Bchogan's Jersey & Court Tutorial

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This tutorial is intended to aid in the creation of custom jerseys and courts in NBA Live 2001 and earlier. It was originally contributed by Bchogan.

Programs Needed

  • EA Graphics Editor (EAGE)
  • Hex Editor: Needed for court color PCF file editing only (also used for creating bat files, for distribution of patches) You can find shareware/freeware hex editors on the Internet.

The Tutorial

Start with using EAGE to open the uniform file of the team you want to change (home or away). I change the high resolution files first, be cause it's easier to change them into low resoltuion later. Save "buni" as a "BMP" file, then do the same for "tnns." Now you can change these files with a paint program. After you've made and saved your changes, you need to import the bmp files back into the fsh file. When you open the fsh file, you need open the "buni" picture first, then selct the "Import Wizard" feature (under the "Tools" menu, or the icon that shows the blue left arrow). Select "Import an existing external file into the current open image" then "Next > >." On the next screen, select "Browse..." and find the buni.bmp that you changed and saved. Open it, then select "Next > >." Your new jersey/shorts picture should now be imported (you'll see it when you re-open the buni picture).

Instead of importing a bmp picture to the tnns file, you need to make an fsh file from your changed tnns.bmp (when you change your tnns file in the paint program, you have to make sure you select a color that isn't used in your jersey numbers, letters or shoes as a background color, so you can make it transparent; I often choose bright pink). To save the tnns.bmp as a fsh file, open tnns.bmp with EAGE, select "Save As" then "FSH." I've saved as 16 bpp (126) and 32 bpp (125), both seem to work. I don't know if it matters what level it's at, but it does have to be one that will save your opacity changes. Don't use any compression, and leave the mipmaps level at zero, since it won't matter at this point. Then you change the opacity of the background new tnns.fsh to zero using the pallate workbench.

IMPORTANT: When you change the opacity of the background color, you must also change the color itself to match the jersey's main color (i.e. for the Chicago Bulls away jersey, you would change the background color of the tnns file to red). You should not change the color ahead of time, such as when you're creating it in a paint program, or even just before you change the opacity of the background. The reason for this is that the color you choose for the background may be present in other parts of the tnns file that you don't want to be opaque (shoes, numbers & letters), especially after the color depth is reduced.

Finally, import the tnns.fsh into the original uniform fsh, again using the import wizard, but you must select the tnns.fsh instead of the tnns.bmp to import. After it's imported, don't mess with the opacity levels of the finished file. You have to do any opacity changes before you import the tnns.fsh.

Courts are more involved; You need to create fsh files like you did for the tnns file above, but this time, you cannot import the files into the original court.fsh. After you create fsh files for all the pictures in the court.fsh file, you have to use the import wizard, and select "Create a new SHPI image by combining external FSH files." On the next screen, select "Browse..." and open the original court.fsh file that you saved. Select "Add..." to add each of the individual fsh files that you saved.

The image format has to be at certain levels for certain files; I've tested several different combinations to find one that doesn't crash the game. You can find out what I used by opening up one of my recent court patches with EAGE (each file's info is given at the botton of the screen when opened, like "RGB 126" or "P42." These are "Image Format" and "Pallete" settings that you can set when you save as a fsh file. If you want to see the complete settings, select save as fsh, and it will bring up the "SHPI Properties" page with the settings of the current fsh; you don't need to save this file at this point, just check the settings). You may want to check the original file (the court.fsh you are altering) for mipmap info; I chose to set it at zero because other settings cause the graphics to become garbled for certain image formats, but you can try setting it at any level you want. I think mipmaps deal with texture smoothing; I'm not positive.

There is still the problem of the drna graphic for the team not showing up in the game. Currently, I can't find a way to have it in, and still have transparency in the other court graphics.

For changing the courts colors, most of these settings are in the court.pcf file in the "models" folder. This file is much like the crt.bin file in Live 2000, so you can edit it much the same way. Go to Thuan Vuu's Court Tutorial to find info on this; it's where I learned how, and I thank Thuan Vuu for providing this information. The main differnce in court color editing between Live 2000 adn Live 2001, is that the court line colors for Live 2001 are located in the court.fsh file as "olin." There are generally four squares of color that olin has that correspond to the court line; play the game and you can see which line goes with which color. You can change these be changing a bmp with a paint program, or sometimes you can just edit the pallette of the file. Changing the bmp is probably best when you're creating a new court.

That's about it. A lot of what I learned was through trial and error, as well as learning from other people's patches.