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Author Topic: [Solved] HeroMaterial and diffuse maps  (Read 2642 times)

Nocturnus

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[Solved] HeroMaterial and diffuse maps
« on: Aug 27, 11, 01:41:16 PM »

Hi guys, I'm a bit confused here. I've got a model of the earth that I made. I've got a normal map, a spec map, and a bump map. all in .dds format. it looks great rendered normally in maya.
Now, I go in and make a heromaterial but no matter what I seem to do, my textures don't apply. I'm basically just mapping the normal as a file node. There are no options for me to add the spec (unless it's in the alpha of normal) and I have no diffuse map, cause I didn't need one for normal maya rendering.
I guess my question is, do I have to have a diffuse map to make this work? Also, where in the heromat can I add the bump map? I'd really like to have the bumpy mountains on my globe.

Thanks!

Michael
« Last Edit: Aug 29, 11, 09:15:45 PM by Nocturnus »
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Nocturnus

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Re: HeroMaterial and diffuse maps
« Reply #1 on: Aug 27, 11, 10:34:24 PM »

I've been fighting with this all day. I'm using a basic sphere to create a globe of the earth. I've tried using a nurbs sphere and a poly sphere, I get the same results either way.
 I now have a diffuse map and a normal map with a spec map in the alpha.
The textures are satellite images of the earth. maps are saved as dxt 1 for the diffuse, and dxt5 for the normal.

I create the heromaterial as per the instructions yet my sphere always just comes out as a pink ball in maya, the texture never shows, even when I render in maya it comes up as a pink circle there.

Even so I've gone ahead and exported it (several times now) to the same place in the directory structure on my hard drive as the place it will be on the server. i.e. \HE\world\livecontent\Resources\common for the gr2 file, and \HE\world\livecontent\Resources\common\textures for the corresponding maps.

I am able to access the asset inside heroblade, seeing no thumbnail for it (think I have to set that myself anyway) and if I try to add the asset to the world it obviously adds something, because i get a bounding box for it. yet the box is effectively empty.

Obviously I'm doing something wrong in this process, but after 8 hours or so today I'm at my wits end. Any help would be appreciated.

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Nocturnus

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Re: HeroMaterial and diffuse maps
« Reply #2 on: Aug 28, 11, 07:57:27 PM »

Issues seem to relate to the common pathing issue. I still don't have it fully working but I was getting a file path error in the console. I have other errors now but I'm working on it.  ;D

for anyone who reads this concerning related issues, I can't stress enough that you need to be very precise on where you save your files, and in fact, I needed to change my maya default save settings to point to my HE directory.

Also, be sure you utilize your console in heroblade when you are importing troublesome assets. so far for me it's been pretty clear in it's explanations of how my assets are failing to import.

Michael
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Taschenmogul

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Re: HeroMaterial and diffuse maps
« Reply #3 on: Aug 29, 11, 04:48:30 PM »

Honestly I canīt believe nobody answered you on this.
Ok, perhaps thatīs because it may refer to a very (!) common problem, the named pathing issue.
Iīm quite sure that the HE staff has learned that this is an issue so common that it may merit special attention.
I also guess that this issue might be resolved when FBX file support will be added; cause it wouldnīt make much sense to enable users to import models without the ability to assign materials/textures to them in the engine.

Iīm confused though that you say the issue was partly resolved.
The pathing issue should normally be easy to resolve, once you know what to do.
Have you tried using DXT 5 for all your textures?
Apart from that; you can use a bump map in the alpha channel of your diffuse map, using it as "displacement map", but with all map types you (sadly) are restricted to the scheme that is given by the Hero material (spec in alpha of normal map, etc.).
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Nocturnus

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Re: HeroMaterial and diffuse maps
« Reply #4 on: Aug 29, 11, 06:15:28 PM »

Hey, thanks for the reply, I'm finding that the learning curve on HE is a bit steeper than I expected, so any and all help is greatly appreciated.

information that it was giving an error about the project location. I'm using f:\HE but the export was attempting to pull the textures from the my documents folder. That appears to have been just an issue with the default maya project folder settings. Even though, I was pulling my textures from the f:\HE folder, it was trying to locate them elsewhere. I wouldn't have know that if I hadn't caught it during the export process.

regarding bump and other maps. I am not an artist, unfortunately we don't have one at the moment so as project manager I'm trying to export this large folder of artwork that we do have. So, if I seem a bit dense in this area it's cause I'm trying to learn on the fly.
I discovered a section of the wiki http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Normal_Maps_with_MIP_Levels_Tutorial that I should be putting the bump in the alpha of the normal map.
and that my diffuse map should basically be what I would call my normal image. as in the basic colored texture.
http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Diffuse_texture
I was basically doing things backwards from that. So now I'm trying it based on what the wiki tells me.

here's the kicker though, no matter what I do, when I apply the heromaterial to my object, (which currently is a simple polygon sphere with some satellite images of the earth applied to it) I never see the texture apply in Maya. Is that normal for HE? I'm used to actually seeing the textures on my wireframe when I apply them in maya on a Blinn or whatever. I expect I should see the textures applied before I export, that's what I've kind of been looking for as confirmation that I'm doing it right. Like I said, I'm not a technical artist but I'm a pretty quick study, it's a bit frustrating that this is kicking my butt.

