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Old 02-03-2013, 06:34 AM   #1
hathah

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i'm pretty new to all this, i've done some item , but i don't know how to do the two other *.tga ( normal map and spec map) when doing a cloak.

is there a specific app to use ? i'm currently using "the G imp"

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Old 02-03-2013, 05:19 PM   #2
feldon30

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You use the same app. It's just a matter of knowing what colors to paint. The Specular map determines what parts are shiny vs which parts are matte finish. The Normal map determines which parts are raised/bumpy vs. which parts are just flat.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:49 PM   #3
HaohmaruEQ2

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hathahrk wrote:

i'm pretty new to all this, i've done some item , but i don't know how to do the two other *.tga ( normal map and spec map) when doing a cloak.

is there a specific app to use ? i'm currently using "the G imp"

You can research plugins for G*imp that will attempt to generate a normal map (google G*imp Normal Plugin and start there - Photoshop has similar plugins too). You may also want to research what the normal map should ultimately convey so when you do begin exporting normal maps, you are confident they're conveying the relief you expect in the surface. Sometimes you need to create a variant of your source texture where you remove/cleanup visual information you may not want in your normal map - an example would be a fine pattern that you know should be 'flat' but the plugin will try and give relief too which will end up making the map noisy.

Same applies to the specular - there are tutorials out there (google G*imp Specular Map) and the ideals behind black/white specular map creation are pretty consistent that most tutorials will be useful (not just ones focused in G*imp). It's usually best to further massage/cleanup any procedurally created spec, so that your final specular properly conveys the matte/shininess you want. It's so very easy to create bad spec maps. Think about how it would interact with your normal map too - the combination of the two can add some fantastic relief (the normal pulls detail up and out and the spec further highlights that detail really making it pop).

* added to work around censored words (G*imp is a free image editing program like Photoshop for those unfamiliar)

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Old 02-07-2013, 06:43 AM   #4
Covic

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There are filters that can create normal maps and spec maps.  As previously stated programs such as x normal, nvidia, and g.imp have filters that can be downloaded free. 

But dont think of the filters as an easy button.  We have been getting submission that are color maps put through a filter to make a normal map with no adjustments.  Take some time in making a nice black and white highth map before running it through x normal or another program.  The results will be much better.

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Old 02-08-2013, 05:08 PM   #5
Armous

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"....We have been getting submission that are color maps put through a filter to make a normal map with no adjustments....."

You are likely to get this sort of thing because you've opened the door and let in people like me, who are not professional 3D artist, but have some minimul knowledge and ability to create items for submission.

I think there are a lot of artists and creative people in the SoE worlds community, and we appreciate this opportunity to create stuff for our favorite game(s).

It might be to everyone's benefit if a more detailed instruction was provided about what exactly is expected and/or acceptable.  An education for the masses sort of thing which could be done in a seminar, webinar or video tutorials that give guidance (from professionals who do this stuff all day every day,) that would be helpful in guiding us towards submitting stuff that meets and exceeds your expectations.

Without the detailed and professional guidance, the stuff SoE staff will have to review and deal with which isn't acceptable will continue indefinately.  I know it takes time to put stuff like this together, but don't you think it would pay off in the end?

I for one use Blender and G.imp because they are free application.  My guess is the other non-professionals may also be using these applications for the same reasons, so focusing instruction(s) guidance which may be applicable to any 3D software but pointing towards these 2 applications might have the broadest appeal and effectiveness.

Thanks. 

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Old 02-08-2013, 08:02 PM   #6
Realmling

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For those who aren't sure where to start looking for tutorials and the like:

www.3dtotal.com -- Has tutorials for a wide variety of programs at all levels - as well as forums (that are generally an okay place to hang around in, as with any online community)

www.renderosity.com -- various forums for a variety of programs, with a user submitted tutorial area (yeah, a big share of their market is Poser, but they can be a mostly decent resource for those with more of a hobbiest background)

And look - top result from a quick google on making a normal map in g impy g imp

Blender and G imp should both have their own sites and communities as well to help with more specific things - and while some people might show up with egos the size of Jupiter (which will happen just about anywhere really), most people are fine with helping people willing to help themselves.

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Old 02-09-2013, 02:49 PM   #7
convict

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Armous wrote:

"....We have been getting submission that are color maps put through a filter to make a normal map with no adjustments....."

You are likely to get this sort of thing because you've opened the door and let in people like me, who are not professional 3D artist, but have some minimul knowledge and ability to create items for submission.

I think there are a lot of artists and creative people in the SoE worlds community, and we appreciate this opportunity to create stuff for our favorite game(s).

It might be to everyone's benefit if a more detailed instruction was provided about what exactly is expected and/or acceptable.  An education for the masses sort of thing which could be done in a seminar, webinar or video tutorials that give guidance (from professionals who do this stuff all day every day,) that would be helpful in guiding us towards submitting stuff that meets and exceeds your expectations.

Without the detailed and professional guidance, the stuff SoE staff will have to review and deal with which isn't acceptable will continue indefinately.  I know it takes time to put stuff like this together, but don't you think it would pay off in the end?

I for one use Blender and G.imp because they are free application.  My guess is the other non-professionals may also be using these applications for the same reasons, so focusing instruction(s) guidance which may be applicable to any 3D software but pointing towards these 2 applications might have the broadest appeal and effectiveness.

Thanks. 

It's not SoE's job to teach you. PS is there, if you can do it, then submit items, if you can't, dont expect them to take out of their time to train/teach people how to make the stuff. I'm not even sure if this post is serious, expecting them to pretty much hold classes to teach people how to make items for PS..

