sELFiNDUCEDcOMA

TSL Textures Remastered

527 posts in this topic

So, I decided to re-play Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords the other day and realized that I could now play the game with the grass enabled -- before I would get the common problem I think has to do with ATI (AMD) graphics cards and the game being OpenGL; FYI: I think the latest ATI drivers have finally gotten around to fixing this.

 

I thought, cool, I can now play all those outdoor areas (like Telos) with grass enabled as without it they kind of sucked. Then I realised that they still kind of sucked because the grass textures are so crap -- well, the game is rather old to be fair. So, I re-textured them to something better. Then I had to re-texture the ground texture to match, which also meant re-texturing all the ground textures along with the cliff area walls as well.

 

I was happy and played on, that is until I got to the old underground military base and I thought, I think I can do better with some effort. So, I redid those as well. Then I went back and started work on Telos station as well, as some of the textures are shared between the two -- actually, a lot of the textures are used all over the place which makes it a bit tricky.

 

I still have much yet to do in order to complete the Telos set:

 

  • I need to redo much of the signage along with recreate the animated textures.
  • Work more on the skyboxes.
  • Still need to do the Telos Polar area.
  • The outside areas of the station you see through the windows I still have yet to do.
  • Various textures aren't part of the Telos set but appear to be from elsewhere -- like the trees and grass on the station which I think are from Dantooine. So in order for them to be completed for Telos it means doing part of the outdoors for Dantooine.
  • I think I can still improve the trees some via textures

 

Anyway, I thought once I was done with Telos -- as much as you can be without editing models and such -- that I would upload it as a teaser of a much larger project to retexture (remaster really) all the environment textures for the game followed by everything else. As in props, droids, creatures, character faces, weapons, armor and robes, equip objects, effects, and anything else I've forgotten. It's a lot of work but the upside is that I am not recreating all the textures from scratch. 90% are reworked textures that have been enlarged and then a special-sauce in way of a combo of filters and layers utilised in order to enhance them. It's only around 10% of the textures that end up having to be tweaked in some way -- like floor tiles -- or made from scratch -- some of the signage will definitely be. So, it shouldn't end up taking me years of my time to complete.

 

Anyhow, here are some teaser screens...

 

 

 

k2_00019.jpg

 

k2_00015.jpg

 

k2_00013.jpg

 

k2_00012.jpg

 

k2_00010.jpg

 

k2_00011.jpg

 

k2_00009.jpg

 

k2_00007.jpg

 

k2_00003.jpg

 

k2_00002.jpg

 

k2_00001.jpg

 

k2_00004.jpg

 

k2_00022.jpg

 

k2_00021.jpg

 

 

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*Looks in amazment* YES!!! I will gladly download this when it's released!

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Thanks.

 

When looking at what others had done when researching KOTOR texture formats, I generally saw that people had gone heavy-handed with their changes to the original textures rather than trying to keep to the original as much as possible. That or they replaced all the old textures with new ones; generally larger in size than actually required to increase the detail in game when other methods would have worked just as well or even better.

 

I think that there is actually a lot of good elements in those original textures, its just that you have to bring them out and know how to do so.

 

I think that's smarter as well, as marking a lot of textures from scratch as others have done, well, that has a lot of problems not withstanding the time it takes to make textures from scratch. Why they generally feel half-finished, lacking in "detail" that makes them look anything but uniform. Plus the original textures have already been made to work in all the places they are used, new ones would need a lot of playtesting to ensure that.

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I totally agree with you. The only textures that are better quality than the originals are HD photos transposed onto the models. (which is hit or miss for me) I much prefer to keep with the original look of the game, and just to add extra flourishes of color or visual contrast to make them better.

 

Most of Kotor2's textures are just too grey or lack enough creativity or detail to go beyond looking good from a distance. (This is especially evident if you compare them to the concept art)

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Well, you could hex-edit the area models or something to make the game recognize Dantooine's stuff as different-named files than Telos or vice versa. Someone could probably do it for ya at LF.

