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How to make HD Texture Mods - A Tutorial for Persona 3 FES


Update 1 23d
  • Addition Added information on using rexis to make HD texture mods
  • Adjustment Minor formatting changes

1. Requirements

  1. One of the following 
    a) PCSX2 1.6.0 + GSdx-EX plugin
    b) Rexis build of PCSX2
    See the below section for further details
  2. Paint.NET (or any image editing program capable of editing .dds files)
  3. Notepad++

2. GSDX-EX vs Rexis

GSDX-EX and Rexis are two different methods of loading HD textures into PCSX2 each with their own benefits and drawbacks

+ Single plugin that can be added to an existing installation of PCSX2
+ Texture replacements can be organized with any folder structure
+ Can use any filename for the replacement textures 
- Custom textures must be .DDS files
- Have to update the .yaml config file for every texture you replace

+ Custom textures can be .PNG
+ No .yaml file needed, textures are replaced as long as you place them in the tex_override folder with the correct filename   
- Seperate (portable) PCSX2 installation that you must copy your old BIOS/saves/cheats etc to
- No custom folder structure, every texture must be stored in the tex_override folder

- Replacement textures must be named as their hashes

The most important thing to keep in mind is that GSDX-EX and Rexis dump textures with different filenames and any replacements you make will only be compatible with the method you used to dump textures therefore it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you specify which method to use when uploading a mod with this to ensure people can use it properly without issues (for example MeovvCAT's HD Overhaul mod uses Rexis)
Weigh the benefits of each method per the needs for your mod and proceed with the rest of the tutorial following the respective sections for your method once you have decided on one

3. Setup

3.1. GSDX-EX

Navigate to your PCSX2 installation folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\PCSX2 in a default installation) and go to the Plugins folder
Copy the GSdx32-SSE4.dll file you downloaded into the folder and click Yes when asked if you want to replace the file

After copying the plugin launch PCSX2 and select Config > Plugin/BIOS selector

Go to the dropdown menu for GS and select the plugin with the name GSdx 0
Click 'Apply' then 'OK'

3.2. Rexis

Download the Rexis build of PCSX2 and copy it to an easily accessible location

Copy the BIOS files, memory card files, cheats etc. from your existing PCSX2 config folder to your Rexis PCSX2 folder

Select your Persona 3 iso and launch the .elf to test that your mods are running like normal

4. Dumping textures

NOTE: If you're using any Aemulus mods that modify textures I recommend disabling those mods before doing this or else the modified textures will get dumped rather than the original textures
NOTE 2: You may have to run PCSX2 as an administrator for the textures to dump

4.1. GSDX-EX

If your PCSX2 installation is located in Program Files (x86) you may need to run PCSX2 as an administrator else the textures won't dump
In PCSX2 go to Config > Video (GS) > Plugin Settings

Go to the dropdown for Texture Manipulation and select 'Extract', set Manipulation Mode to 'Register', then click OK
Start Persona 3 FES and PCSX2 will begin dumping all the textures for anything currently being rendered on screen
Depending on the scope of the mod you would like to make it could potentially take a long time to visit all of the areas of the game that contain the textures you would like to dump and replace so I recommend using a tool such as Tekka's Mod Menu to navigate to where you need quickly 

Navigate back to your PCSX2 install folder, open the 'textures' folder, open '@DUMP', and open the folder with the CRC for the game (which should be 94A82AAA for the north american version of P3 FES)
Windows does not have icon previews for DDS files by default so I recommend setting paint.NET as the default program you would like to use to open DDS files (even if you choose to use a different program to actually edit the images) so you can get previews of the images in file explorer which will make your life a LOT easier
Once you've dumped all the textures you need copy the ones you plan to edit to a folder located somewhere other than in Program Files so you can save the edits you'll make (i.e. a folder in Documents or Pictures)

4.2. Rexis

Open Gsdx.ini in the inis folder and set dump to 1 and tex_dump_dim to 1024

Save the ini, then run the game
PCSX2 will start dumping textures for anything currently being rendered

