How to make Custom Textures
A guide by Warchamp7. Special thanks go out to NinjaPants
In this guide, I'm going to explain the process of creating your very own custom hero texture. I will be explaining the process with Zephyr.
Before continuing, I am assuming you at least know the basics of photoshop or more specifically what an alpha layer is.
The first step is getting the programs you'll need. The texture files in the game are Direct Draw Surface or DDS files. There is a plugin for photoshop by NVidia for opening DDS files. GIMP users can use this plugin (Thanks NinjaPants). You'll also need some sort of text editing program to open the material file. I recommend Notepad++ (Which is also used by S2).
Note: You may also be able to convert the DDS files to TGAs with a third-party program and edit them but I have never tried or looked into this.
There are two files you will need for making a custom texture. Those two files are the texture and the material file that references it. The material file is so we can create a mod that uses your new texture instead of simply replacing the old one in the texture archive (Replacing game files is always a bad idea).
As mentioned earlier, I will be using Zephyr for my examples. The texture file is located in textures.s2z which is located in the Heroes of Newerth game folder. s2z files are just zip files and can be opened with your zip tool of choice. I prefer WinRAR. The specific location of Zephyr's texture in the textures.s2z archive is 00000000/heroes/Zephyr/color.dds. Extract this and rename it to something else. For my example, I would rename it to Snow.dds or SnowZephyr.dds.
Now open the texture and get to editing. This part can be very intimidating especially if you've never seen a texture before. Here's what Zephyr's texture looks like unedited:
And here he is edited to Snow Zephyr.
There is one final step before you save your texture. Since DDS textures are flipped upside down in-game, you will need to flip the texture vertically before saving. Once you flip your texture, save it as a tga.
IMPORTANT! Make sure to flip the alpha channel too!
I personally recommend naming it something related to what the texture is. My Snow Zephyr texture is SnowZephyr.tga. However if you really wish to, you can save it as color.tga.
The Material File
This file is what tells the game where the texture is located. By editing this file and packing it into a mod, we can tell the game to use a different texture file instead of completely replacing the old texture.
Zephyr's material file is located in resources0.s2z. Once again use your zip tool of choice to open the file and navigate to heroes/zephyr/material.material and extract the file.
Open this file in your text editor (Notepad++ for me) and change all instances of color.tga to whatever your edited texture is named. My edited file is SnowZephyr.tga so I'll replace color.tga with SnowZephyr.tga
Packing up the files
The final step is setting up the mod file. Create a new zip file and rename it resourcesX.s2z where X is just text. For example resourcesWarchamp7SnowZephyr.s2z.
Now you need to place the edited material file and texture inside the resourcesX.s2z with the same file structure as resources0.s2z. The location of Zephyr's material is heroes/zephyr so I will create that same folder heirarchy in resourcesX.s2z and place the material file there.
So inside resourcesX.s2z you should now have heroes/zephyr/material.material. Finally, place the texture in the same folder with material.material.
Load up the game and test it out. If everything is working, great work! If it's in a state you're happy with, post a thread and put it up for download.
Here's an installation template for your thread, just copy and paste.
Simply download <DOWNLOAD LINK> into the Heroes of Newerth game folder. The default locations for this folder are:
Windows 7: C:\Program Files\Heroes of Newerth\game\
Windows Vista: C:\Program Files\Heroes of Newerth\game\
Windows XP: C:\Program Files\Heroes of Newerth\game\
1. Press Finder
2. Press Applications
3. Right click 'Heroes of Newerth', and press Show containing files
4. Open Game folder
5. Move file here
You will now have the <NAME OF YOUR TEXTURE> texture. To disable it, simply delete resourcesXXXX.s2z or remove it from the game folder.
This mod does not overwrite any vital files.
Last edited by Warchamp7; 03-31-2011 at 04:55 PM.
Thank you.. while your topic was created I discovered most of the things explained.. haha... but I have sure that this guide will help me and all people to create new textures.
Congratulations for all your effort in textures Warchamp7!
Warchamp7 is THA MAN!
I've written up a few subsections aimed towards beginners. Feel free to add them to your guide or if you prefer I'll make another thread.
A Quick Intro to Textures
Texturing is the process of wrapping a 2-dimensional (flat) image around a 3-dimensional object to visually enhance its surfaces. Below is an image to help communicate how a texture image can be wrapped around a model.
Changing/Creating Textures in Photoshop
You'll want to double click the background layer and press 'OK' to make it editable. Making a copy of the default layer is also a good idea in case you want to revert changes.
By selecting an area with the Lasso Tool (L) and then going to Image>Adjustments you can easily edit many aspects of an area of texture.
The PS brush panel offers a lot of customization that can come in handy when trying to create your own surface or texture. Varying factors such as size, opacity and hardness will give you different results as you paint. When blending tones it's a good idea to use a low opacity (1-10%) to achieve smooth blends.
The Dodge or Burn Tool (O) allows you to lighten to darken a tone or area based on it's value (highlight, midtone, shadow.) You can often times shade an area that is a solid tone to add shadows and highlights to give it shape.
If you want to use an image in your texture you can open up or copy an image from your desktop or the web and then paste it onto a new layer. This could come in handy if you are having trouble painting the texture of stone or dirt and you want to use real photographs in the piece.
Using Groups in Photoshop
Grouping is an easy way to keep yourself organized while working in Photoshop. Once you start working with 10+ layers things can get confusing. Below you'll find an example of how I've structured my layers for the Infected Wildsoul reskin.
Alpha channels control areas of transparency on a texture. Items like feathers or edges of clothing which may be modeled with straight edges can be given more depth by using an alpha channel. Below is an example how how applying an alpha channel to a rectangular piece of clothing will give it the appearance of tearing.
Accessing the Channels Panel
Alpha channels only work in black and white though in RGB mode it will appear red on your image.. By selecting the actual alpha channel from the Channels panel we can paint with varying opacities of black or white to add transparency to a piece. Black will give complete transparency and white will give none.
Last edited by frst; 10-28-2009 at 09:27 PM.
Nice guide frst, good tips!
I tested this on my Dark Scout, the only thing i did was rotate 180 degrees and save as tga.
And he had a metallish color. :/
EDIT: What quality on the TGA should i have? 16/24/32 bits/pixel?
Last edited by Sephinator; 10-29-2009 at 05:42 AM.
Hello... my first texture I was mading was a Frost Accursed turned to a blue theme. Well I managed to change the model texture and the second skill blue shields rounding texture, but stills have a red fire in he, I tried to change flame.material, dust2.dss, flame.dss and others defined on body.effect but didnt work (im trying to make a blue fire)
Anyone have some hints etc? thx in advance
EDIT: Nvm, Im making progress
Last edited by HoLy`; 10-29-2009 at 12:01 PM.
Hi, great work!
How do you edit the *.effect file for the spells? If spells isn't that, how to edit them? software + plugin or something..Thank you!
You can edit *.effect files with notepad
And you could also save the textures to *.dds
Last edited by Yuichi; 10-29-2009 at 12:35 PM.
Is there any way to open up the 3d models in Photoshop CS4 and be able to edit them?
TOO BAD ITS ME BLACKSMITH
Edit: Question: where do I change the name for the ability icons? I got a friend to make me some custom ones, but how do I disallow overwriting with it?
Last edited by MaxGhost; 10-30-2009 at 12:58 AM.
In the ability.entity. Example: heroes/name*/ability_XX/ability.entity. i'm not completely sure but..