Simple Question - How do Textures Work in NwN 2

Back before NwN EE was was revealed @kamal posted their large texture pack. At the time I asked @kamal if they would mind if I had a go at converting them to NwN and obtained permission to do so but was warned that they had what are now called “fancy maps” in the NwN community. So, after downloading the textures into my NwN 2 section of one of my HD, I let it rest.

Having released a Large Public Domain Fancy Mapped Texture Pack for NwN EE, I was minded to revisit @kamal’s pack. At that point I was expecting to use gimp to decompose textures and extract different layers for different maps. So to say I was somewhat confused when I took a closer look can be considered truly an understatement. While NwN EE doesn’t use tint maps (at least that is what I assume they are) I was still surprised to find each and everyone was just red. Similarly all the *_n maps (normal maps I presume) seem to be just a transparent image (yes I did look at the alpha layer - nothing there).

So can you help clear my confusion. Oh and if anyone wants to make use of those textures I posted feel free, they are fully PD after all.

Thanks for any help.


The color of the tint map determines which of three tint channels to apply to parts of the mesh. Thus you’ll see red, green, and blue tints in the tint map, or a combination of the three. All red just means there’s one tint channel available for that model; you don’t need to assign all three. The actual color applied to a tint channel is determined in the creature’s blueprint.

The alpha channel on the normal map texture is the proportion of the material’s specularity to apply at that location. 0% transparency = full; 100% transparency is none. Thus you can have models that are shiny in one area, and dull in another. It’s kind of like the metal map in a PBR model.

Did that help?

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Thanks for the reply. Alas it only helps partially. Sorry for not being clearer but what I really want to know is what maps does NwN 2 use and where do I find them. Without that knowledge I won’t know whether to spend time on this due to the probable differences between what NwN 2 uses versus what NwN EE can use. For example I know that if I go forward with this I won’t have any use for tint maps as NwN EE doesn’t use them.

Thanks for your time.


There is a maximum of four textures in NWN2:

  • diffuse --> the main one, which gives the basic colors (usually ends with “_d”).
  • normal --> used for giving the 3D effects (bumps) which are not on the mesh. Easy to find: it’s light-blue (usually ends with “_n”).
  • tint --> used to modify the colors on the diffuse map. For NWN2, the red channel is usually for the skin, the blue for the hair and the green for the accessories (for the heads). For the other body parts, as @rjshae explained, the red/blue/green channels determine where to apply the new colors (and consequently, purple on the tint map means that both red and blue channel will be merged). As you already noticed, it’s easy to find as it’s basically red, green and blue patches (usually ends with “_t”).
  • illumination --> used for glowing (self-illumination), obviously more visible in dark places (usually ends with “_i” or “_g”).

Only the first two are required in NWN2, the other two are optional.

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Yes that’s very likely true. However, note that diffuse textures are often modified with tint maps in mind. I.e. the images may be desaturated and toned down. You may need to adjust them a bit.

Thanks guys. That’s almost all of the info I needed. Just to double check. NwN 2 uses separate files for these maps and doesn’t embed say the glow map in the alpha channel of the normal map (as an example).


the specular map is embedded in the normal map’s alpha channel. that is why those textures appear transparent in gimp. it’s best to extract the channels separately in gimp via colors > components > decompose > rgba. this creates a new image with 4 layers where you can trash what is not needed.

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Thanks. Yeah, I had plenty of these embedded maps in that PD textures pack, that I had to extract. Makes it more interesting to work on though.


Correct. Note that there are a few models that mainly rely on the glow map, rather than a diffuse texture. But that likely won’t be an issue.

Final question from me in this thread. I seem to half remember that there were/are height maps on this site for NwN 2. Are these standard or do they need additional software in order to run? If standard are they embedded in other maps?



if you’re talking about a heightmap for terrain, then there’s yatt - a plugin for the toolset to create an image based area mesh. if you talk about bump mapping, then that’s not supported by nwn2. the engine uses tangent space normal maps.

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