Before painting a custom car, please read the iRacing.com Custom Paint Policy
Painting Your iRacing Car:
iRacing supports two modes for modifying the paint on your car. The first is through the paint shop found in our new UI. There you can choose between many pre-made paint's and can further tweak them by changing the colors and customizing the numbers and sponsors. iRacing also supports third party paint tools, such as Trading Paints.
The iRacing UI
The primary, easiest, and most accessible method is with the iRacing UI that can be accessed by clicking;
- My Content --> Cars --> Paint My Cars
This visual-based system allows users to select from a pre-defined list of patterns and colors and then apply those selections to their car. You can change your paint scheme as many times and whenever you want. Just remember to save it by simply pushing the save button.
Custom Paint Scheme Created Outside iRacing by a Third Party
If you want to use a custom paint scheme created by someone else (for those of us out there without any artistic talent) outside of iRacing you can also do that. If you are looking for custom paint schemes or for people with that skill set there is a nice third-party site called Trading Paints which was actually designed to work with iRacing. It is located at http://www.tradingpaints.com
From Trading Paints, you can upload your own custom scheme, or download other drivers’ cars on the iRacing service so that you can see their custom schemes while racing. There are instructions on Trading Paints to help with this process.
Another resource for custom Paint Schemes is the iRacing forums. You can request a custom scheme to be created for you by fellow iRacers who are also artists. You can do this from our painting subforum in the iRacing forums:
Please note that some artists charge for their time creating schemes, while others do it for the love of the art!
Custom Paint Scheme Created Outside iRacing by You
For more advanced users you can add a custom TGA paint file to the [documents]\iRacing\paint\<your car>\ folder that we will load in place of our own paint shop paint.
If you wish to create a paint scheme yourself without using our pre-built patterns on iRacing, then you can create a custom paint scheme on your own. The custom paint system is OPTIONAL, you do not need to create a custom car paint scheme to participate or enjoy iRacing in any way. To create a custom paint scheme you will need an art program that is compatible with Adobe Photoshop layered PSD files such as Photoshop or GIMP.
It is highly recommended to download the provided paint templates by going to the My Content->Paint Shop->Download Template in the iRacing UI. You can also download all iRacing paint templates from the member site. Look for the link labled 'Download all car paint templates' in the lower right corner of the page.
The way the custom paint system works is that when you run a car in a race or test session, the simulator will create a folder in your documents\folder. So after you run the Chevrolet SS – Gen 6 car for the first time the following folder will show up:
To view a custom paint scheme you created in the iRacing simulator, you should place a 24 bit TGA with RLE compression enabled in the folder matching the car you designed it for.
The paint files have a special naming convention. They need to have your customer ID embedded in them so we know what paint goes onto what car. That way you can share your paint with other members so they can see the paints applied to your car when you race. You can find your customer ID by clicking on the helmet on the top right corner in the iRacing UI, then selecting Profile. Your customer ID will be shown in the top of the window.
You should name the TGA file in the following format:
For helmets and suits you can name the file helmet_<id>.tga or suit_<id>.tga. These can be placed in the specific cars folder if you want to match your helmet and suit to your custom car paint. Or you can place them in the root [documents]\iRacing\paint\ folder to act as a default suit and helmet paint if the cars folder does not have a paint. Suits and helmets take a TGA that is up to 2048x2048 pixels in size, just like the car paint.
For example if user 9001 wanted to paint their suit, helmet, and the rt2000 the files would be named like this:
Alternatively, if you want a paint to be applied to a particular team, place a separate TGA file with "team" as the last infix, and the team # replacing the customer ID # such as as:
\Documents\iRacing\paint\rt2000\car_team_9001.tga \Documents\iRacing\paint\rt2000\car_num_team_9001.tga \Documents\iRacing\paint\rt2000\car_spec_team_9001.tga
Team IDs can be found in the highlighted location on team cards in the Teams tab, and in a similar location on the Team Overview page:
Some cars however have alpha channels, and will require a 32-bit TGA with a disabled alpha layer. These are generally cars that have paintable window areas, like Australian Supercars. To get this to work, make sure to save your car as a 32bit TGA with the supplied alpha channel layer in the template named "Alpha Channel Needed for glass" in the alpha channel slot in the layer rollout.
