Welcome
Ladies and Gents:

These forums are now closed and registration disabled.

Please join us at our new forum on Proboards. Our hope is that these new forums are more stable, provide more and better features, and allow continuation of the project forums in a safer, more secure, long term environment.

me3explorer.proboards.com

--The ME3Explorer Team

[ARTICLE] Texplorer

Help build and maintain the new ME3Explorer Wiki on Wikia.

Re: [ARTICLE] Texplorer

Postby giftfish » 25 Jun 2015, 14:38

Thanks for all the info guys. I should have been clearer that I didn't need information on how ModMaker/TPF Tools themselves work (ModMaker article is already written, for example), I just needed to know exactly what happens when the buttons were clicked from inside Texplorer -- or if it was simply "safe" for me to click them. Thanks regardless, Creeper. TPF Tool article isn't up yet, so the info you've provided I'm sure will be helpful, and I'll double-check the MM article to day to make sure I've covered all of your and K's details.

VM? I don't think so, lol...

@Kfreon--

1. TOCs -- I'm going to assume this uses autotoc, but we should check.
2. Search -- Yeah, I'd say remove it for the big future release. It's unnecessary and seems repetitive. If I'm wondering why they are both there, so will other users. Maybe just comment out the code or something if you don't want to totally delete it?
3. Thumbs -- Got it.

Also, have you removed the "StartModMaker" from within Texplorer for the big overhaul? There's really no reason for it to be in there anymore. As we tell users, new texture packages should be made into TPFs and not MOD files. Let's remove it if there's no objection -- and at the same time return some of that functionality to the main ModMaker tool that was accidentally stripped out.
giftfish
 

Re: [ARTICLE] Texplorer

Postby giftfish » 25 Jun 2015, 16:10

Just to confirm, the TPFs made with Texplorer, since they involve TPF tools are not compatible with Texmod, correct?
giftfish
 

Re: [ARTICLE] Texplorer

Postby giftfish » 25 Jun 2015, 18:29

And, the article is done, wewt!!

The TPF Tools article won't take long; I'll start on it next week.
giftfish
 

Re: [ARTICLE] Texplorer

Postby giftfish » 25 Jun 2015, 19:26

@Creeper -- Lol, thanks for cleaning up my typos and correcting the patch number. I got distracted and forgot to fix that earlier. Same thing happens with occasional grammar issues. I'll be in the middle of fixing a sentence, get distracted, and then forget to finish editing the damn sentence. Grr...
giftfish
 

Re: [ARTICLE] Texplorer

Postby CreeperLava » 25 Jun 2015, 19:36

No problem, happy to help^^.
User avatar
CreeperLava
User
 
Posts: 844
Joined: 07 Feb 2015, 21:52
Has thanked: 119 time
Have thanks: 83 time

Re: [ARTICLE] Texplorer

Postby KFreon » 25 Jun 2015, 20:19

@gift:
- TOC's does use autotoc. Exactly the same function that's used when installing textures, but it does everything, not just changed stuff.
- Search button is removed, as is Add to DLC. It'll be in the next update, which will hopefully be soon and also be an update to the SF.
- StartModmaker is no longer in Texplorer for the WPF version. That won't be changing for the current stuff though. Actually, I could remove that button too if you want.
- TPF's can be made compatible with Texmod by selecting the correct option (Rebuild with Texmod), and it usually works, but it has been known to fail occasionally.

Great work finishing the Texplorer page too :D I bet it's massive. I still haven't had a look, but it's the weekend now, so I'll have some time.
User avatar
KFreon
Toolset Developer
 
Posts: 1665
Joined: 16 Apr 2013, 00:57
Has thanked: 83 time
Have thanks: 520 time

Re: [ARTICLE] Texplorer

Postby giftfish » 26 Jun 2015, 03:36

KFreon wrote:@gift:
- TOC's does use autotoc. Exactly the same function that's used when installing textures, but it does everything, not just changed stuff.
- Search button is removed, as is Add to DLC. It'll be in the next update, which will hopefully be soon and also be an update to the SF.
- StartModmaker is no longer in Texplorer for the WPF version. That won't be changing for the current stuff though. Actually, I could remove that button too if you want.
- TPF's can be made compatible with Texmod by selecting the correct option (Rebuild with Texmod), and it usually works, but it has been known to fail occasionally.

