View Full Version : help with muddy game textures

02 February 2003, 12:41 AM
Hey all :)

I have a question (obviously):

I've recently been creating various weapons and helmets for Morrowind, I enjoy the game and I enjoy modeling for it even more.

The texture size ive been using has been 256x256, which really makes texturing hard for things like a helmet. Im not sure if morrowind can handle larger maps, but what I was wondering is if I create maps which are quite a bit larger (in the 700x700 range) then bake the textures at 256x256 will it remain muddy or will it clear up the textures a bit?

I have no idea how to proceed in fixing these damned muddy textures any other way.

btw, im using max5 with the render to texture feature.

Thanks in advance for any help you can toss me! :beer:

Jonny Bubonic
02 February 2003, 12:49 AM
Dude, a 256x256 texture is more than enough for just a helmet. If you saw what the likes of Kenneth Scott did for WHOLE characters with a 256 texture in Quake III, you'd see what I mean. About the 700x700 texture size...avoid. Textures for games need to be to the power of 2 in size, eg, 64x64, 128x128, 256x256, 256x512 etc.etc.
Could you post up your current texture for a crit? There might be a few things you could do to it to make it sharper.

02 February 2003, 12:54 AM
Originally posted by Jonny Bubonic
Dude, a 256x256 texture is more than enough for just a helmet. If you saw what the likes of Kenneth Scott did for WHOLE characters with a 256 texture in Quake III, you'd see what I mean. About the 700x700 texture size...avoid. Textures for games need to be to the power of 2 in size, eg, 64x64, 128x128, 256x256, 256x512 etc.etc.
Could you post up your current texture for a crit? There might be a few things you could do to it to make it sharper.

I realize 256x256 is enough, what I dont understand is why they look very blurry. I cant post anything right now because Im at work and not to mention that, I deleted the model out of rage :rolleyes:

What im doing is to prepare the model for texturing im baking the texture so it flattens the uvs, then i save the uvs and load it into unwrap uvw then I paint on them in photoshop. Which I thought was perfectly fine (i cant figure out how to flatten in unwrap without render to texture).

I tried hardening the lines in the texture, sharpening the texture, etc but none of it worked. it was just a blob of color that vaguely represented my photoshop work.

Is my process in preparing the model for texturing wrong? (the flattening of uvs by using render to texture then transporting those uvs into unwrap)?

very frustrating. Thanks for your quick reply though i appreciate it

Jonny Bubonic
02 February 2003, 01:11 AM
I don't use max, but what you're doing SOUNDS right. In maya, I layout my UVs with various mapping projections, sew them up where they need sewing, then use Maya's built-in exporter to save the mapped uvs out to a texture, that I then use that as template in photoshop. I think there's a very widely used (and I believe free) plug-in for max called "chiliskinner" which you might find helpful.
If it turns out that you are doing it right, then it could be something to do with the format of the it a Targa, Bitmap etc? Is it 8-bit palletized or whatever? If you don't know already, find out if there's anything specific you have to do when saving your texture out, as some game engines can be very fussy about the way your textures are formatted. And please post up an example anyway, when you get the chance.

02 February 2003, 03:09 AM
It would help if you showed your textures so you could get some critique. A texture being "muddy" sounds more like a colour levels problem than a resolution problem.

02 February 2003, 03:23 AM
as i stated above, i cant show anything. I know it would help if I posted a sample, because obviously you could see what I mean right? moving on....

by muddy I dont mean brown, I mean blurry.

02 February 2003, 06:52 AM
Maybe this is a stupid question polygun but are you uvmapping the model yourself? I read what you said but I'm still not clear. Do you uvmap and unwrap etc by hand?

Here's a link to some simple tutorials to help illustrate what I mean, if nothing else.

If so then I have some other suggestions that might help


I havent actually read through it but the pictures look good :) might also want to add a diagonal gradient behind your checkboard though so you can find seams and things better.

02 February 2003, 06:32 PM
Bodyrott, thank you a bunch for those links. Ive searched and searched and searched but for some weird reason ive never seen either of those links before.

I walk away smarter now :buttrock:

02 February 2003, 07:34 AM
hi polygun,

have you heard of texporter? it's a max must-have.

Texporter for max 4/5 (

what is texture baking? i feel like a moron for asking, but i've never heard of it.

02 February 2003, 09:00 AM
@snowfly: texture baking means incorporating the rendered shadows of your 3d-app in the skin-texture.

11 November 2004, 06:23 AM
Hi, I am doing texturing for lowpoly on Maya. thankfully my textures are not coming blurred, but the client says "Uvís still exhibit a lack of understanding of texel scale; need scale of 128 pixels per meter" but i dont understand what exectly a texel scale is and how do we do it. i cant ask the client abt it. its for a game. i need to understand what texel scale is and how do we take care of it when we are doing unwraping and texturing for a low poly designe.

11 November 2004, 08:48 AM
as i understand it, texel is a term for texture pixels rendered on polygon surfaces. it sounds like your client is asking for a certain texture density, and your models are using either too low or too high a resolution.

11 November 2004, 04:00 PM
Please post screenshots of your model from the game, the texture file, etc.

I have a feeling your graphics settings are low-quality in game, which is reducing the texture it's using, which is why it's coming out looking wrong.

11 November 2004, 04:32 PM
If you want to go the route of texture-baking, instead of painting at true-resolution, then you should carefully adjust your render settings. There are several antialiasing filters... Mitchell is a lot better than the default Area. You should also look into Super Sampling, it greatly improves the way textures are filtered down into the baked render.

But ultimately you should be doing some final touch-up in Photoshop on the post-baked textures. Nothing is going to replace this, IMO.

Jonny Bubonic
11 November 2004, 11:52 PM
Kdev..the texel per meter thing refers to how many pixels cover a meter of game space. For example, say you were texturing a grassy area 10x10 meters (in the game world) with a 128x128 tiling grass texture ; you would need to make sure it tiled 10 times in each direction. Each square meter in the game world would then have 128 x128 pixels to represent it. If you were using a 256x256 texture, it would be tiled only 5 times, still giving the same amount of pixel density. A 512 by 512 texture would be tiled only 2.5 times. I hope that makes some kind of sense.
In games, it's a good idea to keep a consistant pixel density across the whole environment, so that you don't have super-sharp detail sitting next to blurry, overstretched textures. Inefficient use of textures would include things like using a 1024x1024 texture to represent a tiny rivet (much too high density), or a 64x64 texture for an entire truck (too low). These are obvious exaggerations, but you hopefully get the idea. The criticism you got probably meant you were using over-large textures over a small area, or small textures over a large area, or a mixture of both. An easy way to make sure your texel size is consistant is to map everything with a simple chequer pattern. You should adjust the UVs until the chequers appear the same size on every object. You don't normally have to be absolutely exact with this, doing it by eye should be fine. You then replace the chequer pattern with your proper textures. Hope that helps :D

11 November 2004, 12:30 AM
Hey Ploygun, could you give me a run down on how to get models from max all the way to working in Morrowind? Even possibly contact me on AIM or MSN email: thanks

11 November 2004, 09:32 AM
Small tip:

If you scale down textures in Photoshop it helps to set the filter method to 'bilinear' (instead of bicubic, which creates more fuzzy results). Bilinear filtering helps to keep a bit more detail in the texture when you sacle down (from 512x512 to 256x256 for example).

Don't be afraid to make very sharp textures. What looks way too sharp in Photoshop may actually look great in the game, because when the texture is on the 3d object it's usually a bit bigger and thus it gets filtered (smoothed out).

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