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** TUTORIAL ** - adding lightmaps

Here you find the different tutorials on editing and MODing Freelancer

Post Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:42 am

** TUTORIAL ** - adding lightmaps

After repeated requests in the forums, i've decided to do a tutorial on adding lightmaps to models. This means lights that glow on the model in the dark, ideal for ships, bases and in some cases, planets. You can still add running lights if you want but that i'll leave up to you. This tutorial is not for the faint hearted and requires patience but trust me, the results are worth it. I'm assuming that those that attempt this know a bit about the general subject as this is not for noobs.

Tools you will need:

A decent graphics editing program, Paintshop, Photoshop or some program that can deal with TGA and DDS texture formats

a copy of UTF editor

I'll split this up into different sections with images so you can see what's going on. And off we go...

Edited by - Gibbon on 10/30/2007 1:52:26 AM

Post Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:51 am

First thing you need to do is locate the texture for your model which normally sits in the MAT file for your ship. You need to extract this with the UTF editor. Look for the file in the texture library section by clicking on the name, another node will open up, either MIP0 or MIPS, click on that and EXPORT it using the editor. The texture file will have a TGA file extention which is fine if its a TGA texture. It might also be a DDS one in which case change the extention to DDS so you can edit the texture in your graphics program, don't worry about importing the mipmaps into your graphics program if its a DDS texture. Also some ships have multiple textures, you need to find the one that you want to edit, not all of them will need glowmaps.


Freelancer uses the TGA format to display textures in game, these can be quite large which is why lots of people including myself, prefer using the DDS format as this cuts down on space and significantly reduces the texture file size.

A lot of new ships only use one texture file, 256x256, 512x512 and so on so here's one i extracted earlier,

Colonial Raptor

Next thing you need to do is to create the glowmap itself which is exactly the same image as above but very dark, usually achieved by lowering the brightness and contrast but you may have to experiment with this. This is where you add any engine glow or lights to the model by simply going over the original section in the texture and adding nice bright colours for the areas you want to make glow in the dark. Resave it and most importantly, RENAME it so it looks like this,

Colonial Raptor glowmap

Once this is all done you need to decide what format to save it as. In this case because the texture is one simple square one, we can convert it to DDS format so make sure you save it as such and save it with no alpha channel.

Edited by - Gibbon on 10/30/2007 2:42:31 AM

Post Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:18 am

Now comes the fun part, for this you need the UTF editor so open up the MAT file of your model so it looks like this,


Now in the version you guys will have you will only see three sections, the Dt_flags, Dt_name and Type sections. The glowmaps are added to the Et_flags and Et_type sections which you have to create. You do this by adding two new nodes to the first tree where the original texture name is, in this case, colrap1coxtex.

Once you've added the two new nodes you will have two nodes that have New node next to them. Highlight the first one, rename it to Et_flags and edit it as an int array. You need to add two numbers, first 64, press enter than add 0

Highlight the second node and rename it Et_name and edit it as a string. You must enter the name of your glowmap texture here so i've put colrap1coxtexi.tga in mine. It has a TGA extention even though its a DDS texture as explained before.

Lastly, two nodes up is the node called Type. Edit this as a string and add Et on the end so it reads DcDtEt.

Edited by - Gibbon on 11/7/2007 3:23:43 PM

Post Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:35 am

Now we're on the home stretch. You need to add the new glowmap texture to the texture library in UTF editor so it looks like this,


A new node needs to be added to the texture library section so go ahead and do this. Once done you will have a node with New node next to it. Highlight it and rename it using the glowmap texture name. Once this is done, add a new node to the new glowmap texture name and rename this either MIP0 for a TGA texture or MIPS for a DDS texture. Once this is all done, you need to import the new glowmap to the MIP0 or MIPS node, so highlight it and IMPORT the new texture. Make sure it has the TGA extension on the end irrespective of the fact it might be a DDS texture.

Save everything to your MAT file of choice and that should do it. Make sure your trees look EXACTLY like they do in the images above or it won't work.


Here's some i did earlier

Battlestar Galactica

Earth by night

Cylon Basestar

Edited by - Gibbon on 10/30/2007 2:02:40 AM

Post Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:47 pm

Nice one Gibbon.

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