FINAL FANTASY XV WINDOWS EDITION

FINAL FANTASY XV WINDOWS EDITION

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Ultimate Texture And Material Guide
By EratoTiaTuatha
FFXV Textures Decoded
Welcome to the comprehensive guide on the textures used by FFXV. From name conventions to recreating the original look of the models and material settings, I'll teach you what all these disturbing images mean and how to use them.
NOW UPDATED with a complete setup for mods!!

Expect:
  1. A list of texture files used by the game's models
  2. Naming conventions used by said files
  3. Explanation of what each file is, and what it actually does
  4. How to reapply the textures to models, with special focus on Blender (since it's more complex of the two)
  5. Setting up materials just like in the game's models
  6. Information on what is and isn't known to be preserved during fbx export and mod building
 
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TEXTURES - the overview
Let's begin by listing the kinds of textures you'll find on the game's models
  • _b - DIFFUSE. They tell the engine what color the object is
  • _n - NORMAL. They create an illusion of surface detail
  • _o - OCCLUSION. They provide additional shading
  • _a - ALPHA. They inform which areas are transparent
  • _m - METALNESS. They differentiate between metal and non-metal
  • _r - ROUGHNESS. They decide how polished a surface is
  • _s - SPECULAR. These say how shiny things are
  • _mm - RECOLOR. These allow for customizing parts of the model by recoloring
  • _mrs - METALNESS, ROUGHNESS, SPECULAR. The different channels contain different information and in Blender Internal you need to use them separately
MATERIALS - BASICS
Let's go over the most important sections that are common for all materials first.
Most material settings are things we will soon be plugging textures into, so it'll help to establish the basics. Also, if you input these settings first, you'll be able to much more accurately see the changes your texture files make to your model. And since I've got visual examples coming up, I want you to know what you're looking at! If I skip an option without explaining, assume it's not relevant and you should probably leave it alone ;)

DIFFUSE
  • WHAT IT IS
    Diffuse, albedo or color, are all terms that different software and engines apply to this element. It defines the color of the material, and as such can be called the most basic property it has. In physics terms, it relates to how the material interacts with light resulting in our eyes being able to perceive color.
  • VALUES
    color - It defines the color of the object. Since we're using image maps for that, leave it white
    intensity - This tells us how visible the color is. The standard is 0.8 or 1, depending on the software and engine. There isn't all that much of a difference between these two values. FFXV materials use 0.8.
    shader - Since it isn't the point of this guide, I won't be going into detail, but basically these are different algorithms the renderer can use to calculate the material's color. Be aware not all of them are compatibile with the game.
    ramp - This option allows you to use a gradient to control the balance between the image texture and the diffuse color of the material. Let's leave it be.

SPECULAR
  • WHAT IT IS
    Specularity is essentially the shininess of the surface. Remember, it does not make things reflective, it only controls the specks of light visible on them. Think of it as an artist applying highlights to their work.
  • VALUES
    color - Specular color tells the engine what color these highlights should be. In real world, however, the object doesn't define what color the highlights will be - the lighting does. So, unless you want to make things unrealistic, leave it white.
    intensity - The main setting controlling the shininess of the material. Again, we're mapping this, so leave it at 0.5. The scale is confusing, I know. It looks like the "normal" value should be either at 0 or 1... But trust me, real world accurate neutral value is right at the middle there.
    shader - Much like diffuse shaders are different algorithms for diffuse, specular shaders are algorithms used to calculate highlights
    hardness - This setting controls the edge of the highlights. Whether it's soft and blurry or sharp. Again, there's a map for this, so you shouldn't have to mess with it.
    ramp - In regards to specularity the ramp option works by giving you more control over the shape of the highlights. It's not exactly realistic, so we'll ignore it

SHADING
  • WHAT IT IS
    Some special, additional options regarding shading.
  • VALUES
    emit - Allows the material to emit light. Unless you specifically *want* light-up models, leave it at zero
    ambient - Makes the object the ambient color. The ambient color is generally white, and represents the sort of "basic" color the world is before all other things come into play. You always want this set to zero!!
    WARNING ABOUT COMMON MISTAKE - When you create a new material Blender will set Ambient value to 1!! MAKE SURE YOU CHANGE IT, otherwise your model will glow in the dark!!
    translucency - Immitates the way light can pass through very thin objects, like a sheet of paper. Should be turned off for anything that is not, in fact, paper thin!
    shadeless - When you check this option, the object will not be shaded at all. No shadows. None.

