borderlands featured image

Borderlands style texture creation

Comic book lines

Note that I didn’t quite outline shapes, I never went that literal with it. You can also see lots of cross-hatching showing up, usually in shadowed areas.Borderlands style texture creation 7

It was going in the right direction. So I strengthened the effect by overlaying the lines on top of each other in Photoshop, again and again, to create a strong black feel.Borderlands style texture creation 8

Line weight

Let’s talk about lines for a moment. Line weight and gesture is very important to this art style. Below we see three different line weights, 2 wrong and 1 right.

The first line is too straight – created using the line tool, it lacks the organic feel that Borderlands calls for.

The second is hand drawn and is more organic, but the ends are too blunt and clumsy looking.

The last line is hand drawn, organic, with tapered end. Creating tapered lines is easiest using a pressure sensitive brush and a stylus.

The same effect can be created by erasing away some of the line to manually create the taper. This taper is especially important on finer lines, like the cross-hatching. bl_tut_11

Back to the pants.

Taking what I learned from painting the arms, I returned to the pants. For my first pass, I tried to just freehand a bunch of lines, hoping to create a good rhythm that would feel like wrinkles.Borderlands style texture creation 9

Next was the cross-hatching. Following comic-book art again, I used cross-hatch to create shadow under wrinkles.

Note the difference in line weight – the main ‘structural’ lines are thicker and heavier. The cross-hatch lines are thinner and lighter.

Definitely do structural lines and cross-hatch lines on separate layers!Borderlands style texture creation 10

Then I added some shadow and highlight overlay layers. I wasn’t happy with the result though – the shapes were looking too made up.

Here is one area where having an existing sculpt would be a big advantage. Following 3D shapes would make the drawing process easier.Borderlands style texture creation 11

However, I wanted to focus on texture creation, not sculpt detail. So I turned to something just as good, photo reference!

I loaded up that original photoref of the leather pants, and used a Highpass filter to flatten it out a bit. I would use this as a guide for creating lines on the pants.Borderlands style texture creation 12

I mostly followed around the edges of wrinkles. This is what it looked like after a first pass. Doesn’t make a lot of sense yet, but the underlying photo texture gives it some structural integrity.Borderlands style texture creation 13

Almost done!

Up next: crosshatching!

14 thoughts on “Borderlands style texture creation”

  1. Hey I’m trying to make a game and I like the way borderlands textures have that black border I’m trying to make a gravel ground and need an overlay texture like the watercolor splash look like you have up but I need it to texture any ideas on where I could find art online like that that can tile so that the overlay doesn’t make it look like it’s noticeable if that makes sense

    1. Do an image search for watercolors. As for making it tileable, you will probably have to do that yourself, finding a texture like that, that also tiles, is a tall order.

    1. I think training artists to work in this style would be the most important (and time consuming part). I don’t think there is a way to ‘automate’ it, so to speak.

      And a shared is definitely the way think go! I only did it this way because it is quick and easy.

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