Ashla

Adding effects to textures?

18 posts in this topic

So im pretty much clued up on how to edit textures. Ive edited a lot of textures from various mods ive downloaded. specaily head texture. 
So what i was wanting to try to replicate was a cool effect i liked in Swtor mmo. The glowing eyes effect when your jedi or sith did certain moves. Is this possible?
Basically i want to edit the eyes of a character to glow like a light saber. I would also like to understand how to apply to metal effect to parts of a texture. 

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Shader data for a texture is handled through plain text. The game's TPC format combines the texture and shader data into a single file, though you can also have the shader as a separate file (TXI format).

The game has various shader semantics, but it sounds like the sort of thing you want is an environment map (aka cube map). These are separate textures that get projected onto the model, depending on the viewing angle, for effects such as glowing and metal. I've attached an example TXI file, though it just looks like this:

envmaptexture CM_Baremetal

envmaptexture means use an environment map texture, and CM_Baremetal is one such texture. It's that simple.

The game has various other cube maps in addition to CM_Baremetal, such as CM_Bright (blue/green glow), CM_SpecMap (wet), and mycube (HK-47's shiny plating). It's also possible to make new ones, and I believe there are some mod resources on this site that have more.

The intensity of the shader is determined by the texture's alpha channel (more black = more shader).

Note that you can only have one shader per texture. You cannot, for example, have a texture with parts that are metal and parts that transparent, as there is only one alpha channel for them to use.

N_Mandalorian01.txi

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Glow (emissive) is not a texture effect in Odyssey, it's a mesh effect (self-illumination). But you won't get anything like like the sort of effect with glowing eyes that you would in TOR, or emissive more generally in other engines. The engine simply isn't capable of it.

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It probably would be possible to set up a particle emitter on the model and give it animations... but not really practical since it would have to be repeated for every head.

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DarthParamedic. It was actually your Kira tor port head texture i edited. Love that mod by the way. Ive been using Photoshop since i was little, so i know how to make things look like their glowing when their really not. Seems like i need to do some digging on the tools ill need to accomplish this, and how to use them.
I did notice The light electromesh armor from k1 had a light glow effect. Is this cm bright? Its possible its just an animated texture. 
What programs can i use to open .txi and edit them? because my version of Photoshop doesn't seem to want to do it. Ill even settle for eyes that reflect cm baremetal for now. Would be a good learning experience. 
My goal was once i learned how to do the eyes i could move on to applying it to armors and make a tron like suits. 

This is what i achieved so far. But as ive said its just a flat texture. I did the best i could with the limited knowledge i have on the subject. This is the Kira head port texture. If you dont want me posting this ill take it down. Just thought id share. 

Kira head edit.jpg

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Yeah CM_Bright is a psuedo-emissive texture solution. Good point, I forgot about that. Probably easier to use that instead, although it still won't really get you the same sort of effect as TOR. The problem you will have is that any head that uses an alpha mask for hair transparency won't work, as you can't have both transparency and an envmap mask. And because heads use texture overrides for DS transitions, you can't use a separate texture for the eyes.

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4 minutes ago, DarthParametric said:

Yeah CM_Bright is a psuedo-emissive texture solution. Good point, I forgot about that. Probably easier to use that instead, although it still won't really get you the same sort of effect as TOR.

Honesty. I just want it so the eyes are brighter than the environments around them so they really stand out. Im not looking to add any particle effects. 

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Actually thats spot on! I Love it. Its works in game, but doesn't seem to work on the character creation screen.
I hope its not too much to ask. But can you explain to me how you did that? or point me in the direction of a tutorial that can? Cause i wanted to add this effect to so much more faces and clothing in the game. 
I wanted to make tron like armor, robes and clothing in the game, as well as alter light side and dark side transitions to have the eye effect. I figure its gonna be a bit of a learning curve so i dont want to take up your time.
 

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Like I said, it was just enabling the eye mesh's self-illum. One of the trimesh variables is selfillumcolor, which specifies a greyscale colour value that will be multiplied across the texture applied to that mesh (the same as a solid single colour layer set to Multiply blend mode in PS, essentially). For most meshes it will be set to the default black, but if you want something to glow, like say the lights in the Ebon Hawk cockpit, then you can change the colour all the way up to white.

Generally speaking, you do not want to be using self-illum across an entire model. You'd typically break out only those sections that need to glow as their own mesh. only enabling self-illum on those. So if you wanted glowy strips on a set of armour, you'd probably want to add those as new separate meshes (which for armour means they'd need to be skinned so they deform with the rest of the model).

There's no specific tutorial on it. You'd need to look at general tutorials covering how to deal with KOTOR models.

