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[Article] Textures in Mass Effect

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Re: [Article] Textures in Mass Effect

Postby giftfish » 02 May 2016, 01:03

@K --

Do we know what "_tang" textures are? All I know so far is the following:

1. They are specifically for hair.
2. They're more common in ME1 and ME2 than ME3. In the former, all hair textures have them. In the latter, it's mostly male hair textures that have them.
3. They are tagged with the "spec" LOD group, which indicates they have something to do with amounts of light reflection, color, etc.

The weird thing is that they specifically aren't called "spec" like all other spec textures in the series. Also, "Tang" makes me think of "tangent", and I found some web results about tangent space normal mapping versus open space normal mapping and how one uses more colors. The weird is that it's the Object Space version that uses more colors and corresponds to what the tang textures actually look like.

Got any info about these?
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Re: [Article] Textures in Mass Effect

Postby KFreon » 02 May 2016, 03:48

No idea. Never seen them before.
A quick look looks like you're right. Some kind of normal map maybe.
It's not particularly detailed though, so I don't know exactly what they do.
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Re: [Article] Textures in Mass Effect

Postby giftfish » 02 May 2016, 14:01

KFreon wrote:No idea. Never seen them before.
A quick look looks like you're right. Some kind of normal map maybe.
It's not particularly detailed though, so I don't know exactly what they do.

I did find some references that covered a few details about how tangent-space and object-space normals can be used at the same time, so that could be what's going on.

What it doesn't explain, though, is why the "_tang" labeled textures are actually object-space normals. The normals that we're used to looking at are indeed the tangent-space normals. It also doesn't explain why they are assigned to the spec LOD group, and not an LOD group for normals.

I bet Otte or ELE would know. Or CDAMJC. I know that I've used old Texmod TPFs with these textures. I'll see if I can get in touch with one of them and find out more.
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