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I've toyed around trying to make useful sprays showing a bit of text or whatnot. However, they look like unreadable, blurry, low resolution crap once in game.

For example, this spray:

People bumping into my toys are either me, or spies. When in doubt, shoot. gaming.stackexchange.com

...becomes this ingame:

Crap.

How can I fix this?

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16  
We need a shorter domain name :( –  Oak May 10 '11 at 18:04
2  
At your lower settings, the resolution is being reduced. Have you considered reducing the resolution of the spray? Try decrementing the dimensions by 16's and see if it improves. If you can get it to look fine in your settings, that would increase the chances of it looking good on others'. However if it just ruins the text, then it probably won't be worth it. –  Jeff Mercado May 10 '11 at 21:19
    
With reference to the spray itself, what about dispensers? –  Stuart P. Bentley May 28 '11 at 0:48
    
Just for the record, we currently have “a shorter domain name”: arqade.com. –  Kevin Reid Jul 23 '13 at 0:33
    
@KevinReid back then we didn't! –  badp Jul 23 '13 at 0:58
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2 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Based upon the rest of how the graphics look (looking at the texture of the floor and of the wrench), it may be your graphic settings. It's just the way the game handles settings all around. Think of it this way, it applies a generic "template" of how to handle all graphics at certain settings. If you can up your video settings it should look a lot better.

Your spray imported as a BMP looks fine on higher settings:

enter image description here

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Others' sprays look fine... –  badp May 10 '11 at 18:35
    
Found this tutorial after a quick little search, might improve your output on graphics: overclock.net/pc-games/422751-tutorial-tweaking-tf2-guide.html –  Sorean May 10 '11 at 19:09
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When you say others' sprays, do theirs include text as well? Also, I'm not sure what kind of font is used for your spray, it looks like it is being skewed when it's being applied. You could try a more standard font like Arial to see if it is giving you the same issue. –  Sorean May 10 '11 at 19:11
    
Okay, this is the culprit. Increasing the quality to Max+ gets me a better looking spray. –  badp May 10 '11 at 19:13
1  
Thanks for the screenshot Nick. And you can tell the difference from looking at the wrench :) –  Sorean May 11 '11 at 4:41
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I'd start by converting the image to a texture yourself, rather than relying on the game. You can use VTFEdit or Paint.NET and Nem's VTF (Valve Texture Format) plugin.

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This looked like a jolly good idea, but the game refuses to import VTFs so created (from Paint.NET). –  badp May 10 '11 at 18:41
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@badp: The game refuses to import VTFs that aren't already in TF2's directories. I've never really understood it. Specifically in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\[steam account name]\team fortress 2\tf\materials\vgui\logos directory. –  user2974 May 10 '11 at 22:34
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