Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to Create High-Resolution Textures in SSF4AE - PC

This tutorial covers how to create *.col.emb files from scratch using Kensou's Tools. These files can contain any number or variety of DDS textures of any size/resolution or compression type (DXT*). The most common usage for this is to create textures that are higher resolution than the default textures, but it can be used for other purposes, as well.

Sensibeat's tutorial for making high-resolution textures is much more informative, but requires a level of comfort working with hexadecimal code and calculations. This method is considerably easier but you should still try to understand sensibeat's instructions since the same techniques are helpful in other aspects of modding.

Anyway, lets get started. All you need are piecemontee's Asset Explorer and Kensou's sf4tool.

Step 1. Open a *.col.emb file in the Asset Explorer and extract the DDS textures. Name them something simple that reflects the order they're supposed to come in (I like to use,, etc.).
Step 2. Open the DDS textures in a paint/editing program, such as Photoshop or GIMP, and scale them to the desired resolution. In this case, I'm scaling a bunch of 512x512 textures up to 1024x1024.
Step 3. Save the textures as new DDS files with any compression you like. This is your opportunity to change, for example, DXT1 textures into DXT5 to allow for semi-tranparency.
Step 4. Now, open the directory for Kensou's sf4tool.exe (NOT sf4toolnew.exe). If you don't have a directory named 'emb' in there, create it now, and then put your enlarged DDS textures into it. Next, run sf4tool.exe by double-clicking it.
Step 5. In the big file-directory pane on the upper-right of the window, double-click on your emb directory and click on the left-hand button underneath the big pane. The smaller pane to the left should populate with your files. Put them in the proper order by changing the filenames in the smaller pane (you can just click in there and type) and then click on the right-hand button to bundle them all together.

Step 6. Back in your 'emb' directory, you should have a new file called 'newpack.emz.' Rename it to match the col file you're trying to create, in my case GKI_01_01.col.emb.

All set! The *.col.emb file you're left with is formatted a little strangely and contains some garbage hex in the index and at the end of the file, but AE doesn't seem to care, so neither do I. :P

You can now use the Asset Explorer to extract/inject textures from your new file using the new textures as a base for mods.


Torchwood said...

Hey man, nice work.

I've been trying to work with a high rez model you did way back. I'm trying to edit the col file but when I extract the dds its about 13mb, anytime I try saving the file it shrinks to 1.3m somehow so I can inject it back into the col file.

Any ideas?

Hunter K. said...

Hi Torchwood,
It sounds like you might be saving to the wrong DDS compression format.

Which files are you working with, specifically? If it's the hires Sakura stuff I made, they're DXT5 w/ mipmaps, regardless of what the original textures were.

Torchwood said...

Thanks for the reply

It's the High-rez Cammy, I saved in dxt5 with mipmaps and no luck... the size difference is strange

Hunter K. said...

Hmm. Weird. I'm not sure what could be going on.

I guess the best course of action might be to just follow the tutorial to make some of your own from scratch.

Let me know if you have any questions or get stuck.

agustin said...

Hellow Im trying to swap hair btw Ken 01 and Ken 04,the problem im having is 1 i cant open the DSS extracted with photofiltre studio x AND that they have dif compression Ken 01 have face and hair when the DSS on Ken 04 has the whole body texture in 1

Dustin said...

Hey Hunter. First, thank you for all of the excellent information on SFIV modding you have shared here on your blog. Have you come across any information on how Capcom achieved the "ink brush style noise" that is described in the below article, under the section on cell shading?,685997/street-fighter-iv-pc-explained-in-detail/news/

I'm assuming it's either a Photoshop filter or some relatively simple layer blending process, but I want to replicated it so my custom fighter fits the game's native style. There are prominent horizontal lines running through the normal map. That effect seems to have been selectively removed from female faces, probably so they look smooth and feminine.

One idea I had was to make a simple black and white repeating stripe pattern, on a layer above my base normal map, convert the B/W pattern to a normal map using the Nvidia plugin or whatever tool you prefer, then set that stripe pattern normal map layer to a blending mode like overlay, or whatever produces the closest result to what Capcom has.

But before I spend hours tinkering around, I thought I should at least ask someone like yourself who has a lot of experience modding the game. Thanks again for the awesome blog!

Hunter K. said...

Hey man, glad you found the information useful!

The part of the article where they talk about the brush effect on the normal map is handled by a shader in the game so they can modify it at runtime. This is how they do the focus attack ink effect and the PC version's additional effects. There's also the artistic effect on the textures you're talking about, which can be achieved through Photoshop filters, apparently, but I haven't pinpointed any good workflows, myself. However, PFunk on the SRK forum has demonstrated that it's definitely possible to reproduce, and I think he would be the best person to ask about it.

Dustin said...

Ok cool, I 'll reach out to Pior and see what he says then. Cheers!

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