Ace Combat 7 - Editing DXT5 MREC Textures in GIMP

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Table of Contents

Creating an Editable Image

Transfering the original Alpha Channel to your edited texture

TL;DR

Creating an Editable Image

  1. Open the original DDS file, it should appear almost entirely blank

  1. Click on the Channels tab, Uncheck Alpha
  2. Click on Layers tab, right-click > New layer from visible
  3. Click on the Channels tab, Check Alpha

  1. You will now have an editable layer, proceed to edit as normal in GIMP (you could also edit in other software, and then re-import your changes as a new layer)
  2. Do not modify the layer that you originally imported (In this example MR2K_00_MREC.dds), you will need it later.

Transfering the original Alpha Channel to your edited texture

  1. Now that you have made the changes you want to your MREC you need to re-apply the Alpha Channel from the original MREC texture.
  2. Create a single flattened layer with all your changes.   Easiest way is to go to layers tab right-click > new layer from visible
  3. Make all layers invisible except for one you just created (named Visible or Visible #1)
  4. Right-click on the original DDS layer (eg. mr2k_00_MREC.dds) > alpha to selection 
  5. Select your flat visible layer (eg. Visible)
  6. On the menu-bar click select > invert then click edit > clear

  1. Your image should now look mostly invisible

  1. Export your flat ‘visible’ layer as a DXT5 DDS file and pack it up!

TL;DR

To transfer the alpha channel from one layer to another;

  1. Perform an alpha-to-selection on the source layer
  2. Invert your selection
  3. Perform a clear (Del) on your destination layer

https://superostrich.xyz/ac7.html#guides