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Converting Model to PBR w/ RoughMet Maps (Roughness / Metal) - Guide


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Good Day Everyone, this guide should help Modders wanting to use RoughMet maps on their Models w/ DCS 2.1.1+ instead of a Global Specular Conversion via JSON File.

 

The Benefits are:

-More control over Material/Object Levels than you would w/ the Specular+JSON File (per pixel vs per texture)

-More Accurate Representation of Materials (Specular + JSON can have a lot of guesswork due to contrast and output values set in the JSON, w/ RoughMet everything uses the Global PBR Standard)

-Use of vast Internet Library of PBR Materials (ie freepbr.com).

 

Steps One and Two Are for the Modders Building their own Models for DCS,

Steps Three onward will be for both Modders and Texture Artists looking to develop content for DCS Models that are already utilizing RoughMet Specular Maps.

 

 

Also, It's Important to Know the Material Slots, for Adding the Materials to a Desciption.lua

[TABLE]MAP SLOT NAME | CHANNEL | PURPOSE / FUNCTION

DIFFUSE | 0 | BASE COLOR

NORMAL | 1 | Normals/Depth and Depth Affects (ie Rain/Scratchs on Glass)

SPECULAR | 2 | Surface Properties for Surface Flare Intensity, Width and Reflection (Replaced by RoughMet Map w/ DCS 2.5)

DECAL | 3 | Decal Layer, a opacity layer for adding Decals w/ out changing the base color layer.

DIRT | 4 | Layer used for Dirty Build Up on an Object

DAMAGE | 5 | Layer Used for Procedural Damage Volumetric (Small Scuffs -> Bullet Holes -> Large Holes -> Removed Surfaces)

PUDDLES | 6 | Used to Place Water/Puddles on Surfaces (Puddles on Runways etc)

SNOW | 7 | Used to Place Snow on Surfaces (Snow on Buildings/Bunkers/Runways etc)

SELF_ILLUMINATION | 8 | Used to Make a Texture Self Illuminated (Diffuse = Color, Alpha = Strength)

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION | 9 | Used to Place Ambient Occlusions on Models (Replaced w/ RoughMet Map w/ DCS 2.5)

DAMAGE | 10 | Used to Place Damage Diffuse Color (Appearance of Dirt/Burn Marks around Damage)

<UNKNOWN> | 11 |

<UNKNOWN> | 12 |

ROUGHMET | 13 | Used for Surface Properties, (Ambient Occlusion, Microsurface, Reflectivity)

OPACITY | 14 | Used for Surface Opacity (Mainly for Glass)

 

-----------------------|--------|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[/TABLE]

 

 

Step One:

Make Sure you Model's Materials are Set correctly w/ Diffuse, Specular, Bump etc as they were w/ DCS 2.0/1.5 and Below.

No Special Material Settings need to be set to use RoughMet Maps.

The Original Material Settings will be retained so models will continue to use Spec Maps w/ DCS 2.0/1.5 and below or if a user has disabled PBR.

Also Remove any JSON Files.

 

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=169371&stc=1&d=1505747773

 

Step Two:

RoughMet Maps, are Loaded for Any Albedo/Diffuse Texture that has a RoughMet Map Linked to it in Step 2.

Prepare the Default textures to have a RoughMet for Each,

 

Each Diffuse Texture should have a new Roughness/Metallic Map with extension to the filename "_RoughMet" at the end, For Example:

F-18E-001-DIF.DDS, IS THE DIFFUSE Texture, So

F-18E-001-DIF_RoughMet.DDS is The File Name Needed for DCS to Detect the roughness/Metallic Map.

 

For initial integration/testing purposes, I just used my default specular dds files for the default RoughMet Files, because there will be a distinct difference in Aircraft Appearance due to the Red Channel.

attachment.php?attachmentid=169372&stc=1&d=1505747973

 

 

For Example, When Loading the Model, You'll Notice the Red Channel Map Being Dominant, and it should be very obvious which textures did not correctly Load a RoughMet Map.

 

If You Open your ModelViewer and the Model Appears Similar to the Screenshot Below, Congrats, You have successfully configured the RoughMet maps to load w/ the Diffuse/Albedo Channel.

attachment.php?attachmentid=169378&stc=1&d=1505750986

 

If You Do NOT see this, then do NOT proceed to Step 3, and Review Steps 1 and 2.

 

 

Step Three:

Accurately Setting up Materials Based on their roughness and metallic properties.

RoughtMet Maps Contain All 3 Properties Needed to realistically render a texture material.

