Originally Posted by KG04GT
I guees the part that confusses me is the converting from a tga to the dds. I try the save as and I don't have that option. With my flight sim I don't get to involed. I just mod exsisting skins or add things to them. and save as and there ready to go. And the commands are really simple also. I just type what I want into the note pad and its set.
AircraftFullName=F-4S Phantom II
Yeah I know what you mean. I don't know how it goes in other softwares, but in Photoshop, you use the DDS pluggin when you save you work : you click 'save as' and then choose the file format you want to export to - DDS here. When you click 'save', then the plugin window is displayed.
About car configs, you got a similar file in each car folder which is a .CAR file. It works a bit the same as flight sim ones, but features are listed differently though. The original CAR files are encrypted, but you can download them without encryption here in the download section (NoGrip home / Downloads / GTL / Misc files). Open this downloaded files with notepad and look at them. There's a line called 'genstring', wich is the key for texturing. Genstring is a bunch of numbers, which amount vary from a car to another (115 for one, 14471 for another one etc). For each car, each number corresponds to a parameter (color of pilot's helmet, wheels textures etc). I'm not that keen on genstring. I've found, with the help of another skinner that if you change a number it changes a parameter. But I don't know more for the moment. I came across a webpage talking about it, I just have to find it again and then I'll let you know about it.
About texturing, you got 2 options with DDS : simple skin or standalone. For the first one, you will just put new modified DDS in the car folder and that's all. The probelm is that this car won't be displayed with original skins anymore. You keep that car and just change color in a way. For a standalone, you change skin but also GTL files, which gather all textures of the car. In fact, you create a copy of an existing car (with different number) with your new skins inside new GTL files and new CAR file as well. By this way you got a new car of that type that is available and that you can buy in game, and your original cars are kept safe.
GTL folders and files for cars
Here's in th pics below how GTL folders are put together and especially car folders and files (pic 1). Let's take for example the Shelby GT350 (folder name highlighted in blue in pic 1). By clicking on the folder named Shelby GT350, we can see what is on pic 2.
First, there are folders named with numbers. The default numbers for the GT350 are 807 and 880, which would be the only numbers you got if you haven't add any standalone cars downloaded here at NoGrip or elsewhere. In my GT350 folder, you can see that there 2 other number folders : 11MD and GL01. They are addon standalone
cars. 11MD is the folder for Mark Donahue's GT350 (one that I've made and available here
) and GL01 stands for General Lee GT350 (by YTANGUY, available here
). We'll see how it goes in number folder later on.
So here in the GT350 root folder, you can also see files : SVM and GTL files (maybe you've noticed that my pcs are in French by the way hehe). SVM files have nothing to do with skins, so don't pay attention to them here - I guess there rely on tracks where this type of car have raced so far. The files that are important for you are GTL files. Maybe you don't have any icon related to these files. If you have installed GEditor like me, you should see the same program icons than mine on the pics. Take a look at these GTL files (their name are enugh explicit). You can see that they are in the root folder, which means that they stand for common stuff for all GT350 cars. If you got GEditor, click on one of them and then you should see DDS textures.
Now click on 807 folder (we'll take this car as example). You got what's on pic 3 below. You can see then 4 types of files : GTL (car model data as we've already seen), BIK (the little trailer video you see in game when you choose a car), CAR (config file of the car, for default cars there are encrypted but you can have them readable with notepad if you download the ones here
) and TGA (stand for car icon when you choose or buy a car in game). For any car in game, default original ones and addon ones, you always have these basic files
Each GTL gathers data for specific parts of the car, and also same parts but with different resolution for textures. Open the GTL files with GEditor and you'll understand. You'll see that there always are DDS (textures) and GMT (model data). If you only make a new skin for the GT350 #807, you will just put your new DDS (keeping same names that the origianl ones) in the 807 folder. On the other hand, if you want to make a standalone GT350, you'll need to create a new number folder and modify all the files (GTL, BIK, CAR, TGA). And, using GEditor, you'll put your new DDS in the modified GTL files). But no need to go farther for the moment. I advice you to make just new skin for a default car of your choice first, just to understand well how it goes.
This is all for the moment, I think you got enough material in my little tutorial above to get started well
I guess that with this tutorial plus all the links we gave you and a few tries you should find by yourself how it goes to make a whole standalone car
Also, if you want to make skins, you should download car templates here for TC-65 cars
, here for GTC-65 cars
and here for GTC-TC--76 cars
Last tip : download a few addon standalones/skins and see how cars are made, it's good learning.
Good luck, good work, and remember : take your time, don't rush and it's gonna be alright