Setting up Custom Textures

For discussion and help on modding and customizing the game
Mike Lattiak
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: Framingham, MA

Setting up Custom Textures

Postby Mike Lattiak » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:40 pm

Since this appears to be a problem happening across the threads, I decided to place all the information regarding this in here.

Basically, when you want to setup a custom texture for your buildings you need to follow two steps.

(Both of these steps refer to the XML that is placed in the directory:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SimCity Societies\Data\XMLDb\Game\Cultural Graphics Effects) -- your Mod directory.

1) Always name your file something different. For example, if you are doing a mod for a McDonalds building and you'll want to name the XML "McDonalds_Textures", or something related to that. The more you add to the name (such as initials) the better.

2) Inside of your XML, always call your graphic set:
<GraphicSet name="Custom textures">

This is because in all of the profiles, the custom texture cultural graphic set is called first. If you name it something else, it has a huge chance of not functioning outside of your install directory.

I noticed that both the mods for the KFC and Gamestop were using this format, allowing for multiple custom textures.

If you have any questions please list them here.

Agamemnus
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:21 am

Postby Agamemnus » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:45 pm

Yes, YES! I have questions.

1. Is it possible to use a custom texture on something that is not a building?
2. As per one of Morpheus's posts, he said that "Cyberpunk High Impact" works, but it is not in the Profiles page. Would something like "Custom Textures Morpheus" work too?

Morpheus121073
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:14 pm

Postby Morpheus121073 » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:52 pm

Now there comes the problem Mike, when 2 different files use Custom Textures then only the oldest 1 will work, i did a lot of testing and this is the problem why some buildings do not work, so my next question is how do we make it so all of them are read and placed in the game ?

Looks like we all encounter the same problem

<GraphicSet name="Custom textures">

only the oldest file is ready ignoring all the newer ones, so now the things is how do we get all the files to be read and used ? Without having to merge all of them into 1 which i did for now so i can still use the new buildings but it is definatly not the way to go for the people that just want to use them and not do a lot of modding.
Last edited by Morpheus121073 on Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mike Lattiak
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: Framingham, MA

Postby Mike Lattiak » Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:26 pm

Agamemnus wrote:1. Is it possible to use a custom texture on something that is not a building?


Yes, but you want to do this through overwriting the texture files (do not use custom textures for anything outside of buildings).

For example, and to add a bit of craziness, let's say I wanted to make my turn lanes Orwellian while keeping the rest of my road asphalt (the default road type). I'd do the following steps:

1) Go into your Data\Graphics\Textures\Environment folder and copy all the files associated with Concrete Future Turn (SC5A_Concrete Future Turn.png along with the bump version...you won't need to do the spec one for this).
2) Place them in your mod directory in the appropriate folder
3) Rename all of those to the Asphalt Turn name. So SC5A_Concrete Future Turn.png turns into SC5A_Asphalt Turn.png.
4) Run the game. You'll notice that the turn lanes for the 4-way intersections now feature the Orwellian road texture.

This works for all of the different non-building structures in the game, such as trees and rocks. You are basically overwriting the textures in your install directory with whatever you place in the mod directory.

If you have any more questions relating to his, ask away!

Agamemnus wrote:2. As per one of Morpheus's posts, he said that "Cyberpunk High Impact" works, but it is not in the Profiles page. Would something like "Custom Textures Morpheus" work too?


The "High Impact" props only show up in the core profiles for each archetype. You can find Cyberpunk High Impact at the very end of the CulturalGraphicSetList list in Cyberpunk Core.xml. I believe this might be the issue behind the confusion, but I could be wrong.

You'll need to stick with the name <GraphicSet name="Custom Textures">, if you want to have all the mods working together. Otherwise, you'd have to go through your profiles and change them manually. You can set the filename to "Custom Textures Morpheus" if you desire, it won't have any impact.

WolfwoodSama
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 7:28 am

Postby WolfwoodSama » Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:38 pm

Still, Morpheus is correct, and that is why mods aren't working for people.

