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** Tutorial ** - Texturing models in milkshape

Here you can discuss building custom ships, texturing and 3D modeling in Freelancer

Post Sun May 28, 2006 11:52 am

I hope this community is still alive? Any way i just wanted to ask, i mainly use max for modding and don't work efficiently with other modeling software. The question is if its alright to uhm uvmap the model in max then convert it to m3d. Would it have the same mapping or do i have to redo the mapping coords. Thanks

Skull Squadron reporting for duty!!!

Post Tue May 30, 2006 10:01 pm


Well.. it depends on how you export it.. There is a max to ms3d converter that goes up to 5 or 6 (cant remember) Here that so far has been fairly good from my point of view.. I do the basic mapping and base tex in max, then export to ms3d, apply the base tex.. check it.. any anomalies can then be corrected in say lithium unwrap and the final touches applied.. if you export as .3ds or .dxf then with .3ds the ship has to be re-oriented.. so I cant say how well the mapping would go.. with .dxf you can have a real problem with reversed faces (leastways that has been the problem for me).. I think you can even export in .obj and import into milkshape that way.. but I have never tried it so I cant say..


Post Sun Aug 20, 2006 12:16 am

This is my first try makeing a ship. Since I made my ship without groups do I have to start over ?

when the fit hits the shan...

Post Sun Aug 27, 2006 12:23 am


Simply regroup the various sections as you texture it..


Post Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:40 pm

oooo wish id found this sooner =D

ok here goes, i have made my ships skinned them for the basics and now i want to go into fine tuning them. first thing i wanted to do was add the liberty logo to the side of my main hull like over the top of the texture underneath like this logo here

the fist im referrring to. how on earth do you do that ^_^

many thanks

Cheese on toast

Cheese On Toast:
Like the name
Beware the player

Edited by - cheese on toast on 11/6/2006 3:40:34 PM

Edited by - cheese on toast on 11/6/2006 3:43:45 PM

Post Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:48 pm

Ooops, I missed this one,

Okay.. You will need Photoshop or a drawing program that can use layers and can save in .dds (preferable, as they use lods and are smaller file sizes) or .tga.

First.. apply the base texture to the area you want to place the artwork lettering, logo or symbol on and then either create or copy the 'artwork' as a separate file on a transparent background then copy and paste it as the topmost layer on your texture file, age and wear can be suggested by using some transparency and/or blending to allow the base texture to 'bleed' through the top layer.. In the case of the fist in question I did some hunting around on the internet and found a simplified fist shape which I then outlined and cleaned up (in Photoshop) into a more geometric shape. I then created the star as a layer and blended it into the fist to give the suggestion that the fist was holding a star.. dunno if I succeeded
It may require some experimentation and quite a bit of frustration in order to position it correctly. I often do this using screenies of the texture co-ordinate editor window with the outlines of same placed as a almost transparent layer over my base panel so the 'artwork' can be positioned correctly.. once one side is done I usually flip the artwork so the opposite side is a mirror image..

I thought I had posted some pictures of a ship I completed recently that I used quite a bit of fancy artwork on but I cannot seem to find them.. oh well.. I will see if i can find something and edit this later..


Post Mon Nov 13, 2006 3:30 pm

take a piece of the orginal ship texture that you're using on that part where you want the logo. If you already have the liberty logo available, that's great. (make it easier).
Make an educated guess of the size of the section of the material where you want the logo mounted.
Make a new item in 512x512 based on that part of the texture. Merge the logo on top of the new piece..but make sure the logo is upside down.
Altogether...when completed...the piece with the logo should look like it was a part of the overall texture in the first place. (like it was just painted there).
Save it as .dds (if that is remotely possible) OR .tga x8bit depth.
I use PhotoImpression4 to create, edit and save in .tga..I then use PaintShopProX to convert it to 8 bit .tga.(since the previous program saves it in useless 24bit). 16 bit will turn out psychidellic unless you save it as a photo negative.
On your model...find the place on your mesh where you want the logo to go.
select that face (not by vertex) (ingnore backfaces), regroup, apply new texture with the logo upside down.(so it will show up in the right orientation in game).

