Working with Textures
There are three skill and knowledge components to working with textures as they regard Anachronox. They are Texture creation, Texture Manipulation, and Texture Application. Only the third, Texture Application, is absolutely necessary for making maps. You need not master all three.
With the release of version 192, the Q3Radiant editor takes a new direction in the way textures are mapped to the surfaces of brushes. The texturing format will roughly be the same as the way textures are handled on curve patches. While there are no changes to the user interface within the editor, you should see a change in the way textures behave on brushes during transformation operations like move and rotate. Because textures are mapped to the S and T coordinates of a brush (as they are with curve patches), locked textures will now maintain their positions on brushes when they are moved or located. Even complex rotations should now be possible without the textures going askew. Checking the Brush Primitives checkbox turns on this feature. (Menu: Project Settings… > Use brush primitives in map files). Once you change a map to Brush Primitives, you cannot go back to the earlier method of texture mapping with that map. The prudent mapper makes backups before making major changes to projects.
Not sure if the new brush primitives are compatible with Anachronox. More testing on the subject needs to be done.
Any combination of graphic programs and plug-ins that can output a 24 bit MS windows compatible Targa (.tga) or JPEG (.jpg) graphic file. If you plan to make textures that will have an alpha channel component , you must have a program that can create 32-bit art with that fourth channel.
Adobe PhotoShop has the ability to easily create alpha channels. Paint Shop Pro from JASC (v5.0+) can also make an alpha channel by creating a mask and naming it “alpha”.
Generally speaking, regardless of the program used, we found it best to do most of the art manipulation of the alpha channel in a separate layer or file and then paste it into the alpha channel before saving.
Follow these rules when creating textures for the Anachronox engine:
The following are some things the id designers learned about textures.
These tools manipulate textures within the editor. They do not create textures or shader scripts.
This is the all-purpose deselect key. Use it to back out of operations you don't want to complete or to stop working on a brush face, a brush, a patch, or a group of brushes or patches.
This is only used in the four-view and floating windows modes (as set in Preferences). It brings up the Texture selection window (also accessible from Texture/Console/Entity window). If the Entity window is open, you may need to click on a map view window first for the "T" command shortcut to work.
Show in Use(Menu: Textures->Show in Use)
This command affects the content of the Textures window. It filters the contents so that only those textures currently in use in the map are displayed in the window.
Show All(Menu: Textures->Show All)
This command affects the content of the Textures window. The effect "un"-filters the contents so that all the texture directories previously loaded during the mapping session are re-displayed.
Surface Inspector(Menu: Textures->Surface Inspector)
This brings up a pop-up dialogue box. This is one of the more complicated interfaces used during map development and may take some getting used to.
This is the path/name (beginning in the anoxdata/textures directory) for the texture. You can copy from this field or paste into it. If you know the pathname of a texture, you can enter it here. It will load without having to first load the entire directory that contains it.
The next five commands work on both patches and brushes. However, the results of applying a Horizontal Shift to a brush and to a patch may be substantially different. When working with patches, the numbers in the fields do not change … although the texture on the map component may be changing.
Design Note: When a curve patch butts flush up against a piece of solid geometry, as if it were an extension of that geometry, it may be difficult to align the textures exactly. In fact is often extremely difficult to align a texture on a patch with the texture on an adjacent geometry brush. It works best when the dimensions of the patch are an exact multiple of the dimensions of the texture being used. Otherwise, you may want to consider designing your architecture in such a way that it is logical for a new texture to begin at that point. Use your judgement.
This allows you to change the Horizontal texture offset (position of texture on a surface). You can type an offset value into field or use the scroll buttons on the right to shift the texture. If "Snap T to Grid" is set in Preferences, the scroll increments will move a number of pixels equal to the grid size.
This allows you to change the Vertical texture offset (position of texture on a surface). You can type an offset value into field or use the scroll buttons on the right to shift the texture. If "Snap T to Grid" is set in Preferences, the scroll increments will move a number of pixels equal to the grid size.
This allows you to change the dimensions of textures as they are mapped into the world. You can type a size value into field or use the scroll buttons on the right to enlarge or reduce the texture. The default value is 0.5. This gives a presentation in the game world of two pixels for each game unit. A Horizontal Stretch value of 1.0 would double the amount of area covered by a single repeat of the texture. Of course, doing that also reduces the apparent resolution of the texture by half (can you say blurry?)! Making the stretch value a negative number horizontally flops the texture's normals (i.e.; flops the texture left to right).
