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Creating Custom Textures - A Tutorial for Source Engine.

This tutorial is my first in GameBanana, and hopefully you'll like it. I'll explain roughly how to make a custom texture with all free programs, no demo versions, all completely FREE and easy to download. First of all, let's get the programs! VtfEdit A program that allows you to take a .vtf file and convert it or save it as a .vmt file, crucial for making a texture. Click on installer, and install it as normal. Paint.net A program much better than Microsoft Paint, that allows the use of many different tools and colors. Hopefully it will work well, download and install it as normal. Paint.Net VTF Plugin This program allows you to save files as a Valve Texture-File, or .vtf, it's nescessary to have this. Click on archive, open the .zip file, and then find your Paint.Net Installation directory, which is usually C://ProgramFiles/Paint.net Next, drag and drop the files from the .zip to the folder called "FileTypes" which is in the Paint.Net folder you just opened. Installation complete :D Afterwards, figure out the game you're going to map for, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life Two: Death-match, or anything else, as long as it is compatible with hammer editor. If you want to map for Garry's Mod 10, refer to another tutorial, I can't explain that here. Once you've got that figured out, go to your Steam Common, IE C://ProgramFiles/Steam/Steamapps/common/ And pick the game you want to map for, they should all be there, then go into the next folder. The next folder will be CStrike for Counter Strike: Source, Hl2mp for Half Life 2: Death-match, and the others should be obvious. Once you're in that folder, look for a folder named MATERIALS. Don't go in just yet, right click it and select "Create Shortcut". Once the shortcut is made, drag it and drop it onto your desktop. Now you can find, delete, copy, paste, or just look at your textures once you've made them. If you cannot find your materials folder, refer to screen shot 1! Now to Making the Texture!!! Open Paint.Net, if it opens with an error, you probably have to download the Microsoft .NET Frame Network, located here Once Paint is open, go to File>New, and make the size anything you like, but no bigger than 256 by 256. Afterwards, a white screen should appear, fairly small, in the middle of Paint, this is where you can draw your texture. Make anything you like, draw, paint, whatever, and then go to File>Save As. Select a name for your texture, I name mine relative to what they are going to be so they aren't unorganized! Select the File Type as .VTF, after that, save it to your desktop. Refer to screen shot 2! Another window should appear, this one should have loads of things to do on it, but don't touch ANYTHING. Messing with this is not a good thing. The drop down bar that says "Template" should be empty, if not, make it empty. Find the drop down bar that says Image Format, choose the Format DXT1 (Common). Hit okay, and refer to screen shot 3 if you think you need help. Close Paint.NET and go to your desktop. Find the image you saved as a VTF and drag and drop it into the shortcut you created earlier, or just find the Materials folder yourself and put it in there. After you've done this, delete the one that is on your desktop. Refer to screen shot 4! Now close your Materials folder, and double click on VTF Edit. Navigate to your Materials folder by using the browser on the left. Double click on the VTF you saved, it should open up the picture on the right. Refer to screen shot 5! Now is the easy part, simply go to Tools>Create VMT File, and a window should appear. This window has two tabs, click on the tab labeled "Options". Look at screen shot 6 to check if you did it right. For the Shader, use Lightmapgeneric, for the surface1, use whatever you want your texture to be "made" out of. For instance, if you want it to be like wood, make it a wood selection, like wood_furniture, or wood_crate. Such different selections have such different bullet holes, noises when you walk on them, and different effects that can change the map's atmosphere. Choose one and then hit "Create" at the bottom. Find your Materials folder again, and hit save, name it the same thing as the VTF you saved, if you don't it will not work. Refer to screen shot 6 to see if you did it right. And that's it! Through the peril! Open Hammer editor, make a new map, and the texture you created should be in the texture browser as you open it! Congrats, apply the texture, or do whatever. Thanks are appreciated, comments and suggestions are good, too, and please don't rate my tutorial before I'm done! I have uploaded screen shots now, so have fun and don't mess up! Have fun mapping, more tutorials in the future!