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alphas in normal maps?


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Not only is it possible, but it's a good idea.


If you're using Photoshop, adding an Alpha layer is no problem at all. If you're using GIMP however, then i'd recommend you go search google for "DXTbmp", it's 100% free and it works, and adding the Alpha via that is a lot easier than trying to deal with it in GIMP.

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Well I'm using a 3d texturing softwar where you can paint directly on the model and it has normal painting, that I never used since I'm begining with it. I'm not sure he alows alphas in normal maps but if not I can probably use the tatoo as a mask once in photoshop.


I hate photoshop ( well mainly I hate to pay when I'm more used to a free software that I can't use lol) but gimp dont work with my tablet so I had to come back to it...


I guess I have to bother the maker of the tatoo handling mod I use ( not sure his name is alowed outside of adult mod section ^^) to see if this is implemented in it or if he can do it. :D


Well maybe after I actualy managed to make an alph/normal map so he dont work for theoretical prospect. ^^

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Is it possible to use alphas in a normal map?

To integrate changes in a tatoo for exemple, so the normals get changed only in the tatoo area, leaving the rest as the original normal map set it?

Skin textures don't use alpha channels. Skyrim's engine will ignore alpha channels on any mesh that displays a skin texture. If you save a skin texture (normal, diffuse, etc.) with an alpha channel you are only wasting VRAM.


Adding normal map information for a tattoo or warpaint is fine (e.g. brush strokes), but there is no purpose to putting it on the alpha channel of a skin texture.



I was actualy refering in using alphas in the texture itself so that wasen't exactily what I was refering too but bein brand new to moding skyrim It was probably ambiguouse.


Anyway I didn't know what you just explained, so knowing how skyrim proceed with texture may prove useful at time.

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Thx for the clarification. I didnt get you right in your first post and thinked you were talking about some way to add alphas mask from another scale of gray texture in the game engine.


Well if the engine ignore the alpha channel of the texture on everything on the body that will efectively be a problem but somehow I doubt it since the difuse map of my tatoos uses the alpha chanel and they work.


You may be right in the way that the alphas chanel is in a way ignored since he don't turn the alphas part transparent but it let the other textures of the body show trough it so its not ignored its used diferently and thats exactly what I will want as effect from using alphas on the normal map.


Maybe its due to the other mod I use but I dont think so as there are tatoo on the game from the start that work on every skin and body type so they have to use the alpha chanrel to let the original skin show on the non tatooed part.

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Tattoos/warpaint from the default game work because they use tintmasks.  Tintmasks are greyscale textures that act like masks in photoshop or any other similar tool.  They don't use alpha channels.  I think you may be confused about what an alpha channel is.  In game engines, an alpha channel is used for alpha blending or transparency, neither of which will work on body part meshes in this particular game.  When I refer to alpha channels, I'm referring to the channel that is saved in the dds texture - I am not referring to any masks or layers you create in your image editing program. 


You may create a separate equipable tattoo mesh and use alpha channels on it if you use the default shader type.  You can then make use of alpha blending if that's what you're trying to do and don't want the tattoo to simply be part of the diffuse texture.  If you want additional help, try linking a screenshot so I know exactly what you are trying to do.


I have a post in the skyrim adult mod forum for my tatoo. For now I didn't try to do any normal mapping on them as I wanted to be sure I didn't lost hours of work on an imposible thing since my knowledge of normal map is close to zero. I prefered to ask here before.


To give an exemple, I want to use it to give volume on variouse liquid that can let drops on the body. I had a request of iron branding who may make use of normal map as well.


I may very well don't understand you fully as I'm brand new at moding skyrim. As for alpha channel I started using them in photoshop 15 years ago so I have no doubt on this particular point.


I'm guessing I use a default shader on the body from your explaination but as I use another mod (slavetats) to actualy manage the tatoo in game I actualy have no clue how it work. I just produce a .dds diffuse with an alpha channel and slavetats take care of the rest with just one simple line of code.


I guess I have to try to make one with a normal map to know then. ^^

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Deleted my posts. I just noticed what this was being used for and I won't be a source of support for such things.  You're on your own.


Ok, that's your post after all.



I'm sad as you were helpfull, but I can't force you to help me obviously.

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