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Transitioning to PDN from PSD... Layerr Blending options?

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The goal here is that I might write a book covering texture creation for use in Blender and UnrealED for UT3. To do so I want to use free software alternatives to the pricey, and not very legally accessible, industry standard tools. For the book I'm wrapping up I cover basic mapping and modeling using Blender and UnrealED. But it has come to my attention that sme texturing may be necessary. But I have a problem...

I love Photoshop. It is what I'm used to, what took me years to learn, and until I found Paint.Net (excellent work from what I have seen so far) I had no viable alternative. I hate Gimp! I loathe it! Although I also found, about the same time I found PDN, Gimpshop which I have yet to try. I'm not mentioning any of this to start some my program is better than yours war. I'm providing some background for what I want to ask.

1. Are there any Layer Blending plugins available, or some alternative means to accomplishing them, for PDN? That is, can I do this Brick Texture tutorial (you will need a free Fileplanet account to download I think):

http://nucleus.planetunreal.gamespy.com ... p?cat_id=2

In PDN with relative ease?

2. Can I dock windows together (love the transparency BTW)?

3. This is a tutorial request... How would I go about making a light texture, as seen in the pictures here, in PDN:

http://nucleus.planetunreal.gamespy.com ... photo_id=1

That is, a simple image that has a lens or bulb mounted na metal plate, which when applied to a mesh could be used as a light source. A tutorial covering this will kill two birds with one stone. I could learn the vagaries of PDN, and get a method together for creating light textures for one of the levels in the book I'm writing.

4. This is a request for a plugin which can take any full color image and turn it into a Normal Map

I appreciate any help, and thank you for the excellent program!

- Deathbliss

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I can't get ahold of my original psd file because my computer is dead and I'm on a borrowed one with no way to plug in the SATA drive. But here is a picture from Photoshop that shows what I'm talking about. You can apply these effects to layers, which allows you to create some interesting things:


Basically I was using the Layer Blending options in Photoshop to take a black and white texture pattern, apply this to a tileable rock texture, then use beveling and shadow options to create the illusion of grout between bricks. I had one texture for grout, another for the bricks. I made some pretty cool textures this way, but I didn't see any similar option in PDN. I'm hoping it's just hidden away in another location or someone made a plugin for that kind of thing.

Well if the lack of dockable windows is the worse aspect of PDN, it's not enough to make me hate it ;)

Id' like to make something like this:


By deathbliss

I'm looking for a tutorial detailing how to create something like that in PDN.

As for number 4, this can be ignored now. I've been playing with the Normal Maps plugin and it does work for my purposes. My compliments to the author!

Thanks for the extra speedy response!

- Deathbliss

UPDATE: As there have been no further responses I have decided to approach question 1 in a different manner. Here is a link to a .pdn file with a black and white brick pattern and two textures, all layered together:

http://nucleus.planetunreal.gamespy.com ... ickexp.rar

What I'd like to know is... Can this file be turned into a 3D brick texture, and if so how? In Photoshop I would keep the background blank, add a layer mask to the last texture in the stack, and in this place my black and white pattern texture. I would then use Layer Styles for the 3D effect. I'm hoping that an alternative approach is available in PDN. Here is what I would get in Photoshop:


Thanks again!

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