Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
toska
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Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by toska » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:18 pm

Since the game came out, I was surprised how the fields and different terrains had grass models, but for some reason they are hardly seen in the game. Even at maximum zoom they hardly appeared.

I recently decided to expand the alpha channel 1 profiles of the texture (I have also slightly modified the colors of the textures to make it look better). This is the result: I think it looks very nice, and easily implenetable for devs. Otherwise I could create a mod.

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Nijis
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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by Nijis » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:14 pm

That's very nice.

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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by SLancaster » Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:32 am

Yes, some very good results. Well done and thanks for sharing!

rbodleyscott
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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by rbodleyscott » Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:47 am

That does look very nice in static shots. Is there any issue with shimmering when moving about the map?
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Cunningcairn
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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by Cunningcairn » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:09 am

Wow that looks great.

Paul59
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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by Paul59 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:49 am

Very impressive, well done!
Field of Glory II Scenario Designer - Age of Belisarius, Rise of Persia, and Wolves at the Gate.

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toska
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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by toska » Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:16 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I found it a little sad that this material inserted in the game was wasted.
rbodleyscott wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:47 am
That does look very nice in static shots. Is there any issue with shimmering when moving about the map?
you mean the lighting reflections? In that sense I do not see any problem, when moving the camera it looks the same. I can pass you the files if you want to test.

rbodleyscott
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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by rbodleyscott » Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:23 pm

toska wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:16 pm
Thanks for the feedback. I found it a little sad that this material inserted in the game was wasted.
rbodleyscott wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:47 am
That does look very nice in static shots. Is there any issue with shimmering when moving about the map?
you mean the lighting reflections? In that sense I do not see any problem, when moving the camera it looks the same. I can pass you the files if you want to test.
Yes please. Did you redo the mipmaps?
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toska
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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by toska » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:00 pm

How do you want me to send you the textures?

I'm not sure what you mean about mipmaps (I have had to google the word, however I think I have operated with it). I think the first photo doesn't have mipmaps, the second one does. By the way, I take it to say that this is a small flaw of all the added units of the TTmod


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rbodleyscott
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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by rbodleyscott » Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:02 pm

Well the question of mipmaps is a mystery to me too, but the artist mentioned that without mip maps they would only look good at maximum zoom in.

I will send you a PM with my email address, although it will be the artist who actually looks at your stuff when he can. Graphics are beyond me.
Richard Bodley Scott

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toska
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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by toska » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:33 am

The message is sent, regarding the zoom, I have not detected any problem

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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by mazex » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:01 pm

Wow - awesome advice! The crops for especially the SE map where to "weak" and this really did the trick!

Updated my "TexMod" with your idea - viewtopic.php?f=492&t=100101

Quite some work to get the colors right with shaders and things changing what you see in your image editor :) I realized that decreasing saturation gives that blue / grey tone so a punch of the yellow channel is often needed, some more red etc.. I think I spent 30 minutes just to try to get the wheat in the yellow color I wanted but I am still not happy :)

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Last edited by mazex on Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by mazex » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:06 pm

Another note - one thing I found useful was to not expand with the same amout for all crops. I did a 1 pixel expand for all and then did an inverse select and "brushed" some black back for one of the crops (the one above the minimap in the image above). That gives more variation IMO so that all crops are not growing dense as with fertilizers :)

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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by mazex » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:39 pm

Regarding mip maps - there are 10 levels of textures that are halved in size for every level in the mip map layers so that the graphic engine does not have to use the full res textures for distant objects.

I would recommend loading the image withouth the mip map layers and then generate them when saving the dds. file.

So (for Photoshop with the Intel TextureWorks plugin to be able to handle DDS-files):

Load without the 10 mip map layers (smaller and smaller versions of the same texture):
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And then when saving - select to generate mip map layers - if you loaded with the mip map layers you can select to save the layers instead (but all changes need to be made to all 10 versions of the texture - sigh!)
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And when saving use BC3 compression (color + alpha) with 8 bpp (bits per pixel) for the textures that contain an alpha channel. Use BC1 (just color with 4 bpp) for the textures that does not have transparency (alpha)

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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by Jagger2002 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:26 pm

Very nice! I am looking forward to this mod.

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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by pipfromslitherine » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:55 pm

If you are saving these textures with full depth alpha channels (rather than the single-bit keying from DXT1) then you are going to see both z-sorting artifacts and also performance hits. But the tradeoff it of course up to the user :)

Cheers

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mazex
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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by mazex » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:25 pm

So how should the ones with alpha be saved? As I understand it you can't save alpha/transparency with DXT1? The ones without alpha I save as DXT1 and the alpha ones as BC3 / DXT5.

Try the ones i did in my "TexMod" that are BC1 / BC3 - I do not see any artifacts or performance problems (well - I have an RTX 2080 so that is really hard to tell ;))

viewtopic.php?f=492&t=100101

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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by pipfromslitherine » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:02 pm

DXT1 can have either non-alpha or single-bit alpha (which is just colour keying by another name) - it depends on internal flagging. It is much more performant than alpha blending, which needs a readback and can't be zbuffer skipped. I believe the standard gfx grass uses DXT1.

Cheers

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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by Paul59 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:08 pm

mazex wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:25 pm
So how should the ones with alpha be saved? As I understand it you can't save alpha/transparency with DXT1? The ones without alpha I save as DXT1 and the alpha ones as BC3 / DXT5.

Try the ones i did in my "TexMod" that are BC1 / BC3 - I do not see any artifacts or performance problems (well - I have an RTX 2080 so that is really hard to tell ;))

viewtopic.php?f=492&t=100101
Inspired by what you and toska have done with the crops, I made my own version using my ancient but faithful old version of Paint Shop Pro 7. I initially saved in DXT5 with mipmaps and Alpha channel and it looked great, with or little no distortions that my old eyes could see. Here's a close up:

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I then saw Pip's advice and changed the save method to DXT1, it saved successfully with the mipmaps and Alpha channel, but the result in game looked awful:


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So I have gone back to the DXT5 versions!

Pip usually knows what he is talking about, so maybe the fault is with my old graphics program.


cheers

Paul
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Field of Glory II Medieval Scenario Designer.

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toska
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Re: Easy graphic improvement of herbs and fields (with photos!)

Post by toska » Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:49 am

mazex wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:01 pm
Wow - awesome advice! The crops for especially the SE map where to "weak" and this really did the trick!

Updated my "TexMod" with your idea - viewtopic.php?f=492&t=100101

Quite some work to get the colors right with shaders and things changing what you see in your image editor :) I realized that decreasing saturation gives that blue / grey tone so a punch of the yellow channel is often needed, some more red etc.. I think I spent 30 minutes just to try to get the wheat in the yellow color I wanted but I am still not happy :)


I'm glad you like it and you improve it! And to be honest, it was your correct correction of the color of the Mediterranean trees that encouraged me to solve the problem with herbs and crops.

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