Introduction to Moviestorm Textures
Creating a texture is easy, however, creating a good texture can be time consuming and frustrating. It really depends on your needs and levels of skill and obsession.
The following group of articles will not attempt to teach you artistic skill but will instead focus on the technicalities of creating the different types of textures that Moviestorm uses and how to do so in a way that gives quality results without crippling Moviestorm’s performance.
You’ll need an image editing tool such as Gimp, which is free, or Photoshop, which is expensive, but there are many other options in between. Tutorials exist for these products but here you’ll find links, tutorials, and information specific to Moviestorm.
Although while browsing through its directories you’ll notice that Moviestorm can use images in the .jpg, .png, and .dds formats, Short Fuze decided a while ago to produce their new content with textures solely in the .dds format. Some image editors have built-in support for .dds files. Others such as Gimp, Photoshop, and Paintshop require an additional, yet free, plugin.
Chris Ollis wrote: Please also try to use the DDS format, it is specifically designed for game textures, compresses very well for minimum disk space and streams across the graphics card like it’s barely there. Unlike jpg files which, while small on disk, are a nightmare to uncompress (slowing the processor) and much bigger in memory than you’d think.
Additionally, DDS files carry their own mipmaps (tiny versions of the texture to use when you are far away) jpgs do not, so the processor/card has to calculate those as well. Additionally additionally (!) when a non square or 2:1 texture is force mipmapped, it fudges it a bit around the edges, squashing the texture in to a square which can cause seams and tiling errors. So any benefit of using a massive high quality image in the first place is lost.
Using the .dds format is more than just a suggestion. In fact, a recent issue with large, user-made, .jpg images that began causing Moviestorm to freeze and/or crash is the reason for these Texture Guides being written. Whatever you do for content that you’re going to use personally is your own business, however, if you intend to share your creations with others, be responsible, use the .dds format and the guidelines in Texture Sizes and Performance, which is linked to below. Note: When saving an image in the .dds format, you are presented with a number of compression options. Only two of them are pertinent to Moviestorm textures.
On DDS texture formats, Ben_S wrote:
DXT5 with alpha (for things with transparencies)
DXT1 without alpha (for those without transparencies)
DXT1 with alpha will not work on a significant number of graphics cards, so don’t use it.
Textures Guide - 2. Texture Sizes and Performance - With any visual software, there is a balancing act between visual fidelity and performance. Keep Moviestorm running as smooth as possible by using these guidelines.
Textures Guide - 3. Moviestorm Texture Types - Moviestorm, like most 3D software, uses a number of textures for each model, Diffuse (the image that you see), Normal, as in Normal Map or Bump Map (which gives a 3D appearance), Specular (for highlights and shininess), and Emissive (stays bright regardless of the surrounding light). If you intend to create models that fit into Moviestorm well, you’ll need to learn how to create each of these types of textures.
Note: As these Guides are still Works In Progress, please feel free leave suggestions or feedback in this forum thread.