Creating a Texture Pack - A Guide for the Inexperienced

Discussion in 'Texture Packs' started by Astrolotl, Sep 28, 2014.

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  1. Astrolotl

    Astrolotl Terrarian

    Creating a Texture Pack - A Guide for the Inexperienced
    Never made a texture pack before? No Problem! In this guide I will teach you from the ground up.

    First off, let me just say I'm constructing this guide because there seems to be a lack of people creating texture packs, and the only people that were are no longer active. I think Terraria is a great game and has a great community, and said community could produce some really great stuff; so I decided to make this guide. Keep in mind that I have never made a texture pack before either, so there will be mistakes made! However, I will correct them as often as possible and keep everyone updated about what I've learned in my texture pack endeavors. Onward with the learning!


    Welcome to the Texture Pack creation guide! Let's start this tutorial off with a list of things you will need:
    • Basic knowledge of computers
    • a computer
    • the Terraria client
    • an image editing program
    • a .XNB exporter or TExtract or TCCL
    • Microsoft XNA Studio
    • some new file folders
    • empty disk space
    Since some of the info in this tutorial is pretty basic, here's the table of contents in case you want to skip ahead. Just click on the topic you want to go to!

    Locating Texture Files
    Exporting Texture Files
    Editing Texture Files
    Importing Texture Files

    -Locating Texture Files-

    Alright, the very first thing you're going to want to do is locate the .xnb files that Terraria uses. You can find them through Steam or through your files explorer. Here is how you find them with Steam:
    The next method is locating them through files explorer: This (C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Terraria\Content\Images) is the pathway where mine are located; you might be able to locate yours by opening your files explorer and copying and pasting that into the address bar, but only if your Steam and Terraria programs are installed similarly.
    Have no idea what I'm talking about? Screenshots are under the spoiler.
    If your .xnb files are not located here, you can find them by locating your Steam program files, clicking the "SteamApps" folder, then the "common" folder, then the "Terraria" folder, then "Content" then "Images".

    -Exporting Texture Files-

    Once you have found them, you'll notice they are all in the .xnb format, which cannot be opened by image editing programs. To rectify this, you can download and install a .xnb converter, or TCCL: Terraria Custom Content Loader or TExtract and use any program to turn the .xnb files into .png files so you can edit them. Once they are converted to .png, they will have to be converted back to .xnb in order to be used by the game (unless I can get TCCL to work, which is able to get the Terraria client to use .png files as textures) Or, if you don't want to use either of these programs, you can download the .png files here (link provided by stupidjesse) and skip to the next step

    Using .xnb exporter: Download .xnb converter. Create a new folder anywhere and extract all the contents of the zip file into the folder; it should look like this:
    The zip contains a text file with instructions, but I'll put them here anyway. Copy the .xnb files you wish to convert into the input folder. Run the .exe file. Converted files can now be found in the output folder. Simple. Done? Go to the next step.

    Using TExtract: Download TExtract. Make sure it gets put into the Terraria folder. Run the .exe file. Extracted assets can now be found in the folder "TerrariaAssets" or TerrariaAssets_X". This includes music, fonts, and sound files in addition to texture files. Done? Go to the next step.

    Using TCCL:
    I have gotten TCCL to work, and it has converted some of the .xnb files to png files, although it seems like most of them got corrupted somehow and are completely blank. I'm wary about using this program to apply .png textures because it seems to crash a lot and causes a significant amount of lag within the game. Here's how you do it though: Download the TCCL installer and run it, installing it inside your Terraria folder:
    Once you've done that, launch TCCL.exe to make sure everything has installed correcty. Then drag the "Content" folder over the TCCL.exe file, and it should begin to convert the .xnb files into .png files. If you get a black screen, you can wait for it to finish or ctrl+alt+delete to go back to the desktop. It will then say "Image conversion succesful" and you can close it out. Now you can find all your shiny new .png files inside a folder that TCCL creates
    Upon opening it up though, I found many of them were broken
    I have tried waiting for them to load or opening them up, but they seem pretty much nonexistent. I did get some working files, so we can start editing those right away. Considering the problems I have with TCCL, I would recommend a different program. Done? Go to the next step.

