Creating .DDS Textures for 3ds Max

From Sirikata Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

All textures need to be converted into .dds files using the NVidia plugin prior to exporting the model from 3D Studio Max.

Texture Map Creation


  1. Start Photoshop and open your texture file.
  2. Keep master files for all textures at 2048x2048, or if possible 4096x4096. All textures must be in powers of 2 (e.g., 2x2, 512x512, etc.)
  3. Before saving your file as a .dds, go to Layers > Flatten Image. Make sure there is only one layer when you go to save.
  4. Go to File > Save As > .dds
    1. For almost all texture maps save as a DTX1 (See Fig 3)
    2. Have Generate MIP maps radio on for ALL TEXTURE MAPS
    3. Click Image Options and at the bottom check on Pre Modulate Color

Nvidia’s .dds (DXT) exporter. For most texture maps use DXT1 with Pre Modulate Color checked:

Nvidia’s .dds (DXT) exporter. For most texture maps use DXT1 with Pre Modulate Color checked


Normal, Occlusion, and Alpha Channel Textures


Normal Map

  1. Create your normal map using Crazybump or the NVidia Normal Map filter.
  2. Open your Channels browser by going to Windows > Channels.
  3. Right click the Red Channel and choose “Duplicate Channel…” Name it “Alpha.”
  4. Hide the “Alpha” Channel and select the RGB Channel (See Fig 4)
  5. When you Save As > .dds, be sure the Alpha box is checked.
  6. For Normal maps save as a DTX5 interpolated alpha (DO NOT use DXT5_NM)
    1. Use DTX3 explicit alpha if you don’t want any gradient on your alpha borders (either ON or OFF)

Channels tab in Photoshop, showing the original channels (RGB, Red, Green, Blue) and the user created Alpha Channel, created by duplicating the Red Channel:

Channels tab in Photoshop, showing the original channels (RGB, Red, Green, Blue) and the user created Alpha Channel, created by duplicating the Red Channel


Ambient Occlusion Alpha

  1. Create an Alpha Channel (See Fig 4)
  2. Create a B&W grayscale Alpha mask, and copy it into the Alpha Channel.
  3. When you Save As > .dds, be sure the Alpha box is checked.
  4. If your Ambient Occlusion map has an alpha in the Alpha Channel, save the file with DTX5 compression (DO NOT use DXT5_NM).

Alpha Channel Texture (such as foliage, glass)

  1. Prepare your texture and its Alpha Channel.
  2. Save as DXT3 or DXT5.
  3. When you Save As > .dds, be sure the Alpha box is checked.