14 minutes ago, Ashla said:

alter light side and dark side transitions to have the eye effect

That's not going to work for a mesh-based self-illum approach. At least not if you mean only having it enabled for the DS transitions.  It's a static value. It's not alterable without recompiling the model, outside of animating the value, but that isn't applicable for alignment transitions.

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Thanks man. Ill got have a look at tutorials. I understood some of what you said there :)

This is what it looks like with your mesh edit. Looks Awesome

kira glowing eyes.jpg

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Hi, Ashla! :cheers:

Thought on dropping by as I figured out an unanswered question -

2 hours ago, Ashla said:

What programs can i use to open .txi and edit them?

You can use Notepad++ and/or other similar programs out there. I'd also recommend some nice tutorials that can certainly helps along the way:

And you may want to visit this section for some tool sets.

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If you want, you can make a new glow color too. I've attached an editable copy of CM_Bright. Just rename both those files, recolor the TGA to your liking, then change your head texture's envmaptexture semantics to point to your new cube map.

CM_Bright.tga

CM_Bright.txi

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Ok slow down. Cuase im getting a bit confused here. I understand that to assign an envmaptexture, i need to make a .txi with the codes like cm_bright and have it the same name as the .tga texture. 
For example the texture file for the head im using is TorKirals.tga. So now i would create a .txi called TorKirals.txi and inside it paste the envmaptexture codes right? 
What im not understanding is how to get the bright effect on the texture itself? How do i define on the .tga what areas glow, or what areas reflect cm_baremetal ect?
Also what is an alpha channel? My photoshop experience has been entirely digital painting, so im not 100% clues up on any of this.

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3 hours ago, Ashla said:

I understand that to assign an envmaptexture, i need to make a .txi with the codes like cm_bright and have it the same name as the .tga texture. 
For example the texture file for the head im using is TorKirals.tga. So now i would create a .txi called TorKirals.txi and inside it paste the envmaptexture codes right?

Yes.

3 hours ago, Ashla said:

What im not understanding is how to get the bright effect on the texture itself? How do i define on the .tga what areas glow, or what areas reflect cm_baremetal ect?

That's on the texture's alpha channel (e.g. TorKirals.tga).

3 hours ago, Ashla said:

Also what is an alpha channel?

The RGBA color space has four channels: Red, Green, Blue, and Alpha. The first three channels determine the color. The color isn't stored as a single value (because math and computer science and stuff) but instead is split into three primary colors, with a channel for each color. Each channel is a black and white image (that's a better metaphor anyway) that just says how much of that color there is, with a range of values from 0 (black) to 255 (white) for 8-bit channels. These channels are interpolated from black and white to red, green, or blue, and then the three colors are combined to produce the final image. Like so:

RGB_channels_separation.png

The alpha channel is an extra channel. Rather than adding to the color, it's used for other things, usually transparency. In this case, the alpha channel determines the intensity of the shader.

In Photoshop, you can access the channels with the Channels panel:

alpha-1.gif

The game textures generally have alpha channels, but if there isn't one already, you can add a new one in that panel.

You can click on any channel to edit it individually, and click on the RGB channel group at the top to return to RGB space.

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Awesome. Thanks you so much for that information. I was really confused as I couldn't find a tutorial that explained it. I think I finaly understand how to do this.

Two final questions though. I can edit the cm-bright colours to reflect the colours I want to glow. However can I create a new cube map for multiple glow colours, or can I only replace cube maps? Say I want one set of eyes glowing blue, and another set of eyes glowing green? If I could do that where do I paste the new cube maps? And what file name would I call them? 

Also. I noticed the alpha is black and white. So I'm assuming the areas I want to glow I make white right? Or black? 

 

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3 hours ago, Ashla said:

I think I finaly understand how to do this.

Cool! :cheers:

Quote

...can I create a new cube map for multiple glow colours... what file name would I call them?

Yes you can. You would name them as you wanted; just make sure to have -

Cube 1

parameter on the TXIs.

Quote

...where do I paste the new cube maps?

You better paste them into the Override folder.

Quote

...the areas I want to glow I make white right? Or black?

Black - as the more the opacity is the stronger the effects of the envmap/shader/cubemaps.

Here's also a thread that can helps you understand more about cubemaps in particular.

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Still having trouble with this. So the texture im trying to alter is Mira's face. P_MiraH.tga. So ive gone and created P_MiraH.txi, with the code envmaptexture CM_Bright. Then i go into the Alpha in photoshop and make a black iris. Still trying to get the eyes to glow. However when i hit save and copy it to override, the iris is completely black. The alpha texture is being read as a solid colour over the top regular textures. 
What am i doing wrong? 

I tried it with another texture. Time it was the mod that allows you to play as one of the of the Twilek Assassins. That already had a working alpha channel and .txi, with Cm_Baremetal. I went in and changed the .txi to envmaptexture Cm_Bright. But when i load it into the game its still reflecting Cm_baremetal. 

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