file Setting up texture albums in QuArK

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31 Mar 2012 00:56 #1 by IsraeliRD
Setting up texture albums in QuArK was created by IsraeliRD
Guide by Matan aka IsraeliRD. Written for the Marble Blast Forums at www.marbleblast.com . You can post this guide anywhere else, but please credit me.


Hi all,

While helping RM38 with his QuArK texturing problem I realised I should show QuArK users how to set up texture albums like in Torque Constructor (hereby referred to as Constructor), but also explain the differences between the two (to the best of my knowledge, as I don’t actually use Constructor).

This guide will explain how to set up texture albums, provide you with two pre-made samples, explain how to copy your textures into them and then stuff you can do and stuff you shouldn’t do. To make it easier, I separated this guide into sections.


First of all, you’ll need to download one of two files. The first is a pre-made sample containing Marble Blast Gold and Marble Blast Platinum textures as well as an empty Texture Toolbox (hereby referred to as toolbox). The second is a basic file containing three empty toolboxes.
You need to place the files in your root QuArK directory, meaning in the same folder as where the QuArK.exe is. This is usually C:\Program Files\QuArK unless you installed QuArK in a different directory.

You can download both of them here:
MBG/P textures & empty toolbox:
platinum.philsempire.com/platinum/MarbleBlastTextures-MBG_MBP_Empty.qrk

Empty toolboxes
platinum.philsempire.com/platinum/MarbleBlastTextures-EmptyToolboxes.qrk

After you download the file(s) you can rename them. I recommend only having one file at the end and naming it as MarbleBlastTextures.qrk as you will not need any others.

After you put the file(s) in your QuArK directory, you will want to set them up as an Add-On, so that QuArK will always load the textures when you open it.

Setting up the Torque Configuration Add-On:
1) Open QuArK
2) Go to Games -> Configuration
3) In the line: Installed Add-Ons, press the icon next to Add-Ons... on the right side
4) The window tells you that your .qrk file must be in the QuArK directory, so make sure it is there if you haven’t done so already
5) Select the Add-On (in this case: MarbleBlastTextures.qrk , unless you have it under a different name) and press Ok

Done!



Now that we have loaded our .qrk file and its toolboxes, we want to start editing it. Before that, however, you should learn how this works. For the following examples, we will presume you have downloaded the .qrk file containing MBG/P textures with the empty toolbox and that the file’s path is C:\Program Files\QuArK\MarbleBlastTextures.qrk .

The first thing you should do is double click the .qrk file and open it. It will load on the left side the Texture Toolboxes. The way I set it up is that MBG textures are in the first toolbox, MBP textures in the second and the third one has no textures. This means that if you go into Toolboxes -> Texture Browser, you will see MBG textures first, then MBP, and then an empty toolbox with no textures below it.
If you want to change the order of the toolboxes, then in the main QuArK window click one of the toolboxes and drag it to the position you want it to be.

You can also change the name of each toolbox as it appears in the Texture Browser. What it will do is separate the toolbox away from the main toolbox so that if you want to see only the textures in this toolbox instead of all files, you’ll have to go to Toolboxes -> <name of toolbox>. It will also open it in a new toolbox window. I personally find it more troublesome than needed, but you should play around and see whether you prefer it separated or not.


Adding your own textures:
Before doing these steps, navigate using a new explorer window to the directory where your textures are. They can be in their own folders or even in Marble Blast (e.g.: ~/data/interiors).

1) Open the MarbleBlastTextures.qrk file
2) Go to Toolboxes -> Texture Browser
3) Scroll to the end, to where the empty toolbox is. Select the toolbox. This is important as otherwise textures will be copied to other toolboxes and you’ll need to move them manually (or delete them followed by proper copying).
4) Open the directory where your textures are
5) Select the textures you want to transfer into QuArK.
6) Click and drag the textures into the taskbar where the QuArK window is. QuArK will now open up with the texture browser*.
7) Drag the mouse and release it where the toolbox on the bottom is.

QuArK will come up with this window**:

Do you want to put a link to the file here? If you answer No, the file will be copied. If you want to simply open this file instead, don't drag it to the Explorer panel.

