what's a Texture anyway?
Textures are what make
exciting graphic here>
A 3D model
without texturing is generally boring to look at,
since it is all one color. Under some lighting
conditions you might not even be able to make out
its cool 3D shape.
Think of the
model as a plastic model kit you have just glued
together. It has shape (called geometry
in this context), but it is all one color.
model is like painting that plastic model. You
generally add detail which is missing from the
geometry. For example, a section of the model
might really be completely flat, but if you paint
some interesting lines on it, it suddenly looks
like there are some pipes running along the side
then, what's a Material?
Well, I don't pretend to
be a 3D guru, and I used to use the two terms
inter-changeably, but nowadays I think the
distinction is that a texture is just the
'painting' you put on the model. A material can
have other aspects, like how it reflects light.
So a 'rubbery' material looks different from a
'wooden', 'metallic', or 'wet' material.
are shiny, some dull. Some are semi-transparent.
So a material is
a description of how you want the surface to
react to light. That includes a texture image,
but also a bunch of funky numbers.
When you use
MilkShape to design your model, you will create
one or more materials to be used in various
places on your model (cockpit might use a
different material than the engine pod, for
let you specify, for each material, texture
images *and* the funky material control values.
then I do it all with Milkshape, right?
The tricky part
comes from two aspects of rocket club. One is the
fact that texture files must be named a certain
way and put in very particular folders.
The other issue
is that you may want to re-use the same model in
several different plans. (Think RED ship versus
BLUE ship). You want the same geometry, but
different materials. Perhaps you want to put your
Club's logo on the wings.
that you set up when using MilkShape are the
'baked in' materials. These will be used if the
PLAN file doesn't call out something else.
important thing for you to remember about this
is: when designing your milkshape
models, be sure to give every material a name.
That's easy to
do, and makes life easier later. If you only use
one material in your model, call it 'base' just to make life even
If you forget,
you can re-open your model in milkshape, rename
the material(s) and then re-export it as a
MilkShape 3D ASCII file.
do I set up a material in MilkShape anyway?
You will have to check
out the MilkShape tutorials to learn how to use
MilkShape. But when you get to the part where you
need to find the name of a file to use for the
texture picture (the DiffuseTexture, in
particular), use the BROWSE button and rummage
around in your rocketClub\Assets folder until you
find the texture you need.
If you like, you
can make a separate folder in some convenient
place on your disk, and drag all your favorite
texture files there, to make them easier to find
while inside of MilkShape.
all Rocket Club asset files should start with the
creators Serial Number as the first 8 characters,
followed by a decimal point. As in 12345678.myShipTexture.jpg.
This allows you
to work with copies of the file in any location,
but the game will always look for them in a very
particular location: rocketClub\Assets\12345678\Textures
If you create
new textures, be sure to drag a copy of them to
your own Rocket Club asset folder so that they
will automatically get shared with the other
This is probably
confusing, but you'll get the hang of it soon
enough, I'm sure. And if you use any funny
characters in your asset names, remember, it's
going to be a BIG LAUGH when no one can see them.
Keep it to a-z, 0-9, and decimal points. And the
decimal points must be just for the official
purposes, not for: 'look at me mom, I made a
file with a goofy name!'
I do that, won't Rocket Club look in the wrong
place for the Texture?
This is a real
possibility, so you need to carefully follow the
1.) When making
a new texture file, give it a name which starts
with "12345678." where the number is your
Serial Number (in hexadecimal if you have a
create new textures using someone else's serial
don't forget the decimal point after the
2.) You can keep
the master copy of your textures in some safe
place, and when using MilkShape you can browse to
that place if you like. I use one folder that has
all my milkshape .ms3d files, the textures I use,
and the exported models. It's very convenient.
It's what I back up.
3.) When a
texture is ready to be shared, drag a copy of it
to your own assets\texture folder (that's rocketClub\Assets\12345678\textures) Other people and star
servers will then automatically fetch it from you
when they need it.
still confused.. how does it actually work?
OK, Here are the details:
When you are
done making your model in MilkShape, and have
exported it as a MilkShape 3D ASCII file (and
stuck it in your own rocket club assets\models
folder), if you were to look inside of it, after
waking back up, you would see that each material
- a name
DiffuseTexture filename (like
You might see
something else for the .\ (which means the
texture is in the same folder as the model).
rocket club, the texture is NEVER in the same
folder as the model. (Get it out of there!) You
can keep them in the same folder for your 'master
copies' when using MilkShape, but at runtime, in
Rocket Club, they come from two different
RocketClub loads your model file, it translates
the DiffuseTexture name so as to get the full
path to the actual texture file to be used.
The first thing
it does is throw away everything up to that
Then it looks at
"12345678.myTexture.bmp" and says..
well.. I know this is a texture, so I will just
look in serial number 12345678's texture assets.
So the actual
file name used becomes: rocketClub\Assets\12345678\textures\12345678.myTexture.bmp
Cool, huh? this
is why it is criticial that you always start your
texture name with your 8 digit hexadecimal serial
number and a period. Have I said that enough
Let's pretend I understood that... how do I
override the baked-in materials?
It's done with
your PLAN file. Remember, a PLAN file is the
description of an object which can be dropped
into the universe. It has tons of stuff in it,
potentially. And not all plan files have all
possible settings in them. But all plan files DO
describe a 3D object, so they MUST include a
'model' setting (defines the geometry) and can
OPTIONALLY include material overrides for named
materials in the model. (un-named materials can
NOT be overriden)
going into too many details about plan files, the
bits of importance here are like this:
Inside a PLAN
model = model:00000001.saucerShip1.txt
section called out the model (geometry) which is
described elsewhere. It's a .txt file created by
the MilkShape "export as Milkshape 3D
MATERIAL-NAME sections (one per named material)
contain overrides for individual materials. You
must know the name of the material you want to
You might have a
second PLAN file:
model = model:00000001.saucerShip1.txt
Note that the
only difference is the name of the diffuse
texture. This would be a ship with the same
geometry (shape), but a different painting on its
note that in PLAN files we always add the funky
url prefix so that the PLAN file knows for sure
what sort of asset we are talking about. It is
easy to forget these (you don't need them when
working inside of MilkShape, just here in the
model = model:00000001.saucerShip1.txt
DiffuseTexture = texture:00000001.GoldenWithPipes.bmp
And that's all
there is to say about that for now. In the
future, I will let you override other aspects of
the materials, like their transparency.
it a Bad Idea to use Multiple Materials With a
Well, only in the sense that
switching materials in mid-render is one of the
most expensive operations you can ask your 3D
card to do, so you will get better overall
performance if you can use fewer texture files.
If you look at
my 'scooter' object you will see an example of
multiple sections of the vehicle (wheels, top,
bottom, sides, back) sharing a single texture
image. So I have only a single material
"Base" using a single texture file
(scooter1.jpg) that has different parts of the
car drawn in different sections. In Milkshape I
then used the Texture Coordinate Editor to
arrange which bits of the texture file were
painted on which bits of the model.
The texture file
looks like this. Note: the texture file does NOT
need to mirror the physical size relationships at
all. IN general you probably want to use 'more'
of the texture file for sections of the object
where the extra resolution will be appreciated by
the user. My tire texture, for example, is
probably using much more of the texture sheet
than it needs/deserves.
But I never
claimed to be an artist.