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Test Subject
Original Poster
#1 Old 6th Nov 2016 at 5:18 PM
New to Texture Maps (Potential Photoshop Help)
Alright, so I'm working on ironing out the problems with my textures and learning the right way to handle the maps.

Again some background:

Making some CC themed after the new iteration of Voltron. In making my textures, I've been following tutorials found here and using GIMP to create my DDS files. However, I noticed that GIMP makes handling the alpha channel rather confusing, and I when I would attempt to change it--for example to make it black instead of white--it was really confusing in how it applied the changes and made it hard to tell what exactly was going on with the alpha channel. I therefore switched to CS2 to create some of my DDS's--specifically in an attempt to create my bump/normal map and the clothing specular map. Here's how it looks in TSR:

My problem:

When I test my mesh in-game, it's rendering shadows very odd:

I double checked my normals, and they all seem to be facing the correct direction. So I feel like this is probably a problem with my specular map... but I'm too new at this to be totally sure. If you look in the mirror in particular you'll notice weird shapes appearing across the back and on the thigh. With the weird shaped shadows, they do seem to match shapes from my UV unwrap. Then with more "regular" looking shadows, they are also not carrying across the seams from the UV map, like you can see on the left leg. The weird shadows move around in a way that doesn't feel totally connected with the way the light is actually hitting the surface, which is kind of confusing. And, also, the black bodysuit under the armor is absolute black when I didn't paint it that tone in my textures. Here's some more looks:

Again the shadows look like they're copying my UV unwrap, but that they're not actually wrapping around the mesh? I made basically all my textures on transparent backgrounds, so maybe that's the problem--maybe the problem texture needs to be flattened?

A final note that may inform the problem: in trying to follow this tutorial, it made a specific note that the alpha channel needed to be black so that the environment reflection is matte. I thought that might be the problem at first, because I noticed that GIMP tends to save the alpha channel white and it's kind of annoying to fix it. So I tried producing my DDS from Photoshop after painting the alpha channel black, but whereas the GIMP DDS actually showed my specular map's grey tones, the Photoshop version made it come out transparent (which is why the clothing specular looks empty in the TSR image above):

My bump map also came out totally transparent after following this tutorial, where the alpha wasn't made black but copied from the red channel.

I've tried poking through my textures to figure out which one (or ones) might be the problem, but at this point I've read enough tutorials and lurked through enough threads that I think I'm just confusing myself and could use some more one-on-one help.

SO! Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!
Puffin McMuffin
staff: administrator
#2 Old 7th Nov 2016 at 3:04 PM
Well there could be 3 different reasons why your mesh looks really glossy/shiny:

- You placed some UV island on another UV island (The loose parts of the uv map.) It could cause shine in CAS but will appear allright in-game. There isn't really a fix for that, but I usually ignore this issue. Just report it in your download if you want to share it with anyone.

- The specular map is waaay to bright! Make sure your specular map is solid black in the background and almost black to where your clothing pieces (The islands I was talking about). The brighter the more shine. Black = no shine (though might give look weird as well since the game has no idea where to generate the lighting) white= super shiny! Make sure you export it as a DXT1!

- The creation has no bump map/incorrect bump map but to be fair, if you followed that tutorial, you shouldn't be worrying about the bump map! ^-^

But I really do like how the suit turned out to be!
Test Subject
Original Poster
#3 Old 8th Nov 2016 at 1:22 AM
Bump map does actually look like it's registering fine, actually. I'm gonna try redoing the DDS on the specular, since I did export it as DXT5 instead of DXT1--thanks for the ideas!
Puffin McMuffin
staff: administrator
#4 Old 9th Nov 2016 at 12:51 AM
Originally Posted by WhacktheM0l3
Bump map does actually look like it's registering fine, actually. I'm gonna try redoing the DDS on the specular, since I did export it as DXT5 instead of DXT1--thanks for the ideas!

You're welcome!

I would use a specular map that is correctly done as reference:

though, this one might be a little bit shiny, but not noticable... let's say, EA's regular shine on clothing. Making the clothing texture a bit darker will cause it to lose it's shine.
If you want to have some sort of shine to it, that will give you a decent shine to it, this is how you want your specular map to look like:

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