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How to use SH Texture Explorer
Report filed by Jan 9th, 2018

Download the program from or from here:


The SH Texture Explorer program allows you to modify the textures used in the PC versions of Silent Hill 2, 3, and 4. You can do things like changing hair colors, making new outfits, or even swapping some character textures.

Unzip the contents of the folder. Open the program and click the icon of the folder to browse for the file you want to open. It will open arc, mdl, and bin files. These are in the data directory of the PC games. You should also click the “save dir” button to select where the extracted textures will be saved as *.tga files.

For Silent Hill 3, you can fairly easily switch the textures for Heather and Memory of Alessa. Heather’s textures are in the CHRPL.arc file, and the enemies’ textures, including Memory of Alessa, are in the CHREN.arc file.

If you open CHREN.arc, you can scroll through until you find MOA’s textures. There are only three. Right click and select “extract selected texture.” You can then open CHRPL.arc and find Heather’s vest outfit. There are several copies of this in there because one of them is for Heather’s mirror reflection, and others are for her bloodier versions of the same outfit.

You can open these in an image editing program like photoshop. If you edit them, make sure to save them with the alpha channels, or things like hair will be blocky and messed up looking. The alpha channel can make parts of an image transparent, and this is used for things like making it look like characters have individual strands of hair.

For switching Heather’s normal outfit with the Moa skin, you may want to rename the files to something easy to remember, like moaface.tga, moavest.tga, moaskirt.tga, and likewise with the Heather files. Heather also has a 4th file for her hair, so that needs to be edited darker to make it work with the Moa skin.

To replace the default texture with another file, select a file, right click, and click “replace texture.” You can then browse to find the file you want to replace it with. I have replaced all of moa’s files in the CHREN.arc file with Heather’s textures, and then replaced all instances of Heaher’s normal vest outfit in the CHRPL.arc with MOA’s files.
Some issues with the texture explorer:

In Silent Hill 2, there are different files for the characters under different lighting conditions. All of these will need to be changed.

In Silent Hill 3, the program only opens some of the game files, mostly characters and monsters. Other things (like billboards, etc.) cannot be extracted or altered with this program.

In Silent Hill 4, files have multiple copies of the same texture at different sizes, but you only need to change the firest in each set, not the ones with “MipMap” in their titles.
This may not run on more recent computers. If it’s not working, trying putting it in compatibility mode for WinXp SP3, and/or running it as administrator.

The SH3 files usually include multple models and textures, and the SH2 ones need to be replaced for multiple models, so please don’t ask me to upload the altered model files, since that would be uploading a huge part of the game, and is more work than I am willing to do these days, especially since the PC versions aren’t even widely used or supported anymore. I wil try to upload the tga files in a zip file again of the ones I still have on disc (though many have been lost over the years).

I think it was perdedork that made this program, and he hasn’t updated any of this stuff in years.

16 Responses to “How to use SH Texture Explorer”

  1. Hello.

    I got a bit problem using it. I just want to replace the SH4 textures, but when I replaced it, it shows the message “OK” with an “X” sign on the left. When I play the game, I can’t see my own modded texture. Can you tell me how to fix this problem?

    --Michael Jonathan
    July 8th, 2009

  2. If it doesn’t say “OK” then the file may be in the wrong format, or the wrong size. The SH4 ones are tricky because there are multiple files for some of the models/areas in various sizes.

    August 2nd, 2009

  3. Wrong format? You mean, it still the same as .TGAs? I use .JPGs for SH4 textures, btw.

    --Michael Jonathan
    August 10th, 2009

  4. Sorry for double-post, but I did manage to mod only one model using .JPGs, and that is Henry. The others, I can’t.

    --Michael Jonathan
    August 10th, 2009

  5. I haven’t ever tried it JPGs, only TGAs, so I’m not sure about that. It could be. Another problem is the transparency in things like the hair, which won’t work right with JPGs since it loses the alpha layer.

  6. Okay. I’ll try the TGAs to see if it’s work. I’ll post it again if it is.

    --Michael Jonathan
    August 17th, 2009

  7. Got it! I think the textures are perfectly fine! It’s just like you said, “a bit tricky”. But the only thing that can’t replaced is the 24-bit textures. So, I save it into 32-bit textures and everything works fine! Thanks, dude. 😉

    --Michael Jonathan
    August 26th, 2009

  8. Hi! I have changed the textures of james in SH2 and heather in SH3, but then when i play the game nothing changed! 🙁 Please someone can help me?

    January 17th, 2010

  9. It may depend on your operating system, I have had problems with Vista and win7 with certain things.

    Otherwise, for SH2 there is more than one James model file, you need to change them all if you want to be sure to have them look different, I think they are for different lighting conditions, some for cutscenes, etc. If you have downloaded JPG files for anything, they need to be converted to TGA to use them with texture explorer.

    For Heather, you need to make sure she is wearing the proper outfit you have changed the textures for, also.

  10. I am having an issue. Everytime I chose to replace a file in the model viewer, the file doesn’t change and nothing is different in-game. I have replaced all the textures for james and none of them work. It comes up with a message that says: “OK”. However, it makes an error sound and a red error sign is on the side. Help?

  11. I think there are 2 or three different James models that you need to change all the tectures for, which are probably for James in different lighting conditions and cutscenes, etc.

    March 14th, 2010

  12. Can you tell me who autor or where i can get source code for fix this programm? I mean some fix for better work and more texture view.

  13. I think it is under “help” or “about” in the program, or you could ask in the silenthillmodifications yahoo group.

  14. Hello everyone!

    I have one cuestione: somebody can tellme please how i can make more short the mini skirt of Heather in Silent Hill 3??? in photoshop i have change the color only but i can’t cut the skirt of Heather… i can do this????
    Please Somebody Help !!!!!!

  15. No, you can’t change the model geometry with any of the programs available for the SH games. It is possible to open and edit models in other software to be imported into other games, however.

  16. Thanks Alot Dr. Kaufman XDD You Save My Doubt

    --Angel GT
    March 2nd, 2011

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