Some MORE neat edits to make your caves nicer

Avery

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This is so far the final part after the round cave walls and part I of additional edits.
So after you are done: is there anything left which you would like to know about in a possible part III? If so, what would it be?

We left at this point in our first part of this tutorial (or the second, if we count the round cave walls). These already enable us to make much more interesting caves than before, but there is always room for expansion - especially since there are so many empty tiles on this sheet!
Let’s fix this!

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  1. Rock bridge
If you want to go “all natural” on your cave you might have a problem when it comes to passing water or other obstacles without a man built bridge.
dCHbL3uu_1vdQ1sSVME4e97iM2cXrHIkORppz8nqqcnfklth6GbjalHaxmbRwv4goAHJf8e2Q7LvS-aFQBBzwOcT4x4LizO205nKR4UFpcaYq7BwLDuuBLDAu-hVZSr7H7jlss7AecP21ZOFyx0q2g

For a vertical bridge you don’t need any additional tiles, but sideview…
Abdy38GBnYV7PmNMPHIVSfKPAnSAhm8N5SZI-g_23h-C72XYJ9_NCQYd2qXGp3YnUtJtEOsu_dYzKCmV2k820iipn_XuV8CBE6HWEpwe2VvLlsI4L8JHgCT66-u0_RFgiDOHVeY6jN_6SRvye0oYJw

well, that looks off.
Luckily, that is a very doable edit!
YtbtRSPvWoPDQipJU9JOZGN_Zq8PlhT4fgAicTaeTlYUYNN6-WE07LDnPOvtqZ7fZy9RQGIDAfvzFvXvh3o6yXdPK4sgx0xOD_4QDr0nVoL2zCtmT6HfnUO_FYlUIN8FFAdYnYooKjL6mdy5it-LjA

Use a hard-edged eraser tool and “follow” the rock structure to create a bridge-like texture.
You need two rounded parts for the side and a middle part that loops, so you can create bridges of various lengths!
QVqJhV1_apJIEvRhZFvaR4Sbuq3TEQjyou8dTx12w2DaBcLFFTUcVIJEg29olHmp_8U7k28sh_qp52enJ5b8fNlnzLgZ9EOA89mk23mjCdzuCqwFKrSN2jA_Zc9KaGC3ZgIMxWi03nbsiPBOkBf2SQ

Just do some quick mockups to make sure they really do tile!
For the next step I will use Gimp.
Create a layer with your bridge and a second one via “duplicate”.
Recolor the duplicated one so it is darker than the default one:
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Now you can use a (former black) layer mask, the white brush and the smudge tool give your default bridge a neat bottom shadow outline.
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Here a quick comparison of before and after:
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And this is already it!
We can now add the rock bridge to our set!
wrCqGXEDwoRwW0F__abN3pcB6W56sdePaSqcb4y0Gt8NpdcMFNnyT_ZkpGcsjFVb1r547vTnHt1UF5NflyZXYoYkS1MXmm_Dio9lgxiYckAUlIyrQjixkw6SQ8xKDfDV2fHeVPHgJIcLMhGPc6tuBA


And the result is a neat and safe passage!
rZN1zHPIjX51l5zNNvwWfc4K2nGUG47fkM7qg4pu1Xl8bbFgSFkAw-KpuStPFoqrC-bwDNDX8JCkAnnNE9QFK_MG_j5JdbM-nQZHx7LN-hmDCn94S6fjZjmw5l740DIwtTstvk7U4EBXk8JhW8zyEQ


  1. Custom doors
u0bCTIppKp1T64hGeFqg3nV697Ed0LieLnzqBVQFzFt5OvLSJZgljI2TKzytyVc9VArr1wz1WriELbHl_JNl_JTfbRfgjz2igRaSx_iIU1oNCcRZEZx-0Zow775558W24c1ONN04PR694L6uT0mxXA