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Old 02-10-2013, 11:18 AM   #8
feldon30

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Google "how to make a specular map" or "how to make a normal map". There are hundreds of examples, tutorials, and videos. You can use the same program you used to paint the cloak texture to paint these other image files, ie. g!mp.

Note that most of the instructions out there for making normal maps have you start with the 3D object and use the geometry of the object as clues to define the ridges and depth in the normal map. Since you are starting with a flat painting, you'll need to draw the normal map by hand, using blues, reds, and purples to establish the ridges and bumps in your cloak texture.

The specular map is much simpler. Lighter parts are shiny. Dark parts will be a matte finish.

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Old 02-10-2013, 09:56 PM   #9
Eden_Evergreen

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So, you made a color map that pleases you so much you feel ready to submit it for an EQ2 cloak.

Congratulations!

However, you still need two more maps... let's start with the Specular.

(I'm going to imagine that anyone reading this has some familiarity with layered image editing art programs, and give a brief overview of how to begin the other two maps. Always begin from your layered document -- do not use the .tga that only saves a merged-layers image.)

SPECULAR map (an easy beginning):

After painting the color map for the cloak to your satisfaction, make another layer that's entirely black (flood-fill) on top of all the other layers of your design. Adjust the layer blend mode to make that new top layer the color for all displayed layers. Save.

Look at the resulting greyscale (or "black-and-white") image. Does it already show dark where you want less shine, and light where you want more?

If not, add layers (just under the black layer but on top of the other design layers might work best... hide the black layer until you're done making adjustments, then unhide it).

Edit the design's appearance by using new layers until you have a result that *does* show where you want highlights, and where you want no shine. Save.

Congratulations! You have just completed a Specular map for your cloak design.

And then there's that pesky Normal map...

NORMAL map (an easy beginning):

In the cloak example .zip package, there is a nearly plain bluish cape texture that only shows a few wrinkles or fabric folds of how EQ2 cape fabric flows over the wearer's shoulders. Add this layer to your document, on top of all the other layers -- including the specular map layer(s).

Set the layer blend mode for this new top layer to luminosity (or whatever word your layered 2D art editing program uses that makes the lighter areas of that layer lighten the layer[s] beneath, and makes the darker areas of the new layer darken the layer[s] beneath it).

You will probably want to decrease opacity for the new bluish fabric-fold "luminosity" layer to around 35%-40%.

This has multiple purposes, including: 

  • to slightly lighten any black or nearly-black areas of the specular map enough that they will show a bit of color
  • to soften any near-white areas so that they will accept a bit of color
  • it also adds in a suggestion of those fabric folds without being too overpowering.

Add the blue fabric folds layer to your document again (on top of everything else), this time changing the layer blend mode to color.

Congratulations - you *almost* have a normal map for your design!

Some adjustment is likely to be needful, however, so don't export it to .tga quite yet.

For example: if you have a design edged in black embroidery. You probably wanted that black embroidery to stay dark (not shiny) in the specular to prevent it from looking grey (black + shine). However, for the Normal map you may want those threads to stick out slightly instead of lying flat.

  • If you kept the black embroidery on its own layer, you can now copy that layer of black embroidery and move the copy upward to just under the two blue folds layers. Change the black embroidery layer to a pale grey (around R 195 G 195 B 195). Save.
  • If you didn't keep the black embroidery on its own layer, you need a new layer. Hide the two blue folds layers, add a layer between the other design layers and the two blue folds layers.
  • On that new layer, begin to paint in whatever adjustments you wish to make, using light colors where you want anything to stick out just slightly.
  • Add another layer, if needed, to paint in dark colors where you want anything to lie flat.
  • Unhide the two blue layers (luminance and color) and save.
  • Edit further as needed, using the same steps outlined above: hide the two blue fabric folds layers, add another layer (or edit your existing layers added for Normal map adjustments), make whatever adjustments seem needful, unhide the two blue fabric fold layers, save, reconsider, etc.

If you don't really need any strong protrusions anywhere, you might possibly be done with the normal map. The above short-cut will give a very slight raising where the bright parts of your design are, somewhat like embroidery on fabric.

If you do need strong protrusions anywhere, that's where the normal map tutorials come in. You will need to figure out how much protrusion you are going to create, and then blend the colors around those protruding areas according to the tutorials.

It can also be very helpful if you have a program that will display the 3 maps on the geometry simultaneously, for previewing purposes and to help you see from a more [nearly] finished result if anything needs further editing.

I hope this overview / summary is helpful to at least a few folks who were feeling wayyyy lost!

PS - what I said above about Normal maps is a good starting place, but after getting the lights for bumpy parts and darks for receded parts figured out, then the thing to do is load it into Xnormal (a free program that generates Normal maps).

http://www.xnormal.net/1.aspx

Install and run the program, pick "tools," pick "bump map to normal map" and then right-click to pick your bump map. Right-click the normal side to generate it, then right-click again to copy it to your art editing program. "Saving" within Xnormal sometimes results in a buggy version, but that's avoidable by copying to your paint program first and then saving.

It may need a few touch-ups, but using the default settings works pretty well. (And /salute to the person who was kind enough to point this out to me!)

Happy Texturing!

Edits: solve typos, and clarify a spot or two that seemed to need it.

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:32 PM   #10
feldon30

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Brilliant tutorial Eden! Isn't it great when folks work together?
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:07 PM   #11
Eden_Evergreen

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*curtseys*

Pleased to be of service. SMILEY

Yes, I'd rather help than not, when I have the ability to do so. Hopefully that helpfulness thing will grow contagious, at least on this forum!

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Old 02-13-2013, 06:02 PM   #12
Covic

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Eden_Evergreen wrote:

Eden has given some great feedback here.  This is exactly what we want.  Dont just run the color map through a filter but take your time and adjust the spec and normal to get your desired effect. 

Dave

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