I want preview some game assets via Cycles for the game Space Engineers. The game uses packed .dds textures where the color and alpha channels store unrelated information: diffuse color + metallness, normal map + glossiness (roughness, inverted).
I think my problem is this documented behavior of image-texture nodes:
Color output: RGB color from image. If the image has alpha, the color is premultiplied with alpha if the Alpha output is used, and unpremultiplied or straight if the Alpha output is not used.
The result is that my shader nodes produce some strange artifacts when I use both image-texture outputs:
If I extract the alpha-channel of the textures into separate files and plug those in, the problem goes away. But I don't like doing that because it introduces an otherwise unnecessary conversion step to my workflow.
Here is what I already tried:
- Making sure
Alphais set to
Straightfor each image. I think that only affects how Blender treats the data it reads from file, though.
- Load the .dds into two separate image-datablocks. The first image has
Use Alphadisabled and provides the RGB channels. The second one has
Use Alphaenabled and provides the Alpha channel. This resulted in largely the same problem because it seems Blender optimizes internally and loads the same file only really once. I think that because toggling
Use Alphaseems to affect the image-data of both images (without reflecting that in the UI).
- Use a MixRGB node: Add the color
(0,0,0,1)to the color output and clamp the result. This shouldn't change the color (because adding black does nothing) and remove any transparency (because
1 + anythingis 1 when clamped). Sadly, that didn't do anything.
Am I out of luck and using the alpha output simply cannot be done without affecting the color output?