View Full Version : Excessive shine, but not a specular problem
30th Dec 2010, 12:41 PM
At least - this is not a specular TEXTURE problem. I have a thread at TSR and they have left this question pretty much alone. I will explain the problem - I work in TSRW and recently have tried to work with S3PE and S3OC with the plug in as I am far more visual than technical so bear with me. I am not very technical, but wish to understand the programming behind objects.
I have finally deduced what the problem is, but I don't have a fix. When creating an object - it can be any object (but this doesn't always apply to every object), though I noticed it first on paintings. In that case the Sunflower painting didn't have a problem, but it is a limited base. When adding a new mask with additional colors beyond what the original mesh has (if it has red or red and green and you add green and blue or blue) whatever area the new colors on the mask are added suddenly become excessively shiny.
I don't understand how this happens, but somehow TSRW generates something called a specular map. It is in the Materials Editor, under the main group (usually group_1) on the Mesh tab. If you look at what is in that file you'll see a specular map. Open that and whatever added color aligns exactly with this map and it is made white - which is shiny. It's like a merging of the mask and specular fields. Sadly this field is not editable. It exports a WST (workshop texture) and even if you delete the field and try to generate a new one it will not work and deleting it all together makes the shine an even bigger problem.
This seems to be with newer versions of TSRW. At least - I am noticing it now - a lot - but I know I tinkered with additional colors on the mask even in my early days (which for me would be about nine months ago).
Side story - I had a table that was fixed by importing files via the S3PE plug-in - in that case three were imported but really the RIG file was the key.
What part of the file assigns mask and texture. I am theorizing that if I could import that portion via the plug in that this might fix the texture and stop the shine. I don't wish to release things with excessive shine but I am exhausting my base game object selection.
OR - it is possible to take any ol' three or four color mask object and via the plug in tell it "you are now a coffee table" by importing the FPTP, RLST, and RIG files. Are there other things I should be moving over so I could take the gnome (three color channels) and make him into a painting file so I can avoid this problem?
30th Dec 2010, 01:31 PM
Hi Bau :)
The excessive shininess you're describing sounds like a specular problem to me. I don't use TSRW so I can't help out there. In s3pe though there are IMG's which are dds files that control the mask and the specular. The specular is typically a dds with an alpha. If a portion of the Specular dds is white the areas of the object which are mapped to that portion will be very shiny in-game. S3pe allows you to export the IMG, edit it to your specifications, and then import your new IMG back into the package.
The dds IMG files are connected to most items, and paintings fall into this category, through the OBJD Material TGI's. For a good illustration of what I mean you can look at cmomoney's tutorial on adding extra images to a painting.
It's unclear to me though that you would need to import the OBJD via the plugin. It may be that you could make your own all black Specular and just import that. Someone like HL who is familiar with both tools would probably be able to give good advice on that. If she doesn't see this thread perhaps you could PM her and ask her to take a look at your question here.
It is possible to take one kind of object and make it behave like another by importing the appropriate resources into a .package. I've made a table into a functional chair this way for example. You would also need the appropriate script which is found in the OBJK to do that though...at least I did to make a table into a chair. If you leave the old script in place your painting would have all the characteristics of the gnome as far as interactions go I think.
It would probably be easiest to solve your Specular problem rather than making the gnome into a painting but I could be mistaken.
30th Dec 2010, 03:14 PM
I can't reproduce this issue in TSRW, and tbh I'm a bit confused as to the actual issue. Other than the object is shiny, which tells me your specular has a white alpha rather than black. In TSRW all images are exportable as a dds, the ones in the textures tab as well as those listed under materials in the mesh tab. When changing the mask to two colors and enabling the second channel, none of the existing materials in the mesh tab changed for me.
Importing different resources to change the FTPT, RIG or RLST isn't going to fix the shiny as none of those has anything to do with the texture aspect.
30th Dec 2010, 03:28 PM
Try importing a black image with full black alpha into the specular, and a white image with full black alpha into the overlay. I just use a 32x32 PNG for this and it fixed some other issues I was having with specular/overlay type stuff. Just make sure to say no when it asks if you want to update all the sizes of everything.
30th Dec 2010, 03:44 PM
I assure everyone - the specular has an all black alpha - it's the first thing I checked and I have once again encountered this problem - this time with a coffee table - last time is was a wall lamp - other times it was paintings. I can upload the file, but it will be a Workshop file. I ended up having to find (in the case of the wall lamp) a light that had three mask colors. I know it sounds absolutely insane but this is the ONLY area of the file that this seems to make sense on - this odd specular MAP (not texture) in the materials editor on the mesh tab. I am going to attempt to attach photos of one of the paintings that I was having trouble with - only the sunflower painting did not have this problem.