 

RED CHANNEL = AMBIENT OCCLUSION LEVEL (BLACK = 100%, WHITE = 0%)

-- For Any Baked on Shadows in the Diffuse Texture, they should be disabled, and moved to the Red Channel of the RoughMet Map.

 

GREEN = ROUGHNESS / SMOOTHNESS aka MicroSurface ( BLACK = SMOOTH, WHITE = ROUGH)

-- Smooth results in Less Light Scattering / diffusion and a More Polished Look, Sharper Reflections

-- Rough results in more Light Scattering / diffusion and a more Matte Look, Blurrier Reflections

 

BLUE = METAL/DIELETRIC aka Reflectivity (BLACK = DIELETRIC, WHITE = METALLIC)

-- Metallic results in a more reflective surface and less light absorption, More Reflection.

-- Dieletric results in a less reflective surface and more light absorption, Less Reflection.

 

 

There are Vast Libraries of Pre-Set materials for PBR Workflow on the Internet, (ie http://www.freepbr.com)

However to save time, the ones most popular for Aircraft/Vehicle Models would be:

-Composite Metal (Newer Generation Aircraft)

-Chrome Metal

-Painted Metal/Steel

-Steel (Early Aircraft Prior to Composite Materials Being Used)

-Aluminum (Early Aircraft Prior to Composite Materials Being Used)

-Rubber (Tires)

-Plastics (Cockpit Internals, Misc Details, Etc)

-Fabrics (Pilot Uniforms Belts, Seat Covers etc)

-Glass (Canopies, Light Covers, etc)

 

However Here are some Examples of how Each setting Appears on a Model:

 

Composite Metal:

attachment.php?attachmentid=169379&stc=1&d=1505751102

 

ROUGH - DIELETRIC:

attachment.php?attachmentid=169380&stc=1&d=1505751133

 

ROUGH - METALLIC:

attachment.php?attachmentid=169381&stc=1&d=1505751165

 

SMOOTH - DIELETRIC:

attachment.php?attachmentid=169382&stc=1&d=1505751302

 

SMOOTH - METALLIC:

attachment.php?attachmentid=169383&stc=1&d=1505751334

 

Step Four:

Liveries Description.LUA

 

As with Speculars, any Custom Livery that does NOT have a RoughMet Defined will continue to use the default one the sim loads first.

I have experienced some issues where the incorrect RoughMet is loaded for some materials, So I Defined the Default one in the Livery's LUA to Eliminate the Problem.

ie Note the "True", telling DCS To Scan Other Mounted Folders.:

{"F-18EFG_001", ROUGHNESS_METALLIC,"F-18E_001_DIFF_RoughMet", true},

 

If you would Like a Custom RoughMet for a Livery, you must define it in the description.lua as follows:

 

{"MATERIAL NAME", ROUGHNESS_METALLIC,"TEXTURE NAME_RoughMet", false},

For Example:

{"F-18EFG_001", 0,"F-18E-01-BOEING-DIF", false},
{"F-18EFG_001", ROUGHNESS_METALLIC,"F-18E-01-BOEING-DIF_RoughMet", false},

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some More Information/Resources for PBR:

http://www.freepbr.com

(Materials etc)

 

https://www.allegorithmic.com/pbr-guide

(PDF Guides w/ More detailed information on PBR Workflow)

 

https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Rendering/Materials/PhysicallyBased/

(More information regarding roughness/metallic properties)

1020362259_003-SpecularasRoughMet.thumb.jpg.4c593fcf2e7e5262d7172f9bc64bbf25.jpg

1796485828_004-COMPOSITEMETALRoughMet.thumb.jpg.1f0b5b9a476995523c70f9f6c0621f59.jpg

1539629095_004-ROUGH-DEILETRICRoughMet.thumb.jpg.c1c46b88b8918254876f4e621867c82b.jpg

1475033414_004-ROUGH-METALLICRoughMet.thumb.jpg.8a288c8d0095c54d35282ee6e6c312cd.jpg

1845473990_004-SMOOTH-DIELETRICRoughMet.thumb.jpg.adcf71652b6cbe8019e566dcf22f97de.jpg

907322739_004-SMOOTH-METALLICRoughMet.thumb.jpg.53c0342dc51a228720bd5868fbe839b2.jpg


Edited by SkateZilla
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Hey guys! Due to the recent ED forum engine change, the table has lost its original formatting. Because of this, I spent a small amount of my time to re-format it here. Happy painting!  

This can really breathe a lot of life into old models.  

I'm currently traveling for holiday, Once I get some free time I'll go through and edit the posts and move images and clean up formatting.