TRANSPARENCY
  • WHAT IT IS
    Enables the object to have any transparent parts at all.
  • VALUES
    alpha - Just how see-through the material is
    specular - How much the object shines. It's applied on top of the specular shader, so whatever the spec shader came up gets adjusted by this value.
    WARNING ABOUT COMMON MISTAKE - If your material has ANY transparent elements, you need to enable transparency here IN ADDITION TO plugging in an alpha texture. In order for the texture to take effect you ALSO need to set both the alpha and specular sliders to ZERO

MIRROR
  • WHAT IT IS
    Makes things reflective.
  • VALUES
    reflectivity - as the name implies, the main attribute controlling just how reflective the surface is.
    IN ORDER FOR YOUR METALNESS MAP TO WORK PROPERLY you need to enable Mirror AND set reflectivity to exactly 0.5.
    mirror color - everything that's reflective and not a metal will always have this white. Different metals have different mirror colors, but we have a map for that. So, leave it white!
    Fresnel - It controls the way an object's reflectivity depends on the angle we're looking from. It's very technical stuff, so let's set it around 1.8 and forget about it
    blend - It controls the balance between the object's color showing through and the reflection. Kind of like applying a mask to the Fresnel effect and making it show more or less. 1.5 seems to be working well.
    gloss - it controls whether reflections are sharp or blurry.

SUB SURFACE SCATTERING
  • WHAT IT IS
    Allows for light to penetrate objects
  • VALUES
    IOR - index of refraction, which describes the physical property of the material. Each material is different, and you can look up lists online or use the provided drop down menu for a few popular ones. For a good baseline try setting it to 1.45 or 1.5
    blend - The balance between the effects of the SSS and the object's surface color.
    FFXV uses SSS but it won't be retained on export from Blender through the MO

SHADOW
  • WHAT IT IS
    Controls the way shadows are rendered on the object
  • VALUES
    RECEIVE TRANSPARENT is what allows the object to receive shadows of partially transparent objects (like hair) properly. Otherwise it will receive the shadow of the entire mesh, not the visible parts. REMEMBER, it's counterintuitive but TO MAKE YOUR TRANSPARENT OBJECT CAST SHADOWS PROPERLY YOU NEED TO CHECK RECEIVE TRANSPARENT ON THE OBJECT RECEIVING THE SHADOW, NOT THE ONE CASTING IT!!
MATERIALS - FFXV
Here's the proper material settings for your FFXV models to look like they do in the game

Disclaimer: This tutorial focuses on how the game's assets are built, not how to make mods. Many of these elements will not export properly into FBX format and/or will not be preserved by the Mod Organizer software.
The purpose of this tutorial in regards to modding is to ensure you know your materials are set up properly in the first place. Otherwise when you mod something and it's not coming out properly you wouldn't know whether it was your mistake or the limitations of modding in general!

THAT BEING SAID, this guide was just updated to include the proper in-game setups for all the textures. Namely, the Roughness/Specular maps as those were the ones omitted previously. So scroll down to the bottom and feast on this new information!!

GENERAL
The material you'll be using for most things, eg characters' outfits.


SKIN
Material for the skin. It's using a different spec shader, and I included my SSS settings. However, these depend on the scale of the model and aren't retained in mods anyway, so these are just a reference point for you if you want to make nice renders of the imported models.

Note: the game's actual assets always have MIRROR enabled and just use a pure black map to turn it off if it's not needed. I omitted it here because it's pointless for me.

THE RENDER
Here's what the basic (with MIRROR) material looks like rendered without any maps:

It's all white and about 50% reflective. Now you know what to compare our upcoming examples to!
_b - DIFFUSE
What it looks like


How to set it up

Note: The game's textures have this set to multiply, but I've seen no difference between that and setting its blend mode to mix.

What it looks like in the viewport


Rendered


Naming conventions

Official files end with _b, no evidence of it being necessary
_n - NORMALS
What it looks like


How to set it up

Note: In order for it to work you NEED to check the Normal Map option under Image Sampling
Note: I have my influence set to 1 here and it looks good on my renders. However, game assets use an influence of 0.35, so you probably want to set that for your mods.

