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I've been toying with the idea of creating a custom texture pack for Minecraft, just to see how successful I'll be at it. Problem is, I have no idea how to go about doing this.

Where do I begin, what steps do I take, and what do I do once I'm finished?

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Me too! Been wanting to mix DF and minecraft, actually –  Raven Dreamer May 29 '11 at 1:22
    
When trying to create something very similar but not quite the exact same as something, step one is to inspect that something very well. Download a texture pack and unzip it. Look at what it is. Experiment with changing its contents. –  John the Green May 29 '11 at 2:36
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@John - I've long been a believer in a "three tiered" model of creativity. The easiest to do is duplication, mimicking previously established work. The second is manipulation, altering previously established work. The highest tier, where all the cool artists hang out, is fabrication, establishing wholly new creative works. –  Raven Dreamer May 29 '11 at 2:55
    
@Raven then why do you want to do a texture pack? That's been done before. Besides, you have to get good at tier one before you can jump to tier 3 right? –  John the Green May 29 '11 at 3:33
    
This thread at minecraftforum.net has some useful links. There is an (unfortunately outdated) template for terrain.png –  Zommuter May 29 '11 at 8:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted
+100

Minecraft 1.5 made significant changes to how texture packs work. Mainly it allowed for almost any block or item to be animated, separated item sprites and block textures into individual files, and allowed for default textures or sprites to be automatically used when a texture pack lacks them.

The best way to start creating a texture pack is to extract all of the default textures and various UI images from minecraft.jar. In Windows, this is found at %appdata%\.minecraft\bin, in Linux it's at /.minecraft/bin and in OS X it's found at ~/Library/Application Support/minecraft/bin. Once you've found it you can extract its contents using an app like WinRAR, 7zip, The Unarchiver, etc.

Alternatively you can download someone else's texture pack and edit what's already in there.

The relevant files and directories in minecraft.jar are:

  • /achievement contains the achievements screen GUI

  • /armor contains images for all of the various armor in the game

  • /art contains images of the various paintings in the game

  • /environment contains images for the sun, moon, snow, rain and clouds

  • /font contains images for the font used in all text in the game

  • /gui contains stuff like the menu background and various inventory screens and GUIs

  • /item contains textures for boat, mine cart, and chest models and a few more things

  • /misc contains various stuff like the map background, beacon textures, explosion particles, etc.

  • /mob contains textures for the friendly & hostile mobs in the game

  • /title contains the main title, Mojang logo and some other stuff. In the bg folder are images that are used to create the panorama background in the main title screen

  • pack.png: the thumbnail that shows up next to your pack in-game in the texture packs list

  • pack.txt: optional, lets you add a short description that shows up in the texture packs list

  • particles.png: contains images for various particles used in the game, like fireworks and hearts

  • /textures/items contains sprites for all of the items in the game, each as individual files

  • /textures/blocks contains textures for all of the blocks in the game, again as individual files

To make your own texture pack, you just copy whichever images you want to change into your own folder (the name of the folder becomes the name of your texture pack in the texture pack screen), keeping intact the file names & folder structures. Then just edit them however you want, but keep them at the original resolution (also keep the format as png). Any texture files that are missing from your folder will simply be replaced with the default files once the game is running.

Making textures or sprites animated is a little more tricky, but this post explains the process nicely.

To test your texture pack you will want to put your folder in the texturepacks folder, which you can get to by going to Options... > Texture Packs > Open texture pack folder. Once that's done, your texture pack will show up in the texture packs list, and you can select it.

Once your folder is in the right place you can easily test your textures in-game as you change them by pressing T + F3 (this reloads the currently selected texture pack).

Finally if you want to share your texture pack with others, you can either give them the folder or you can compress everything inside into a zip file. Then others can simply place the folder or zip file into their texturepacks directory.

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Just realized I probably should've edited Kevin's answer instead of adding my own? Sorry guys, I'm new here. =P Hope this helps though. –  Mosstoast May 15 '13 at 19:33
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Maybe? I don't know what the prevailing opinion is, but I think compiling that is good work that deserves the reputation it earns. What's important is that there is now an up-to-date answer on this question. –  SevenSidedDie May 15 '13 at 20:15
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Question has a bounty on it, to earn it you needed to make your own post - it was right to post this as a separate answer. –  kalina May 17 '13 at 10:16

Texture packs are stored in the texturepacks folder of your minecraft directory. The easiest way to make your first texture pack would be to download one (or clone one you already have), and modify it.

The most important part of a texture pack is the terrain.png file, where the block appearances are stored. The reason it's easier to modify an existing pack is because all the blocks are tiled in this one .png file, and you can easily tell which block is supposed to go where when using an existing file. Open the file in your favourite image editing program, and draw blocks to your heart's content.

Once you feel good about that, you can edit the files in the terrain directory (which houses the sun and the moon), the gui folder (containing the inventory, crafting bench and furnace backgrounds and more), the mob folder (where you can edit the appearances of all the mobs), and all the other folders.

Here is ShortStuf7's Clean Design Pack (my personal favourite), in case an example pack is needed.


Edit: It seems the page on the Texture Packs page on the Minecraft Wiki has a nice graphic where the names of the blocks are overlayed on top of the default texture pack.

Example terrain.png file

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+1 very nice tutorial –  John the Green May 29 '11 at 3:30
    
I've noticed that most downloadable texture packs come in the form of a .zip folder, than you simply add to your Minecraft texturepacks folder. Once all of the images have been edited, is there a specific format I need to arrange them in before zipping them, to make this work? –  ElfSlice May 29 '11 at 15:30
    
I don't believe so. –  Kevin Y May 29 '11 at 16:49

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