ARK: Survival Evolved

ARK: Survival Evolved

1,475 ratings
Ark Paint Converter - Convert Images to Ark pnt
By 8bitpineapple
How to use my stand alone program for converting images to the new Ark Pnt.
Note: For ASA - Steam user JL has made an app

Hi guys, I realised that while I posted my program on reddit I nejlected the steam community. My application is only for windows using the .Net framework.

My program can be found here:

For people playing ARK
Converter with Templates Zip -- (Download button in the top right of link :P )
Alternate URL

For people playing ATLAS
This version of the program includes all of the Atlas Dyes and a 1024x1024px option for making tattoos.

For browsing individual files (Past vesions, Dino Templates, Paint examples), I am keeping all my work in my dropbox here.

Dinosaur Templates here:

Please note, this is a work in progress. I will continue to edit and improve the software :)
If you like the program please give a thumbs up :p , if not I'm sure you will in later updates :D

You can Donate[] with paypal if you really like the program. Current donators: Thank you Jenea, Stefan, Erin, Jerry, Pablo, Kara, Jennifer, Gleb, doomkittenplays, Mike and Ignacy <3

Previously Accepted Donations (Average donation was £10.27).
Most donated in 2015.
I closed the donations in 2022 since I lost interest in Ark around 2017.
I made an alternative version for Atlas in 2019.
But I don't have any plans on playing or rewriting the program for ARK: Survival Ascended.
I'll try to write a loose comment on how PNT files work in Ark: Survival Evolved for anyone who wants to give it go.
Multi-Canvas Example
How To Use
  • Load an image in the program (For dinosaurs you need to prepare an image, for flat surfaces you can use any picture you want. But I do reccomend using the right aspect ratio for what you are painting on , e.g. 2:1 for billboard, 1:1 for the new painting canvas, tall images for flags, etc)
  • Select the object you want the paint for (Billboard, Flag, Small Sign, Dino, Painting canvas, Human)
    -- For options that aren't listed use Flag ,Billboard or Dino.
  • Adjust image to make it look nicer
  • Remove Backround (If not png to begin with),
  • Save image.

You can also Open Pnt files to save to PNG's for further editing (Just click open and select pnt from the filetype dropdown menu, open your file, press save and choose png from the drop down)

Guide for multi canvas --
Image Adjustments
Adjust image to make it look nicer:
There are a few options for adjusting the image. You should have a play with different "dither" values and modes to see what is best for your image. For cartoon images you can get away with having it set to 0 and sometimes get better results. Photographs on the other hand tend to need higher values. I find the first Dither mode tends to be best but somtimes the other two can work out better.

High Dither
No Dither
High Dither
No Dither
Limit Colour Pallete further
Ticking and Unticking colours in the bottom right will add/remove these dyes from the pallete.
Example, Black and white only:
Background Removal
Background Removal:
Left clicking on areas of the image in the "Image preview" to the left, the pixels are made fully transparent. Works a bit like the magic wand tool in photoshop. Set the tolerance and click on unwanted pixels

Before Clicking White Space:

You have to navigate to your steam\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Saved\MyPaintings directory. If you can't see a MyPaintings folder you can either make the folder yourself or save a painting in the game so that it makes the directory. I reccommend making a shortcut to this folder somewhere nicer (e.g. desktop)

The file name has to be in the form paintingname_objectname, if you want to use multiple images with the same name you need a number at the end for each file, e.g. name_Sign_Large_Metal_C

Example names:
Wooden Billboard -- (Name)_Sign_Large_Wood_C
Metal Billboard -- (Name)_Sign_Large_Metal_C
Single Flag -- (Name)_Flag_SM_Single_C
Multi Panel Flag -- (Name)_Flag_SM_C
Wall Canvas -- (Name)_Sign_PaintingCanvas_C

If you are painting for Multiple painting canvas you should not add _Sign_PaintingCanvas_C to your file name like you usually would

You can use the png template names as a reference when saving. Alternatively you can paint a single pixel on a Dino/Billboard/Flag/Whatever and save it in game as "MyPainting" and overwrite the new file MyPainting_Otherstuff_C.pnt when saving in my program to assure the name is correct.
My files when I was making lots of metal billboard paintings :)
Adding Images to Dino's with Paint .Net
For Dino's you need to prepare an image beforehand. for image editing Paint .Net is a pretty good alternative to photoshop,

If you want to add an image to a dino using Paint .Net you can follow these steps:
  1. Open the Dino template
  2. If the dino in the template looks a little "squashed" you can
    • Goto "Image" at the top by file, edit, view, etc. And click resize
    • Untick maintain aspect ratio and increase the width (e.g. for a bronto I had to double the width to get the template looking about right.
  3. Paste in the image and place it where you want on the dino
  4. Turn off the template in the bottom right (Or recolour it if you want to make the rest of the dino painted a certain colour)
  5. Save this image and use my program to convert to pnt for loading in Ark.
I'd recomend only changing the first part of the name, e.g. Argent_Argent_Character_BP_C could be saved as MyArgentPaint_Argent_Character_BP_C. This way when you save in my program the name should already be correct.