Great work finishing the Texplorer page too :D I bet it's massive. I still haven't had a look, but it's the weekend now, so I'll have some time.

It's pretty big, but not too awful. A lot of related and relevant information is in the Getting Started Guide and the Mod Formats article.

Yeah, why don't you remove the StartModMaker button also. Might as well :)
giftfish
 

Re: [ARTICLE] Texplorer

Postby KFreon » 26 Jun 2015, 11:12

@gift:
Texplorer article
First of all, absolutlely magnificent work. Thorough, easy to read and understand, and most importantly, complete. Most of the stuff below is very nitpicky or even opinion, so take what you want, and toss the rest away, but here I go anyway :)


- I'd hesitate to say Texplorer is the main texture tool, as TPFTools should be. Not saying it's wrong, but maybe something like the "base texture tool" or "last resort texture tool" since no one should really have to use it.

- Slight nitpicky thing about Texmod function. As I understood it, it doesn't render two textures on screen, but instead alters the pointer to the texture in memory to point to the new one loaded by texmod. Doesn't really affect anything, just thought I'd note it.

- Another nitpick. Custtextures can be any digit, e.g. custtextures5.tfc. I've never seen it required, but if the tfc gets too big, Texplorer will create a new one. e.g. custtextures0.tfc = 2gb, thus creates custtextures1.tfc.

- "Texture changes are cumulative". I'm fairly sure this only relates to the tfc's. The Export info should be overwritten when the pcc is saved to disk. The slightly cumulative effect for pccs, is that the new names and modified exports are saved at the "bottom" of the file generally. So a pcc will grow for a texture replacement, but replacing the same texture a bunch of times in that file won't make it any bigger, but the tfc will grow. I'm almost certain this is the case, but if you think otherwise, let me know and I'll dig around to find out.

- Maybe there should be a TLDR link at the top for the "Before Scanning" section? Just so it's clear out of the gate that if you read nothing else, read that.

- Something to clarify, I'm not sure if you got this from the DLC mod dudes, but changing textures with your fancy DLC mods will go into custtextures.tfc. Just wanted to ensure you were aware of that. Texplorer doesn't know or care what's Bioware DLC and what's ThaneMOD DLC.

- Maybe have a definitions section at the top for clarity. Vanilla, for example.

- Perhaps when talking about the Game Path Indicators, it should be clear that only the path for the game you want to scan on is required. "Don't proceed until the path is detected properly." might lead people to believe all paths are necessary for a flawless scan.

- Maybe indicate that it can take several hours to unpack DLC, and that checking the debug window can help diagnose if it actually has stalled or not.

- If you want, you can link the DDS tools in my signature to the part where you talk about editing and reformatting textures RE: mips

- MAJOR NITPICK: "[sic] replace a texture using a dds file, TPFTools can do this, but Texplorer [sic]". I STRONGLY recommend still using TPFTools. Firstly, you won't have to search for it if the file has the right name (containing hash, which it will if you get it from a TPF, MOD, or Texmod). It'll also be a single step (Adding, saving), and you'll be able to autofix if you need to.
If you have a reason this isn't true, let me know cos I can't think of any.



In closing, fantastic work. I'm glad this is getting done, just a bonus it's by a competent person :D I'd be muddling around without fully explaining things.
Little meaningless things for the most part, but you wanted feedback, and there it is.
User avatar
KFreon
Toolset Developer
 
Posts: 1665
Joined: 16 Apr 2013, 00:57
Has thanked: 83 time
Have thanks: 520 time

Re: [ARTICLE] Texplorer

Postby giftfish » 26 Jun 2015, 14:56

@Kfreon -- Wewt, thanks for the feedback :D I'm going to follow up with a few things...


1. I stand by Texplorer being the "main" texture modding tool. While TPF Tool is certainly the main tool to *apply* new textures, game textures can only be browsed with Texplorer, extracted with Texplorer, and use of Texplorer is required before TPF Tools can even function. Thus, it's the main tool. I'll make the distinction clearer, though, when I write the TPF Tools article :)

2. Texmod function. Well, ****. I know I read that whole explanation somewhere else probably a couple years ago; I thought it was a reliable source. If that's not how it works, then I need to correct it. Which I will do. Thanks! Btw...the damn Google code page for Texmod doesn't even explain how it works, grrrr.