What it looks like in the viewport


Rendered


Naming conventions

Official files end with _n, YOURS NEEDS TO BE NAMED THE SAME
_o - OCCLUSION
What it looks like

OR

How to set it up

Note: Pay attention to the Map attribute in the Mapping section!! Some of the game's OCCLUSION maps need to be set to DiffuseUV, others to LightmapUV. You'll know by comparing the _o texture to the _b texture. If the layout of parts is the same, map it to DiffuseUV. If it's different (especially if the texture looks like a mangled mess like the example above), map it to LightmapUV

What it looks like in the viewport


Rendered


Naming conventions

Official files end with _o, no evidence of it being necessary
_mrs - METALNESS, ROUGHNESS, SPECULAR
What it looks like


How to set it up

Long story short, you can't. Use an image editor to separate it by channel.

RGB=>MRS

The order of maps is the same as the order the channels are in. Thus:
Red = Metalness
Green = Roughness
Blue = Specular

Naming conventions

Official files end with _mrs, no known way to plug it in as is

THAT BEING SAID, you can absolutely make metalness work in the game. Here's what it will look like, confirmed to work on both model swaps and outfits


If you zoom in you'll see the nice mirror effect on the rivets and D-ring.

How to achieve that? Keep reading, my friend~
_m - METALNESS
What it looks like


How to set it up


What it looks like in the viewport

NOTICE it doesn't look at all. It doesn't change anything in the viewport because the viewport doesn't do raytracing, and thus doesn't do mirror reflections either.

Rendered


SETUP FOR THE GAME

Ditch this one, I haven't been able to get it to do anything significant as the actual metalness seems to be part of a shader we don't have access to in mods.
_r - ROUGHNESS
What it looks like


How to set it up


Why is it set to negative?

Quite simply, the value we're working with in Blender Internal, Specular Hardness, is the opposite of Roughness.
Both describe the same thing, but in opposite way. Like how you'd answer differently when asked how bright the sun is (very) than when asked how dark it is (not much)

What it looks like in the viewport


Rendered


SETUP FOR THE GAME

This one is a little complex.

Once you have it separated, you need to invert the colors, then fiddle with the brightness and contrast until you have a nice range all the way from near-black to almost-white.
This is the exact same thing the game does, actually. If you rip them from the game at runtime, the roughness maps are inverted and have their contrast much higher than the ones from the files. It's the work of shaders that aren't applied to mods.


Then, inside Blender, set it up as such:


Influence: Specular Hardness.
Blend: Multiply
Do NOT check either RGB to intensity or Negative (we've already done the inverting!)
_s - SPECULAR
What it looks like


How to set it up


What it looks like in the viewport


Rendered


SETUP FOR THE GAME

For it to work properly in game you need only to set it up like so:


Influence: Specular Intensity
Blend: Mix
RGB to Intensity
SKIN AND HAIR VS VIEWPORT AND RENDERING
As a final note, here's a couple renders and viewport screenshots of the textured model

You'll see that the skin looks rather horrid in the viewport. It would be less so if I turned down the influence on Normals, but I have it up because it looks good in renders.
Also, in the viewport the hair is kind of see-through. It's a feature ;)
Last thing, the shading looks rather dramatically different. That's because I'm using environment lighting in addition to lamps to get a nicer, more realistic looking render.
This leads me to

The influence light has on the render

Trust me, you want to pay attention to this if you aren't aware already. It can make you think you're having issues with the model when in reality you just aren't viewing it right.

Here's the same final render, but with only the lamps:

Now the same render, but with just the environment lighting:

And finally, the one with everything enabled:
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5 Comments
Dnutt20X6 Oct 31, 2018 @ 11:55am 
You're missing _e for what looks like an emission texture. (glow)

I was poking through weapon files and noticed the Ragnarok has this for its glowing blade effect.
EratoTiaTuatha  [author] Sep 10, 2018 @ 8:19am 
@mrsaturn241 By neck seam do you mean this issue? https://impatient-traveler.tumblr.com/post/177141756356 If so, no go on that in the current state of the game. Mods are only given access to a generic/basic shader which doesn't include things like SubSurface Scattering capability. So all mods are doomed to be dark, slightly messed up looking and to get dark muddy-colored during rain. This'll have to get fixed by SE, if it ever does.
mrsaturn241 Sep 10, 2018 @ 7:42am 
Thank you for your hard work! Were you able to get rid of the neck seam for costume mods though? I followed the guide and the neck seams are more prominent than ever :(
many hp low def Aug 7, 2018 @ 1:05pm 
huge thanks for this!
Blinding Awesomeness Jul 27, 2018 @ 6:47pm 
Thank you so much for posting this! This will be useful, even if you just want to look at models. :D