    -Editing Texture Files-

    Now that we've got some .png files we can work with, we need an image editor to alter them to our liking! You can use MS paint or Gimp or Photoshop or whatever you happen to have installed on your computer, but I would recommend FireAlpaca. It works with PC and Mac, and is a very nice, free image editing tool. It also gives you a handy 1 pixel grid when zoomed in on images, like this:
    Make sure you use the pen tool set at 1 pixel and 100%. If you have trouble drawing straight lines, draw one pixel where you want the line to start, hold down shift, and put the other pixel where you want the line to end. This works for diagonal lines too. If you want to sample a color you previously used or a color already in the image, hold down the Alt key and click the pixel with the color you would like to sample. When you go to save, make sure you save it as a .png file with transparency.
    Creating a separate file folder for all of your edited texture files is a good idea. It'll make them easier to find later when we have to convert them all back into .xnb format.

    -Importing Texture Files-

    to be added


    to be added
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
    FlyKip, angrivator, Frous and 7 others like this.
  2. PenguinPandaZero

    PenguinPandaZero Official Terrarian

    Looks nice. Will probably be a great guide once finished.
    Snickerbobble and Astrolotl like this.
  3. stupidjesse

    stupidjesse Official Terrarian

    I have already started adjusting some of the textures for myself and would it be possible if I could share all the png files here or send you my dropbox link for all the png files.
  4. Astrolotl

    Astrolotl Terrarian

    Sure! Would it be alright if I posted the link for other people to use?
  5. stupidjesse

    stupidjesse Official Terrarian

    no problem...
  6. Astrolotl

    Astrolotl Terrarian

  7. NanoPi

    NanoPi Steampunker

    I'd like to share an alternative method of browsing to the texture files.


    hope this helps
  8. stupidjesse

    stupidjesse Official Terrarian

    wow i never knew you could do it that way... hahaha this could have saved me a lot of time :joy:
  9. Jessir

    Jessir Terrarian

    Looks really good, i'll sure give it a try when i have some free time on my hands!
  10. Fruitbat

    Fruitbat Terrarian

    Since I know how to make texture packs I didn't read it
    How you even do this?
    I love you
    I was using the long way to open the files all this time
    Thank you
    Snickerbobble likes this.
  11. Sdds Vitorias

    Sdds Vitorias Terrarian

    Can i with this program change the color of the spells?
  12. stupidjesse

    stupidjesse Official Terrarian

    yes you can. you can change the bottle shapes, colors, particles and whatever else you want as long as it pertains to the actual sprites.
    Fruitbat likes this.
  13. Sdds Vitorias

    Sdds Vitorias Terrarian

    I want to do that so bad :p Is it very hard??
  14. stupidjesse

    stupidjesse Official Terrarian

    the hard part is making sure you have all the programs and library files. once you have all that then its pretty simple.
  15. Astrolotl

    Astrolotl Terrarian

    You mean how did I get the text to link to a specific part of the page? I used anchors. they work like this:
    [anchor]anchor title[/anchor]
    put this where you want the link to go to
    [goto=anchor title]Text to click[/goto]
    and put this around the text you want to be clicked.

    If that's not what you meant then idk??
    Snickerbobble and Fruitbat like this.
  16. Fruitbat

    Fruitbat Terrarian

    Ye that's what I meant.
    Thanks then!
  17. stupidjesse

    stupidjesse Official Terrarian

    gotta love the anchor tags!!! best piece of code ever invented!
  18. Astrolotl

    Astrolotl Terrarian

    I'm having some trouble getting Microsoft XNA studio to work. I tried downloading it but it says it needs some other package from the Microsoft website to run. There's a bunch of different packages for the XNA studio and the program isn't being all that clear with which one I need. Also I've been caught up with school and college stuff.
  19. stupidjesse

    stupidjesse Official Terrarian

    is it the visual basic you need? you need to get the visual basic 2010 c++ C++ 2010 Redistributable Package&form=DLC

    make sure you get the right one 64 bit or 86(32)bit
  20. TamerKoh

    TamerKoh Terrarian

    Excuse me, I have the PNG files downloaded, and can edit them in a program. But how do I re-insert them into the game upon completion for viewing tests?
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