Rendering Ambient Occlusion to Map for Use w/ PBR

 

This is the First of 3 Updated Posts I will Add Into this thread, One for Each Channel and How to Create and Edit the Textures for those Channels.

 

First Up is the RED Channel, which goes un-used by many in the DCS PBR Environment.

 

RED CHANNEL = AMBIENT OCCLUSION LEVEL / DIRT (BLACK = 100%, WHITE = 0%)

--Additionally, as Stated, Any Baked on Shadows in the Diffuse Texture, they should be disabled, and moved to the Red Channel of the RoughMet Map.

 

A QUICK GUIDE: Rendering a Quick Ambient Occlusion Map from 3DS Max.

 

Basically, A.O. is a method to approximate how bright light should be shining on any specific part of a surface, based on the light and it's environment.

Which Basically Helps the Engine render shadows in area's of the model that will not see alot of light (cracks, crevices, etc)

Additionally, One can use the A.O. Layer to Add Dirt Build up to a Texture set (ie Exhaust Dust from Piston Engines)

 

An Ambient Occlusion Map can be Generated from 3DS Max Using Render to Texture, This method while quick, is Not perfect, and will require tweaking in the final stages.

 

First we need to Create a new Max Scene from your Finished Model, save as "xxxxx_AO.max" so you can tell it apart.

In Order to exponentially save time and file space, we will be removing all mesh groups, light sources, etc and attaching/combining each mesh by Material.

 

Once all grouped meshes are removed, we will begin making all meshes a single mesh, by MATERIAL.

 

-Select a Material in the Material Editor, For this instance, I will select the Nose Material.

Choose the "Select By Material" Icon, (World w/ Cursor Icon, Usually 2nd from Bottom on the Right Side Row of Icons of the Material Editor)

Which will bring up the Selection Box (Make Sure Geometry and Shapes are all Shown), expand all, and press OK, This will select every Mesh w/ this Material Assigned to it.

attachment.php?attachmentid=170988&stc=1&d=1508628220

 

-Choose Hide Unselected.

attachment.php?attachmentid=170989&stc=1&d=1508628220

 

 

-Click on any mesh, or the Parent Mesh of the Remaining Meshes, Click the Attach List Button (The Button w/ Small Square Icon Next to the Attach Button),

In the Selection Box, Choose Expand All, then Select All, then Attach, this will combine all meshes into a Single Mesh.

attachment.php?attachmentid=170990&stc=1&d=1508628220

 

 

-Optional, Rename the Single Mesh to a Material Name for Easier Filename Generation.

attachment.php?attachmentid=170992&stc=1&d=1508628606

 

 

-Open Up the Render Setup Dialog, and Load "Mental.Ray.no.gi" Preset, Select All Categories, Press Load., then Close the Render Setup Dialog.

attachment.php?attachmentid=170993&stc=1&d=1508628606

attachment.php?attachmentid=170994&stc=1&d=1508628606

 

-Open the Render to Texture Dialog:

Set paths and folders as you wish, you will need to open the files to edit later.

Set Mapping Coordinates to "Use Existing Channel" and "1"

Under Output Click Add, Select Ambient Occlusion (MR), Click Add Elements.

Under Selected Element Common Settings, Make sure Enable is Checked, Set File Name as Needed, White Background, Set Map Size to Match your RoughMet Texture Resolution. Target Map Slot to Blank, or Diffuse (For it to render to your model in the scene)

Click Render to Texture, wait.

 

 

*Notes While Waiting, You'll see it rendering the diffuse texture w/ shadoing on it, the actual A.O. file will be black and white, as you'll see in the next step,

The Render to File Method, will render each mesh individually, to each file individually,

So by combining all meshes for the material into a single mesh, you save time by only having to render ONCE instead of likely dozens of times, and then save even more time by not having to comine those textures into a single texture.

Also, to Get final Ambient Occlusion Maps, You must Render the Entire Aircraft at once, otherwise you'll get incomplete occlusion maps.

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=170995&stc=1&d=1508628676

attachment.php?attachmentid=170996&stc=1&d=1508628676

attachment.php?attachmentid=170997&stc=1&d=1508628676

 

-After it Renders, if you selected target layer as diffuse, your model will appear white w/ shadowing.

attachment.php?attachmentid=170998&stc=1&d=1508628776

 

-Open the TGA File it rendered in photoshop (or image editing suite you use), immediately, you'll notice, that A.O. Filter automatically put 100% Shadow / A.O. for items that are internal (ie, tires gear bays, inside of doors, etc etc),

This is what I was referring to when I said it's not perfect and will require tweaking. Additionally, you could pose the model w/ gears open and render the file, but you'll have unwanted shadows from the doors open, this is where you would edit the Texture to remove any internal Items, and customize the level of A.O. for any additional items you want to adjust.

