TextureLayered in Godot – Complete Guide

Welcome to our tutorial on the TextureLayered class in Godot 4, an exciting and robust feature for any aspiring or seasoned game developer. This unique class allows for the handling of textures that contain multiple images, making it an invaluable tool in creating visually complex and interesting games. Whether you’re looking to enhance your current project with detailed textures or understand how to work with advanced texture types, this article will guide you through everything you need to know about TextureLayered. So, let’s dive in and explore the capabilities that Godot’s TextureLayered class offers to bring your gaming worlds to life.

What is TextureLayered?

TextureLayered is a base class in Godot Engine’s extensive library designed for handling textures that compile several images into a single resource. Typically, each image within a TextureLayered object will share common attributes such as size and format. Derived from the Texture class, it’s inherited by more specific classes such as CompressedTextureLayered, ImageTextureLayered, and PlaceholderTextureLayered.

What is TextureLayered used for?

The primary purpose of a TextureLayered is to represent complex textures that consist of multiple layers. These layered textures can be used to create detailed environments and models, with applications ranging from simple 2D arrays to sophisticated cubemaps found in 3D graphics. With features like uniform size and formatting, and support for mipmaps, TextureLayered stands as a robust solution for visual detail and optimization in games.

Why should I learn about TextureLayered?

Learning about TextureLayered can significantly broaden your design and development toolkit, particularly in the following ways:

– It enables you to work with advanced texture types such as Texture2DArrays and cubemaps, which are essential for many 3D games.
– By understanding how to use this class, you can create more immersive gaming experiences with rich graphical details.
– Knowledge of TextureLayered can help in optimizing your game’s performance through the efficient use of mipmaps.
– Godot’s approach to handling texture layers can be similar to concepts used in other game development engines, making your skills more transferable.

With Godot being an open-source game engine, learning how to utilize its features like TextureLayered not only enhances your current project but also prepares you for a wider range of opportunities in game development.

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Creating a Basic TextureLayered in Godot 4

To begin working with the TextureLayered class, let’s start by creating a simple instance of an ImageTextureLayered object. We will use GDScript, the scripting language used in Godot, for our code examples.

var texture_layered = ImageTextureLayered.new()

This line of code creates a new instance of an ImageTextureLayered object. Now, let’s initialize it with a specific format and the number of layers it should contain.

var format = Image.FORMAT_RGBA8 # Defines the image format
var layer_count = 4 # Number of layers
var flags = TextureLayered.FLAG_MIPMAPS # Enable mipmaps for the texture
var width = 1024 # Texture width
var height = 1024 # Texture height

# Create the layered texture
texture_layered.create(width, height, layer_count, format, flags)

Notice how we can specify the format and whether mipmaps should be enabled when creating the texture. This is essential for optimizing your game’s visual performance.

Setting Data for TextureLayered Layers

Once you have your ImageTextureLayered object created, the next step is to actually populate it with image data. We’ll create a simple image for each layer as an example:

for i in range(layer_count):
    var image = Image.new()
    image.create(width, height, false, format)
    image.fill(Color(1, 1, 1, 1)) # Fills the image with white color
    texture_layered.set_layer_data(image, i) # Set data for each layer

This loop goes through each layer and assigns it a basic white color. In a real-world scenario, you would probably load an actual image or carry out more complex image manipulation.

Using TextureLayered with Spatial Materials

TextureLayered can also be used with SpatialMaterials in 3D scenes. For example, we could assign the layered texture to an Albedo:

# Create a new Spatial Material
var material = SpatialMaterial.new()

# Assign the layered texture to the albedo texture of the material
material.albedo_texture = texture_layered

# Now apply this material to a MeshInstance
$MeshInstance.material_override = material

This snippet allows the MeshInstance to use the layered texture we created earlier, allowing for more complex visual details in a 3D rendered environment.

Loading and Saving TextureLayered Resources

Godot provides the functionality to save or load these textured layers as resources. Here’s how you can save your custom TextureLayered as a .tres resource:

var resource_saver = ResourceSaver.new()
resource_saver.save("res://my_layered_texture.tres", texture_layered)

And similarly, you can load it later with the `.load()` function:

var loaded_texture = load("res://my_layered_texture.tres")

This makes it easy to reuse layered textures across different parts of your game or even in different projects.

Remember, this is just the beginning of what you can do with the TextureLayered class. Stay tuned for the next part, where we will delve into more advanced implementations and practical applications in game development scenarios.

