Texure Compression

21 replies [Last post]
xtremepenguin's picture
Posts: 36

Hi Guys,

This isn't specifically for this dvd but i wasn't sure where else to post it. I am having a problem with unreal where when i import a texture, after it has compressed the tgas, they lose a lot of the detail. Here is an example of what the texture looks like in photoshop, and then in unreal.

Photoshop

Unreal

In unreal the options i have checked are defer compression and compression no alpha. Are there any ways i can help to minimize the loss in quality?

Thank you

*Edit*

I have played with the LOD bias, including setting to -1. But no luck. The scene is also well lit

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

Hey xtremepenguin,

There are a few things you can try to improve upon or lessen the effect of the compression that happens when the import textures into Unreal.

1. Run an Unsharp mask on the texture before importing it to sharpen it...this helps allot Smiling
2. Level the textures by maximising the range of the image before importing. Open the Levels dialogue and adjust the arrows until they are in a similar position to the ones in the screenie.

The First screenie is the before texture.
The Second is after the Unsharp mask
The Third is before a levels adjustment
The Forth is after a levels adjustment.

Try them out and post back to tell us how you got on Smiling

xtremepenguin's picture
Posts: 36

Hi Metalliandy

Thanks for the tips ill give those a go now.

I did however have a minor break through just now. Someone on another forum suggested i make sure my Video settings for the actual game are on full and not medium.

So i changed my settings in unreal tournament to full and then tried what was suggested. I re imported the texture and it worked! It stayed at this higher quality even after i saved the package (i had defer compression on).

BUT when i closed unreal and re opened, it had gone back to its previous state.

Here is a screenshot to show the difference, before was how it was before i changed the settings and after is when i changed them and re imported. But now it has gone back to how it looked in the before part. It is not as clear in the screenshot but hopefully clear enough.

Ill try playing around with unsharp and levels now to see if that helps

*Edit*
Thanks again Metalliandy, the unsharp has helped the details pop out more and survive the compression.

But it still loses loads of quality after unreal is closed and loaded back up, which is weird. Here is a better screenshot to show what i mean. Any ideas:confused:

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

Hey xtremepenguin,

That is quite strange :S

Can you confirm that the Detail level is set to High in the editor by going View> Detail Mode> High

If that doesn't work you can try sending me the .upk and i can have a look to see if i can reproduce the problem.

(BTW if no new posts are made in-between your original post and the time you want to post again, remember the edit button is your friend Sticking out tongue)

xtremepenguin's picture
Posts: 36

I checked and it is set to high. Ok i have made a package that just has this material and textures in it. Shall i email it to you, what is your address?

Thank you for your help, i really appreciate the time you are taking to help me

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

Hey xtremepenguin,

If you upload it to http://www.yousendit.com/ and them PM me the link that would be cool Smiling

I just hope i can find out what the problem is for you Smiling

xtremepenguin's picture
Posts: 36

pm sent!

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

Hey xtremepenguin,

I had a look at the .upk and i couldn't notice anychange in the texture detail, even after reloading the file and re-opening UE :S

I did notice however that on the diffuse, the setting CompressionNoAlpha was not checked when you bring up the properties of the texture in the generic browser.

I think that what you might be seeing is a normal compression artefact that can only be overcome by using detail texture or a detail normal map and the techniques noted above...also you could try bumping up the intensity of you normal map as at the moment the effect quite small.

I will still have a look around and see if i can find this problem somwhere else on "the internets"

Sorry i couldnt be more help Sad
Maybe someone else has an idea what this could be?

xtremepenguin's picture
Posts: 36

Ok thanks for trying, its a weird problem. It is happening with another project im on right now. The compression no alpha thing, i just must have forgotten to have checked that when i made the new package to send to you, the original was checked.

Ill definitely use the sharpen to help keep detail.

What did you mean by detail texture?

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

Hey xtremepenguin,

Im sorry i couldn't be more help :S

Quote:

What did you mean by detail texture?

A detail texture is a tileable texture (diffuse or normal) that has high frequency information held within it that fades in to view as you get closer to the model as to appear that the texture is of a much higher resolution than it actually is.

Riki explains this process by using a detail normal map in the Old Pillar DVD which if you don't already own, i would recommend you buy as soon as you can...IMHO it is an invaluable tutorial Smiling

I think its also in the Next-Gen Texturing DVD but i cant be sure.

I will post an example as soon as i get chance Smiling

*Edit*

Here is the example i promised Smiling ...Makes quite a difference doesn't it?

xtremepenguin's picture
Posts: 36

Thats pretty cool, i've got both those dvds, i must have forgotten about them!

thanks again

xtremepenguin's picture
Posts: 36

Found out some more info about this. Seems to be a problem other people are having.

http://utforums.epicgames.com/showthread.php?t=601466&highlight=textures

http://gearsforums.epicgames.com/showthread.php?t=603739&page=2

What you guys think?

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

Hey xtremepenguin,

Yea it looks like the same problem that you were having.

Did you try changing the settings in the way that the posts suggested?
Also what GPU do you have?

Riki's picture
Posts: 1257

Ill just throw this out there to add to the pile Sticking out tongue

It looks to me like its the GPU settings, if you can go into the nvidia or ati control panel, you should see a place that mentions texture filtering.

There are options like Bilinear, trilinear, and anisotrophic. Anisotrphic is the best, if you crank that up, see if it helps. It would be best if you could only do this for unreal, and not globally, I think the nvidia control panel has an option for that. If you do have to do it globally, you might notice all your other games will run slower.

If it helps, let us know!

-Riki

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

Nice idea Riki Smiling

I just took a look and its set to off by default (for me anyway) so its definitely worth a try!

xtremepenguin's picture
Posts: 36

Hi Guys,

These are the settings i have on:

I set it to use 16x for unreal 3

Im using a BFG GeForce 8800GTS 320MB.

I might try the suggestion of importing textures under the sky lodgroup if its just a small scene for my portfolio. There was another interesting one, of importing the image as the seperate rgb channels, then combining them in unreal.

It is strange, but i can see the textures in full resolution in 3ds max always

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

Hey xtremepenguin,

It looks like the option you want is greyed out :S

Do you have the latest drivers (180.42) if not you can get them HERE.
On my control panel everything is availiable and your card if only a few down from my 8800GTX so you should too.

Try that and post pack Smiling

xtremepenguin's picture
Posts: 36

Before i get a chance to try these changes, this happens:

No idea whats going on, doesn't let me look at anything on the generic browser

*Edit*

Bizarre, Reinstalling the 1.3 patch has solved it

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

Wow that was strange...Glad you got it sorted though Smiling

Do you see any improvement with the textures?

xtremepenguin's picture
Posts: 36

I have got Anisotropic on 16x now.

I think for portfolio pieces im going to import the textures under the skybox lod group as that doesn't seem to compress stuff as badly. But for mod work i guess ill stick to the normal group, will just have to sharpen stuff to try and compensate.

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

Hey xtremepenguin,

I think its always a good idea to level and sharpen textures as a matter of course as this gives the best base that you can for the engine to use.

Good luck with the portfoilio and please post some pics when you have 5 mins Laughing out loud

xtremepenguin's picture
Posts: 36

This is my most recent thing i have been working on. A vending machine.

Let me know if you have any crits!