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Author Topic: Base Texture Making Tutorial  (Read 11947 times)

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Offline mrbisonm

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Base Texture Making Tutorial
« on: October 29, 2011, 11:55:20 AM »
I have been looking for a texture making tutorial for a couple of hours and can't seem to find anything here on SC4D nor ST that clearly explains how to make simple groundtextures for the LE, whether with the SC4Tool or something else.
Don't bother with giving me the directions for an ID demand first, because these will be private textures only and I already found that part of info.

Thanks in advance, much appreciated


Fred
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 01:12:03 PM by mrbisonm »


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Offline vortext

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Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2011, 02:01:28 PM »
Hi mrbisonm,

I've had the same problem figuring out, here's some general info as well as some usefull links I've gathered.

Simcity uses the .fsh format for graphics so first of all you'll need to be able to extract and convert into a workable format and the other way around. Depending on what graphics program you prefer, there're a number of tools available, all of which created by Null45 (linkie).

The standard dimension for any texture is 128x128 pixels. However 256x256 can also be used and I personally recommend it given it looks better close up (more on that over here)

There are two types of textures; base and overlay. The latter has transparancy, the former doesn't. You'll need to keep this in mind and check your software on how to achieve this.

A texture can be used for two things; for lots or for transit, the so-called transit textures. If interested, here's a nice tutorial. Though the methods described are a bit outdated there's still good general info in there. 

There's one more thing; every zoom has an unique texture which it uses. Therefor you'll need 5 textures descending in dimension (256 or 128, 64, 32,16,8). Luckily Null45 has created tools that'll take care of that for you, otherwise set up somekind of batching process in the graphics software you use.

Hope this helps and feel free to ask if it doesn't or need help otherwise   :)
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 02:21:34 PM by vortext »
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Offline mrbisonm

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Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2011, 08:16:28 PM »
Geeez, all that sounds terribly complicated, needing this and that to achieve a simply base ground texture in LE. I thought it to be a lot easier, but with the links you gave me, I haven't learned much of what I wanted.
I don't want a transit texture, all I need is a simple ground texture that I can use on a lots in LE underneath a BATmodel. That shouldn't need an University degree and two hours of research, does it?

If it's like this, forget it, because I don't understand it. There isn't enough info on how to make a texture from the beginning, except how to change to a fshman file. Nothing of importing nor exporting and modifying. Thanks anyways, vortext. Much appreciated.
I guess I will continue to BAT now, much simpler..... ;)

Fred

PS....hm.....got the idea of making a flat model with a texture as a ground cover, that should do the trick.  &idea
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 08:44:53 PM by mrbisonm »


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Offline Lowkee33

Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2011, 08:49:20 PM »
PS....hm.....got the idea of making a flat model with a texture as a ground cover, that should do the trick.  &idea

You don't want to do that, too many downsides (slope to name the first)

Nulls Patch Png to FSH is quite easy: Link

When it extracts, there will be a .txt called GroupID.  Open it, type ID 0x0986135E, save and quit.   The Batch PNG to FSH is ready.

Make a 128x128 texture, and save it as the Instance you want.  Open the Batch PNG to FSH and drag/drop the image on it.  You should see it lined up at the top with proper Group and Instance.

 You will learn about the other buttons as you play with it, the important thing is that the check box "Automatically Process Mips" is checked.  Click "Save Dat" and name your file something.

Should be good to go.  It's always best to open the file in Reader to see that the Instances are all correct, and then check in-game.

 
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 08:52:51 PM by Lowkee33 »

Offline vortext

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Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2011, 08:53:37 PM »
Quote
There isn't enough info on how to make a texture from the beginning

That's in part because it starts with a graphics program and there're many to choose from. I myself use photoshop, others use fishman or gimp. Each has it's own advantages and drawbacks I'm sure but what's more, because of this there's no standard approach for textures. Instead it depends on what program you use to begin with.

So if you want to make textures, the first thing is to familiarise yourself with a graphics program. In general, you would probably create a new file, 128x128 pixels and create something to your liking. Next either save it as a .png file and use Null45's PNGtoFSHBatch program for conversion or save it directly as a .fsh and import it into the reader.

Sounds confusing I know but in fact creating textures is quite easy once it's up and running. The hardest part is figuring out how to get there which, as said before, depends on the program you start in.
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Offline mrbisonm

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Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2011, 09:12:36 PM »
lol....I think we have a small misunderstanding here, maybe I am not explaining myself clearfully (english is only my fourth language). I do NOT want to know HOW TO MAKE the TEXTURE, because that I know, whether it is in photoshop, irfanview, gimp, paint etc. I have all these programs and know how to use them all also.

