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Creating Custom Decals

A Tutorial for Counter-Strike: Source

Hey and welcome to another one of my tutorials. This tutorial will teach you how to create your very own map decal so you can leave your mark in your maps and prove to everyone that you're the creator of it. All you need for this tutorial is Adobe Photoshop which can be downloaded from here. Create the Image
  1. Open up Photoshop, and create a new image 256x256 with the Background Contents set to Transparent.

  2. You should now have a blank transparent canvas infront of you

    Now it's time to create the decal!
  3. Use what ever you want in it. I'm going to simply type up "Decal Tutorial by SGT_kick_ur_ass" and I'm going to give it a nice grunge/worn out look to it.
  4. Now it's time to create the Alpha Channel. Make sure the Channels Tab is open, if it isn't go to Window>Channels and it should show up
  5. Once you can see the panel, create a new Channel. Once done so, you should see a new channel called "Alpha 1
  6. Now, select your image by holding down Ctrl and clicking in the small image on the layer.
  7. Now, while you have the image selected, go back to the Channels tab and select the Alpha 1 channel and hit Delete
  8. The final step is to save this newly created image as a vtf using the Photoshop VTF Plugin which can be found here. Save the file in the Cstrike>Materials>Decals directory using the folowing settings when saving:

  9. NOTE: If you have just installed the plugin, you must restart Photoshop in order for it to work.
Creating the VMT File
    This a very simple process so it shouldn't take long and you shouldn't have many problems.
  1. Start off by going into the same folder you saved your VTF in, and create a New Text Document and give it the same name as the vtf file. Since I saved mine as decaltut.vtf, my vmt is going to be called decaltut.vmt.
  2. Open up the Text Document and type in the following replacing decals/decalname with the directory you saved your VTF in:
  3. "LightmappedGeneric"
    {
       "$basetexture" "decals\decalname"
       "$decal" 1
       "$decalscale" 0.25
       "$translucent" 1
    }
    
    You can mess around with the "$decalscale" if you want to make the decal bigger, but in order for it to look clear, it's best to leave it at 0.25. Once you are done, it is now time to save your vmt file.
  4. Head over to File>Save As and save it with the below settings, once again replacing "decalname" with the name of your decal.

  5. You can now test out your Newly made Decal! Here's how mine came out:
Thank you for reading my tutorial, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to PM me or leave a comment. Half Life Storm
Half Life Storm Studio -SGT\_kick_ur\_ass

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  • paulo_crash avatar
    paulo_crash Joined 8y ago
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    access_time 3y
    Could update the link the pictures are giving error !!!
    Bananite
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  • Matr!X7689 avatar
    Matr!X7689 Joined 8y ago
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    access_time 8y
    my decal has color, it kind of fades as u go farther than it.. bt whn seen closer it looks proper! plz help
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  • _MadDoc_ avatar
    _MadDoc_ Joined 10y ago
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    Posted by SGT_kick_ur_ass
    Posted by _MadDoc_ Very well done! Kind of a overkill on Details, but hey, it helps :D Quick question, is there a way to make the VTF with VTFEdit?
    Just go to File>Save. You can also create a VMT in VTFEdit just go to Tools>Create VMT File and set all the options.
    But won't you be missing the: "$decal" 1 "$decalscale" 0.25 "$translucent" 1 part? EDIT: actually I mean if it is possible to creat the VTF the way you can for textures by opening the VMT in VTFEdit
    Bananite
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  • SGT_kick_ur_ass avatar
    SGT_kick_ur_ass Joined 14y ago
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    access_time 10y
    Posted by _MadDoc_ Very well done! Kind of a overkill on Details, but hey, it helps :D Quick question, is there a way to make the VTF with VTFEdit?
    Just go to File>Save. You can also create a VMT in VTFEdit just go to Tools>Create VMT File and set all the options.
    Turbosmooth dat shit. avatar
    Mantra
    Turbosmooth dat shit.
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  • _MadDoc_ avatar
    _MadDoc_ Joined 10y ago
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    Very well done! Kind of a overkill on Details, but hey, it helps :D Quick question, is there a way to make the VTF with VTFEdit?
    Bananite
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  • Cooldude avatar
    Cooldude Joined 12y ago
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    Does this work for tf2? because when i used it in tf2, it makes a really big outlined white square and there's a line that goes down diagonally. and the alpha thing doesn't work
    Let a little sunshine in your
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  • caliguiri10 avatar
    caliguiri10 Joined 10y ago
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    Nice Tutorial, One thing, It might be a problem because when you say hit delete I thought you meant to delete the alpha channel not to hit "delete" i think that is the problem other people are having and you should make it clear. I also got this error when running it in css in sonsole Error: Material "decals/twg" uses unknown shader "{" I think it might be the vmt.
    • Agree x 1
    Bananite
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  • bmx3r1011 avatar
    bmx3r1011 Joined 11y ago
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    Hey i have a problem whenever i make a decal. i make it right and everything but when i try to find the texture in hammer, only the vmt file shows up, and it has the purple black checkerboard. ive tried closing and opening hammer as that usually fixes the problem. but not this time. =S help?
    King of hosties avatar
    Mantra
    King of hosties
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  • $uRf3r avatar
    $uRf3r Joined 11y ago
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    Thx dude this tut really help me a lot!!
    If you want to be happy, be
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  • Jallz avatar
    Jallz Joined 11y ago
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    Nice man! Just what I needed :}
    Bananite
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