I would have said maybe it was one particular version of TSRW but it's been on 2.0.0, 2.0.9, 2.0.10, and now 2.0.11. I have no idea if there is something set somewhere else in a program or on my computer that could be affecting this. I no longer use DDS files for the mask or multiplier as the DDS plugin would glitch on me all too often and add alpha bits even when there was no alpha channel added so there would be these tiny dots of blank spaces on the texture. I even tried replacing the TIFF file for PNG and DDS but nothing seems to fix it - so I am trying to find a work around as I am tired of the increasing obscure problems this foolish program seems to pose for me.
May I PM you the workshop file HugeLunatic where you have the program to look at it? In this case - everywhere BLUE shows up on the mask, it has excessive sheen. This is a coffee table file that I would be sending to you and it is currently just cloned and textured.
About the photos - this is the identical mesh with identical textures put onto the Modern Pink Cubism painting mesh and then the one with no shine was put onto the Sunflower. Everything is identical - the workshop created this specular map that altered the shine. It is not something that can be edited and when it is removed it is even worse.
EDIT: HystericalParoxysm - I will try that - thank you. I am guessing it resets it? I can then add the corrected textures after it loads those?
30th Dec 2010, 04:08 PM
This is just an update post HystericalParoxysm's suggestion, with photos. It fixes the problem, but I cannot replace with my textures again as it starts the problem again. Having no specular - this creates a flat looking object, yes? If I need the overlay, would I just use the stencil instead? I was hoping to add nailheads and the like.
I still wonder if there is a work around. This problem has plagued me for some time now on so many objects.
EDIT - I can just use the overlay - keep the mask two colors and have a permanent texture on say the wheels. Ultimately, I am trying to find a fix for every time I encounter this - this project can be altered to meet the limitations I am encountering, but I can't do that for every time I encounter this problem.
EDIT - I am also including the original file screen shots - I have altered the mask to have no blue - so it is just red and green like the original table it is cloned on. The results are exactly what I am trying to explain - no sheen. This specular map is the only thing that changes in the whole file that I can visually see.
30th Dec 2010, 04:23 PM
Having a blank specular (or rather, a black specular - telling it to use a blank one results in red shine if you apply a shiny pattern like metal) means no shine. Which is fine, IMO - since shine should be more a function of the pattern you apply (which has its own specular) than the object's built-in shine, except in special cases. I'm not precisely sure what the overlay does but I was able to make a perfectly nice looking object really using just the mask and multiplier. YMMV.
30th Dec 2010, 05:10 PM
I really appreciate this work around HystericalParoxysm - this problem has been driving me mental for a long time and I have always believed the specular to be essential to the textures. If I encounter a different solution, I will come back to post the results.
I wish there were simply a way to edit this foolish file the program generates.
30th Dec 2010, 08:02 PM
baufive this issue isn't with the specular texture listed under the Texture tab in TSRW.
It has more to do with the fact that you added a color channel to an object, changed the mesh and didn't modify the shader to go with it.
Unfortunately, no-one that I know of , knows enough about the shader settings to make more then a very few changes, safely.
FYI, just in case you didn't know, The Materials Editor edits the shader info, any changes made within it, is changing the shader for that mesh group
and many times a mesh group will have 2 or 3 shaders defined for it.
The glossiness your seeing was probably used on a small part of the original object, and become associated with a mesh group on your new mesh,
when you didn't change it.
Unfortunately EA uses more then 1 method of adding glossiness to an object and this is the wall you've run into :)
There are several solutions you can try....
If the Materials Editor is using a specular for a mesh group, that isn't the one you made, you can try and edit the entry and point it to yours.
Usually this will fail because TSRW may open the reference in the property editor, which isn't very functional atm.
You could try and edit the mesh groups material settings in S3PE, but that's pretty much uncharted territory and you would be on your own.
You could edit your specular in Gimp and hide the specular with a Layer Mask, and if that didn't work, you could back it up by
setting the Alpha Mask Threshold to Zero
The Alpha Mask Threshold is usually one of the top 3 settings in the Materials Editor.
I would suggest you try the last one first.
30th Dec 2010, 09:13 PM
Hi Raven Shadow - Thank you for looking at this as well. The Alpha Mask Threshold is currently set to Zero. I will include a screen capture of the material editor settings and the specular map opened as well as a scaled down version of my three color mask for comparison against the generated specular map. It is starting to sound like I am on a fools errand in attempt to fix this problem.
I have posted the file here with the alternate two color mask, a sim3pack (JUST in case this was something wrong with my machine and could not be duplicated in the workshop file) and the workshop file. http://www.mediafire.com/?7zz73wzsluhnit8
I am working with Photoshop and it seems to embed all black alpha channels.
31st Dec 2010, 02:30 PM
I think the Mask is innocent in this case, and that the specular listed in the Prop Editor is the problem.
