DDS texture tools

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Name

Adobe Photoshop CC

Cost

Monthly subscription or free trial

Download

Adobe

Description

The essential software for perfecting your images, Adobe Photoshop now offers productivity and workflow enhancements, powerful new editing tools, and breakthrough compositing capabilities.

Advantages
  • Advanced toolset including: Powerful layer compositing/blending features, selection masks (+ 'Quick Mask' mode), customizable brush sets, automation for batch image editing, many filters + support for third-party filters.
  • Native support for many different file formats.
  • Popular and widely used, meaning many tutorials are available online.
Disadvantages
  • Cost prohibitive for a casual modder.
  • No native support for DDS, Intel or NVIDIA plugin is required.


Name

Intel® Texture Works Plugin for Photoshop

Cost

Free (Open Source)

Download

Intel GitHub

Description

A plugin for loading and saving DDS texture files with Adobe Photoshop. Supports the new block compression (BCn) formats.

Advantages
  • Supports the new BCn (DX10/11) formats as well as loading the previous DXT compression.
Disadvantages
  • Doesn't let you save DXT-compressed files for older games.


Name

NVIDIA Texture Tools for Photoshop

Cost

Free

Download

NVIDIA

Description

This installer contains two plugins and several helpful scripts for Adobe Photoshop:

  • NVIDIA Normal Map Filter
  • NVIDIA DDS Plugin
  • NVIDIA Mipster
  • NVIDIA Cube Map Shuffler
Disadvantages
  • Does NOT support the new BCn (DX10/11) formats at the time of writing this.


Name

Compressonator

Cost

Free (Open Source)

Download

GPUOpen

Description

A tool for compressing textures and creating mip-map levels.

Advantages
  • Supports new compression types, such as BCn.


Name

GIMP

Cost

Free (Open Source)

Download

GIMP

Description

GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.


Name

GIMP DDS Plugin

Cost

Free (Open Source)

Download

Google Code (Archive)

Description

A plugin for GIMP that allows you to load and save images in DirectDraw Surface (DDS) format.

Disadvantages
  • Not actively worked on with a few bugs.


Name

GIMP Normal Map Plugin

Cost

Free

Download

Google Code (Archive)

Description

This is a plugin for GIMP version 2.0 and above. It allows you to convert images into RGB normal maps for use in per-pixel lighting applications. The goal is to completely clone NVIDIA's photoshop plugin, with a few new useful features.


Name

AMD GPU MeshMapper

Cost

Free

Download
Description

GPU MeshMapper generates normal, displacement and ambient occlusion maps for a low-resolution mesh based on the details from a high-resolution mesh.

Advantages
  • Requires no other tools to generate normal maps
  • Real-time display of models and maps which can help point out issues with your low-poly model
Disadvantages
  • Only useful if you have low-poly and high-poly versions of a mesh.


Name

Corel PaintShop Pro

Cost

Free trial or license

Download

Corel

Description

Filled with one-of-a-kind photo tools sure to please even the most discerning photographer, Corel PaintShop Pro is the ideal choice for people who want extraordinary photos. With a built-in Learning Center to help first time users get started, it's the easiest way to get professional-looking photos - fast!


Name

CrazyBump

Cost

$49 USD for Students, $99 USD for Personal, $299 USD for Professional License

Download

CrazyBump

Description

A standalone application for creating normal maps from height maps or images, with a surprising amount of options, and a very precise texture baking process.

Advantages
  • CrazyBump is fantastic for recalculating normal maps. You can dramatically smooth out DXTC compression artifacts and tweak your normal maps with the "Find Low Frequency Image Detail" function. It of course doesn't prevent compression artifacts from being re-introduced later, but at least you can get a clean working copy of an existing normal map to work with if you don't have access to the original uncompressed images.
  • Capable of analyzing an image for 3D shapes based on highlights and shadows in the image and incorporating them into the normal map (effect is only useful in certain cases, can be controlled by a slider).
  • Ability to blend multiple normal maps together properly. Good for merging changes together such as an existing fabric with another using a canvas effect.
  • Capable of also baking specular maps, parallax displacement maps, and can bake out highlights and shadows on diffuse maps.
Disadvantages
  • Costs money, making it somewhat prohibitive for the casual modder.


Name

SSbump Generator

Cost

Free (Open Source)

Download

SourceForge

Description

Another standalone application for creating normal maps from height maps or images, relatively simple to use and quite powerful in the right hands.

Advantages
  • SSbump is unique because it provides a layer based system for blending several normal maps together. Want a normal map for cracked bricks? Just add a layer containing your brick height or normal map, and add another layer containing your crack height or normal map above the first. Then blend them together using the "Additive Blend" mode, and you have a normal map for cracked bricks.
  • Also provides several methods for generating the normal maps that will be contained in your layers. Normal maps can be obtained from height maps, RGB images (automatically grayscaled), preexisting normal maps, images lit from four directions, and from other normal maps in your current project.


Name

Filter Forge

Cost

30-day trial and different license levels

Download

Filter Forge

Description

Filter Forge creates high-quality procedural textures from a given set of instructions with 3D application in mind. It can also generate different effect maps to go along with a texture.

Advantages
  • Quick and easy generation of many texture types, from organic to technical, as well as seamless generation.
  • Access to large user library for preset textures.


Name

Genetica

Cost

30-day trial and different license levels

Download

Spiral Graphics

Description

Genetica is Spiral Graphics' latest seamless texture editor.


