You can edit almost any 2d graphics in farcry including sky boxes, model skins, wall textures, UI graphics, Bump Maps, etc. fairly easily.
Go here: dds tools and download the photoshop plugin for dds files.
Step 1. Finding file:
After installing the plugin use winrar or any program capable of reading the *.pak files. They are simple zip files. Explore until you find the dds file you need. In this case it is X:\Program Files\Ubisoft\Crytek\Far Cry\FCData\Objects.pak and in this file the desert eagle is under weapons/DE directory within the .pak.
Step 2. Opening DDS:
When opening the dds file in photoshop it will often state the file has existing mip maps and then ask if you would you like to display them. Answer no. There are 7 levels of mip mapping on all files that have mip maps and the plugin will create them for you. Choosing yes without knowing what your doing can and will mess up your file.
step 3. Editing the image:
The engine scales the texture to fit so you do not have to keep the dimensions as the original file. The great thing about this is that if the original .dds is too small for detail work you can increase the size of the file for more detail and it will work fine. However the file must remain sized in powers of 2. Some examples of this are: 512x512,1024x1024, 1024x512, 256x512, etc.
Note: If the model has bump maps these will also be dds files and will be called skinname_DDN.dds or skinname_DDP.dds. DDN file is bumpmapping and I believe the DDP file is a second gloss/detail bump map. However I am not totally sure on DDP files. If you do any major editing you may also want to edit these bump maps to match your skin.
Step 4. saving your file:
A screen with many options will come up. All the defaults are fine except for 2 things. Change the mipmaps levels to 7 and change to dxt5. Your window should look like this pic.
Feel free to experiment with these settings.
NOTE: If what you are edting is not a texture but a standard 2d graphic with no mip maps you need to tick off the mip maps when saving. If photoshop did not ask you to view the mip maps when opening then this applies to your file.
Step 5. Testing:
Go to your farcry mod directory and make a new subdirectory named after your mod. In this case I used the name testeagle. make sure that you have the same directory structure here as there was in the original .pak file. For example mine is mods/testeagle/objects/weapons/de. Make a text file name moddesc.txt with the following layout:
_Description_ = "your mod desc."
_Website_ = "www.yoursite.com"
_Version_ = "0.01a"
_Author_ = "your name"
_Title_ = "mod name"
To load your mod launch the game as follows (obviously changing to your mods directory)
FarCry.exe -devmode -MOD:moddirectoryname
Step 6. Releasing:
Ok now download these important files as pkzip does not come with the game. (thanks to x.TheCounter.x for the info and files). Unzip the pkzip25 file into you main farcry/mods directory. From here it is fairly simple. open a command prompt in that directory and type PackerForDistrib testeagle. In place of testeagle put in whatever your mods directory is named. The .bat file will make a distro.pak file. Ok now zip this file and your moddesc.txt file up and upload them to the internet so we can check them out!
I made an example mod just to show what can be done. It is a rather mediocre looking silver/black desert eagle skin I hacked together. I do like it more than the standard DE in the game though.
note: I spent quite a while going through the *.cgf model files in a hex editor trying to add bump maps to files that do not have them. I managed to do so but it is overly complicated and each file has to be done differently due to various texture linking and mapping. Changing material types/names/adding bump/gloss/environment maps is possible without SDK but is not worth it. I will be waiting for the SDK before I work on this more. However since right now making new models without a plugin is not feasible if someone wants to LUA script an entirely new weapon and wants it to look different than the model they used let me know and I will help change the skin references in the file so the 2 weapons atleast look different.
UNrelated note: the .cal files are the animation lists for models. It seems like the human_male animations will work on skeletons, dead mercs, etc. Throw in some custom scary voice clips, set these models to standard merc AI scripts, then throw about 100 of them onto an island all with nothing but knives. THen have the player arrive via boat and you'd have a cheap dawn of the dead sequal.
[This message was edited by Slomer on Wed April 07 2004 at 07:22 AM.]