Frosty Tool Suite – How to make texture mods using Intel Texture Works and Photoshop

Here is a video demonstration and written tutorial on how to successfully create a texture mod using the Intel Texture Works Plugin for Photoshop.

The reason this tutorial was made is that the nVidia DDS Plugin is currently causing problems on importing textures extracted from Frosty Editor into Photoshop.

This plugin can seem like a beast at first but it is very reliable.

This tutorial DOES NOT COVER TEXTURE EDITING! It simply demonstrates how to use the Intel Texture Works Plugin, as this is the only plugin for now that works with Frosty, not producing an errors both when importing and exporting.

Before you start..

 

  • IT IS IMPERATIVE YOU READ THE SIDE NOTES BELOW BEFORE & AFTER VIEWING THE TUTORIAL.
  • CHECK THE FROSTY TOOL SUITE ERROR COMPENDIUM BEFORE REPORTING ANY ISSUES.
  • CHECK OUT THE COMMENTS, AS SOMETIMES, THEY MAY ALSO HAVE THE ANSWERS TO ANY ISSUES YOU ARE HAVING.

I, munchyfly, am NOT the creator of Frosty Tool Suite. I’m merely a Tester, meaning that I only try out the tools and take no part in it’s coding.

All Frosty Tool Suite development is made by GalaxyMan2015 & his development group.

 


Video Tutorial

 

 

Text Tutorial

 

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to save DDS textures using the Intel® Texture Works Plugin for Photoshop for use in Frosty Editor.

Here, I will me modding Mass Effect: Andromeda

  1. Download the Intel® Texture Works Plugin for Photoshop
  2. Follow the install instructions provided to install the plugin.
  3. Run Frosty Editor.
  4. Now choose the texture you wish to modify and extract it. Here, I’m using the Athletic Outfit Top Diffuse & Mask (Specular)
  5. Take note of the format of the texture(s) you just extracted. Write it down or take a screenshot. You’ll need it in order to move forward.
  6. Minimize Frosty Editor
  7. Open Photoshop
  8. Open the texture(s) you wish to edit.
    1. If your texture doesn’t have an Alpha Channel, this dialogue will appear. In this case, the Diffuse for the Athletic Outfit Top.
    2. If your texture has an Alpha Channel, this dialogue will appear. For Alpha textures, it’s usually better to check “Load transperancy as Alpha Channel”. In this case, the Mask (Specular) for the Athletic Outfit Top.
  9. Make the modifications you wish
  10. Go to File > Save As > Intel > Press Save
  11. This dialogue controls Export Options.
  12. Remember when I told you to take note of the original texture’s format?
    1. The original format for this Diffuse is BC7_SRGB
    2. The original format for this Mask is BC7_UNORM
    3. The Diffuse doesn’t have an Alpha Channel. In Texture Type, select Color. In Compression, select BC7 8bpp Fine (sRGB, DX11+). In Mip Maps, select Auto Generate. Hit ok.
    4. The Mask has an Alpha Channel. In Texture Type, select Color + Alpha. In Compression, select BC7 8bpp Fine (Linear, DX11+). In Mip Maps, select Auto Generate. Hit ok.
  13. Go back to Frosty Editor.
  14. Go to your texture and hit Import. Point it to your modified texture.
  15. Finally, save your project.
  16. Hit Launch.
  17. Your changes should appear in-game

 

Links

 

Side Notes

  1. Always save your project! If Frosty Editor closes, you will lose all unsaved changes and will have to re-make your mod. Your project is saved as “ProjectName.fbproject”. Make a backup of it just in case you lose your original.
  2. Projects don’t hold multiple changes. What I mean by this is that every mod has to be made in a new project.
  3. Make sure you always have “.fbmod” & “.archive”. Your mod will not work with Frosty Mod Manager if  “.archive” is not present in the same folder as “.fbmod”.
  4. Make sure you have zipped “.fbmod” & “.archive”. Extract your archive if you unsure and see if it’s all there.
  5. Make sure you saved your textures with the exact format as the vanilla. This applies to Mip Maps as well. If a texture has more than 1 (one) Mip Map, generate them.
  6. Include as much info as possible in your mod. This is to avoid any complications on the mod users end.
  7. Project files are not mod files. If you accidentally upload a “.fbproject”, then the mod user will have access to your changes. Frosty Editor does no open already built mods, ergo, “.fbmod” cannot be opened with Frosty Editor once exported.

 

 

25 comments

  • This was a big help, thank you! However I have tried to save some tattoo masks and they won’t import into the editor. Is there a recommended way to save them?

    Like

    • Hello! I am very sorry for the delay on responding. It seems that for some reason, Akismet thought your were spam o.0.

      I haven’t messed with tattoos but you also have to be careful if they have an Alpha Channel. Could you please tell me (or show me) the issue you are having, so I can have a general idea on what’s going on.

      Thank you for the nice comments and once again, I apologize for the wrongful mistreatment.

