P3D v3 How does Chrome work in P3D ?

Hi Folks,

RE: Spinners

How does chrome work in P3D ? Attached is a texture file from an FSX model - looks OK in P3D - reflects the world around it - however - at times it gets too dark and I'd like to lighten it... It's a small and simple DXT3 file with a 0,0,0 black texture and a 255,255,255 white alpha - anytime I change either in the slightest - I get an opaque texture that no longer reflects anything... I'm pretty sure this is the only texture for chrome on the model...

Is it possible to brighten this a bit so it doesn't turn so black (as the end user - not the developer) ?

Example:

Prepar3D 2017-04-29 19-10-15.png



Any help appreciated...

Regards,
Scott
 

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tgibson

Resource contributor
It's probably a BMP texture not in the format that DXTBmp (at least) expects, and will display in that program as you found. Any change using DXTBmp will ruin it. I can't remember if there is a way to edit these files. My vague memory says it's a 256 color image with an alpha channel, but that just a guess at this point.
 
Hi Tom,

That sounds like EXACLTY my problem - I tried replicating the above attached texture in both DDS and DXT5 with exactly the same colors used in the original - no joy - all opaque without reflection... So I can't reproduce the original unless I have to save it as DXT3 - which I didn't try... I believe the white alpha tells it to have full reflection - but I would think I should be able to lighten the absolute black texture itself to make it appear lighter in P3D without affecting opacity... Like you stated - I suspect I'm missing something...

I've repainted the A2A aircraft with chrome before - and they seem to have it a little different... On their normal texture "x_T.dds" they have the generic texture and the alpha controls the reflection - they also have another texture "x_S.dds" which I thought had to do with specular shine or bump maps - not sure which - but I got all to work and work well... Granted that's probably a native P3D model...

Your input was much appreciated ! Thanks...

Regards,
Scott
 

tgibson

Resource contributor
A black alpha channel is usually full reflection, while a white one is unreflective.
 
I don't know what funky material settings create this problem, but I can't imagine there's much of a benefit versus using the normal methods. Perhaps the offending texture is actually a special cubic map? If so, try the methodology outlined here:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc526975.aspx

Textures with an "_S" suffix are specular maps, used to control:

1.) The colour of the specular highlight - this is additive, so even a dark grey colour will add a light area
2.) a.) On aircraft that blend reflections by diffuse alpha, the specular alpha controls the sharpness of the highlight
aaab.) On aircraft that blend reflection by specular alpha, the specular alpha controls reflection intensity
 
Hi Folks,

Thanks for the responses...

Yep - reading through that info Erick - stuff I've never messed with before...

So I noted this model also has a Fresnal_Ramp.dds file that - from the link provided - may have something to do with how reflections appear in the sim... It's a texture I can't seem to open with the NVidia DDS Plugin or ConvImX - they also mentioned a DirectX graphics tool but all references leave off with Win8 - haven't seen any SDK for 10... Still more reading to do...

Regards,
Scott
 
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