What I would like to know is how to get the freaking (done all ready) texture file (png,bitmap,jpeg or whatever it needs to be) into the files (or program) needed to recognize by the LE when you open it and be able to choose it together with all the other textures in the basegound menu , that are in the LE.....???Sorry, I cannot explain it more easier or detailed.....hope that will be understood.

Thanks

Fred


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Offline vortext

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Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2011, 09:20:14 PM »
if so you perhaps may want to freaking download Null45's Batch Png to Fsh tool all ready   ;)
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 09:21:46 PM by vortext »
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Offline mrbisonm

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Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2011, 10:46:04 PM »
Thanks, I will try this now.  (that is if I understand how to use it) ;) ...lol

Fred


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Offline Simcitler

Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2011, 05:15:16 AM »
Why you guys do not use the quiet simple texture editor of SC4 Tool?
There should be an tutorial included in the readme of Sc4 Tool.
It is quiet simple, you just select your texture file, click on a button to shrink it into all sizes needed, enter an IID and click on save to .dat and the tool will save your texture into a .dat file.

It is the simplest method in my opinion.

Offline Shadow Assassin

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Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2011, 05:56:54 AM »
Why you guys do not use the quiet simple texture editor of SC4 Tool?
There should be an tutorial included in the readme of Sc4 Tool.
It is quiet simple, you just select your texture file, click on a button to shrink it into all sizes needed, enter an IID and click on save to .dat and the tool will save your texture into a .dat file.

It is the simplest method in my opinion.

Because SC4Tool does not work properly with versions of Windows beyond XP. In any case, null45's Batch PNG to FSH will do the job just as quickly.
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Offline Lowkee33

Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2011, 08:47:19 AM »
Null's tool also supports transparencies instead of needing an alpha map. being able to process 100s of textures at once, and processing images that are not necessarily 128x128.

Offline mrbisonm

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Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2011, 09:22:27 AM »
Quote
SC4Tool. It is the simplest method in my opinion.

Super! That could be the tool necessary for the easiest way to making texture....only problem, no explanation on how it works is included, nor have I found anything that explains how the texture tool works.
I open the SC4Tool, choose the texture creator and come up with an empty space asking for a dat file.....????? Datfile???? For a texture picture??....lol
Same thing for Null's tool, no instructions how to use it.

Any instructions on this somewhere? Thanks

Fred


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Offline vortext

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Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2011, 10:09:52 AM »
Same thing for Null's tool, no instructions how to use it.Same thing for Null's tool, no instructions how to use it. Any instructions on this somewhere?

sorry, but did you actually read any of the replies? ???  This is pretty explanatory and there's nothing more to it really.


When it extracts, there will be a .txt called GroupID.  Open it, type ID 0x0986135E, save and quit.   The Batch PNG to FSH is ready.

Make a 128x128 texture, and save it as the Instance you want.  Open the Batch PNG to FSH and drag/drop the image on it.  You should see it lined up at the top with proper Group and Instance.

 You will learn about the other buttons as you play with it, the important thing is that the check box "Automatically Process Mips" is checked.  Click "Save Dat" and name your file something.

Should be good to go.  It's always best to open the file in Reader to see that the Instances are all correct, and then check in-game.

And yes, batch PNGtoFSH will also create a dat file since simcity nor the LE recognizes single fsh files.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 10:17:45 AM by vortext »
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Offline Simcitler

Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2011, 10:11:03 AM »
@Shadow Assassin, Lowkee
I never had problems using SC4Tool under Windows 7 :)


@mrbisonm
just a quick tutorial for you (and others too)!

when the texture creator asks you for a .dat file, just type in a proper name for a .dat in which your textures will be saved by the tool.
like this: (german version of SC4TOOL)



then click on the picture symbol:



a new window opens, fill in the IID (for the texture) in the corresponding field in the upper left section.

then, click on the "open folder symbol" next to 128x128 in the bitmap section; search for your texture (AFAIK the file has to be .bmp, or .png) and click OK.

you should see something like this now:

click the small icon including a camera, to shrink your texture for all sizes

now the window should look like this:


now click the big OK button in the upper right.
there should open a small icon with "succesfull saved" or something like that.