Advanced Manipulations with TextureLayered

After mastering the basics of creating and utilizing TextureLayered objects, it’s time to dive into more advanced manipulations that can add depth and dynamism to your games in Godot 4.

Let’s explore how to dynamically update a TextureLayered object during runtime. This technique can be particularly useful for generating textures procedurally or updating them in response to in-game events.

# Assuming you have an existing ImageTextureLayered object called 'texture_layered'

func update_texture_layer(layer_index, new_image_data):
    # Replace the specified layer's data with new image data
    texture_layered.set_layer_data(new_image_data, layer_index)

In this code snippet, we replace a particular layer’s data within our `texture_layered` object. Perhaps you’re tracking changes in the environment and want to reflect that with texture updates; this function would handle such updates.

Now consider animating layered textures. For example, you might want to cycle through layers to create an animated effect.

# Tracks the current frame for the cycling effect
var current_frame = 0

func _process(delta):
    # Logic for updating the current_frame based on delta time goes here
    current_frame = (current_frame + 1) % texture_layered.get_layer_count()
    # Apply the current frame as a material property
    $MeshInstance.material.set_shader_param("layer_texture", current_frame)

The above method would update the texture that’s applied to a model by cycling through each layer, creating an animation effect, which could be useful for simulating effects like rippling water or changing lighting conditions.

Additionally, it’s possible to generate an entirely new TextureLayered from an existing one by blending or transforming its layer data.

# Create a new TextureLayered based on transformations applied to an existing one
var new_texture_layered = texture_layered.duplicate()
for i in range(texture_layered.get_layer_count()):
    var image = texture_layered.get_layer_data(i)
    # Perform some transformations on the image
    # ... (transformation code goes here)
    new_texture_layered.set_layer_data(image, i)

With this code, each layer is duplicated and could be manipulated as needed, such as applying a color filter, distortions, or other pixel-based transformations.

The `duplicate()` function can be a powerful tool when creating variations of textures without altering the original, keeping your resources organized and reusable.

Integrating TextureLayered with Shaders

Shader programs can also utilize TextureLayered objects for more advanced effects. Here’s an example of setting a shader parameter with a TextureLayered object:

# Assuming you have an existing shader material
var shader_material = $MeshInstance.material

# Set the TextureLayered as a parameter within your shader material
shader_material.set_shader_param("layered_texture", texture_layered)

Your shader can then sample from different layers based on your custom logic to create dynamic visual effects.

Finally, here’s an example of how you can leverage the power of TextureLayered when it comes to saving and loading multiple layers at once, allowing for complex texture states to be maintained between sessions:

# Saving layered texture data to a file
func save_layered_texture_to_file(path):
    var file = File.new()
    file.open(path, File.WRITE)
    for i in range(texture_layered.get_layer_count()):
        var image_data = texture_layered.get_layer_data(i)

# Loading layered texture data from a file
func load_layered_texture_from_file(path, texture_layered):
    var file = File.new()
    file.open(path, File.READ)
    for i in range(texture_layered.get_layer_count()):
        var image_data = Image.new()
        var buffer = file.get_buffer(width * height * 4) # Example for RGBA8 format
        image_data.create_from_data(width, height, false, Image.FORMAT_RGBA8, buffer)
        texture_layered.set_layer_data(image_data, i)

With these examples, you should be well-equipped to handle complex texture operations within Godot 4. As you continue to experiment and refine your skills with TextureLayered and GDScript, you’ll be able to bring even more depth and interactivity to your gaming projects. Remember that persistence, exploration, and practice are key to mastering game development with Godot. Happy coding!Let’s expand our tutorial by examining additional ways in which TextureLayered objects can be manipulated and enhanced within Godot 4. These examples will push your texturing skills further and offer creative solutions to various game development challenges.

TextureLayered Blending Example

One possible use of TextureLayered is to blend layers together to achieve various visual effects. We’ll look at how to blend two layers based on a blend factor.

func blend_layers(bottom_layer_idx, top_layer_idx, blend_factor):
    var bottom_image = texture_layered.get_layer_data(bottom_layer_idx)
    var top_image = texture_layered.get_layer_data(top_layer_idx)
    for x in range(bottom_image.get_width()):
        for y in range(bottom_image.get_height()):
            var bottom_pixel = bottom_image.get_pixel(x, y)
            var top_pixel = top_image.get_pixel(x, y)
            var blended_pixel = bottom_pixel.linear_interpolate(top_pixel, blend_factor)
            bottom_image.set_pixel(x, y, blended_pixel)
    # Update the texture with the blended layer
    texture_layered.set_layer_data(bottom_image, bottom_layer_idx)

In this scenario, the blend factor determines how much of the top layer is blended into the bottom layer. A blend factor of 0 would show only the bottom layer, while a blend factor of 1 would show only the top layer.

