To select the size of the image PixPlant generates, click File > New and enter the desired width and height in the dialog. However in the plug-in version of PixPlant, the texture size is fixed: it's the same from the main image you are editing in the host application.
A good seed image should have a reasonable number of repeated elements, either structured (for example bricks along a wall) or unstructured (for example pebbles in the ground). In both cases the more elements in the image the better as it allows PixPlant to extract and generate more visual variety.
A good seed image should also avoid strong luminosity contrasts; however you can correct these contrasts up to a point with the Equalize Seed setting.
It should also have its repeated elements as aligned as possible with the image sides, but this can usually be corrected with the Straighten Seed tool.
You should usually prefer seed images with lots of repeated elements (see What makes a good seed image? above), so that PixPlant has enough variety to generate the image.
The following actions can improve the seamless tiling quality of the generated image:
This means PixPlant is not sure about the detected Seed Pattern. It's a way of PixPlant requesting that you verify if the detected seed pattern grid is correct. Having a correct seed pattern is only important for textures with repeated regular elements (e.g. with structure).
Since version 1.1.9 PixPlant includes a new setting that automatically snaps the Seed Scale settings to the nearest best value for tiling. This is important so that the elements in the generated texture spatially "meet" at the image boundaries, so as to obtain a good tiling.
If the Scale Lock button at the right of the Seed Scale sliders is set, both width and height will snap - if you prefer, unset Scale Lock and then change the sliders individually.
In the Seed Edit area, at the right side of the window, select with the mouse an area that you don't want PixPlant to use - this area will turn to black and won't be used. To make that black area available again, just click with the mouse over it.
You can press the Expand/Collapse button [<] at the bottom of the window, next to the Undo/Redo buttons. This will change PixPlant into a layout with more space available for the Seed Edit area. Portrait oriented seed images will also benefit if you increase the vertical size of the PixPlant window.
Yes - simply select "None" in the Tiling option at the bottom-left corner of the window. You can also generate horizontally tiled images (which are great for panning/scrolling backgrounds) or vertically tiled images, by changing the same setting.
In the main canvas area just select, by pressing the left mouse button, an area that you want to generate to and press Generate. This will rely on the neighbor portions of the image to generate the part that you selected. Generating to a part of the image is very useful for expanding existing images with extra pixels at the sides for example.
If you always get the same pixels, this means that PixPlant is "land-locked" by the neighbor portions of the image - you can overcome this by increasing the size of generation area till it gives different results. This is usually only a problem when generating to small areas.
PixPlant Standalone runs in Windows Vista, XP and 2000 (a Mac version is in the works).
The Photoshop plug-in version runs in any application that can host Photoshop plug-ins or filters. If the host application is not listed in PixPlant installer, you can copy the PixPlant.8bf file from PixPlant's installation folder into the plug-ins folder of the host application.
The 3D preview requires a 3D graphics card capable of version 2.0 pixel shaders: any card sold since 2004 should support these without problems. As with any other 3D application which uses your 3D graphics card, it's important that you have the latest drivers and DirectX 9 installed. If you see any problems with the 3D Preview please check for the latest versions. Running the PixPlant installer will scan and offer to update DirectX.
Larger texture and 3D maps will always update slower than small ones as they include more information. Some slowdown can be due to the Mip Maps level in the Preferences - try decreasing the number for a speed up in the 3D Preview update.
The Tiling settings in the 3D preview control the tiling of the texture mapping in the 3D model: it won't regenerate the base texture, which would be the only way to change the tiling of the 3D maps. To effectively change the Tiling for the texture and maps you have to generate the texture in the Texture panel.
To solve this, change the Normal Map Preview setting in the Options to "Floating Point". The Normal Map Preview setting selects whether the normal map in the 3D Preview is rendered from an 8-bit map or from a floating point map. If you see artifacts, usually in the specularity, change this setting to floating point. The bad news is that using floating point might slow-down 3D previews after changing settings, specially in older 3D graphics cards. These artifacts usually appear in smooth materials.
The previewed model is rendered with parallax mapping (also called offset mapping or virtual displacement mapping), which requires a 3D graphics card capable of version 2.0 pixel shaders - any card sold since 2004 should support these without problems.
As with any other 3D application which uses your 3D graphics card, it's important that you have the latest drivers and DirectX 9 installed. Running the PixPlant installer will scan and offer to update DirectX.
If your card is an ATI, you can search for drivers at: http://ati.amd.com/support/driver.html
Drivers for NVIDIA cards are available for desktops here: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us and for notebooks here: http://www.nvidia.com/object/notebook_drivers.html
The best size of course depends on the detail level and requirements of the application where you'll be using the generated textures and 3D maps.
However due to the way PixPlant works, we suggest to use images with sizes that are multiples of 8, which produce slightly higher quality (and are quicker to generate) textures and 3D maps.