Intermediate Tutorial: Skin Texturing

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For my first tutorial on RRU, I'd like to make a simple guide on modding Lego Racers by creating custom textures for the models. These textures replace current textures, they don't add new textures. I've written quite a lot, you should be able to skim-read through if you don't have the patience.


Preparing the Mod

This is often standard procedure when modding, but if you're not aware of what to do, follow these steps. You will create a new directory for your Lego Racers game in which you can safely make a new texture mod.

1. Find the install directory of your Lego Racers game.

2. Copy the containing folder (LEGO Racers) and paste it in the same directory. Rename this new folder to something suitable, e.g. 'RacersModded' (I've purposely made it twelve characters for the next step).

3. Inside the new folder, you will find the LEGO.JAM. Download JMMB's JAM Extractor, and use it to extract this file.

4. You should now have two folders inside the main LEGO_JAM folder, 'GAMEDATA' and 'MENUDATA', ready for modding.


Making the Skins

The texture files for models in LEGO Racers can be found in GAMEDATACOMMON and MENUDATAPARTDB. While both use the same file, the former is for textures seen while actually racing, while the latter is for textures that you see in the menu section of the game.

To mod a texture, you first need to download these template texture files, ripped from the PC game. Inside you will find a collection of files including heads, headgear, bodies, and legs. These are the templates you will use to create new textures.

The textures are named using a simple system. Files containing 'CHST' refer to the torso, files containing 'DFLT' are the face, 'LEG(S)' are the leg of the model and 'HELMET', 'HAIR' and 'HAT' are obviously those pieces of headgear. In addition, files containing 'MAT' are for in-game AI opponent textures. None of these can currently be viewed, which is why you downloaded the template skins. I've given a small explanation of them below.

DFLT Texture
The DFLT texture is very simple - what you see is just wrapped around the front of the face.

CHST Texture
The CHST texture is split into two major segments. The line along the left is used to texture the hands, arms, and other such features - this can be seen in the template textures. The main area is displayed on the front of the model's body.

LEG Texture
On the whole, the LEG texture represents one leg, and is layered along the front. The base is used to colour the sides and back, with a small square (seen as black in RR's) defining the belt segment.

Headgear Textures
All headgear textures are the same size. However, they use the texture file differently. As you will see below, I haven't figured them all out yet, but I can explain the helmets - like the torso, the main area is placed on top of the helmet, while the left area is placed on the visor. The small square at the bottom-left defines the colour of the rest of the helmet.

MAT Texture
The MAT texture is used for all the AI opponents in the game. It is found in the GAMEDATACOMMON folder only, as it is used to texture the main elements of the racers in-game. There isn't as much of a system with this - it has four main sections, but these can vary in position and use:
  • Face Texture: One section is for the face. It is simply a scaled-down version of the DFLT texture.
  • Chest Texture: Another section is for the chest, and again is just a smaller-resolution version of the CHST texture.
  • Headgear Texture: The other two sections are used for the headgear.

Note that this doesn't work quite the same as the player textures. For instance, the colour of the face doesn't necessarily affect the colour of the characters face - these are defined separately (I'm not sure as to where).



So, you simply need to draw over the template files in any image editor to create new ones! The files must be saved as .BMP images, but can be in any resolution (so long as it is a power of 2), allowing for textures of a variety of qualities. Remember, the first four textures above will only affect the player textures - it is the MAT texture that is used for AI opponents.


Adding the Skins

All characters in the Lego Racers game have a two-letter name assigned to them which is used in their relevant texture files. Some characters (mainly bosses) have all four textures, while others will share the standard ones. The naming system for the racers are as follows (in circuit number order, followed by alphabetical order, the two letters to the left are the file names):

= CIRCUIT NUMBER 1 =
(AD) Ann Droid
(CR) Captain Redbeard
(GB) Governor Broadside
(PM) Pharoahs Mummy
(RH) Rob-N-Hood

= CIRCUIT NUMBER 2 =
(TC) Achu
(CC) Commander Cold
(IL) Islander
(KK) King Kahuka
(RK) Royal King

= CIRCUIT NUMBER 3 =
(AP) Alpha Dragonis
(BB) Basil the Batlord
(BJ) Blackjack Hawkins
(SB) Sam Sinister
(WW) Willa the Witch

= CIRCUIT NUMBER 4 =
(AD) Ann Droid
(GB) Governor Broadside
(JT) Johnny Thunder
(PH) Pharoahs Mummy
(RH) Rob-N-Hood

= CIRCUIT NUMBER 5 =
(TC) Achu
(VB) Baron Von Baron
(CC) Commander Cold
(IL) Islander
(RK) Royal King

= CIRCUIT NUMBER 6 =
(AP) Alpha Dragonis
(BH) Blackjack Hawkins
(GM) Gypsy Moth
(SB) Sam Sinister
(WW) Willa the Witch

= CIRCUIT NUMBER 7 =
(AL) Admiral
(BK) Black Knight
(GS) Gail Storm
(NH) Nova Hunter
(RR) Rocket Racer



You just need to change the file names of your textures to match the characters in-game, then copy the files into the GAMEDATACOMMON and MENUDATAPARTDB folders.

