After working long on just editing entity files for my own "canon-feeling" I was really attracted by the latest sins of a blue planet release. I played around with the beam texture for some time to make them appear more flashy/dithering like in original FS 2 (finally managed that). While testing I realized, that the ships in the mod didn't show specular maps, and so the odyssey of realizing, how limited the own competence to deal with such complex stuff really is. To make it a bit short:
- I read through the wiki about textures, the channels and their meaning
- I use gimp as well as paint.net (prefer gimp to extract the channels and combine them again)
- for a given .mesh all necessary files exist (-cl, -nm, -da)
- opening the -da-file, it looks like (in contrast to other -da-files from different mods like ST Armada 3) the red channel is the same like the -cl-file red channel. I supposed, the red channel of the -da-file should look different (thinking about Star Trek Bridgecommander right now, they appeared like an interpolation), so I worked on that channel.
- extracted the red channel, found edges, interpolation so that it definately looked different (read about working this way in another thread), and put all channels (i didn't touch the other three) back together.
- saved it again to .dds using dx5 (i think it was called that) compression, or tried different options I read about in another thread.
- the -da-file looked, except for the red channel, exactely the same, like the old one!
- exchanged the old file with the new one, started the game and.......no change at all: can't see the specular or the game applying the new texture (thats my assumption). I spend some hours to test different options, formats (A8, L8, ...), but I was never able to see the new textures (or the "shining" on them).
And now I am looking for your help, as I really enjoy a lot of the fan made projects (Freespace Open, Star Trek Armada 3, Sins of a blue planet), that look fantastic. Freespace or Star Trek Armada 3 both have working specular textures. Sins of a blue planet seem not to have working ones, therefore I would like to (first of all of course for my own satisfaction, but if this is working and going fast, sending the author if he likes to have them) add them. Maybe it is just a simple thing, I ignored when reading or didn't do it as intended, still i hope you can help me.
Now more text than intended, thanks for your help and the work you're doing!