Fancy Maps - Did You Notice All the Changes to Specs?

Up until now I have used an edited version of the file (that was released a good while ago) when creating materials files for Fancy Map (PBR) textures -


// Specification of shaders to use.
// See the notes.txt for further details.
customshadervs vslitc_nm  
customshaderfs fslit_nm_rhi

// Assures that tangents are generated for the associated models.
renderhint NormalAndSpecMapped


// Standard texture inputs
// Add/remove the '//' in front of the texture* to enable/disable these.

// 0 - Diffuse / albedo map.
// If omitted, it defaults to pure white.
//texture0 example_d 

// 1 - Normal map.
// If omitted, it defaults to all normals facing directly away from the surface. 
//texture1 example_n

// 2 - Specular map. Grayscale. 
// Should be in the 1% to 10% for non-metals and close to 100% for metals.
// If omitted, it will set a default value that fits most non-specular materials.
//texture2 example_s

// 3 - Roughness map. Grayscale.
// Determines the softness of specular reflection highlights to simulate smoothness of a surface.  
// If omitted, it will scale roughness with specularity
//texture3 example_r

// 4 - Height. Grayscale.
// Determines displacement and occlusion.
// If omitted, the surface will be rendered as if flat.
//texture4 example_h

// 5 - Glow / self-illumination map. Grayscale. 
// Makes the surface light up. 
// If omitted, it defaults to no self-illumination.
//texture5 example_i


However, recently I came across this page on the wiki -

This is where a little confusion sets in. There are two things on there that can lead to such confusion. Let’s deal Normal maps first. Now I was aware that NwN EE now only uses the red and green channels, and that it is alright to pass NwN EE three channel images. This does raise a number of questions though. Does anyone know of any programs that will allow you to save 16 bit images (2x8 bit channels)? I certainly am not. All image editing software that I am aware of only save greyscale, RGB and RGBA images and not RG. So if we have to save as RGB, what are the recommended values to place in the blue channel?

The other map that causes me confusion is the Glow / self-illumination map. Now in the file it clearly states that this to be a greyscale image (e.g. black, whiye and grey). But the wiki page (written by @Soren, so should be good info), it says that this map is 3 channel (RGB). Thing is, while I clearly remember reading in the patch notes some time ago now about the change to normal maps, I don’t recall ever seeing this change being mentioned. Up to now I have been diligently making sure that glow maps were greyscale including for

which contains quite a few glow maps. In a lot of cases they were greyscale in the original authors maps too. So what happens to the glow when too few channels are presented to the engine now? Does it glow at all or perhaps with the wrong colour?

Any answer(s) would be appreciated.


Hey there,

The self-illumination maps were indeed changed to being three channels rather than the initial one. FWIW it was actually mentioned in a patch changelog, but I know it’s easy for things to get lost in those large blocks of text. Generally, the aim going forward is to try to keep the entries always current.

Regarding the two channel normal maps, it is actually something you generate by taking your three channel texture map and compress it with a tool such as NWN Crunch. The reason for using this approach is really because regular DDS compression formats do not yield satisfying results for normal maps.

It’s highly recommended that you compress your maps when sharing/releasing it, but when they are just in TGA format, whether you have two or three channels won’t make any difference to visuals. It’s more or less exclusively a performance thing.

I hope that answers your questions :smiley:


Thanks. It almost succeeds in that. The one remaining question is over how the engine handles monochrome glow maps. Is there code in place to treat them as the white areas are presented as white light or do they just fail?


I’m not perfectly sure to be honest, but I think they should work too, just giving you a white color.

That’s what I hope too, otherwise I am going to have to edit 30+ of the entries in that texture pack I mentioned earlier.


Ha! I just stumbled across this. I am still not sure how to implement a glow map in a MTR unless you do what this tutorial shows in 3DS Max and just export the UV textures, one diffuse, one I guess would be the Illumination map?

(ex: say for a placeable… plc_pumpkin_I.tga) If I were to go by the MTR page on nwnwiki’s explanation of what a glow map/illumination map is?