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Oh my god, thank you. I've been wanting an orginial texture overall for so long! I don't like the texture mods that use strange new textures, so this is perfect!

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I totally agree with you. The only textures that are better quality than the originals are HD photos transposed onto the models. (which is hit or miss for me) I much prefer to keep with the original look of the game, and just to add extra flourishes of color or visual contrast to make them better.

 

Most of Kotor2's textures are just too grey or lack enough creativity or detail to go beyond looking good from a distance. (This is especially evident if you compare them to the concept art)

 

Some of the TSL textures can look rather bad up close as well.

 

I have a suspicion that the KOTOR textures are a lot better compared to TSL in that TSL was a bit rushed development-wise. Looking at some of the texturing for the Telos station, you've got textures that have been used at the wrong scale, like x4 the size they should be. Mainly as filler for places and to cut back on texture creation. I think that maybe KOTOR has a lot less of this -- more like the Telos military base where things are more uniform in texture scaling. It isn't much of a problem if the textures are unedited, it is when they are, as the blurry stretch is more obvious when they're next to edited textures used at the correct scale.

 

I may have to increase the size of some of the textures because of this as there is no way to get around this otherwise -- unless you start editing modules to "fix" how textures are used; and the more I read about this the more it seems like a real pain ;). Currently I'm sticking to upsizing textures from 256x256 to 512x512, as though that's just "double" the dimensions, it actually means you've increase the texture size (area) by 4. It I up some to 1024x1024, it's not three times the original dimension, but actually 9 times the original texture size in way of area. Why I don't want to do that for every texture as it means more memory used by the game.

 

Plus, I'm sure there are people out there who are playing this game on very old notebooks and the like, so performance might be an issue. Especially as an older engine would have been optimised to work with smaller (mip-mapped) textures.

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Yeah, the sizing is also definitely a problem. Try this, find a texture unspecific to Kotor 2 and compare it with its contemporary in Kotor 1..

 

There are many, many textures that have been severely downsized between their porting from 1 to 2 including Vogga, the Kath Hounds, nearly all animals, the Mandalorian shuttle, and most of the droids. I don't know why, but some are also ported and color-swapped.

 

 

 

By the way, have you checked out my skybox retexture perchance? A lot of the things you're describing, I have been working to do. (But I never touched the entertainment module tiles or signage)

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SIC: I have a request for future examples you might display on the site . . .

 

Could you show a "before" and "after" so folks can see - right off the bat - how you've improved the textures?

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I've seen some of the lower rez TSL textures for stuff like droids and wasn't aware that they differed to the KOTOR ones. My guess is that they were simply just making do with XBOX versions of the textures to cut time. It's easier to just optimize and get it working on the XBOX first and then let PC players suffer some with the lower resolution textures as at least the game is bound to work. Though they probably planned to have better textures for PC, but had to compromise due to time. So, some of the lower resolution ones remained.

 

If I come across any that aren't for things like objects in the distance -- like shuttles flying in the background. I'll see what I can do to replace them with something better. But if all there is are the textures themselves, then depending upon how bad they are then there may not be much that can be done to improve them. Plus, I don't have KOTOR installed and there are probably some legal issues about porting and using KOTOR (Bioware) textures in TSL (Obsidian) as it was made by a different company.

 

It seems weird that that may be the case, but that's how it is with using content between Fallout 3 (Bethesda) and Fallout New Vegas (Obsidian). Not everyone would care but some people are real anal about these things ;).

 

No I haven't seen that particular mod Malkior; if I have time I'll check it out.

 

And yes, I'll do some before and after shots in the future.

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very nice,  what program are you using? also might i suggest using dds instead of tga, it renders faster and is optimized for minimizing ram use. people use tga becuase everyone else uses it, the games texures are a modified dds (tpc), just something i noticed when i make large textures.

Edited by Darth_Sapiens

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DDS is the format of choice, but, I wasn't aware that TSL could actually read DDS format. Just TGA. Will test it out anyway, as it is the better choice to TGA.