What the default RTP offers is by far not bad, but on one hand I prefer doors that are a size in between these two AND since these are made to match all cave walls, something that works better with the rocky texture.
IEd42Ovx8-p67f7bK0yVSG4NHnQi3rEuHyuhrEvmgeD8Ixya0Bc1dUAlVA8qPUsPkeTCakzwGYm6Dnv7BRI9Sqru6nhbBJadrIuxB2S3v1Ir_NBnjcMhxCamrSi73nhjia29DQVBBEkDiic1SiOnnw

For a good start, use a seperate layer and a hard-edged pen to draw the shape of your door. I personally picked a medium height and made two different widths so I have some variation to choose from.
Make your layout in Gimp:
One layer background wall and floor to make sure your doors match perfectly.
On top of that create a layer group and give it a layer mask that looks like this:
1W0q6masm7mVGj-ZjGYNY-58w-NWHKfV72V267oR2lyOtFT_JyomcejZwBgjoLpvr-e1uj3PU4qTSG-uS8G6PSqGFq8otBJgktVq_Xe-UJ7TgAnzV4JPP1migVuMkPgeOkblaj0OiPWWEFWYljKwNA

This will enable you to work within that group (that works like a folder) and everything that is outside your door shapes is cut off.
Your layout should look something like this:
Y7oEcAo6aNiIPfmnzvjIKA3zg82BJaBbQ8cnqn4A7CxfQLCprzThtMuwy_f2Jf1Xwj9a_AnerzTJwm2w8HpGySUcXR4yagjDL4UQx4J0_2xXUw53JoBmVT-bdS5P5kwwxd48DGqg_lTDow12zjSOCQ

The B/W shape is just some plain color to make the shapes visible.
mdNxlvdh8ilbZ_trtHvCgEvNeqJZr-8w9t6rquP73AK1eBHzEh1dJZgY1jJSjN8pHMSYY6Rzjj3fKue296lOm4AuYs96zR4AeFMBMQyql2XoNy7SAa1F_VDt07n9ViGRiy2gkgY-PozHfamjr_Nt9w

Now use desaturated yellow on the light to soften the edge. For the dark one you can use a darkened version of the wall and a layer mask.
This should be done on a seperate layer in your layer group and you can play around until you have a look you like.
For a perfect ground transition copy a strip of the ground tiles into your layer group as well:
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5qRT4uCmJhy5Kt6hRRxnXFUc2IYIJ4i63YllJqwRAAu8PxoFxvDluw2R3ZNA3F89VTTLHzJyfado1dfaukaBKh8xCU4m7cwXu-MRNhrFd9xG6K_vYaF7ukcRr-24weOXA_NZ3FHK8ZhJo_IYki4Ybw

Give that layer another layer mask and use the brush and smudge tool to get a soft transition for your “dark doors”.

For the light ones, make a quick edit out of your default light door.
YqjHPn8pFoige8EhhzreBPv8V2wkZHPi9bt6Rexk9FeSkyF1B-EAWHmh2mTEJaFf2MMrFYPjtp242jwd09W64AhW3rOW3_x9AFE6yIDPdQtlNpk0jMzG3UO30Gr9AfQj5jEgaEZhpv28J5O7_tX2GA

copy and paste the lower part to get a wider version of it and simply copy and paste that into your layer group:
7UqqjPcocOFgASh6FTi_9TdDVLqTNzGEZLBj2ZDyrM-a-PXaw5PGL9FoBCSNGEQsvJt4yTcQ3gSCXpEhyGxrNt1XhITJI6nNvDMDXZOYfLdWo9tv7sQLZuBHrr4cB9mnF8haxFsaUtEX7qWRhwHgBQ


Of course you can soften up that transition as well with the ground tiles layer and its layer mask.
l4WyMvGmVnStrOBxa3USAwgsuZjT1-XFVZLKAe54xd-g99AXuSi3t__rtpH-NqoFmW4H15-_Dae2uOHrSwtEu0av_Drb8pmopEkYEMpeTE7OGvqN7vTp0XNIDqP5Nn7IXV1l2DHc1l9OvpHi8RZ_Ng


