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Parallax mapping for beginners?


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#1 gamers694

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 01:15 PM

Hello, i am new to rpg maker, i've only completed just a single map with some events. I heard about parallax mapping, that its very good and useful but takes much time to learn. So i wanted to ask that is parallax mapping good for beginners?????.

Should beginners go straight to parallax mapping and practice that in place of mapping done in the editor???

#2 Lasci

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 01:24 PM

Few things to recognize about parallax mapping:

1. It takes a helluva lot longer than RTP tile mapping would, especially if you have minimal experience with Photoshop or another image editing software.

2. There are complaints that a large number of parallax'd maps will increase file size. A lot of people disagree with this, though; yes, the files are larger, but it doesn't seem to make that huge of a difference.

3. It can be counterproductive if you don't know what you're doing. Clutter, lighting effects, and collision issues can crop up on the designer and ruin an otherwise simple project if it were done as RTP.


That said, take a look at these threads if you're interested in learning exactly how to do this.
http://www.rpgmakerv...showtopic=36589
http://www.rpgrevolu...showtopic=51490
http://www.rpgrevolu...showtopic=52445
http://www.rpgmakerv...showtopic=52756
http://www.rpgmakerv...showtopic=42078

Edited by Lasci, 29 June 2012 - 01:27 PM.


#3 gamers694

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 01:29 PM

Thanx for all ur help but i wanted to make things faster and with decent quality and i think rpg maker can do it very easily (also i don't have much experience with image editing softwares) so.... i think i should stick with mapping in editor. Just wanted to hear what people think. Any ways thanx. :D

#4 Chaos17

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 03:01 PM

Parallax mapping
1) Make your map from scratch
2) Make your map prettier in a picture editor
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#5 amerk

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 09:22 PM

Moving this over to General Discussion. As for parallax mapping, my recommendation is to learn your way around the maker first. I personally don't care to take the time for parallax mapping, but to each their own. You should spend some time learning how to use the editor and it's current mapping capabilities, and once you have that down pat then feel free to worry more about graphical output from other software.

After all to the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.

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#6 RavenTDA

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 02:37 AM

I wouldn't say it's for a beginner at all. BUT if you have a firm grasp and understanding of how the tiles function (a lot easier with vx than xp tiles) and have a little background in art you can go straight into making parallax maps. If you aren't so experienced, I'd at least mess around in the maker and figure out how to use the tiles which is the most important.

In ace parallaxing isn't quite as important and needed as in vx. I sometimes think a lot of people just simply got used to that mapping method and stuck to it out of being used to it rather than needing it. You can make some pretty fancy maps with it though, if that's to your liking. Although sometimes I wish I used a more normal method because it takes me FOREVER to get any map done.
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#7 Chaos17

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 04:10 AM

Let's not begin to talk about tileset vs parallax please, that's so boring when it's just a matter of tastes and skills.
Whatever you do you can be good or bad at it, it will depend of how much work you want to put in your maps.
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#8 amerk

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 09:07 PM

I wouldn't say it's for a beginner at all. BUT if you have a firm grasp and understanding of how the tiles function (a lot easier with vx than xp tiles) and have a little background in art you can go straight into making parallax maps. If you aren't so experienced, I'd at least mess around in the maker and figure out how to use the tiles which is the most important.

In ace parallaxing isn't quite as important and needed as in vx. I sometimes think a lot of people just simply got used to that mapping method and stuck to it out of being used to it rather than needing it. You can make some pretty fancy maps with it though, if that's to your liking. Although sometimes I wish I used a more normal method because it takes me FOREVER to get any map done.


In all fairness, parallax mapping conveys a sense of realism that can't be easily duplicated with tileset mapping:

A. You are not confined to a grid, which makes it possible to create tiles and sprites standing against something instead of under it, such as an NPC against a barrel or table against a wall. Need a particular tile bumped up 1/2 tile? No problem with parallax mapping, but unable to do in the editor, since the grid can't be altered.
B. Unlimited layering.
C. Unlimited tiles, which is different from unlimited tilesets, because even in Ace you can only have 5 tilesets (each at a max size of 512x512) per map. Whereas in parallax mapping, you can have as many sets as you want, and as many tiles as your map can hold.