You can also follow these steps for adding images to flags / billboards etc if you want to better line up your images.
Dino's and Humans
In order to make suitable paints for dinosaurs/humans you need to have some practice making / editing images. (Please see "Edited Template Examples" for examples of the kind of pictures you need to make). Photoshop is probabily the ultimate tool, but if you are unfamiliar with photoshop simpler tools such as Paint . Net are pretty good -- can be downloaded here .

Currently the ark Pnt file uses 256x256 resolutions for Dino's and 512x512 for player characters. The templates show what a fully painted Dino ends up like in the paint file. Since all the paint files use 256x256 resolution for dinos and dino's generally arn't square, I'd recommend resizing the template so that the Dino isn't "squashed" to help prevent any unwanted stretching. If you are using photoshop one "advanced" tip would be to change the pixel aspect ratio instead of resizing the template.

Once you've made an image you like, load it in my program and save the pnt in your steam\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Saved\MyPaintings folder with the appropriate name. I've named all of the png templates with the names you should call your pnt files e.g. name_Argent_Character_BP_C

To make life easier it is best to just save your edited template only adjusting the first feild before the _ in the file name, e.g. Argent_Argent_Character_BP_C may be saved as MyArgentPaintingName_Argent_Character_BP_C. This way when you load your picture in my program for converting to an Ark PNT you'll already have the correct file name when saving.

If there is a template missing you can make your own (See Making your own templates in the guide.)

Edited Template Examples
Here are some examples of edited templates I have made in Photoshop (If you don't have Photoshop you can use free alternatives such as: Paint dot net or Gimp).

Template Usage (Right side without template showing is what you would load in program)
In photoshop I worked with the template image as the bottom layer and added and rescaled images to parts of the character I wanted. E.g. Hearts that go around the diamond doodad we have on our left arms. Then removed the template for the version of the image to load in the program

Note: For big dinosaurs 256x256 resolution is very low, so it's hard to get any real detail on them. I'd reccomend just going for interesting colour patterns
Example Trex skin by me

Yankee Doodle Dodo by TheJollyLlama875:

Green Lantern Mammoth by Triplesteel

American Argent by me

Paint file for T-rex Link[]
Paint file T-Rex after limiting colours Link[]
Paint file for Dodo Link[]
Green Lantern Mammoth Link
American argent Link[] (Updated for Fur Update, could still do with a little bit of tweaking, but mostly good)

If you are looking for more ready done Dino warpaints I'd reccomend the website , and

For people who just want to use the example skins and havn't read the rest of the guide :)
Paint files can be added straight in steam\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Saved\MyPaintings
Making your own templates
If there is a template missing. You can make your own by painting on a dino / object in game, save it in game and load the pnt file in my program. After this you can save it is a png. When painting the dino / object you can either paint the whole thing or perhaps just a rectangle where you plan on adding an image.

1. I fully painted an argent in game and saved it in game with the name "argent"

2. I loaded the pnt file with my program ( argent_Argent_Character.... pnt)

3. Pressed Save

4. Used the dropdown to save as PNG in my desired location.
Pictures by Zaiux
Zaiux has made some pretty awesome pictures using my program.
"Hello and thanks for sharing your talent with the world! Your BMP to PNT converter is just the best around. You can check out the works I've done with your software and a bit of Photoshop in my screenshots and community artwork."
1. "Loading painting in game failed/freezes, how can I fix this"
This is a problem that occurs for some players when loading any painting (not just those from my Program). Allot of people on the forums and reddit have told me that standing as close to the painting as you can before loading helps to fix this and if it is a dino to whistle it to follow. I've not tried it myself though, since for me when loading paintings the game is a little bit laggy but always finishes.

2. "I cannot see my saved painting in game"
If you have saved a file but cannot see it listed in game then the name you called your file isn't quite right. The object_name for your file has to be correct, e.g. girlPower_PlayerPawnTest_Female_C.pnt , will be visible with the name "GirlPower" when loading from a female character in game. The easiest way to get the file names is to save a painting in game, even if it is just of a single dot on a dino/sign/billboard, and then replace that painting when you save a file on my program. Alternatively if you've downloaded my program with templates, all of the templates are saved with the correct file names so you can use those as reference.

