Vehicle custom liveries - How to + FAQ
What do I need?
1. Photoshop CS (or higher) or any other software (e.g. GIMP) that can deal with PSD and DDS file types.
2. If your software does not support DDS files out of the box you need this plugin: http://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-t...dobe-photoshop
3. A bit of knowledge how to use Photoshop, GIMP or whatever software you chose.
Where do I find the custom textures?
In your pCARS runtime under "...\Vehicles\Textures\CustomLiveries\" you will find default custom liveries for all cars.
They are all white and show a black wireframe.
Simply replace these textures with your own and choose the "Custom Livery" in the GUI selection.
Will my liveries be deleted when I uninstall the game or install a new version?
We've changed the installer to not replace the files if they're already present, or uninstall them if they've been modified from the defaults, so it should be fairly safe.
But if you blindly delete your whole pCARS folder say, you'll lose them.
So you better keep the PSD files of your liveries somewhere safe.
Later in the project we will move the liveries to the "My Documents" folder, where the profile is. But that won't happen soon.
I don't have the above folder and textures! Where are they?
This will only be available in next build, Friday 17th February.
Why are there PLAYER and AI liveries for each car?
PLAYER livery is the High Res one, that is only used if the player uses the "Custom Livery".
AI livery is usually smaller. This is the livery if the AI uses the "Custom Livery".
How do I paint my livery in Photoshop or GIMP?
Sorry, but I won't explain how to use Photoshop here.
There are lots of tutorials out there.
How do I find out, which part on the template fits to which part on the car?
Just paint the different parts of the template in different colors, save it as livery, load the game and watch your custom livery.
To keep it in mind save a jpeg of your template and just make ingame-screenshots of different angles.
What settings do the liveries need to be saved with?
You save them as simple "DXT1" DDS with all MIP maps.
Set the DDS plugin to "create new mip maps".
I have problems saving the DDS files. What can I do?
Save the livery as TGA.
Then open the TGA and save the DDS from there.
That will usually always work. Sometimes there are problems saving DDS files from layered PSD files.
Can we just use one custom livery per car at the same time at the moment?
Yes. For now you can only have 1 custom livery per car.
This will change at a later point in time, so that you can have more custom liveries.
Are metallic effects possible?
No, only solid paint is possible at the moment.
The shaders for these effects are too complicated to be externally influenced.
We will find a way for the users to create their own metallic effects later in the project.
However, chrome and matte effects are possible. See specular + fresnel maps at the bottom of these FAQ.
Will there be a 3D Viewer?
A 3D viewer is coming as part of the live editing suite. It's not imminent though so this is better than nothing for now.
Can we make 4096x4096px liveries or are we limited by size?
4096x4096px liveries are possible.
Your PC performance and memory is the limit I guess.
What can I do with specular maps for liveries?
Specular maps control the specularity and glossyness of the material.
In the RGB channels (normal painting area) you can control how much light gets reflected and what colour it reflects.
Glossy paint materials usually reflect white light, so it would be 255/255/255 white.
For matte or semigloss paint you would choose a grey tone, something around 160/160/160 works well for matte paint.
For the blue chrome (see below) you would choose a bright blue colour.
The alpha channel controls how glossy the material is, i.e. how blurred the emap reflections are.
Greyscale values: White = glossy (sharp reflections), Black = matte (blurry reflections). 20/20/20 works well for matte paint.
The darker the alpha channel, the more blurry the reflections get.
Specular maps have to be saved as DXT5 (with alpha).
See attached screenshot and livery textures as example!
What can I do with fresnel maps for liveries?
Fresnel maps control the fresnel value of the paint material, i.e. the amount of reflections per angle.
Detailed explanation here: http://www.3drender.com/glossary/fresneleffect.htm
This is actually the effect that makes paint and glass look realistic.
With the fresnel map you are able to create chrome paint effect like on the McLaren F1 cars.
