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Texture pack

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Default versus JoliCraft in the center

A texture pack is a collection of files that is used to change the in-game textures of blocks, items, mobs and the GUI. They are zip files that have various PNG images in them and a pack.txt. The native resolution of Minecraft's textures are 16×16 (measured pixels in block height and width). 32×32, 64×64, 128×128, 256×256 and 512×512 are referred to as ‘HD’ and requires third party modifications to run correctly. A very common patcher is MCPatcher or the mod Optifine (which improves performance and has an HD patch built in.) The crash with high resolution texture packs was fixed, but they still don't work correctly with the unpatched client. The game will run, but due to the different size of the texture files, some textures will appear within other textures, such as small fire animations appearing on grass blocks. The errors differ between packs and resolutions. Texture packs can be read without being in a .zip file, which allows the use of the "texture pack reloading" key (which is F3 + T).

All PC versions of Minecraft support custom textures, although old versions require the modification of the minecraft.jar file. High resolution texture packs are supported on all versions without a patch, however certain textures have errors or may not be changed.

History

Alpha
1.2.2 Official support for 16×16 texture packs was added this update. Prior to this update, users would need to manually change the texture packs by overwriting their minecraft.jar files or use a patcher.
Beta
1.8 The HD crash bug is fixed, but they still don't work correctly with the unpatched client.
Official release
12w23a Texture packs in folders (not zipped) are recognized and the texture pack image is displayed (for folders, not zipped).
12w24a The texture pack folder button now works on Macs.
13w02a The "terrain.png" and "gui/items.png" files were replaced by individual block and item images.
Upcoming

Future

During MineCon 2012 they announced that Minecraft will support HD texture packs and animated texture packs in the Redstone Update.

Video that shows the plans for new texture packs:

The #evp parser function was deprecated in EmbedVideo 2.0. Please convert your parser function tag to #ev.

Textures for Blocks and Items in Minecraft 1.5

Starting from Minecraft 1.5, or snapshot 13w02a specifically, the "terrain.png" and "gui/items.png" files will be replaced by individual block and item images (sheet images). These individual images will be "stitched" together again at runtime, and will make sure that the default artwork is used if images are missing in the selected texture pack.

The game will also no longer create procedural textures for fire, lava, water, portals, clocks or compasses. Instead, the sheet image for these blocks and items need to contain a pre-drawn animation. The upside is that the animations will not be limited to these blocks, but can be used for any sheet image. Also, the game will allow texture packs to mix and match sheet image resolution. For example, if an HD texture pack is missing a certain sheet image, the game will be able to use the default one even though it has a different format (16x16 pixels).

Folders in Minecraft 1.5

Folder Description Notes
textures/blocks/ All blocks Sheet images that will construct the terrain.png texture at runtime
textures/items/ All items Sheet images that will construct the items.png texture at runtime

Texture Animations in Minecraft 1.5

Any sheet image can be animated by placing additional frames of animation in the same image in y-axis slots. The default behavior will be that, at 10 updates per second (100 ms per frame), the game will copy the next slot into the active texture. Once the bottom of the sheet image is reached, the game will start over from the topmost slot again. For example, to create a block texture that quickly flips between two 16x16 images, place them above each other in a 16x32 sheet image.

It will be possible to customize the duration and selection of which frames to use. For example you may want to "ping-pong" the animation (using frames 1-2-3-2-1) instead of looping it (1-2-3-1-2-3). This will be done by creating a text file with the same name as the sheet image (such as "dirt.txt" for "dirt.png") and specifying which frame indices the game should pick when it's ticked.

The format of the animation file is simply numbers specifying which frames to pick (indices start from 0), separated by either commas or new lines. For example, if you would want to ping-pong an animation that has 4 frames, the contents of text file would look like this:

0,1,2,3,2,1

... or like this:

0
1
2
3
2
1

To make the animation slower than 10 updates per second, the animation file can be specified to keep the frame for any number of ticks using an asterisk and the number of ticks to keep it. For example, to make the animation above four times slower, the file would look like this:

0*4,1*4,2*4,3*4,2*4,1*4

The water, lava, and lava_flow textures all have default text files which must be overwritten if you have an animation that varies from the default length of 32 frames for water and 16 frames for lava.

Special Sheet Images in Minecraft 1.5

  • blocks/lava_flow.png, blocks/water_flow.png
    The flowing parts of lava and water use 4 slots of the terrain texture. To simplify the construction of the artwork, these two sheet images need to be double the size of the other blocks in the texture pack (32x32 pixels for the default resolution).
  • items/compass.png
    The compass can not be animated, instead it will use its animation slots to render the direction of the needle. The compass can have any number of directions, but the first one (frame 0) should point south and the others should gradually turn clock-wise. Naturally, the last frame should almost point south again (slightly to the east).
  • items/clock.png
    Likewise, the clock can not be animated either. Its animation frames are used to render the time of day. The first frame is noon, then counting clock-wise a whole day. Midnight is at half of the animation's length (so if you have 32 frames for the clock, midnight should be at 16).

