View Full Version : 6 Months of Work (RTS Textures)

12 December 2007, 12:24 PM
Note: You can skip my needless rambling, pics below.

Its been a while since I've had anything to post up online for critique, however in the past 6 months I've probably done more game-art than I had in the entire 6 years prior.

Last spring I decided to talk my friend into having me create the mod 'MIDEAST CRISIS 2' ( for him, with my motivation being that it would force me to do a LOT of texturing, and game design (hopefully resulting in improvement). Now that we're close to release, I have to say that its helped me improve far more than I had hoped.

I am still surprised that he let me take the original MEC, a fairly straightforward modern Israel vs Syria mod...and turn it into this part C&C:Generals 2, part neo-Crusade epic.

Art-wise, we've had 3-4 modelers submitting models, which I unwrap (or at least heavily update) and then texture*. I believe the final count is somewhere around 100 models, with 80 of them done (modeled/textured).

Overall Info:

Most were textured at 512x512 (a few at 1024x512), then scaled down.

Since this is for Command and Conquer 3, we use spec and normal maps. The spec maps are typically red/black (with yellow, green and blue colors used for specific shaders). The normal maps are just made with the nvidia heightmap photoshop plugin. (see the abrams for examples of those maps...didn't see a need to include it on all)

On average, they've taken me 2-4 hours to unwrap and another 4-8 hours to texture. (it used to take me 12+ hours a texture, but over the course of the project I've managed to improve my speed).

I typically just use a hard-round brush in Photoshop, set with wet edges. I very rarely use any other brush, or stock textures. (I do make plenty of use out of my Wacom)

The style goal was halfway between Dawn of War and Company of Heroes (imo, Relic makes the best RTS textures, by far).

The textures were also made with the map post effects in mind, which desaturate colors by roughly 50%.

The models below were done by team members, not myself (with the exception of the F15 and Oil Derrick, which I heavily modified).

Here are a few of my personal favorites (in order of oldest to newest); (

ingame screenshot ( (note: have a smoothing issue on the rear wings)

F15: I actually textured this twice, once with a white scheme which didn't work at a few months later I overhauled it. (

ingame screenshot (

MCBurger Kong: Yea, the hebrew is wrong...its on my todo list to fix. (

ingame screenshot (

Ford 021c: My favorite thing done so far for the project. This is also the first unit which I painted in the interior (behind the windows), which ingame works really well at faking depth. (

ingame screenshot ( (

ingame screenshot ( (

ingame screenshot (

News Van: I actually really don't like the van's texture that much, but ingame the model + normal map really seem to compensate. The concept is actually adapted from a garbage truck in the 'Ghost in the Shell' manga. (

ingame screenshot (

Technical: Not shown, flamethrower, rocket pod and side-armor versions (which are in the texture sheet).

Some things that I've learned:

The really nice thing that I've found, is that after doing so many textures (many of which made me pay a price in sleep)...I actually enjoy doing it more than before. I was worried that after doing so many I'd be put off.

More a painting technique than anything, but I try very very hard to not use black as any form of shadow...instead I try to use a darker version of the surrounding color.

I also have tried to have the units transition from one color to another, working as a gradient from the front of the vehicle to the rear. For me at least, this adds a bit more interest. Sometimes I make it just go from the top of the vehicle to the bottom.

The more reference I have for a texture (even if it is just random ideas), the better the texture ends up.

If you have any comments or suggestions on how I could improve I'd love to hear them! Please be brutal. :P

*Note: There are some units in our screenshots which were completely made (concepted/modeled/textured) by the talented spyVspy ( He did the airships, drones and the bombers. You'd best know his work from the mods 'Halogen' and 'Asylum' (

12 December 2007, 12:26 PM
Here are the rest of the pics, the forum complained about too many images in that post. (

ingame screenshot ( (

ingame screenshot (

Medibot: The concept was from an unused design for C&C Generals. (

ingame screenshot ( (

12 December 2007, 10:10 PM
Wow,that is real lowpoly stuff.
How many polygons for each model?

The textures are really really good for this resulution.
Bad that I don't have C&C...
would be a reason to go and buy it :)

12 December 2007, 12:40 AM
Our polycount is about 500-1500 tri's (depending on the object). Ya its fairly low-poly, however like C&C3 itself we don't want people's computers to catch fire once you have more than 12 units on the screen. ;)

12 December 2007, 05:42 AM
Nice work four shore!!!

Thanks for sharing with us. :)