Are these needed. Sure they would be nice, but not really worth my time to go out and use another software to achieve something that doesn't bother me all that much, especially since scripts are needed in addition to create overlays. I may learn it when I have time, but until then it's not a big deal.

And there are disadvantages, too, the main one being that while you can parallax map without the confines of a grid, all your events are still confined to a set default of 32x32. You don't want wind up with a map where your event must be above or below a tile because the grid doesn't quite line up. Also, your moving NPC's and playable characters are still confined to 32x32 tiles as well, so you need to be mindful of that when using a smaller grid for parallaxing.

After all to the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.

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#9 RavenTDA

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 03:22 AM

Just because tilesets are confined to a gird doesn't mean you need to confine it to a grid. What I mean by that is you said you can't replicate tables partially covering a player but you most certainly can. I used to map like that in XP. You just need to set the tiles up so that it can overlap. If you have a basic single tile table you just position it so that it's partially in the next part of the grid/tile, it'll take up two tiles instead of one now but the same effect can be created. What you can't do with practicality is place each table so that they have varying overlaps. You technically CAN but it's not really the most sensible thing to do under limited space.

Who is going to use EACH tile that much? I never even use that many tiles inside a parallax map. Besides with the way Ace sets up their tilesets you can make a bunch of interchangeable pieces for a town and swap out what you need when you need it. You'd have to make more set up in the editor sure, but in the long run I doubt you'd constantly need that many tiles for a single map over and over. The only situation I'd think to see it in, is MAYBE a world map.

You can achieve similar results most of the time as long as you don't use complicated shadows and lighting. (Unless you want to go back an parallax JUST that ^^) Harder things to replicate is overlaying a lot of trees (It would make me crazy trying to set up a repeated tree layer pattern in the tilesets but it CAN be done with patience). Not so achievable things are probably complicated grounds... where the grass and flowers all blend in a certain way together. I find doing nature is much easier in a parallax map (except moving water) but anything related to towns/man-made things may actually be easier in tiles.

It's way faster to tile as well as faster loading. I noticed it's harder to make large maps because they lag a smidge when first loading the map, depending on the size. Which is another issue. I'm constantly worried I'll end up with a really painfully high file size in the end because they do take up a huge amount of space really fast. My project I'm working on now is already 50mb in size and I didn't even GET to the first dungeon. It's just the intro. You can try to rectify this by using png-crush but I"m not sure how much space that's going to save in the end. It's not a really big problem but if you have a long game I think people aren't really going to want to download 1GB game in rpg maker. ^^

Personally I ended up using parallax mapping because I noticed certain things are easier with it (setting up good looking repeating tiles can be a pain) and also since my current project started in VX and I had maps already like that I stuck with it. If I decide to make another game in ACE though I'd probably go back to tiles just because it's faster making them, the loading is faster, and I don't have to worry about my game file being overly large.

Anyways my point being is that you can get fancy results in tilesets with a bit more effort in the beginning. You just have to think outside the grid a bit and be good at figuring out ways to repeat something in a small confined space that doesn't look repeated. It pays off in the end once you get the hang of it, so don't throw away the tile idea just because you think your maps look square. IMO if you can't get a fancy or nice map going in the editor, than mapping with a parallax isn't going to help you too much. You're going to end up resorting to the same methods you used before. I personally find you can be most creative when working in a confined environment than when working with unlimited options.

Edited by RavenTDA, 01 July 2012 - 03:24 AM.

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#10 PinoyXBalot

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:16 AM

I`m using photo shop and i`m confuse about those layers. How can i combine those and save it at once.

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#11 AlanaChica

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:00 AM

Hello, i am new to rpg maker, i've only completed just a single map with some events. I heard about parallax mapping, that its very good and useful but takes much time to learn. So i wanted to ask that is parallax mapping good for beginners?????.

Should beginners go straight to parallax mapping and practice that in place of mapping done in the editor???


