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russian armor

skin mod - gloss question

26 Jul 2015, 00:09 AM
#1
avatar of F.X.

Posts: 53 | Subs: 1

I am working on a Soviet skin mod. I ran into a problem with the IS-2 because whatever I paint looks a bit faded in the game. Far more than any of the other vehicles, so it's making it difficult to balance the maps to get similar results across all of them. So I did a quick test making the _dif.tga texture a solid black on the IS-2 and a couple of other vehicles. This is what I am seeing in the game:



The other vehicles came out as I expected - very close to pure black (not counting spec or the treads). But the IS-2 has an extra layer of detail that I cannot account for. The detail matches exactly what is in the gloss layer from relic's psd file. The range of values in the IS-2's gloss layer doesn't look significantly higher when compared to some of the other vehicles next to it.

So first question - does anyone know if there is some specific quirk to the IS-2 skin maps? And how to get around it?

If not, then does anyone know what the file needs to be named if I want to override the gloss map? _gloss.tga? _gls.tga? Something else? And what burn settings should be used? I see the dif and normal maps use different settings so I imagine it's possible that gloss uses some different setting too. I tried inverting the values in the gloss map, called it _gloss.tga and used the same burn settings as _dif.tga but did not see a difference in the game.

And just out of curiosity, are there any other map types besides diffuse, spec, gloss, and normal?

Thanks in advance.
27 Jul 2015, 21:10 PM
#2
avatar of F.X.

Posts: 53 | Subs: 1

I'll answer my own question here in case it helps anyone else who runs into the same thing:

For the most part I've been painting on just the diffuse (*_dif.tga) maps. I use the mod builder to burn them and it fills in the spec, gloss, and normal maps with whatever the defaults are for each vehicle and that's been working out just fine up until now. But there is something broken with the default spec, gloss, normal set for the IS-2. I can't tell if it's one or more of the maps, or how they were burned, but the result is that if you just use the default it will have lifted/faded values which can drastically alter the look of your skin, particularly for contrast and dark values.

The solution is that for the IS-2 you *must* burn the spec, gloss and normal maps, even if you are not modifying them. You will end up with two burn settings: one for *_dif.tga, and another for *_nrm.tga, *_gls.tga, and *_spc.tga. The settings for the latter are shown in this thread about editing normal maps.
15 Jul 2016, 11:16 AM
#3
avatar of Cyanara

Posts: 769 | Subs: 1

jump backJump back to quoted post27 Jul 2015, 21:10 PMF.X.
I'll answer my own question here in case it helps anyone else who runs into the same thing:

For the most part I've been painting on just the diffuse (*_dif.tga) maps. I use the mod builder to burn them and it fills in the spec, gloss, and normal maps with whatever the defaults are for each vehicle and that's been working out just fine up until now. But there is something broken with the default spec, gloss, normal set for the IS-2. I can't tell if it's one or more of the maps, or how they were burned, but the result is that if you just use the default it will have lifted/faded values which can drastically alter the look of your skin, particularly for contrast and dark values.

The solution is that for the IS-2 you *must* burn the spec, gloss and normal maps, even if you are not modifying them. You will end up with two burn settings: one for *_dif.tga, and another for *_nrm.tga, *_gls.tga, and *_spc.tga. The settings for the latter are shown in this thread about editing normal maps.


Ok, so I've encountered similar problems with various Ostheer/OKW units. Some are just way too light or shiny. However, when I extract the nrm, spc, gls layer groups (without snow) from the PSD and try to burn them manually, the lighting goes from bad to crazy.

You mentioned elsewhere that the default burn settings for them are wrong. Unfortunately your link in this thread is to the old forums, and no longer exists. Can you advise as to what the correct settings need to be?

Cheers
22 Jul 2016, 03:25 AM
#4
avatar of F.X.

Posts: 53 | Subs: 1

Here’s what I know based on a lot of great information discovered during the first “War Paint” competition:

The first thing to note is that for memory efficiency the burn settings create fewer output maps than there are possible inputs. For example, there is a diffuse map which is RGB and an alpha map which is also saved as an RGB tga file. The bake setting for the diffuse output takes the R, G and B from the diffuse input, and a single channel from the alpha map which then goes into the A channel of the output. Likewise it takes the R & G channels from the normal map, the R channel from the spec map, and the B channel from the gloss map, and outputs a 4-channel _nrm file which the game engine uses for all those maps. So if you are editing just the spec map, for example, you are still going to need to feed it a _nrm and a _gls input (even if you don’t change them from the default) in order to have the results be correct.

Here is a screengrab of the settings that work:





Note that the checkbox labeled “compress textures” needs to be OFF.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
22 Jul 2016, 05:07 AM
#5
avatar of Cyanara

Posts: 769 | Subs: 1

Cool. Those settings are definitely different from what I have, so I'm hopeful :)

If it helps me solve everything, I'll make sure it goes into the wiki. Thanks for taking the time!
22 Jul 2016, 05:50 AM
#6
avatar of Cyanara

Posts: 769 | Subs: 1

Beautiful! I now have correct lighting when I burn the nrm output file!

The overly light vehicles are still as such, but at least I can try and darken the gloss or spec files manually now.
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