User talk:Yithian

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Texture stuff


It's late and I'm tired so please forgive the bluntness of this post. I think that the info you are highlighting is absolutely valid, but IMO it is already written up and available. The problem seems to be that either you haven't come across it (Goddam wiki search engine), or I've written it so badly you didn't recognise it! I hope it's just the first problem :-) which we can, I think, solve by simply using #REDIRECTs to force the search engine to the most relevant article. If it is the second reason, suggestions for rewording are very warmly welcomed.

1. For the difference between a Texture and a Material in Source, see Material System. That's where the intro is and most tutorials are listed, and that's why I suggested #REDIRECTing "texture" to it. If someone types "texture" into the search box, Material System is probably where they should start.

2. For info about Valve's Texture Format see VTF. I've polished up the section which describes how VTFs fit into the Material System, and moved it to the top of the page where it's more likely to be seen ;-) I was considering turning the list of VTF Utilities into a template, so it could easily be included in tutorials etc ... but that's the definitive list for VTF tools at the moment.

3. For Texture Map see texturemap aka UV map. I was quite proud of that page. Goddam wiki search engine! I will now create a #REDIRECT from Texture map to UV map and hope that no one tries to use Texture Map :-P

4. An alternative would be to keep "Texture" as a minimalist glossary page, and simply provide See Also links to VTF, Material System, Texture map, etc? I'm keen to avoid duplication of information on too many different pages because of the Chinese Whispers effect as those pages get "polished" ;-).

--Beeswax 19:07, 26 Apr 2008 (PDT)

Hmmm. I see what you're saying about the "Chinese Whispers" effect. Duplicating a page and introducing inconsistencies between the articles is definitely a bad thing. I'm not particularly attached to the idea of the page, and I think a general redirection with a short message is a good idea. (Curses for spending time on it!) So one of us can go ahead and fix that up (meaning: I will if you don't get to it first, I'm just on my way to work). You're right on the money on that one.
I think the reason why I expanded the textures page in the first place is because when I'm working on a game or mod, I'm thinking in terms of textures, not materials, which is a Source-specific system, and it's the first thing I look for when I want to figure something out in that area. Dumping someone with a question about textures into a page called materials is disorienting because it's going up one level from where I'm expecting to be: I want to find out information about creating a texture, just the raw physical image, at the lowest level; I'm not worried about its material properties (at the logical level) yet--I'll get to that in a minute. The material system is a hybrid system that depends on scripts and image files, so it seems a logical step past where I want to be just now. But that's just the way I think. (And probably others, too.) The texture page, as it stands, is about as much as I wanted to see in there, but other people will definitely expand it if it stays like that.
The other reason, of course, is that for a newbie, who doesn't know anything about anything, it's important to provide information about these 'first steps' without confusing the issue. For some kid who has never done any modding before, I think it's important to provide a minimalist education in universal game terminology (eg. textures) without binding it to the proprietary implementation (eg. materials). I'll reread the sections on materials and whatnot and see if I can't figure out a neat little solution. These pages are good--the information is clear and concise--and I don't want to mess with that, I just think it's missing a certain something. Maybe it only needs a sentence or two of clarification and a link in the external links section to a good Wikipedia article.
I appreciate the feedback, and don't ever worry about being too blunt: mincing words is a shortcut to apathy and confusion.Yithian 05:43, 27 Apr 2008 (PDT)
OK how about making Texture a simple Glossary page, pointing out:
  1. In Source, a Texture is only one layer in the Material System:
  2. A Source Texture is a raster image file which defines the pixels of a colormap, bumpmap, specularmap, opacitymap, and/or luminositymap. (See Valve Texture Format)
  3. A Source Material specifies a stack of Textures and the Shader (and Shader Parameters) to use when rendering them. It also specifies which sounds and decal effects to use for collision events. (See Valve Material Type)
  4. A Source Texture map specifies a Material and maps the pixels (from all of its texture layers) onto the surfaces of a particular object. (See UV map)
What else does it need?
BTW I've restructured the Material System text a bit. I think it is a little clearer but probably still needs work. --Beeswax 18:41, 27 Apr 2008 (PDT)
Ok, this I like. This should appear on the texture page. Bullet-point format is perfect for this kind of thing, with all the links you need right there in one place. The only thing I would add is a direct link to the relevant page at Wikipedia. That way it's integrated into the wider world of game development. (I know people can look it up for themselves, but, honestly, how much effort would it take to add the link?) The material system page is much better, BTW. Question: isn't it raster image? Yithian 07:10, 28 Apr 2008 (PDT)
LOL yes it is raster. It would be nice if it was a tribute to Bob Marley, but yes, good catch. --Beeswax 07:40, 28 Apr 2008 (PDT)