Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
July 13, 2020
arrowPress Releases

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Details and variations - trees

by Chris Hildenbrand on 05/11/14 10:49:00 am   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

4 comments Share on Twitter    RSS

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


One of the common problems when I am asked for feedback on art is the lack of variation. There is one stone tile, one grass tile, one tree and they are repeated again and again in a level.
The big advantage of doing vector art is the ease to create variations by rearranging the shapes that make up new object.

For this tutorial I picked a tree as an example of what you can do with detail and how to create some simple but effective variations. One can go from very simplistic / minimal to very complex and detailed and both have their uses. 

In general more detail and variation makes for a realistic look and feel.

In the sample images I set the colours of the ground first and use the colour picker to assign the same colour to the trees.
The more detail and variation you add to the tree to more interesting and realistic it will turn out. 
I like to create 'clusters' of objects - eg. take a few leaf objects  and group the in a bunch - pointing different directions. Duplicate the group to place a lot of leaves a lot quicker. By mirroring, rotating, scaling and overlapping the groups they will look less like the same object. 
I hope you enjoyed this. It's a great subject to play with and create unique trees and variations of trees and other vegetation quickly and easily. 
Here are some free trees from the tutorial above.
download the zip archive 
(containing 5 trees as png images and a svg file) 
I continued to play with the trees and made some more detailed objects and variations as well as some odd shapes to make trees off. Check it out on my blog '2Dgameartforprogrammers'.

Related Jobs

Impulse Gear, Inc.
Impulse Gear, Inc. — San Francisco, California, United States

Art Director
Disbelief — Chicago, Illinois, United States

Senior Technical Artist
Klang Games GmbH
Klang Games GmbH — Berlin, Germany

Senior Level Artist
Futureplay — Helsinki, Finland

Senior Game Animator

Loading Comments

loader image