How to create texture replacers
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This process basically involves taking existing DDS textures, editing them, and then posting them on the net (without an .esp plugin). Because this is replacing existing vanilla Oblivion textures, you will need to recommend an Archive Invalidation technique to the end-users of your mod. To help facilitate this, we will create an OMOD-Ready archive of our mod.
NOTE #1: I do not recommend making mods this way as it will conflict with any other mod that replaces the same textures and many people would rather have a unique item rather than all existing items being replaced. I would rather recommend the tutorial that shows you How To Create New Re-textured Items to make them unique (and will not require archive invalidation).
NOTE #2: Whenever you see a forward slash in a path, it should really be a backslash because TESDB cannot handle backslashes in tutorials anymore due to script kiddies using exploits in the code (very unfortunate).
You need the following tools:
- 7-Zip (this allows you to compress your mod files into a single compressed file)
- BSA Commander (this will allow you to open Oblivion - Textures - Compressed.bsa and extract DDS Textures)
- DDS Converter 2 (this will allow you to convert DDS files into PSD Photoshop files and then back to DDS format when done)
1. Install BSA Commander and DDS Converter 2.
2. Use BSA Commander and extract Oblivion BSA files to someplace you have room.
- I installed my copy of Oblivion to E:/Games/Oblivion/
- I installed BSA Commander to E:/Games/Oblivion/BSA Commander/
- I extracted the Oblivion meshes bsa file to E:/Games/Oblivion/BSA Commander/out/meshes/
- I extracted the Oblivion texture bsa file to E:/Games/Oblivion/BSA Commander/out/textures/
Populate Your Project Folder
1. Pick a texture to modify. For example, let us say you want to re-texture the steel sword and fur cuirass.
2. Find the related textures from Oblivion - Textures - Compressed.bsa which will be the following in this case:
E:/Games/Oblivion/BSA Commander/Out/Textures/Weapons/steellongsword.dds (* Diffuse Texture *) E:/Games/Oblivion/BSA Commander/Out/Textures/Weapons/steellongsword_n.dds (* Related Normal Map *) E:/Games/Oblivion/BSA Commander/Out/Textures/Armor/Fur/M/cuirass.dds (* Diffuse Texture *) E:/Games/Oblivion/BSA Commander/Out/Textures/Armor/Fur/M/cuirass_n.dds (* Related Normal Map *) E:/Games/Oblivion/BSA Commander/Out/Textures/Armor/Fur/F/cuirass.dds (* Diffuse Texture *) E:/Games/Oblivion/BSA Commander/Out/Textures/Armor/Fur/F/cuirass_n.dds (* Related Normal Map *)
3. Copy the files to the Oblivion Data folder in the exact same folder structure as the original, such as the following:
E:/Games/Oblivion/Data/Textures/Weapons/steellongsword.dds E:/Games/Oblivion/Data/Textures/Weapons/steellongsword_n.dds E:/Games/Oblivion/Data/Textures/Armor/Fur/M/cuirass.dds E:/Games/Oblivion/Data/Textures/Armor/Fur/M/cuirass_n.dds E:/Games/Oblivion/Data/Textures/Armor/Fur/F/cuirass.dds E:/Games/Oblivion/Data/Textures/Armor/Fur/F/cuirass_n.dds
4. Use DDS Converter to convert all DDS files into Adobe Photoshop PSD files.
1. Open the Diffuse PSD Texture files with your favorite graphics editor and make the visual changes that you want.
2. Once finished changing the textures, you will need to create new normal maps (_n) files. I use GIMP and the normal map plugin.
3. Now convert your changes to the PSD files back into DDS files using DDS Converter 2 with the options of DXT5 and Mipmaps enabled.
4. Load up Oblivion and see how your changes look in-game. NOTE: You may need to use an archive invalidation technique to see your textures in-game. See Oblivion Mod Manager.
If everything is fine at this point, take some screenshots. Screenshots: A Basic Guideline
Create a Distribution Folder
If you are happy with the changes, create a temporary distribution folder to place all your files in such as C:/MyMod/
C:/MyMod/Textures/Weapons/steellongsword.dds C:/MyMod/Textures/Weapons/steellongsword_n.dds C:/MyMod/Textures/Armor/Fur/M/cuirass.dds C:/MyMod/Textures/Armor/Fur/M/cuirass_n.dds C:/MyMod/Textures/Armor/Fur/F/cuirass.dds C:/MyMod/Textures/Armor/Fur/F/cuirass_n.dds
Use the Readme Generator to create a readme file (use the OMOD-Ready template type) and name it something like Projectname Readme.txt and place it in the root of your distribution folder.
Create a Distribution Archive
1. Use 7-Zip and zip C:/MyMod/*.* into a single file. Example: C:/MyMod/MyMod.7z
2. Open Oblivion Mod Manager to Create an OMOD - click Create, Add Archive, pick C:/MyMod/MyMod.7z
3. Set all of the field names, add a short description in the description button, add a screenshot and click Create
4. Now that we have an OMOD created, we need to Create an OMOD-Ready archive by right-clicking on the OMOD name and select Convert To Archive.
Name it something like MyMod 1.0 OMOD-Ready.7z and then answer Yes to include OMOD Conversion Data.
5. Take this new OMOD-Ready file and upload it to TESNexus.com.
Create a RELz Thread
Go to The Elder Scrolls Mod Forums and create a new topic to let the world know about your new mod.
Title: [RELz] MyMod Contents: Paste the contents of your readme file here. You can omit the install/uninstall section if you like. Be sure to include a link to the download location.