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The universal texture blender for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Adding Custom Files
Library Usage and Licenses
This is a small tool designed to simplify the process of applying modifications to existing texture maps for use in games. With only a few clicks, you can quickly apply a tattoo to your character's body, change the details on your favorite set of armor, or blend away an ugly texture seam between joined meshes. Please note modifications such as these require separate texture file packages to be installed.
Caliente's Texture Blender (TexBlend) is easily expandable by a user or by content authors who wish to provide a simple interface for providing options for their work. A simple definition format (detailed later) allows nearly any sort of texture to be modified, and a clear file organization method allows each user to build a library of modifications that can be mix-and-matched at will.
TexBlend is a C++ application written for Windows XP and above, requires no additional software to perform it's duties, and comes with complete source code that you're allowed to view and modify as you wish. The image manipulation is done with a modified version of the Developer's Image Library (DevIL), and supports a very large array of input and output file formats.
Why use Caliente's Texture Blender?
TexBlend allows you to apply desired texture changes without having to download or use a more full featured image editing tool. The various tasks of correctly loading files, matching sizes, and saving the files in the right place are automatically taken care of. It also allows you to work with the files in a manner that reduces the tedium of keeping track of numerous files.
Installing TexBlend is a simple matter of extracting the program archive to a location on your hard drive. From there, simply execute TexBlend.exe to use the program.TexBlend comes with a small set of texture files (mainly for use with my Skyrim Female Body Mod), but be on the lookout for additional texture packages, from me or others, intended for use with the program. See the section on adding custom files below to understand how these texture files should be stored. For the most part, additional texture packs should be installed by extracting them to the TexBlend installation folder, but be sure to check the packages for any special instructions.
Using TexBlend is essentially a matter of choosing a source image and a modification image, and having the tool superimpose the latter on the former. Before using TexBlend, it is recommended that you ensure that you have available backups of all files in your skyrim/data/textures folder.
First, you must choose a "texture set" to work with. This is conceptually a grouping of texture files (ie, color map, normal map, specular map, etc.) and associated variants (eg character race variants for a face texture). The topmost left selection box labled "Set:" will enable you to make this selection.
Next, you will need to choose which 'Type' to work with fron the selection labeled "Type". The types correspond to the texture channels used by models in a game to display various effects. Typically, the types are: Color for the actual color of the object Normal for the information that allows the object to interact with light (eg, shadows and small bump details) Specular for the shinyness of the surface. Other channels are possible, including Glow, Skin, Environment, etc.
Third, you will select the variant to modify from the list beneath the Type selection. In many cases, this list will have only one available selection, such as 'Female' when modifying the body/color set included with TexBlend. Other times this list will contain the names of potential variants, such as the race variants when viewing the included Head/Normal set. You can think of this list as the list of variants that will be modified by the blending operation. Normally, all available variants for the texture set are selected -- simply uncheck any that you wish to avoid updating when applying the modification. In most cases you will leave all items selected.
Fourth, you will choose the source file itself that you wish to modify. This appears in the tree in the bottom left of the application window. By default, TexBlend will pull source textures from the ones currently installed with your game. The checkbox in the lowest left of the window labled "Use Currently Installed Textures" allows you to change this behavior.
NOTE: only textures in the Skyrim/Data folder are available; TexBlend does not extract images from the skyrim .BSA files. If you wish to modify vanilla textures, please extract them first.If you uncheck the use currently installed textures option, the tree view of available source textures becomes usable. This list is filtered by the texture set and channel to only show appropriate choices, and the files themselves are the ones located in the TexBlendSource subdirectories. You can double click a file in this list to show a preview of the image.
Finally, you will choose what modification to apply over the source texture. To do this, select an available file from the tree view in the center column of the application. This list is filtered to only show options that are appropriate for the current texture set and channel, and the files themselves are located in the TexBlendLibrary subdirectories. You can double click a file in this list to show a preview of the image.
