View Full Version : Game Art: 2d Buildings

01 January 2003, 01:26 PM
Hello everyone!

Here you can see two buildings out of the game we are currently working on. The game will be an isometric 2d game with its own engine. Both images were mostely drawn with Photoshop. Since I'm very new to Max I only rendered the simple geometry.

Feel free to critizise. Greetings...

01 January 2003, 01:36 PM
Wow, they look great man, keep it up.

01 January 2003, 02:02 PM
Did you use texures from Return to Castle Wolfenstein (the wood, the door of the gate...)? :shame:

But looks very good.

01 January 2003, 02:10 PM
Yes, I used some reference textures I found in the Web...

01 January 2003, 02:20 PM
Oh hell yeah, that looks really nice. Very nice sharpness to the textures, it seems very nice. I think the house is the most well-made of the two, everything really makes sense there.

What I notice on the piece of castle-wall is that the two towers are using the exact same texture.. maybe you could mess up the texture a bit so they're not alike? And also the tiles that makes up especially the roofs doesn't make sense when you look closely. Take a look at the corners and something is just.. wrong. They don't seem to interlock or anything, instead they give off the impression that each side of the roof is a flat textured surface..

The water-reflection of the wall and towers looks very nice. Will the water be animated somewhat or static? If the latter, has it been considered wether or not it'll end up looking too frozen and weird? Anyways, just a thought. I figured maybe the water, if no animation is allowed, might be easier to sell if it was made to look "thicker", ie more.. more "moaty".

And another thing, since it's for a 2D engine and polygon-counts doesn't matter, how about adding small visible "steps" at each of the rows of tiles that makes up the roof of the towers? The way they're positioned I think you'd be able to see steps in the tower's profiles.
Might even be doable from within Photoshop, though that'd only work if the engine is fixed-view isometric.

Would it be possible to see perhaps a sample or something from the textures? And/or a description of sorts of how you've made it? Is it largely photosourced, or heavily handdrawn, and idunno, maybe you have some thoughts and tricks on getting the crisp detailing you've achieved? I wouldn't mind seeing a wireframe either, though that's mostly just for curiosity's sake I guess.

At any rate, they both, though the house in particular, look great so far, keep up the niceness :) I'd personally think it cool to see it animated somewhat, a person's shadow moving past a window, lights being lit, the shutters on that roof-window blowing in the wind, etc. I haven't taken into consideration whatever limits the engine might have obviously, just loose ideas off the top of my head.

01 January 2003, 02:41 PM
Hey gaggle

Thanks for your very nice and detailled reply. Lets quickly move to your questions.

Hehe, well you already figured out nearly every mistake the image contains. This should be no excuse but the house and the wall were my very first works with 3d Studio Max. I am still learning so the geometry looks very simple so far. Everything is built up with primitives so some parts like the roof you mentioned might look too "flat". Thats why both towers do look identical, too. I just can't handle the UVWMapping Tool good enough and I was so lucky that I finally had the texture in the way I liked, so that I didn't dare to change it again ;). Max is still very new to me...

The water is not animated so far, it shurely will be later.

As for your question how I made this. Well I build up a simple scene in 3d Studio Max, or at least I try, since all this is very new to me. The final render for the house, for example, looked like this:

You see that it all looks very crappy and boring. So now I care for the right lightning, shadows and detailles like plants, stones and so on in photoshop. Most of it is actually drawn, I sometimes use photos and reference textures. Note that the hovel for example was completely drawn, too.

Well and here ( is finally a Link how everything looks "ingame"...


01 January 2003, 06:19 PM
Nice clean textures. One thing though is the straightness of the architecture. Those old buildings are normally warped and crooked. If you add a space warp or manipulate the vertices you can achieve this. It gives the building character and style.

01 January 2003, 07:18 PM
Even though I have never heard of a "Space Warp" before I will try to follow your guide as soon as possible ;) Thanks for the tip...


01 January 2003, 05:49 PM
sorry, in max i believe taper and twist will do the job. There are other simple modifiers that will do the job and are well easy to use.

01 January 2003, 01:57 AM
yes, I agree with Clubb6, the geometry is too harsh and rigid for my liking. Afterall, despite their best efforts those 15th and 16th century construction workers were not so perfect... Plus a little deformity here and there can really add character to a structure.

Excellent textures.:thumbsup:

01 January 2003, 09:26 AM
On the topic of spacewarps and such, that sounds like a pretty nifty idea to try out imo as well. cANT, if you select all the objects that makes up the house, then apply an FFD(box) modifier from the dropdown list, you should be able to do fun stuff. You can define how many points this box you'll get is made up of, then go into Subobject mode and pull them around and the house moves with it. You could end up with geometry that didn't fit though, depends how the geometry is made. You get to decide if it's worth it if that happens :) Same goes for using Taper modifiers and such as well.