EDIT #1: The point of this isn't to show off or whatever of that type of thing... it is to encourage beginners like me to experiment with GIMP/Parallaxing from the get go! If you aren't scared to experiment right from the beginning you will never be creatively hindered by the crutch that is the RTP and in-game editor!

EDIT #2: Also a small other point... I have 0 art knowledge, and couldn't even draw a stick figure if my life depended on it!

I might have something to say on this exact question! I would firstly like to say:

DO NOT listen to ANYONE who tells you using Parallax is not for beginners!!!! I never even touched the editor and RTP !

I just started using RPG Maker VX Ace about 2 weeks ago, I've never used a photo editing program before and I read about 4-5 GIMP/Photoshop parallax mapping tutorials...

If you have a little bit of creativity I think you can easily make some beautiful maps! :wub:

OHHHH AND THIS IS IMPORTANT! Listen to RAVEN! Just because tilesets are confined to a grid doesn't mean you need to confine them to said grid! You can mix and match tiles in ANY way you want once you have an editing program! (This single fact blows the doors of creativity WIDE OPEN) :D

Let me show you my first maps I ever created after using these tutorials (with 100% no experience prior) - The top picture is the 2nd map of any kind I created for RPG Maker. It took me less than 35 minutes I would say!

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This was the first city map I ever created... again maybe 30 minutes to an hour to create!

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This took me much longer, just because I was experimenting with some new things... This area will be underneath of the town I just showed you (hence the pipes and similar metallic style!)

This one took maybe 2 hours, because I had to teach myself some new techniques here. However, in the future when I make a map like this it will take less than 30 minutes because now I know how to make this type of area...

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I don't mean to say that these maps are amazing.... or even good... but they are my first maps I've ever created, and I know for a fact they are better than anything I could create using only the RTP and the editor! It only took about an hour or two to read all the tutorials, and then maybe a few more to learn how to use GIMP accurately!

Once you learn the little things in GIMP you can really do some things that would be impossible otherwise! As a small example... that area on the right where the water comes in to two cliffs over near the barrell with water in it.... that would have been 100% impossible without using an editing program! I was able to copy and paste some water and then use a pencil to fill in the area on the cliff to give a realistic water look. There are just so many things the RTP and editor can't do by themselves!

I highly encourage you to give it a try! It's so much fun seeing something you created from scratch only using your own imagination! And when you use GIMP you know even if everyone else is using the same tileset... yours will have your own unique touches that no one else can match! :wub:

Edited by AlanaChica, 30 October 2012 - 11:03 AM.


#12 amerk

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:43 AM

Perhaps what we really need is more tutorials that show how to make maps such as those. There's a variety of tutorials that get people started, but a more defined tutorial for specific parallax mapping would also help.

Great job with those, by the way.

After all to the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.

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#13 AlanaChica

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:23 PM

http://www.rpgrevolu...showtopic=51490

Step-by-step with ABSOLUTELY ZERO presumption that you know how to do ANYTHING!

This is the best starter guide I found!

#14 RavenTDA

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 08:19 AM

It's just another technical tut as far as I can see but yeah there are few on once you actually know how to do the basics but knowing more on the actual "art" end of it so to speak. Like most times it's a matter of understanding how things are laid out. Man made things are more square and nature is more clumped. The biggest issue with inside or city maps in the shape of things. House and room shapes should be close to square or rectangular and think about how the outside should look or actually looks (depending on what's done first). Take some quick look at floor plans on google or something to give you a better idea of inside layouts. In nature "like" plants are grouped together. Flowers of the same kind grow close to each other and are usually clumped together. I see a lot of problems with one or two different flowers kinda placed every so many tiles but it's not how nature works. There's the idea of the way pollen and seeds spread and they don't grow one plant every so many feet. They grow in bunches. Take a look at some pictures of nature to get better inspiration.