Resources

Installation

  1. Download a texture pack from the site of your choice. Since selecting a file must not be a folder, most texture packs are in ZIP file format. If you create your own textures, you can ZIP them if you feel it is necessary. For in-depth instructions on obtaining the files to make your own custom texture pack go to Tutorials/Custom Texture Packs. However this is not necessary, as of snapshot 12w23a, for as long as pack.txt exists, it will be recognized as a texture pack.
  2. Run Minecraft. If you already have Minecraft running, make sure you save and quit the world: you need to at least be in the main menu to continue.
  3. Click Texture Packs button.
  4. Click Open Texture Pack Folder button; this will open the folder where Minecraft stores all texture packs. If nothing happens, you need to find the folder manually. Depending on your operating system it is:
  • Windows XP/Vista/7/8: %appdata%\.minecraft\texturepacks
  • GNU/Linux: ~/.minecraft/texturepacks (This folder may be hidden in the Home folder)
  • Mac OS X: ~/Library/Application Support/minecraft/texturepacks (This folder may be hidden)
  1. You do not have to have Minecraft closed to place the texture pack in the opened folder.
  2. In a few seconds the texture pack will appear in Minecraft. Select it and click "Done". The texture pack is now applied, you may load your world and see the difference. If Minecraft did not update, simply exit and reopen the texture packs screen.

Tips

  • Texture packs may redesign only some textures. So if the main menu looks the same after you select a pack, it doesn't mean the pack is not working. If you feel the menu needs to be changed, contact the author of the texture pack, unless you have created it, in which case you will need to modify the textures yourself.
  • You may install many texture packs. The texture pack list can be scrolled by dragging the scrollbars up or down.
  • Minecraft may lock the currently used texture pack (for example, if the pack contains custom textures for user interface), so the file can't be overwritten. If you need to update the pack, you may need to temporarily switch to the default pack and then overwrite the file.
  • To get an unzipped directory to show as a texture pack in Minecraft, that directory needs a pack.txt in it. This, however, did not work prior to 12w23a.
  • Keep in mind that, if you downloaded a texture pack in ZIP form, it may contain another folder inside of it that has the texture pack's title, this is the actual texture pack. In this case, you will need to either copy, cut, or drag this folder to the texture packs folder.

Texture pack creation

What each image in the terrain.png represents as of Minecraft 1.4.5

To create a custom texture pack, the files you wish to modify must be extracted from minecraft.jar with an archiving or decompression program such as 7-Zip or WinRAR. They can then be edited with any image editing program that can read/write the PNG file format and handle transparency. A program such as GIMP, Pixlr or Paint.NET will work well, as all of them are provided free of charge. Programs such as Microsoft Paint do not support transparency, and will replace transparent areas with color (or pure white), ruining the texture. An example of this is that ice will become a solid color. However, it is possible to create a texture pack using only paint in Windows.

Edit each PNG file as desired, and save them as 32-bit PNG files to preserve transparency. Then, create a zip file of the modified files, preserving all of the original folder hierarchy, however this is not necessary. Any omitted file will be replaced by the default texture pack's version. If you find that nothing changes when you select your texture pack, make sure that the files are properly placed in the root of the zip (a common error is to place them within a folder in the zip, which will not work).

List of modifiable files

File Description Notes
terrain.png All blocks Since Beta 1.8, the chest has its own texture located in item/chest.png, (and item/largechest.png) similar to that of mobs.

The water and lava textures can only be changed with the HD Texture pack patch. Not used after snapshot 13w02a and version 1.5.

particles.png All Particles The redstone particles' color cannot be changed.
pack.png Thumbnail of pack in texture selection list. Size should be 128x128 pixels.
pack.txt Optional description of texture in pack selection list. Any text after the first 33 characters will not appear.
/title panorama pics, mclogo, black.png, mojang, and splashes.
/environment Snow, rain and clouds.
/font In-game font.
/terrain Sun and moon. The image is horizontally flipped in the game. (any words drawn will be backwards until sunset, and then they will be forwards)
/item In-game models for items such as signs, carts, boats, arrows, and Chests. The doors file is not used.
/gui Item hotbar, inventory screens, item thumbnails, Minecraft logo and menu background.
/art All paintings in game.
/mob All mobs in game.
/armor All armor in game.
/achievement The achievements screen GUI.
/misc Biome grass/foliage color, overlay for pumpkin helmets, the clock dial, footprint, explosion particles, and the map background. (Plus a few things you should leave be.)
/title/bg Minecraft main menu background Named panorama0 - panorama5

mod textures can be found among their files in their downloaded zip/jar. Some looking around may be needed as mod folder structures can vary.(Please improve list.)

List of texture packs

Native resolution (16px)

Click on the link above to see the list of native resolution texture packs.

Low resolution (8px or lower)

Click on the link above to see the list of low resolution texture packs. Some packs may need a patcher.

High resolution (32px or more)

Click on the link above to see the list of high resolution texture packs. Some may need "HD Texture fix" in MCPatcher or Optifine.

These texture packs require a client mod. Therefore, they are not supported by Mojang, the Minecraft Wiki, the Minecraft IRC Channel or the Minecraft Forums.

Trivia

  • The selected texture pack is saved to the options.txt file in the .minecraft folder, so you can also manually change the "skin:" value to the name of the .zip. This can be useful if the texturepack crashes the main menu, thus making impossible to change the pack using the texture selection screen. Simply erase the pack name and it will be reset to default.
  • Changing the dimensions of FoliageColor.png, GrassColor.png, or WaterColor.png (found in the 'misc' folder) will cause a severe loading issue that causes world generation to be corrupt and switching to any other texture pack to cause a "saving chunks" crash.

Resources

References