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Solstickan Sep 8, 2013 @ 2:25pm
A Question about .DDS Texture settings (Photoshop)
So, I've recently begun texturing stuff just for fun, to learn. Right now I'm working on the galaxy seen from side at night, Alderaan (Masser) and Deathstar (Secunda)... But I've stumbled onto some problems.

1: The Galaxy looks neat and all, and it has that "repeating" seam at left and right, so there won't be a visible seam when they meet eachoher and go round.
The problem is top and bottom.. they are faded out properly, so they should not have a sharp edge.
The problem is the "transparency-black".
It doesn't seem to be... well.... transparent... As seen on the link here there is therefor a seem at the top and bottom of the texture.

http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/4452/wfak.jpg

2: More or less the same problem, but with the Deathstar moon Secunda here... see the same picture actually, it's on there.
What I tried here was to add all those halfmoon, quartermoon and stuff, all those phases... but instead of fading of to be unseen.. it is, as seen on the picture... fading into black... giving me a round sharp black ball. not really neat looking.

I am using the NVIDIA DDS tool thingy that lets me open and save files as .dds in the newer versions of Photoshop.
I load the files with "Load Using Default Sizes" and "Load MIP maps" set to off.

Then I get to pic from a lot of choises, namely these:

DXT1 RGB 4 bpp | no alpha
DXT1 ARGB 4 bpp | 1 bit alpha
DXT3 ARGB 8 bpp | explicit alpha
DXT5 ARGB 8 bpp | interpolated alpha
DXT5_NM XY 8 bpp | using DXT5
3Dc XY 8 bpp | Normal Map
palette RGB 4 bpp | 16 colors
palette RGB 8 bpp | 256 colors
palette ARGB 4 bpp | 16 colors + alpha
palette ARGB 8 bpp | 256 colors + alpha
8 A 8 bpp | alpha
8 L 8 bpp | luminance
8.8 AL 16 bpp | alpha/luminance
8.8 VU 16 bpp | signed
8.8 CxVU 16 bpp | signed
8.8.8.8 QWVU 32 bpp | signed
16.16 VU 32 bpp | signed
5.5.5 RGB 16 bpp | unsigned
5.6.5 RGB 16 bpp | unsigned
1.5.5.5 ARGB 16 bpp | unsigned
4.4.4.4 RGB 16 bpp | unsigned
8.8.8 RGB 24 bpp | unsigned
8.8.8.8 ARGB 32 bpp | unsigned
X.8.8.8 XRGB 32 bpp | unsigned
16.16 GB 32 bpp | unsigned
16f R 16 bpp | floating point
16.16f GR 32 bpp | floating point
16.16.16.16f ABGR 64 bpp | floating point
32f R 32 bpp | floating point
32.32.32.32f ABGR 128 bpp | floating point

And... I have to be terribly honest with you guys.... this tells me nothing.... so what should I use?
I tried DXT1 4bpp no alpha thingy.. the 1st setting... that was preset after loading the file...
That worked.... BUT, the image was very faded out... on a clear night i barely saw the texture.. it was on like opacity 25% or something...
then I tried DXT5 interpolated.. which i read somewhere on the nexus site was a good thing to do for some unknown reason... and that's when i get a very clear image of my texture, which is great.. but also this seam as you see in the image i linked.

So... what should I use instead?
Showing 1-7 of 7 comments
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Solstickan Sep 9, 2013 @ 1:31am 
Any takers?
Cyrax 4 Sep 9, 2013 @ 8:41am 
Hey there.
Saving the textures in right DDS format is relatevly simple.

If your texture does NOT have any transparency, it should be saved as:
DXT1 RGB 4 bpp | no alpha

However, once you have transparency involved, it becomes a little more tricky.

If you go to the channels menu in photoshop (instead of layers), you will have: "RGB", "Red", "Green" and "Blue".
For transparency, you will need a new channel called "Alpha 1". It will only accept greyscale colors.
Everything that is white will be visible. Everything that is black is invisible (transparent).
Everything inbetween will have transparency.

Now, if you want simple transparency, where you only use black and white colors, you have to save the DDS as:

DXT1 ARGB 4 bpp | 1 bit alpha

And if you have more gradient-like transparency with gray colors, it will have to be:

DXT3 ARGB 8 bpp | explicit alpha


I really do not think that other DDS options are used for anything in Skyrim.

Best of luck.
Solstickan Sep 10, 2013 @ 2:26pm 
I'll just copy paste everything you just said in a textfile for easy remembering. :)
So for the skyrimgalaxy.dds I need the DXT3 ARGB 8 bpp | explicit alpha to make sure it fades good enough..
Neat, I'll try that out, thank you very much. :)
Solstickan Sep 10, 2013 @ 2:33pm 
Noticed that when I added the Alpha 1 channel and "drew" a gradient there, the "black" part is red. I'll see if it works that way anyway. But if it turns out red in the sky aswell I'll have to ask how to fix that aswell then. :)
Cyrax 4 Sep 10, 2013 @ 2:42pm 
Do not worry, it is only red in photoshop.
If you turn off the RGB channel, you will just see greyscale one.
Solstickan Sep 10, 2013 @ 2:49pm 
Just looked at my new nightsky, and just as you said it worked wonders! :)
I just need to take that gradient a bit more..... gradient. There was still a soft visible edge, but that's because i didn't fade it "slow" enough. :P

Superthanks! :D
Cyrax 4 Sep 10, 2013 @ 2:54pm 
You are most welcome. Best of luck to you.
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Date Posted: Sep 8, 2013 @ 2:25pm
Posts: 7