Depending on the scope of the mod you would like to make it could potentially take a long time to visit all of the areas of the game that contain the textures you would like to dump and replace so I recommend using a tool such as Tekka's Mod Menu to navigate to where you need quickly 

Once you've dumped all the textures you need navigate to the tex_dump folder in your rexis PCSX2 folder, open the folder with the CRC for the game (which should be 94A82AAA for the north american version of P3 FES) , and copy all the textures you want to edit into a seperate folder

5. Editing Textures

The way you want to actually go about modifying your textures (whether you want to hand redraw them, use an AI upscale tool like ESRGAN etc.) is entirely up to you but keep in mind some important guidelines
  1. When upscaling the image the new dimensions must be a multiple of the original dimensions and maintain the same aspect ratio or else your texture will get stretched in-game
    Example: If you're replacing a texture that's 512x512, the dimensions of the replacement should be a multiple like 1024x1024 or 2048x2048
  2. The maximum dimensions that a replacement texture can be is 4096x4096. Exceeding this WILL cause the game to crash
  3. If you're replacing something such as a sprite be mindful of how the original image was placed in the texture and make sure your replacement is aligned similarly so the sprite will display right in game
  4. Each character in a font in Persona 3 is dumped separately rather than being dumped as a single font sheet so keep that in mind if you want to replace a font

5.1. GSDX-EX

After modifying the textures to your satisfaction open them in your image editor, save it as a .dds and use the following settings:
Texture type: R8G8B8A8 or B8G8R8A8
Mipmaps: none

5.2. Rexis

Save your new textures as PNG and remove the the number followed by an underscore from the filename
1182_5CF52D6B.png -> 5CF52D6B.png

6. Loading Textures

6.1. GSDX-EX

Once you've saved your edited textures go to your PCSX2 install folder, open the 'textures' folder, create a new folder with any name (but it has to start with an @) and copy your replacement textures in there
If your texture replacements involve a lot of files you can also create directories and sub-directories within the new folder to place your textures to be more organized

Go back to the PCSX2 install folder, create a new folder named 'txtconfig', open the folder, and create a new text file with the name of your CRC (94A82AAA) and change the extension to .yaml
If windows won't let you create a file in the directory create the .yaml file in a directory where you can create new text files then copy it into txtconfig
Now open the .yaml file in Notepad++ and write the following on the first line

Then make a new line and press space TWICE (it's important that you press space twice exactly at the start of each new line or else the textures won't be replaced)
Navigate back to the texture dump folder in \PCSX2\textures\@DUMP\94A82AAA\, copy the name of the original texture you want to replace, then go back to N++ and write '0x[original texture id] so for example it would look like
Then press space once, then type a pair of quotation marks, and inside the quotation marks type the path to the corresponding  replacement texture from the 'textures' folder
A correct line should look similar to this
  0x142192F2: "@P3FES/"
Repeat the above process for every texture you plan to replace

The format of your .yaml file should look similar to this

then save the file

Open PCSX2, go to Config > Video (GS) > Plugin Settings,change the 'Texture Manipulation' setting to 'Replace', make sure Manipulation Mode is set to 'Register' then click OK

6.2. Rexis

Open the tex_override folder in your PCSX2-Rexis folder, create a new folder named 94A82AAA, and paste your replacement textures into this folder
Open Gsdx.ini in the inis folder and set dump to 0 and tex_dump_dim to 0 so PCSX2 won't keep dumping textures 

If you've done everything right when you launch the game your HD textures will hopefully have been loaded in!

7. Notes

  • If you want to create an archive to share a mod you've made with this it should contain both a txtconfig folder with the .yaml file and a 'textures' folder containing the directory where your replacement textures are stored (but make sure not to include your dump folder)
  • As of writing this tutorial Aemulus does not currently have support for managing HD texture made through this method meaning if you want to install an HD texture mod made by someone else you'll have to manually copy the files yourself
  • If you're using an undub ISO the CRC is 97102837 instead of 94A82AAA
  • For further support and information for texture replacements in Persona 3 I recommend joining the P3HD discord
  • Have fun and please make it so the UI won't look like total shit when upscaled to an HD resolution

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