8) Press No
9) QuArK will now copy your textures into the file.
10) If you have copied all the textures you wanted and are done, then you can simply quit QuArK. It will come up with one or more of these messages:

The following file(s) have been indirectly modified. Save the changes?
C:\Program Files\QuArK\MarbleBlastTextures.qrk

Press Yes

Save changes to MarbleBlastTextures
Press Yes

You have copied a large amount of data to the clipboard.
Do you want to keep this data in the clipboard now?

Press No. This data we copied is the textures.

Done!


* - QuArK will sometimes not open the texture browser, but instead either the main QuArK window or your map file if you were editing one while doing these steps. In this case repeat steps 2 onwards (except this time you don’t have to select the textures in step 5, as they are already selected unless you de-selected them).

** - It is possible that QuArK will come up with another window with this message:
This data comes from the file 'C:\Program Files\QuArK\MarbleBlastTextures.qrk'
It is possible to make changes there. QuArK will let you save or discard these changes later.

In this case, press Ok.
Later on if we wish to add in more textures but had closed QuArK, we need to open QuArK and then follow steps 3-10. In this case, QuArK is extremely likely to come up with the second window stating where the data comes from.



This part of the guide will discuss on how to add more textures into the toolboxes and how you can separate them into different “albums”.

Adding textures into different toolboxes:
Let us presume that the textures you loaded are part of your own mod, or are textures from constructor or from a different thing. Regardless, you want to add more textures but have them in different toolbox/texture browser directories.

1) Go to Toolboxes -> Texture Browser
2) Select Folders -> New main folder
3) In the window that appears, you have three options. Since we already have our textures Add-On registered, select the second option (In an already registered Add-On) and select MarbleBlastTextures.qrk *.

* It is possible that QuArK will come up with another window with this message:
This data comes from the file 'C:\Program Files\QuArK\MarbleBlastTextures.qrk'
It is possible to make changes there. QuArK will let you save or discard these changes later.

In this case, press Ok.

4) A new toolbox will appear on the bottom of the left side (you need to scroll down to see it). If you highlighted a texture or a different toolbox prior to doing this, the toolbox will appear above/below a different toolbox. You can move that empty toolbox in the main QuArK window.

Now that we have a new empty toolbox, we can add our textures into it. Simply follow steps 4-9 above.

As you can see, we just made several toolboxes (or “albums”) in just one file. It is possible to make several Add-Ons (or .qrk files) each one containing a single toolbox with the textures we want, but this is time consuming and counter-productive as QuArK will simply load all toolboxes (or Add-Ons) in the one texture browser. We are better off having it all in one and then renaming the Texture Browser (in QuArK’s main window when you select a toolbox) into a different name.


Copying textures from one toolbox to another:
In the scenario where you accidentally added textures to the wrong toolbox, or QuArK did that for you (because that’s QuArK, get used to it), you can easily move them to the right toolbox.
1) Simply select the textures (either pressing Ctrl and Left Click OR selecting a texture, moving the mouse down and then pressing Shift and the texture we want [thus selecting multiple textures all at once])
2 Go to Edit -> Cut (or Ctrl+X).
3) Scroll to the toolbox where you want the textures to be and highlight it.
4) Go to Edit -> Paste (or Ctrl+V)

It is possible that QuArK will come up with another window with this message:
This data comes from the file 'C:\Program Files\QuArK\MarbleBlastTextures.qrk'
It is possible to make changes there. QuArK will let you save or discard these changes later.

In this case, press Ok.


Removing toolboxes and/or textures:
In case you wish to remove a toolbox and all the textures inside it, you need to go to the main QuArK window, select the toolbox you wish to remove the pressing Delete.
Note that you can always undo this move if you had deleted the wrong toolbox.

To delete textures, you need to go into Toolboxes -> Texture Browser. Then, select the texture(s) you want to delete, right click and press cut*. QuArK is likely to come up with this window:
This data comes from the file 'C:\Program Files\QuArK\MarbleBlastTextures.qrk'
It is possible to make changes there. QuArK will let you save or discard these changes later.

In this case, press Ok.

If you deleted the wrong textures, QuArK allows you to undo. Press Edit -> Undo/Redo and then select up to where you want to undo.

* - QuArK allows you to use the delete button, but there are two ways this can go down:
For a single texture:
1) Select texture
2) Press delete
3) Press enter
What we just did wasn’t actually delete the texture, but instead change the resolution (if you see the main window, you’ll note the texture size was change from say, 64 64 to 4 64 by pressing ‘delete’).
QuArK will now come up with this window:
* The image is about to be shrinked.
The image quality will suffer from this operation.

