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Saving .dds & .tex files

This tutorial shows you have to properly save .dds & .tex files to work in League of Legends and what you might need for programs to be able to work with the filetype.

Required previous knowledge

Required tools


Explanation of compressions

.dds itself has a lot of compressions, however LoL mainly is using 2.

Compressions are usually written as BCX and DTX X, it varies between programs what the main name is.

Here is the difference between compressions on SG Janna. Her tassels usually are transparent in-game.

BC1 / DTX 1

This compression supports no alpha / transparency.

BC3 / DXT 5

This compression does support alpha / transparency.

So basically if you use BC3 / DXT 5 you are always on the safe side.


Saving a .dds

I will be saving with a BC3 compression in all the following guides.

Photoshop + NVIDIA Texture tools

Go to File – Save as… and select DDS

Next, under Format select “BC 3 RGBA 8 bpp…”, turn off “Generate Mipmaps” and under Compression Quality select “Highest”.

Then press Save.


Photoshop + Intel Texture works

Go to File -> Save As -> Intel® Texture Works

Next, in the Texture Type dropdown select Color + Alpha.

After that select BC3 8bpp (Linear) in the Compression dropdown.

Leave Mip Maps at None.



Important notes - Image boundaries

Important notes - Single layer

Go to File – Export As..

Name the file however you need and add the extension .dds

For the .dds settings, set it to this.



Important Note - Canvas boundaries

When image editing is done click file->save as

On the dropdown saying .png or .pdn select Direct Draw Surface (.dds)

There is another dropdown after where its BC1 linear DXT1 by default, set it to BC3 linear DXT5, other settings are fine

If there are multiple layers will need to flatten the image.

Simply press flatten and the image will be saved. If you want your layers back to edit something just undo.


Converting between .dds and .tex

When a file is originally in .tex format, you will also need to save it again as a .tex file.

Export your .dds with the BC3 / DXT5 compression, because it will not work otherwise.

Take your .dds file and drag-and-drop it onto the tex2dds.exe.

Then you get a .tex file of this texture.

If you need to edit a .tex file, simply do these steps the other way around: drag-and-drop the .tex file onto the tex2dds.exe.




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