How do the materials and surfaces work?
Guessing - the "FactionNameTexture_A_Data.dds" is like a material properties ID or some such, but not sure, but I think is like a specular amount control not unlike a specular map in SoaSE.
- the "FactionNameTexture_A_Diffuse.dds" is what is says, diffuse.
- the "FactionNameTexture_A_Lean1.dds" is like and inverted normal map with the red channel copied and inverted to the alpha. Guessing it works something like normal map.
- the "FactionNameTexture_A_Lean2.dds" seams like again normal map data but with the flat surfaces removed. Perhaps is like a coloured curvature map but really don't know.
- the "FactionNameTexture_A_Light.dds" seams to be an emissivity map for the ship windows and lights.
- the "FactionNameTexture_A_Normal.dds" is what it says, a normal map.
There's probably no reason to make variations of these for custom faction ship styles other than the diffuse and light map though I guess.
Then there is Surfaces, which maybe there could be variations made for custom faction ship styles.
Again Guessing - the "OverlayTexture_##.dds" seams to be a diffuse with red and blue channels filled white. Not sure how the alpha is derived. I'm guessing this provides some shading overlay, similar to what the lean1 map does for the materials does.
- the "OverlayTexture_##_Lean.dds" seams to be similar but different to the Lean2 map of materials. Looks like a normal map with the blue channel removed or made black. No alpha. Again, I guess this provides some shading overlay.
- the "OverlayTexture_##_Normal.dds" is what it says, a normal map.
I have tried making a custom surface, but it made the ships appear completely black. Maybe it is how I've tried to replicate the texture maps, but also and I think more likely, its how I referenced the maps with the xml. and they are showing black because the texture maps are not being read at all.
How I have this set up is a Copy of the "GC3SurfaceDefs.xml" renamed it and put it into my mods Core folder. Deleted all entries except 1 and renamed it and put reference to my textures for it that I had put in the Gfx/Models/Ships/Textures folder of my mod. Then made the relevant edit to the FactionDefs.xml surfaces line. The surface shows up in game and you can select it in the in - game custom faction editor but it is showing completely black. So I'm guessing that I'm missing something in the xml. but I guess it could be the textures.
Anyway maybe someone could explain a bit more of what's required.
Edit: so I have got rid of the black, oops my bad but the surface still doesn't show on the ships and just stays as the last selected surface eg. surface 19 or surface 1.