Creating Seamless Textures for MTM2

Tutorial by ObeOne | Alignment technique by RuDeE


In this tutorial, you will learn how to create seamless textures as well as texture transitions with perfect alignment for use in MTM2 tracks.  This tutorial assumes the folowing:

1) You want to learn to make textures for your custom MTM2 tracks.

2) You have a copy of TRAXX 1.4.

3) You have Adobe Photoshop.

Even if you don't have the two aforementioned programs, you can still apply the techniques to other programs.

Step 1: Creating The Textures

Before we can start making our texture transitions, we're going to need a couple textures.  For this tutorial, we'll be making some 'jungle-ish' grass and dirt textures.  I'll be making some from scratch for this tutorial, but pictures off the net will work just as good.

First, create 2 new 64x64 pixel images in Photoshop.  Set the mode to "RGB Color".

You should now have two blank images.  We'll start with the grass texture.  First, fill the entire image with a good jungle green color.  I used one of the swatches.

Now to create a grassy look, we will use some filters.  Let's start by adding some noise.  You can use any settings that you want.  I chose 24, Guassian, Monochromatic.

It looks a little 'pixely' now, so lets blur it a bit.  Under the filter menu, choose Blur>Blur More

Now add some more noise, and use a different value this time.  When you're done with that, go to Blur>Blur.

We're not done with this guy yet.  If you were to try using this texture in Traxx, it would not tile.  You would be able to see 'seams' wherever the texture repeated.  Seams are bad, so lets get rid of 'em.

First of all, let's resize the texture to 60x60 pixels (Image>Image Size).  This will come in handy a bit later.

After you've got it resized, go to the filter menu and choose Other>Offset.  We'll set both values to 30, and set it to "Wraparound".  Now use CTRL + NumPad + to zoom in a couple times.  You should see some ugly lines through the center.  What we've done, is brought all the edges to the middle, so that we can fix any alignment problems.  If you don't see any lines, you can skip the next step.

We'll use the rubber stamp tool to get rid of those nasty seams.  With the rubber stamp tool selected, choose a small, soft brush.


Now go back to your image, and ALT+click anywhere.  This will copy that area.  Now just click on those ugly seams, and they will start to disappear.  Continue alt+clicking and clicking until the seams are all gone.  If the small brush isn't quite cutting it for you, try the bigger one right next to it.

For your dirt texture, just do the exact same things you did for the grass texture, only make it brown (duh).  You can also experiment with all the different filters.  I like to use "Craqeleur" for some of my dirt textures.

There you have it, two seamless textures!  Now we can make the texture transitions which you can use for the road, or just scenery areas.



Step 2: Creating the Trasitions

To start out, create a new 180x180 pixel image, RGB Color mode.  Not go over to the layers palette, and delete the 'Background' layer.  Then, click the "New Layer" button, and make two new layers.

Make sure your grass texture is the active image, and press CTRL+A to select all.  Now choose Edit>Define Pattern.  After you've defined the grass as your pattern, make your new 180x180 image active by clicking it, and choose Edit>Fill.  Before you do this, make sure to highlight "Layer 1" in the layers palette.

Now highlight "Layer 2" and fill it with your dirt texture. You should now have two layers, one grass, and one dirt.

This is a good time to check for any seams you might have missed.  If you find some, activate the image that needs fixing, and use the offset filter on it.  Then just fix them like you did before, and re-fill the layer with your fixed texture.

Now we need to set up our grids.  Go to File>Preferences>Guides and Grides.  Set the grid size to 60x60, and any color you want.  Now choose View>Show Grid.  This will help you in the next step.

In your Layers Palette, highlight "Layer 2" (your dirt layer).  If layer 2 is not your dirt layer, just rearange them.  Grab the Lasso tool, and select the area as shown below.  Make sure you hit the grid corners.  Try and make it look 'jagged'.  This is the transition where the dirt will change to grass.  It helps if you zoom in a few times before you start selecting.  Also, make sure you have Antialiasing turned off.

You should now have the middle area of your texture selected.  We need to have the stuff outside of that selected, so we'll choose Select>Inverse.  Your image should now look something like this.

Now if yours looks like the image above, go ahead and hit Delete to get rid of the outsides.  Does your image look like this?  If not, you'd better look over some of the previous steps.

Now, hit CTL+D to deselect, and change the CANVAS size to 184x184 pixels (Image>Canvas Size).

After you resize the canvas, highlight the bottom layer (Layer 1, your grass layer).  Fill it with the same texture you used before.  Just fill right over with grass.

Next, make sure that you have the lasso tool selected, and CTRL+Click on the top layer (Layer 2).  Your layer 2 dirt texture should now be selected (just the dirt, not the grass edges).  Now just fill right over with your dirt texture again.  It should sorta seem like the texture moved a little.  This is normal.  If it doesn't, don't worry.

If you want, deselect your dirt, and soften up the edges where the dirt meets the grass.

Now we just need to finish things up.  Deselect everything, and resize your base textures back to 64x64.  For all 3 of your images, choose Image>Mode>Indexed and set the colors to 256.  Now just copy and paste into Traxx, and you're set!

I would really like to thank RuDeE for teaching me how to make the textures align.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me.