Paint Guide

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 88mphTim, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. 88mphTim

    88mphTim racesimcentral.net

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    The name has to contain the names already in the files, like _EXTRA0 and _WINDOW. Should be in the same location, but I haven't tested since this update to know for sure.
     
  2. jotix

    jotix Registered

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  3. Gearjammer

    Gearjammer Registered

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    Hmmm, hadn't paid attention to the create dir button in the UI, very nice :)
     
  4. Craven Morespeed

    Craven Morespeed Registered

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    What about the Alpha Channel? Doesn't seem to make things shiny like it did in rfactor(1). I want my Corvette a 'Matte Black' and I didn't see any Specular Maps for the cars either. Am I missing something?

    Thanks,
    Craven
     
  5. TIG_green

    TIG_green Registered

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    View attachment 6121

    I tried to put an image to the left side of the car and it turned out like this :p What did I do wrong?

    When I'm exporting it asks if I want to generate mipmaps...what are those? (I'm using GIMP)
     
  6. Lecram

    Lecram Registered

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    Something I'd like to know as well...
     
  7. D.Painter

    D.Painter Registered

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    Yes, you want mip maps. mip maps are 2squared down in size from the original. 2048x2048 - 1024x1024 - 512x512 and so on till 1x1 pixel. These are used by the engine to show 3D distance. As the car gets further away the smaller the map used, basically. There's a bit more to it but thats the bases behind it. Without mip maps you'll get 1 template image laid flat over the car, not around it as it should.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2013
  8. D.Painter

    D.Painter Registered

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    It's been a growing thought that the DX9 cube maps are doing what the spec map used to do a few years ago so some modders have been using the specs for another purpose. This is trying to use it as a pearling texture under the main template DDS.

    After testing this I don't agree with this and spec is still doing what it was designed for and in conjunction with the cube map, helps to get a even better result for light source reflection, better then having just one or the other.

    Now if it's the case were this Vett of ISI's has no spec map they are thinking with the cube map and now the HRD or HDR thingy,, what ever it is, the models no long require specular light mapping. It was the first way used to give that light effect before cube mapping was designed.

    The Alpha channel.
    It you have a look at some of the screenshot of cars (Corvette's) some have painted, it shows the Alpha is working very well on it. If yours isn't or doesn't appear to be working it maybe a result of the missing spec map and not having the HDR on.
     
  9. lordpantsington

    lordpantsington Registered

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    THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!

    The question now becomes: what is so special about the 3 letters A-L-T? Isn't it enough that I've created a folder specifically for alternate skins and put something in it? I'm still losing 3 characters I could have been using to name my file. Since I'm being limited, a loss of 33.33333% is huge! What also defies logic is the naming convention of "Settings" Shouldn't this be "Setups" with an additional folder for "Paints"? My rf Settings folder was already bloated, I cannot fathom how much stuff it would contain if skins were added. It was already hard to navigate manually.

    The convention of a skins folder was very intuitive, even adding a misc folder was easy to understand. The current standard is counter-intuitive. It is like isi left a mac user in charge of reason, order and logic. :p
     
  10. 88mphTim

    88mphTim racesimcentral.net

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    Alt tells the software it is a car skin, not a wheel or window skin.


    Sent from a mobile device using Tapatalk
     
  11. hoover

    hoover Registered

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    Hey Tim,

    thanks for putting together this guide. Meanwhile I'll be going back to the gimp which produces slightly larger textures compression wise, but I'm also more familiar with it than paint.net (although I did not find the tool as horrible as outlined here).

    Might be worth noting to use the google code DDS plugin with gimp 2.8 as my version mysteriously failed to compress the DDS output, no matter what method I used.

    Cheers, Uwe
     
  12. Deadpedal

    Deadpedal Registered

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    I tried:
    (1) Alt1.dds, Alt1_EXTRA0.dds, Alt1_WINDOW.dds Result: New skin but Scott's windows and wheels
    (2) A1.dds, A1_EXTRA0.dds, A1_WINDOW.dds (In case <10+3 characters limit applies for all 3 files) Result: No Alt skin (Definitely requires "Alt" in name and there is no way to include Alt#_ in the names of the supp files without exceeding 9+3 characters)
    (3) Alt1.dds, CLIO_16_EXTRA0.dds, CLIO_16_WINDOW.dds (Just a shot in the dark test) Result: New skin but still Scott's windows and wheels.

    Finally I tried this and succeeded but it had some unfortunate side-effects:
    Alt.dds, AltEXTRA0.dds, AltWINDOW.dds (w/o the underscore) resulted in successfully having my "Alt" skin with my windows and my wheels, but also resulted in two rather bizarre alternative skins in the spinner named AltEXTRA0 and AltWINDOW! This makes sharing skins with _EXTRA0 and _WINDOW files very difficult because each alternative skin must be based on a different car in that every alternate skin would have exactly the same name (Alt) and you end up with 2 goofy skins for every one you wish to share.

