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Pixelation Lesson 4 - Water

by Sew

Let's work with one of my more favorite subjects, water.

Since I have an idea in mind for what kind of water I want us to do, we can start by picking colors.

A lot of a water tile is in the colors you pick for it. A lot of water tiles I see tend to use this part of the palettet:

Although there isn't anything immediately wrong with this choice, but a lot of times the colors will be too blue and overwhelm the player. So for this reason, we're going to go with something a little more ocean-like.

We'll start making the tile with a base color. Notice I picked a color that seems to almost be more green than blue. The reason for this is that ocean water has a green tint to it because of yellow pigments in certain sea plants. (Yellow + Blue = Green).

Now, keep in mind that there are a great many ways to make water tiles. Today, I figured we'd do some shallow, sparkling water.

Start by making weird little shapes darker than your base on the tile. They are going to be our 'underwater rocks'. Be sure not to make too many of them, though.

Now I've taken a much darker shade of blue and added a shadow below and to the left of each of my 'rocks'. The color is here:

And yes, this color is actually blue, not just a darker shade of our blue-green base.

Taking a deeper green from the colors we first choose (not the blue-green), we add light to the top rightish area of the rocks.

Ew, this doesn't look really pretty, but I promise if you just stick with me, I'll get better! What I've done here is pretty random. I went over all of the our light base color (which I felt was a little *too* light, didn't you?) and haphazardly placed this deep blue-green color everywhere:

Next, I took the darkest color from the blue-green from our original palette and filled in the eye-burning bright spots with it.

At this point, the water doesn't look all that bad anymore, right? I told you it'd get better if you stuck with me. I'd like to say that this should finish the "bottom" of our our tile.

It doesn't look all that bad tiled, so we can move on to the next step, the top of the water. But here's the thing. We're going to want the top of the water to sparkle and move a little, right? The way I reccomend doing this is like so:

Create 3 new tiles, and make them a purplish color. Then, add a set of sparkles on it:

Next, recreat the same sparkles on the next tile. An easy way to accomplish this is by using the eye dropper and right-clicking on the purple background you chose. Next, take the selection tool and highlight all of the tile, and be sure the left hand bar looks like:

that. Now when you drag what you selected around, it doesn't move the purple with it. Easy, huh? However, when you copy the sparkles over move every pixel to the left one. (If a pixel is on the edge, it will carry over to the opposite side). Do this 3 times.

You should have something like that. At this point, I change the colors of a few of the sparkles on the different tiles. Some a little brighter, some a little duller.

Finally, move the sparkles on the other part of the water. Now your water is ready for import, and animation in the ohr. For animation properties, I'd suggest having it oscillate with about 10 ticks in between.

And tiled..

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