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Creating new detail maps (mini tutorial)

  1. #1

    Creating new detail maps (mini tutorial)

    I've finally had some success with creating my own detail maps, so I thought I'd share what I discovered.

    Step 1. Find a good image to make your detail map from.

    Step 2. Make a seamless texture out of the image (see my 'creating seamless textures' tutorial here) and resize it to 256x256 pixels.

    Step 3. Create an alpha channel and put some texture into it - note, it's a bad idea to just use a desaturated version of the color image as the alpha channel. You should use a different texture, or at least offset the alpha channel slightly. The alpha channel should be seamless too of course. The black part of the alpha channel is transparent and the texture stamping will show through this.

    Step 4. Now save your image as a .dds file (you can get the .dds plugin for Photoshp at Nvidia's website). Be sure to save the .dds with the following settings:

    Note you can also use DXT5 compression - this may give a smoother alpha channel. Experiment to see what works best for your particular texture.

    If you don't need the texture stamping to show through the detail map (say if it's a rock texture for example) then you could save it as DXT1, with no alpha. Save the image to this folder:
    Dawn of War\My_Mod\Data\Art\scenarios\textures\detail
    replacing My_Mod with the appropriate folder name.
    You will now see the texture stamp show through your detail map's alpha channel.
    If you've saved your map here:
    \Dawn of War\My_Mod\Data\Scenarios\MP\mapname.sgb
    then the 'mapname.tga' file will be the start of your texture stamping image (thanks to Rymafyr for working this one out). This is the image that shows through the gaps in your detail map. You can paint it directly in photoshop or you can paint it with the Mission Editor's texture stamping tools. It's a good idea to paint this image to match the colors of your level, as it has a very large impact on the icon and minimap images which are generated by the Mission Editor whenever you save your map.

    Good luck with your levels!
    Last edited by monoRAIL; 6th May 05 at 7:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Rymafyr
    Guest
    Very nice and very needed! This one goes in the bookmarks!

  3. #3
    GriNGoLoCo
    Guest
    Hello, I'm sorry to bother. When I try to save my DDS file, an error comes in Photoshop: "ERROR: unsupported input format". I downloaded the tools from the nvidia site, just like you suggested, and I use PHOTOSHOP CS. Do you have any clue about what may be going on?

    Greetings!
    GriNGoLoCo

  4. #4
    I believe the Nvidia plugin is designed for photoshop 7. Try this version for Photoshop CS:
    http://www.glawe.se/dds.8bi

  5. #5
    GriNGoLoCo
    Guest
    err.. it says file not found? any other mirrors?

    thanks!
    GriNGoLoCO

  6. #6
    Oops, sorry about that! The Nvidia website has instructions on how to use the dds plugin with Paint Shop Pro, so that's one option. You could also try saving the detail map as a 32bit .tga - that should work fine too (I haven't tested that though).

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    I use the nVidia plugin (downloaded from their site) with Photoshop CS without any problems. So, there might be some other issue that's causing the error...

    I have no idea what that might be.

    Love,

    Hanna
    Former Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War Community Map Maker

  8. #8
    GriNGoLoCo
    Guest
    I'll try with 32 bit targa and tell you guys if it works or not. Thanks for the help so far.

    EDIT: well, it didnt work. When I save it targa, it does show up in the ME detail map editor list, but it wont apply. I'm guessing it's something I'm doing wrong in Photoshop. Let me explain my situation.

    I'm trying to make a plain red detail map... just the color red, no details of any sorts. in the alpha map, i just give it a gray color, no texture at all. then i go to file save, and since DDS doesnt work for me, i choose targa, 32 bits, and ok.

    can anyone please tell me whats wrong in my list of stuff done?

    greetings and thanks!
    GriNGoLoCO
    Last edited by GriNGoLoCo; 6th Jan 05 at 9:39 PM.

  9. #9
    Send me the psd file and I'll try to make it into a .dds for you.

    my address is:
    warhammer (at) cokane.com

  10. #10
    Im not sure if its some kinda freak bug, but last night while i was messing with decals i accidently left a jpg in my decal folder. When i loaded up the ME it listed the jpg and i could place it with no problems.
    600 points worth of BOOM and fooosh with a few freeeem thrown in

  11. #11
    GriNGoLoCo
    Guest
    that's the cooles news i have heard about? it would be the easiest game to put textures with... JPG how did it look?

    Monorail, I'll send it you right now. Thanks for you help

    greetings,
    GRiiNGoLOCo

  12. #12
    GriNGoLoCo
    Guest
    Hi again monorail...
    sorry for being such an ass, i know it isnt your work or anything like that.



    the texture you sent me isnt seamless, as the pic demonstrates. And I am trying to go for a PURE as possible red color texture, not some cloudish texture. Does the DoW engine allow you to have a pure color as a texture or not?

    well greetings and thx for the help!

    later,
    GriNGoLoCo

  13. #13
    dr2sheds
    Guest

    Errors Resolved...

    I've been doing some work on this and came across gringo's problem while trying to get the plugin to work for PS6 -
    I was consistantly getting the 'unsupported input format' if i was working with a psd which didn't have a locked background layer (layer 0). You can get around this by saving as a Targa and then save as dds. I doesn't seem to make any difference if you lock the base layer afterwards either - go figure.
    Another important aspect of monoRAIL's instructions above is the 'create a 256x256 image', I was under the impression that all you needed was a square image to get the best out of the 'offset' plugin of PS.
    The PS dss converter plugin (or any converter) will only work with a 'base 2' size image.
    I spent hours trawling through google to find a dds converter. I could get the nvida photoshop plugin to come up but the "Save" button was disabled - i assumed that it must have been my version of PS as the ddsplugin was v6.6x - i found v2.2x that resembled the settings sheet on the above post but had the same problem - there wasn't any help i could find on nvida's site or on the web for this problem.
    Found a nice stand-alone app (in filefront i think) by a guy called bluehair that converts psd/tga with alpha channels to dds - i tried my files and it threw the error "[filename]is not power of 2 in size". Ah Ha! Mine was 480x480.
    Changed the size to 256x256 - it now works fine in both the converter and PS.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Gringo,

    The reason you have that "cloudy" texture is because the red is "alpha-channeled" like you said you tried to do with the PSD.

    Since you have an alpha channel on it, you can use the texture stamping tool (the one that's like a paint brush) on it and the colors will show through -- in proportion to how much the alpha channel lets them.

    If you open up the file called mapname.tga (whatever your mapname is), you will see a black and white cloudy texture! It is the "underpainting" layer of your map. If you don't like it, make it all white (or some shade of gray... experiment, it's fun: or send Monorail a psd without an alpha channel) and then re-open your map in the mission editor and voila! no more cloudyness.

    It's not monoRAIL's fault at all. It's not your fault. It's just how the mission editor works. It's a feature, really.

    Love,

    Hanna

    ---

    (Oh, good heavens, I replied to a message that is a month old. I guess who know who ChicaLoco is.)

    ---

    But! Dr. 2 Sheds, I was thinking... the "base 2" thing means that prolly you can use a 64x64 or 128x128 or 256x256 or 512x512 or 1024x1024 or 2048x2048, etc image and it will work as well...

    Just guessin'.

    Love,

    Hanna

  15. #15
    Mr_Smiley
    Guest
    I use GIMP with the dds plugin for it but no matter what I do I can't get it to have any transparncy at all.
    Does anyone know how to fix this?

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