How To Make Custom Textures that Work with WoW





Info provided by: futrtrubl
Edited by: Zazoo


“So I have this .blp...”


Ok. You got a “.blp” from out of WoW using the Custom Interface Kit, from a Blizzard game using an “mpq” extractor like WinMPQ, or maybe someone sent you one or you got it in an Addon and you'd like to edit it.
The problem is a “.blp” is Blizzard's own format for textures so you'll have to convert it to something readable by your image editor.  I use WoWImage which will convert it to a “.png” like so in (Figure 1), and it will spit out a “.png” with the same name in the directory of your “.blp”.




*You should now have an all black channel named “Alpha 1”.  If you were to save the image now, it would be invisible in-game because any black area on this alpha channel becomes transparent.  So lets make the areas of the image that we want shown white (opaque).

-Select your paint bucket tool, set your foreground color to white, uncheck "Contiguous" and click on your image.

*You should get (Figure 6).




-Now deselect and go to the “File” and select “Save As”. 

-Browse to where you want it saved, change the file extension to Targa (.tga), make sure the Alpha Channel checkbox is checked.
-Name it what you want and hit save. When the Targa Options popup shows itself select 32 bits/pixel and make sure Compress (RLE) is unchecked, like (Figure 7)


“So I have this wicked image I found on the internet/made...”


-Open it up in your editor. First we have to make sure the dimensions of your image are a power of 2 (i.e. 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, etc).  Go to “Image”, “Image size”, and look at the pixel dimensions. If these are not a power of 2, they need to be changed.

*Example 1: If the image size is simply a square (i.e. 300x300), then we can just easily change these to be a power of 2 (i.e. 256x256). Make sure that "Constrain Proportions" is checked, then set one of the dimensions to a valid power of 2 (if constrain proportions is checked, it will change the other one for you), and hit OK.
*Example 2: If, like (Figure 9), it isn't square and you would like to accurately squash/stretch the image, then it'll take a little more work.  Go to “Image”, “Canvas Size” look at the dimensions (Figure 10), and increase the smaller one to equal the highest one (i.e. you have 280x310, increase the 280 to 310 to make a square, so now your canvas size is 310x310). Hit OK.  Now that your image is a square, follow Example 1.
Note: There are many possibilities with changing dimensions. Example: you have an image 240x210.  Well you can either change the canvas size to 256x256 so your actual image will stay the same size, or you can make your canvas 240x240, then change the image size to 256x256, but by doing it this way, it will stretch to be bigger and you might not like it anymore.  Its up to you to get it the way you want.



Do your thing if you want to edit how the actual texture looks. Once it's to your satisfaction we now need to create the alpha layer.
-Select the “Channels” tab and create a new channel (see above). Now click on the box to the left of the RGB channel so that all the channels have an “eye” next to them, this will make your image look a bit weird but is perfectly normal.
-Click on the “Alpha 1” channel to highlight it (Figure 11).  Now just paint white on the areas of the image that you want to be opaque.
*In WoW, areas that are red will be transparent.



*If you want to get fancy you can use shades of grey to make areas translucent.  The lighter the grey the more opaque, and the darker the grey the more transparent.  (Figure 12 & 13)
*You can use all your normal tools, pencil, paintbrush, paint bucket, gradient. Go wild ;']





-Now save it as a Targa “.tga” (the same as above)