Thanks again!

Michael
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Rissa2002

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Re: HeroMaterial and diffuse maps
« Reply #5 on: Aug 29, 11, 07:34:41 PM »

few small corrections to your last post in regards to textures:

your have a diffuse map (your pretty textures) the alpha there IF used is a transparency map

your normal map aka bump  and IF ya use it, its alpha being used as a specular map (shiny look)

i use max and not maya but they "should" work the same in that your textures should show on your model before ya export

ya may need a plugin for .dds texture files to show up? in max ya can check your plugins and it shows ya which are there not sure how to direct anyone for maya tho sorry..
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Nocturnus

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Re: HeroMaterial and diffuse maps
« Reply #6 on: Aug 29, 11, 09:15:20 PM »

For anyone who's reading and interested, I got everything working. I still don't see the textures on my model in maya when they're applied as heromaterial, but my asset exported and added to the engine just fine tonight. It popped in at camera position just beautifully.

Lessons Learned:

1.check all your paths, even the default project save path. Make sure your directory structure matches your repo.
2. used the nvidia dds tool properly. save as dxt1 for files with no alpha channel, dxt5 for files with alpha channel.
3. Use the dds map filter in the nvidia tool and set your mips properly when using a "bumpy" texture.
4. double and triple check the wiki!

wiki links that helped me:
http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Hero_Export
http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Hero_Export_Guide
http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Bump_%2B_Spec_texture
http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Diffuse_texture
http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Creating_Normal_Maps_with_MIP_Levels
http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Assets_FAQ Some very specific info on adding assets that I must admit I missed. For awhile I was only adding the item and then double clicking it. You MUST "add instance" for it to appear in your world.

Michael


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FI-ScottZ

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Re: [Solved] HeroMaterial and diffuse maps
« Reply #7 on: Aug 29, 11, 10:08:35 PM »

Just a note regarding dds images:  If you plan to use them in the GUI, they will not appear unless they are DXT3.  An error message comes up from the engine saying only DXT3 is supported.
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Scott Zarnke
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Taschenmogul

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Re: [Solved] HeroMaterial and diffuse maps
« Reply #8 on: Aug 31, 11, 06:57:48 AM »

@Scott: Iīm confused - I think to remember that using DXT 3 for assets would give you an error and DXT 5 was the way to go.
http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Creating_a_HeroMaterial (under "Material Parameters") also gives that information.
I havenīt tried any GUI work though, so is having to use DXT 3 a GUI-related thing?

@Rissa: Think I have to correct your correction - the alpha of the diffuse map can be used for various things, transparency is among them but displacement and glow are also.

Regarding visibility in Maya: To my knowledge it is normal that you donīt see the textures in Max or Maya.
You can download GrannyViewer for free though where you can check your asset after you have exported it.
As far as I have seen, GrannyViewer doesnīt show you normalmapping and specular mapping (etc.) correctly, but it will at least show you if your textures work in general.
You can get it via the link given here: http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Granny_Viewer

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FI-ScottZ

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Re: [Solved] HeroMaterial and diffuse maps
« Reply #9 on: Aug 31, 11, 03:32:51 PM »

Right, I am only referring to images to be used as GUI textures. They should be DXT3.

You can also use standard PNGs for GUI textures.  I somewhat prefer that, since few art programs deal with DDS.  The only hitch is that the repo browser does not show thumbnails for non-dds images (although the thumbs do work in the browser activated by script call; you just have to create the thumbs manually in the _thumbs folder).  I haven't tried other formats, but they might work as well.

Materials for 3D things do, I believe, need to be dds, probably because that format supports built-in mipmaps.
« Last Edit: Aug 31, 11, 03:38:59 PM by ScottZarnke »
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Scott Zarnke
Lead Programmer, Visions of Zosimos
CTO, Forever Interactive, Inc.

Stadi_Thompson

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Re: [Solved] HeroMaterial and diffuse maps
« Reply #10 on: Sep 02, 11, 05:06:14 PM »

Regarding visibility in Maya: To my knowledge it is normal that you donīt see the textures in Max or Maya.
You can download GrannyViewer for free though where you can check your asset after you have exported it.
As far as I have seen, GrannyViewer doesnīt show you normalmapping and specular mapping (etc.) correctly, but it will at least show you if your textures work in general.

You can see the textures fine in Max, it's Maya that has that issue.
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DeeRobbins

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Re: [Solved] HeroMaterial and diffuse maps
« Reply #11 on: Sep 10, 11, 06:30:10 PM »

hey there all, i see textures fine in Max so long as i dont add displacement, when that is added they are not displayed correctly. This could be a max version thing or other, however Granny viewer is an extra step that displays if you feel you need to check before importing. Personnally.. after i checked the first few i now dont bother as they show fine on import. Hope this helps a little. DBx
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