Units: Battle Map - Overview - RTW
Rome - Total War and Barbarian Invasion allow modification of the units that are used in battle maps. Both the visual appearance and the effectiveness of units in battle can be modified.
This article is 'work in progress' anyone else please feel free to add info. links etc to sub-sections.
3D Graphics - representation in battle
Skeletons and Animations
The texture is a 2D .tga.dds file that 'clothes' the model and gives it its colour and textured effects. The textures also have an alpha channel that can be manipulated to make certain areas of the model invisible - for example the apparent size of a shield can be reduced by reducing the amount of it selected within the alpha channel.
The texture files in Rome - Total War are within the .pak folders in Rome - Total War\data\packs. To access them you need to unpack the .pak files with Vercingetorix's PAK Extractor see Unpacking Files Step-By-Step you will then find the files in RTW\data\packs\data\models_unit\textures. NB: changed files will not be read from that location you need to create new folder path to RTW\data\models_unit\textures and give new textures different name or re-pack the files for new textures to take effect.
Texture files in Barbarian Invasion are found simply within Rome - Total War\bi\data\models_unit\textures
Sprites are the reduced quality 3D images that you see when you view a unit from further away in battle . New sprites can be made using a program built into the RTW and BI .exe files by CA. It is possible to include new units without adding sprites - simply do not add a sprite line to descr_model_battle.txt or comment out the existing one. However, too many units without sprites in a battle will significantly reduce performance and may make game unplayable for users with older computers!
You may notice a change in colour of a unit when you zoom out. This occurs when you switch from viewing the model and texture to viewing the sprite. It happens largely because the sprite generation program does not include the units shield in the sprite .tga's, this problem is therefore more acute for units with large distinctively coloured shields.