Tutorial: Creating Animated Textures with RW Animator.
**I will not get into the actual animation/creating of the textures in this tutorial as that is a more general subject and many tutorials can already be found online.
**Do not work with original files, always backup! Use modloader to test your mod non-destructively!
Things you will need:
*Photo editing software (photoshop, the gimp, etc)
1.Find the model you would like to give an animated texture to.
a)I used med (map editor). You must open the gta.img file, load up the scene of the area you need, then double click the object to highlight it.
b)Once highlighted, you will be able to right click the object to extract it's dff file, and txd file. Both are needed. Move them into the RW Animator folder, you must do this, files can be deleted later.
2.Prepare your frames.
a)You have several options. You can animate an existing texture using your image editing software of choice like I did with my AnimatedAC mod. You could get an animated gif and break that down into frames. You could use a software like VirtualDubMod or other to extract frames from any video.
b)Once you have all your frames created, put them in a folder, and rename them in order from start to finish as 0, 1, 2, 3, etc. If you have 20 frames, they should be named from 0-19.
2.Compile into one large image.
a)Open the “Frames combining” exe file included with RW Animator.
b)Click Project → Options
c)Math time. Depending on the amount of frames your animation has, you will need to change these settings. For example, an 8 frame animation could be setup 4 wide, 2 high (4 horizontal divisors, 2 vertical.) You must then set the dimensions to match the total texture size. You can have blank frames at the end of the file, they will not be seen in the animation as long as they are unused in the dff.
d)Once you have the options set, drag and drop the folder containing the frames. Go to Project -> Save and a sheet with all the frames will be created as one image.
3.Replace image in TXD file.
a)Open MagicTXD, replace the original texture with the sheet of frames you have created.
b)Save the txd file.
c)Extract the contents of the TXD as TGA files in the RW animator directory.
4.Use RW Animator to define where and when each frame is played.
a)Open RW Animator.
b)Drag and drop the dff in the RW animator folder onto the RW Animator window. If the TXD was extracted as TGA files in the directory, you will see all the textures associated with the DFF in the bottom right, if you did not, they will be blank.
c)Select the texture you are going to animate, you should see it as a thumbnail of the sheet you created.
d)Click new animation, name it something appropriate (flashing lights, spinning fan, etc)
e)You can use the “Create TV Screen” option on top as a shortcut to creating your frames. If you get the settings correct to match how your sheet of frames is setup, it should line up automatically. The time increment setting is in seconds. The default is 0.1 seconds in between each frame.
f)You could also manually setup your frames. The readme file has the instructions. If you are on a keyframe, use backspace to modify the UV settings, if you use delete it will delete the frame.
You will need to make sure the UV scalling is correct, or you will see your entire sheet of frames on the texture instead of the individual frames. Each keyframe in the program needs to know which of the frames in the large image to use.
You use UV coordinates for this. The amount “tiles” you have used will determine the UV coordinates. For example, if you have four frames wide, and three frames high (12 frames total) The coordinates starting from top left would be (0,0) (0.25,0)(0.5,0)(0.75,0). The next row would be (0,0.33) (0.25,0.33)(0.5,0.33)(0.75,0.33). The bottom would be (0,0.66) (0.25,0.66)(0.5,0.66)(0.75,0.66). Much more info on UV mapping is available online.
g)When you have your keyframes setup, click on save changes to selected animation. I would suggest saving every step or two you modify as it is sort of a buggy/old program and info is lost if you click the wrong button.
h)After saving the animation, use the top left save button to commit the changes to the DFF file. The DFF/animation can still be modified after it has been saved, it is not encrypted or anything.
i)Testing time, use mod loader. Copy the dff and txd files you have changed into the folder where you put other textures/models. The one for gta3.img. Launch the game, and find the model(s) that you were working on. If you were lucky, you will see the texture animating. If you got your UV mapping wrong, you will see weird tiles acting as conveyer belts. If that is the case you can close out and fix the issue and try again.
Feel free to ask any questions.