You can also make a spec map file to control how shiny different parts of the car are. The file will use the spec_ infix as in car_spec_123.tga. You can read up more on the spec map file on our website.
Hiding Car Numbers and Decals
Some painters like to embed a custom number directly into there paint. By default we will stamp the number we have given to your car on top of the paint. iRacing allows users to hide the provided number stamps in favor of using ones built into their paint. To do this, first place a seperate TGA file with the name "car_num_<customer_id>.tga" such as as:
Then, launch the simulator, go to Options->Graphics, and select "Hide car numbers":
This will tell the simulator to use the car_num_XXXX.tga instead of the car_XXXX.tga, which will be shown without any of the iRacing provided number stamps.
Some cars' paints have contingency decals and sponsors that get overlaid on top of them. If you want to make a paint that has none of that at all then place a seperate TGA file with the name "car_decal_<customer_id>.tga" such as as:
This will give you a perfectly blank canvas with which to paint. The only decals we will place on top will be mandatory decals that the manufacturer asked us to add, such as any car branding.
Additional information on car painting can be found on our forums.
- You can find your account id by clicking on My Account at the top of the member's page:
- The cars can be 1024 x 1024 or 2048 x 2048 pixels in size. The suits and helmets are 512 x 512. If they are the wrong size they are ignored.
- If the sim can't find a custom texture, it will use the defined colors and pattern from the iRacingUI
- A custom texture will be loaded and used even when loading older replays that were made before the custom texture was added or changed. Likewise, custom paints are not saved with replays.
- Custom textures are not automatically uploaded, downloaded, transferred, mailed, delivered, etc, by iRacing.com in any way. iRacing.com isn't responsible for the content of a texture created by our customers.
- The only way for other racers to see your custom paint scheme is for them to have your TGA in their documents\iRacing folder. If other racers don't have your TGA, then they will see the car you currently have painted on the iRacingUI's pattern system. If you use a custom scheme, please make sure to also create a paint scheme in the built-in pattern system so that people who don't want or desire custom paint schemes won't see white, unpainted cars. Creating one in the same color can help in situations where you may be referred to by car color.
- Each file has 2 layers dedicated to showing where we stamp car numbers and car sponsors. These blocks are for informational purposes only to give the artist some idea of where those items are placed by our stamping system. Please note that the sponsors included in our sponsor system won't be included on a custom texture. This includes club logos.
- Some cars have several 1-pixel blocks in the corners of the textures. These blocks are used to determine the color of the mirrors, the underside of the wings, and other special components on some cars. These areas are numbered on the template and have a note embedded into the PSD file noting where the colors are assigned on the model.
- In the paintable area folder, there is sometimes a layer for logos that can have their color changed (manufacturer sponsors, etc.). Any logos not in the "Paintable Area" folder and in the "Turn off before Exporting TGA" can't be changed or removed; they are stamped on by the simulator and therefore they should be turned off before saving the final tga to keep from having the items stamped on the texture twice.
- Some cars have contingency logos and other details on the car that can be removed or replaced by using a special decal texture. This texture is a 32-bit TGA that tells the sim what to allow to appear on the car from the "Turn off before Exporting TGA” section of the PSD file. To use a decal texture on your car to remove or add items that normally can’t be edited, add a 32-bit TGA file with an alpha channel in the car folder you wish to edit. So with the previously mentioned Chevrolet Chevy SS, you would add a decal file to the \Documents\iRacing\paint\stockcars chevyss folder. The file would be named:
The alpha channel is used by the simulator to determine what should and shouldn’t show up from the decal TGA . White allows an item to show up, black will hide an item. Please note that some items on a car cannot be removed, even if a decal TGA is used due to licensing or other issues. As with other custom schemes, other users won’t be able to see a decal TGA or custom car scheme unless they also have your files on their local machine.
- You can download all the current templates in the UI by going to My Content then Paint My Cars in the top right, then at the bottom click All Templates