Summarized, I have 4 layers in my layer group:
B/W:
5S6v_GLJdVnhGsYXT2q2lAX2zMN5yz0GCM7k4MxtpvwyEoeC_In9AkndW42OCp3aiXPOrOQqQ7yW-5N_VJNHkgoA4fhGULvmrVMshE84I0IrlS1f3WgEXt2tNyJlN3uziBYmXcrlHWeAvumrBk6LTQ

Edge for light:
4IhZdQyGhQt5Qow2LgUouaZmv1NKyQ15ehTQ3k6DctKYRjM-oFt4hTtx6Dc72rcFOF8UVESC3aTv7f4zbwcWKvsSwIj1QHgpeimop4OhSI3e3MHOxURztZIrhfZCkd2oYMJC-z6npXClAPcbB3xXRQ

Edges (with a layer mask that just includes a few pixels at the rim):
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Floor (with a layer mask that is all white on the bottom and smudged to the top for a smooth transition):
O3zCqAKaMbUR2fyGBg9DRj1u6Fc6wa9c-f9IT9Qg5o1OF5Kf9_jnpeKCXZaBxmSv5WyYm671lpFsJIr9sg5GPSsCXL1h8ERL3gXdqYpOmixrqCCGH2LK7lSdophgBPjPnqnyKtdDc7UHfqgcuTj20A


And that all merged together results in this:
YHhpbnKdYDsvX1FJXW2_cWHvH_kAUoc2gf0ami1gxzRtFWxLOa3Wrk-zWV-Xeui10bIUiWSXJil4ySxrnfQAicSvL-YYUPSstivCApHVyz3dsW4SeZomu7AR7xMtUjvCHYGo2yMB9sYq5lNZ14CJNw

If you want to get closer to the “pixelated-y” look of the RTP you can now limit the color range of that document or copy it into the (already indexed) Dungeon B to bring it to the same color palette:
X2lBSdccb51ah3AzPZR_qtkyCT3AhztHfqhyiNTPHlY_4RJYed19EkFE2F1fGPAp9zTuHVU7aiJ8yZ622Zwk0gkCBSB83Haw6D_2djUXLVBcA2WecbjMP_4TOQIYhoknEDdR7P-Uzc8WrEgIGhJctg

And done!

PS:
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If you used a dark grey for the “surrounding darkness” as I did, you can use that as background color instead of black, that will make your doors blend in even better!

  1. Stairs
So, this cave may have had humans passing them or there are other mysterious reasons why there are stairs here. Stairs are just something very practical… but they are not as easy to make for caves as they are for normal floors due to the natural shape.
Anyways!

We are going to start with vertical:
1Eh7Q2On7EVyBTNuxJnLib15_-Kl5xzVddiE6YTSdu8FgDZC8-7Sr3EcaE3Dw7-LS0JmcDo2blpo4z-pGc89U62rxrI3wemuI8CvM95JhaW74L4IdsLJqevHwVQ3j_wKOw7YXEyjZqtS-CV1WZ7ZcA

Seperate the edge of your cave wall and then smooth it out by moving and adding some pixels.You want a height of around 7 pixels for the wall part and the edge to be as straight as possible while looking natural. You want to copy two of these tiles next to each other.
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Create the stair shape by copy and pasting this part on top of itself several times, using a vertical offset of 12 pixels and a random horizontal offset to make the structure look more natural.
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Your result is a good-looking looping stair tile!
Give the stairs an edge by “closing” the rim and making it darker.
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and there you go:

GMjdGMH_VPlaNFsCXdF_dvQ1B6Ii8hxD9MjcP-IeZQoOMnTId2pOT9O_5Cx38ykUBy4SHdocOAfHSu3G03k-RpJt7R9oJ2x1bK6VFdiNWQ35xnbXirIaAxk-TMSoD5NNrAWqx4f_-NTrb4dgKZ9vTw


These are all the combinations you might want to have:

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the altered ground so the stairs fit on the upper edge, the stairs with all edges and the edge not around the upper step (you can see why on the right example in the mockup) and two different bottom parts so these fit all possible lengths.