12 December 2007, 04:37 PM
Nice work.I like every low poly model u made.Good job.

12 December 2007, 05:50 PM
Really good low poly stuff. Good luck with the mod.

01 January 2008, 04:47 AM
Looks so good, good job! :applause:

02 February 2008, 05:34 PM
Time for an update! I can show some of the, now public, textures. As before, I didn't model or concept these...just unwrapping, and just texturing. (

This texture really didn't want to look nice. Most of the textures shown are ones that paint themselves, that I can sit down and bang out exactly as I envision them. The Hind didn't do that, infact after about a day of work...I painted over almost all of what I did and started over. I ended up just doing grey edges, and deep black for a few spots....and the normal/spec map carried it through. (

For some reason, I have this weird obession with painting things construction-equipment yellow. Its just really fun to do. It didn't hurt to have a great model and concept to work off of either. :) (

[ingame screenshot] (

The render, and the ingame shot are slightly different versions...the newer one having the Magino Oil logo on the side. That'll actually be changed as well, since a graphic artist friend has been doing up some great fake-company logo's to use...including a new one for this.

On the texture itself, the red-orange, navy blue and white color was taken from something else that I saw...but I can't remember what it was. As I was texturing it, I couldn't remember what it was I was trying to mimic...and still don't. If you have an idea, please enlighten me since it still bothers me. (

[concept art] (
[ingame screenshot] (

This is one of only a couple units which I concepted, and thus I just stayed faithful to it. It was fun since it was really quick to do, and let me do this grungy metal texture that I havn't been able to do on much else lately. (

[concept art] (
[ingame screenshot] (

I actually really dislike this texture, and honestly if we didn't have so much else that needed done (and little time to do it)...I'd redo it. Luckily, ingame it looks quite well (due to the normal/spec maps doing the heavy lifting). My problem with the texture is the walls...I really did it with little reference, and thus it turned out very fake looking. Same goes for the roof, which in an RTS is the bane of my existance. Its the area of an object that is seen the most....yet also has the least reference photo's.

The concept was altered slightly, so the domes were more Arab looking...although it still is very much a work of fiction. It looks good ingame though, and is a nice reference to the C&C Generals GLA command center.


Right now the bulk of the art left is buildings, which should be interesting (tents and such for the IDF, then big concrete ones for the UN). :)

Anyway, please post any areas that you think could use improvement! In all honesty, my ideal reply to read would be one that tore my stuff to shreds (constructively).

02 February 2008, 05:48 AM
Awesome stuff, i enjoy looking at your textures, literally :).

06 June 2008, 07:14 PM
Time for a small update, really haven't had a chance to do much post-worthy textures...we're working on things like damage states, small map objects, and such. The current aim is to release a public beta this month.

MIDEAST CRISIS 2, a Command and Conquer 3 Total Conversion (

Onto the pics; (

IDF Merkava. Modeled by Thumper. This tank is actually the 2nd texture I did for MEC2 and was first completed a year ago, with several repaints since then. Its still one of my favorite textures (although I am thinking of redoing the normal looks a bit odd at places ingame). Now some more on the making of it...the design of our Merkava is based mostly on Makoto Kobyashi's "future wars" Merkava, mixed with elements of the real version. This texture also was done prior to me realizing that I could just use a 512x256 texture....instead of having to have 2 256's. Another thing that I liked about this, was that instead of using a darker brown, or black for the shading...I used a dark green. (

The Dome of the Rock (used on our Temple Mount map). Modeled by Silver Mobius. Again, was done prior to realizing I could just have 1 non-square texture. This was also done fairly early on in development, used probably the most phototexturing of any model in the mod (for the sides). The golden dome part was really fun to paint. I threw in the quick crow texture I did as well, since they circle the dome (and explode into clouds of red when shot down). (

T-90, modeled by...Thumper (I think). This is actually a mixture of the T90 and past T-# tanks, meant to be your generic Russian exported mbt. The texture was originally intended to reuse much of the MEC1 T-72 ( texture, although I ended up repainting it all (the normals took some time). My favorite part of the final T90 texture has to be near the rear of the tank, where it has the kinda rusted overlay...that seemed to work real well. (

Production Building, modeled by HKH. This was a recent addition to the mod, needed a tiny, grungy sort of production building to be placed near factories. I tend to usually do cleaner, more cartoony looking this was a nice stretch. (
[ingame screenshot] (

IDF Command Center, modeled by HKH, based on a really great concept by Michal Kus. I posted this one, mainly because I really like how it turned out and how it looks ingame. Admittedly, I did halfass the wall cloth texture parts...since those aren't really seen much ingame.