Design note: Textures are "projected" onto brush surfaces. This means that if a surface is angled, the texture stretches to fit the space upon which it is projected. To make the texture look "unstretched" you need to change the dimension so that it looks correct when stretched. Example: If you want to map a texture on a 45-degree angle, it should be scaled to 0.35 along the direction perpendicular to the axis of the angle.
This is the same as for the Horizontal Stretch, but along the vertical axis. Making the stretch value a negative number vertically flops the texture's normals (i.e.; flops the texture up and down).
This rotates the texture around the center point of the brush (or patch). If the texture is not centered on the map component, the rotation will not necessarily look correct. The increment of rotation is set by the value given for the Rotation Inc field on the Preferences window. The default value is 45 (degrees), roughly 1/8 rotation around the axis.
This is used in conjuction with the light Surface Flag to designate the amount of light this face puts off.
This next grouping of commands in the lower left corner of the window provides two separate sets of buttons. The top set deal with texturing geometry brushes. The lower set is for texturing curve patches.
The texture is stretched to fit the dimensions of the brush. The width and height fields to the right are the number of repetitions to be used in the S and T dimensions (S corresponds to X on the actual texture and T corresponds to Y on the actual texture). The default value for the height and width fields is 1. You can type a size value into field or use the scroll buttons on the right to enlarge or reduce the texture. Only integer values can be entered (meaning that you can't enlarge a texture 1.5 times).
This function is most often applied to patches used to fill in the gaps between curves and solid geometry. It can also be applied to flat patches so that the texture doesn't appear to follow the arc of the patch. You may need to use the SHIFT + CTRL + N command to normalize the texture on the patch.
This command functions almost like the "Fit" command above for brushes. The texture will be fit across the patch based on the X and Y values given. However, there is a notable difference. The X and Y fields will accept non-integer values (e.g. 6.4 x 3.8). It may take some experimentation to determine which dimension of your patch is considered to be "X" and which is thought to be "Y". If a value of 1x1 is given, the texture will be "fit" to the patch.
The engine does its best to map the texture onto the patch in a "natural" appearing manner. This means that the texture will curve and flow with the curves and bends in the patch. Unless you are texturing a cap, this should be your first choice when applying a texture.
The texture's coordinates are mapped to fit the patch (with no repeats).
Surface flags and Content Flags
One of the coolest editing options in AnachroRadiant are the surface properties and content properties. They allow you to define in gme properties about a brush or face. Anachronox surface flags are defined in ref_gl.dll and content flags are defined in intellinox.dll for any interested programmers.
Differences between a surface property and a content property.
The main difference between surface and content properties is that surface properties can be applied to any number of a brush's faces. Content properties must be the same on every face of a brush.
For example, you could mark one brush face as light, or two face, or three, etc, but for a detail brush, every face must be marked as detail, or you will get an error when you compile the level ( Entity x, Brush x: mixed face contents ) Thanks autolycus for the above info.
What Surface Flags do
What Content Flags Do
Water is a content parameter that allows a player to "swim" inside a geometry brush. In Anachronox this content flag simply allows the player to pass through the brush. While inside the brush the player can see all walls of the brush just as if they were in another room. The main change is that the player will beable to "swim" using the 'Q' key. Unfortunately this only appears as if the character is jumping, but is misterously suported by an unknown force. The current GDB allows to the player to remain underwater indefinatly.
Water usage rules:
Greyed out Surface and Content flags are those originally supported by the quake II engine, but appear to be unused in Anachronox. More testing will be conducted to determine if this is correct.
Texture replacement is global (throughout the map) unless the selected checkboxes state otherwise.
Replace within selected brushes only. Only the hi-lighted brushes that contain the texture to be replaced will be affected.
Force replacement (ignore current texture name). All textures in the map will be replaced. Best if used with Replace within selected brushes only. Be very careful with this one.
Live Updates from Texture/Camera windows. Using Live Update the user can find and replace textures with a fully point and click interface.
Click on the Find box, then click on any texture in either the Camera window or the Texture window. The texture path/name for that texture appears in the box. Next click on the Replace box and click on the replacement texture. That texture's path/name appear in the Replace box. Select "OK" and the replacement will occur.
