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How do I Paint and Use my Custom Car?

Before painting a custom car, please read the iRacing.com Custom Paint Policy

There are many ways to paint your car. The primary and most accessible method is via the built in web-based system we have all been using up until now. This web-based system allows users to select from a pre-defined lists of patterns and colors and then apply those selections to their car. With the Season 1, 2010 sim and web update we will be adding an additional way for members to paint their cars, one that offers more flexibility than the web-based system, but will also require the use of third party tools.

The custom paint system is OPTIONAL, you do not need to paint 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.

Attached to this post are the template files needed to create custom car schemes in iRacing.

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/iRacing folder called paint and below is the correct file structure (where xxx = your customer id number)

car_xxx.tga // this is a regular paint job like always
car_decal_xxx.tga // this replaces the decal layer so you have more control over what is painted
car_team_xxx.tga // same as car but only applied when racing in a team session
car_decal_team_xxx.tga // same as decal but in a team session

helmet_xxx.tga // paint your helmet to match this car
helmet_decal_xxx.tga // decal layer, lets you paint the face among other items
helmet_team_xxx.tga // same as helmet but only applied when in a team session
helmet_decal_team_xxx.tga // same as decal but in a team session

suit_xxx.tga // paint your suite to match this car
suit_decal_xxx.tga // paint the shoes on the driver (maybe more someday)
suit_team_xxx.tga // paint your suite to match this car in a team session
suit_decal_team_xxx.tga // same as decal but in a team session.

In addition the helmet and suit decals can be placed into the root iracing/paint/ directory if you want to use a single helmet and suit for all cars. This will also act as a fall back if a car does not have a custom helmet in it.

Previously you could put your paint scheme into the iracing/paint/cars/ and you only put your customer id in as the file name (xxx.tga), we still support this but recommend you use the new scheme instead. There were also iracing/paint/helmets/ and iracing/paint/suits/ directorys to match. And we use to support adding leading zeros to the customer id but that is no longer allowed so customer 123 would have been 000123.tga, but now it would be car_123.tga.

You can find your account id by clicking on My account at the top of the members page:


The cars have to be 1024x1024. The suits and helmets 512x512. If they are the wrong size they are ignored.

The final tga should be saved as a 24 bit tga. I would also strongly recommend turning on RLE compression on the TGA to help cut the size of the texture down.

If the sim can't find a custom texture, it will use the defined colors and pattern from the website.

A custom texture will be loaded and used even when loading older replays that were made before the custom texture was added or changed.

Custom textures are not automatically uploaded, downloaded, transferred, mailed, delivered, etc, 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 documentsfolder. If other racers don't have your tga, then they will see the car you currently have painted in the websites pattern system. Please make sure to continue to 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.

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.

The Dallara has several 1 pixel blocks on the upper left of the texture. These blocks are used to determine the color of the mirrors, underside of the wings, etc. These areas are numbered on the template and I 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 sim and therefore they should be turned off before saving the final tga to keep from having the items stamped on the texture twice.
See the attachments below for all the templates needed for each car.

You can download all the current templates HERE

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