Press Ok.

QuArK will now come up with this window:
This data comes from the file 'C:\Program Files\QuArK\MarbleBlastTextures.qrk'
It is possible to make changes there. QuArK will let you save or discard these changes later.

Press Ok.

4) Press delete again, and the texture will now be deleted. This is because QuArK now doesn’t have the texture size window highlighted.

For several textures:
1) Select the textures you want to delete
2) Press delete

As you can see, QuArK is rather stupid when it comes to a single texture, hence you need to right click and press cut to avoid all this.



Editing toolboxes and textures:
This part of the guide will focus on directly editing the toolbox by arranging the images and also doing some texture modifications.

When you add in new textures to a toolbox (likely a current one), you will notice that QuArK does not sort it alphabetically. What you can do is simply select the texture and drag it up/down so you that it moves to a new spot. This is manually sorting this alphabetically, but good to have.
That said, this is also really good because you can arrange textures not alphabetically, but rather by theme. For example, all textures related to say ‘frictions’ can be arranged in a certain part of the toolbox, such as the top. You can also put often used textures at the top of the toolbox while least-used textures are on the bottom. With good memory, you can also arrange in both themes and usage.

You can also directly edit the textures. In the main Texture Browser window, when you select a texture, you will see several options. The first one is the size, where you can make the texture either smaller or larger. The second one changes it from 24-bit to 8-bit (never change to 8-bit!) and the third one adds an alpha layer/transparency (again, do not do it as Mac users have crashes if textures have an alpha layer/transparency.
As I never used the size option (as I always scale the textures in QuArK from 1 1 to whatever I need), I can’t tell you how it will affect your map (likely textures that were massive and you scale to say 0.25 0.25 can be made 1 1 using this option) and of course, the ending interior (.dif) after converting (as texture size in the folder with Map2Dif will differ from that within QuArK). Because of all this, I recommend you never edit the textures. However, if someone is willing to test the resizing option and how it affects both map editing and the ending interior, I will edit this part of the guide. Alternatively I should probably test this myself and edit this part



If you use QuArK for only one game’/mod’s textures and nothing else, then have only one toolbox containing said textures. This way you don’t need to worry about dozens or hundreds of textures from everything.

The way I know Constructor does its “albums” is by searching for all textures in the directories. This can cause several problems that QuArK doesn’t have:
- Texture appearing in the same name in two different directories will not load
- Missing textures will make Constructor go nuts
- Other problems and crashes with textures that people often had
- By default it adds prefixes to textures when you save your map file (possible to disable), so that if you were to try and view them in QuArK you’ll need to either set up texture directories similar to Constructor or edit the .map file to remove the prefixes. I think QuArK can do this too, but by using the toolbox .qrk method it doesn’t.
Another advantage here is that you have a single .qrk file containing all the textures rather than the need to browse many different directories (instead it’s only one big file).
There are probably other advantages I’m not aware of, and similary, disadvantages.


And that's it!
I hope the guide has been useful for you and that it makes sense, is clear and of course you can follow it!
If you have any problems, questions or just want to comment on how awesome this guide is, feel free to post.

"matan, now i get what you meant a few years back when you said that "the level in mbg is beyond me" after the last rampage i noticed things were insane, and now i truly feel that too" - Dushine, 2015.

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  • HiGuy
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08 Apr 2012 17:34 #2 by HiGuy
Replied by HiGuy on topic Setting up texture albums in QuArK
Awesome job, Matan! This will be very helpful to all the QuArK users out there. Maybe I'll finally get it to work in the VM.

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08 Apr 2012 17:53 #3 by Jeff
Replied by Jeff on topic Setting up texture albums in QuArK
This is sick, and brilliant. Awesome job matan, maybe I should go back to QuArK like I used to lol.

I am a programmer. Most here know me for being one of the major contributors to Marble Blast Platinum and PlatinumQuest.

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19 Jul 2013 11:53 #4 by Gary
Replied by Gary on topic Setting up texture albums in QuArK
It seems that the download url of MarbleBlastTextures-MBG_MBP_Empty.qrk and MarbleBlastTextures-EmptyToolboxes.qrk is not exist , where can i download the to files? thanks~

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