Greyscale values: White = Paint material, Black/Darkgrey = Chrome
Fresnel maps have to be saved as DXT1 (without alpha).
See attached screenshot and livery textures as example!
What size and file formats are recommended?
LIVERY_PLAYER - 2048x2048 - DXT1
LIVERY_AI - 1024x1024 - DXT1
LIVERY_FRESNEL - 1024x1024 - DXT1
LIVERY_SPEC - 1024x1024 - DXT5
WHEEL_DIFF - 512x512 - DXT5
WHEEL_DIFF_BLUR - 256x256 - DXT5
WHEEL_SPEC - 256x256 - DXT5
WHEEL_SPEC_BLUR - 256x256 - DXT5
-> always all MIP maps
Download Beispiel DDS Dateien => hier
Your dream is creating your own stunning livery's for pCars but you have absolutely no clue how to begin? Well then you are right here as I explain you how I paint my cars. I assume you know the basics of Photoshop/GIMP.
Ps: The images are from NFS Shift. Maybe I will replace this images with a cars from pCars soon.
First a very little bit of theory
A car in a game is a 3D Object as you may know. To get the colors and logos on your car you need a texture which is simply a flat image. Imagine it like a wallpaper for your wall. The car is the wall, the texture is the wallpaper. You need a stencil that you know where is the left door or hood of course that you bring on the colors and logos on the right area. Our stencil is a mesh on our template which shows you the car unwrapped on the picture. Imagine it like you look on a world map in a atlas.
Template with UV mapping
Software I use
You need a painting program which is able to open PSD Files. Like Adobe Photoshop or the free GIMP which is very powerful too. The Image files the game uses are DDS-Files so you need an exporter after the painting. There are some plugins available or what I prefer is a single very simple program named DXTBmp. I advise you to try some things and take what suits you most.
What else is needed?
Well if you are new to this you will need much time and patience and please don't give up so fast.
What is most important for me?
Quality! I really pay most of my attention to get high res logos and clear crisp lines. As we talk about logos. Usually I search in the web for vector logos because you can resize them as you want without any quality loss. I will tell you some nice logo sites. Often I find no vector logos and only very small and for me unusable image files in the web. Then I recreate the logos to make sure to have the best quality available. Note for pCars: Since it is not that clear if we are allowed to use real life logos in pCars if we want to share the templates with others, I would recreate funny logos based on the real ones. Maybe something like renaming Coke to Cock (hehe just joking but you get what I mean)
So enough talking, let's go!
1. First thing I do is searching a nice Racing Car I want to recreate or I think about what fictional car I want to do. In this tutorial I choosed the BMW M3 GT2 and want to paint it on the Asano X4 Touring.
2. If I want to recreate a real car I search as much photos as possible to know every logo I have to use. See above.
3. I collect all Logos I need first. Often this is the most time consuming if you have not a huge logos collection. To find logos have a look on this sites:
But often you don't find anything at all or only low res non vector logos which are not really useable. How to recreate logos would get beyond the scope of this tutorial. But one tip: If you are
not sure which font is used for a logo try http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/
4. I look what's the base color of the car and fill the background layer of the template with this color. Since the wire-frame mesh is not visible on white I choose grey and will replace it later
5. If the car has more colors than one I begin coloring all parts which need a different color. Like this one.
6. Now I begin placing all Logos on the template.
7. Coming soon* Painting on Window with Alpha channel and stuff. And preparing your template to metallic.
8. Now the work is almost done. I save the template without the wireframe layer as a TGA file and open it in DXTbmp. There I go to File -> Save as DDS Texture. Choose DXT1 Without Alpha.
You can get it here: http://www.btinternet.com/~mnwright/programs/dxtbmp.htm
Now replace your DDS with the existing on in your pCARS runtime under "...\Vehicles\Textures\CustomLiveries\"
9. Choose the "Custom Livery" in the GUI selection.
And now look how cool your car looks ingame: (Image is from NFS Shift will be replaced later)
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