How to Create a Driver Character

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The information in this Wiki Page applies to TANE, TRS19, Trainz Plus and TRS22.

DotPoint.JPG Driver Characters are avatars that can be assigned to locomotives in sessions. They play the role of train drivers and can be moved between locomotives
DotPoint.JPG Driver Character Icons are small graphic icons or images that can be selected to represent locomotive drivers in the WikiLink.PNG Driver Setup Rule


 Workflow Diagram 
Workflow diagram
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Create the Driver Image

DotPoint.JPG The final image must be reduced to 64 pixels by 64 pixels in size

The image can be easily created and resized using your favourite image editor. It can start with a photograph, as shown in the example below, a piece of clip art or a drawing. Make sure that there will be no copyright issues so something of your own creation, such as a photograph, would be ideal.

Original photo of a cat If possible use a photograph with a simple background behind the subject, as shown in the image on the left. This keeps the icon simple and can avoid unnecessary "clutter". Most image editors will have tools for removing unwanted backgrounds but this can be time consuming.

You may choose to add some clipart - in this case a train drivers cap and a "traditional" red scarf. Copyright free clipart is strongly recommended.

Driver clip art

The clip art can be added as layers to the image which makes them easier to manipulate (resize and move).

Crop the image to a square with the same number of pixels on each side with the minimum size being 64 pixels. Multiples of 64 (such as 128, 256, 512) would be ideal but not absolutely necessary as long as both the height and the width are the same size.

Cropping the image Final crop of the image

After cropping, reduce the image size to 64 pixels wide (and therefore 64 pixels high).

Resizing the image Save the final resized image with a suitable name and in a suitable file format:-
  • .png (best choice)
  • .tga (2nd best choice but do not use compression)
  • .jpg (3rd best choice)
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Create Driver Character Asset


DotPoint1.JPG Create the Asset:

From the Trainz Launcher
  1. select  Manage Content 
  2. in Content Manager open the Developer menu
  3. select New Content

This will create a new asset and open it for editing.

A message window will appear that will (hopefully) report on the successful creation of a new asset.

  • Close the message window

  DotPoint2.JPG Find the New Asset:
  • Set the CM Search Filter to Open for Editing

This will display only those assets that have been opened for editing (hopefully only your new and as yet unnamed asset will be shown)

  DotPoint3.JPG Open the Asset in Windows File Explorer:
  1. Right Click on the entry New Asset
  2. Select Open
  3. Select Show in Explorer

  DotPoint4.JPG Open Config.txt File in Notepad:
NewAssetOpenExplorer.PNG There will only be a single item in the asset, its config.txt file
  • Double Left Click on the file to open it in Notepad

  DotPoint5.JPG Edit the Config.txt File:
NewAssetOpenNotepad.PNG You will need to edit the contents of this file.
  • The next section, PageLink.PNG The Config.txt File, identifies the changes you will need to make.
  • The new name you give to the asset will not take effect until after it has been committed.
  • After editing, save the changes and exit Notepad.

Stop.PNG Unless you know exactly what you are doing* DO NOT ALTER THE KUID NUMBER  that has been added to the file

* but even if you do, think twice before you change it !

  DotPoint6.JPG Add Any Extras:

You will need to add:-

These files do not have to be added immediately but must be present before the new asset can be used. You can reopen the asset for editing later to add the files before it is committed.

This is the minimum number of files needed for a Driver Character

  DotPoint7.JPG Finish Up:
  • Close the Asset window
  • Commit the asset in Content Manager
    • Right Click on the asset
    • Select Submit Edits

Hopefully there will be no errors.

NotePad.PNG Because you still have the Search Filter Open for Editing in operation, the now closed and Submitted asset will vanish from the Content Manager display. To check that your asset has been correctly created and renamed, set the Search Filter to Today.

Bug.png Some of the most common errors that can occur when creating and committing a new asset are:-
  • no thumbnail image in the asset
  • typing errors in the config.txt file
  • poorly formatted tags in the config.txt file
  • incorrect file types added to the asset folder
  • files missing from the asset folder
  • incorrect kuid value (despite the warning you changed it in Step 5)

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The Config.txt File

This file should follow the same (or a similar) format as the example below.

