TGA

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The format stores the basic RGB (red, green, blue) channels with 8 bit precision (0-255) each, for a total of 24 bits/pixel, with an optional additional 8 bit alpha channel, for a total of 32 bits/pixel. The extra channel contains information that the VMF shaders can use for effects such as transparency or specularity.


Targa for Vtex

Valid format

For a targa image to be recognized as valid by Vtex, it must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be 24 or 32 bits/pixel in depth. (16 bits/pixel is not recognized.)
  • Its dimensions (height and width) must have a pixel size equal to a power of 2. (i.e. 2^4=16, 2^5=32, 2^6=64, 2^7=128, 2^8=256, 2^9=512, etc.)
  • Its dimensions can not be bigger than 2048 pixels.
  • The height and width doesn't need to be the same - 64x128, 256x512 works fine - but square images are preferred by the Source engine, so use them whenever possible, even when it doesn't seem like the best way to go.
  • RLE compression is optional, but should be avoided due to occasional conversion troubles.

Scale

The default texture scale in Hammer is .25. This means that 4 pixels (in an image) = 1 Hammer unit = 1 inch (in game) or (4x4=) 16 pixels for every square inch.

For textures that appear on large surfaces a good scale is 512 pixels for 128 Hammer-units. This is the default scale at which Hammer will apply textures and equals about 10 feet or about 3 meters in the game.

Save location

Remember that Vtex is only able to locate targa images located inside the /materialsrc/ folder of the current game, so you may want to save it there directly to spare you the trouble of having to move it there later.

See also