Dynamic Texture Skin Blend Tutorial

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This tutorial covers the unique skin blending feature for Dynamic Characters

Dynamic Skin Blend Texture Bank

This tutorial walks you through making a skin blend material on a Dynamic Character. We will use the example character_sample_dynamic that is included with clean engine as a reference. This character already is set to have skin blend, we are just going to use it as a talking point. Let's say for example you wanted to make the skin of this character a skin blend between 3 types of skin.


Step 1 - Make Textures

You need at least 4 textures for a skin blend texture bank to work. You need 3 diffuse texture to be used as the different skins, which must be named "_d" as a suffix,and a palette texture(usually the default skinblend.dds), which can be any dds file you like, so lone as it is in the correct directory. Optionally, you can have a normal maps with a suffix "_n", if you have normal maps, it's best to have one for each diffuse skin texture you are using , so 3 skin diffuse textures would necessitate 3 normal map textures.

\Character\Dynamic_2\TextureBanks\

\Character\Dynamic_2\TextureBanks\palettes


For examples sake, lets say our material is of the name cs_skin. Inside the TextureBanks folder, you need to make a folder that reflects the name of the material, cs_skin, to put the textures in. So we would have our diffuse and tint textures here:

\Character\Dynamic_2\TextureBanks\cs_skin\


Step 2 - Build Material in Max or Maya

Now build a Hero Material in Max or Maya.


Step 3 - Make the dtb file

Skinblend HE.png

The .dtb file is a text file that has all the information about how this dynamic texture bank should act in the engine. A template .dtb file is located in the grannyexportsettigns folder here. Do not save over this file, copy it somewhere else to edit it. You can start with this file or any others in the dynamic_2/Texturebanks folder in HJ reference.

\GrannyExportSettings\Templates\Dynamic_Texture_Template.dtb

The following code is the exact dtb file for the character_sample_dynamic characters clothes part, found in clean engine.

\Character\Dynamic_2\TextureBanks\cs_cskin\cs_skin.dtb

A Skinblend has a slightly different code body then a tint. Under type, we list it as Skin. This time under setting all we need to do is point it to the skin blend texture palette. This gives the user some feed back corresponding to the skin colors. the file listing corresponds to the same order that the ui elements are declared. In this case the 1st file cs_skin_caucasian_d.dds corresponds to the first element in the pieces section.


Caucasian
DefaultBlend=1


[Root]
Character\Dynamic_2\TextureBanks\cs_skin\

[Layout]
-SkinLayer

[Layers]
{SkinLayer}
   Type=Skin
   Region=(0,0,511,511)
   {Settings}
     Palette1=Skin,SkinBlend.dds
   {Files}
      (512,512)
       cs_skin_caucasian_d.dds
       cs_skin_african_d.dds
       cs_skin_asian_d.dds
   {Pieces}
      (Diffuse)
        Blends=3
         Caucasian
           DefaultBlend=1
         African
           DefaultBlend=0
         Asian
           DefaultBlend=0

And an optional normal map section if you have normal maps. This would get added right after the diffuse section. *Also remember to add the normal map file names to the files list!


      (Normal)
        Blends=3
         Caucasian
           DefaultBlend=1
         African
           DefaultBlend=0
         Asian
           DefaultBlend=0


Step 4 - Upload

Upload all the components fo the dynamic texture bank, inluding, the parts, new textures and folders for the dtb bank, and the par file if it has changed. Now when you go to the clean engine character manager and select the part that has the texture bank set up, you should get some color swatches that allow you to pick colors, using the palettes that you assigned in the dtb, for your character.

For more information on the dtb file itself, look here.

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