Often times while working on your shiny new object, you feel that something just isn’t right; it doesn’t look how you want it to in the game. The shadows are too dark, or highlights are too bright. Maybe your object looks “flat.” These are all things that can be controlled and edited via the multiplier. Baking a multiplier can be a very time-consuming and a very resource-intensive operation for your computer to perform, and understandable, it’s probably not something that you want to wait through multiple times while working on one object. Thus comes into play your graphics editing program – Photoshop, GIMP, Paint Shop Pro, and the like. In this article I’ll cover instructions on how to adjust multipliers in Photoshop via the “Replace Color” function.
To start with, open your original baked multiplier in Photoshop.
Under the Images menu, go to Adjustments, and then select Replace Color.
Near the top of the dialog box, there should be a window for “Fuzziness.” Slide it all the way to the right to 200. Now, depending on what you are trying to do, you will do one of two things below.
To make shadows lighter
With the Replace Color dialog still open, move it out of you way so you can still see it, but so that you can also see your multiplier. Hover over your image and your cursor should change to the eyedropper icon – click on the darkest part of your multiplier.
Look towards the bottom of the dialog box now, and find the “Lightness” slider. Raise it up a little bit, until you notice the darkest parts getting lighter. Generally, anything from +15 to +25 should lighten black to a decent dark charcoal gray.
To make highlights darker
With the Replace Color dialog still open, move it out of you way so you can still see it, but so that you can also see your multiplier. Hover over your image and your cursor should change to the eyedropper icon. Click on the lightest part of your multiplier. Again, find the “Lightness” slider at the bottom of the dialog, and this time we are going to lower it. I find that sometimes darkening things takes a little more power than lightening them, so anything from around -10 up to -35 (for near white shades) could be used.
Between these two methods, you should be able to balance out the contrast and shadows so that your multiplier is generally all some shade of balanced gray.
Some people may think that having the highlights a brighter shade of gray (almost to the point of being white) is better and that it shows “truer” and “brighter” colors in the game, but that’s not necessarily true. By keeping everything a medium shade of gray, you give the texture room to get brighter or darker, depending on lighting in the game. If the multiplier is white, then it won’t be able to get any brighter in the game when lights are on (and it would be far too bright even when no lights are on). The same stands true with using black for shadows — when lights go off, they can’t get any darker.