      Like

  • Hi. Thanks for your precious work. I have discovered (sadly) that my PS is not compatible with the plugin.
    DO you know if there are converters for the images used into MEA ?
    Thanks

    Like

    • I’m sorry to hear that your PS isn’t compatible but it should be. May I ask what version you are using? I know of DirectXTex but I don’t use it. There is also Compressonator but I can’t seem to find how to save in sRGB. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help. The link to Compressonator is in my Artists & Modders Reference Page.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by :D.

      Like

  • Hi! I’ve been trying to follow your tutorial all day, and I’ve narrowed down where I’m having the problem. Intel® Texture Works Plugin for Photoshop doesn’t seem to be working with CS2 making me unable to open files that are “BC7”. Is the plugin incompatible with CS2?

    Do you know of another program (I use Gimp as well, but couldn’t seem to find a comparable extension) that would allow me to edit BC7 files? Or is there a plugin that is compatible with CS2?

    I’ve been trying all day and I thought I would ask before I give up on being able to mod andromeda.

    ~submitted by an anonymous viewer via Feedback form

    Sadly, Intel Texture Works only supports Adobe Photoshop CS6+.

    GIMP’s DDS plugins doesn’t support the new DX11-12 textures. The last game that I know of that it supported was Dragon Age: Inquisition. Plus, it’s been out of development for quite some time. Compressonator has read/write support for BC7, although I haven’t yet found how to save for the sRGB format. I rarely use it now, since the Intel Plugin has it all.

    I have no idea on whether nVidia’s plugin supports the formats or not, as I stopped using it due to some difficulties regarding mods in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

    Like

  • I know you said that this was not a tutorial on how to actually edit these textures in photoshop so I wanted to ask if there actually Is a tutorial anywhere on how the files work together in game? Knowing my way around PS I can edit the .diff no problem but how does the mask come into it and how do they work together (and why the heck is everything red?) I just can’t seem to wrap my head around it.:I Maybe you can tell but I’ve been trying (and searching for tutorials) for hours and came up with nothing.

    Like

  • Hey. Firstly, let me thank you so much for all your work! It’s just awesome! Secondly, is there any way to decrypt the “.archive” files? I’m currently getting into the data/file structure of MEA and it would help me a lot if I could reproduce what a modder did so I can start working on my own mod from there. I had hoped that would be possible, but not being able to see what exactly a modder did makes it all the more difficult to get into modding MEA. I don’t want to constantly bother them with questions but rather put effort into it myself. But the archive decryption makes it impossible for me. 😦

    Like

    • Hello. Thanks for the kind words ^^;;

      Unfortunately, you would have to ask the mod author for a file called “.fbproject”. As far as I know, you cannot de-crypt the “.archive” file. I’m mostly a tester for the tools, not a coder xD. If I want to reproduce a mod, I’d either ask or go digging through the files myself. And I understand you not wanting to bother the authors with questions. There are only a handful of them that are willing to help no questions asked. Aside from my texture tutorial, there is one located on the Nexus that deals with weapon edits etc. I can’t access the Nexus right now for some reason but if memory serves me right, it’s called Frosty Tool Suite tutorials (or something like that).

      I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help :(. I’m fairly new to the modding game myself.

      Let me know later what you decided ^^;;

      Have fun 🙂

      Like

      • Thanks a lot for answering! I’m currently trying to get my head around hair modding. You can indeed combine different hair meshes to create mash-ups and thus create entirely new hairstyles. (http://www.nexusmods.com/masseffectandromeda/mods/399) But for that you have to create and edit dozens of entries. It’s quite tedious and I’m already getting a headache trying to understand what goes where, lol. 😛

        Like

      • I quite understand. I gave up since the hairs were released. Figured I’d end up using those anyway.

        As for entries, that’s sadly a reality for several mods. Mods that alter weapon stats (such as ammo etc) all alter the same “file” for the lack of a better term. So it’s hard to make a compatible mod for those, unless someone makes their project file public.

        Like

  • I would like to ask how do i make mod “.fbmod” & “.archive” file what tools should i use?

    Like

  • My sincerest thanks for the tutorial, really. Vanilla face textures for men are horrible (especially eyebrows), and modders out there are not in a hurry to fix that, focusing on other matters (like female complexions, of all things). So one has to take matters into her own hands, and it’s great to have both an instrument and a manual for that.
    And sorry though I am to bother you with stupid questions, I’m having unexpected troubles with an edited face texture in-game. In the editor, the diff looks as intended, but once the game is launched the face appears several shades darker and redder, like a severe sunburn. To make matters more confusing, it looked just fine last time I launched the game to check it… I have a feeling I’m missing something.

    Like

    • Thanks for the kind words :D.