  • entries in  red  must not be changed
  • the indenting of the lines and the spacing ("tabbing") between the "tags" on the left and their contents on the right are purely to make it easier for humans to read
  • the use of the {} braces is to group tags into common "containers". These containers must not be broken up and the number of { characters must match the number of } characters
  • the order of the "tags" is not important
kuid                                    <kuid: this is an auto-generated number >
kind                                    "drivercharacter"
face-texture                            "DriverLillian.texture"
username                                "Driver Lillian"
category-class                          "OHD"
trainz-build                            4.3

    width                               240
    height                              180
    image                               "thumbnail.jpg"
    width                               64
    height                              64
    image                               "driverlillian.texture"
description             "Icon for train driver Lillian"

Gears.PNG Settings:

For the above example:

  • The  kuid  is unique to every asset so it is  not a good idea to choose your own . This will be automatically generated by the Content Manager program when a new asset is created
  • The  kind  identifies the type of asset and the types of files that Trainz will expect to find in the asset. It also tells Trainz how to render and error check the asset. A list of asset kinds can be found at WikiLink.PNG KIND Hierarchy
  • The  face-texture  is the name of the assets texture file. This will be a simple text file and will have the name asset_name.texture where asset_name will be a name you have selected for this asset - e.g. "driverlillian". The actual texture file itself will be named asset_name.texture.txt (e.g. "driverlillian.texture.txt") but the filename ending ".txt" is not added to the name in the face-texture tag so it would appear as "driverlillian.texture"
  • The  username  is your name for the asset and the name that other users will see. It is also the name that will appear in the Driver Setup Rule when the driver is being selected. It is a good idea to make it short and meaningful.
  • The  category-class  identifies the intent of the asset and is important in classifying it for filtering and searching. For driver character assets, the category class is "OHD". A list of category classes can be found at WikiLink.PNG Category-class
  • The  trainz-build  identifies the minimum Trainz version needed for this asset. A list of asset trainz-build numbers and their corresponding Trainz versions can be found at WikiLink.PNG "Trainz-build"_number
  • The  thumbnails  container holds the preview images of the asset shown by the Content Manager program, the Web version of the DLS and, for some assets, the Surveyor main menu image(s) and in this case the asset texture itself. Information on thumbnails can be found at WikiLink.PNG Thumbnails
    • The first thumbnail  Default  is the container ID or placeholder for the thumbnail used by CM and the Web based DLS. While its exact label (or number - eg. "Default", "00", "01", etc) is not important, it must be different from any other labels. Default and 0 are commonly used placeholder labels for the 240 x 180 thumbnail image
      • The image is the name of the thumbnail image. It does not have to be called thumbnail.jpg but it must be a JPG format image
      • The width of the image in pixels must be  240 
      • The height of the image in pixels must be  180 
    • The second thumbnail  01  is the placeholder label for the 64 x 64 icon image used by the Driver Character for this asset. Its exact label does not matter but it must be different from the first thumbnail image placeholder label
      • The image is the assets asset_name.texture.txt file (but without the ".txt" at the end)
      • The width of the image in pixels must be  64 
      • The height of the image in pixels must be  64 
  • The  description  provides more details for users than the username

PencilTips.PNG Language Options:

All Trainz assets have a language facility built into their config.txt files that allows other language translations to be added for certain tags, such as the username and description tags. A full description of the process can be found on the Trainz Wiki at WikiLink.PNG Localize an Asset and a list of all the supported languages with their two character codes at WikiLink.PNG Localization (country) Codes.
At the very basic level any creator can easily provide other language translations for the username and description tags in the assets they create. Examples are shown below for this sample asset.
username                    "Driver Lillian"
username-c2                 "司机莉莲"
username-es                 "Conductor Liliana"
username-de                 "Fahrer Lilian"
username-fr                 "Chauffeur Lilianen"
username-nl                 "Chauffeur Lillian"
username-ru                 "Драйвер Лилиан"
Translations to Chinese (simplified), Spanish, French, German, Dutch and Russian, perfect or not, were provided by Google Translate.

