Texture modding

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A collection of information about textures; and how to edit and replace them/client side modding.

General information

Regarding HD textures, 3 reasons off the top of my head: Texture size is specified/locked. You'd need to manually change that for every item. Not sure we have the tools currently.

I was told early on that bigger textures lead to a slowdown of the game. From what I understand: double a texture's size and it's like having 4 of that texture now. That's a big jump in file size. Consider the amount of costume parts we have in the game, the diversity of costumes you encounter and the game having to load all of those files. Not sure if it's the memory or whatnot (Platense can explain), but with the game code being what it is, it wouldn't work.

And 3rd, purely practical: The way to get the existing assets is by exporting the existing texture files, which are compressed DDS. The quality is often horrible. I tried upscaling and going through bouts of blurs and smart sharpens, but you just don't get a decent quality. So it's a lot of repainting by hand and that's a pain. Happy to be proven wrong on this

Understanding CoH textures


The Saturation mask, as I call it (I'm sure there's a pro term) controls how much of the skin color gets applied to the diffuse map. Black is 100% color, white is none.

How to edit textures

This is assuming you're using Adobe Photoshop.

  1. Download and install Photoshop DDS plugin
  2. Use Pigg Viewer 1.61 to browse to the texture you want to work with
  3. Right-click desired texture, choose Extract as DDS
  4. Open DDS file in Photoshop
  5. Edit texture as desired
  6. Save as DDS. If your texture has an alpha layer, make it DXT5 interpolated alpha. Files without alpha layer, like patterns or masks are DXT1.
  7. Go back to Pigg Viewer 1.61. Choose the texture you want to replace, right-click, Create .texture from DDS
  8. Start up game, pick changed item

CoH does not always like it when you change textures while the game is running, especially normal maps. You might have to restart for each change.


Files to follow

Pigg Viewer v1.61 Use this to export and import DDS files

Pigg Viewer Pro Easier tool for browsing. Use this to find the textures you want, use 1.61 to export/import.

Photoshop Nvidia DDS plugin https://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-texture-tools-adobe-photoshop