I have been thinking of getting into modding Ark. But the Unreal editor has been a bit daunting. I was thinking that improving the dino warpaint UV maps. The normal skin is semetrical on both sides. Warpaint has to be able to have two different sides, and thus had to be remade. But they look awfully simplistic and seem to waste space where parts can be mapped seperetly. I am not very experienced but I think I can improve on them.
My doubt is in the modding tool. It might be hard to make them work, If not impossible. I was hoping someone can give me some info or advice on this front.
did you ever figure it out? I’m looking into this as well
There should be a _colored or _layered texture should have a few different arbitrary colours like pink yellow green and red.
That is a colour masking for colour patterns for painting structures or armour and even dinosaurs. If you look at it, it should just be both UV faces on top of each other instead of being splayed out, and if so you need to replace the meshes with your own new UV unwrapped versions, and EVERY single texture in the game that is used by those meshes.
This is the T_Carno_Colorize_m texture shrunk down into a 512x512 to show you the UV breakdown of a carno. And what exactly the colour/warpaint maps do and are for.
As you can see in the image the Dinosaur is only 1/2 unwrapped, and there both the left/right islands are placed on top of each other, this is to effectively double the texture space that they have to work with, as they use TGAs 4096x4096 32b + a uncompressed texture data, if they didn’t do this to get the same level of detail they would need to do 4096 x 9192 uncompressed 32b + a uncompressed textures and double the texture sizes, they are already some of the largest parts of data in the game.
And they have TGA formats for
Layered (A combination of Specular/Metallic/Roughness)
Colour Masks (Dino skin, structure texture paints, war paints)
They are all 16mb + as a uasset format.
So yes, you CAN change them, but you will need to export the FBX, unwrap the dinosaur yourself, recreate ALL texture assets, reimport them into ADK. Replace all files that reference the OLD FBXs, animations, spawners, characters etc…