I know this might sound confusing...but I'm weired.

Post Mon Nov 13, 2006 4:18 pm

AWESOME! i been waiting a week for this! LMFAO!


@rankor fella

it is possible to save as .dds in adobe you need the adobe plugin for it which is availible at

Cheese On Toast:
Like the name
Beware the player

Edited by - cheese on toast on 11/14/2006 11:19:39 AM

Post Tue Nov 14, 2006 2:41 pm

cheese on toast,

You will need the nvidia plugin for abobe, (I presume you are talking about photoshop...), plus some patience.. I suggest initially you work on sufaces as close to the 'X,Y,Z' planes as possible to prevent distortion.


Post Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:25 am

aye, the photoshop one im getting it slowly, just need to tweek it to get it to look seamless or there abouts

Cheese On Toast:
Like the name
Beware the player

Post Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:37 am

@ Cheese,
I've been wondering for ages when adobe was ever going to support .dds.
I've met with countless frustration on it and had sent them a letter requesting them to make a change to support the ever mysterious .dds.
If they finally did it....then we're halfway there.
I understand that .dds is the "defacto" standard for freelancer textures.
If I can ever get support for TXM (nomad texture)
and THN (intro and cut scene stuff)...
I'd be a really happy camper.

Post Sat Nov 18, 2006 2:16 pm

I have no idea how to make a new intro but i know you need lua edit and you can just use that. also, with the nomad texture, i imported the ships CMP into milkshape and loaded the textures and there blue lmao. thats all i kno with regards to that ^^

Cheese On Toast:
Like the name
Beware the player

Post Sat Nov 18, 2006 4:42 pm

txm's are just half of the mat files - the texture library part
open and edit with UTF, like most of FL's files.

dunno what you mean by adobe? photoshop? the nvidia plugin is written specifically for it, and is also compatible with paintshop's plugin features.

dds is no mystery, its Nvidia's proprietary compressed-image format. It can contain MIP levels(resized duplicates, used to improve performance and texture appearance) and alpha transparency(doesn't work in paintshop). It has 5(?) levels of compression/quality and is all that and a bag of chips

Nvidia DDS utilities
Nvidia texture tools
UV mapping in Lithunwrap

*added a link for lithunwrap tutorial. its a better program for texture mapping/creation since it can map spheres/cylinders and it can export the UV map as a bitmap, which is perfect for using as a template.*

Edited by - Cold_Void on 11/20/2006 12:43:52 AM

Post Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:12 pm

Milkshape can do a complete layout of a single texture on a covex surface often at the very first try without having to go in a select individual faces or having to quarter it. Maybe it's a glitch for the good, but I don't know for sure. However, I've had some amazing results letting it just do it's thing.
I know this probably doesn't make much sense...but here is an example.
On a particular Engine Nacell, I selected the whole nacell. Then grabbed the texture I wanted to use. (I held my breath and assigned it). Since the texture was oriented in the position I wanted to lay out on the engine nacell, the program layed it out perfectly all around the nacell without distortion.
To check it out, I opened the Coodinate editor and took a look.
What Milkshape did was lay the whole framework out flat against the texture for me. (Something I could not do myself.) I could rescale it as I wished as long as I did not "re-map" it. Once I remapped it, Milkshape would use the chosen orientation and redraw the mat to the surface with dissappointing results.
I learned the hard way, that sometimes, Milkshape will do all the work for you if you let it.

@ Cold-Void, thanks for the links man. I'll get that stuff downloaded sometime today.

Edited by - Rankor on 11/19/2006 12:14:37 PM

Post Sun Dec 03, 2006 2:01 am

I've been using 24bit TGA textures for my models for a while, and they all seem to work just fine. I was wondering, though, how would I add bumpmapping to a model? I mean, I can do it just fine in 3D Studio, but does Freelancer support this?

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