Then you should see this:


If you want to add another texture repeat the steps.
If you are ready, close the SC4Tool and put the .dat file into your Plugin folder. Open up LE and have fun!


Hope that helps!
~Simcitler
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 10:12:52 AM by Simcitler »

Offline mrbisonm

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Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2011, 02:28:06 PM »
Yes vortext, I have read the posts above and I simply do not understand the works of it. Must be stupid, I guess, because nothing works or I cannot open anything.
When I want to open a new project with Null's tool, nothing happens, nothing to click on nor nothing opens.....??
Maybe the program doesn't function with my XP.

Same for the SC4Tool, I guess I do not have the same program, although I got it from the same link.
I Open it, it looks like this...



Then I click on "Create your own textures" and this comes up, without knowing where to go from here on, because it asks for a dat file??? That picture symbol is not lit up on my version.



When I click on the "Scan for texture packs to analyse them", then again it asks for datfiles only.........?



Am I too stupid to see things or do I have a problem with my programs?

simcitler, thanks very much for the tut, much appreciated, but I would like to know how to get to the first picture of yours. The german version is ok, I speak among 7 other languages also german. (I'm not too stupid for this....lol ;) ) Vielen Dank fuer Deine Hilfe.


Fred


EDIT:

Ok, I finally was able to open the program and create a name for my file, the picture symbol appeared, but when I choose the texture (png or bmp) it shows nothing on the little squares on the right....stuck there....again.



I tried different png or bmp textures and none seem to appear in those little windows, nor can I click on the camera symbol.......? Thanks

Fred
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 02:57:07 PM by mrbisonm »


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Offline vortext

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Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2011, 03:06:34 PM »
ok sorry 'bout that. What you're missing is an empty dat file. Hit the star next to the 'open file' icon in order to create one and save it. Now click the icon next to the star, the one that says 'add texture' and follow Simcitler steps from here on.

edit, nevermind, just saw your edit. Have you tried PNGtoFSH yet? It's more convenient to use anyway.

Double edit, hopefully this wil be of use.

Open Png to Fsh Batch and click 'new dat'.


Next drag and drop the textures into Png to Fsh. Also notice that it says 'Dat in Memory' and 'Automatically process Mips' is checked.


After this hit 'save dat'. Note it may take a while to process the textures, up to the point you start to think something went wrong, especially when dealing with large number of textures.


Once it's done, specify name & location for the .dat file and click 'ok'. It again may take a while before saving is completed. Finally put the dat file into the plugins and fire up the LE.  :)
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 03:57:30 PM by vortext »
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Offline null45

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Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2011, 04:41:36 PM »
When I want to open a new project with Null's tool, nothing happens, nothing to click on nor nothing opens.....??
Maybe the program doesn't function with my XP.

It works fine with XP but it requires the .NET Framework 3.5 Client profile, my fault for not mentioning it in the readme.  ::)

Open Png to Fsh Batch and click 'new dat'.

Actually you can skip this step as the 'Save Dat' function will create a new dat automatically, also instead of dragging all the files in a folder onto the list you can just drag the folder that contains them.

It again may take a while before saving is completed.

In version 1.5.0.2 and later you can watch the progress bar while you wait.  :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 05:15:59 PM by null45 »

Offline mrbisonm

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Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2011, 06:51:04 PM »
Well, I suppose my computer, or maybe myself, is not made to create textures.

Listen guys, thanks for the help, but it doesn't work on my computer.
I downloaded and installed the .NET Framework 3.5 Client profile, now I can click on "new dat", drag the file (png or bmp) needed and click on save.....a small window opens and tells me that the program encountered a problem and must close.
It closes and saves nothing.....lol...excellent.



Now I don't know why I bother with this, my computer simply hates some homemade programs. The same problem occured with wouanagaine's SC4mapmaker and terraformer, I was never able to get them to work.
Thanks for the help.
I hope that someone can help me with SC4Tool problem I have above, because the rest of that tool works fine.

mrb


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Offline null45

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Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2011, 08:03:52 PM »
What does the additional details screen of that error message say?

That should give me a better idea what is failing.  &mmm

Offline mrbisonm

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Re: Texture Making Tutorial
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2011, 11:43:46 PM »
What does the additional details screen of that error message say?

That should give me a better idea what is failing.  &mmm

It doesn't really say anything besides that they excuse themselves and if I had not registered my work earlier that it will be lost and asks me if I want to report it to Microsoft. It has made a report.   That's about it.

Here's the report:



Fred


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