Lets say you want to make whatever armor your superbadass 70 is wearing look like one of the level 1 outfits from my clothing pack. Here is how you can do it!

Please note that this only describes how to swap textures out. You cannot swap models, so you cant make gnomes look like nelves, for example. You also cannot change dresses to pants, or do anything with shoulder armor, weapons, ect.

0) Install both WowModelViewer and MyWarcraftStudio.


In the directory you installed WMV to there is a file called "Config.ini'. Open it. Make sure that the Path= line refers to the path to your w4rcr4ft\Data directory. For most people, it should look like this:

Path=C:\\Program Files\\World of w4rcr4ft\\Data

Also make sure that "UseLocalFiles=1" and not "UseLocalFiles=0".

1) Open up WowModelViewer, load up a character, and give that character the armor you want to change. Note that you really only need to do the chest and leg armor. Now you have a quick visual reference as to what the armor looks like, which makes the next step easier.

2) Take a minute to look at the actual clothing and figure out what texture areas it uses.

Chest armor can use up to 4 textures to render:
"TorsoUpper" - Everything from the neck to just under the breasts.
"TorsoLower" - From the bottom of TorsoUpper to the belt line.
"ArmUpper" - Shoulder to elbow.
"ArmLower" - Shoulder to wrist.

Leg armor can use only 2 textures:
"LegUpper" - Belt line to lower thigh.
"LegLower" - Bottom of "LegUpper" to ankle.

Our example clothing requires textures for all of these parts -except- "ArmLower", because it is short sleeved.

2) Open up MyWarcraftStudio and load Common.MPQ. It takes a minute. We are now going to look for the chest textures. Because I know that the graphics for that chest piece existed before TBC, I'm going to start looking in the "ITEM\TEXTURECOMPONENTS" folder. If I knew that it was new to TBC, I'd look in "ITEM\TextureComponents" folder. If I didn't know, I'd have to guess and/or check both.

This is the hardest part, but you get better at it over time, trust me. To find the chest armor, I'm going to look in the "TorsoUpperTextures" folder. Notice that the textures are named "Cloth...", "Leather..." etc. The name is usually right, but not always. Start looking there, but don't be suprised if it is named differently.

I try to visualize what the texture is going to look like before I search for it. Clothing (and skin) textures are only the left side of the character. They are just flipped for the right side. So, the "TorsoUpperTexture"'s lower left corner is at a character's sternum, then it stretches over the character's left side until finally the right edge of the texture lines up on the character's spine. For our example, then, I know that the upper left of the texture is going to be transparent because it doesn't reach up to her neck. I also am going to look for a texture that has a bright spot along the left edge that makes that glowing broach on the armor.

As it happens, the texture actually is labelled "Mail": "Mail_C_02Black_Chest_TU_U". Finding the "TorsoLower" and "ArmUpper" textures is easy, now, as the name is usually almost the same, and indeed they are "Mail_C_02Black_Chest_TL_U" and "Mail_C_02Black_Sleeve_AU_U".

Following the same procedure for the pants, we now have the list of textures we need to replace for this set of armor:


3) Now, we need to find out what our source textures are. Since I'm going to be using textures from my clothing pack, I can use the handy manifest file that I include with the pack. Scanning through it I find this section, which tells me which textures in that MPQ represent the armor that I want this other armor to look like:

Set_RaspberryOnePiece >- overwrites -> Set_NelfWarriorStarting:

4) Open patch-p.mpq using MyWarcraftStudio and extract each of the above files. You can put them anywhere, but the cool thing to do is to create subdirectories of your data directory that match the directories of the file name, so for example the first file would be like:

C:\Program Files\World of w4rcr4ft\Data\Item\TextureComponents\TorsoUpperTexture\Leather_A_03Red_Chest_TU_F.blp

5) Rename each file you extracted, giving it the name of the texture of the armor we want to replace. So, for TorsoUpper, we are renaming "Leather_A_03Red_Chest_TU_F.blp" to "Mail_C_02Black_Chest_TU_U.blp". Yes, one is missing: I'll get to that. Wink

Since we've put all our files in the appropriate subdirectories of the w4rcr4ft\Data directory, your copy of WowModelViewer should now display them for us. It if you have kept WMV open the whole time, make any small change to the character's visuals (like change the skin color) to make WMV rescan the directories for textures. You should now see this:

6) We need to fix the UpperArm problem. Basically, the armor we are trying to replace has a texture that our source set doesn't have. The solution is easy, though: replace it with a transparent texture. Here is a zip file which contains fully transparent textures for every texture slot:


Extract the "Transparent ArmUpper.blp" out of that zip, put it into your ArmUpper folder, and rename it to "Mail_C_02Black_Sleeve_AU_U.blp". Refresh your WMV and it should now look correct:

7) The final step is to make a new MPQ so that we can see our work in-game. Open MyWarcraftStudio. Open the Pack menu, and select "Make New MPQ Archive". Give it the name "patch-z.MPQ". Add every one of our renamed blp files (Mail_C_02Black_Chest_TU_U.blp, etc) in using the Pack\Add Files To Archive menu command. Your MPQ should look like this:

Lastly, and very importantly, we need to rename each file to give it the proper path. Right click on each file, click "Rename File", and add the apprpriate path (ie. "Item\TextureComponents\TorsoUpperTexture\") to the front:

Thats it! Load the game and your armor should now be changed.

(Here is a copy of the patch-z.mpq created for this tutorial: http://rapidshare.com/files/28451975/tutorial_patch-z.zip).


Return to Tutorials