How I Made the Cobblestones

In the latest developer diary you can see towards the end the newly added street which has some cobblestones. I think it turned out pretty well. What has often surprised me when doing my own amateur art for this project is how reasonable something can look from a distance given how crummy it looks close up when you are working on it. I thought I might share a few of the photos of the process here that I’ve already shared on twitter.


So the first thing I did was get a rough idea of the shape of the stones that I wanted. Loading up gimp, I made a decently sized canvas (6000 pixels wide initially, but I lengthened that later on), and just started making some rough squares by hand.


It takes a while, but I just do a bit here and there between other things so I don’t wear myself out. It was actually kind of relaxing. One thing you can see here is that I tried to make the squares at the bottom larger than the ones at the top, to aid in adding perspective later.

streetwork-touching up

Zooming in closer I add shadowing underneath each stone, and highlighting on the upper side. More repetitive work. It looks really ugly close up.


Mid way through the highlighting though and I can already get a feeling that there is some depth to the image from a distance.


With the highlighting done I then want to add a bit of texture with the spray paint tool. Just lightly spraying white and black over each stone. Again, it looks pretty ugly up close.


But from a distance it’s not looking too bad. Only problem is that this isn’t designed to be a tile yet. I have to start cutting away and making one side fit with the other. It’s a little tricky. I copy the left side and place it next to the right, making sure each pixel is aligned by retouching the stones.


After I’ve hooked it together into a long seamless rectangle I can then use a GIMP tool to squeeze in the upper half of the image, enhancing the feeling of perspective. This kind of stuff does degrade the quality a bit when looking up close, but it isn’t noticeable from afar. Then all that’s left is to convert it to a smaller size, slice it up into tiles for game maker, and incorporate it into the background of the new street room.


And there we go. Here the scaling of street to player is a bit off, but if you look at the last dev video you can get a better idea of how it is supposed to look. Not bad compared to the raw pixels I started out with.




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