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HappyHaddock

DDS file conversion

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Now that flying Circus is in early release and I can get back to WWI flying I've started thinking about the mods I created for ROF and experimenting with carrying across/updating these for the new game engine.

 

I  dumped across some of the texture files for my ROF enhanced sky mod to see if they would work "as is" in IL2 with no joy. It didn't take long to identify what was preventing them from being utilised in game and after amending the file directory hierarchy of the mod to direct them to the right place and then converting the bmp textures from ROF  to the  dds format IL2 seems to favour. I've got my amended sky running in a rough and ready fashion but not without quality issues.

 

There is a lot of banding in they sky that wasn't present in ROF and I'm wondering if the free file convertor I'm using is not operating to a high enough quality. I've tried scaling up the .bmp texture files and smoothing these to create higher res textures just incase it's simply a scaling issue in game, but once converted to .dds the banding appears in the sky in a way it isn't visible in the texture file irrespective of the resolution of the texture.

 

I've used Ankhor's unGTP tool to extract all the files from the new IL2 engine to check the look/size/resolution/quality of certain stock/vanilla texture files.  There are two copies of the skydome file in game a bmp and a dds. Oddly none of my editing software recognises the particular .bmp file format used for the skydome in IL2 (despite working fine with the bmp skydome in ROF) and my file convertors can't convert the stock  dds skydome to anything more user friendly like .jpeg or .bmp so I'm none the wiser as to what the original texture file should look like, but I'm increasingly thinking that I need to find a better convertor to access and manipulate the texture files  extracted from IL2's huge GTP files.

 

Does anybody have any thoughts about what might be my problem, or recommendations for a suitable free convertors or plugins that might help me out.

 

Cheers  HH

 

NB I'm currently running 64bit win10 and favour Corel 64bit paint-shop pro 2018 as my image editor

 

 

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You may use Adobe Photoshop with "NVIDIA DDS plug-in" ( plug-in needed for editing and saving dds files)  and Windows Texture Viewer (WTV) to determine the right format dds file when you want to save it, as you know there are many dds file with different compression formats in game. The pixelation occurs when files decodes to dds format in editing software.

( depending on the format selection ).

You can use gimp too.—> https://www.gimp.org/

NVIDIA DDS plug-in —> https://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-texture-tools-adobe-photoshop

Windows Texture Viewer (WTV) —> https://www.nvidia.com/object/windows_texture_viewer.html

 

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3 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

There is a lot of banding in they sky that wasn't present in ROF and I'm wondering if the free file convertor I'm using is not operating to a high enough quality. I've tried scaling up the .bmp texture files and smoothing these to create higher res textures just incase it's simply a scaling issue in game, but once converted to .dds the banding appears in the sky in a way it isn't visible in the texture file irrespective of the resolution of the texture.

 

You need to save the skydome texture in the same format as the original. Its 16.16.16.16f with nvidia exporter.

 

2 hours ago, G_GART said:

The pixelation occurs when files decodes to dds format in editing software.

( depending on the format selection ).

 

The pixelation has nothing to do with decode. Many dds formats are compressed and there are texture compression artifacts in them.

skydome.zip

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Thanks for the advice and links,

 

In comparing the stock/vanilla skydome you have linked with the dds skydomes I've created it's clear that one of my problems is that my existing convertor isn't creating the right type of 64bit dds so I'll need to get the correct nvida plugin to convert my own .jpeg or .bmp files to something this sim can use.

 

However what has surprised me is that in one of my tests I simply put the stock/vanilla skydome I extracted from the core game files straight into my mod (without opening or editing it) and ended up with a plain white sky rather than seeing the stock blue sky as issued by the devs. When looking at the files I extracted with the unGTP utility it seems the reason my own graphics editing software isn't recognising these  is that the unGTP tool has simply extracted a list of file directories and file names but there is no actual content within any of the file names. So although I've now got the file hierarchy and names for creating mods, I don't actually have any of the original files to use as the basis for creating edited files.

 

So I suppose my next question is if folks could be so kind,  is do they have a copy of Ankhor's unGTP tool that actually works and extracts the actual files of IL2.

 

EDIT: Trying again with the unGTP tool  my problem seems to be with VCRUNTIME140.DLL... I can't claim to know anything about this file but a quick google trawl suggest it's something often screwed up with windows updates, so it may be that it's not directly the unGTP tool that is my problem.

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

 

Edited by HappyHaddock

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They say never work with children or animals, and there are times I'd add computers to that list.

 

Putting aside the runtime.dll problems affects on unGTP for the moment I've been trying to install the Nvidia dds plugins simply to save jpeg, texture files as the appropriate type of dds. 

 

Nvida claim that their Adobe Photoshop dds plugins are compatible with Corel Paint-shop, and Corel claim that Paint-shop supports all the photoshop plugins of the .8bi and .8bf types.

 

I've therefore installed the 64bit versions of the Nvida plugins into the appropriate section of my preferred 64bit Paint-shop 2018 along side other plugins I've got. the .8bf (normal maps) works fine but the .8bi type for file format conversion isn't picked up.

 

I've tried installing 32bit bit versions of these plugins into a 32bit version of Paint-shop 2018 and the same problem.

 

I've switched back to an old 2009 version of Paint-shop x3 and tried installing the plugins into that, again the same problem in that it only recognises the normal map plugin.

 

There are plenty of old posts on various forums of folk successfully using the Nvidia plugins with Corel Paint-shop so it can't be a lack of compatibility but the Nvidia dds plugins I've tried (link below) are now several years old so is it that other folk are using something different for dds conversion or are there more up to date plugins?

 

https://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-texture-tools-adobe-photoshop

 

I've got an old copy Of Adobe Photoshop CS2 and a relatively recent version of GIMP installed but would rather not use them if at all possible. So, does anybody have any suggestions before I start the same battles to install these old  Nvidia plugins into these, and could the above mentioned VCRUNTIME140.DLL have anything to do with these problems with the plugin?

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

 

 

Edited by HappyHaddock

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LizLemon,

 

Thanks for the links, but out of desperation(?) I simply dumped the Nvidia plugin into my old copy of Adobe photoshop and it opened/converted/saved jpeg to dds without fault and offered all the dds file types I required, enabling me to save the skydome from my ROF mod and run it in IL2 without issue.

 

… So much for all Nvidia's and Corel's  misguided assurances that the plugin works faultlessly with Paint-shop. I'll continue to use Paint-shop for all my image editing as it's what I've been familiar with for close to 20years, I'll just switch to Adobe as a dds file convertor.

 

Now all I've got to do is sort out the VCRUNTIME140.DLL issue to get the unGTP  fully working as once I can properly access all those in game files I can start editing them and modding the way I want to.

 

EDIT. I found a very useful little ap that uninstalls and then reinstalls all of Windows multiple versions of VisualC++  in less than 60sec and this has sorted the runtime error without me having to manually pick through masses of files to find the specific  problem to correct

 

So having got unGTP working I think I'm finally at the stage of having functioning versions of all the tools needed so as to get stated on modding.

 

Thanks again

 

HH

 

 

Edited by HappyHaddock

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