@AlanaChica
Your first maps are pretty good but you could take it up a notch. Like those trees for parallax mapping seem pasted on. You could make it so that the grass blades are over lapping part of the trunks. The grass tile you use is also very "repeating" there's various things you can do to make it not so obvious like adding in a darker color or lighter color as in patches of dead grass or greener grass or maybe even patches of dirt in there. You perhaps use too many different tree types. There's three maybe reduce it to no more than two if you are also going to use trees of the same type without leaves. Those yellow flowers seem kinda lonely. there should be more of that same type near together and not just randomly here and there of just one type. The tall grass blends really nice with the flowers but not the actual short grass. Maybe you could change the color of one of them or find something or edit something so there's a middle height so they blend better.

Your city set up is much better but there might be a height issue with the steps at the top in the picture of the train. Is the top of the wall even with the ground/dirt tiles? The steps maybe need to be one tile less. The underground tiles are nice but I dunno how well the pipes go together with that. They really jump out at you. You can maybe reduce the saturation of them especially if it's a darker area as well as if the whole area gets a blue tint if it's underground or whatever.

@markme
You can just save it as a .png or high end jpeg file and it will automatically have all the layers come together or you can also go under the layers section at the top bar and scroll down to "merge layers". Keep in mind though the "bottom" picture or parallax part can be one image but the top pieces need to be separate as in the stuff that goes over the characters.

Edited by RavenTDA, 31 October 2012 - 08:20 AM.

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#15 amerk

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:55 PM

I was thinking more along the lines of:

http://www.rpgmakerv...showtopic=52756

The basics are pretty well laid out in all the other guides, but more mapping tutorials with specific examples (like we see with tile-based mapping tutorials) would help those of a less creative mind.

After all to the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.

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#16 RavenTDA

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 05:21 AM

Hmm didn't think of bothering to make the tiles patterns. I just flat out copy paste everything. I got ready made sheets of ground tiles I use a lot that are in large squares to make it easier. I don't like how it gets all fuzzy because of the type of brush being used to set the layer up. But it can make things go faster if you just hard select the squares, fill, then add in the pattern, I believe. Pretty useful idea. I'm never good at knowing all that photoshop has because there is just too many features. I've always just randomly gone in and done things. You should have seen my face the day I found out you can change the brushes and even make your own and that wasn't too long ago. XD! So yeah it's helpful indeed. It's also really useful to know how to setup the grid lines in there as well so you can always flip on a reference as to where everything is.

Edited by RavenTDA, 02 November 2012 - 05:22 AM.

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#17 Dalhan

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:47 AM

Really simple question, as I'm unsure if I want to dedicate the time to using this system. But how much of a file size increase is this exactly, do people have numbers?

#18 Michael Ponder Jr

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 01:07 PM

Their really is no need to parallax map anything in Ace.... the only reason people started doing it in normal VX was because VX was so limited in tile options, but in Ace their is no real need.
I have managed to make some really cool stuff without parallaxing, it's less confusing for one.
And as for the argument that it makes you game file bigger, yeah it does. it can possibly make it a LOT bigger.
I already tested this... i made a crap game...just to test parallaxing and the file size... the game ended up being WAY bigger... and way more complex...
Personally, for me it's not worth it.. but that's just me... to each their own.. i'm only expressing what i have delt with.. my own personal experiences.

#19 Shablo5

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:58 PM

Their really is no need to parallax map anything in Ace.... the only reason people started doing it in normal VX was because VX was so limited in tile options, but in Ace their is no real need.
I have managed to make some really cool stuff without parallaxing, it's less confusing for one.
And as for the argument that it makes you game file bigger, yeah it does. it can possibly make it a LOT bigger.
I already tested this... i made a crap game...just to test parallaxing and the file size... the game ended up being WAY bigger... and way more complex...
Personally, for me it's not worth it.. but that's just me... to each their own.. i'm only expressing what i have delt with.. my own personal experiences.



I already tested this... i made a crap game...just to test parallaxing and the file size... the game ended up being WAY bigger... and way more complex...

Proof or it didn't happen. You said you made a crap game "just to test" so i'm going to go ahead and assume you made two maps or so. Two PNG files at 960x800 would take up less than half of one mb. Closer to maybe 400Kb. WAY BIGGER? Shove that thought up your ass, that's not big at all. And if you give a shit about your shit game, you'd take out the unused music which would take up 10x more space than ANY Parallaxed maps.
And also to your "And way more complex". You're an idiot. If you're making your own games more complex by only adding a map? Then you're doing it wrong. However, if you are indeed inferring to the fact that setting UP The map is complex, then you're an idiot. You drop a file into Graphics/Overlay and use Yami's overlay script. SHIT MAN THAT WAS SO COMPLEX.
So you're retarded. Next quote.

