The first step is to design the world our honey bee character (who we call Bella) lives in. Below are some samples of various textures for leaves, trees, and ground. This 2D art will be melded with 3D assets within the game to create the environment.
This game will require several types of trees for Bella to fly into. The leaves and tree branch art will be fixed to three-dimensional structures within the game, sort of like placing a skin over an object. The leaves and twigs on these branches are all separate assets and can be moved, flipped, and rotated so that they can appear random.
Apple Tree Branch
Maple Tree Branch
Pear Tree Branch
Pear Tree Leaves
I gave particular attention to the details on the leaves. From Bella's perspective, these leaves must hold up visually when players fly in close. Several variations of each type of leaf are drawn up, and with the help of some tools in Photoshop they can be manipulated further. Everything put together and you have any number of trees all of which will be unique.
Tree Bark Texture
What about the big parts of the tree? Like the trunk for instance. For that I have to design bark texture that can be wrapped around a 3D model placed within the game matrix.
Apple Tree Bark
Maple Tree Bark
Pear Tree Bark
I enjoyed drawing up these textures. Every species has unique bark patterns and coloring. I look at several samples of bark in order to get a feel for each type. In order to cover large areas that can wrap around a 3D tree trunk the artwork has to "tile" as seamlessly as possible. So they must connect top to bottom and left to right. If any details stand out too much or aren't spread out evenly, a pattern can emerge. The Pear Tree sample below is an example of a texture that still needs a little work. Of course there is only so much you can do.
Apple Tree Bark (tiled)
Maple Tree Bark (tiled)
Pear Tree Bark (tiled)
It is especially important for ground textures to tile comfortably because it has to cover a large area. 3D assets such as trees, bushes, rocks, etc will break up the monotony and a believable world will emerge.
Dry Grass (tiled)