Morpheus121073
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:14 pm

Postby Morpheus121073 » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:05 pm

Indeed only the oldest file is read and the rest is ignored by the game unfortunatly which results in that you have to manually put them all in 1 file, again this is not very cool for people that do not understand a single thing about all the modding.

WolfwoodSama
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 7:28 am

Postby WolfwoodSama » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:07 pm

Morpheus121073 wrote:...again this is not very cool for people that do not understand a single thing about all the modding.


Apparently, like us :p

Mike Lattiak
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: Framingham, MA

Postby Mike Lattiak » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:08 pm

Morpheus121073 wrote:Indeed only the oldest file is read and the rest is ignored by the game unfortunatly which results in that you have to manually put them all in 1 file, again this is not very cool for people that do not understand a single thing about all the modding.


Okay guys, this issue is known and is currently being looked into. For now, it will work if you combine all of the custom textures into one file. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Morpheus121073
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:14 pm

Postby Morpheus121073 » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:12 pm

Mike thank you very much, nice to know that it is being looked at and hopefully fixed. I also hope you guys are looking into this darn runtime error most of us have, which i do not have if i play in windowed mode but do have in full screen mode.

WolfwoodSama
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 7:28 am

Postby WolfwoodSama » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:18 pm

I'm just relieved it IS actually an issue and we're not just idiots :p Thanks alot Mike!

Alex Weissman
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:47 pm

Texture usage for buildings

Postby Alex Weissman » Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:32 pm

I love the mods so far! Keep em coming! (Both the Campus Bookstore and Butcher Shop were made by me, nice to see what y'all are doing with them :) ).

I wanted to clarify some of the texture usage for you so you'd be better able to make the buildings look as you want. Each building has 4 or 5 textures associated with it- diffuse (color), bump (technically it is surface normals, but the naming convention calls them bump), specular (shininess), emissive (glow), and ambient occlusion (shadows). Typically you will want to leave the amb_occl alone, as it operates slightly differently from the others, but changing the others can have dramatic effects on the buildings' appearance.

The changes to the diffuse are the easiest and most apparent to make, this is where you will add all color info including logos, new paintjobs, etc. The bump probably has the most impact after the diffuse, but it can be finicky to play with. The proper way to make a bump map is to run the Nvidia normal map filter (plugin available for free for use with Photoshop, I can't speak to other paint packages) on a grayscale image (we typically use a scale of 12 in that plugin). You can tweak the existing maps though, as long as you only use the colors found within the existing bump map- this is kinda asking for trouble, but as long as you are careful it should be ok to do. By careful, I mean not attempting to add much detail; you'll probably have better luck taking detail out, like the signage at the top of the butcher shop, or the hands and numbers on the clock face of the campus bookstore.

The spec map affects the shininess of the texture, with lighter areas appearing shinier, and black areas as non-reflective. Colors can make the material appear more metallic. If the building has a lot of glass on it, chances are it has the Glass shader applied to it, in which case the alpha channel of the spec map will affect how much sky is reflected in glass areas (it's easy to blow this way out, so keep changes subtle for best effect).

The emissive map controls areas which light up at night (or when the ambient light falls below a certain threshold). Areas which do not light up should be black, and you can play with the effects of lightening, darkening, or colorizing parts of the map. For windows with items inside (such as the butcher shop) it is often good to have a modified version of the diffuse map (the meats in the window, for example) be also present in the emissive.

Hope this helps! Keep up the good work!

WolfwoodSama
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 7:28 am

Postby WolfwoodSama » Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:12 pm

If you check the files that came with my Gamestop mod you'll actually find a custom bump map, but I couldn't for the life of me igure out how to get it to work! I tried adding ...bumptexture="WOLF_Gamestop_Bump">... but still no luck. I'm sure it's obvious, but I couldn't figure it out :p

Primetime01969
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:23 am

Postby Primetime01969 » Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:04 am

Although the bump override doesn't work still, I am still attempting to create them. It looks like that in addition to using the filter, you have done a lot of work by hand. It also looks like you may have inverted X and Y (at least in the case of the service station).

iTim501
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:54 pm
Location: Florida

Postby iTim501 » Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:42 pm

how do i get a texture? like a KFC texture?


Return to “Mods (Discussion)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest