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A few questions I have about Noise.dds:

1. What is the noise.dds and what exactly is it used for? All I know is that its used on terrain to simulate fake grass using noise to make it appear more "grainy".

2. How is it effected by things like light and the terrain below it?

3. Why is it Greyscaled? Is it the darker it is the more transparent it is, so parts that are black are completely transparent?

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1. It is overlayed over the terrain LOD to make it noisier. 

2. Typically the darker it is, the darker the terrain LOD. The brighter it is, the more closely it matches the original terrain textures. In the Step guide, we raise the gamma on the terrain LOD slightly to combat the darkening of the generated terrain LOD caused by the noise.dds within Cathedral Landscapes. Majestic Mountains contains a brighter noise.dds (or was it Majestic Landscapes?) that may be better for this reason. 

3. Is it grayscaled? I honestly thought it wasn't for Cathedral Landscapes. I could be misremembering. At any rate, I would say that coloring it would cause mismatching terrain and terrain LOD. 

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#1 - you are exactly right. It adds a bit of grain to terrain to break up the tiling. It's just a noise map like on old TVs when the channel is dead.

Typically, the average color is around #747474, so grayscale. Bit it's not going to have any transparency, since that is an effect of the alpha channel (black is 0% opacity and white is 100% opacity in alpha). I'm pretty sure terrain has no alpha opacity and lighting effects are limited to the normal map (IDK if the normals use alpha, but I doubt it). It's not black or white, because this effectively darkens or brightens terrain waaaay too much, respectively.

Just grab some variants and enable them to see the diff. I have found that terrain mods generally use the best for the terrain (i.e., authors usually pick what's best for their mod).

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