Extracting files from erf and rim files for Dragon Age 2

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Revision as of 15:01, 26 September 2021 by Ashhawk (talk | contribs) (Updated single-file extraction instructions to use the "Extract" option; moved old instructions into an "opening to edit" section. Some cleanup.)
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Overview

This mini guide shows how to extract game files contained in erf and rim container files in order to mod them for Dragon Age 2. The extraction instructions also apply to Dragon Age: Origins.

Required tools

Extract file from an erf or rim file

pyGFF editor
To set up pyGFF:
  1. Download Mephales' pyGFF tool and extract the contents of the zip in any folder you want.
  2. Download and install the optional fnv dump file, as it translates the names of Bioware files into something readable.
  3. Launch editor.exe.

If you're not sure which erf or rim file you want to extract from, see the list of Bioware container files and their contents below.

Extract specific files from an erf or rim file

Selecting one or many .gda files from 2da.rim
To extract one or more files of your choice rather than the entire contents of the erf or rim file:
  1. In the pyGFF editor window select the File -> Export menu option. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+E.
  2. Select the erf or rim file that contains the file(s) you want to extract.
  3. A dialogue box will pop up showing the contents, with checkboxes next to each file. Activate the checkbox of each file you want to extract, and click OK.
  4. A save dialogue box will appear; choose where you wish to copy the files to, and click OK.
    Note: You will be allowed to change the filename if you are only extracting one file; if you are extracting several files, you will only be able to choose the destination folder.
  5. You will be asked if you want to overwrite existing files in the destination folder that have the same names. Once you decide, the files will be copied to the folder you chose.

Extract everything in an erf or rim file

If you're not sure which file you need within the erf or rim file, you may need to extract all the files within it in order to look through them. To extract the entire contents of an erf/rim file:

  1. In the pyGFF editor window select the File -> Export all menu option.
  2. Select the erf or rim file that contains the files you want to extract.
  3. A dialogue box will pop up telling you to select a destination folder for all the files that will be extracted. Select the folder and press OK. The extraction may take several seconds depending on the contents of the erf or rim file.
    Note: It is a good idea to create a new folder with a meaningful name to do this: some erf and rim files contain a vast number of files, and it is best not to mix full extractions with other files so that you can keep track of everything.
  4. You will be asked if you want to overwrite existing files in the destination folder that have the same names. Once you decide, the files will be copied to the folder you chose.

Opening a single file from an erf or rim file to edit directly

Selecting a .gda file from 2da.rim
pyGFF can edit all the different GFF file types, such as .gda, .mmh, .moa, .mor, .mop, .msh, etc. If you don't want to extract the file first, you can open it directly from the erf/rim file.
  1. In the pyGFF editor window select the File -> Open menu option.
  2. Select the erf or rim file that contains the file you want to open.
  3. A window will pop up showing the contents of the erf or rim file you've selected.
  4. Select the file you want to open, click OK and this file will be opened in the pyGFF editor window.
  5. When you have edited the file, select the menu option File -> Save as and save the file in any folder you want.

List of Dragon Age 2 erf and rim files

Here there is a list of some of the erf and rim files that contain the Dragon Age 2 files. These files are in the subfolder \packages\core\data\ of the DA2 installation path, which may differ depending on the origin of your copy of the game.

Some useful .rim and .erf files are:

  • 2da.rim: contains most of the .gda files
  • artfp.erf: contains meshes (.mmh, .msh, .phy) and texture (.dds) files.
  • designerresources.rim: contains the .uti files
  • face.erf: contains the faces of characters (.mor files)
  • globalmao-core.rim: contains the files that say which textures are used by a mesh (.mao files)

High resolution texture patch

If you have installed the high textures patch, the high textures are stored in the subfolder \packages\core\textures\high\

  • highrescharacterartfp.erf: contains the high resolution textures (.dds) files corresponding to the normal textures contained in the artfp.erf file.

DLCs

For DLCs, the erf and rim files are stored in the subfolder \addins\ of the DA2 installation path (the default is installation path is: \Program Files\Electronic Arts\Dragon Age II). Inside the addins folder there is onw subfolder for each of the DLCs:

  • \da2_prc_one\: The Black Emporium
  • \da2_prc_seb\: The Exiled Prince
  • \da2_prc_drk\: Legacy
  • \da2_prc_eye\: Mark of the Assassin
  • \da2_mtx_mag\: Mage Item Pack 1
  • \da2_mtx_rog\: Rogue Item Pack 1
  • \da2_mtx_war\: Warrior Item Pack 1
  • \da2_mtx_001\: Mage Item Pack 2
  • \da2_mtx_002\: Rogue Item Pack 2
  • \da2_mtx_003\: Warrior Item Pack 2

Inside the folder of each one of the DLCs, look for the \core\data\ subfolder. There you'll find the corresponding erf and rim files for each of the DLCs.