 

Also Note, as I Said Before, To get complete Occlusion Maps, you must render to file the entire aircraft by material at the same time, and not peice by peice, note this Occlusion Map is not complete, to do this, repeat the above for each of the main airframe materials (no need to worry about internal items, just fuselage, wings, etc)

 

Compare the First one (Nose Material Mesh Only), to the 2nd One, which was rendered w/ the entire Aircraft shown.

attachment.php?attachmentid=170999&d=1508628769

attachment.php?attachmentid=171015&d=1508641255

 

After Making Meshes by Material, Select all the meshes and choose render to file again, and it will render a A.O. Map for Each Mesh / Material.:

attachment.php?attachmentid=171061&stc=1&d=1508706271

 

-This is what my Tweaked A.O. Layer Looks like after removing excessive A.O. from internal Items (WiP)

Additionally, you can paint extra A.O./Dirt o this map before saving it and copy/pasting it into the RED Channel of your Map's RoughMet File.

(Things like Excessive Dirt/Grime Build Up, Exhaust Dust Accumulation, etc etc, See P-51D Nose RoughMet)

attachment.php?attachmentid=171000&d=1508628769

 

This Final Result, even when WiP, compliments the DCSWorld 2.1.x+ PBR Engine Nicely.

attachment.php?attachmentid=171001&stc=1&d=1508628905

 

Vs PBR w/o Ambient Occlusion Map:

attachment.php?attachmentid=171014&stc=1&d=1508630534

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_001.thumb.jpg.02b60721847b3baac137e7e0e9674d30.jpg

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_002.thumb.jpg.9d348f5be04aa625d85c2336ddc299d3.jpg

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_003.thumb.jpg.d5a1f17ee2a1a7c48407cd660ad5f17b.jpg

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_004.thumb.jpg.fd6a0ca20c67488e640a1ed01b4626f0.jpg

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_005.thumb.jpg.c31f0eeec31d97efb20580459f2bfaae.jpg

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_006.thumb.jpg.237b4753072ce2921085e1760d2d3489.jpg

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_007.thumb.jpg.27a1737f825650207276301d6a89ebef.jpg

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_008.thumb.jpg.aba9fcd4879ff3c1bf9287b2d4304343.jpg

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_009.thumb.jpg.5e9e986af070fd6a7fabdf990d65272a.jpg

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_010.thumb.jpg.665258a73ccab014ee27b1472a6e7371.jpg

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_011.thumb.jpg.8d40c79b9ca292d7f322dd6c60626dc3.jpg

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_012.thumb.jpg.19625fe605e2fe98fcbac3bc0d2e6fc6.jpg

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_013.thumb.jpg.79d372d346f171e5e29a66ee13810b4f.jpg

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_014.thumb.jpg.8b966c3fb360b43f06ac75d6d5f699da.jpg

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_011a.thumb.jpg.5b68305eaa9318a2ad27b9c0d9e506c9.jpg

AMBIENT_OCCLUSION_015.thumb.jpg.ef7d764e477b78651d63da4d1b3ecb4b.jpg


Edited by SkateZilla

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Editing Roughness (Micro Surface) Map for Use w/ PBR

 

This is the Second of 3 Updated Posts I will Add Into this thread, One for Each Channel and How to Create and Edit the Textures for those Channels.

 

Next Up is the GREEN Channel, Which is the Roughness / Microsurface Map.

GREEN = ROUGHNESS / SMOOTHNESS aka MicroSurface ( BLACK = SMOOTH, WHITE = ROUGH)

-- Smooth results in Less Light Scattering / diffusion and a More Polished Look, Sharper Reflections

-- Rough results in more Light Scattering / diffusion and a more Matte Look, Blurrier Reflections

 

Here's some basic Materials, Please note, the M (Microsurface) Values for these Materials are Inverted (ie WHITE = SMOOTH), so when using them, one must invert the color for the Microsurface Value.

attachment.php?attachmentid=171685&stc=1&d=1509918180

 

Unlike Ambient Occlusion, Creating a Roughness map does not Involve using 3D Studio Max, Everything can be done from Photoshop or other Imaging Suites.