Original Skin Textures
I have ripped all of the skin textures from the game, and you can click the link below to download them (thanks Xiron for the HELMET2 texture).

JJ's LR Texture Rips
They are saved as BMP images with the exact same names of the game textures for your modding convenience :)
I've kept the original screenshots I took below in case it's easier for people.

Bodies
Here are all the bodies found in the game.

gallery_5738_275_38200.png




Faces
Here are all the faces found in the game.

gallery_5738_275_212914.png




Headgear
Here is all the headgear found in the game.

gallery_5738_275_115075.png
These headgear screenshots were provided by Segatendo:

gallery_5738_275_33294.png




Legs
This section isn't complete yet, as the method I used to work out the files doesn't quite work with legs.

gallery_5738_275_12919.png




How the Textures Work

To help even further, I have begun to determine how the game maps the textures onto the models. So far I have worked out the helmet, body and legs - feel free to use these textures as reference when creating your own textures.

Helmet

gallery_5738_275_366.png

The yellow section is the main area. The white square at the lower-left is used for the rest of the helmet, and the line of colours above this is the visor.

Chest

gallery_5738_275_118.png

The black areas are not used, and you can use the screenshots below to determine the rest.
It is worth noting that in menu selection, the game uses the right hand to texture the left hand too, while in-game both hands use separate textures. In addition, the template textures have shading, suggesting that the textures may have been designed to be more advanced before the final release.

Legs

gallery_5738_275_93.png

Again, the black areas are not used.
The leg texture has (annoyingly) only three areas to colour. The yellow area is the main portion of the leg (thigh and that-lower-part-no-one-knows-the-name-of), and the green area is used for the belt section. The red area is used for the foot, sides and back, which unfortunately restricts texturing items such as shoes.

Screenshots

gallery_5738_275_113710.png

 

gallery_5738_275_31676.png

 

gallery_5738_275_30389.png

 

gallery_5738_275_119965.png

 

gallery_5738_275_115114.png

Recompiling

The final step in texture modding is to recompile the mod. Once all the modified textures are copied into the folders, you can either recompile the main folder into a JAM file using the Jam Extractor, or run the game without the Jam Archives.
Then, voila! You have successfully created a texture mod!

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for this tutorial, it really helps. :)

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for this tutorial, it really helps. :)

You're welcome! I've updated it, the images should all appear now, and I've also added images of the textures, showing how the different areas are mapped on the model.

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Posted · Report post

I will play with this as soon as i can find my copy of LR1 again.

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Posted · Report post

Great work, but keep in mind that the alternate minifigure models (peg leg, hook hand, and peg leg + hook hand IIRC) have slightly different UV maps I think. I know the ones with hook hands allow you to make the hook a different color from the other hand.

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Posted · Report post

Great work, but keep in mind that the alternate minifigure models (peg leg, hook hand, and peg leg + hook hand IIRC) have slightly different UV maps I think. I know the ones with hook hands allow you to make the hook a different color from the other hand.

Thanks, I'll have another look at the textures when I get the chance.

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Great work, but keep in mind that the alternate minifigure models (peg leg, hook hand, and peg leg + hook hand IIRC) have slightly different UV maps I think. I know the ones with hook hands allow you to make the hook a different color from the other hand.

Thanks, I'll have another look at the textures when I get the chance.

You want the texture of the hook torso?

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Great work, but keep in mind that the alternate minifigure models (peg leg, hook hand, and peg leg + hook hand IIRC) have slightly different UV maps I think. I know the ones with hook hands allow you to make the hook a different color from the other hand.

Thanks, I'll have another look at the textures when I get the chance.

You want the texture of the hook torso?

I'd like the originals of all the textures! Cirevam's rip comes with one head, two torsos, one helmet, and one leg texture (if I recall correctly).

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Nice tutorial! :) One question: Do A.I. opponents use the same head and torso-textures as their respective counterparts from the character creation menu, or are those stored with the A.I. racers' car textures?

