NMS:Reference Guides/TEXTURES/Texture Formats

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Game Structure // Texture Formats

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Texture Formats

No Man's Sky mainly uses DDS format to encode its textures but can also accepts some other formats such as PNG, JPEG, and PSD as per Horde3D specification (to be confirmed). As such, it is highly recommended to use the Intel Texture Works plugin for Photoshop, GIMP, Paint.net or any image editor of your choice with DDS file handling capabilities. You can find the related Tutorial about editing .DDS textures here.

Textures are called by Material description files.

Accepted Texture Maps

Diffuse Map

This texture stores main object colors.

  • RGB channels - color information for your albedo map.
  • Alpha channel - this channel is mostly used for transparency but could also be used for metalness or emissive areas. As such, you can't have a texture that is transparent and emissive for example.

Mask Map

The mask map contains other color information used by NMS.

  • Red channel - ambient occlusion bakes are attached here. As of Atlas Rises, most new textures no longer use an AO map and seem to just have this channel colored pure white (basically no AO).
  • Green channel - a gloss map is used here. Despite the material settings specifying this should be a roughness map, the way they look in the textures implies it's really a gloss map, basically an inverted roughness map.
  • Blue channel - has something to do with detail textures but is largely unused for most models.
    This channel appears to be for determining where custom colors are applied for base building items :
    • White - receives primary color
    • Grey - receives secondary color (#7b7b7b has been used successfully)
    • Black - retains original texture color
  • Alpha channel - (most likely unused, but unknown at this time)

Normal Map

This texture stores the surface reflection angle for each texel.

Warning-Logo.png      Warning:Be aware that fro NMS normal maps, Red and Green channels are flipped compared to standard normal maps.

Atlas Terrain Texture Formats

The Atlas terrain texture files are located in TEXTURES/ATLASES/TERRAIN.

These textures are slightly different to the standard textures as they are volume textures and each file 1 main image and 10 mip-maps.


Each Terrain is defined by 3 textures, each in a specific .DDS format:

Diffuse
Compression DXT1, 4bpp colors and 1-bit alpha
HSV
Compression DXT1, 4bpp colors and 1-bit alpha
These files appear to be HSV versions of the RGB diffuse map, however, this isn't confirmed.
Normal
Compression DXT5, 8bpp colors and interpolated alpha
  • Red channel - most likely a heightmap for texture blending (to be confirmed)
  • Green channel - normal map for X
  • Blue channel - appears to be an inverted specularity map (to be confirmed)
  • Alpha channel - normal map for Y