 

The Quickest and Easiest way to do basic Roughness Maps is to create Layers and Overlays for Each material type, For Example:

- 1 Layer for Brushed / Bare Metal,

- 1 Layer for Rubber,

- 1 Layer for Painted Metal,

- 1 Layer for Glass

 

With Those Layers Created, You can Use the Diffuse Layer as a background, and paint over the parts one material type at a time.

 

It will Also be easier to create the Metallic map as well, as once you create the material overlays for the Roughness Map, you can group them, clone them and use them for metallic map, and adjust the Output values using color overlay.

attachment.php?attachmentid=171686&stc=1&d=1509918373

 

For Me, for Creating the basic composite material surface w/ noise and smooth/rough spots,

I used the existing green Channel of my Specular, Inverted it and Applied custom curves to get the colors within range for the Material.

 

For Example

Before:

attachment.php?attachmentid=171687&stc=1&d=1509918593

 

After:

attachment.php?attachmentid=171688&stc=1&d=1509918605

 

 

Once you have your Roughness map is completed Goto Channels, Select the Green Channel, Select All, Copy Merged, and Paste into the GREEN Channel of your RoughMet DDS File:

attachment.php?attachmentid=171690&stc=1&d=1509920477

 

 

Once Finished, the End Result should be something Like this:

attachment.php?attachmentid=171695&stc=1&d=1509923617

materialref03.thumb.png.a50f468e33255f57bae882f86a0f2e5c.png

ROUGHNESS_001.thumb.jpg.7d7f2e8c7cc58913dc5e8b6542304278.jpg

ROUGHNESS_002A.thumb.jpg.6d061b253ca0a3eafd66cb6eebfce052.jpg

ROUGHNESS_002B.thumb.jpg.d34d6ac23ed82d665aa631ce7b14b7dd.jpg

ROUGHNESS_003A.thumb.jpg.62d8192349226fe22856142fe1654157.jpg

ROUGHNESS_003B.thumb.jpg.02c74a1f991509bfba40bdd285f7070c.jpg

ROUGHNESS_004.thumb.jpg.32f086e251fe69cdf87ff7015a04fa60.jpg


Edited by SkateZilla

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Editing Metallic (Reflective) Map for Use w/ PBR

 

This is the Third and Final of 3 Updated Posts I will Add Into this thread, One for Each Channel and How to Create and Edit the Textures for those Channels.

 

THe Last Peice is the BLUE Channel, Which is the Metallicness / Dieletric / Reflectivity Map.

 

BLUE = METAL/DIELETRIC aka Reflectivity (BLACK = DIELETRIC, WHITE = METALLIC)

-- Metallic results in a more reflective surface and less light absorption, More Reflection.

-- Dieletric results in a less reflective surface and more light absorption, Less Reflection.

 

Again, Some basic Materials, Please note, the R (Reflectivity) Values for these Materials are Correct and can be used directly (WHITE = Metallic, Black = Dielectric),

Also, These Materials are in sRGB, so when using the colors, we are simply using the black/white value, and when you paste your Metallic Map into the Blue Channel it will automatically be Black and White.

attachment.php?attachmentid=171685&stc=1&d=1509918180

 

As Stated in the Roughness Map Post, you can easily, do quick maps by creating layers for each material (Polsihed Metal, Brushed Metal, Rubber, Painted Metal, Glass etc etc),

You can easily keep the same overlays by cloning the Roughness Maps/Group and re-naming them, and then adjusting the Color Overlay for each material.

attachment.php?attachmentid=171692&stc=1&d=1509922646

 

The Same Method from before can be used to tweak the original BLUE CHANNEL from you specular map to be the background for your Metallic Map (Using Curves to bring the color ranges to be within your material's specs)

 

Once your finished w/ painting the materials of the Metallic Map, Select BLUE Channel, Select All, Copy Merged, Paste into the BLUE Channel of your RoughMet DDS File.

 

 

Once You're finished, the end result should look something like this:

attachment.php?attachmentid=171696&stc=1&d=1509923749

METALLIC_001.thumb.jpg.24dce8918fdeae06dd2d751abc010a0c.jpg

METALLIC_002.thumb.jpg.ec48a4452bb34ee863581f29a46e8cd3.jpg


Edited by SkateZilla

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Editing Glass Map for Use w/ PBR

 

Glass in PBR:

This is the extra part of the PBR Guide, it will describe how to Create glass

attachment.php?attachmentid=241344&stc=1&d=1593530407

 

 

For PBR,

Glass will use Mainly Microsurface and Metallic/Reflection Maps of the RoughMet Textures, 99.99% of the time, Ambient Occlusion does not occur on Glass.

