Creating Textures

Introduction

Being able to create and optimise textures is a very useful skill when developing for Minetest. There are many techniques relevant to working on pixel art textures, and understanding these techniques will greatly improve the quality of the textures you create.

Detailed approaches to creating good pixel art are outside the scope of this book, and instead only the most relevant basic techniques will be covered. There are many good online tutorials available, which cover pixel art in much more detail.

Techniques

Using the Pencil

The pencil tool is available in most editors. When set to its lowest size, it allows you to edit one pixel at a time without changing any other parts of the image. By manipulating the pixels one at a time, you create clear and sharp textures without unintended blurring. It also gives you a high level of precision and control.

Tiling

Textures used for nodes should generally be designed to tile. This means when you place multiple nodes with the same texture together, the edges line up correctly.

If you fail to match the edges correctly, the result is far less pleasing to look at.

Transparency

Transparency is important when creating textures for nearly all craftitems and some nodes, such as glass. Not all editors support transparency, so make sure you choose an editor which is suitable for the textures you wish to create.

Editors

MS Paint

MS Paint is a simple editor which can be useful for basic texture design; however, it does not support transparency. This usually won’t matter when making textures for the sides of nodes, but if you need transparency in your textures you should choose a different editor.

GIMP

GIMP is commonly used in the Minetest community. It has quite a high learning curve because many of its features are not immediately obvious.

When using GIMP, the pencil tool can be selected from the Toolbox:

Pencil in GIMP

It’s also advisable to select the Hard edge checkbox for the eraser tool.

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