    It appears then that the supp files are also indeed restricted to the <10+3 naming convention but it also means that for each car upon which you base an alternative skin, you end up being restricted to one good skin (because you can't serialize, i.e. number your skins, Alt1, Alt2, etc.,) and two goofy skins based on the supp files. If this <10+3 limitation is not something that can be loosened, maybe what is needed is shorter distinctive file codes for the _EXTRA0 and _WINDOW files so that the base skin file name can be included. E.g. Alt**.dds, Alt**_EX0.dds, Alt**_WDW.dds would allow up to 99 alternate skins by car number (+ any permutations you could manage alpha-numerically). After a peek in the ClioCup_Main.mas and seeing all those long _EXTRA0.dds and _WINDOW.dds file names, I'm not sure it's as simple as that suggestion sounds! Can both long and short codes for the same purpose could co-exist, as in either _EXTRA0 or _EX0? Wish I knew if any of that made sense.
     
  13. Wheelzpin

    Wheelzpin Registered

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    Good start on a painting process, Tim. Here are a couple of suggestions....

    In point #2:
    • Be more specific about the layers. I'd include a bulleted list of the layers that most users would typically edit and why. You could set that whole section up as a sub-process with numbered or lettered points.
    • The point about saving is important. I'd break it out as boxed note with an Important! label.

    In point #3:
    Be more specific about how to save the DDS file. There are lots of options to choose from; not all will render the same results.

    *Note*
    There are also stand alone DDS convertors, so the Nvidia plugin is not mandatory. Those who create their skins on a Mac might like to know this, since there is no plugin for PS on that platform.

    Overall:
    It could do with an introductory section that sets up the piece and tells the reader what (and what not) to expect from it. There isn't much substance, but I assume you'll add to it.

    The writing tends to be passive and contains some excess verbiage. Ensuring you use the active voice throughout will help cut out some unnecessary words.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2013
  14. Gearjammer

    Gearjammer Registered

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    The difficult part of creating a skinning post is that there are so many ways to accomplish the same goal. Programs are different, techniques are going to be different, layout etc. There will also be the language barrier. Though this for the most part an English speaking forum, there are those that do participate here that have to use Google or some other site to translate for them, and the message gets lost a lot of times.

    Ideally, having images for each step of the process is helpful to getting the point across, but is limited to what software is being used. In that regard you would require a different thread for each software that was used for skinning. I would include a link to tutorials on using layers in Photoshop and GIMP as well as a description on how to select different areas of the skin, how to put images into the skin and how to resize those images so they fit on the car the way a person would like it to fit. Because rF2 uses the alpha channel to determine the specular highlights of the paint on the car, I would also include a small tutorial on how to edit the alpha channel.

    I would also include images showing how to use the DDS dialog and what options should be chosen when saving as a DDS and why those options are chosen.

    Not trying to be difficult Tim, but for some people, the more visual you make it, the better they can understand. A different option would be to create a tutorial movie showing exactly what is happening as you are creating a skin.
     
  15. Gearjammer

    Gearjammer Registered

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    MIPMAPS are used by the game engine to show lower detailed images of the car the further from it you get to save on resources. The process is usually listed as LOD or level of detail and the game engine needs to have different MIPMAPS for different drawing distances. If none are created, then one of two things will happen. Either the game engine doesn't find the MIPMAP and just uses a generic color to replace the image, or the game engine doesn't find one and just uses the main images for all draw distances. Normally it is the first part and you will see skins that seem to pop in and out because of this.

    As to what happened on your skin, it would be difficult to say what happened without reviewing the process you used to add the image and place it where you wanted as well as how you saved the image.
     
  16. tjc

    tjc Registered

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    +1

    Having just finished my very first skin I`d completely agree with the above.

    Spot on Gearjammer. :)
     
  17. TIG_green

    TIG_green Registered

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    Would like to see that

    +1
     
  18. Gearjammer

    Gearjammer Registered

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    I am up for making a movie if someone can point me in the right direction for free software that will capture my screen as I make a skin and that can make the movie when I am done. Never done any movies before, but done lot's of skins in both GIMP and Photoshop.
     
  19. 88mphTim

    88mphTim racesimcentral.net

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    I didn't say the extra and window files needed alt, I said the main skin did :)


    Sent from a mobile device using Tapatalk
     
  20. Deadpedal

    Deadpedal Registered

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    True, you didn't say that, but it still appears to be the case by default in that I have further determined that...
    (1) The supplementary files must contain the same base name as the skin but appended with “EXTRA0.dds” and “WINDOW.dds”
    (2) The supplementary files do not have the same 10+3 character limitations as the skin. In fact, they should not be less than 11 characters or they will show up as bizarre looking skins for the car.

    Your guide states, “Note: Your saved DDS file name must be less than 10 characters wide, not including extension, and ‘alt’ must be within the file name.” This should read “10 or less characters wide, not including extension, and ‘alt’ must be within the file name.” That’s 7 optional characters with the character sequence “alt” anywhere in the name. I was basing a fair amount of my dissertation on a file name of less than 10 characters (taken as 9 or less) applying to the skin name and supplemental files which would have resulted in only singular file names being possible (Alt.dds, AltEXTRA0.dds and AltWINDOW.dds). Allowing for more than 10 characters for these supplemental files changes the issue considerably.

    My determinations show that the Clio’s supplementary files naming convention is:
    [custom skin name w/o extension]WINDOW.dds exceeding 10 characters + .dds
    [custom skin name w/o extension]EXTRA0.dds exceeding 10 characters + .dds
    As any custom skin must by design contain the character string "alt", by default, these files end up containing "alt".
    So for a custom skin named for example, custom1alt.dds, the custom window graphic file must be custom1altWINDOW.dds and the custom wheel color file must be named custom1altEXTRA0.dds and must of course exist together in the same folder.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2013

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