3. I did know that the CustTex will affect DLC mods, yes. I'm *guessing* that the other DLC mod folks know this, as well, since they also have a deep understanding of the process.

4. Definitions. The concept of "vanilla" is introduced in the Getting Started Guide, which has to be completed before the Texplorer article, AND I put a special box at the top of the article stating that. So...that's all users get, lol.

5. Unpacking. Wow, several hours? I used some of Fob's reports as a reference, since he has all the DLC. He did state he was on an SSD, so I think I doubled the time he gave. I'll take another look at his number just to be sure, but I can verify that even with the extraction the whole scanning process is much faster than it used to be. What number would you feel comfortable with, K?


And, finally, DDSes. I can certainly amend this statement, but Texplorer is incredibly easy to use. It's not a complicated tool. To me, there's no real difference between Texplorer and TPF Tools when it comes to replacing a couple of DDS files. The novelty of a TPF is that it can contain many DDSes, so with one click you can install a bunch. But, if a user has only a couple DDS files that they made themselves or found somewhere else, then they will probably feel comfortable using Texplorer. The Search Bar fucking rocks, and replacing is just Add Biggest + Save Changes. And, of course, the file name doesn't matter.

So, maybe what I'll do is explain that the user can use whichever tool they prefer, but if TPF Tool is used it won't be able to locate the corresponding game texture unless the hash is in the file name. That's an important detail actually.

----------------

And, K, I actually have one major suggestion for the Texplorer revamp. I loooooove the thumbnails. But, depending on the size of the monitor and if you are trying to hunt down a texture, those thumbnails can be really small and details often can't be resolved. There's no longer a way to see the texture at a decent size like in the current SF (the preview feature). I often find myself extracting textures not b/c I want to mod them, but just because I'm curious and want a better look at them. Is there a way for you to re-implement the preview feature, but by using the middle pane rather than the whole right click > new window old method?

This would be some complex GUI work, I'm sure, but what I'm thinking is that you just added a "Preview" or "Enlarge" button to the context menu that appears when selecting a texture. Then, click the button and the texture fills the middle pane as much as it can, starting at the upper left corner (or whatever). To exit the preview and get back to the thumbnails, the user clicks the same button.

This seems the best of both worlds. We have thumbnails for quick browsing AND we can get a decent close up of the texture if/when needed. I have to admit, when I finally started using the SVN for textures and not the current SF, my enthusiasm for the thumbnails was dampened once I realized that I couldn't see a larger view of the textures, lol.
giftfish
 

Re: [ARTICLE] Texplorer

Postby CreeperLava » 26 Jun 2015, 15:36

giftfish wrote:And, finally, DDSes. I can certainly amend this statement, but Texplorer is incredibly easy to use. It's not a complicated tool. To me, there's no real difference between Texplorer and TPF Tools when it comes to replacing a couple of DDS files. The novelty of a TPF is that it can contain many DDSes, so with one click you can install a bunch. But, if a user has only a couple DDS files that they made themselves or found somewhere else, then they will probably feel comfortable using Texplorer. The Search Bar fucking rocks, and replacing is just Add Biggest + Save Changes. And, of course, the file name doesn't matter.

So, maybe what I'll do is explain that the user can use whichever tool they prefer, but if TPF Tool is used it won't be able to locate the corresponding game texture unless the hash is in the file name. That's an important detail actually.

Just a quick note : I think most users will be confused if you point out two different tools that do the same thing, with advantages for both. Imho TPF/DDS should be the only one advised for the general user, with Texplorer being reserved for more advanced and specific texture editing. After all, most people will want to install as many textures as quickly as possible, and bulk downloading/installing TPFs with TPF/DDS Tools is the most efficient/quick way. Not many will only want to replace specific textures.
User avatar
CreeperLava
User
 
Posts: 844
Joined: 07 Feb 2015, 21:52
Has thanked: 119 time
Have thanks: 83 time

PreviousNext

Return to Wiki Development

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

suspicion-preferred