This thread is a hub for all the links to various tutorials and resources regarding modding in Arma 3. This exists to facilitate the search of certain informations by regrouping them all in one place as well as guide people who would like to start modding onto the right path. I will most likely add more sections as time goes on, so even if something is not listed, it's most likely because I currently have no specific documentation in my possession concerning that subject matter.
Can I contribute?
Of course! You can submit whatever you'd like added directly to me via the forums or discord.
Is your mod getting re-uploaded and people are trying to hide it on the steam workshop?
This amazing tool created by OPTiX will find them wherever they are hiding so you can proceed with the legal stuff: (per section 6D of the steam subscriber agreement https://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/english/) https://beta.workshopcrawler.com/
- The official Arma 3 discord, where you can ask your questions to experienced creators and even developpers: https://discord.gg/Z7C6H7u
- The Arma 3 samples pack gives you references when creating a mod for Arma 3 (mostly objects and textures): https://store.steampowered.com/app/390500/Arma_3_Samples/
- The Arma 3 community wiki containing most of the basic informations you will need when writting configs: https://community.bistudio.com/wiki/Main_Page
Software and libraries:
- Blender is a free 3D software allowing a creator to model, animate, sculpt, create UVs and do much more all in the same environnement: https://store.steampowered.com/app/365670/Blender/
Adobe Photoshop, probably the greatest piece of image editing software in history: (!!!) https://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop.html?promoid=PC1PQQ5T&mv=other
Alternatively if you don't want to pay for that there's another free image editing program called GIMP, it does pretty much the same job just a tiny bit slower and without AI: https://www.gimp.org/
If you have to edit configs or write some pieces of code you might want to check out Notepad++, it's free: https://notepad-plus-plus.org/
Alternatively you can use Visual Code Studio, it's also free: https://code.visualstudio.com/
Having trouble texturing a model you made? Search no more, Substance Painter is for you. It allows a creator to paint textures on a model in 3D with a variety of tools. Kind of like Photoshop but in 3D.
Perpetual license: (!!!) https://store.steampowered.com/app/1194110/Substance_Painter_2020/
Subscription: (!!!) https://www.substance3d.com/subscribe/
If you are searching for a texture library you have many choices out there but here are my recommendations.
- Substance source (Only available through a subscription to the entire Substance suite): (!!!) https://www.substance3d.com/products/substance-source/
- Quixel Megascans: (!!!) https://quixel.com/megascans
L3DT is a software that allows the creation and editing of heightmaps as well as the generation of a satellite mask and texture: http://www.bundysoft.com/L3DT/
As an alternative you can use TerreSculptor, while more focused on making maps for Unreal Engine it does have, in my opinion, stronger heightmap generation algorithms: http://www.demenzunmedia.com/home/terresculptor/
- Mikero tools is a set of programs that handle everything from setting up your P: drive to packing PBOs, made as an alternative to the broken official Arma 3 tools: https://mikero.bytex.digital/
- A complete process to bring your object from Blender to Arma 3 by El Tyranos: https://forums.bohemia.net/forums/topic/207631-from-blender-to-arma-3-complete-process-tutorial/
- Definition of all the LODs for Object Builder: https://community.bistudio.com/wiki/LOD
- Export your model directly into a .p3d format from Blender using this plugin: https://github.com/AlwarrenSidh/ArmAToolbox
- The Arma 3 Ultimate terrain tutorial is where any beginner to terrain creation should start its journey, made by many renown terrain creators it is a surefire way to get a simple terrain in-game: https://pmc.editing.wiki/doku.php?id=arma3:terrain:ultimate-terrain-tutorial
- A little wiki made by Pennywise with many information on terrain creation such as what does everything in the mapframe means and what is material per cell: https://github.com/pennyworth12345/A3_MMSI/wiki
- This thread on the BI forums was made by the talented terrain maker bludclot, it contains various personal and factual tips about terrain creation in general, worth a look: https://forums.bohemia.net/forums/topic/218834-musings-from-a-terrain-creator-bluds-do-and-do-nots/
If creating a terrain based on real world data is what really interests you, you should take a look at this plugin made by Adanteh for QGIS (Note, you should have a basic understanding of Arma 3 terrain making before using this): https://gitlab.com/Adanteh/qgis-game-terrains/wikis/home
Alternatively, here is the old manual method created by Ross in case you ever need it: https://github.com/rossoe/Arma3_QGIS/wiki
- Having trouble with debugging your satellite mask because it has too many colors somewhere? Look no further! Here is a handy tool created by Pennywise that will tell you exactly where your problem is hiding: https://github.com/pennyworth12345/MaskColorChecker
- Everything seems fine, yet your clutter is not appearing correctly on your terrain. Try this debugging tool made by Pennywise which will help you find where in your config the mistake lies at: https://gist.github.com/pennyworth12345/6670b948f2cde80d28ad01ebd584db1c
- What does everything in the terrain config mean: https://community.bistudio.com/wiki/Arma_3_CfgWorlds_Config_Reference
- Created by Uro, this website lists many things such as Arma 3 model class names with preview images, a cheatsheet for buldozer controls and commented configs: https://arma3library.gitlab.io/#
- Tweaking lighting parameters in your config by only looking at text can be quite hard, that's why Kju made this script here which let's you test lighting settings while in-game to see results without having to always pack your map: https://forums.bohemia.net/forums/topic/216829-wip-terrain-lighting-tweaking-gui/
- Don't like buldozer for placing down objects? Adanteh got you covered, with Plopper you can place objects with tools better suited for this than only a gizmo: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1687651646
- Create and manage TB object libraries automatically and more with these cool python scripts by Adanteh: https://github.com/Adanteh/arma_terrain_utils
- List of all the naming conventions for textures used in Arma 3: https://community.bistudio.com/wiki/Texture_Map_Types
- Preset Substance Painter HDR and export options for texturing in arma 3 by RobbbT: https://github.com/RobbbT/arma_3_substance_shader
These are images I have collected over time, they can touch a variety of subjects but are always nice to look at.
Names of the new Enoch ground textures located in A3\Map_Enoch\data\ by Dedmen
What the mapframe parameters equate to in-game by Mondkalb
L3DT settings and what they should equate to in Terrain Builder by Ice
Edited by Nick Aryson