This tutorial assumes that you already know to work with an advanced image editor such as Photoshop or GIMP. Therefore, it will not intruct you on how to use it for character retexturing. What it will do, is show you how to find and extract texture files for characters, and more importantly, how to convert them into an editable format using Txb2TGA.
- Jade Empire ERF RIM Editor (see Tools page for details)
- Txb2Tga (see Tools page for details)
- Photoshop, GIMP or any other image editor that can open TGAs (see TXB page for details)
Extracting the textureEdit
Before you fire up the ERF RIM Editor, you should decide which character texture you would like to alter. In this example, we will use Monk Zeng, one of the possible player characters in the vanilla/unmodded game.
Open the Editor and with it browse to your game's data directory (...\Jade Empire\data). Change the "Files of type" dropdown menu to display "Resource Image files *.rim".
The .rim files are organized into folders according to the area their content first appears in. This includes the character textures we are looking for. Monk Zeng (and all the other Player Characters for that matter) first appears in the character selection screen, before anything else, so his texture files can be found inside the "mmenu-a.rim" file in the data folder proper, a little scroll down from the folders at the front. (...\Jade Empire\data\mmenu-a.rim). Find it, and open it with the ERF RIM Editor.
In the window that appears, scroll down until you reach the files beginning with "p_tan*". These are the ones we are looking for, as they belong to Monk Zeng.
Note: As far as textures are concerned, the files are broken into two pieces: one contains the texture for a character's body, the other for his/her head. Exceptions do exist, but seldom.
In this particular case, "p_tan02", a TXB file, contains the textures for Monk Zeng's body (robes, torso, arms and legs) and is the one we are going to alter. Extract this file to a folder of your choice by either dragging and dropping or by using the "Extract selected file" option under the "Tools" drop-down menu. Either way, be sure to remember *where* you have placed it!
Note: For reference, there is another TXB file, "p_tanh02", which contains the texture for Monk Zeng's head (face, hair, eyes, etc). You do not need to extract it if you do not want to alter it. Body textures and head textures are separate, and they can be overriden so.
Now you have a raw .txb file in a folder. Photoshop or GIMP will not open it, so we will have to convert it to an editable format.
Converting the textureEdit
Turning the .txb file into .tga is made easy by using the Txb2Tga tool. Click the executable and run it.
The user interface is pretty straightforward. Click the "Convert" button, browse to the directory where you previously extracted "p_tan02.txb", and then "Open" the afore-mentioned file using the converter tool.
After a short while, another window will pop up, prompting you to select a location where it should save the new converted file (in our case, "p_tan02.tga"). The default will probably be your old folder, but I recommend you save some time and select your Jade Empire Override folder directly. (...\Jade Empire\Override).
Now you will have a fully functional and editable .tga file. As you have put it in Override, any changes you make to it will be used by the game to overwrite the vanilla texture with your own.
All that remains now is...
Altering the texture (an example)Edit
To modify the .tga, you will need an image editor such as GIMP or Adobe Photoshop. Instructions on how to use them are beyond the scope of this tutorial, however I will show a basic example of a texture recolor, giving Monk Zeng's robes a darker look.
Note: When recoloring a texture, it is recommended that you use a brush with "Hue" style and an opacity of 80-85%, so as to color the texture without damaging the already-existing details underneath. (unless it is your intention to do so).
And finally, save your modified .tga file and make sure it is in your Jade Empire Override folder. Going into the game will reveal your character's altered appearance.
- Written by QVAESTOR -