Once your selections are complete, you can click the preview button (lower right of the window) to get a view of the source,modification,and destination image. Double click on the preview boxes to get a larger view.
When satisfied with your choices, click the Blend Texture button to generate the modfied textures and save them to disk. Normally the source, destination, and final images are saved in memory after you click preview or blend. A second press of the blend button will simply re-save the same image to the disk. If you wish, you can Control+Click on the blend texture button to force TexBlend to reload the source and modification files and regenerate the final image. This can allow you to re-apply the same modification more than once (as long as 'use currently installed textures is ON). In the case of partially tranpsarent modifications, this will cause successively darker applications of the same image.
If you have multiple variants selected in the variant list, the blend operation will attempt to modify all of those files with the modification image. If the 'use currently installed textures' option is ON, each variant source will be loaded and modifed individually. If the 'use currently installed textures' option is OFF, the single source file and single modification file you have selected will be saved to ALL selected variants. To avoid this, deselect all but one variant.
The following are step-by-step examples of using TexBlend with the included textures.
1. Install TexBlend and run TexBlend.exe to open the program.
2. In the top leftmost selection box labled "Set", choose 'Body and Feet' (note: bodies and feet are on the same texture file in Skyrim)
3. In the selection box labeled "Type" choose "Color". The variant list box (where it says "3. Choose what to change") will activate and have "Female" as a checked item. Also the Library tree will activate (middle column, labeled "Choose Texture Mod to Apply"), and will contain a number of files.
4. Verify 'Use Currently Installed Textures' is checked in the bottom left. This will cause TexBlend to apply the modification directly to the texture already in your
5. In the list labled "Choose Texture Mod To Apply", find the section labeled 'Tatoos'. You can double click any file in the list to load a preview into the modification preview to the right, although in this case the tatoos are small enough that it's difficult to see what they look like. Select 'tsHeartAngle.psd' by clicking on it.
6. Click the Preview button to see the currently installed texture (top preview window) and the final result (bottom window). If any of the images do not appear, make sure you've got everything selected appropriately.
7. Click 'Blend Images' to save the final result to your skyrim data folder.
Fixing CBBE Neck Seams
This is a more complicated example that will lead you through the process of fixing a neck seam between a CBBE body and another author's head textures.
1. Install a CBBE body. Curvy, Slim, Vanilla or BodySlide-defined; any will do.
2. Install a head texture mod. There are many available on Nexus to choose from.
3. Open TexBlend
4. Choose 'Head' from the Set selection.
5. Choose 'Color' from the Type selection.
6. In the 'What to change' box, make sure the only option is checked.
7. By default, the Source Texture window displays the message 'No Files found for This Set and Type'. I'm not able to disribute head textures from other authors, so leave 'Use Currently installed textures' checked.
8. In the central box, you'll see a list of options. Click on 'CBBEv3_HeadNeckBlendColor.psd' to choose it.
9. Click Preview to see the currently installed head texture, the blend image, and the final result. Ensure they're all present.
10. Click Blend Images to modify the head texture and install the result.
1. Leave 'Head' selected in the 'Set' selection, and change the Type to 'Normal'
2. The list in the 'What to change' box is now longer, showing all the available Skyrim races. Ensure the boxes are all checked.
3. Ensure 'Use Currently installed textures' is selected. If you were to turn this off and select a source texture locally, you would end up overwriting every head normal with the same file, which is certainly not what we want here.
4. Choose "CBBEv3_HeadNeckBlend.psd" from the Texture Mod To Apply list.
5. Click preview to verify the images are all accounted for. With multiple variants selected, the source preview shows only the first selected item.
6. Click Blend Images. This process might take a few seconds as it is editing all the normal maps.
1. Still with Head selected in the Set selection, choose 'Specular' from the Type.
2. Verify only one item appears in the variants list,and that it is selected. (all humanoid races share the specular file)
3. Make sure 'Use Currently installed textures' is still selected.
4. select 'CalienteHeadSpecBlend.psd' from the library of available mods.