Now for sideview:
b5zPI1TzJVNzuHOnYLkGnb1G-aYkY2lzZivZ3n1BGojmNERE8bP_q-JIv_updgUYT18JztMEHaEIlfsiQIqgDlbCHBHRhclJM_sLiIKv52-Qw1xHpc1crLIbHa0fFJiqFeaSk3xD1GuEdITM-CBRqg

The side parts from our “top” are already a great base.

Use the 8px wide strip of the edge and place it with some vertical offset next to each other three times.
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Take off the parts on the top and add them to the bottom:
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Now “close off” the top and bottom in a slightly rounded way:
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Now give the steps a vertical offset of 8 pixels each:
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Now it is time to duplicate the stairs and add them to each other:
RPZ_ZspAXNCFGsTyKh7x2SkxNOrqeIfTqESf31uPl6iDrcKtTqU9HpEeJkkq-yOFvfMEASVyfjwla0sqrRMU8tFLXYkZiJQqEeUb0TXM68ZrzmwneQZcP-p65WwcrBb3r4cWHY7h_CtXPuK61WOenQ


Bring them into this format and you are already pretty close to finish:
CrZCVE8SwiSY_Mr3SWCmcLnt81Oj6opKgBYnhRxD2VP5okJLOhkUcpxj71mfYuvZxLej7MevbXbPVh-XREevyWm-gSWhbRXYWay6ZsMwRlNCvt5-z0yGl3EBCK1_CQWjQh85jsetO8dMcQ1p5IzOxg

This is how these tiles would look like in game:
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There are two things you might want to adjust:
The stairs on the left need a matching shadow and the bottom part of the wall needs an adjustment for the last step.
ucoPtg-PHbrXjom7yoIn-rqgIzIW2nT4oMbCJUSdkiAXacCPqYNRoEQwwtIkFCQTumGqfHgzhLQgcuP1gD_v9TCC2YwAumfx5XQcWvP4Yv7C-gU_10dDdNUTIYs5LCKIuJ_XYJ4DIYh2ppLqlglVwA

For the shadow, add a darker strip on the right side of each step. make sure to make two versions, one where all steps have the shadow and one where the one on the top has none.
rOrfPbXuGZCz-suLRDVPv4p9fucGR9Tys7GYguciK9RBF0Ctvru5-d8btXQyxgiMCVjSAWNJD1ZleJ5GcF9OrdzU02bpUVsWGdstsNoBRwh76qklNW5hDtz0lKmEz0AHei4iWA813uTthShdsNiTmQ

For the wall, just round off the middle part of the wall a tiny bit on the edges.

And done:
yjnlc7tHRcLpGdhvAjmC2tcMqkKRkUUjbs7MihZVRC6yxGnQb7Rha-SVFnronqTap4tsnHy1CXYMRd3nKOx40F4UAEc4X-qWUWzD48qyvMQcAOnsFKOOSN1wDIRsqmHHUjSvX1S-xeaEIRo1Rj6zmw


With these, your cave has again got some new options and you have more layout possibilities!
k7LXrmahDjDffTnbotcxP7xxmJrGP9L9fc9viM1NyB9WJ9V9x3l1XsX3doEG8Ab3H3O9MkZpt3zIKuXwIEaonzrYqz0YwTUFI7MGoIjyPRgz4MwgQugMUAZOO0SAyOw7HJ2X0iTTtWvMA_bLusQNZA
 

ShadowDragon

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so many usefull tips as I edits some stuff to by combining them, but there
are other things I didn't thought off at all.

great job explaining them :)
 

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Ooops ended up trying out making my own A2 tile page instead of testing doors everywhere. Went well so far I think.
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