Noise% to around 20 and choose "Uniform" as the method. Press enter and amaze how your tile actually looks like grass.



Now, there you have a cheap grass tile. Its not so hard is it ? Well, this was the simplest tile.

Make the water tile as you did the grass tile, except use Noise% 50 and after that use Effects -> Blur -> Average on it. The progress should look like this...



Chapter 4: Making a tree


While making a tree is a bit more complicated, its still far from challenging. Start by using the Free Hand tool in Free Hand mode. Then draw the shape of the trunk using about one and a half tiles.



Next, choose Fill tool and Gradient from the color styles. Try to make the gradient looks something like...


Then use the fill tool on the trunk youve "drawn". You should end up with something like this.


And once again, we apply the noise (around 15-20% is enough).


Apply Effects -> Blur -> Motion Blur with direction Up and 2-3 pixels of intensity.


Congratulations, you have the trunk done ! You can copy this to have a tree with leaves and without.
The next step is to take freehand tool and outline a nice set of foliage for the tree.


Toy with the Fill tool gradient settings and try to make them look like...


Next, apply the gradient to the foliage part (you might need to toy with Fill Toleration to make it fit nicely).


And once again, we apply the noise (around 30%). And there you have a nice(ish) tree. Toying with the Gradients, noise and maybe some blurs can create some cool trees. Heres a pine tree for example.


As a note - be sure to turn the "Feather" setting to 0 when using the freehand tool. Because of it the tree now has a black line around it making it pretty much unusable without some editing. Hehe. :D


Chapter 4: Closing


Alright, thats with part 1. There will be more parts if people like it, if not, I wont bother. As I said, this is a cheap way of making tiles but its very effective if you consider that it doesnt require artistic talent. At all. Any questions ? Feel free to mail me HERE.
The next part will (if it will come) feature making tile transitions (grass to water, grass to dirt, etc.) and cliffs.

"Yo yo"
-DarkPriest