Tuesday, June 18, 2013

UI Design Tutorial - Mana Orb - Inkscape

How to create a mana orb in 17 simple steps

free inkscape tutorial - mana orb

In the first Inkscape tutorial we made a simple yet great looking glass button.
If you missed it, you can read it here : UI Design Tutorial - Glossy Button
It is not required but I recommend to read it first before starting with this tutorial.

So today I will show you how to create a mana orb.
You can use it for many different kinds of interfaces and games, I just call it mana orb because I had action RPGs like the Diablo games in mind when creating it.
It can be used as a visual health or resource display or
 as a bowl, a bowling ball or something completely different, it is up to your imagination.

If you haven't got it yet, download Inkscape!
Click the picture to view the tutorial at full size.
Have fun!

free inkscape tutorial - mana orb 1

free inkscape tutorial - mana orb 2

free inkscape tutorial - mana orb 3

Artist's advice:
When working with color gradients, go for natural colors and use different hues in the same gradient.
If you want a strong glowing red, use a fiery orange tone for the highlight, just like I used an aquablue in this tutorial that instantly reminds us of the caribbean sea.
A small shift in hues can breathe life into your assets.

You can experiment with Inkscape's filters to get nice textures for your orbs.
"Liquid" and "Shaken Liquid" are the ones I prefer here, but it is up to you.
The textures are locked to the canvas, so you can move your objects until you are satisfied with the texture.

An example of use
A screenshot of an Action-RPG game prototype

An Action-RPG with Mana Orbs, Glossy Buttons and InDee Toons

Free resources
You can download the Inkscape source file with the game ready mana orb and health globe in blue and in red for free here: 

Now we are just one more step away from an impressive role playing game user interface.

Come back soon or just subscribe to the blog to get informed when the next update is posted!

If you have questions on UI design or requests for future tutorials, please post a comment!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

UI Design Tutorial - Glossy Button - Inkscape

How to create a shiny button in 8 simple steps

free inkscape tutorials - glossy button

A graphical user interface (GUI) is a visual interface allowing users to interact with electronic devices.

To provide an enjoyable experience for the user, buttons, sliders, panels and displays should have a decent appearance in addition to their functionality.

You need GUIs in apps for mobile devices, in websites and in any kind of games in 2D and 3D, so they are some of the most important game assets.
Quite often, the process of user interface creation doesn't get enough attention, even though they are some of the graphical elements players will spend the most time looking at when playing a game.

This will be the first tutorial in a series about general user interface design and special UI design for games, including a guide on how to design an entire UI for a video game.

We will start with a simple yet stylish glossy button in a shiny 3D look.

The button will be the basis for more interface elements, it can be easily adjusted to your needs.
You can easily turn it into resource bars, panels, sliders and a lot more in a few clicks.

All you will need is Inkscape, a free and very powerful vector graphics program.

Now let's get started!
Click the picture to view the tutorial at full size.
Have fun!

free inkscape tutorial - glass button 1

free inkscape tutorial - web 2.0 button 2

Now you can create an app or game asset of the button by exporting it as a bitmap.
The advantage of vector graphics is that you can export it as large as you like without having a loss in quality.

Now we have a great art resource we can use for almost any kind of interface.
If you vary in color, shape, stroke width and size, you can create highly diverse buttons and panels out of it.
You can add your logo or a font or design resource or experience bars for your game, even the buttons of this tutorial were created with this simple template.

Artist's advice:
When creating art and playing around with color, saturation and lightness, I recommend to always work on a neutral 50% gray background, to get a more realistic impression of how things will turn out.

button tutorial - inkscape - button variations

This is just a sample of what you can create with the glossy glass button template.
You can download the Inkscape source file for free, including the button and all variations shown above: 

Check back soon to see more interface magic!
I will post more tutorials on GUI design, especially for games, soon.

Have fun creating awesome buttons!

If you have questions on UI design or requests for future tutorials, please post a comment!
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