Creating Art and mods

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Overview

This wiki page has been created to give you detailed information on how to create art for PlaneShift, this goes through the assets needed, the tools and the techniques. Please remember this is a collaborative effort, so EDIT this page if you think you have good information to share!!

This page is only about creating contents for the game; if you want to add contents to your own server based on the PlaneShift engine see Adding assets to a server.

Assets Needed

Here is a list of assets you may decide to create and contribute to PlaneShift:

  • Screenshots used as advertising or press material
  • Sketches and concept art
  • Fan made videos
  • Icons
  • Textures for existing models
  • New 3d items (geometry, UVs, textures) used as props
  • Full areas (for example a new cave level)
  • Monster or character model (geometry, UV, textures)
  • Monsters or character rigging (skeleton/bones setup)
  • Monsters or characters animation
  • Skins for the game User Interface
  • Rendered scenes used as advertizing or press material (example youtube channel)

For each of the items above there are different tools and techniques to use, which we are documented here below.

Screenshots

Taking screenshots of the game seems a simple task, but it's actually very useful. We use screenshots in our "pic of the day", in articles, contact with press and on our web sites. If you want to provide nice screenshots, please do so! You can post your screenshots here.

Important Notes:

  • To take screenshots disable text labels (from the game option menu)
  • be sure to use high resolution settings and shader quality in pslaunch options.
  • Screenshots from 1024x768 or more are good.
  • To save a screenshot you can use the in game command : /screenshot (the image is saved in the %appdata% dir)
  • To save a screenshot without the UI use: /screenshot nogui
  • If you want to save to high quality no compression PNG use: /screenshot lossless


Sketches and concept art

We definitely need to enrich our world with more buildings, tools, cloths, items, etc... all of them need to be race based. The idea is that each race has a special/unique style and looking at a building you should be able to tell which race created it.

Important Notes:

  • Be sure to play the game first and get a feeling of the current art
  • Be sure to read the Races page on main site. There are sketches of their architecture already
  • Items, tools, faces, clothes, special characters, weapons, etc.. all are good and useful to us

Fan made videos

We may use fan made videos to spread the word about the game, and what it looks like in game. You should record the videos using an external program, and then edit the video as you wish. There are already a number of fan made videos on youtube, and having more is surely a benefit for advertizing PS. Also if you think your video is great, you can submit it to us to be posted in the Official PlaneShift YouTube channel.


Icons

Quite often we add new items in game and we do not have the time or resources to add new icons to be displayed in the inventory window. In general we tend to reuse existing/similar icons, mainly for quest items. In certain cases a new icon is anyway nice to have because there is no other similar already in game. If you want to create any of those, you can test your icons by opening art/materias.zip in your planeshift folder and checking the files name "*_icon.dds". Please do a backup of that file in case you are modifying it or the updater will find it broken/different and will redownload it all. For information about DDS and DXT compression, see this article.

Textures for existing models

PlaneShift always under development, so any improvement to existing textures is very welcome. The easiest way to redo/improve a texture is to go to your PlaneShift folder, navigate into the "art" directory and open the zip called materials.zip. This file contains all textures of the game. PlaneShift uses DDS format in the released binaries. DDS format is pretty popular amongst game developers, and you can find tools to view them on the web, example here. It's important to note that DDS is a lossy format, so you always work with PNG as source.

You can read this article for making textures.

New 3d items

To create new 3D items for PlaneShift it's important you need this tool:

Tools.png Viewmesh : for Windows (Nov 2013) for Linux (?) for MacOSX (?)

Here is a guide on How to use Viewmesh

You can use any 3d program you wish to create items, as long as the program can export to OBJ format.

See our tools pipeline document for details.

Full areas

Making a new full area is not an easy task! So we suggest you to start with simpler items first and also to contact us directly discussing which areas you want to create.

In any case to create an area, review our tools pipeline document.

Also you will need walktest to be able to view the exported level. The level CANNOT be seen directly in PlaneShift client as it requires to be packaged together with all other levels. That's not something you can do by yourself.

Tools.png Walktest : for Windows (Apr 2011) for Linux (?) for MacOSX (Feb 2012)

Monster or character model

See our tools pipeline document for details.


Skins for the game User Interface

One good resource for UI changes and skins is GreatShift


Rendered scenes

Mainly for press, articles and advertizing we need trailers, rendered scenes and videos. Those can be made of existing models or new models. If you are interested in creating such kind of rendered scenes, it's bests if you first contact us, as you will probably need access to the existing models.