Texture Lock(Menu: Textures->Texture Lock)
Opens a Pop-up window with two options for "locking" texture shifting during brush or patch movement.
NOTE: If you have selected the BRUSH PRIMITIVES option under Project Settings… then Texture lock will always be on.
Rotation(Menu: Textures->Texture Lock->Moves)
When this option is checked, textures stay locked in position on the brush or brushes as they are rotated around the map. If unchecked, the texture appears to shift across the brush, because they are fixed to the world, not the individual brush. On small brushes and small textures (such as the small square lights), some "creepage" may occur, with textures shifting 1 or 2 units off their locked position.
The flush command frees up texture memory and should improve editor performance. Exactly how much is flushed depends on your choice of commands.
Flush Unused(Menu: Textures->Flush->Flush Unused)
This command flushes all UNUSED textures from memory.
|Texture Shift Down||(SHIFT+DOWN ARROW)|
|Texture Shift Up||(SHIFT+UP ARROW)|
|Texture Shift Left||(SHIFT+LEFT ARROW)|
|Texture Shift Right||(SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW)|
|Texture Rotate Clockwise||(SHIFT+PAGEDOWN)|
|Texture Rotate Counter-Clockwise||(SHIFT+PAGEUP)|
|Texture Scale Down||(CTRL+DOWN ARROW)|
|Texture Scale Up||(CTRL+UP ARROW)|
|Texture Scale Left||(CTRL+LEFT ARROW)|
|Texture Scale Right||(CTRL+RIGHT ARROW)|
Color: Opaque Red Orange
The bsp tool uses areaportals to create hard, visual breaks between areas in the map. Until triggered, the areaportal blocks geometry behind it from being drawn or seen. The area portal brush should be a thin (2 to 4 units thick) brush. It should touch all the brushes that form the hull of the opening being portalled. It must be placed inside a door. The opening of the door triggers the portal function. The closing of the door returns it to its former state. The areaportal texture must completely seal off a volume from another volume (although this can be in conjunction with other areaportals). If a door is being used to block off an area from view, consider placing an areaportal brush inside the door. See AnachroRadiant/Working with Textures/Content Flags and AnachroRadiant/Entity Descriptions.
Color: Opaque Pink
Game Function: Caulk, the miracle texture. It blocks vis. It seals the world off from the void. It doesn't draw (so it doesn't add to triangle counts). It keeps curves from competing with textures behind them. It looks like hell if you see it in your world. From the View menu (View > Show > Caulk), you can toggle on and off the display of caulk brush sides. Every face that will not be viewable by the player and does not have some other texture or content/surface flag should have this. Please note that caulk was not used in Anachronox maps.
More Design Tips: Finally, and this should be used with great care, a caulk brush can be used to create an invisible support for entities. If you place a very thin caulk brush floating above a surface that would otherwise not support an entity (example: a grate made of clip brush), the brush will not draw in the world, but will support the entity. The reason for this is that SUSPENDED entities are not "seen" by bots unless they can be reached by a jump pad.
Color: Transparent Red
Game Function: If you look at a professionally made map, quite often you'll see that nearly every bit of wall surface is covered in a transparent red texture called "e1u1/clip." Clip is a nondrawing texture that blocks player movement.
Color: Transparent Yellow Green
Game Function: Helps determine the vis portals. It is used as a suggestion to the compiler during the vis phase, when the world is subdivided. Generally speaking, they are used to correct vis problems, whose chief symptom is the "hall of mirrors" effect seen during game play. These can often be corrected by careful placement of a hint brush. If you fill the volume where the error is seen or the volume adjacent to it, the problem may be corrected in the next compile. This is really more art than science.
Color: Opaque Orange
Game Function: Used to create origin point in moving b_models, such as trains, plats, and rotating objects. This texture, applied to a square or rectangular brush, is used to create the point of origin for moving b_models, such as trains, plats, and rotating objects. It is used by func_trains as the point that passes through path entities and the source for sound attachment
Color: Transparent yellow
Game Function: This texture is used in maps to discard sides of hint brushes.
Color: Translucent Pale Blue
Game Function: Not stick coating for map surfaces. Reduces friction. Use like a very thin clip brush over surfaces you want to be low friction.
Color: Transparent Dark Yellow
Game Function: Used to make trigger brushes.