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ZenGin Textures

Quick Infos

Type: Asset Format
Format Name: Texture
File Extension: .TEX
Class Name: zCTexture
Encoding: Binary
Used By: zCFont

ZenGin texture files contain DXT1-5, palette or raw textures alongside mipmaps of each texture. Textures are contained within binary files which start with a header followed by palette and image data.

Standalone textures are found within the Textures.vdf file found in the Data/ directory in the Gothic installation. They are sometimes embedded into other formats too, though.

Format Description

Textures are stored in a binary file which contains the following data. Also refer to the Datatype Reference for general information about often used datatypes.

Texture Structure
enum zCTexture_Format {
    bgra8  = (uint32_t) 0, // 32-bit BGRA pixel format with alpha, using 8 bits per channel
    rgba8  = (uint32_t) 1, // 32-bit RGBA pixel format with alpha, using 8 bits per channel
    abgr8  = (uint32_t) 2, // 32-bit ABGR pixel format with alpha, using 8 bits per channel
    argb8  = (uint32_t) 3, // 32-bit ARGB pixel format with alpha, using 8 bits per channel
    bgr8   = (uint32_t) 4, // 24-bit BGR pixel format with 8 bits per channel
    rgb8   = (uint32_t) 5, // 24-bit RGB pixel format with 8 bits per channel
    argb4  = (uint32_t) 6, // 16-bit ARGB pixel format with 4 bits for each channel
    a1rgb5 = (uint32_t) 7, // 16-bit ARGB pixel format where 5 bits are reserved for each color and 1 bit is reserved for alpha
    r5g6b5 = (uint32_t) 8, // 16-bit RGB pixel format with 5 bits for red, 6 bits for green, and 5 bits for blue
    p8     = (uint32_t) 9, // 8-bit color indexed
    dxt1   = (uint32_t) 10, // DXT1 compression texture format
    dxt2   = (uint32_t) 11, // DXT2 compression texture format
    dxt3   = (uint32_t) 12, // DXT3 compression texture format
    dxt4   = (uint32_t) 13, // DXT4 compression texture format
    dxt5   = (uint32_t) 14, // DXT5 compression texture format

struct zCTexture {
    char magic[4]; // Always `"ZTEX"`.
    uint version; // Always 0.
    uint format; // One of enum zCTexture_Format
    uint width; // The width of the texture in pixels.
    uint height; // The height of the texture in pixels.
    uint numMipmaps; // The number of mipmap stored.
    uint referenceWidth;
    uint referenceHeight;
    uint averageColor; // A 32-bit ARGB value containing the average color of the image.

    // Texture data. See below for more information.
    union {
        struct {
            uint palette[256];
            byte palettePixels[/* (width * height) */];

        byte rawPixels[/* (width * height * pixelsize(format) */]; // Depends on the pixel format (see zCTexture_Format)
    } mipmaps[/* numMipmaps */];


All color values should be understood as word-order, so an RGBA color #aabbccdd would be represented as the bytes dd cc bb aa in little-endian byte order. An alpha byte of 0xff means full opacity.


Mipmaps are stored from the smallest to the largest image. If the mipmap-image with the level 0 has a with of w and a height of h pixels then the mipmap image with the level n has a width of w >> n and a height of h >> n pixels (each mipmap-level is half the size of the previous one).

Format: DXT

If the texture format is dxt1, dxt2, dxt3, dxt4 or dxt5 the data stored right after the header is DXT compressed. To figure out the size of each mipmap-level in bytes, for DXT1 compressed data calculate max(1, w / 4) * max(1, h / 4) * 81 and for DXT2-DXT5 calculate max(1, w / 4) * max(1, h / 4) * 161 where w and h depend on the mipmap level. In practice, only DXT1, DXT3 AND DXT5 are used.

Format: Palette

With the p8 format, the texture file contains a palette-list before the actual texture data. This palette follows right after the header and contains 256 32-bit ARGB8 colors. These are then referenced in the texture data section right after the palette data. Each byte in the texture data represents one pixel. Its color is the color in the palette at the index indicated by the byte's value.

Format: Raw

If the format is not p8 and not one of the dxt formats, the texture stores raw data according to the format described above. For bgra8, rgba8, abgr8 and argb8 formats, each pixel is 4 bytes in size. With formats bgr8 and rgb8, each pixel is 3 bytes in size. argb4, a1rgb5 and r5g6b5 contain 2-byte sized pixels.

  1. This calculation has been adopted from ZenLib