Custom Textures

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Citra has the ability to dump game textures and load custom texture packs. Game textures will be dumped as .png files. Texture packs may contain either .png, .dds or .ktx files. Supported compression formats include BCn and the various ASTC block variations.

Instructions for dumping textures

  • Open Emulation > Configure... in Citra’s menu and go to Graphics > Enhancements.
  • Enable Dump textures and click OK.
  • Now open a game of your choice, and start playing. As you keep playing, the textures used by the game will be dumped as .png files.
    • Right-click on your game in the games list and select Open Texture Dump Location to open the dump folder.
    • The dump folder will contain a template pack.json file, that is used for configuration options. This file must be copied in the load folder.

Instructions for replacing textures

  • Right-click on your game in the games list and select Open Custom Texture Location to open the folder where custom textures will be loaded from.
  • Place your custom texture .png files in the folder.
  • In Emulation > Configure... > Graphics > Enhancements, enable Use Custom Textures and click OK.
    • Additionally, if you want your custom textures to be pre-loaded to RAM, enable Preload Custom Textures as well. This will help improve the performance but will also increase memory usage.

Texture dumping

Citra will dump textures when they are used by the game and uploaded from the guest VRAM to the host memory. Dumped textures may only have power-of-two dimensions in order to avoid dumping host framebuffers.

The texture dumper will write a template pack.json file in the dump directory, which should be copied in the load folder when testing the texture pack. By default, textures will be dumped using the new hashing method. If a texture pack exists in the load folder, the dumper will use the same hashing method as that pack. Regardless of the hashing method, packs should still load correctly on any recent build of Citra.

The filename of dumped textures is comprised of various information about the guest texture. For example, the filename “tex1_256x256_543624189C94B105_12_mip0.png” includes the guest texture dimensions 256×256, the texture hash 543624189C94B105, the guest pixel format 12 and the mipmap level of the texture mip0

Pack configuration

The custom textures rework introduced a new json configuration file for texture packs, which is used to distinguish between old and new packs. It contains information about the pack such as name, author, as well as other configuration options like the used hash format, automatic mipmap generation and control for texture flipping. The latter two options are unsupported when compressed texture formats are used.

The new hashing option is recommended for new texture packs and is enabled by default. Advantages include faster hashing, as it requires less input data compared to the old hash and better compatibility between graphics APIs. In order to maintain compatibility with existing packs, loading the older hashing format is still fully supported. Usage of the old hash occurs either when the pack.json file does not exist in the texture pack load folder, or the use_new_hash option is disabled.

The configuration file also allows for hash mappings, which means textures can have arbitrary filenames that don’t strictly adhere to the dumper naming guidelines. For example:

					"textures" : {
  "114BFC385ED72F15" : "logo.png"
  "22B8C43233F640AE" : "sky.png"

Normal maps

The new custom texture system supports custom normal maps. This feature allows creators to add additional details to objects that would not be possible with only diffuse maps.

Normal maps have the same filename as their diffuse counterpart, with an added .norm prefix before the file extension. For example the normal map for dumped texture texture.png will be named texture.norm.png. This applies for all supported file types and for hash mappings.

There are limitations to when custom normal maps may be used. Most notably, the scene must enable fragment lighting. In the absence of lighting normal maps will not function and show the following error in the log:

					[  24.086113] Render.OpenGL <Warning> video_core\renderer_opengl\gl_rasterizer.cpp:OpenGL::RasterizerOpenGL::BindMaterial:598: Custom normal map used but scene has no light enabled