(Btw, I think you forgot Vernoica Voltage's head and torso)

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Nice tutorial! :) One question: Do A.I. opponents use the same head and torso-textures as their respective counterparts from the character creation menu, or are those stored with the A.I. racers' car textures?

(Btw, I think you forgot Vernoica Voltage's head and torso)

The character creation textures are separate from the in-game textures for all characters, including AI. They are named the same, however, so (for example) PM_CHST would be Pharaoh Mummy's chest in both the COMMON and PARTDB folders. They are not regarded as separate parts, as such - Pharaoh Mummy's torso is his torso in-game, and also his torso in the character creation menu. However, some textures are universally shared by characters - the LEG_## textures are a good example.

Hopefully that explains it!

I deliberately left out Veronica Voltage's head and torso because - as far as I know - you cannot access them from the character creation menu, so it's a case of copying her texture files (prefixed VV)and renaming them to the characters you'd like to replace.

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... You unlock Veronica Voltage's car set and minifigure parts after beating all the time trials... :/

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... You unlock Veronica Voltage's car set and minifigure parts after beating all the time trials... :/

WHAT? HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?!

Thanks, looks like I've got more racing to do!

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My quick bit of texture ripping is helping with big research :0

If you want I can try to get textures of some different torsos (like the one with the hook hand) and other parts, but the problem with Rice's video plugin for Project64 is that it only dumps whatever textures are in memory and only if the planets are aligned in a certain way. Cyrem used 3D Ripper DX to pull some stuff out but I'm not sure where they are now. But if you want, if you really really want, I'll give it a go.

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My quick bit of texture ripping is helping with big research :0

If you want I can try to get textures of some different torsos (like the one with the hook hand) and other parts, but the problem with Rice's video plugin for Project64 is that it only dumps whatever textures are in memory and only if the planets are aligned in a certain way. Cyrem used 3D Ripper DX to pull some stuff out but I'm not sure where they are now. But if you want, if you really really want, I'll give it a go.

If you think you could (and have the time) that really would be great! Especially as it would allow for a repository of the BMPs, which could also lead to HD textures and all sorts. Plus I could much improve this tutorial as a result ;)

Nice tutorial! :) One question: Do A.I. opponents use the same head and torso-textures as their respective counterparts from the character creation menu, or are those stored with the A.I. racers' car textures?

(Btw, I think you forgot Vernoica Voltage's head and torso)

The character creation textures are separate from the in-game textures for all characters, including AI. They are named the same, however, so (for example) PM_CHST would be Pharaoh Mummy's chest in both the COMMON and PARTDB folders. They are not regarded as separate parts, as such - Pharaoh Mummy's torso is his torso in-game, and also his torso in the character creation menu. However, some textures are universally shared by characters - the LEG_## textures are a good example.

Hopefully that explains it!

I deliberately left out Veronica Voltage's head and torso because - as far as I know - you cannot access them from the character creation menu, so it's a case of copying her texture files (prefixed VV)and renaming them to the characters you'd like to replace.

I apologise, after playing yesterday I realised that this is pretty wrong... While player textures follow this rule, AI opponents' do not - you were right - so I guess this requires more research!

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My quick bit of texture ripping is helping with big research :0

If you want I can try to get textures of some different torsos (like the one with the hook hand) and other parts, but the problem with Rice's video plugin for Project64 is that it only dumps whatever textures are in memory and only if the planets are aligned in a certain way. Cyrem used 3D Ripper DX to pull some stuff out but I'm not sure where they are now. But if you want, if you really really want, I'll give it a go.

And Rice rips them upside down.

I have had ZERO luck with 3D Ripper DX and LR.

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Update: Don't worry Cirevam, I had a go at ripping the textures myself, and updated the OP with a link to download them. Perhaps they'll help with decoding the original BMPs? I believe them to be textures from MENUDATA rather than GAMEDATA, as when I ripped textures from the races they were low resolution.

Edit:

Nice tutorial! :) One question: Do A.I. opponents use the same head and torso-textures as their respective counterparts from the character creation menu, or are those stored with the A.I. racers' car textures?

(Btw, I think you forgot Vernoica Voltage's head and torso)

I have discovered the textures used for AI opponents. They are called ##_MAT.BMP, and I have written a short guide on their usage in the tutorial.

I also beat Veronica Voltage's lap times, so her textures are included too ;)

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Could you add Commander Colds MAT.BMP in your packet. Maybe it's just me but I just don't see it :(

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Could you add Commander Colds MAT.BMP in your packet. Maybe it's just me but I just don't see it :(

This is the only one I'm missing. I used the used 3D Ripper so many times on his races but never received his MAT texture, only the textures used in the character creation... so perhaps he is unique in that he doesn't use a MAT texture?