For Albedo, Glass with use RGB + ALPHA in DXT5 w/ Explicit Alpha or BC3 w/ Alpha.

 

For the Albedo, RGB will determine overall color/appearance, While the Alpha Channel will determine transparency.

For the RoughMet, Red Channel will remain Clear (AO), Microsurface will be Smooth, and Metallic/Reflection will be About 50-60% except for Specialized Cases of Metallic Film Coating (ie EA-6B, F-22A, etc).

 

 

While a Direct Example for PBR Glass Canopy/Window is not widely available, It is very Easy to Create.

 

Step 1: Creating the Texture in Photoshop

The Alpha Channel is User Preference, Black being 100% Translucent, and White being 100% Opague, My Preference is #464646, is a good place to start and can be adjusted higher or lower from there.

 

The Main Albedo/Diffuse Texture can be a Single Color (ie Blue/Grey for normal glass), or Multiple Colors Blended (Simulating Polarized Coating or Filmed Glass).

Below you will See an example of the Photoshop Layers for Diffuse, and how they look in DCS.

(note: base color for clear glass is user preference, blue, grey, green tint etc.).

 

Example 1: Clear Glass (Greyish Blue Tint):

attachment.php?attachmentid=241348&stc=1&d=1593531491

attachment.php?attachmentid=241349&stc=1&d=1593531597

 

Example 2: Polarized Glass (Blue / Green Tint):

attachment.php?attachmentid=241350&stc=1&d=1593531855

attachment.php?attachmentid=241351&stc=1&d=1593531855

 

Example 3: Gold Filmed (Gold w/ Metallic Film Properties):

(Also Note: For the Gold Filmed Look, I raised the Metallic Channel of the Roughmet slightly).

attachment.php?attachmentid=241352&stc=1&d=1593532148

attachment.php?attachmentid=241353&stc=1&d=1593532148

 

Also Note: The Gold Filmed Look is Dynamic Based on Angle of Camera to Canopy and Sun Angle:

attachment.php?attachmentid=241354&stc=1&d=1593532334

attachment.php?attachmentid=241355&stc=1&d=1593532334

 

 

The RoughMet Texture:

Red Channel (A.O.) Remains Clear : No Ambient Occlusion / Shadowing

 

Green Channel (Microsurface) Black or Close to Black (User Preference): Typically all canopy glass is buffed smooth, so #000000 is a good place to start and you can rough it up from there.

 

Blue Channel (Metallic Surface / Reflectivity): Since it's glass, we will say it's a Reflectivity Map, User Preference, White is 100% Strength Reflection, Black is 0% Strength Reflection, Grey color around 75-80% ( #d6d6d6 ) looks OK, and is usually a good place to start, adjusting higher or lower as desired.

 

Advanced Elements, a user can use a combination of varying Roughness/Reflectivity Strengths to simulate weathering/wear on glass and combined w/ normal map for scratches.

( I don't have an example of this immediately ready, but I will set aside time to make one.)

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=241357&stc=1&d=1593533433

 

 

Step 2: Creating a Material in 3DS Max and Setting the Correct Shaders:

 

Here you will See the Material Editor Shader Settings for Glass:

 

The Important part is to make sure the Material is set to "glass",

The Default Uniforms are for using specular maps, which I will explain below. (however RoughMet over-rides Specular).

 

Also Make sure Opacity is set to blend, and if you want the Glass to still cast a shadow, check the Shadow Caster or Shadow Castor Only box).

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=241341&stc=1&d=1593529355

 

 

Texture Map Setup for Glass Material (including Specular Maps).

I personally use this setup, though Other Developer's assignments of textures may vary.

 

DIFFUSE COLOR = VALUE 100, DIFFUSE/ALBEDO MAP w/ ALPHA CHANNEL. (note: Screenshot says composite because Material is updated w/ Damage Textures).

SPECULAR LEVEL = VALUE 100, SPECULAR MAP

GLOSSINESS = VALUE 100, SPECULAR MAP

OPACITY = VALUE 100, DIFFUSE/ALBEDO MAP w/ ALPHA CHANNEL. (User Preference, I find a Combo of Alpha Channel Control, Plus OPACITY Set to 60% Looks Great).

REFLECTION = VALUE 100, SPECULAR MAP

BUMP/NORMAL = NORMAL MAP (I don't Use a Normal on my External Glass, it's used to show scratches etc)

 

Value of Opacity Map can be adjusted in Material slot, as well as Alpha Channel.

