Texture Guidelines

Having good textures is perhaps one of the most important things when creating 3D artwork. Even a beautifully modeled object can look hideous with bad textures, so it's important that the textures you make and use fit these guidelines.


Textures in SuperTuxKart are hand-drawn or painted, not just photos (though you may use photos for reference). Of course, this does not mean you need physical paints—you can use a digital painting application like Krita. Other applications are also listed at the Installing Tools page.

Textures are also not completely fake, cartoon-y looking. Feel free to add plenty of detail, as long as you use only hand painting. For more information on creating textures, see Making Textures.

Color and Lighting

Textures in SuperTuxKart are colorful and contrasting, but must not clash. Extremely bright, neon/plastic/candy-colored textures will not be accepted into the main repository unless they are used in only a very small area, like the start sign in XR591. The same rule applies to textures that are only one color. Pure black or pure white textures are also discouraged—you lose color information with 100% black or white.

Textures should be drawn as if ambient color and light in the picture were neutral. SuperTuxKart's engine will automatically change the color balance and brightness based on lighting in the scene and vertex coloring.


There should be no immediately visible pattern to the texture. Obvious patterns make the track or kart look silly. Here is an example of what not to do:

Another problem appears, however, with textures that completely lack a pattern. This is a major reason for avoiding using photographs as textures:

Notice that texturing in Blender creates an ugly tiling pattern, despite the texture itself having no pattern. By removing some of the detail, however, and smoothing edges, you can get a much better result, though still not perfect:

Technical Restrictions

  • Dimensions of images should be powers of two. A standard-size generic texture, for example, is 1024 × 1024, or 210 × 210. However, textures do not have to be squares, you could have a 1024 × 512 texture, or 210 × 29.
  • Do not use large textures for small objects—this wastes video RAM.
  • Texture files must be placed in the same folder as your exported object.
  • Textures should be in PNG format when
    • The texture will be used in an up-close object requiring high detail
    • The object contains transparent or partially-transparent parts
  • Textures should be in JPEG format for
    • Far-away objects
    • Sky textures (sometimes)
    • Ambient Light Maps