SECTION 2: Creating your own variations2.1 "Well, I can forget this section; I'll never be able to create something as good as yours. You're most likely a graphic artist or something...
NOOOOOO!!!! WRONG WRONG WRONG!!! I am most definitely NOT a graphic artist and hardly had any experience of art programs until I started modding here. One year ago the only program I knew how to use was an ancient program for Windows 95. I had never used the .png format, and I had no idea how layers worked in a project file. I never in a million years thought I would be able to create something like this, let alone publish it to the internet. This project is specifically designed to get new people into modding, including newbies who have absolutely no experience at all. OK?2.2 OK then, I'm a newbie with absolutely no experience. Where do I start?
Start by reading my tutorial called pick6's toolbag & methods (a graphics guide for newbies!)
Most important, you'll need Paint.NET which you can download HERE
. Then open one of my templates from the .zip file and start messing around with it. Just go crazy with it as you won't break anything! Most important, familiarize yourself with the idea of layers (press F7 to see the "Layers" window). Check and uncheck the different layers to see what happens. Move a layer up or down to see what happens. It'll take a little while to get used to it, but I guarantee it's much easier than you imagine. 2.3 How do I start making my own variations?
The easiest addition is by adding team colors around the 20 yard line. Bear in mind that for some teams the colored lines go under the hashes (like Indianapolis), some teams have the lines go over the hashes (Buffalo), and some go all the way around the hashes (Minnesota).2.4 OK, let's pick up the pace here a bit dude. How did you make your turf's "black rubber" effect?
I used Paint.NET built-in "Clouds". Start by unchecking the existing grass and turf layers so they are not visible, and then create a new (blank) layer just above them. In the Colors toolbar (F5), set the primary color to 78, 104, 46 (R,G,B), and the secondary color to 82, 112, 48. Then click on Effects / Render / Clouds. Set the "Scale" to 50, and "Roughness" to “0.90”. If you don't like what you see, click the "Re-seed" button to draw it again. Experiment with darker/lighter colors. (TIP: I write down all the values as I go along, so I don't forget them. You'll find you make a nice one just by accident, but later have no idea what values you used!)2.5 Sweet! What about your snow?
Exact same idea. Again, create a new layer (but this time at the very top of all the layers).
Primary color: 255, 255, 255
Secondary color: 255, 255, 255 (but also set the “Transparency - Alpha” value to 64
Click on Effects / Render / Clouds. Scale 900, Roughness 0.90
Try to avoid large amounts of snow close to the 50 yard line or it will look weird in-game when matched up with the other half-field. Also, avoid snow around the midfield logo area, as the logo will appear on top of the snow in-game. Experiment with lowering the opacity (transparency) by clicking on the "Properties" button on the Layers toolbar. Maybe even multiple layers of snow with different scale/roughness/transparency values?2.6 OK, boring. What about the grass, dude? WHAT ABOUT THE GRASS?!
Create a new blank layer above the existing grass layer.
In colors window, set primary color to: 106, 127, 54
Set secondary color to: 82, 112, 48
Go to Effects, then Render, then Clouds.
Set scale to 50 and Roughness to 0.70 and click OK.
Click on the "shading" layer, and check the box too.
Using the Magic Wand tool, select all EXCEPT the orange (the blank space).
Click on your new grass layer, and go to Adjustments, then "Brightness / Contrast". Set brightness to 6.
Click on Edit, and "Invert Selection" (or press CTRL I) and JUST the orange area will be selected.
Adjust Brightness to -4, and Contrast to 7.
Press Enter to deselect.
Uncheck "shading" layer box. 2.6.5 What about grass for rainy weather?
First, I never liked Madden's default "muddy" grass. In real-life, not every field looks as muddy as that when it rains. Also, it makes the midfield logo look as if it's on a painted board laid on top of the field! That is, the grass looks too muddy while the midfield logo looks too clean.
However, I found that if you use your (unaltered) dry
grass field along with the memory address for the muddy
field, it looks like this in-game:
Above: TrueTurf dry grass, and TrueTurf soggy grass.
I like to call this "soggy grass" as it looks wet, but not muddy. (To be clear, that is the exact same field .png being used above, but Madden puts the "sogginess" on top in-game.)
The memory address for this is 0x7E44EA00
. You don't actually need to log it yourself, but if you want to look at the original, bear in mind that the muddy grass texture is partially transparent, so you may not think you've got the right one at first. (You don't actually need the texture anyway, just the memory address assigned to it!) 2.7 Awesome! But what's the deal with that weird gray color in the player area?
In real-life, NFL grass fields use a rubber tarpaulin in the player area to stop it getting all muddied up, and the yellow and white lines are painted directly onto the tarp. (Our tarp should therefore go right to the outer edges of the yellow lines). Unfortunately, Madden still puts its "individual strands of grass" texture on top of the tarp, so it doesn't totally look like rubber up-close. What you could do is play around with shading or clouding on the tarp to make it stand out more.
I've also now divided up the yellow lines into 2 layers; those in the tarp area, and those on the rest of the grass. For my grass variant .tpf, I dropped the opacity (transparency) of the yellow lines on the "rest of grass" area down to 192 (which means 75% visible). This helps make the tarp yellow stand out a little better, as real-life grass doesn't hold the paint as good as the rubber tarp.2.8 How do I change the background color of the numbers AND retain the edge smoothing? (or create a background color for my own number font?)
Ah! Now here's the good stuff! To change the background color of the existing numbers (AND STILL RETAIN THE EDGE SMOOTHING):
Go to "Adjustments", then "Levels".
Double-click on the “Input Black Point” color block, and then click on "Define Custom Colors".
