Tutorial: How to Make HD 1080p Backgrounds for HL1/Goldsrc Games Last edited 6 months ago2023-10-22 12:43:17 UTC

So, you're wanting to make a new background for your Half-Life mod, and you're wanting to do something a little nicer than the standard 800x600 backgrounds that you typically get in Goldsrc. While a tad tedious, implementing HD backgrounds is actually a fairly simple task.

What you'll need:

Bliss by Charles O'RearBliss by Charles O'Rear

Step 1

Open your image editor, and load up your 1080p image. Once it's loaded up, extract the contents of the .zip you downloaded earlier, and find 1080p_template.png. Load this into your image editor as a new layer, on top of your original image. You should have something like this:
User posted image
Remember, these are separate layers, and at no point should you ever merge them together. We'll simply be using this template as a guide to make things easier.

Step 2

When you extracted the contents of the .zip folder, you should have found a folder called "resource". Open that folder, and then open "background". Inside, you should find 40 different .tga images that bear a resemblance to the template you used earlier:
User posted image
You'll want load each one of these images up in your image editor as separate images, like so:
User posted image
Once you've done that, the longest part begins. Using the template as a guide, you'll want to copy each square from the 1080p image, and paste the squares on their corresponding .tga files, saving over the original files in the process. For example, you copy from the A1 square and paste it on top of A1.tga, and so on. You'll only want to copy from the image itself, the template is only there to act as a guide so you know what goes where.

Once that's all done, your folder should look something like this:
User posted image
Of course, for you it'll look different as you (probably) aren't using the same background image I am, but this should give you a general idea of what to expect once you've pasted all 40 squares.

Step 3

Now that the hardest part is over, all that's left is to install your new background! Take the resource folder, and move it into your mod folder, which should be something along the lines of "steam/steamapps/common/half-life/(your mod here)". And your end result should look something like this:
User posted image
You should be ready to go now, hope this has been helpful!


Commented 1 year ago2022-10-16 13:05:16 UTC Comment #104847
Here's a way better method, using irfanview.

Exporting background image to tiles using Irfanview

  1. Download and install/extract Irfanview
  2. Open image with Irfanview
  3. Change canvas size to best-fitting multiples of 256 (in this case 2048x1280)
    1. Select Image > Change canvas size
    2. Select Method 2
    3. Type in values 2048 and 1280 for width and height
    4. Select anchor top left
    5. Click OK.
  4. Export image tiles
    1. Select Options > Export image tiles
    2. Type 8 and 5 for columns and rows (remember, cols > rows)
    3. Set destination to your mod's resource/background folder
    4. Set image type as TGA
    5. Click Start
    6. Wait until operation finishes. Find the image tiles in your destination folder.
  5. Crop the right edges
    1. Open Irfanview batch mode (File > Batch conversion/Rename)
    2. Select the image tile named Mx8 (M is the row numbers 1-5) (5 files total)
    3. Press Add, or drag them to the listbox at the bottom of the dialog
    4. At the far left side, select Work As: Batch conversion
    5. Enable Use advanced options
    6. Click Advanced...
    7. UNCHECK every checkbox EXCEPT CROP (top left) and Overwrite (lower right)
    8. Enter these values under CROP:
      • X-pos: 0
      • Y-pos: 0
      • Widh: 128
      • Height: 256
      • Start corner: Left Top
    9. Press OK
    10. Press Start Batch
    11. Wait for batch operation to complete.
      • The log should report itself replacing the files. If not, you have to try again, and double-check the Advanced dialog.
    12. Click Exit batch.
  6. Crop the bottom edges. The process is similar as previous.
    • For step 2, replace with files with 5xN suffix (N is the column numbers 1-8) (8 files total)
    • For step 8, replace the following values:
      • Widh: 256
      • Height: 56
  7. Check your tiles. It should be in these dimensions:
    • 256x256 uncropped (MxN, M=1-4, N=1-7)
    • 128x256 for the right edge (Mx8 suffixed files)
    • 256x56 for the bottom edge (5xN suffixed files)
    • 128x56 for 5x8 suffixed file
    1. If not, you need to repeat from step 4 (mis-cropped) or steps 5/6 (not cropped)
  8. DONE
Commented 5 months ago2023-11-28 05:06:53 UTC Comment #105664
Half-Life 25th Anniversary Update findings
Post-25th Anniversary Update Half-Life has a separate set of files for HD backgrounds:
  • HD_BackgroundLayout.txt
  • HD_BackgroundLoadingLayout.txt
In all the files the second field of the background tile set to fit instead of scaled, which appears to crop the background as a whole to fit the screen's aspect ratio instead of stretching it. Example line:
resource/background/21_9_1_a_loading.tga    fit    0    0
The above findings may not be finalized on Valve's part and may be subject to change. It's posted here for information purpose only.

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