**Important Note Before doing anything... Make a Backup of your Eden games folder (in My documents) as this contains your savegames etc and then you can always restore things to how they were if required. It is generally advisable to backup this folder at least once per week anyway from experience of how buggy the game can be
This tutorial will show you how to get a clean car skin extracted from the game, with proper transparency and no fuzzy edges. (handy if you made the skin with imported stickers, or no longer have a clean version on your hdd but still use the skin in the game.) This is already quite well known, but some people just can't seem to get it quite right It is presumed you already know how to use texmod, if you don't, go back and read one of the earlier tutorials.
Things you will need....
TexMod and Knyazev's Universal launcher. Found here... LINK
Universal launcher has now been updated to v3.2 and you can obtain it HERE+Note Universal launcher is NOT the same as Uplauncher.exe
A template of the vehicle you wish to extract the skin from Here.. Link
A copy of the skin in both PNG and DDS format.
Photoshop or similar paint program. (this tutorial will be done in photoshop, just translate the commands to your program, they should be similar)
The ability to load DDS files into the paint program ( such as the DDS plugin for photshop. Available from Nvidia's website (google for it)
First lets get the files we need. We need a copy of the skin in both PNG and DDS format. Load texmod in package mode and run the game ( it will ask about running without a package loaded, say its ok) Once the game has loaded, take the vehicle to the paint shop. When you get inside, Quit the game.
Back in texmod switch to logging mode and set it to PNG. Run the game,When loaded find and extract your skin, then quit. In texmod logging mode change the output format to DDS. Run the game and extract the skin a second time, then quit. You can now close texmod, universal launcher and also delete the texmod txt file it created. You should be left with just 3 files. The template, The DDS and the PNG.
What we will be doing here is using parts of the template and parts of the DDS to remove the black background of the png, leaving us with just the images laid out on the skin, without fuzzy edges or without having a black background (which leaves a skin almost useless to anyone else) We will be primarily working with Layers and channels (found in the bottom right area of photoshop, see figs 2 and 3)
fig 2 fig 3
So lets start..
1: Load Photoshop. Then load the template, the PNG and the DDS file
2: Switch to the PNG window, select all (Ctrl+A) then copy (Ctrl+C). Switch back to the template window and paste (Ctrl+V) the new layer on your template screen.
3: Now in the layers/channels box, switch it to channels.. You will see you have 4 channels (see fig 3), the individual red,green and blue channels and RGB which is the end result of combining the other 3. Now switch to the DDS window, you will see you now have a 5th Alpha channel (see fig 4) This channel tells the game what parts of the skin are see through. Black is transparent, white is visible, any shades of gray in between are various levels of transparency.
4: Click on the alpha channel,(fig5) the image should have gone just black with white shapes wherever your stickers were placed. Select all (Ctrl+A) then copy the channel (Ctrl+C). Switch back to the template window, switch from channels back to layers, then paste (Ctrl+V)
5: If all went well you should now have 3 layers on your Template window. You can now close the PNG and DDS windows, leaving just the Template with the 3 layers (fig6)
Every time you extract skins from the game you need to get the 3 images and set it up like you just have, so you end up with just one image with all 3 layers. From there, you can do this.....
6: Click on layer 3 (dds alpha layer) to select it, then go up to the Select menu at the top and choose "color range" when the window pops up, click the eye dropper icon on anywhere black in the image then click ok, it should now select all of the black in that image. Now click the little Eye icon next to the layer 2 name. This will hide the layer from view.
7: Click on Layer 1 (the png layer) and press the delete key. This should have removed all of the black background and left just the actual image behind.But this image still has those fuzzy parts to it where the seams of the car are, but thats ok we are gonna fix that. Now hide this layer.
8: Click on the template layer, it should be the only one visible now.. go to Select-color range and when the window pops up, click on something black in the image again, then click ok. This should select all the black parts of the template, now inverse the selection (Ctrl+Shift+i) so we are selecting all of the background. Hide this layer.
9: Unhide layer 1, then click on it to select it. While still having the background of the template selected press delete, This will remove everything that wasn't within the template (which was the fuzzy parts.) You should now be left with Layer 1 containing just the image, no fuzzy areas and a transparent background.
10: You can now delete layers 0 and 2 ( the template and dds layers ) just right click on one and choose delete layer. When both layers are deleted, leaving just the png layer, save the file as PNG.
All that is left to do is upload the skin along with a screen shot of it in game, to the forum. That's it, you are done!
** In short ** What we did was load all 3 images (the template, the png and the dds alpha channel) into one file. We then used the alpha channels background to remove the background in the png layer. We then used the templates background to remove the fuzzy parts in the png layer. Then you removed the unneeded layers and saved the file.
The reason we have to do it like this.. A dds file has an alpha map included, which lets us cut the background out, a png does not. But the colors on a dds get messed up, the png colors do not. So we want the png layer as thats the one with the proper image. The dds alpha image takes care of all the background within the car limits, so you then need the template to be able to remove every thing outside of the car, which is usually those fuzzy bits. Thats why..
Registered Member #95
Joined: Wed Nov 16 2011, 03:57PM
Nicely laid out tut there Nobby as are all of yours. Wasn't aware of this method myself, i'm sure i'll use it at some point. Out of curiousity though wouldn't it be better to upload the original file created in the paint prog thats used but saved as png or is this method more for people that have put stickers on ingame but want to add to them using a paint program?
Registered Member #756
Joined: Mon Oct 29 2012, 07:03AM
How would you do this with a car that you can't go into the sticker shop with? Such as the FXX. I'd like to recolor the White decals to red, and have a black FXX so all the colors still look nice together. Is this even possible? and if so, how?
Registered Member #1397
Joined: Tue May 14 2013, 07:52PM
Instead of messing about with constant renaming back and forth:
Initially separate each executable so they can all be renamed to Testdrive2.exe. After renaming, right-click and select "send to -> compressed (zipped) folder". Do the same with the original Testdrive2.exe game file. You can rename the zips to something useful to keep track of which is which then move them to wherever you're going to keep them, then just delete the executables themselves.
From then on, just drag whichever executable you want to use into the game directory and overwrite the existing Testdrive2.exe with it.