View Full Version : Adding a dirt layer

13th Jun 2009, 11:19 PM
Just thought I'd make a post about how to add a dirt layer to your pattern, so you can make it look grungy or aged. I've put up a couple of patterns like this but I'd love to see other people doing it too. Beautiful shiny palaces are great, but decaying, dusty palaces are even better ;)

Your dirty pattern can't have more than three other color layers in it, because you'll need one for the dirt. The dirt layer has to go on top of all the other layers in the pattern, so it should be in the last channel on the list.

To make the dirt layer, find a grunge texture you like, or paint one yourself -- so long as you make sure it seamlessly tiles. Lots of different kinds of natural textures will work for this, depending on what kind of effect you're looking for, including things like clouds and marble. I've been using a modified version of "Purples", from the Patterns 2 library in Photoshop.

Convert it to grayscale, and fiddle with brightness and contrast. Remember that the light pixels are less transparent and the dark pixels are more transparent. You want your dirt transparent enough that the pattern underneath shows through, so not much of it (if any) should be pure white.

You'll probably have to test it in-game a few times before you get it tuned right. Test it with several shades from black to white, and with different dirt tints and pattern colors.

Once you have a dirt layer you're happy with, you can easily add it to any pattern you make that has fewer than four other colors :)

Now let's see some more dirty textures! :D

19th Jun 2009, 9:40 AM
if only we could give "Thanks" for posts like we can for downloads =)

I gave this a try today, and i understand why you said a "modified version" of the purple pattern. But, my first pattern is simple and my default dirt looks OK.

Thanks for sharing the idea with us all!

Inge Jones
19th Jun 2009, 10:43 AM
Elektro, there is a "Rate Thread" option in the darker blue bar just above the first post.

19th Jun 2009, 12:34 PM
Inge: Not any more. ;)

19th Jun 2009, 3:51 PM
Thank you very very much for this!!! ^_^ I love those textures with the dirt layer, and was wondering how to do them for myself! =) Thanks for the info!

22nd Jun 2009, 8:45 PM
Thanks Skrandi! This is real helpful!

One thing I've found in fiddling - the Photoshop filter for Clouds (Filter-Render-Clouds) is automatically seamless, but doesn't have a lot of variation if you do it on an image that's already 256x256. So it works a lot better if you create a new document at a much larger size (about 1000x1000) and do Clouds on that, then size down and copy-paste into your regular document. :)