5. Click Preview -- Specular is hard to see, the preview windows will appear to be mostly black without very close inspection.
6. Click 'Blend Images' to apply the specular overlay and install the updated texture.
Fixing Neck Seams with Other Body Mods
1. Follow the instructions for the CBBE neck seams, but replacing the CBBE body with the one of your choice.
2. For the Set, select 'Body and Feet', and for the Type, select 'Color'.
3. In the middle column should be a number of options. Click on 'CBBEv3_bodyneckblend.psd'.
4. Preview the images, then if everything looks fine, click on Blend images.
5. Change the Type to 'Normal', and click on 'CBBEv3_BodyNormalBlend.psd'. Preview and Blend.
6. Change the Type to 'Specular', click on 'CalienteBodyToNeckBlendSpec.psd. Preview and Blend.
- Double click a file in the source list or library view to load it into a preview window, then double click the preview window to see a larger view.
- To overwrite just one thing (such as a single race's head normal), deselect all other options in the list. At least one must be selected for anything to work, however.
- Copy your favorite textures from either a mod directory or the Skyrim data directory to TexBlend's Source folder to keep an inventory of textures that you can easily swap in and out. See the section on Folder Structure in the Readme for details on what should go where.
- You can apply multiple mods to a single texture by selecting different mods one by one and Control+Clicking Blend Images button to add them together. Warning, doing this with a compressed DDS file output might reduce the final quality. (since the compression tends to loose a little each time its saved). Note, if you don't Ctl+Click on the Blend button, and you don't change the source (or toggle use currently installed textures), you'll simply replace the modified texture.
- Similar to above, if you have a translucent mod image (like body hair or a tatoo) you can Ctrl+Click blend repeatedly with the same texture mod selected, and successively darken the result.
TexBlend comes with a few textures for demonstration purposes (And also to facilitate the neck seam fix process), but it is very easy to install your own source textures and modifications, and even allow TexBlend to support more texture sets such as armor or environments. Please see the Readme for full instructions about how to add new files.
TexBlend is a C++ application written to utilize the standard Win32 API. The full source code is included in the package, under the MIT license (License is printed at the top of each source file). The code itself is regrettably uncommented for the most part, but is included partly to allow others to expand/adopt the code if they like, and to allow them to see exactly what I'm doing in there. The license allows you to do pretty much whatever you like with it :) I did not include any makefiles or project files, but it should be simple enough to add all the source files to a basic project and compile if desired. I'm happy to answer questions and/or accept critique and suggestions with respect to the code and application, but please note I won't have time to give anyone a programming course :)
TexBlend makes use of two third party Libraries.
A small chunk of code written by Lee Thomason that performs non-validating parsing of an XML document. This code is included right along side the rest of the TexBlend source files (they all start with tiny*), and is released under the MIT license as well. I have made no changes to this library, and recommend it to anyone interested in a fast and easy to use XML library.
A nicely featured image library called Developer's Image Library and written by Denton Woods. The library is offered under the Lesser GPL license (full license text available in the src/DevILChanges/DevIL-LICENSE(LGPL) file). The library itself did not quite meet the needs of TexBlend, particularly in the handling of transparency from PSD files, so I've modified some of the library code to correct these issues. I did not include the whole library with my distribution, but instead included the files that I changed. To see what I changed, read TexBlendsrcDevILChangesAboutThisFolder.txt, or look at the source files located within that folder. To obtain the library itself, please visit http://openil.sourceforge.net/. My changes are based on version 1.7.8, and should you need to rebuild the .Dlls, replacing the official library files with my changed ones should suffice. My compilation of DevIL also included libSquish (For compression), libJpeg, libpng, and zlib. Any other external libraries supported by DevIL were disabled in the configuration and not used.
- Added files for Caliente's Body V3
- Added an autoheadfix function (enabled through config)
- Corrected an issue that caused TexBlend to be unable to find files in the Library and source directories.
- Initial release.