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Thread: Grass shape/texture that looks black until close up

  1. #1
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    Default Grass shape/texture that looks black until close up

    Hi,
    I have a handful of grassy textures (I believe may be of Jean Brisson's great work when he was active in the community) that I would like to use in my route mods, but they have an issue where they throw off a blackish tint until right up close to them.
    This would be used along ROW's/trackside, so extensive lengths of this tint is really nasty.
    Is there a shape or texture edit I can apply to correct this?
    In my screenshot, these tinted grasses are mixed in with one of Rory's functional grass files, but even used on their own, they still have that tint.
    File name: MGS_trkside_grasses_6tr1_sage_n_wheat



    Thank you for any suggestions!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Neil

    Here at home, in the railroad mayhem capital of the world.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by qballbandit View Post
    Hi,
    I have a handful of grassy textures (I believe may be of Jean Brisson's great work when he was active in the community) that I would like to use in my route mods, but they have an issue where they throw off a blackish tint until right up close to them.
    This would be used along ROW's/trackside, so extensive lengths of this tint is really nasty.
    Is there a shape or texture edit I can apply to correct this?
    In my screenshot, these tinted grasses are mixed in with one of Rory's functional grass files, but even used on their own, they still have that tint.
    File name: MGS_trkside_grasses_6tr1_sage_n_wheat

    Thank you for any suggestions!
    Hi Neil,

    MipMaps.

    I bet the background color on the grass texture is black. You need to isolate the grass and select a color in the grass to make your new grass background color. You should be able to use the alpha channel to isolate the grass from the black background.

    Side note - if the ROW grass flashes in unison - try saving as DXT1.

    Regards,
    Scott

  3. #3
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    Scott, you're a pro for answering, but I am not sure what I am doing. When I look at all the .ace files for veg shapes, in general, they all look the same with regards to background being black. My pea brain isn't registering the steps to fix.
    My apologies
    edit: for now, I went through my collection and found some very suitable replacement textures that fit, and don't have a tint.
    Last edited by qballbandit; 03-30-2023 at 11:10 AM.
    Neil

    Here at home, in the railroad mayhem capital of the world.

  4. #4
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    Hi Neil,

    Sorry - MipMaps are for textures - as LOD's are for shapes - the further you get away from the texture - there are lower resolution image snapshots contained in the texture that are displayed in the sim. Most textures we use in Train Sim have MipMaps. If vegetation doesn't have them - the vegetation appears sparkly in the sim - which looks really bad.

    What I'm suspecting - from what you described - is the black background on the vegetation textures are bleeding over into the MipMaps - so as you get close - you are seeing the full resolution texture (not the MipMaps) and the black bleed vanishes.

    Here's an example - the texture on the left has a black background and I would expect it would act similar to what your image showed. The texture on the right is what I would actually use as any bleed over on MipMaps would be green and you wouldn't notice it.





    Regards,
    Scott
    Last edited by scottb613; 03-30-2023 at 12:42 PM.

  5. #5
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    Hi Neil,

    Just to add a little clarification - the MipMaps aren't in your paint program or TGA files - the MipMaps are added (via option) by TGA Tool or AceIt when you actually generate the ACE or DDS.

    Regards,
    Scott

  6. #6
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    So... I need to dig into this a little further.
    Shouldn't the textures have a transparent background?
    Attachment 84193
    What's the purpose of a colored background?

    Randy

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdayt View Post
    So... I need to dig into this a little further.
    Shouldn't the textures have a transparent background?
    Attachment 84193
    What's the purpose of a colored background?

    Randy
    Hi Randy,

    Yep - you can see the alpha on the right side "Layers" panel in my image - the texture does have an alpha channel. I think bleed over is just an inherent part of the textures we work with - kind of like how we need to alpha a several pixel border around the edges of vegetation textures to avoid the floating cruciform - especially with broad based grass textures. Even though there is an alpha - the MipMap bleeds over to the surrounding area because the MipMap is of lower resolution than the original and doesn't have enough pixels to make a perfect cutout.

    LOL - I'm no expert - I could be grossly mistaken - it's just what seems logical from my work with vegetation. Maybe fully transparent backgrounds work as well - this is just what I happen to do.

    Regards,
    Scott
    Last edited by scottb613; 03-30-2023 at 02:25 PM.

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    Hi Randy,

    One more thought - too - LOL - IIRC - if you use fully transparent backgrounds - the bleed over still occurs and you'll get a weird glowing halo around the shape in DXT1. There's a lot of vegetation out there that uses DXT3 and DXT5 - which is fine if it doesn't flash in unison - but if you do have flashing ROW vegetation - DXT1 is the only way I know of to eliminate it. DXT3 and DXT5 have better and more complex alpha channels which I think causes the conflict in the sim - hence the flashing. As per an old post from James Ross all vegetation should really use DXT1.

    Regards,
    Scott
    Last edited by scottb613; 03-30-2023 at 02:21 PM.

  9. #9
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    Great stuff, thank you!!
    Neil

    Here at home, in the railroad mayhem capital of the world.

  10. #10
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    I have not posted in awhile, but I can tell you what I did to resolve the black tint. I opened up the shape file of the vegetation and changed the VTX State from -5 to -9 to get rid of the shadow. But that was in earlier days. Neil you can try that and see what blows up

    Rory
    Rory

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