Actually, with the amount of post-processing you've done it might be easier to just go into Photoshop and mess things up there. Hell using Liquify on the whole house and messing things up in there might even be a useful basic step.

Thanks for the walkthrough on how you accomplished the work, sounds like a nice traditional-ish way of approching it, what with the postprocessing and everything. As you play around with things you'll likely quickly pick up techniques that can be used to lessen the stuff needed to be done from within Photoshop as well.

..hey if you're using MAX5 you could use Global Illumination and render out a pass that contained only the shadows. Feed that into Photoshop on top of the rendered house itself, and voilá, instant realistic-looking soft diffuse lighting -- ah just a thought, could be fun to do perhaps.

That ingame screenshot looks exactly as tasty as the original pictures put together, I'd say that's a good thing about the engine :)

02 February 2003, 10:47 AM
Wow, this is too beautiful for words! Amazing texturing job, I am truly in awe. Like others have suggested, altering the symmetry and warping things a bit would help make this even better, but it really is top notch work just like this. I look forward to seeing more from you in the future. Regards,

- Me

02 February 2003, 11:22 AM
Thank you all for your very nice comments!

Yes you are totally right! The geometry simply sucks, it's too angular and stuff. What I want to do now is first learning my modelling programm to build some very complex geometry and exciting buildings. Combined with some nice textures the result will probably be quite nice ;)
Currently my grand idol is the guy from the finished gallery page called mutita, who posted his 5-star-rated buildings and stuff. If I try harder, I maybe will become as good as him someday :wip:

Anyway, feel free to post more comments ;)

03 March 2003, 10:52 AM
Is there any way you can post some new links so I can see the buildings also? I have been working alot on 2D area stuff for the Baldurs Gate series of games, and seeing other 2D work is always welcome.

03 March 2003, 12:42 PM
pics are down

03 March 2003, 01:00 PM
Lol, never thought this thread would come up again!!!
Well ok I uploaded em agian. I already said I only rendered the simple geometry by sticking together some primitev. Most of this stuff isn't even unwrapped and I painted the textures up afterewards...

1. 20% rendered 80% drawn

2 20% rendered 80% drawn

3 100% drawn


06 June 2003, 10:36 AM
pics are down again ...

working on something Isometric myself , so I 'd like to view them pretty plz :)

06 June 2003, 10:40 AM
change you host cANt ;) all pics are "cannot display" :D

06 June 2003, 01:09 PM
One more beg... I am really interested.

metal me solid
06 June 2003, 03:49 PM
nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! I WANNA SSEEEEE!!! :x

06 June 2003, 05:38 PM
lad die bilder nochmal irgendwo hoch, cant :D

metal me solid
06 June 2003, 08:38 PM
*digs up teh topic and pokes cANT on teh eye*

Mangled Poly
06 June 2003, 09:52 PM
i know i think he disapeared

06 June 2003, 10:05 PM
Why can't cANt fix his host?

Bad joke, huh. :blush:

06 June 2003, 10:31 PM
Uh ehm sorry might have missed this old toppic coming up again. Surely will upload the images again (even if they're old ones), as soon as I have my new PC and the necessary programms running.

:wavey: Kinda great that this old toppic comes up again, even though I think that the pics are already old and the houses bad modeled ;) Well guess noone is really satisfied with his old work! Hope I can show my new houses soon...

Mangled Poly: Nope, not disapeared at all, just needed to reinstall my PC and stuff and had a lot of work to do for school and also doing a practical course as a leveldesigner for a company.

metal me solid
06 June 2003, 10:33 PM
phew.. i reinstalled my PC3 times tday. heh, not like i had anything important on it :D.. well, anyway, hope to see some work soon ;)

06 June 2003, 02:02 PM
Well as said old stuff (this originally was my first thread at CGTalk), and those were some of my very first model tryouts but you, YOU, wanted to see em again ;) Currently working on something similar again with a more professional model and some better lightning and stuff.
The little shelter is 100% handdrawn, so are the plants and all the other details. Max was only used to do the (simple) geometry
Same here.

This was for a project we worked on but we restarted from scratch with a new engine, and that is what we are currently working on (as a hobby project tho).

Thanks for interest

Mangled Poly
06 June 2003, 04:30 PM
common lets see the desert house now! :)

metal me solid
06 June 2003, 06:49 PM
yea.. still looks good tho! ^_^

06 June 2003, 08:04 PM
check my gallery to see 3d buildings

06 June 2003, 08:16 PM
Looks great, except check your UVW's. The textures from the towers on the castle gate look strechted. Other than that, keep it up.

Vash T Stampede
06 June 2003, 08:17 PM

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