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I am new to 3D modelling and not a lot of experience with texture maps.  So it took me a long time to debug a problem with the illumination map output from Mod Tools dump.  I do not think this is necessarily a problem with Mod Tools as it did not happen on the European models I dumped with it.

The problem had first occurred with other models I had modified with Blender.  To isolate the problem, I dumped a couple of asset buildings with Mod Tools and then went straight to the Asset Editor, Import to check out the problem.  No blender processing, I imported the dumped .obj files directly to asset editor.   Below you see the results with the original built-in asset on left side of streets and the Editor imported version of exactly the files that were dumped on the right side of the streets.

At night some of the dumped/imported assets appeared to be randomly ALL lit up at night.  Being a newbie to modeling it took me a while to focus on the illumination map.  In the dumped illumination map almost all the mask value were 225 (= lights ON ALL over).  It should have been 192 for neutral, i.e. no light at night.  Changing the illumination map values from 225 to 192 with my graphics program (Paintshop Pro) fixed it.


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Do you get that issue for any asset you dump? Or only for vanilla ones? I have a suspicion, that textures are compressed in a different way for vanilla assets. Because when I dumped vanilla traffic lights, I got wrong illumination values but when I dumped my traffic lights from American Traffic Lights I got correct values.

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When you export from the game using modtools, the textures like illumination, alpha and so on are not as they were imported (I suppose it's because of the way the game imports them in the first place). You have to fix them before reimporting.

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@Cool_Z I'm not quite agree with you. Latest ModTools version dumps _a, _c, _i, _n, _s maps using the reverse algorithm of how they were imported in the first place. But for some reason dumping _i map leads to different intensities of grey, compared to what they are supposed to be for vanilla assets. At least I only noticed that for vanilla assets. My current guess is that maybe vanilla assets use different texture format compared to custom ones. I'll look more closely into that later.

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They need to be gamma corrected. They have 2.2 gamma applied to them. So you need to do inverse gamma 1/2.2 which is 0.4545 but the game is even dumber than that so you actually need to use 0.44 gamma to get the correct values, no idea why the slight offset. And yeah it's not even for all textures, when I was replacing the vanilla growable buildings, for some reason only the LOD ACI texture needed this gamma correction, nothing else.

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  • Original Poster
  • Thanks for responses guys.  BP’s analysis that it only happens with vanilla assets seems correct.  Did not happen with 2 European blockhouses. 

    Am not knowledgeable enough to opine on Ronyx69’s proposed solution.  My workaround of resetting ilum map values for unlit sections is easy enough – once the problem is known! 

    BP – I know the feeling of wanting to get it perfect but time may be better spent on all great stuff you do for average users than tweeks for geeks.

    BTW – Image below is what I am working on - Trying to re-purpose vanilla L1 2x3 Detached05 to be true attached row houses plopped with Search Box or Move It (copy).  Similar to neighborhoods in NYC outer boroughs.

    Rowhouse NYC.jpg

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    Hi. Thx for modtools and it's dump asset feature, it has been essential in learning how things work! I noticed the same thing as the OP tho... when you dump a CO building, the illumination values are different than they should be. Here is the illumination map for "H5 4x3 Highrise04" as dumped by ModTools:


    Where it must be RGB=192, it is instead RGB=225.


    Did we ever figure out what's going on here?

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    Incorrect gamma.

    I've noticed it's very inconsistent how the game handles gamma for vanilla and/or custom main and lod textures...


    To correct that image you need to set the gamma to 0.4545 (which is 1/2.2) but I guess it's still incorrect because the game is weird, if i remember correctly it's 0.44 or something.


    The idea behind this is that rendering should be done in linear color space (gamma 1.0). But regular images are gamma 2.2.

    So the rendering should take the textures, gamma correct them down to 1.0, render the final image, and then lift the gamma to 2.2. I'm not sure if that's what the game does.

    Google "linear workflow" if you want to know more, most modern rendering does this automatically now and users don't have to worry about it.

    Besides why would you gamma correct images that contain information like window illumination? That's not even a diffuse texture.


    TL;DR: Try gamma 0.4545 or 0.44


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