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My Time at Portia enters Early Access on Jan 23rd 2018!

Author Topic: How to open Decal and Material textures  (Read 1171 times)


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How to open Decal and Material textures
« on: September 13, 2017, 01:04:27 AM »

FYI: If you want to copy and backup, share, or otherwise manipulate the files that Planet Explorer uses for Decals and Materials:



Many versions (several years) ago, the format Planet Explorers used for saving Decals and Materials was such that I was able to open most of them with an ordinary paint program. (I believe it was Paint.Net, as that is what I usually use.) However, the formats must have been changed as this is no longer the case. At least, I am no longer able to open them with either Paint.Net or GIMP.

However, I knew that the image data was still there. And I just assumed that PE inserts it's own game data - such as a material's ore type, specular settings, and specular and emissive colors - in front of the actual image data in .PNG format. It's just that most image editing software won't know how to skip this extra game data to find the image data and won't even try.

I've searched for "image recovery" solutions and I did find several. However, most of those cost money. I tried a supposedly "free" demo online solution. But, while it did seem to successfully recover a decal image from a decal, it covered up 90% of it with a demo watermark (asking to purchase their software) that made it unusable.

Finally, I tried the freeware IrfanView, as it was mentioned on an article reviewing image recovery solutions. It got low marks because, in their tests, it did not succeed at recovering their test image. However, when I tried it to recover PE Decals and Materials, it worked! Actually, it recovered all the Decals in my folder, but it could not recover all the Material textures. Though, it did recover most of them (about 70 to 75%).

Anyway, I wanted to share this for the benefit of other ISO creators as this may help in their endeavors. And if IrfanView can recover all Decals and most Material Textures, I'm sure there are other solutions, likely even some that work better.

Edit: The latest download on the IrfanView site requires Windows 10, meaning that it won't run on anything earlier. However, search the internet and you will find older versions that run on earlier Windows. I found one that works on Windows 8, anyway.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 01:09:51 AM by Thundercraft »


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Re: How to open Decal and Material textures
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2018, 12:28:58 AM »

Thanks for the input on decals, ... I wonder if it is possible to make "wallpaper"? probably not, I have seen Paintings around though. Anyway, a heads up on Irfanview is that it doesn't require Windows 10 to run, it supports Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10 and has 32 and 64 bit versions. (I use this program a lot and I have Win 7)

Have you also tried GIMP? It is also free. I use it mostly for editing .dds image formats.