Generating Mipmaps for TextureLayered

Mipmaps are smaller versions of a texture that are used when the texture is far away or needs to be sampled at a lower resolution. Godot can generate mipmaps for your TextureLayered object with the following code:


This ensures that the textures in your game are optimized for performance, especially in 3D scenes where texture detail might vary based on the camera’s distance from objects.

TextureLayered and 3D Objects

TextureLayered can particularly shine in a 3D context with objects such as terrain. For example, you might use a different texture layer for various elevation levels on a mountain.

# Assume 'terrain_material' is applied to a 3D terrain model
var terrain_material = preload("res://materials/terrain_material.tres")

# Assign various textures to different layers of the terrain material
terrain_material.set_shader_param("texture_layers", texture_layered)

By using shader parameters, you can decide which texture layer should appear on what part of the terrain based on height or any other custom logic you implement.

Loading Layers Asynchronously

To avoid loading all the texture layers at once and potentially causing a performance hiccup, you might want to load them asynchronously:

var layer_to_load = 0

# Start asynchronous loading of the next layer
func load_next_layer_async(path):
    var image = Image.new()
    image.load(path).connect("completed", self, "_on_layer_loaded")

# Callback when a layer is loaded
func _on_layer_loaded(result, image, userdata):
    if result == OK:
        texture_layered.set_layer_data(image, layer_to_load)
        layer_to_load += 1
        # Potentially load the next layer, etc.

With the asynchronous loading method, each layer can be loaded independently of the main game loop, preventing frame drops and maintaining a smooth user experience.

Dynamic TextureLayered Generation from User Input

Imagine a scenario where you want players to create custom textures in-game, such as designing their own flags or character skins.

var user_texture = ImageTextureLayered.new()

# Assuming 'user_input_image' is an image drawn by the player
func add_user_layer(user_input_image):
    var layer_index = user_texture.get_layer_count()
    user_texture.set_layer_data(user_input_image, layer_index)

This snippet of code allows the game to accept a texture drawn by a user and add it as a new layer on our `user_texture` TextureLayered object.

Swapping Out Texture Layers

There could be instances in gameplay where you need to swap one texture layer for another based on an in-game event, such as changing seasons.

func swap_texture_layer(old_layer_index, new_image):
    texture_layered.set_layer_data(new_image, old_layer_index)

This function swaps out an old texture layer with a new one, which can drastically change the look of an environment or object in your game dynamically.

By incorporating these TextureLayered techniques into your Godot 4 projects, you can produce games with rich, dynamic visuals that adapt and respond to player interactions or environmental changes. Experiment with these concepts, and find innovative ways to build immersive and visually stunning game experiences!

Continuing Your Game Development Journey with Zenva

The world of game development is vast and constantly evolving, and continuing your educational journey is key to achieving your goals. Now that you have explored the capabilities of Godot 4’s TextureLayered class, we believe you’re ready to delve even deeper into what game development has to offer. Our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree is an excellent next step to build on what you’ve learned and expand your skillset.

Our Mini-Degree is designed to guide you from the fundamentals to intricate concepts in game creation with Godot 4. Throughout the courses, you’ll gain practical experience with cross-platform game development, and by the end, you’ll have a slew of projects to showcase in your portfolio. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to polish your existing skills, the curriculum is tailored to provide a comprehensive and flexible learning experience.

In addition to our specialized Mini-Degree, we offer a broad selection of Godot courses that cover various aspects of game development. With Zenva, you can learn and grow at your own pace, earning certificates that demonstrate your newfound expertise. Embrace the challenge, keep learning, and turn your passion for game development into reality with Zenva.


Diving into the realms of Godot 4 and the TextureLayered class opens a universe of possibilities, allowing you to paint your digital worlds with a level of detail and interactivity that captivates and immerses players. Remember, every grand game developer’s journey starts with a simple line of code and an eager mind to learn and create. The skills you’ve gained here with TextureLayered are just the beginning, a piece of the larger puzzle in game development mastery.

We encourage you to continue this exciting journey with us at Zenva. Embrace that creative spark within you and join our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree, where we offer the tools and knowledge you need to transform your game ideas into reality. With Zenva by your side, let’s build amazing games that resonate with players around the world. Your adventure in game development has just begun, and the future—your future—is limitless. Keep creating, keep learning, and let your passion guide you towards becoming a game developer extraordinaire.

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