Vtex, or Valve Texture Tool, is the command-line tool used to convert targa (.tga) or Photoshop (.psd) (Orange box SDK) image files into Valve Texture Files (.vtf) for use in the Source engine. It takes a targa (.tga) image and an optional list of compile parameters, and creates a Valve Texture File (.vtf) from them.
- Make sure that Steam is running.
- If necessary, start Source SDK and set/verify the game that you are converting the texture for in the Current Game drop-down list (located at the bottom of the Source SDK menu).
- Place the targa image to be converted inside the
SteamApps/username/sourcesdk_content/gamefolder/materialsrc/folder, where gamefolder is the game folder of the current game (
tf). You can also place the image within a subfolder of this folder, to make Vtex compile the texture to the corresponding
materials/subfolder. (For instance, placing the image in a
materialsrc/metal/subfolder, will make Vtex compile the texture to the
- If necessary, write a text (.txt) file containing a set of Vtex compile parameters. Give it the same name as the targa image (with the exception of the .txt extension) and put it in the same folder. If you choose to omit this list, Vtex will create an empty one for you during compilation.
- The Vtex executable (Vtex.exe) is located in the
/Steam/SteamApps/username/sourcesdk/bin/[Engine: Ep1/OrangeBox]/bin/folder. It can be executed in one of two ways: Through the easy "drag-and-drop" method (described below), or the more advanced command prompt method, described here. Steam must run while it is executed.
- The resulting Valve Texture File (.vtf) will be compiled to the
materials/folder of the current game by default. For instance, if your username would be GordonFreeman, and the current game would be Half-Life 2, the texture file would be compiled to the
SteamApps/GordonFreeman/half-life 2/hl2/materials/folder. If the targa image resided within a subfolder, Vtex will compile the texture file to the corresponding
materials/subfolder. If that subfolder doesn't exist, Vtex will create it automatically.
The drag-and-drop method
The drag-and-drop method is the easy way to use Vtex. Just drag the icon of either the targa image to be converted, or its list of compile parameters (from its
materialsrc/ folder) on top of the icon of the Vtex executable (Vtex.exe) and let go, and Vtex will compile the texture file automatically.