Name

Gimpshop

Cost

Free (Open Source)

Download

Gimpshop

Description

Gimpshop is a modification of the free/open source GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), intended to replicate the feel of Adobe Photoshop. Its primary purpose is to make users of Photoshop feel comfortable using GIMP.

Advantages
  • Interface helps those used to Photoshop transition into GIMP for all the features it has.


Name

IrfanView

Cost

Free

Download

IrfanView

Description

A small, speedy and powerful image viewer. Capable of reading a large amount of image formats, it also has a plugin for reading .dds images.

Advantages
  • Fast and easy access to texture libraries for quick previewing, IrvanView also has thumbnail and slideshow modes. It can also perform a number of alterations to an image, and can load certain photoshop filters.
Disadvantages
  • Users not wishing to use this as their default image viewer may need to alter their file extensions again if they incorrectly set them when installing IrfanView.


Name

Mudbox

Cost

30-day trial or subscription

Download

Autodesk

Description

Mudbox is the first advanced, high resolution brush-based 3D sculpting software that is built from the ground up to address the needs of the professional digital sculptor.

  • Use 3D Layers to sculpt nondestructively, store different detail passes, explore different design directions, build libraries of facial morph targets, collaborate with other artists, and do much more.
  • Use Mudbox's "Tangent Space" mirroring to mirror your brush strokes on asymmetrical and posed models.
  • Add detail where you need it, when you need it, with Local Subdivision.
  • Extract displacement and normal maps between arbitrary meshes -- use meshes with different topologies, UVs, vertex IDs! Output high quality 8, 16, and 32 bit maps.
  • Save production time and work more efficiently with Mudbox's organized user interface and 'get it done' focus.


Name

NifSkope

Cost

Free (Open Source)

Download

NifTools

Description

A graphical program that allows you to open NIF files, view their contents, edit them, and write them back out again. You can use it to change texture paths, preview your textures or export UV templates for use in other programs.

Advantages
  • An essential tool when modding games that use the NIF format.
  • Useful for viewing textures on the models and view refreshes automatically when DDS file is updated.
  • Can create texture templates based on the model's UV map.
  • Useful for editing texture paths on the models.
  • Has a built-in UV map editor.


Name

NVIDIA Legacy Texture Tools

Cost

Free

Download

NVIDIA

Description

Legacy tools by NVIDIA for working with DDS files.

  • DDS Utilities
    • nvDXT - convenient command-line access to nvDXTlib functionality and more
    • detach - extracts MIP levels from a .DDS file
    • stitch - recombines MIP levels into a single .DDS file
    • readDXT - reads compressed images and writes .TGA files
    • nvDXTlib - library for working with .DDS files
  • DDS Thumbnail Viewer
    • Allows you to view .dds files in Thumbnail view in the Windows Explorer. Windows 8 or higher has this functionality built in already.
  • 3ds Max DDS Plug-ins
  • Texture Atlas Tools
  • Windows Texture Viewer
Disadvantages
  • Very old legacy tools and functionality.


Name

NVIDIA Melody

Cost

Free

Download

NVIDIA

Description

NVIDIA Melody creates high quality normal maps that make a low-poly model look like a high-poly model. Simply load your low-poly working model, then load your high-poly reference model, click the "Generate Normal Map" button and watch Melody go to town. The normal map generator can also create texture coordinates from your high-poly reference model using a projection technique.

Advantages
  • Create quality normal maps for low-poly models by using high-poly models.
Disadvantages
  • Crashes frequently.
  • Old software which isn't updated any longer.


Name

paint.NET

Cost

Free

Download

paint.NET

Description

paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials, and plugins.

Advantages
  • Direct support to open and save DDS files.
  • Easy to use.
Disadvantages
  • There is no support for BCn compressed DDS files at the time of writing this.


Name

ShaderMap CL

Cost

Free

Download

ShaderMap

Description

ShaderMap CL is a command line tool that automates conversions using batch scripts. Process and reprocess large sets of assets. ShaderMap CL is a fully functional version of ShaderMap. It is free for non-commercial use. Download ShaderMap CL today and see how easy it is to create quality rendering maps.

Disadvantages
  • Command-line interface less friendly than a GUI.


Name

Texture Maker

Cost

License

Download

Texture Maker

Description

Generates procedural textures, and extract portions of an existing image to generate from. Texture Maker 3 can also animate the procedurals, and features a particle system for more animated flipbook-styled effects.


Name

UVMapper

Cost

Free

Download

UVMapper.com

Description

A stand-alone texture mapping utility for the creation and modification of UV coordinates for n-sided polygonal 3D models.


Name

xNormal

Cost

Free

Download

xNormal

Description

For generating normal maps from high-poly meshes. It can also generate other map types, as well as use heightmaps as input.


Name

XnView

Cost

Free

Download

XnView

Description

XnView is an efficient multimedia viewer, browser and converter (XnConvert).

Advantages
  • Can quickly view an entire folder of DDS files at once.
Disadvantages
  • Shows only the highest mipmap view.


Name

ZBrush

Cost

45-day trial or license

Download

Pixologic

Description

ZBrush gives you access to unparalleled power and control previously unknown in digital art creation software. Controls enable sculptors to create with a stylus and a tablet as intuitively as if they were using their hands on a block of clay. ZBrush further extends the creation experience, harnessing technology and providing artists with a multitude of creation-enhancing tools.

See Also