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The Thumbnail Image

DotPoint.JPG A thumbnail image MUST be present in the asset

NotePad.PNG Notes:

The thumbnail image:-

  • must be in JPG format.
  • must be 240 pixels wide by 180 pixels tall.
  • does not have to be named thumbnail.jpg as long as the name used is in the Thumbnails container in the config.txt file.

The Icon Image

DotPoint.JPG You will need image editing software to create the icon image or to change an existing image to the required dimensions and format
DotPoint.JPG See the PageLink.PNG Create the Driver Image section at the top of this page for an example

(not to scale)

Gears.PNG Settings:

The image must meet the following specifications:-

  • 64 pixels wide and 64 pixels tall
  • bit depth should be 24 (no alpha channel or transparency) or 32 (if an alpha channel is used)
  • image file format can be any of:-
    • bmp
    • jpg (jpg does not support transparency)
    • png
    • tga (tga compression should not be used)

PencilTips.PNG If your image will have a transparency, such as a transparent background, it is usually a lot easier to save the image in a format that supports an alpha channel (bmp, png or tga) and either
  • convert the background to a transparency or
  • remove the background and add a transparent layer to the image as its background

than it is to use a format that does not support an alpha channel and have to create a second image for the alpha channel. See PageLink.PNG The Texture File below.

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The Texture File

DotPoint.JPG The .texture.txt file controls how an image icon is displayed, particularly its Alpha Channel (or transparency) data. The file must be present even if no transparency is used in the icon.

Gears.PNG Settings:
  • the Texture File is a standard text file
  • the filename is composed of:-
    • a user selected asset_name followed by a period (.)
    • the word texture followed by a period (.)
    • the letters txt

A sample Texture File, "driverlillian.texture.txt", is shown below:-


Gears.PNG Settings:
  • primary - this is the name of the icon image file that contains the RGB colour image. Any alpha channel in this file will be ignored
  • alpha - this is the name of the icon image file that contains the Alpha Channel (transparency) image (see Notes: below)
  • tile=st - instructs Trainz to tile the image both horizontally and vertically. This has no effect on the Driver Character icon but must be included for validation purposes
No "white spaces" between the text characters is allowed.

NotePad.PNG Notes:

There are 3 general "scenarios" for the structure of the Texture File in a Driver Character asset.

DotPoint1Blue.png If the icon has a transparency (an alpha channel) and is saved in a format that supports the alpha channel



  • the primary and alpha images are the same file, as in the example shown left
  • the image must contain both the RGB colour data and the Alpha Channel (transparency) data (it must have a depth of 32 bits)
DotPoint2Blue.png If the icon needs to have transparency (an alpha channel) but an alpha channel is not available (e.g. it is saved in the jpg file format) or is not suitable


  • two different files (different file names or different image file formats) must be used as in the example shown left
  • both images must be the same size (64 pixels x 64 pixels)
  • both images must have a depth of 24 bits - so no alpha channel must be present in either image
  • the alpha image file should be a greyscale image or even just black and white
DotPoint3Blue.png If the icon image does not have a transparency and no alpha channel is needed



  • the alpha= line in the .texture.txt file is not needed, as in the example shown left
  • the primary file contains the RGB colour data and can be in any supported image format. If it also has alpha channel data then the alpha channel data will be ignored so the icon will be shown without any transparency

Image file formats supported by Trainz that have an alpha channel are:-

  • bmp
  • png
  • tga

Image file formats supported by Trainz that DO NOT have an alpha channel are:-

  • jpg

LinkWiki.PNG A detailed description of the .texture file format can be found on the Trainz Wiki Page at:-

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Using the Asset

Once the new asset has been committed it will be available for use in a Driver Setup Rule.


Steps.PNG Steps:

Open the Session Editor (see WikiLink.PNG Session Editor) and open it for editing.

  1. Select the Driver Setup Rule and Left Click the Edit button
  2. Select a driver icon to change to your new wicon, or add a new driver
  3. Left Click on the icon for the selected (or new) driver
  4. Scroll down the list to find your newly created driver character
  5. Select the driver name and Left Click the Tick.PNG icon
  6. Left Click the Tick.PNG on the Driver Setup Rule window to accept the selection

The finished product as a Driver.

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This page was created by Trainz user pware in November 2022 and was last updated as shown below.

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