Making Big Grass Tiled Backgrounds in XNA

I’ve seen this quite a bit around on XNA forums and got 2 emails last week asking about this:

I want to make a 3000×3000 grass background by tiling this small grass image I have. Should I make one big image or should I make a for cycle drawing the image (3000/TileSize) times?

My answer is neither of them. The big image has a huge impact on every Draw and more, you are limiting your map to the max Texture Size the graphic card can handle.

The drawing lots of small images can actually work, if they are few. Let’s say your small texture size is 64×64. That means in order to fill up the 3000×3000 you have to draw it (3000/64) = 47 times. Since it’s a 3000×3000 that sums to (47×47) = 2209 Draws. Just for a background. Not to mention the rest of the actual game :P

What if you could do this in just one Draw()?

It’s very very easy to achieve this effect by setting TextureAddressMode to Wrap. Basically giving it a bigger Rectangle but telling to wrap the texture so you are gonna get tiles =)

     spriteBatch.Begin(SpriteBlendMode.AlphaBlend,SpriteSortMode.Immediate,SaveStateMode.None);
     GraphicsDevice.SamplerStates[0].AddressU = TextureAddressMode.Wrap;
     GraphicsDevice.SamplerStates[0].AddressV = TextureAddressMode.Wrap;

Next we draw a texture with a big source rectangle

     Rectangle source = new Rectangle(0, 0, 400, 200);
     spriteBatch.Draw(texture, Vector2.Zero, source, Color.White, 0, Vector2.Zero, 1.0f, SpriteEffects.None, 0.5f);

So instead of this:

You end up with this:

On a small test I made, using a 30000×30000 Rectangle I got a frame drop to 35 FPS by doing tons of regular Draws, when switching to Wrap mode a solid 60 FPS.

As I told you it’s very easy. I’ll write more advance tutorial one of this days on how to achieve cool effect like mixing two textures with a noise/normal map.

You can play with this sample by downloading it here.

22 Comments

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  2. Mikea

    Great article. I didin’t knew that and it sure would help a lot of people in their games.

    thanks

  3. GREAT POST! Already started to use this on my games! Thanks a lot!

  4. Dasa

    Interesting.
    But it would be better to draw only the visible brackground?

  5. Pingback: Scrolling Textures in XNA | David Gouveia

  6. Ramon

    I’ve been looking for tutorial like this, thank you very much, but the sample didn’t compile after conversion with VS 2010/XNA 4, errors complained about SaveStateMode and SpriteBlendMode.

    Could you please update the code/upload newer sample?

  7. bradpako

    In VS 2010, XNA 4.0

    spriteBatch.Begin(SpriteSortMode.BackToFront,
                            BlendState.AlphaBlend,
                            SamplerState.PointWrap,
                            null,
                            null,
                            null,
                            null);
    
  8. Johan

    I’m getting the “Create new Samplerstate instance error after using Bradpako’s code, how do I Create a new SamplerState?

  9. bradpako

    You should not use the code:
    GraphicsDevice.SamplerStates[0].AddressU = TextureAddressMode.Wrap;
    GraphicsDevice.SamplerStates[0].AddressV = TextureAddressMode.Wrap;

    This is read only. No need to use it for me.

  10. Zeta Axid

    It’s a shame this is outdated.
    I get errors for

    spriteBatch.Begin(SpriteBlendMode.AlphaBlend,SpriteSortMode.Immediate,SaveStateMode.None);

    and

    spriteBatch.Begin(SpriteSortMode.BackToFront,
    BlendState.AlphaBlend,
    SamplerState.PointWrap,
    null,
    null,
    null,
    null);

  11. Zeta Axid

    XNA 4.0

    —CODE
    spriteBatch.Begin(SpriteBlendMode.AlphaBlend,SpriteSortMode.Immediate,SaveStateMode.None);
    —ERRORS
    “The name ‘SaveStateMode’ does not exist in the current context.”
    “The name ‘SpriteBlendMode’ does not exist in the current context.”

    —CODE
    spriteBatch.Begin(SpriteSortMode.BackToFront,
    BlendState.AlphaBlend,
    SamplerState.PointWrap,
    null,
    null,
    null,
    null);
    —ERRORS
    “Argument 7: cannot convert from ” to ‘Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Matrix'”

    You’d think that spriteBatch.Draw would provide a tile argument such as;
    spriteBatch.Draw(texture, rectangle, Color.Blue, windowWidth, windowHeight);
    where it would fit the texture into the rectangle, and then tile that rectangle inside the imaginary rectangle made by windowWidth and windowHeight.

    • Zeta Axid

      Correction: In the errors for the second code, it’s “Argument 7: cannot convert from ” to ‘Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Matrix'”

      • Zeta Axid

        Okay the ” are being registered as HTML and it’s removing ‘null’ after ‘cannot convert from’
        Sorry about that!

        • Zeta Axid

          I’d edit the comments if I could.
          Basically, the arrow brackets are making parts of the text disappear from my replies.

  12. Zeta Axid

    I’ve tried the simple method of drawing the texture for each Vector2 in a list, which is terrible and drops the frame rate.
    I’ve looked everywhere for tiling methods in XNA.
    They either don’t work or mention this post by you which unfortunately isn’t working for me.

  13. works fine in 2012 gs 4,0.

    SamplerState state = new SamplerState();

    state.AddressU = TextureAddressMode.Wrap;
    state.AddressV = TextureAddressMode.Wrap;

    spriteBatch.Begin(SpriteSortMode.Immediate, BlendState.AlphaBlend, state, null, null);

    or alternately

    spriteBatch.Begin(SpriteSortMode.Immediate, BlendState.AlphaBlend, SamplerState.PointWrap, null, null);

    works fine too

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