Enter the RGB values for the current color (which is 37, 43, 66), and click OK.
Repeat for “Output Black Point” with your new color's RGB values.
Test new color with Color Picker tool to make sure it's correct.[If sometimes it gives a color that is slightly off, click Undo, then Adjustments, Levels, and "Reset" button. Instead of clicking on the "Input Black Point", uncheck the G and B boxes, and enter in the input and output R values manually. Repeat for G and B.]To create a background color for NEW numbers that you've created yourself:
You'll need the plugin pack for Paint.NET called BoltBaitPack which you can get HERE
. (Unzip the files and place in your C:/Program Files/Paint.NET/Effects folder.)
Then go to Effects, Object, Outline Object
. (NOT the same effect as "Outline Selection", which gives jagged edges!)
Set Radius to 2, Strength to 5, and "Outline Color" RGB values to your own.
Edge smoothing is still retained, although corners will now be rounded. I therefore manually fill in the pixels on the corners to make them sharp 90 degree corners again.
You may need to move all the arrows down slightly also (further away from the number next to it). Different teams have different approaches; Oakland doesn't seem to move them at all (so colored sections almost touch), while Dallas moves them quite far away. I moved my arrows down 3 pixels.2.9 How do I change the colors of the 25-yard conference logo's?DON'T
just color-fill the image as it will look very jagged! For best results, I always work on larger sized images, and then re-size down. This allows for a certain amount of sloppiness in my work, which will then disappear completely when I re-size down. If I was to start with a smaller image, then my sloppiness would be more visible!
Open one of the enclosed conference logo templates (such as “SEC template.pdn”). Select an area (of one color) that you wish to change. You can use the Color Picker tool to help here (press K to select it) which will fill in the values from a picked color. Go to Adjustments / Levels, click on the “Input Black Point” color block and manually enter the RGB values for your old color. Repeat for “Output Black Point” with your new color's RGB values.
When you're finished, save the .pdn project under a new name, and then go to Image / Resize. Refer to the filenames of the included sample logo's for the correct dimensions. When done, rotate the logo by clicking on Image / Rotate 90° Clockwise. Click on Edit / Select All. Go to the TrueTurf template and click Edit / “Paste in to New Layer” (or CTRL+SHIFT+V).2.10 I like your painted-on NFL shield on the 25-yard line, but why does the old shield sometimes appear on top in-game?
First, I decided to paint my own NFL shield directly onto the field as Madden's placement for this logo is off in both directions. Second, some teams (like the Panthers) have a different logo here, so I thought it would be worthwhile including midpoint markers. When the old logo appears in certain stadiums, that's because Madden is super-imposing its own shield on top. You can very easily get around this by including a “blanker” for that texture instead. Just log that shield in TexMod to get the memory address (differs per stadium), and then add a line in your .def file that points to a blank png. The only downside of course is that my NFL shield won't always face the same sideline (the TV cameras), but I prefer it because it blends in much better with the rest of the field.2.11 Any more ideas?
My college TrueTurf template allows for many more variations in the boundary, so make sure you play around with that too. Please note not all boundary layers are intended to work together. Some variations require one layer unchecked.2.12 How should I save it?
ALWAYS save it first as a "Paint.NET (*.pdn)" file to preserve the separate layers. Then save it again as a .png file. You will be asked what "Bit Depth" settings you want to use for saving. For the dry turf, clicking on "Auto-detect" or “24-bit” will preserve the color depth and will make a file size of around 4MB. I've been saving like this without any problems whatsoever in-game, so I suggest you do this too unless you have a good reason to change. If you really must, saving as 8-bit will lower the file size to around 1MB, but will lose many of the shading colors of the clouding effect. For the snowy turf, saving as 8-bit will lower the file size to around 3MB (from 9MB), but again, it shouldn't be necessary. Finally, if you want to make a dry "TrueTurf Lite" that's only around 100KB, you can forget about the clouding layer altogether and just use a single colored green layer as the base. Madden will still add some turf texture on top (the individual strands of turf), but it may look more like carpet depending on your settings. Great to use while you're creating your field though, especially for the increased speed of loading and saving the pdn.2.13 What else do I need to know?
Don't be tempted to "fix" anything that may look like it's not properly lined up. Madden has a really weird warping thing going on when it displays the field, effectively stretching AND compressing it repeatedly from left to right. (This may just be a TexMod side-effect though). Rest assured, I started by using a gridiron set up to the exact specs of real-life, and then set about carefully compensating for this in-game. The right sideline therefore actually needs to be slightly narrower than the left sideline so that it matches up in-game. Similar thing for the location of the numbers, hash marks, and the broken white and yellow limit lines. [If you really must know more, jump to Section 4.4 (What about that weird warping?
) but it's definitely not for newbies!]2.14 How do I convert the finished .png into a .tpf for TexMod?
That's beyond the scope of this article. Please refer to the TexMod tutorial HERE
.2.15 I've made some sweet fields with your template (or I've made some sweet additions to the template itself); can I upload them here?
Absolutely! Anything you've made that advances the cause, please do upload here. On top of that, if you've used any other effects in the process, please give details of what you used and how you used it so that others can learn from it. If updating midfields and endzones is your thing, why not include an updated field along with them next time! I don't mind if you create your own complete stadium .tpf's using my field template, as long as the knowledge is always shared. (You can release those .tpf's in your own thread of course though!)2.16 I don't use Paint.NET, I prefer to use Photoshop / PaintShop Pro / Gimp etc. Can I upload my projects in their formats?
Of course, but where possible, please try to include a .pdn version too. That way both myself and others can keep up with your developments! (And for the record, I've already tried those programs and do not wish to switch thanks!
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