I guess it requires more research. I've been busy so haven't looked into LR texturing for a while.

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I've updated the download link in the original post (the one containing texture rips) to include all skin textures from the game, except the four listed.

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Heya JimbobJeffers, I got more images for you to add to your headgear section of the post, and I even said which headgear is what filename.

P.S. I didn't upload the images to RRU because I figured you would merge them into your image and I'll probably delete them later when you do so.

AL_HAT

AL_HAT_zpse6aa4acc.png

AP_HAT

AP_HAT_zpsd2dc7e77.png

BK_HAT

BK_HAT_zps971a0cd4.png

CC_HAT

CC_HAT_zpsba1f4426.png

GB_HAT

GB_HAT_zps3e069cca.png

HELMETVV

HELMETVV_zpsba8d82a0.png

NH_HAT

NH_HAT_zps21389702.png

PM_HAT

PM_HAT_zps3dd5743c.png

RH_HAT

RH_HAT_zps38045caa.png

I would of done the rest of the hair/hats, but I have no idea where the files are (or which they are sharing with).

Edit: Guy hairs uses pant leg colours (like LEG_BLCK, LEG_BRWN, LEG_WHT, etc) and so does JT's hat and the cowboy hat. (probably other stuff does as well, haven't check too much into it)

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Heya JimbobJeffers, I got more images for you to add to your headgear section of the post, and I even said which headgear is what filename.

P.S. I didn't upload the images to RRU because I figured you would merge them into your image and I'll probably delete them later when you do so.

AL_HAT

AL_HAT_zpse6aa4acc.png

AP_HAT

AP_HAT_zpsd2dc7e77.png

BK_HAT

BK_HAT_zps971a0cd4.png

CC_HAT

CC_HAT_zpsba1f4426.png

GB_HAT

GB_HAT_zps3e069cca.png

HELMETVV

HELMETVV_zpsba8d82a0.png

NH_HAT

NH_HAT_zps21389702.png

PM_HAT

PM_HAT_zps3dd5743c.png

RH_HAT

RH_HAT_zps38045caa.png

I would of done the rest of the hair/hats, but I have no idea where the files are (or which they are sharing with).

Thanks a lot! I'll add these in later.

Edit: Guy hairs uses pant leg colours (like LEG_BLCK, LEG_BRWN, LEG_WHT, etc) and so does JT's hat and the cowboy hat. (probably other stuff does as well, haven't check too much into it)

Ah, thanks again, I was wondering where the colours came from.

EDIT: Added in the headgear images.

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Final update to the texture pack, it now includes all of the skin textures, including expressions. Hopefully someone will find it helpful :)

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Hey everyone, long time no see.

 

I've recently decided to get back to LEGO Racers modding (especially with all of the brilliant tools now available), but I've been having problems trying to get textures to work. The textures I'm making follow your templates, Jimbob, and are 16-bit BMPs, however, when the game boots up, it simply states "Unsupported colour depth encountered". I'm running the 2001 version of the game, though this shouldn't be a problem, since I made a minifig texture before with the exact same specifications on Photoshop (I'm now using GIMP), only using the N64 template.

 

Any ideas?

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Hey everyone, long time no see.

 

I've recently decided to get back to LEGO Racers modding (especially with all of the brilliant tools now available), but I've been having problems trying to get textures to work. The textures I'm making follow your templates, Jimbob, and are 16-bit BMPs, however, when the game boots up, it simply states "Unsupported colour depth encountered". I'm running the 2001 version of the game, though this shouldn't be a problem, since I made a minifig texture before with the exact same specifications on Photoshop (I'm now using GIMP), only using the N64 template.

 

Any ideas?

 

Sorry, but I have no idea why that is... I don't know much about errors and the coding side of classic Lego games. I'll download and insert the pack on my Windows 7 PC (the textures were done on my XP) and see if I get the same error.

 

EDIT: Nope, it's working fine for me, on both Windows 7 and XP. I think I have the 2001 version, it looks like this. Perhaps it's do with your copies being 16-bit - they should be 8-bit from what I've heard.

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Perhaps it's do with your copies being 16-bit - they should be 8-bit from what I've heard.

 

That's the weird thing - I made another texture previously at 16-bit, and it works fine to this day. You mentioned Windows 7 - I'm running on Windows 8, but it hasn't caused any problems before and my previous texture, Racers HD and Rock Racers (both of which are brilliant so far) work fine. Thanks for checking, though.

 

What image editor do you use to create/modify textures?

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