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Thread: How To Paint Guide

  1. #1
    mmackin Guest

    Default How To Paint Guide

    How to Paint Guide
    By Marc Mackin

    Well, not all of the textures are available for you to paint. The Samples are exactly what they say. They are samples for you to get an Idea and can use to get started. The best thing to do is start simple with a boxcar. The engines have a few more textures and take a bit longer to do, but doing a boxcar will get you moving in the right direction.
    Step 1
    Find a texture in your Samples directory in the Train Simulator folder.
    Now this texture is not the file being used in game, but was used to create the file to be used in game. Us2freight6.tga We will use this for are example.

    Now take this texture and load it into your paint program that supports TGA files. Most preferred is Photoshop if you have it. Iím not sure why some files are BMP and others are TGAís maybe to save memory space? I do know that TGAís do support Alpha channels. Alpha channels allow you to do transparences on the texture, for windows and grates, and well anything you need to see through. You will only be able to access the Alpha channel in your Paint Program that letís you separate the RGB values along with the Alpha.

    Step 2
    Color, or import an image on to the texture. You have to stay with in the limits of the texture. The easiest way to do this is to use Layers. Layers are like pieces of transparceces on top of your texture. The orginal will stay at it is, and you paint or trace on your layer. This way you can check back and forth of placement of text and other things that are on the texture. While keeping your original as a template. But this is not necessary.

    Step 3
    Save your new texture with a new name. Newtexture.Tga Save it as the save file format that you loaded it in as. Either BMP or TGA.

    Step 4
    Go into your Utils directory of Microsoft Simulator. Copy the makeace.exe program to where your new texture is saved.

    Step 5
    Open a Dos prompt, go to the directory where your texture is and the makeace.exe program is.

    Step 6
    Makeace.exe newtexturename.tga Us2freight6.ace

    You now have an ace file which is what train simulator uses for the actual in game texture map.

    Step 7
    You can now either go to the US2Freight6 directory rename or backup the Us2freight6.ace file in that directory and place your new one in itís place. Any Freight6 car thatís in a Activity or preset consist file will have the new texture.

    OR you can
    1) Create a new folder under
    \Program Files\Microsoft Games\Train Simulator\TRAINS\TRAINSET
    With whatever name you want.

    2) Copy all the files from the folder of a similar type of the car texture you just created. Into your new folder.

    3) In your new folder rename the files that end with .wag, .s and .sd to
    a new name, otherwise Train Simulator doesn't recognize it as a new car.
    Make all the prefix parts of the name the same, i.e.:


    4) Load the .wag file into WordPad.
    a) Look for the line that starts with "Wagon" and give your car a unique
    b) Look for the line that starts with "WagonShape" and change the file name
    here to the name of your .s file, as you named it in step 3)
    c) Save the file.

    Now you need to go to your Windows Start menu where the Train Simulator is, and launch the Editor and tools. Go into the Activity Editor, load up an Activity and now you can access the consists editor. Either modify or create a new consists with your new box car. Save it out as a different name. Exit and start MSTS. Go into the proper route where you created your new activity and it should be listed. Or you can just go to free mode, and your consist file should also be located in the list. I hope this helps.

    Marc Mackin
    [email protected]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Ocala, Florida, USA.

    Default RE: How To Paint Guide

    Marc...Is there anyway to simply take the graphics or repainted files and substitute them for the identical files in the GP38 and Dash9 basic files that came with the program? It seems that this should be a simple process. Make a copy of the basic GP38 file (for example) and then simply replace the "skin" of that file with the new skins. What would those files be?
    Joe Cooney

  3. #3
    Keith_Gregg Guest

    Default RE: How To Paint Guide

    Thanks for the info...I will put it to good use as soon as MSTS hits the shops here :)

  4. #4
    RailroadKing Guest

    Default RE: How To Paint Guide


  5. #5
    trainwaiter Guest

    Default RE: How To Paint Guide

    Hi sorry to ask this im sure it has been repeated 20000000000 times. I am having trouble getting my transparent stuff to work see square wheels black around the hand rails etc. I am using Ulead Phot impact I thought it was a good paint program, but maybe not how do I do this please help....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 1999

    Default RE: How To Paint Guide


    I used Ulead Photo Impact 6.0 but only for the BMP texture
    files, on the TGA files I use Adobe Photoshop 5.0 LE and it
    handles the transparent Alpha channels correctly.
    I also used Paint Shop Pro 7.0 but it doesn't have the best
    resources to make shapes and alter the transparency layers
    so I recommend only the first two programs and use them on
    the BMP and TGA files separately.
    You can open the files in both programs to get colors right
    and look at placement of logos and such but I don't save
    the files unless your saving the BMP in PHOTOIMPACT 6.0,
    and the TGA in PHOTOSHOP 5.0 LE. Now it may work to use
    Phootshop 5.0 LE for both but I like the tools available
    in Uleads PhotoImapct 6.0 for doing things like handles,
    number boards and lights. It works best for these items.

    Hope this helps,

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 1999

    Default RE: How To Paint Guide

    [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Jun-20-01 AT 06:44PM (EST)[/font][p][font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Jun-20-01 AT 06:43 PM (EST)[/font]

    [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Jun-20-01 AT 06:41 PM (EST)[/font]

    Hey again,

    Also on the how to paint tutorial should be a note about how
    the different engine and car skins handle placement of color gp38 places any colors in the middle of the
    left side of the engine onto the bulge the comes out just
    behind the left side of the cab and at the left rear of
    the side it places this color area onto the fire box right behind the cab.

    If you painters out there notice these and move any changing
    colors off these areas then you will get a cleaner looking
    paint scheme, though it will not be true to life size numbers
    and letters and may necessitate a gap between some logo items
    it will look better in the long run.

    You can see on any of the engines I have downloaded here that
    I use this technique along the left side and try to match up
    the right side to gap in the same area's for semetry of the
    paint design.

    Here is an example BMP for the idea.

    Dont paint other than the main color in the red "X" areas or you
    will get the overlap.

    Hope this helps,

    P.S.- I have also began painting on the SD-40 and it has lots of
    these type of color overs expecially the nose area so take note.


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