Thanks Guys, appreciation is appreciated,
especially when it comes from leaders of the community.
Alinoa, you were absolutely right about the Ingame News, almost 200 views since the News was posted less than 3 days ago .
A lot of work goes into creating a complete mod, starting with downloading the Nvidia .DDS Utilities plug in. Then, copying the default Texture/Image files out of Game Data, oh, don't forget Moods and fxclouds, then pasting them into what I call a Work Shop folder in My Pictures.
Next you start picking through the 200 some odd texture files and opening them in your photo editing program, trying to determine what it affects, usually more than its name suggests. Which means you need to create a WorkShop.zip mod file that you click and drag into the game via My Documents/Trackmania/Skins/Stadium/Mod (you'll probably have to create the Mod folder).
Next, open the Game, open the Editor, select a track and select your WorkSpace mod so you can view it in the Game.
If I got Frequent Flyer miles for the trips I made between the Game Editor and Paint Shop Pro X4, I'd have a lot of miles . . .
It becomes an obsession, you want to get it right, you get home from work, sit down at the comp, and the hours pass
. It works best if you have no life.
I create a new folder inside the My Pictures/Work Shop folder called new mod, or test or X-1 to save the altered Image files to, so I always have the default Game Images in the Work Shop folder. After saving altered files I load them into the WorkShop.zip mod file until I get the look I want, then I rename the file for final play. Start with an Upper Case letter, and No Spaces. Let's call it MyMod.zip. Inside the MyMod.zip mod file, the altered .dds files are saved into a folder called Image, if you have altered any folders from Moods (Day Night Sunrise Sunset) you'll have saved them into a Moods folder in your MyMod.zip file. Also in Moods are StadiumFXClouds.dds and Clouds Night for cloud shadows scudding over the ground.
You can create a .dds Icon for your Mod and send it to your MyMod.zip file if you want, not mandatory . . . After your finished, you really must save your MyMod.zip online somewhere and create a locator file, then add the MyMod.zip.loc file to your MyMod.zip, that is mandatory if you want others to see it.
It can be quite a bit of work, but opening a track you have driven 100 times and seeing it in a whole new way, is really cool.
Be patient, a good mod will take several days to a few weeks. I have put a mod away, for a week, then gotten an idea to go in a whole different direction and knocked it out overnight. It also gets easier after the first couple, you remember what file effects what block, and I admit to sharing some files, with minor to none alterations, between mods.
I'm still experimenting in Moods, it seems that some .dds files can be altered while .tga files can't. I have tried changing the Moon and had it vanish from the game, or slightly alter Sky Color and end up with a psychedelic rainbow dome over the Stadium
. If you know more than me about that, I'd love to hear it.
I'm glad people are seeing them and have the chance to dl them, thanks again.