How to make mods for your tracks

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Introduction
Nearly every RPG is built with a mod. Maybe you want to build an RPG by your own but you do not want to choose an already existing mod. In the following tutorial I am going to explain step by step how to make a good mod.

Before starting
Before you can start modding you need of course a graphic program.
You can use Photoshop or GIMP but these programs need a dds(Format of TM graphics) Plugin or DXTBMP. I am not going to explain that anymore, because it is much easier to start with Paint.net. This program is very userfriendly and it is perfect for your first mod.
Download it here: PAINT.NET

First steps
Open the following folder:

D:\Program Files\TmUnited[Nations]Forever\GameData\Stadium\Media\Texture\Image

You will now see a lot of files. Don´t be scared^^ You don´t need all of them, in fact you need less than the half.


Now open Paint.net. You should now see this screen:




Getting started
Load any texture you want from your “Image” file and start modifying:
In my example I loaded StadiumRoadD.dds, later there will be a screenshot with the most important textures.



Changed to: (example from GM)



To change the textures you can use the tools of the toolbar at the left or you can play with the adjustments and the effects.
When you make something wrong, just press Ctrl+Z to remove the previous step.



You can also use already existing textures. The stones in GM for example are existing textures.
You can get a lot of textures from these sites:
http://www.noctua-graphics.de/english/fraset_e.htm
http://www.cgtextures.com/
http://mayang.com/textures/
http://textures.forrest.cz/
You can also google for textures!

Pack it into a zip for installing it
First put all of your changed files into a file you must name “Image”:



Then right click on “Image” and then click on “Add to archive” To click this you must have WinRar installed
The name of the archive will be the name shown in TM. The created archive must be a zip archive:



After this step you must place your “Mod Tutoral.zip” file into the following folder:
My Documents\TrackMania\Skins\Stadium\Mod
If this folder doesn´t exist, just create it

If you made everything correctly you can now choose your mod when you start building a track.

Improve the mod

Icon:
You can also create an icon what will be shown over the mod name in TM.
To create an icon, simply create a new project with the width and the height of 256x256px.



You can now fill in this square with anything you want. When everything is done save it as “Icon.dds”.

Then you have to pack your zip-archive again but this time mark the Folder “Image” and the file “Icon.dds” and click on “Add to archive”. Then you must repeat the old steps.

Loadscreen:
To make a loadscreen for your mod just create a new file as in “Icon” but this time with width and height of 1024x1024px. Just edit it how you want. You can also use pictures from google (same for the icon).
Then save it as “LoadScreen.dds” and put it into your “Image” file. Then pack your archive again.

Mood:
To change the mood(s) of your track open the following folder:

D:\Program Files\TmUnited[Nations]Forever\GameData\Stadium\Media\Texture\Moods

Now you can first open the "Cloud" files to change the clouds (Day/Night Clouds)^^
When you did this open the folder of the mood you want to change, for example "Day".
The most important file in this folder is "LightSun.tga". When you change it, the sunlight color will chnage. Also the "GrassPC0.dds" the "GrassPC2.dds" files are important. Because you will still see a green shining when driving over your (for example) yellow grass, when you don´t chnage that files, too.
To add these changes to your mod you just have to zip the "Image" folder, (the "Icon.dds" file) and your new "Moods" folder in "Modname.zip" archive. Then install it.

Finally create a locator
The mod will only be shown by other people when you create a loacator.

Everything to this topic in Tecfans turorial


Screen of the most important files you need



Click to enlarge

When you do not know the name of a texture you want to change and it is not shown at the screenshot, ask in comments, I will answer.





For Photoshop owners or users of the free trial-version, I recommend the following tutorials which can help a lot:
Creating a seamless texture using the offset filter. For example making textures for StadiumCircuitD.dds is a lot easier with this method.
Using the MatchColor-adjustment to give your textures a universal color appearance.
Blending in and out certain parts of your textures, making it very easy to combine multiple textures

39 comments:

Januy said...

Nice, this can be very helpful! Thanks very much :)

HawkGer said...

Yep great post Brainshaker! Thx a lot for writing :)

OLD*Marty said...

great post, perfect work guys ! THx

Brainshaker said...

I´m glad that you all like my work :)
There will be another post by me for sure but i font know when yet^^

greenRACER said...

nice tut man. good work!

Brainshaker said...

wow feedaack from the master^^
Glad that you like it, but how I said to you I could´nt use your wallpaper, cause the textures on this aren´t the right for RPGs^^ But I wrote in the corner that this was your idea...

Anonymous said...

Could you please add some guides about ...S.dds ...D.dds ...N.dds ...O.dds .What differents ?

