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Is it possible to make a DDS file with transparency for a complexion mod?

skin texture complexion dds wrinkles

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#1
QuillweaveMods

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I'm trying to paint my own complexion mod, specifically for wrinkles/old age. However, the vanilla ones (and the ones from the lovely Mild Complexions mod that I'm using to understand) have a grey base that I think effects the original skin texture when overlayed, making it sort of overly smooth and fuzzy looking.
 
What I'd love is to just be able to have the wrinkles and details show up without marring the original skin's texture under the overlay. However, when I try to do a DDS with transparency to allow for that, I just get giant black patches on the complexion ingame. Is it not possible? Does anyone have any advice on how to make it look better? I've thought about using the texture of the skin mod I use, turned monochrome, as a base, but I'm not sure how well that would work. (This would just be for personal use, credits and permissions wise, not distribution.)
 
Thanks very much for any advice! :)


#2
Algabar

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First of all I'm not an expert on body textures, so take this with a grain of salt....

 

AFAIK, the texture system works a bit differently: Complexions like wrinkles, freckles and so on are so-called "detail maps". Regarding bodies, they are only used on heads. You can think of them as an additional layer for the head textures. Important point: These textures have a neutral grey base by default. That's how the game engine is set up. If you don't want freckles or anything, the game uses a default file called "blankdetailmap.dds" - which is basically a neutral gray square.

 

So, from my understanding, detail maps are supposed to have a grey base. Otherwise they probably won't work properly. Unfortunately, the fact that heads have one more layer of textures than the rest of the body makes handling detail maps a bit tricky: There's always the risk of getting head-body discoloration. Finding a really "neutral" blankdetailmap.dds can already be difficult. From my experience, good ones are provided e.g. by "Fair Skin Complexion" and "Vitruvia".

 

Another possible approach would be to create Racemenu (or ECE) overlays instead. I never did those myself though, so I can't say how they are created exactly.

 

Maybe someone with more knowledge about textures can shed some more light on this...



#3
saurusmaximus

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I'm not a texture expert either, but wrinkles are done via normal maps (the files that have "msn" in their filenames), which get laid over the base textures. The only thing I can suggest is going into a skin-replacer mod, finding the folder for "old" people, and opening the normal map file and see if you can figure out what was done. Beyond that, I got nothin'.



#4
Algabar

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I'm not a texture expert either, but wrinkles are done via normal maps (the files that have "msn" in their filenames), which get laid over the base textures. The only thing I can suggest is going into a skin-replacer mod, finding the folder for "old" people, and opening the normal map file and see if you can figure out what was done. Beyond that, I got nothin'.

Don't want to be "smart", but it's a combination of normal map (for a "fake" 3D impression), diffuse map ("nomal texture") and in the case of heads the detail map. To get a "convincing" impression of wrinkles (or also scars and blemishes), those three textures need to fit one another. A normal map won't do - to create the impression of wrinkles, you also need e.g. "fake shadows" on the diffuse map. Sorry if I'm not using the right words here - for somone like me, who isn't a native speaker, it's a bit difficult to talk about details like these...

 

Regarding freckles: They might be a different story since they are "flat" compared e.g. to a scar...In fact, a simpe overlay or changes to the diffuse texture may suffice here.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: skin texture, complexion, dds, wrinkles

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