 

The program is Paint.NET. As long as you get one of the mega plugin and file format packs, it can do pretty much everything you need it to do. Though, GIMP is still better for normal maps.

 

Speaking of which, does anyone know how to create normal (bump) maps that TSL will like?

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filterforge is good for it, if you get a trial for photoshop cs6 Extended. and the free trial for it, you can create normal maps with them both, midn you i havent used them in kotor myself before

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The normal maps created by the Gimp plugin are actually very good. You can get a few plugins for Paint.NET but they range from crap, to basic to good as long as you want to do a lot of manual tweaking. Personally I am sticking with Paint.NET and Gimp. I don't see any need to switch over to any other programs and won't be ;).

 

Anyway, the problem is not the program I suspect, but the file format that KOTOR reads them in. Like how it will read TPC or TGA files but won't read DDS files. It may actually read DDS files but, you may need to do something like rename them to TPC -- as an example of what I what to know. With normals I've tried to get it to load them in-game saved as TGA files, but I suspect, that they need to be in the TPC mip-mapped format. Declaring them via a TXI file is not enough but the file itself needs to have a proper header recognized by the game engine.

 

Perhaps as you say, DDS files can actually be used, then maybe, this is the way of getting normal maps to work... Maybe.

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very nice,  what program are you using? also might i suggest using dds instead of tga, it renders faster and is optimized for minimizing ram use. people use tga becuase everyone else uses it, the games texures are a modified dds (tpc), just something i noticed when i make large textures.

 

As I said in my prior post, DDS is not a supported file format by the TSL game engine. Using DDS files with a .dds extension has no effect, nor does renaming the extension to .tga or . tpc -- actually, what happens is that the game appears to be missing this texture and that part of the world is see through. The TPC file format may be very similar to the DDS file format but that does not mean that DDS can be utilised in anyway unless you have a way of converting DDS to TPC format.

 

Unless you have a process where an actual DDS file, compression and mip-maps and all can be read by the TSL game engine, then all you're doing by suggesting this is wasting my time as your comment is simply misleading. Misleading in it implies that using DDS files in some way is a possibility and that you know how. As far as I can tell, no one here does, nor does the modder Xarwarz referenced in that thread, as he clearly states that the DDS files must ALL be converted to TGA before they will be utilized in game. Therefore all benefit that DDS provides beyond a smaller download file, is actually lost. 

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So are you saying that we can't add normal maps unless we can somehow get the engine to accept .dds files? Or is there an easier way... like running a normal map plugin in Gimp?...

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As I said in my prior post, DDS is not a supported file format by the TSL game engine. Using DDS files with a .dds extension has no effect, nor does renaming the extension to .tga or . tpc -- actually, what happens is that the game appears to be missing this texture and that part of the world is see through. The TPC file format may be very similar to the DDS file format but that does not mean that DDS can be utilised in anyway unless you have a way of converting DDS to TPC format.

 

Unless you have a process where an actual DDS file, compression and mip-maps and all can be read by the TSL game engine, then all you're doing by suggesting this is wasting my time as your comment is simply misleading. Misleading in it implies that using DDS files in some way is a possibility and that you know how. As far as I can tell, no one here does, nor does the modder Xarwarz referenced in that thread, as he clearly states that the DDS files must ALL be converted to TGA before they will be utilized in game. Therefore all benefit that DDS provides beyond a smaller download file, is actually lost.

I'll tell you what.  All you did there is make yourself sound pretty negative, non-constructive, and totally naive of the facts.

There are several things i should point out.  No need to be harsh, I'll be sweeter than molasses. I don't want to be critical of you but if you looked at any of the games tpc files you would notice they specify the number of mip maps, they ARE supported by the game - something you should know - and it must be somehow my fault that you don't. (I apologize for my part :D) DDS is a very diverse file format, having many kinds of compression, try Bioware's tool for TGA to DDS oh wait no need to type :D ill do that for you. then while you're at it, maybe you should read this thread. also for the bump maps, read the threads you linked to :D and maybe you'll want to take a look at this something to ponder on, if bumpmaps were cut from the kotor 2 engine why did obsidian make them? (open up your kotor tool, look for p_gt and p_gtb). if you noticied i left my mark on this thread, hmm maybe you should think before you talk?  I might not be Sithspecter or Svosh or Zbyl or HH or some other great modder.  I may have been modding for only 9 months, but I know my way around and I do my research, if you ever need me to waste more time on you help feel free to ask! :D (Just try being polite next time.)

