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Visual Texture Guide Mod - Resource for Modders

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Visual Texture Guide Mod - Resource for Modders

Postby HawkGer » 20.08.2011, 13:04

There are dozens of textures for Canyon. For a modder it is not easy to get started because one first has to figure out which textures belong to which surfaces. And in Canyon there truly are a lot of surfaces.
So I had the idea of creating a mod in which the names of the texture files would be displayed ingame on the textures themself.

Here a few screens to show what I mean:
http://www.vinummusik.de/Trackmania2/Screens/TextureGuide1.jpg http://www.vinummusik.de/Trackmania2/Screens/TextureGuide2.jpg http://www.vinummusik.de/Trackmania2/Screens/TextureGuide3.jpg

A video occam made showing the mod:



Download available in zip, pack or track
.Zip: http://www.vinummusik.de/Trackmania2/Mods/VisualTextureGuide_Canyon.zip (39mb)
.Pack:http://www.vinummusik.de/Trackmania2/Mods/VisualTextureGuide_Canyon.Skin.Pack.Gbx (39mb)
Track: http://www.vinummusik.de/Trackmania2/Media/Visual%20Texture%20Guide%20Track.Map.Gbx (400kb)

In the track I placed almost every block available in Canyon. This way you won't have to place any blocks yourself.
Simply open this track in solo mode, the download should start automatically.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Some more infos regarding modding in TM2_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

You can download a template mod with low quality textures here: http://www.vinummusik.de/Trackmania2/Mods/TemplateMod_Canyon.zip (41mb)
If you want to have a mod with a filesize lower than 50mb this is the right mod for you. Read the Instruction.txt inside the mod for further information.

If you want to have higher resolution textures however, you can get them from here: C:\ProgramData\ManiaPlanet\PacksCache\TmCanyon_HD.zip
(Hidden folders need to be made visible to see this folder)

Mod file structure (extract from a post by XBX):
Description of 'Canyon\Mod\' skin:
- UiBgBottom.{image}
- UiBgBottomCenterRace.{image}
- UiBgCard.{image}
- Amb.{sound}
- Moods\*.{image}
- Image\*.{image}
- Icon.{image}
- DecalsImage\*.{image}

Info on file locations: http://tutorials.mania-creative.com/tm2_general_filelocations/index-eng-1

How to : Create a (N) Normal map / Bump map DDS texture in TM2: http://forum.mania-creative.com/thread-2850.html

How to : Create a (S) Specular map DDS texture in TM2: http://forum.mania-creative.com/thread-2859.html

The Nadeo developer Fix has also provided a much more thorough explanation for the Specular maps:
The specular maps work that way :
R : Fresnel intensity (matte reflections of the environment, uses the lightmap and is only visible with high quality shaders)
G : Specular intensity
G : 0
A : Glossiness (you can compare it to 'dry to wet' specularity; black = matte -- white = wet-shiny). also, it modulates fresnel as well.
tunning specular can be quite hard sometimes, good luck

Trick : to simulate really wet areas : darken the Diffuse (very important, as in real life, wet parts of materials (road) are darker), Fresnel at max, Gloss at max and Spec quite low.

An explanation of some textures I wasn't able to properly show in the guide mod:

Located in the Image folder:
LightsI.dds = With this texture you can change the color and partly the shape of the illumination coming from lamps.

In the Moods folder:
CloudsMinColor & CloudsMaxColor = Define the color range of the clouds
FogColor = Change the color of the distance fog
LightAmbient = Affects how all objects are exposed globally, without taking into account the direction of a light source
LightSun = Change the appearance of the directional lighting coming from the sun
SkyClouds = Change the density and shape of the clouds. Has to be saved with DXT5 interpolerated alpha.
SkyColor = Defines the color gradient of the sky
WaterColor = Adjust the opacity and color of the water.
All the Cubic maps = Those define the reflection of the environment on the car. Probably unnecessary for LQ mods.

How to get rid of the dirt on the streets and platforms: Take the DecalsGround_S.dds and DecalsGround_D.dds files from TMCanyon_HD.zip\Canyon\Media\Texture Decal\Image and place it into the "DecalsImage" folder in your mod. Make the RGB and Alpha channel black so that nothing is visible anymore ingame. In the template mod I provided above these modified textures are already included, in case you have difficulties modifying them yourself.
In most cases these decal textures are unwanted and irritating. You can modify the Decal textures of course if you want...but that takes time and the size of your mod will rise steeply.

When you are optimizing for different Moods make sure to always compute shadows after having changed the Mood. This makes a huge difference !

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Miscalleneous Resources_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

A video tutorial series I made (for TMU...but still relevant in many aspects): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzHGbjlRU1Q

Making 100's of textures in a minute with PS actions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPRZM4gO6es

My favorite Photoshop function - match color: http://www.cgtextures.com/content.php?action=tutorial&name=matchcolor

The offset-filter for removing seams: http://www.designbash.com/photoshop/photoshop-offset-filter-making-seamless-textures/

Inspiration for mod ideas: http://www.cgsociety.org/

If you want to learn more about texturing for games in general, I recommend this book, which (when not having the necessary amount of money) I'm sure one can also find for free online ;)

Happy modding :)
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Postby occam » 21.08.2011, 22:17

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Postby HawkGer » 21.08.2011, 22:41

can't await the first mod from you occam :D
Very nice video. Love the ending ^_^ And the mod is now presentable with more than just pictures, I should make a post in the Maniaplanet forum. Thanks for that ;)
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Postby occam » 23.08.2011, 17:18

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