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Clothing texture appears very washed out for no clear reason


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I fairly often get this issue where an item of clothing ends up with a very washed out to glowing appearance, despite the settings in the NIF being comparable (as far as I can tell) to other clothing items, and the textures being of comparable luminosity.  It's driving me nuts, and I wonder if someone knows the "obvious" fix for this problem. Most often it happens to jewelry items, getting a "glow-in-the-dark" appearance.  This time it's happening with plain cloth.

 

Below are screenshots of a kilt mod I'm trying to do something with, compared side-by-side with a Tera armor of similar luminosity.  The textures are comparable but the end results when viewed in NIFSkope, Outfit Studio, or Skyrim, are that the kilt is very washed out, with an over-exposed look, and practically glowing.  Looking in the NIF, nothing seems unusual about it compared to other clothing items.  If I make it the kilt's settings more like typical clothing (e.g. give its specular color as white) it gets much, much worse (it's presently set to red for no particular reason other than it being kind of dark).  But taking it all the way down to black doesn't really fix it either, and I have concerns that doing extreme things like this will screw it up in ENB anyway. It should be as consistent with other in-game clothing as possible.

 

I've been bashing my head against this all day, and am finally at the DIY failure point, so am now begging for help from people who actually know what they're doing. :-)

 

Here's the textures:

 

Screenshot-2020-03-05-at-7-09-50-AM.jpg

 

And the NIFScope results:

 

Screenshot-2020-03-05-at-7-11-07-AM.jpg

 

(ImgBB seems to have connectivity issues today, so the full versions may load slowly.)

 

The difference is even worse in Outfit Studio, with the tartan details blurred out by "bloom".  The normal map for the kilt has alpha (the bottom edge of the kilt is a bit ragged from wear, accomplished by some transparency), though the bulk of the garment has a "solid" normal map, like most clothing does except where the transparency is needed.

 

The NIFs and textures are 7ZIPped up here for direct comparison: https://mega.nz/#!McJ2UIID!L8B9HTDeMpW2-1FWVvbjHE_BCrO0z-Tjg3EBfZ9K50c.

 

PS: If this gets resolved and I can release something, I'll give a shout-out to whoever helped me get past this problem, in the mod's ReadMe. :-)

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55 minutes ago, Darklocq said:

I have concerns that doing extreme things like this will screw it up in ENB anyway

A lot of textures that seem "washed out" were made for ENBs.

 

Also, have you checked the nif settings to see if they are environment mapped?  If so, tweaking the Gloss, Specular and Lighting Effect settings can repair a lot of the problem, as can darkening whatever environment mask is being used.

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43 minutes ago, Seijin8 said:

A lot of textures that seem "washed out" were made for ENBs.

 

Also, have you checked the nif settings to see if they are environment mapped?  If so, tweaking the Gloss, Specular and Lighting Effect settings can repair a lot of the problem, as can darkening whatever environment mask is being used.

outfit studio does not support ENV shaders and he has like bloom fx even in Nifskope... Its something in main shaders, or prob update NIfskop to v2.7 beta to upgrade its codes. 

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1 hour ago, Darklocq said:

I fairly often get this issue where an item of clothing ends up with a very washed out to glowing appearance, despite the settings in the NIF being comparable (as far as I can tell) to a 

From mega link files look absolutely normal in my Nifskope (v2.7), shader params are correct.Install new Nifskope and GPU drivers.

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And i'm already using the latest NIFskope, which is technically 2.0 Dev 7. It's all that's been put out since late 2017, unfortunately. There appear to have been some minor commits up to early 2018, but I would have to compile a local copy to get those, and I doubt they would address this, since it also looks like crap in Outfit Studio.  I'm starting to think it's the normal map, since twiddling the settings in the NIF itself seems to do very little (well, very little to improve this; it's easy to make it worse!).

 

And there are not newer drivers for my GPU.

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14 minutes ago, Darklocq said:

There's no environment map, just the normal map (and the main color one, of course).

In the nif for Kilt, turn the "Specular Strength" down to maybe 0.3

 

On the normalmap, the texture is at highest possible reflection amount (fully solid) except where it is fully transparent.  I'd cut that by half, at least.  Fabric in general should have a near-transparent normal map (excluding, silk and satin, fir instance).

 

Make sure that when you save it, you are using a format that supports alpha, such as BC3/DTX5.

 

Attached the kilt normal, took it down to about 30%  Fix the nif's specular and see how that looks.

Kilt_n.dds

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9 minutes ago, Seijin8 said:

Attached the kilt normal, took it down to about 30%  Fix the nif's specular and see how that looks.

 

Thanks I will. I also already tried reducing specular str. to 0.1, but my save-out of the _n.dds at various opacities (uncompressed at all) may have been screwy somehow. I'll try yours and a lowered spec. str. at same time.   Gotta run to a med. appointment right now though, so will give it a shot later today.

 

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7 hours ago, Darklocq said:

 

Thanks I will. I also already tried reducing specular str. to 0.1, but my save-out of the _n.dds at various opacities (uncompressed at all) may have been screwy somehow. I'll try yours and a lowered spec. str. at same time.   Gotta run to a med. appointment right now though, so will give it a shot later today.

 

The opacity should be in the diffuse, the a channel of the normal map is for specular. It'll be the maps definitely. Make sure the normal map is tangent space, direct x (rather than openGL). Make sure the specularity is dark, you can even not have one. And put the opacity in the diffuse A channel and set the alpha testing modes as per other high quality mods..

 

Good luck 

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Update: The combination of reduced opacity in the normal map, and reduce specular strength did do the trick, but it took extremes (about 10% spec. str., and about 20% or less kilt_n.dds opacity).  Thanks for the help!  Progress on the mod in question is being annotated at the original mod's Posts page at Nexus, though the overhauled version will go up on its own page at some point when it's release-worthy.

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> The opacity should be in the diffuse

 

It is opaque, except where there's a ragged selvedge at the bottom, where an alpha channel is using some transparency.

 

> the a channel of the normal map is for specular.

 

Okay. Well, I have the entire normal map set for about 15% opacity at this point, and it's looking reasonably good in-game.

 

> Make sure the normal map is tangent space

 

I haven't done anything special with the normal map. In the NIF, I have model_space_normals OFF.

 

> direct x (rather than openGL).

 

I don't know what that translates to as far as NIF or DDS settings.  I'm using GIMP's DDS plugin.

 

> Make sure the specularity is dark, you can even not have one.

 

There's no *_s.dds or *_sk.dds for this.  The NIF has dark red specularity color, and spec. strength at 10%.

 

> And put the opacity in the diffuse A channel

 

Not certain I understand what that means, exactly. As noted above, the diffuse (main color, natural-looking) map is just opaque except where transparency is required for one edge.

 

> set the alpha testing modes as per other high quality mods..

 

That went over my head. ?

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I'm using the original mod's Posts page, https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/60027/?tab=posts, for development until I have something rerelease-worthy.  An alpha/demo of the overhaul-in-progress has already been posted there, and later ones will be as well. (The current one is at Mega here, but will be replaced with alpha 2 fairly soon; it's best to check that Posts page for current state of development; I'm posting the changes logs as I go.)

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