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=241342&stc=1&d=1593529533

1445962653_GlassMaterialEditor.thumb.jpg.d6d134a8739f1663189f6740c4899f65.jpg

332127524_GlassMaterialEditor2.thumb.jpg.642ca5f8046a0e192938438f907470c7.jpg

Main_DCS.thumb.jpg.274b574f1387c4c55cc6c9a7746bf47d.jpg

Glass_PSD_CLEAR_DIF.jpg.f4cef5bf1c4e1d540e561eed746b3352.jpg

Glass_PSD_CLEAR_MV.thumb.jpg.db86b3598ae37ee56312182dd6b1ab5b.jpg

Glass_PSD_POLARIZED_DIF.jpg.170badb06c82c981e5910c2683e84048.jpg

Glass_PSD_POLARIZED_MV.thumb.jpg.3194d643a3a507e2488b393f0434a664.jpg

Glass_PSD_GOLDFILMED_DIF.jpg.c19410ea15a60310b6deae6b4ebc9ccd.jpg

Glass_PSD_GOLDFILMED_MV.thumb.jpg.c6c4a7802b1913ff90a7d6158b48bf08.jpg

Glass_PSD_GOLDFILMED_MV2.thumb.jpg.659e441642b9dfe0cda68c676e873207.jpg

Glass_PSD_GOLDFILMED_MV3.thumb.jpg.aba908016eb4ad5603a74db7e330c642.jpg

Glass_PSD_ROUGHMET.jpg.065eb308fbb2a9e70c0cb649519de082.jpg


Edited by SkateZilla

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I still plan on doing a video, please feel free to ask any question in the thread.

 

I also plan to add more detailed explanations as I work on my own textures (it better visual aids and examples of mixed material textures [ie maps w/ composites and rubber etc])


Edited by SkateZilla

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is all very daunting to me, but when I go through your screenshots there Skatezilla, this appears no different than edited the SPEC files. And I'm just considering the items at and past step 3, being that step 1 and 2 seem to be for people that are making their own aircraft mods for DCS, and I am nowhere near there (yet). For example, your "SMOOTH-METALLIC", I have replicated before with an old (and at this point deleted) skin I was working on with the P-51. Observe the spinner:

[ATTACH]170246[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH]170247[/ATTACH]

I just changed the SPEC for the spinner to the extreme (if it was white or black, I can't remember). So it appears that it doesn't matter if the SPEC is red, blue, or green, but how LIGHT the color is on the SPEC file. So then, why are most of the SPEC files for the aircraft in DCS green and purple by default?


Edited by Magic Zach

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PBR Rendering is Different from SPECULAR.

 

PBR=

RED Channel - Ambient Occlusion

Green Channel - Roughness

Blue Channel - Metallicness

 

SPECULAR =

RED Channel - Flare Intensity

Green Channel - Inverse of Red / Flare Width

Blue - Reflection

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So if I was messing with the SPEC and I wanted my plane to look polished and reflective, I would NOT make the SPEC white, but make it blue? Then why have I found that SPEC depends on the brightness of a color to give an aircraft it's reflectivity? Because that works, too as my screenshots show.

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Don't make a spec or roughmet texture by colors.

 

You need to work within the channels.

 

For SPEC textures, (just to test), take your diffuse texture, desaturate it. Then invert the green channel. This should give you the pinks and greens.

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Obviously I need to come out and say it. I have little to no knowledge what R/G/B channels are, or this "diffuse texture". What's an Alpha channel? Keeps coming up when I import textures from DCS to DXTBmp.

I was changing the colors for the gauges for the P-51 yesterday. When I dropped p-51d-cpt07.dds into DXTBmp, it displayed the entire cockpit texture, not just the whites of the gauges. Then when I exported that from DXTBmp, the exported TGA image showed just the whites of the gauges.

I spent an hour trying to figure out what was up. When I took the exported image and put it back into DXTBmp, it no longer showed the entire cockpit textures, just the whites of the gauges. And THEN when I exported that image, there was some haze over the lower half of it. I looked at the Alpha window of DXTBmp, and it had the same pattern. So through many steps, I took an Alpha channel from the default cpt07 and used that. It worked. It had my edited gauges (I turned the clear white to a washed-out yellow) AND the full cockpit textures in the background.

This whole story is to give you an idea of where I'm coming from, and my level of experience and knowledge (2% lol). My only guess is that the Alpha channel is some sort of filter or mask for another texture, or...something. It's black and white. What would happen if there were gray areas?


Edited by Magic Zach
Confound it, autocorrect!