I'm somewhere around 80 textures or so done now for MEC2 (not counting damage states, spec mapping, etc.) and definitely have seen a huge improvement in both quality an speed.

07 July 2008, 09:39 AM
Really nice stuff man! I love to see low poly / limited resource artwork. I do think the IDF building could use some more work on the textures, not only on the cloth part, but also the base texture. Regardless, excellent stuff! Love your IDF Merkava.

07 July 2008, 02:00 PM
hi man those are cool models!!!
I have no time to read all but where i can play this wonderfull lowpoly game?

Game art rocks!

07 July 2008, 11:44 PM
Really nice stuff man! I love to see low poly / limited resource artwork. I do think the IDF building could use some more work on the textures, not only on the cloth part, but also the base texture. Regardless, excellent stuff! Love your IDF Merkava.

Any suggestions for the base texture? I do agree that it is lacking something and that it is a bit too monochromatic to truely work...but don't quite have it down what it needs.


We'll release a public beta soon.

07 July 2008, 12:26 AM
I dont know how it will read from afar (and can depend on the selected texture), but it seems the main components is just green solid color with some hand painted work in it. I'd pick up a concrete / metal texture (depends on the effect you're going for), and experiment with blending modes like overlay and multiply to see if it can give it noticeable detail, without making it look too busy or noisy.

I'd also render out an AO pass, or a cavity map, try that out, and depending how that works, maybe do some custom dirt work on relevant areas, either hand painted, or gradients.

For the semi-cylinder parts on both sides of the building, you could give them some more detail with some paneling, maybe making them metal, for some texture and color variation. You can also add some small gray plating here and there on a few spots of the rest of the building (access panels, maybe?), to see if that gives it more variation, and extra detail, and some (pointless, but classic) yellow/black stripes (really thin, just enough to be noticeable) here and there, for added color variation.

Hope this is readable, and helps. :)

07 July 2008, 05:26 AM
wow it's rare to see such quality work for a mod.

07 July 2008, 10:53 AM
Amazing models and textures, thanx for sharing this stunning pieces!

07 July 2008, 09:38 PM
really nice work smurfbizkit2

very interresting to see some professionnal work

keep up and good luck for the rest :thumbsup:

03 March 2009, 04:57 AM
The thread topic should really be "2 years of work" now that MEC2 has had its first release ( and we are busy adding the UN to finish the mod up.

There isn't a ton of new stuff to show, since for the past half year or so the majority of work done is doing unsexy things like; unit icons, damage states, map objects, UI art, etc. (I also do most of the team's management/game design)

Note: Models were done by MEC2 staff (although I do usually tweak them a bit prior to texturing). All uvmaps/textures were done by myself.


The first set of things are some of the unit icons, which instead of doing the method EA used for CNC3/RA3's icons (just taking viewport screens of units)...I decided to do full paintovers of all the units/buildings. In doing this I realized why EA did it the other way...they could knock out most of their icons in a few days, while it took me over a week to do ours. (and we had much less to do) (

[finished ingame screenshot] (


Some infantry, which were really fun to do...but I went overboard on the texture detail (they are really small ingame). (


This is kind of interesting...for MEC1 I did the Humvee texture, and for a map unit we brought it back. The model was modified and I did a quick repaint of the texture. It definitely shows a lot of what I've learned in the 3-4 years since MEC1 (the biggest thing is the improved use of color).

Old texture is on top, updated is on bottom. (


The final thing to show now is a unit that went through 3 pretty major iterations. Initially the idea was for the IDF to have an upgraded Apache as their helicopter...however it didn't fit with the more scifi themed IDF so it was cut and replaced with the 'Gideon' (which yes, is a pretty blatant 'Ghost in the Shell' rip).

Each of the texture iterations has a gap of about 6 months, looking at it now...the thing that stands out between the first and last iteration is how much quicker I did the Gideon texture. I know on the first Apache I had trouble figuring out exactly what I wanted...and had a oddly painted mess that looked more like a bad toy than an an Apache. With the first revision of the texture I locked the style in place...which I used for the final. ( (


That's it for this update, as usual...comments/critiques are very welcome, especially any suggestions as to what areas of my texturing/uvmapping could use improvement.

03 March 2009, 02:34 PM
wicked work man!
those textures are really beautiful!

CGTalk Moderation
03 March 2009, 02:34 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.