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How to reveal "invisible" dds?

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Hello all,

I work with .dds texture files a lot in modding the games Oblivion and Skyrim, and whenever someone else releases a mod that I like, I usually change it to my preferences (solely for personal use, of course). This occasionally means editing their textures, but some people have a way of making the texture "invisible" (as in totally transparent), yet still readable by the game as well as some plugins like Emboss. This makes it impossible for me to do anything with the file, and as a result some become completely unusable. Does anyone have any hints on what this "invisibility" is caused by, and a way to reverse it? Thanks for any and all replies!

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I can't speak for the game you mod for, but I have done mapping for HL1 (in particular Day of Defeat). In Day of Defeat the blue texture when certain attributes are applied to it become invisible. For instance, if an object is made into a func_wall and it has blue to it, that blue will become invisible. The technique is used for such things as a hedge or bush. The hedge texture itself may have some specks of blue and the outline as well would be blue so that you will see through it (the blue) and be able to see tree models (as an example) in the background without the model being cutoff by the blue portion. I could also create a totally blue func_wall which would have the effect of being totally invisible and yet have the attributes of a solid wall so that I could effectively block off an area from being accessed. For instance this could be used for a road which curves away from the play area on the perimeter of the map so the perimeter looks more natural, but doesn't permit players from proceeding down that path/road. I hope this explanation wasn't too confusing.

The below picture (though lacking the textures because they weren't loaded for this screenshot) is of a tank coming through a broken wall. The blue shown is the func_wall that I was referring to. It will keep players from exiting the play area by climbing onto the tank and/or the wall.


There is also another texture, which is referred to as a "null" texture which is also invisible. It however has different attributes which I will not go into here.

Also, as I pointed out, that is a tank coming through the wall. In Day of Defeat mapping, the texture which you currently see above on tank is not visible either. It too has special attributes (namely adds a metal effect to the tank). All you will actually see in-game is the actual tank model.

HL2 games in some instances combine this with the model whereas HL1 games are 2 distinctly separate items. Meaning (in HL1) that the texture you see above forms the boundary/shape and applies the metal attributes and another "entity" is the actual model. But in HL2, both co-exist to form a single unit.

At any rate, you will need to find tutorials for your mod online to get specific help in that regard. You will also need to know what file formats you can import to utilize and convert for your needs.


I ran across the below searching for something else. Maybe it will help you.


Edited by jim100361
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Thank you for the reply, but the problem I'm having isn't with the texture in-game as much as it is within Paint.net. Here's a couple screengrabs of the unedited file, then the file after applying the Relief effect:



(sorry for the odd texture choice, it's the only one I had on hand)

There are several plugins which can partially reveal the texture (steganography, emboss, ink sketch, etc.), though nothing has brought it out unmodified. In case you're curious, I have tried editing the transparency, to no avail.

Edited by Kohdi
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I don't know which part of the picture you want transparent. That aside, the issue that comes into play is what color or texture does the game/modeling software require?

You can do anything you want all day long with this via paint.net, but unless you incorporate that which your game requires (and quite possibly a file format it will recognize), you may just end up treading water until you're blue in the face.

I'm sorry I can't be more helpful on this. Hopefully the above will set you in the right direction.

I believe the link I provided you mentions something about importing a psd file and somehow converting it to DDS, maybe that's all you need.

I believe (I don't use it as I don't have that other program) there's a plugin so you can save to that format.

Check out the link here:


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Paint.NET's DDS plugin uses the alpha channel of the loaded image when creating the layer.

You could try loading the image in another tool like DXTBmp, then the color and alpha channels could be edited separately by Paint.NET.


Plugin Pack | PSFilterPdn | Content Aware Fill | G'MICPaint Shop Pro Filetype | RAW Filetype | WebP Filetype

The small increase in performance you get coding in C++ over C# is hardly enough to offset the headache of coding in the C++ language. ~BoltBait


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