Hardware: T-16000M Pack, Saitek 3 Throttle Quadrant, Homemade 32-function Leo Bodnar Button Box, MFG Crosswind Pedals Oculus Rift S

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So if I was messing with the SPEC and I wanted my plane to look polished and reflective, I would NOT make the SPEC white, but make it blue? Then why have I found that SPEC depends on the brightness of a color to give an aircraft it's reflectivity? Because that works, too as my screenshots show.

 

w/ DCS 2.1+ Specular Files vary depending on the Output and Contrast Values in the JSON Files.

 

Which is why the first line says:

this guide should help Modders wanting to use RoughMet maps on their Models w/ DCS 2.1.1+ instead of a Global Specular Conversion via JSON File.

Edited by SkateZilla

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JSON File is a database that holds the Specular Contrast and Output Values for Each Specific material on the Object.

 

It is used to Convert the RGB Speculars to Values that work with the 2.1+ Lighting Engine.

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For people that are skinning already existing modules (such as the 51), is Specular the best option? And are RoughMet Maps going to be an eventual replacement for Specular in DCS?

Hardware: T-16000M Pack, Saitek 3 Throttle Quadrant, Homemade 32-function Leo Bodnar Button Box, MFG Crosswind Pedals Oculus Rift S

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Modules: Ka-50, Mi-8MTV2, FC3, F/A-18C, F-14B, F-5E, P-51D, Spitfire Mk LF Mk. IXc, Bf-109K-4, Fw-190A-8

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For people that are skinning already existing modules (such as the 51), is Specular the best option? And are RoughMet Maps going to be an eventual replacement for Specular in DCS?

 

the -51 already uses RoughMet Maps.

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Wonderful. And the second question from above didnt get answered. Because Roughmet and Specular accomplish the same final effect, I was asking if one or the other would be set aside.

Where's the video? Did I miss it somewhere, or is that still WIP? I think I'd learn the most from that.

Hardware: T-16000M Pack, Saitek 3 Throttle Quadrant, Homemade 32-function Leo Bodnar Button Box, MFG Crosswind Pedals Oculus Rift S

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Modules: Ka-50, Mi-8MTV2, FC3, F/A-18C, F-14B, F-5E, P-51D, Spitfire Mk LF Mk. IXc, Bf-109K-4, Fw-190A-8

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RoughMet is more Realistic, via 3 Map Channels, and they can all be edited per pixel.

 

Specular Files s Control Strength, Width, Reflectiveness of Light etc,

But Glossiness and other values are applied in 3DS Max and cannot be modified.

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Darn. Stuck with SPEC I guess.

 

I heard only 3DS Max 2014 and older work with DCS. Any plans to update that? Curious.

Too bad only 3DS works for DCS though. Would be nice if there was an official add-on for Blender, instead of the unofficial one. Sorry got sidetracked. Anyways, I think I'm done pouring questions now. Thanks for a guide! Always nice to see you guys supporting the modders.

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Modules: Ka-50, Mi-8MTV2, FC3, F/A-18C, F-14B, F-5E, P-51D, Spitfire Mk LF Mk. IXc, Bf-109K-4, Fw-190A-8

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2016 is supported now.

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2016 is supported now.
And works great..

 

Sea going vessels do not have a description lua that I know of so how does that work..

 

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the -51 already uses RoughMet Maps.

So it does! :lol::thumbup:

[ATTACH]170371[/ATTACH]

"RoughMet is more Realistic, via 3 Map Channels, and they can all be edited per pixel.

 

Specular Files s Control Strength, Width, Reflectiveness of Light etc,

But Glossiness and other values are applied in 3DS Max and cannot be modified."

Wait, I think I misread that on my first reply to it. So, via editing RoughMet maps through an editor (such as Photoshop or GIMP) you can have more control than you could with editing Specular, then? COOL!

•Would RoughMet maps be able to get applied as per-skin, instead of for the aircraft for all skins? Because I pulled this out of Bazar/World/textures, so I'm assuming that it is applied for all and every Mustang, regardless of the livery used. A guy Shahdoh made a skin Miss America Too, and in it he was able to change textures from Bazar, but were livery specific. Could something similar be applied to Roughmet Maps?

 

Thank you for tolerating my questions thus far!


Edited by Magic Zach
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Hardware: T-16000M Pack, Saitek 3 Throttle Quadrant, Homemade 32-function Leo Bodnar Button Box, MFG Crosswind Pedals Oculus Rift S

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Modules: Ka-50, Mi-8MTV2, FC3, F/A-18C, F-14B, F-5E, P-51D, Spitfire Mk LF Mk. IXc, Bf-109K-4, Fw-190A-8

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Yes, it can be livery specific.

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