TUTORIAL: Texture Reduction
I'm going to discuss using PaintShop pro, as more people are likely to have this than Photoshop or Painter. At work we use a bespoke package to do this type of stuff as every texture responds differently to different resizing methods.

First of all, your source artwork, if possible ensure this is at least 2x bigger than you want the final texture to be, also you want the palette to be either 24-bit (16million colours) or 32 bit (true colour). If you're doing a size reduction on an 8bit (256 colour ) image you aren't giving the paint program many colours to interpolate with, which will give you poor results, so increase the number of colours in the image using Colours-> increase colour depth -> 16 million colours.

Now for the first resize stage, you want to reduce the size of the texture by 50% of your target size, so if you have a 500x500 source image, and your final texture needs to be 250x250, then reduce the image to 375x375 pixels. Use image->resize. I generally use the 'smart resize' setting, but you may find, especially for high contrast or text images that one of the other resizing methods (bilinear/bicubic/pixel) will be better for your image, try them all out and see which is best.

Now sharpen the image using image->sharpen .

If you image needs resizing a lot, say reducing a 1024x1024 image to 256x256 you may want to repeat the resize and sharpen steps 2-3 times rather than just using one 'step'.

Now reduce that puppy one more time, to your target size and it should still look pretty good, at this stage you may want to sharpen or soften the final texture to bring out detail or smooth it a bit.

Now you can reduce the colour depth of your image to 256 colours, so HL doesn't choke on your texture.
Use colours->decrease colour depth->256 colours and a little colour reduction menu will come up, the best settings, for almost all images are to only have 'optimized octree' and 'nearest colour' options ticked, everything else should be unchecked on the menu. If you are using Wally to build your wad, I find its colour reduction can be better if you paste the texture into the WAD.

There you go, your image should be the right size, and look almost as good as the original.

-- Evile

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