Anonymous said...

Thx alot for writing this. it really helped :)
Are there any list with the blocks and name of it? Like

StadiumRoadD - [Picture of the Stadium Road]
StadiumDirtRoadD - [Picture of the Dirt Road]

Cuz i've got some problems with some of the blocks. If a list like that one exists, please give me a link ;)

-Andisch

devinso said...

hi,
your tutorial really helped ! but i don't understand that locator thing. can you explain that ?

Pål / Tecfan said...

you read this? http://trackmaniarpg.blogspot.com/2009/07/mods.html#ModHelp

Pål / Tecfan said...

just upload your mod to a server, and use the URL as a locator. for example: http://www.web.com/mod.zip

Derter said...

whats the name on the top of stadiumroadcirciutborderd.dds?

FBI-RUSS said...

I have Windows Vista and i dont have the GameData file in my TMForever folder. Any help please?

Pål / Tecfan said...

what do you have in that folder then?

FBI-RUSS said...

TmForever>ChallengeMusics
>Config
>LogCrash
>ManiaLinks
>MediaTracker
>MenuMusics
>Painter
>Profiles
>RollingDemo
>Scores
>Skins
>Tracks

Pål / Tecfan said...

this is the wrong folder - you're in My documents, aren't you? Read the article again and you'll see that we're in Program Files ^^

FBI-RUSS said...

I dont have the Program Files folder anywhere on my computer

Pål / Tecfan said...

Lol.

Do like I tell you:

Press Windows button + R on your keyboard, this will open up the "Run..." dialog.

Paste this:

%ProgramFiles%

and press "Run". It should be in there

FBI-RUSS said...

I still dont understand the instructions of what you have put at the top. It still doesnt work for me. I either am doing something wrong or the stuff you are putting doesnt work. For example if i load something into the "paint" window then no textures or anything come up it is just the picture you have just loaded in.

FBI-RUSS said...

I still dont understand the instructions of what you have put at the top. I either am doing something wrong or the stuff you are putting doesnt work. For example if i load something into the "paint" window then no textures or anything come up it is just the picture you have just loaded in.

FBI-RUSS said...

This comment box is fucked up . I cant tell you what i want to tell you because it wont publish.

FBI-RUSS said...

ok. When i want to select the image file it says i cant open anything from there into paint because it is not supported.

FBI-RUSS said...

Ok then. Now what i dont understand is the step of where you add a texture. Where you have put a shot of the StadiumRoadD.dds and then a shot of your StadiumRoadD.dds of the on from your GM mod. what i dont understand is how to get the textures into the StadiumRoadD.dds to make the appearance different.

FBI-RUSS said...

anyone going to help me?

HawkGer said...

I don't exactly understand your problem here. Are you having problems pasting images into the program? You would have to open the image you later want to have shown on your texture in some kind of viewer and copy it into your clipboard. Go into the program and paste it. Or just open the image directly in the program.
Maybe this will help you (for Photoshop though): http://trackmaniarpg.blogspot.com/2010/04/mod-video-tutorials.html

Russ said...

yes it is the pasting into clipboard or whatever bit that i dont undersstand. and i use paint.net : )

Tiji said...

Nice Tuto :)

The Sreenshot helps a lot too :)

Nick said...

THERE IS NONE GAMEDATA BUTTON YOU STUPID

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU

Anonymous said...

im making a martian mod and i need to know where the files are for when you drive on stadium dirt and the stuff goes around the tyres. where are the particle files?

Anonymous said...

this sucks!!!
it doesn't work!!!

Anonymous said...

It is really useful!
ty for this tutorial
really handy!
ty
ty!!

TrackManiac said...

Nice tutorial. I have 1 question though.
How do you change the green bit along the side of the stadium track?
Thanks;)

Anonymous said...

i make everithing perfecly but i don't even see the mod after choosing the mood :/

P.S.:I use gimp with .DDS extension

plz help me !!!

Anonymous said...

found it : I forgot the .zip

but now there is an other bug, I can see a block behind an other even if it is opaque

plz help me again !!!

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous on July 8 2011
its most likely due to the Alpha channel of the file. I have noticed some tracks are see through when view from outside the grass while driving. Also some info on the type of filter trackmania is using ie: Gaussian ,Mitchell ,Bessel ,Sinc etc.
I already know you have to use the DXT5 format and have mipmap's for some of the files. Most have 10 ,some 9 and other 0. I am wondering how to fix the see through problem. If anyone has any clues ,plz post.

Anonymous said...

thx

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Josh Petrin said...

Thanks you, sir! I've been wanting to do this for a while, and now I have all the tools! You're awesome :D

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