The 8 white areas in the bottom right, are telling the game to give the mesh faces uvmapped to those spots, a heavy glossiness.
The whiter the specular the greater the glossiness.
A near pure white, like what you have there, is best on new, highly polished wood, but your using old, unfinished wood and your
metal be old and corroded, too, and the specular should use darker grays for them.
But, since TSRW is loading that material entry as a property, I am going to guess that the game is constructing that particular
texture on the fly, from 2 or more images and modifying it, using the specular settings seen in the Materials Editor.
Unfortunately, TSRW is not able to safely edit such Prop entries, trying to do so, usually causes it to crash.
You can try to replace the Materials Entry, though.
First make a backup of the workspace file, so you can revert to it, if anything goes wrong.
Next, make sure the Specular Map listed on the Textures Tab has no bright white areas.
If you need too, you can edit the Multiplier to darker shades of gray and import it as the Specular Texture.
Remember, while some mesh groups can share materials settings,
most will have thier own settings, and you will have to look
at each one and change the ones that use the same faulty
To change it, open the Materials editor for the first mesh group
and if it has it, highlight and right click on the specular map and choose delete it.
Next, click the +Add link in the top right of the Materials Editor and
select "Specular Map" in the drop down list that appears.
By default TSRW will have the new entry point to the Dirt Overlay,
change it by clicking the edit button for the new Specualer Map
Entry and click the Browse Button.
If the Specular Texture you want to ue for the object is not listed
in the new window, then cancel out of it and click the import
button, instead and load it.
OK out of the Materials Editor and move on to the next Mesh Group.
Wash, Rinse and Repeat, until finished with all of the mesh groups.
If this fails to fix the problem, I can only say, Start Over with a
different object as your base, something is wrong with this one.
31st Dec 2010, 04:39 PM
Raven Shadow! You've cracked it!! Thank you. I kept attempting to replace it but it wanted a workshop texture preset. Deleting it was the key. I had deleted it before but not replaced it. Deleting it and adding it back allows the three formats (tif, png, dds) to be imported. Given how the normal specular maps are almost black, I took the baked multiplier, darkened it and the results are exactly what I had hoped for.
Thank you - this really is amazing - this problem plagued me from project to project to project and I was always able to find a different base or redesign it to work on a different base. I can finally sleep!
I will make sure to credit you in the final release! Thanks again!
1st Jan 2011, 12:36 AM
you're welcome , but it's orangemittens you should thank, she asked me to see if i could help.
and btw, that's a really neat table, I know several people who will be thrilled when you release it:)
1st Jan 2011, 11:49 PM
THANK YOU! HP, orangemittens and Looney! This resolved my texture problems on my conversions! :0)
..me happy now...
2nd Jan 2011, 12:36 AM
Thank you SO MUCH! I was having the exact same issue after cloning the outdoor bench. What I found odd was that when placed in the game my seat would be horribly shiny but when using CAST it would show the specular correctly and not shine. When accepting the CAST changes it would go back to being all shiny again.
I followed the steps provided and it has worked great!
2nd Jan 2011, 02:08 PM
See? I knew it wasn't just me! hehe
MTS has just been so much more helpful, so really, thank you everyone for your time and interest in assisting. We are only as good as the tools we are provided. When your tool seems borked, it's nice to have a community to turn to for advice.
And Raven Shadow - thank you for your kind words about the table design. I am really excited about this set and am combing it over for anything that could be improved or tweaked. I hope to have the set released in the next couple of weeks.
14th Jan 2011, 01:18 AM
baufive, I saw your your blog with the the set you mentioned.
All I can say is WOW, I love the them and your dedications to them shows :)
In reference to your glass issue I would like to mention a couple of things, that may give you some new ideas for solutions.
Doors can be used to make lighting fixtures and they have as many as 4 glass mesh groups you can play with to get the effect you want.
Transparency can be made with the multiplier, but you'll have to use Gimp to do it.
When drawing in Gimp you can set transparency to a percentage and you can even use the eraser tool to give a percentage of transparency.
I wouldn't use the multiplier trick an a mesh within a mesh that's also using it, the inner one willl either come out looking solid or have
spots of varyng degrees of invisibility.
It's best if tried on the inner mesh (which isn't using a glass shader) while the outer does just use a glass shader.
28th Jan 2011, 10:23 AM
Raven Shadow you are my hero! I had the same problem and couldnt find it anywhere! I deleted the mesh specular of my chair and thought that would be fine, never put a new one on it, just did and it works! finally! Thank you!
21st Aug 2012, 10:33 PM
This information really needs to be added to the wiki! I've had to come back and search again for this thread and am just glad I found the info before the site down-time tomorrow.
The only tips on shiney objects at the moment deal purely with the specular.
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