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sotyr / help / dev / Textureing

Texture Setup for Ships

Textures for Ships normally use the DXT5 Format (called BC3 under DX10+)
DXT3 is also possible. DXT1 cannot be used because it has just a 1 bit alpha channel which causes artifacts when using a team color.

Diffuse Color Files

Color files use the extension
The format is DXT5

Channel Setup

  • Red: Color
  • Green: Color
  • Blue: Color
  • Alpha: Team Color Diffuse Color files are the normal texture files, containing the color information of the ship.
    The Team color (Alpha Channel) specifies the parts of the texture that is to be replaced by the player/team color ingame. White means team color, black means standard texture (rgb Channels). You always should make sure that an Alpha channel exists in your texture, and that it is filed with black when you do not use a team color. Otherwise your ship will be rendered with one solid color ingame (the team color) as an unused alpha channel is to be considered white (and hence all team color)

Data Files

Color files use the extension
The format is DXT5

Channel Setup

  • Red: Specular
  • Green: Illumination
  • Blue: Reflection
  • Alpha: Bloom Data files contain textures for special effect. Each channels contains the information for a specific shader effect to be used on the ship. White in a channel means the shader takes 100 percent effect, black means 0 percent. Gray means a varying degree of effect, dependant on the brightness. (e.g. a 50 percent brightness in the blue channel means the ship has a 50 percent reflectivity)
    Specular and Reflection channels are used to create a metallic effect on texture parts. The Reflection shader only reflects the skyboxes. The Specular shader creates artifacts when using MSAA, which are more noticeable, the more detailed the model (mesh) is.
    The Illumination channel is used to create self illuminating parts (i.e. parts that are rendered lit even when they are not facing the main light (the star)). These parts are mainly sed for engines, window parts, weapons and such.
    The Bloom channel generates a Bloom or Glow, often used in conjunction with the Illumination channel.

Normalmap Files

Color files use the extension
The format is DXT5
Normalmaps store the bump information in vector form. One can use the NVidia Plugin for Photoshop or the NV Texture Tools 2.0 for example to generate the Normalmap from a heightmap

Channel Setup

  • Red: unused
  • Green: green channel (vertical vector information)
  • Blue: unused ( normally height information )
  • Alpha: red channel (horizontal vector information) A good tutorial for creating normalmaps from texture is here, although I recommend using a cleanly generated (using a 3D program) or hand drawn heightmap as a base for the normalmap, as using the texture map as base will inherit variations in brightness that are not neccessarily meant to represent height information.
    More information on normalmapping can be found here As advised by NVidia, upon finishing the normalmap, information from the red channel is transferred to the Alpha channel for compression reasons ( the DXT5 format uses fewer bits for the red channel)
    I would advise you to keep the height information in the blue channel, as we might use that at a later stage for more advanced bumpmapping (parallax occlusioin mapping, relief mapping) in our mod.
    !Please always provide us with the heightmap texture as well, as we bake the AO from the heightmap into the texture if possible