Textrure editing: Tutorial -DXT Compression-

In this tutorial you’ll find all you need to know about “how to save your texture” and the tools you need.

To edit a texture you nees a program to oped .dds files. You can either use Photoshop or Gimp,combined with their relative dds plugins.

An alpha texture is a texture with an alpha channel that is not all white,and for this reason it will result transparent.

All armors normalmaps (t-space normalmaps)are alpha textures. While the _msn files (face and bofy normalmaps (object space normalmaps) aren’t alpha textures.

Those object space normalmaps CANNOT BE COMPRESSED (unless you want theold blocky face bug to appear again).

GIMP

Gimp is a free program, and more easy to use for uneperienced users, but it have some issues with DXT compression (that makes file size smaller,but there’s a way to do it anyway*).

You can download gimp from here for free (Of course make sure to download a version compatible with your OS,64bit,or 32bit…):

http://the-gimp.en.softonic.com/

and it’s dds plugin from here:

http://code.google.com/p/gimp-dds/downloads/list

another usefull gimp plugin is the normalmap plugin:

http://code.google.com/p/gimp-normalmap/downloads/list

Gimp doesn’t save good quality textures in dxt compression,for this reason it’s highly recommended to not use it,and lways save the texture as uncompressed.

There are basycally 2 type of textures: with alpha channel,and without Alpha channel (transparent).

For those with Alpha channel you have to save (with the command “Save as” in Gimp with the default format,plus mipmaps:

While with textures that doesn’t have an alpha channel it’s better saving in RGB format,just to avoid saving an empty alpha channel that will just increase the texture size without any utility.

*If you prefere a performance friendly texture you can use the Nvidia dds plugin (this is for 64 bit) to properly compress your texturer as i’ll explain.

PHOTOSHOP

Photoshop is not free and it can be bought from adobe sites for around 100$ i think, if you’re a student,or a teacher.

The photoshop dds plugins is instead free:

https://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-texture-tools-adobe-photoshop

In photoshop you can use dxt compression,still i dont use it on facial textures that are 2k or lower resolution.

REMEMBER THAT FACE AND BODY NORMALMAPS (the _msn.dds files, CANNOT BE COMPRESSED and they don’t need an alpha channel. (RGB 8.8.8 is the proper compression)

-How to save with DXT compression (with DXT compression your texture wil be a lot more performance friendly,a:

1- Textuers without alpha. –> DXT 1 compression.

2- Textuers with alpha. –> DXT 5 compression.

:

3- Textuers that cannot be compressed,like Face and body normalmaps (This is also recommended for face textures(diffusemap) if they are 2k ). –> Rgb 8.8.8.

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Now you know how to save textures.i just wanna talk about the difference of diffusemp and normalmap.

The diffusemap is what is commonly called “texture”, and it’s the coloured texture.

The normalmap is instead the sub skin of the diffusemaps,it’s the one that gives depth.

It’s usually called xxxxx_n.dds  xxxxx_msn.dds. Its colours are not realistic.and for TANGENT SPACE NORMALMAPS (the ones with alpha the alpha channel regolates how much shiny your object ingame will be.

If the alpha channel is white,it will be shiny a lot,if it’s black,it wno’t be shiny (black is perfect for hairs.

Big thanks to GraceDarkling and Kayn for teaching me most of the photoshop things.