Converting real life photos into HL textures

A Tutorial for Goldsource Engine

Updates

TutorialParentSubmitterStats
  • Corrected the number of colours to be indexed (255 to 256) - Thanks Alberto309
  • Added some more info
  • Added a link for GIMP
Hotfix #1 2y

From real life to Half-Life! Get it?

Making custom textures can be annoying at first, I'm here to help that process.

Software used:

I've taken a couple of photos of my school, for my school map.
Let's see how to convert this photo:



Into a Half-Life texture:



Alright, for this tutorial, I'll be using GIMP, because it's a free alternative to Abobe Photoshop. And, if you get used to the controls, it's going to be a good alternative >:D

If you follow the tutorial, you might even learn some useful GIMP shortcuts (and that's what tutorials are focused on: learning how to do stuff).

Open your raw photo:



Zoom in: (Hold Ctrl and use the mouse wheel)



You can click and hold the mouse wheel to move around, too :)

Now, select an area to crop: (Press R)



And when you select your area, press Enter to confirm the selection.

Now go to the tab Image -> Crop to selection...



Go to Image -> Scale image



Set it to 256x256. If the aspect ratio is locked, press the chain icon to the right.

You could use: 64x64, 128x128, 256x256 and 512x512. Sizes like 192, 240, 320 and 480 are OK, but usually not recommended, nor used :P
It's mostly your design choice. As for me, sometimes I use "modular" textures. Basically, they're like mipmaps, where 1 texture is more low-res than the original, and so on...

Then press Scale.

OK, we're not over yet. We need to make it seamless, because, well, it's seamed.

Press Ctrl+Shift+O (Hold Ctrl and Shift, then press O)



Now press Offset by x/2 y/2 (or Alt+2)
And press Offset. Now it will be split into 4 quadrants:



EWW, just LOOK AT THAT PIECE OF UGLINESS! AAARGH!
Let's correct this before I start vomiting, shall we?



Select this tool. And go to a certain area of your choice:



Hold Ctrl and click on that point. That is your reference point now.
Now paint it a bit, and play with the tool, you will then experience how it "behaves" :)



AHH, MUCH BETTER. :D

Also, don't forget to brush off some details there and there.
Let's press Ctrl+Shift+O again, and revert the quadrants:


Now, for the sake of stuff, we could apply a sharpening filter, or maybe add some contrast, but for now, we'll just make it as it is.

There, see? It's now ready to be used. Not yet, mister!
We need to make it compatible with Wally.

Go to Image -> Mode -> Indexed


IMPORTANT: Don't set the colour number to 255. Set it to 256.
Thank you, Alberto309, for the hint :D


Use those settings, and then convert it to Indexed :)

Now, export your texture. Press Ctrl+Shift+E.



Name it with something that ends with *.bmp

The next step is crucial:



Use this configuration. GIMP must not write colour space info, otherwise the colours will get messed up in Wally.
Now, let's import this wall into Wally.

Open Wally, and then create/open a WAD file.
Select File -> New
And select "WAD" as a file type.

Now:


Basically, just drag'n'drop it into the WAD window:



And then save the WAD somewhere.

If I missed out a part, let me know, I'll correct it ASAP :)
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  • ._._._._. avatar
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    hey yo, really nice guide/tut, gonna use this some day :D
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    Posted by %%sgt.vodka%%

    I dont know if you remember one conversation we had in steam months ago about map your school with textures made photos from your school ;)

    Interesting...
    The photo in this tutorial is actually a photo of my school. :D
    It's on the bottom of the staircase, exactly 1m away from the exit, to the sports field.
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    I dont know if you remember one conversation we had in steam months ago about map your school with textures made photos from your school ;)
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    Posted by Alberto309

    It's better to index the image to 256 colors instead of 255; Gimp doesn't use "1" as the first color, it uses "0", so the palette has actually 256 colors (from 0 to 255) and it works perfectly.
    Interesting, didn't know that. I'll update the tutorial soon enough :)

    Edit: Updated :D

    It's also better to have as much details as possible in a Goldsource texture since the engine blurs them a lot while rendered in game, especially if you use default texture scaling values. So maybe take a bigger portion of the image and just scale it to 256px and add a bit of sharpness (a value of 30 should be fine), so that in game it will look less blurry.
    Ah, careful there. It's a design choice.
    You know, there could be a use for the 'interchanging' textures. How can I name them? Uhh...

    Basically, these -A and -B textures and so on... Every 240 pixels, the texture is changed on one surface, you know. For every "chop" the texture is different.

    Although, I'll update on that part too, just in case.

    Nice tutorial by the way, Admer. ;)
    Thank you, as always :3
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    Posted by Alberto309

    It's better to index the image to 256 colors instead of 255; Gimp doesn't use "1" as the first color, it uses "0", so the palette has actually 256 colors (from 0 to 255) and it works perfectly.

    It's also better to have as much details as possible in a Goldsource texture since the engine blurs them a lot while rendered in game, especially if you use default texture scaling values. So maybe take a bigger portion of the image and just scale it to 256px and add a bit of sharpness (a value of 30 should be fine), so that in game it will look less blurry.

    Nice tutorial by the way, Admer. ;)
    the engine wont blur them in game, or at least not if you use gl_max_size "512" or "1024" for even better details, setting the rendering mode to "opengl", and also is good for your map to have detail textures (r_detailtextures 1)....
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    It's better to index the image to 256 colors instead of 255; Gimp doesn't use "1" as the first color, it uses "0", so the palette has actually 256 colors (from 0 to 255) and it works perfectly.

    It's also better to have as much details as possible in a Goldsource texture since the engine blurs them a lot while rendered in game, especially if you use default texture scaling values. So maybe take a bigger portion of the image and just scale it to 256px and add a bit of sharpness (a value of 30 should be fine), so that in game it will look less blurry.

    Nice tutorial by the way, Admer. ;)

    8.8

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    Posted by Admer456

    Posted by THePrince2231206

    image resolution can go upto 512 px

    My texture resolution was 256x256 just for the tutorial's sake.
    Using 512x is still OK, as long as you don't scale them all :)

    Also, Xash3D can do 4096x textures and skyboxes :D
    R.I.P GoldSrc
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    Posted by THePrince2231206

    image resolution can go upto 512 px

    My texture resolution was 256x256 just for the tutorial's sake.
    Using 512x is still OK, as long as you don't scale them all :)

    Also, Xash3D can do 4096x textures and skyboxes :D
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    image resolution can go upto 512 px
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