[TUTORIAL] Custom Objective Icons using Photoshop

Discussion in 'Tutorials & Resources' started by Novacane, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. Novacane

    Novacane Guest

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    Add some more originality to your map with some custom HUD objective icons.
    I've made a template in photoshop which allows you to create whatever icons you want and still retain the TF2 feel.

    Creating a Objective Icon is just like any other source material.
    Theres two parts to it. The VTF (the actual texture file) and the VMT (the text file which tells the engine how to render the material).

    Use the VTF Photoshop Plugin to speed of the process of converting the texture files. Without this, you'll need to do it the old-fashoned way of vtex command line :thumbdown:

    Tip: Create the VMT in the directory in which you want to save the VTF with the proper properties first, and the photoshop plugin will read the proper values apon save.

    Get my photoshop obj_icon template here. Just unzip and open in photoshop.

    Included in PSD:
    - Lock graphic w/ optional shadow
    - Team color backgrounds (Red/Blue/Neutral)
    - TF2 objective icon border
    - Example custom container graphic
    - Pre-setup alpha channel

    And don't forget to pack your custom materials into your map's BSP for safe shipping!

    Example:
    [​IMG]

    In-game Example:
    [​IMG]

    Example Icon VMT:
    Code:
    "UnlitGeneric"
    {
        "$translucent" 1
        "$baseTexture" "sprites\obj_icons\icon_obj_container_neutral"
        "$vertexcolor" 1
        "$no_fullbright" 1
        "$ignorez" 1
    }


    PS: Hope this wasn't too hard for anyone to follow. I was writing it at 8AM after being up all night :closedeyes:
    I'll try to organize it a little better some other time.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  2. spaceweasels

    aa spaceweasels

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    Some great info, I'll definitely have to try this. Thanks!


    PS...
    I had used Pakrat before and found it kept missing textures. I switched to Map Analyst (MAN), and it seems to work better.
     
  3. Armadillo of Doom

    aa Armadillo of Doom Group Founder, Lover of Pie

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    Wow, very detailed too :) I'm currently working on a tc map, and was wondering how I could differentiate the various control points. Nice work!
     
  4. TheBladeRoden

    TheBladeRoden L7: Fancy Member

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    that's pretty useful
     
  5. trentish

    trentish Guest

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    This would be really awesome if I could just get it to work! :blushing:

    It shows up fine in the Hammer material menu, but in game it shows up as purple checkers. I believe I'm doing everything else correctly (packing it up and what not).

    What settings should you use when you save it as a VTF using the Photoshop plugin? Like what format/template should you use and which flags should be checked?

    Any help would greatly be appreciated!

    Edit: Hmm... not even creating a TGA and doing it the old fashion way seems to work. Still purple checkers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2007
  6. Snipergen

    Snipergen L13: Stunning Member

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    is your .vmt right?
     
  7. trentish

    trentish Guest

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    I believe so, I'm basically copying and pasting the example one above.
     
  8. trentish

    trentish Guest

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    I figured out what it was.

    Apparently when a control point is locked, it will look for the "locked" version of the sprite. So if your sprite is called: "icon_obj_blahblah", it will look for "icon_obj_blahblah_locked". You just have to make a second version and have "_locked" at the end.
     
  9. die_angel

    die_angel L1: Registered

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    can you set an individual icon for each control point?

    I'm making a map that is a wee bit complicated and having a visual "clue" of what the cp is supposed to be could probably help. (i have a cp that is into a rocket, like having a little rocket symbol only on this cp icon)
     
  10. Dox

    Dox L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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  11. MacBeth [O.C.Reg]

    MacBeth [O.C.Reg] L1: Registered

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    Handy tips - customisation is good.

    Having said that, something to bear in mind, having played cp_science a little, is that standard cap point letters are a bit easier to remember than abstract symbols, so your players may find it harder to learn their way around the map.

    A letter goes straight into a little brain-memory pigeon-hole because people are familiar with them - a new symbol needs more processing to remember and relocate - and it's also much easier to communicate to fellow players where you are/want to go.

    When combined with an intricate layout like science it means an extra obstacle to overcome when getting players to like your new map - so take care.
     
  12. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    I think letters are ideal for attack/defend maps like gravelpit, where one side is clearly offense and one side is clearly defense, and you have the circumstance where more than one point may be attacked at a time. They both help with communication and tell the attacking side where to start.

    With equally divided maps, however, if you choose a traditionally sequenced system, one side has to be the head and one side has to be the tail. People who have a hard time digesting unique symbols will probably also get confused if someone says "get to point E" when E is actually the starting point.

    Both letters and symbols have their pros and cons. I considered using both with cp_science, but I was worried having two things to represent each point would be even more confusing. I really wish there was a way to take the flag radar from CTF mode and make it point to the next attack point in CP mode.
     
  13. Haas

    Haas Guest

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    I had to make a locked neutral even if it can't be locked....
    It gave me a purple checkerd box on startup of the map :S
    I just copied the neutral texture renamed it and now it work but you never see it.
     
  14. phatal

    phatal L6: Sharp Member

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    Even more difficult to say get to point "um that rocket looking thing". The level is so difficult to follow anyway that these symbols are the kicker. The main reason we took the level off our server. Just not easy to follow at all. :crying:
     
  15. DrHaphazard

    DrHaphazard L5: Dapper Member

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    It saddens me that people can't comprehend the symbols in cp_science. Its not freaking rocket science. It remains to this day my favorite map, but every time i join a server with it running I end up having to explain to everyone what the hell to do. gah, how can people be so slow?! /rant over

    Anyways back on topic. I am gonna do a map with 5 points, labeled 1-5, and i started to do so but I have come to realize that i SUUUCK at photoshop. If i just used MSPaint I could have achieved this labeling in like 10 seconds, but nooooo.... Anyways, my real question is can i just have my sister make the symbols for me (she's actually an art major) and have her send me back the result to turn into a VTF? Does she need to download the VTF plugin you have linked? Or is that simply so you can turn the product into a VTF when you're done?
     
  16. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    you can either use the photoshop plugin, the VTF edit standalone application or the TGAtoVTF.exe that comes with the SDK

    So its really really easy to pick a method that suits your working style, personally in that situation I'd get her to send you the .tga files and then for you to convert them yourself using any of the above. That way it saves her thinking about making .VTFs
     
  17. DrHaphazard

    DrHaphazard L5: Dapper Member

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    N/M i figued out my problem
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2008
  18. saucyboy

    saucyboy L1: Registered

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    Download link doesn't seem work.. Could really use this file!

    Does anyone have the file? Would you mind attaching it to a post please.
    Thanks.
     
  19. Unrealomega

    Unrealomega L1: Registered

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    Would I need to save it as a Normal map with Alpha?
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2008
  20. tedrock

    tedrock L2: Junior Member

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    Quote from the orginal post "Tip: Create the VMT in the directory in which you want to save the VTF with the proper properties first, and the photoshop plugin will read the proper values apon save."
    if you need more info i suggest looking at the example VTM he provides. most file paths referenced in a vtm are trailing the default material folder so his vtm would be pointing to "C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\ted-rock\team fortress 2\tf\sprites\obj_icons\" and icon_obj_container_neutral being the actual file name (which also gives you a clue what to name the file.

    whatever you want. as long as you reflect it in the VTM

    depends on your map. i wouldn't be hard to make 1 for each if you use photoshop. layers ftw