iRacing offers two ways for users to customize their car. There is of course the built-in car customize section of the iRacing website. This is a very simple tool to use and will be able to suffice for many iRacers out there. This is the easiest way to paint a vehicle and is universally accepted and used throughout the iRacing software. You can paint each car individually or apply the same paint color combination to all cars.
For those iRacers out there looking for a more customization, Iracing also supports custom paint schemes. Creating these custom paint schemes requires the use of outside programs and one’s own creative ability. To begin with creating a custom paint scheme in iRacing one will need access to Adobe Photoshop. Once you have Photoshop, you will need to grab the templates (on member forums so membership is required) from the iRacing website. These templates come in 3 different .zip files as well as an updated .zip file for the Dallara indy car and the Late Model. Unzip these files to somewhere you will be able to find them. These templates include every car available through the iRacing service, a helmet template, and a driving suit template.
Once you have the templates, open the car you wish to paint. For the sake of this article I selected the Skip Barber Formula 2000 since I m currently running in that season. I also went ahead and turned off the standard colors that come on the car.
Speaking of what comes on the car. The decals on the blank model are the decals that the game “stamps” onto the car at the start of any session. Because of this, I like to leave this layer on when I am working on the car so that I won’t put a decal or whatever where the game would go ahead and cover it up anyway. I design around these decals for the most part. While we are on the topic of layers, all of the layers that are highlighted in red need to be turned off before exporting the car as leaving any of them on could produced undesired results. A few of the other “red” layers that I use during painting are the mask layer and the wireframe layer. The mask layer applies all thins stamped on the car that aren’t decals (on this car it’s thing such as brake light, wing parts, transmission, etc.) and this layer also contains all the gray background separating the different car parts. The wireframe layer I will turn on and off when I need it. It shows you the lines of the car, such as where the shell bends an any way. This layer also allows for aligning when trying to mirror sides. Now you begin by creating layers in the “paintable area” (blue section). I won’t go into any detail on how Photoshop works as I’m not an expert at it by any means. If you need any help with a tool or whatever simply look it up on Youtube, they have thousands of tutorials on Photoshop.
After some amount of work, depending on your experience and skill level with Photoshop, you will end up with a finished painted template and you need to save. First of all you need to remember to turn off all “red” layers. Next go to Save As, and save the file as your Customer ID # with iRacing. This number can be found by logging into the iRacing website and clicking the “My Account” link at the top of the screen. So if your ID# was 12345 the filename of the template would need to be saved as 12345.tga
Once you save the template, go to My Document/iRacing/paint/(folder of car you modifed) and copy the file to that destination. The car should now show up in game as you designed it. Note that others will still see your paint scheme as the one you have set up through the normal iRacing custom paint shop on their site. I will get into sharing of paint schemes in an article in the near future. For now, happy painting and racing and I hope to see you on the track.