      But I’m afraid I am a bit biased when talking about what’s good or not. I also don’t like using the word “fix” unless it’s for a gameplay bug, missing links etc. Since I’m half-new/half-veteran on texture editing, I can’t really say that they’re bad. I can’t paint skin at all so I think that my comment, again me personally, isn’t valid. Personally, I always play as a female and in real life, I can’t wear make-up for too long, because my face will start to get stiff and I have very itchy eyes so you can tell why I usually hate wearing them. I also have terrible skin and while I’m not the kind to dismiss my imperfection, if I can make a character look “perfect” then I will. If I wanted realism, I wouldn’t be playing a game or instead, I’d slap my own face there. But that’s me HAHA. I can think of several reasons why modders don’t want to edit the male complexion in a whole but that would take more space, aside from my inane babblings xD.

      Now to help you (if I can):

      If the texture is showing up weird in-game you could have:

      – saved it in the wrong format
      – replaced the wrong files
      – your edit may look different in-game so it’s something you should consider.
      – If you installed any mods since the last time you checked, then maybe that’s what could be making your textures look weird.

      I did answer someone on Tumblr on how to replace the right textures. I’m going to make a copy of it and post it here sometime. But in suma, if you want to edit face textures, always look for the diffuse_mean and normal_mean. They look low res but these are the files the game uses. I go a little more in-depth in my answer but if you want “hi-res” sources, you should look for the ones that start hmm_ etc..

      Sorry I can’t be of more help. Ever since the Cinematic Tools stopped working for me, I haven’t even played Andromeda nor updated my mods. No one has given any feedback regarding errors on my mods so I didn’t see the need to right now.

      Like

      • Thank you for replying so quickly. I actually did check all the possible issues you’ve suggested, and it wasn’t any of those.
        But now I know what happened (but still no idea as to how or why). It’s weird.
        To be specific: as I came to understand only just now, normally, in the Editor, the texture how it is supposed to look (and how it looks in Photoshop) is displayed with “Y” button (Override display of linear data) deactivated. When activated, the texture becomes brighter. Much, much brighter.
        My texture looked as I intended it to look only with the override button active (and it was active after the export, though I never clicked it). Since the tutorial didn’t cover particulars of the interface, I didn’t realize that something was wrong.
        Today I gave it another try and everything worked as it should.
        Still don’t know why the texture got so saturated on its own during the first 3 attempts…

        Like

      • Ah, if the texture is brighter then it’s because the texture you want to replace is sRGB and you didn’t save your own texture in sRGB. At least it’s what I’ve been told by the coder. To be honest, the whole “save as original format” is mostly to be safe. With the exception of the sRGB format, the rest could potentially be saved as you wish. I’m usually very careful with these things so I stay as close to the original format as possible.

        I’m sorry the tutorial doesn’t cover the interface. At the time I made the tutorial, it was simply to show how to use the Intel Plugin mostly, since it was the only method we had for saving DDS files for Andromeda. Once the coders have released the next version, I plan on making better versions. Thing is I generally forget to put something and only remember it when I’ve published it xD.

        Well, if you got it working, then yay! You can see of how little help I can be but if there is anything else, please let me know and I’ll do my best to try and help you :D.

        Like

  • Hello, I want to make different texture for Asari underarmour mod https://staticdelivery.nexusmods.com/mods/1894/images/399-1-1498860515.jpg made by Atherisz

    The thing is that in game you change 3 colors of the armor + pattern. How to tell the game what piece of the texture should change with each of the 3 color options + pattern types ?

    thanks

    Like

    • Is there some tutorial on changing the color map? So the tinting in game would change different parts of the texture.

      Like

      • No. I haven’t made one yet.

        But for now this is the most simple explanation I can give you:

        Each Color Picker tints a part of the outfits.
        This is done via the Tinting Map.
        Each Color Picker uses one of the RGB channels in the Tinting Map.
        If I remember correctly:

        Color Picker 1 = Red
        Color Picker 2 = Green
        Color Picker 3 = Blue

        Using my Pants mod as an example, I simply moved all the pieces to the Blue Channel and left Red & Green completely Black. Therefore, in-game, the pants would only color with Color Picker 3, since it uses the Blue channel to apply it’s color.

        I haven’t messed with the patterns so I can’t help you there. But the coloring should work the same way.

        Can’t help more than that. I might make a tutorial later.

        Like

  • Hmmm, when I open the tint map dds in PS and look on the R G B channels, nothing changes. The picture is still the same :/ So don’t know how to change specific part. http://imgur.com/a/ZluFX

    Like

    • You loaded the texture wrong. If your using the Intel plugin, when you open the DDS file in Photoshop, there should be an option that says Load Alpha as Transparancy, or something like that. Don’t check that.

      EDIT: If the comment shows with strikethrough, then I did this right lol. Please disregard this statement. I mixed up info when I posted this. Apologies.

      For the parts not changing, from what I can tell, only the Green channel is being used so only that part is going to be colored.

      Like

  • Hello, any idea on how to change the peebees breather colour ? It’s pink. I found textures for it game>characters>asari>asa>0_helmets>asa_him_a>textures
    I don’t understand where the pink color is coming from cause I don’t see it in any texture, nor diff, tint,strip, mask, n etc…

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s