Textures FAQ by Hellhound

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General info on textures

So here are a lot of links and not very detailed instructions.
I ll update it, when starting over by myself with texturing.
Now its only collection.
Normally you find all you need to know here : http://www.interlopers.net/tutorials/Texture_Creation

What image can I use for a texture?

Generally any image file can be used as a texture. The only important thing is that both dimensions are a power of two:
2, 4, 8 ...
In general 512x512 is used. For a higher sharpnes you can use higher resolutions on cost of performance.

Here is a good texture resource for you - http://www.cgtextures.com/ (thanks Cyb)

Which filetype is supported?

It isn't possible to use a normal imagefile like jpg for a texture in HL2.
So before importing it in hammer, you have to convert it into VTEX (Valve Texture Format) and write in a *.txt file the parameters for compiling. The input format is *.tga

Generall infos:

How to create a texture?

I normally load an image in a graphics software or start from scratch to draw it.
Than save it into *.tga format and compile it to VTF with the valve tool.

Valve Compile Tool (textbased)

Compile Parameters:

For more comfort and options there is a GUI tool, VTFEdit, I haven't tested yet



How to create a normalmap (Height in a texture)

Normalmaps make the texture look more 3Dimensional. You need your finished texture and a special normalmap plugin. This is free form Nvidia for Photoshop or Gimp.


Save it with the same filename as the texture and add _normal
mytexture.txt (compile parameters)

The compiler should find it, if all files are in the same directory.

How to create a specularmap (gloss)

The specularmap adds a gloss to a texture. Best seen in Doom3.
All you need is to convert your texture to a 8bit greyscale and adjust the brightness.
The brighter the specularmap, the more glossy the texture.

Save it again as
mytexture_specular.tga (8bit greyscale)
mytexture.txt (compile parameters)

The compiler should find it, if all files are in the same directory.

Other Tutorials

General texture tips:
http://www.mapping-tutorials.de/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=20 (german)

http://www.haradirki.de/hl2/indextut28.htm (german)

Normal Maps (freeware program to create normal maps for low poly models) - thx to kristus for sharing this info with us.
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