Post tutorial RSS How to add advanced materials to your models

A tutorial on how to implement playercolor, transparency, bumpmaps, speculars and fake water textures to your new models for AoE3.

Posted by on - Intermediate Props Modelling

How to add advanced materials to your models

such as playercolor, bumpmaps, transparency, fake water

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Hello everyone! Today I’m gonna teach you on how to achieve things such as playercolor, bumpmaps and transparency textures to your new imported models for AoE3. The goal of this tutorial is to be simple and yet effective enough to make everyone able to get new advanced texture materials on their new models! So let us start?

To get this out from the way, I’m one of the worst teachers ever! And after sometime of wondering how would I come up with a good tutorial, I discovered that the best way was to keep it simple, no need to overcomplicate things, so here is a small but (what I think it is) a good tutorial on how to add new advanced materials to your models, such as playercolor, bumpmaps and transparency.

What tools do we need?
- A working version of 3ds Max 8 (IMPORTANT: not 3ds Max 2008, 3ds Max 8!)
- A working version of Age of Empires 3 (obviously)
- Knowledge on how to edit anim files (sugestion: see Mr SCP's videos on understanding anim files)
- Knowledge on how to import models to AoE3 (sugestion: see Mr SCP's videos on how to import models)
- And finally, (and perhaps most importantly) the following scripts!

Step One) Put the scripts on the 3dsMax8\Scripts\Startup folder

Once you done this, you are able to change the MATERIAL types in the material editor, from ‘standard’ to one of the following:

ESEffect_alphablend – Allows to set a diffuse texture with transparency, in the diffuse texture slot.
ESEffect_bumpspec – Allows to set a bump map + specular to a texture with a default diffuse texture.
ESEffect_bumpspec_mask_alphatest – Allows to set a bump map + specular in the bump texture and a diffuse texture with transparency in the diffuse texture.
ESEffect_bumpspec_mask_pixelxform – Allows to set a bumpmap + specular in the bump texture and a diffuse texture with playercolor in the diffuse texture.
ESEffect_water_nocolor – Creates the fake water models, such as the ones used on the homecities

Step Two) Simply add your desired material to your mesh. Assign the diffuse and bump textures, remember, things such as transparency and playercolor are defined in the alpha channel of the diffuse texture and specular map is defined in the alpha channel of the bump texture.

NOTE: As stated, the specular maps act as the default bumpmap texture’s alpha channel, but they are really sensitive on these scripts, you’ll have to make the alpha channel real dark in order not to have your models glowing like the sun

Step Three) At exporting, on the Granny Export Settings, click on ‘include tangent vectors’ (under the mesh sub)

Step Four) Admire your work ;)

If you have questions regarding the issue, just ask and I'll answer as soon as possible! Do you find something not clear? Help me improving this brief tutorial so everyone can understand it!

Full credits go the Alexastor, who gave me the scripts and taught me how to use them (and for not being mad at me for taking too long at writing a tutorial *heyhey*)

Special thanks to Mr SCP too for being the one who teached me how to import to AoE3 in the first place!

This tutorial will have duplicates at AoE3Heavengames and, links soon!

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