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P3D v5 Photoshop Alpha channel - P3D V5 PBR materials using Blender

Messages
9
Country
southafrica
I think I am losing my mind. I am trying my hand at adding some PBR textures to some buildings and objects I am previously developed, but I am running into a brick wall. I am using photoshop the create the textures and I want to add some metallic elements and reflections. It looks like you can get some nice materials if you combine the two. The metallic seems to be fine using the red channel but I am having trouble with the alpha channel to get smoothness. I create the new channel in Photoshop (Alpha 1) on the same file as my red metallic data and paint with gray, black and white in this Alpha 1 channel (white = Smooth as I understand it). I save the psd file and and use the Blender2P3D/FSX tools to link the file as a metallic texture but it does not seem to read the data in the alpha channel.

Even if I export the model and open it with ModelconverterX (I have the latest 1.6 version) and manually link and convert the files to .dss the alpha channel of the .dss file looks completely different from the alpha in the .psd file.

I tried renaming the Photoshop channel to just Alpha and A and exporting the file as a tiff file but nothing works.

What am I missing to get blender to see the alpha data in the Photoshop .psd file. Any help will be much appreciated and I am drawing a blank with searching the internet on this topic.
 

DragonflightDesign

Resource contributor
Messages
924
Country
northernireland
I know nothing about Blender but I do know from working with textures that you need to save the .dds file as 'color with alpha channel'. What are you using as the conversion tool? I have used the Intel and Nvidia Photoshop plugins successfully and also the Nvidia standalone conversion tool.

 
Messages
9
Country
southafrica
Thanks, This seems to be heading in the right direction, the plug-in on the second Nvidia link seems to old but there is a newer on on devoloper.nvidia.com that seems to work. I must now just make sense of it in Blender. Does anyone know of a tutorial or guide that can help with this.
 

Pyscen

Resource contributor
Messages
2,813
Country
us-texas
It would be helpful to let us see the metallic map along with the smoothness map. Let's first determine if you are placing them correctly using photoshop.
 

Pyscen

Resource contributor
Messages
2,813
Country
us-texas
I understand you didn't mention the green channel, whether you are using it or not, it needs to be white.

The smoothnes map, in this case, the alpha channel of the metallic map, will be used as the contrast control or how sharp the reflection is, in the blue channel.

For starters, I suggest the blue channel should be something like, 128, 128, 128 color code (neutral gray) . This will allow a reflection on the glass or any other material to appear reflective and depending if you are using the environment map or the realistic surroundings option, will appear

The alpha channel of the albedo will only control the transparency of the glass.
 
Messages
9
Country
southafrica
Thanks for the feedback Dough, I managed to get a usable alpha by using a .bmp format (.dds messed up my UV mapping) but I got some very strange results in the sim. I only used the red and alpha channels - all other channels are black (0,0,0). I will try your suggestion on the green and blue channels. Thanks again.
 
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Messages
9
Country
southafrica
WOW, now I am seeing what I am expecting to see. I played around with a cube with metallic lines (red) in one direction and smoothness (alpha) in the other.

Screenshot 2022-02-23 114204.jpg
The metallic uv map. The letters are actually in the albedo file. I just included it in the metallic file for refence purposes.

Screenshot 2022-02-23 114116.jpg
Blender view

Screenshot 2022-02-23 120023.jpg
And in P3D

Now I can play around with transparent materials to see if I can get some glass textures going. Any tips for glass?

You were of great help Doug, much appreciated. Now I can explore some new opportunities building stuff for P3D.
 
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Pyscen

Resource contributor
Messages
2,813
Country
us-texas
Glad I could help!

Glass is done pretty much the same, except for the metalness or the red channel (and the albedo map, more on this below), it should be non-metallic or some. This means that the red channel should be either black or on the side of black.

The green channel again should be white. I know that most aren't using an AO map, so leave it as white.

The blue channel (reflectance or specular reflectance) is the same as above.

The alpha channel within the metallic map is also the same as above (the sharpness of reflection, though the reflection, is never very sharp on glass).

The albedo color depends on the type of glass, such as, if the glass is smokey (gray-like, or any other color variant) or clear (generally is a bluish-green tint to it). The color is hardly visible unless you want a smoky-like glass

Keep in mind, the darker the tint of the glass (in the real world), the more reflective the reflection will be or make it more visible. Again, this could be controlled by the blue channel as well as the alpha channel (smoothness).

I hope this helps you further!
 
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