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Unread 12-16-11, 01:11 PM   #1
Asuhrie
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.BLP's and .TGA's

I've recently developed an interest in doing some graphical changes to the ingame textures for the various interface screens.

The major problem I've had is that when converting .TGA's to .BLPs, the colors tend to bleed and the resulting image is imperfect. I've ran across a few threads stating that you can use .tga files instead of .BLPs, but anytime I do this, WoW fails to load my .TGA file.

Does anyone know a solution to this? Or maybe a technique I can use to minimize bleeding?
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Unread 12-16-11, 02:04 PM   #2
brotherhobbes
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To get .tga files to show up, they have to be in a certain format. There's an excellent guide over on the WowAce forums about this: http://forums.wowace.com/showthread.php?t=15439

Note that you might need to be registered and logged into the forums there to see the pictures.

edit: If you have a Curse login, you can use it on WowAce for the forums, btw.

Last edited by brotherhobbes : 12-16-11 at 02:09 PM. Reason: typo and extra note
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Unread 12-16-11, 07:33 PM   #3
tinyu
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i find that PNG files convert to BLP a lot easier.
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Unread 12-16-11, 07:46 PM   #4
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There are only three things that the targa format requires to work properly in games (and a lot of games these days don't even have the first one any more):
  1. The dimensions need to be a power of 2 (2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024);
  2. The max dimensions must be 1024x1024. If you try to make either dimension bigger, it won't work; and
  3. Your graphic must be saved as 32bit (24 for rgb {8 for each channel - red green blue} and another 8 for the alpha {transparency} channel).
.png format will also work in WoW as well as .blp2 (as you already know). A lot of people tend to prefer .png over .tga because they save 'smaller'.
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Last edited by Cairenn : 12-16-11 at 08:11 PM.
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Unread 12-17-11, 04:38 AM   #5
Phanx
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Did they add PNG support to the PC version of WoW, or is that still Mac-only?
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Unread 12-17-11, 07:58 AM   #6
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This is the first I've heard of PNG support. I hope it's true. Working with TGA/BLP is such a PITA.
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Unread 12-17-11, 01:39 PM   #7
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I am not sure, to be honest. I just know that many other games allow .png as well. Some are even supporting .dds now too. The only ones I can confirm for WoW, however, are .tga and .blp. Sorry for the confusion.
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Unread 12-17-11, 03:13 PM   #8
SDPhantom
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As far as I know, the game client recognizes PNG files, but reading them as textures isn't implemented yet.
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Unread 12-17-11, 03:40 PM   #9
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*nod*

Images and textures are two different things.
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Unread 12-17-11, 06:30 PM   #10
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Not sure if this helps anybody or not, but I find the biggest problem with working with .tga in WoW comes when you're trying to get the alpha channel to work properly in Photoshop. Because it just doesn't.

There are several guides circulating on the web on how to get it to work, but I've found a simpler solution. Save it as .png. Open it in The Gimp. Save it as .tga from The Gimp. And the alpha channel works perfectly with WoW. Since I started using The Gimp for conversion purposes, I haven't had a single problem with the alpha channel in any .tga file whatsoever.

The format you should use for .tga in WoW - as already stated by others - is 32-bit color with RLE compression. The dimensions must be a power of 2. And somewhere in the back of my head a voice screams you should never use smaller sizes than 16x16. I have some faint memories of WoW client crashes after a patch that caused all textures sized 8x8 to completely bug out the graphics engine.
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Unread 12-17-11, 06:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Goldpaw View Post
The format you should use for .tga in WoW - as already stated by others - is 32-bit color with RLE compression.
Don't compress it. That's probably your problem.

Originally Posted by Goldpaw View Post
The dimensions must be a power of 2. And somewhere in the back of my head a voice screams you should never use smaller sizes than 16x16. I have some faint memories of WoW client crashes after a patch that caused all textures sized 8x8 to completely bug out the graphics engine.
I seem to recall similar.
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Unread 12-17-11, 07:02 PM   #12
Goldpaw
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Originally Posted by Cairenn View Post
Don't compress it. That's probably your problem.
The problem was there both with and without compression using Photoshop, but nonexistent in The Gimp. The Gimp simply handles this better, or at least in a more automatic way for newbies like me.

As far as I know the WoW client has supported RLE compression properly since 2.1. It won't make any real difference though, not on these tiny texture files.
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Unread 12-17-11, 08:15 PM   #13
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Huh, that's odd.
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Unread 12-17-11, 09:38 PM   #14
tinyu
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you can work with PNG files then just convert them to BLP.
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Unread 12-18-11, 01:53 AM   #15
Xinhuan
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RLE Compression for TGA works perfectly fine for WoW, Cairenn, I have used such images compressed in wow.

The problem is probably Photoshop itself, it tends to embed too much information in the files that it creates. The latest TGA file format has optional header/footer fields that WoW might not like, and WoW could assume those fields are not there or otherwise.

The TGA format can even optionally specify which corner of the image the pixel information starts off in, but for older TGA formats, these are assumed to be the default settings, which Photoshop might not adhere to.
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Unread 12-18-11, 02:45 AM   #16
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Good info Xinhuan! Thanks for the correction.
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Unread 12-18-11, 02:48 AM   #17
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i use GIMP instead of Photoshop.
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Unread 12-20-11, 06:57 AM   #18
Torhal
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I've never understood the whole need to work with TGA files and then convert to BLP for use in an AddOn - any time I use custom images, I just leave them as TGA and WoW happily displays them...
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Unread 12-20-11, 09:06 AM   #19
Ketho
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Originally Posted by tinyu View Post
you can work with PNG files then just convert them to BLP.
+1
Myself being a total Photoshop/GIMP/etc noob, I'd just convert from PNG to BLP with e.g BLP2PNG (1) (2)

<- was too lazy to try out anything involving TGA files
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Unread 12-20-11, 11:25 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Torhal View Post
I've never understood the whole need to work with TGA files and then convert to BLP for use in an AddOn - any time I use custom images, I just leave them as TGA and WoW happily displays them...
The saved size of a BLP file is much smaller than a TGA. I cut the size of one of my Masque plug-ins by more than half just by switching to BLPs. It's a good choice if you're worried about the size of the file. Plus, it's the native graphic file for WoW. For me, that's a win-win.
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