I have managed to make some really cool stuff without parallaxing, it's less confusing for one.

Sorry to say but if you think it's confusing, you're retarded. It's the simplest thing in the world, however, the editor does take some getting used to, but that's the same with literally anything. Playing a video game with a new UI? Takes time to get used to. Going from UNITY3 to GameMaker? Takes getting used to. Deal with it.
P.S. Your "Cool stuff without parallaxing" is probably shit compared to someone with actual talent and using parallaxing effectively.


TL;DR You're wasting your time with tileset work when you could up the standard of production (Even if you do things as simple as tileset edits in such gfx programs) and your games will always be lesser than those who make good use of parallax mapping.

Edited by Shablo5, 17 November 2012 - 02:59 PM.


#20 Michael Ponder Jr

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:03 PM


Their really is no need to parallax map anything in Ace.... the only reason people started doing it in normal VX was because VX was so limited in tile options, but in Ace their is no real need.
I have managed to make some really cool stuff without parallaxing, it's less confusing for one.
And as for the argument that it makes you game file bigger, yeah it does. it can possibly make it a LOT bigger.
I already tested this... i made a crap game...just to test parallaxing and the file size... the game ended up being WAY bigger... and way more complex...
Personally, for me it's not worth it.. but that's just me... to each their own.. i'm only expressing what i have delt with.. my own personal experiences.



I already tested this... i made a crap game...just to test parallaxing and the file size... the game ended up being WAY bigger... and way more complex...

Proof or it didn't happen. You said you made a crap game "just to test" so i'm going to go ahead and assume you made two maps or so. Two PNG files at 960x800 would take up less than half of one mb. Closer to maybe 400Kb. WAY BIGGER? Shove that thought up your ass, that's not big at all. And if you give a shit about your shit game, you'd take out the unused music which would take up 10x more space than ANY Parallaxed maps.
And also to your "And way more complex". You're an idiot. If you're making your own games more complex by only adding a map? Then you're doing it wrong. However, if you are indeed inferring to the fact that setting UP The map is complex, then you're an idiot. You drop a file into Graphics/Overlay and use Yami's overlay script. SHIT MAN THAT WAS SO COMPLEX.
So you're retarded. Next quote.

I have managed to make some really cool stuff without parallaxing, it's less confusing for one.

Sorry to say but if you think it's confusing, you're retarded. It's the simplest thing in the world, however, the editor does take some getting used to, but that's the same with literally anything. Playing a video game with a new UI? Takes time to get used to. Going from UNITY3 to GameMaker? Takes getting used to. Deal with it.
P.S. Your "Cool stuff without parallaxing" is probably shit compared to someone with actual talent and using parallaxing effectively.


TL;DR You're wasting your time with tileset work when you could up the standard of production (Even if you do things as simple as tileset edits in such gfx programs) and your games will always be lesser than those who make good use of parallax mapping.


What the hell is your problem?!
I only speak of my self.. just giving my two cents, and you call me names?
What THE hell!
You never became a part of this discussion until i had something to say, you made no posts on the subject prior to making this one to bash me and my own experience and what i have to say, that leads me to believe you're a sad excuse for a being who finds joy in posting comments in threads to trash talk someone so it can make YOU feel better, gotta love that animosity!
It allows a jerk to get away with coming somewhere like this and get away with basically being an ASS!

No my friend, i'm not retarded, YOU ARE, you're retarded for thinking it's a good idea to come on to a forum and be an ass to others.

And up until now i have let things slide from people who talk crap to me, but not this time.. no.
Shablo5.. or should i say Shablow 5, take your hypocritical asinine self else where!

Disagreeing with someone is one thing, but being a total DICK about it is another!

Edited by Michael Ponder Jr, 17 November 2012 - 05:32 PM.





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