BTW, your textures are very nice looking :D

EDIT: I just double checked DDS WORKS 100 %.  Use Bioware's compression tool.

Edited by Sith Holocron

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I've read ALL those threads. The DDS converter tool was made for NWN and does not work properly for TSL. I've tried it -- the texture ends up with a lot of ugly artifacts.

 

I never mentioned bump maps in my post, just DDS support. I think bump maps are supported, but, I think you and others may have your facts wrong about how to do that -- I think it works with a greyscale height map not a pink/purple normal-map.

 

Your comments are misleading and somewhat self-aggrandizing not to mention patronizing -- you can simply add a link to the post thread, you don't need to use the "Let me Google that for you" method. You also DO NOT bother to post up how to do any of this if it is possible. You simply suggest and link to stuff. I'm sorry, that is not concrete proof that it works.

 

I suggest that you grow up or no one is going to help you with your mod development ;).

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Listen this is not mature for either of us. You linked to the thread about bump-map researching, so I thought you were talking about that as well. I don’t want to attack you in any way. I didn’t appreciate how you said I was wasting your time, as if my meager suggestions were not worthy of your time. Your work is really good, it looks nice. I honestly thought you knew how to do DDS format working properly, next time just ask if you feel I am unclear. I’ll tell you what, I realize where I am in the big scheme of things. I am not some super modder but I do want to learn, the whole point of a forum is to exchange information and help each-other, degrading comments are utterly useless here. If somehow my suggestion offended you, I am honestly sorry. Keep up the good work.

 

EDIT: in a totally constructive way, I think did read once (sorry don’t remember exactly where) that DDS conversion is affected by your graphics cord, I’m not 100% sure but if you try sending the TGA to someone and get them to convert it might work with less artifacts.

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When I said "wasting my time" I meant that any suggestion that it works would result in me spending an obsessive couple of hours researching, often re-reading threads I've already read, and doing a lot of trial and error work to test that it works. I also find that doing this research, that no one has actually bothered to document this stuff in a central place and most of it is dated and half-wrong if not blatantly incorrect.

 

I don't mean to be degrading or anything -- and apologize for anything that offends; which can be easy to do with plain-text posts. If there is a way of getting DDS to work, I'm all for using it as TGA is not the format to be using. But my gut feeling is that there is a reason why all the mods I've come across have all their KOTOR and TSL images saved in TGA format. If DDS worked then there is no reason not to be using it and just about every mod out there would be using it.

 

I've attached screens below to show that I have tried to use DDS files, generated by Paint.NET that natively supports opening and saving in that format -- DX1, DX3 and DX5. Along with the NWN tool generated version that at least appears in-game. If someone knows how to get them to work consistently. I would like to know ;)

 

 

 

Here is the TGA version of the texture I was using as seen in-game:

k2_00025.jpg

 

Here is the same texture using Paint.NET's built in DDS support:

k2_00026.jpg

 

Here is the same TGA texture processed with the NWN tga to dds conversion tool -- not the artifacts and off coloring:

k2_00027.jpg

 

 

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Some more screens, this time of the external station sprawl outside a Telos window along with the polar region. Before and after.

 

 

 

k2_00033.jpg

 

k2_00028.jpg

 

k2_00034.jpg

 

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The cut out buildings seen outside of the station took a bit of work to update. Had to recreate the buildings as it was the only way to add detail and improve them. Tweaked the skyboxes but will probably do more tests to see whether I can replace them or at least improve them some as they don't upscale that well. Basically you can increase the size but you still end up with a pixelated image, its just the "pixels" are now larger as they're made up of more pixels. Haven't found a way to smooth these edges that works well.

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