bump maps I have found need to have pretty neutral middles with a very faint ‘detail’ texture and the highs and lows are pretty much white and black for panels or other features. I have found that I need to start with a neutral grey, overlay the panel lines and pits in black and then add some white areas to provide panel popups. outside of baking normal maps I haven’t found anything else looks good (and it is hard to take an existing DIFF and convert it into a good enough bump map to make a quality normal map) I have also found it to be very important to have a high resolution NORM even if the bump it was created from was low resolution, for RODOH ships I am doubling the NORM resolution and leaving the DIFF as is for now unless I am scratch building it. This has the effect of tightening the Normal interpolation and getting rid or minimizing the plastic wrap effect.
REFL seems to work well as being a desaturated diffuse as long as you are okay with the ship picking up the background lighting colors (ships with color will look weird under certain lighting, though TEAM and STRP seem to look okay when DIFF of the same color doesn’t…) if you want the ship to stay its normal colors then this can be near black
SPEC is the one that seems to have the biggest issue, I would leave it almost black unless there is some edge or chrome like piece. In the old HW2 SPEC could be used to give an almost bump map like effect and had a nice overblown bloom in a lot of cases, now this really ends up looking bad. I am finding myself making the brightest area of a ship hull on the SPEC no more than 20% brightness and only a few detail areas when I want a glint am I pushing it beyond 50%. I have had some luck in creating a ‘bulb’ effect by having a very minor GLOW, a very white REFL and a light grey SPEC
Here is the spec that RODOH exported from the original 2007 file I had
and here it is in game
Adjusted significantly down
my current RODOH-> conversion is as follows and it turns out pretty good
- open dae in max
- change any dxt5 to dxt1 in the material editor as per bitvenoms suggestion
on ignoring transparency when it is not needed. This also seems to
help some of the texture coordinate corruption, but not the mesh
corruption (see below)
- take the SPEC.tga channel, copy and rename to
- Darken the original SPEC.tga by almost 90% (use legacy option in
photoshop) and save the SPEC.tga.
- Take the DIFF.tga and copy it to a BUMP.tga
- double the BUMP.tga resolution using a sharpen filter,
desaturate it, and drop the contrast and brighness a little bit.
- use the xnormal heightmap converter to generate a NORM.tga from the BUMP.tga using 4Samples
and a smooth of 1.0 from the lumosity channel
now RODOH is still eating some of the meshes alive, here is one of the worst, almost everything is missing
This is what the old hod looks like before conversion with RODOH
when opened in max the vertices are still there as are the edges, but no faces (not flipped or anything, just gone) all of the meshes I have went through the RDN maya pipeline so they should be the cleanest hods possible to start with. Luckily I have all of the source files, but it is a pain to rebuild (about 15% of the RODOH ships have this problem)