3. "I cannot find my Ark painting/install
If you are having trouble finding your Ark install directory you can bring up steam, find "Ark: Survival Evolved" , Right click properties, at the top in the bar there is "Local files", then a button for "Browse local files". From here you can find the paintings folder inside -- Shootergame, Saved, MyPaintings, if there is no "MyPaintings" folder you can either make one or save a painting in game after using the paintbrush so that the game makes one for you.

4. "Will you be making a release for MAC OS"
Currently there are no plans for making a mac os version. All of my current code for the UI and loading / saving paintings uses windows classes. So porting the program is almost the same as re-writing allot of it.

5. "Your program crashes when I do X"
Then don't do X! ... just kidding, please report anything in the comment section of this guide and I'll try to make a fix whenever needed.

6. "Can I use this on multiplayer"
Yes, you can use my program to make paints for loading into any multiplayer servers.

7. Dyes do not show up very well on my dino / character.
Dyes right now are a little bit too transparent, dyes will show up allot better on darker dino's / player models. In ARK Digest 27 Q&A somone asked “Will the black and white dyes get updated to appear more visible when painting dinos and people?” , with the responce "Yup! We’re working on it ;)". So fingers crossed dyes will look allot nicer in a later patch :D

For better results making new images
You may use this image as a reference for colours you can use:

For Atlas this image has swatches of all the different Atlas dyes (Made by Commander Doomkitten <3 )

Photoshop users may wish to use these colour tables:
Ark Colour Table[]
Atlas Colour Table[]
(Easiest usage, in photoshop - file, save for web, load colour table on the right side of the window)

Also, if your pc is good enough you can have my program, photoshop and ark loaded at the same time. On ark in single player use the commands -- "Giveitemnum 38" to give yourself a paintbrush, "give colours 20" to give yourself 20 of every dye, then occassionally tab between photoshop, my program and ark and test your warpaint. Testing while you're making them helps a bunch.
Change Log
Atlas Version 0.26a
  • Trimmed 25 pixels off the left and right of multicanvases so they should now be working well for Atlas.
  • Some bug fixes: Fixed an index out of range error that could occur when changing multicanvas dimensions in the 0.25a test build. Made the app update the image preview when switching from multicanvas back to one of the other options.

Atlas Version 0.25a
Atlas multicanvas update test build.

Atlas Version 0.24a
  • Removed Forest Dye as it was been removed in Atlas
  • Readded support for multicanvas (Choose between, Small, Medium and Large depending on if your multicanvas image is going to use: Small/Medium or Large Canvases)

Old Atlas Version 0.22c
Same as v0.22, but:
  • All new dyes from atlas added
  • Can load and save Atlas Pnt's with all the dyes
  • Removed multicanvas for now (Can re-add if there's something similar in Atlas to canvases)

Version 0.22
Program now maintains position/resolution between sessions via a config file (File is created/updated on closing).

Multi-Canvas are now saved with their coordinates starting at 1-1 for top left (For non-programmers/non-mathematicians who tend to count from 1 and not 0 … you guys are weird…). Coordinates now also start after a hyphen for readability, e.g. mypainting-1-1

Changed save as png to save post-processed image instead of pre-processed image. Makes no difference when converting a pnt to png, but is useful for making your own tweaks to a processed image.

Version 0.21
Added "Reduce" button to reduce the colours used in the image. This makes it easier to remove colours barely used in the image (Which everyone should do :p ... it's annoying to need every shade of dye to paint an image when in reality it aught to only need 3.)

Versions 0.18 , 0.19, 0.19b
Between 06/01/2016 - 06/11/2017
Small bug fixes, minor optimizations.

Version 0.17
Added Multi-Canvas option for more easily making/saving images comprised of multiple canvases.

Usage: Open an image, on the save dropdown menu select Multi-Canvas, change the values in the bottom left for how many canvas you want your picture to be made of in the x & y, press process image if you want a preview and save as any name you want. The saved files will be outputted as name0-0, name1-0, name2-0, where the first number is the x position of the canvas and the second is the y position, with 0-0 being the top left canvas.

Example image by LeonardoDiCarryoohh

Added Check all and Uncheck all buttons for dye colours. Saves some time if you only want your picture to use a few dyes, so you can uncheck all and select the few you want.

Version 0.16
Added templates for war map and pumpkin along with changing the save option dropdown names to include these and what their resolutions are e.g. "Human" is now called "Human & WarMap (512x512px)".

19th November 2015, updated all dinosaur templates to work with the Fur Change and added Penguin template

Added Donate[] link onto the guide for anyone who really like the program :D

Updated american argent skin for Fur Update, could still do with a little bit of tweaking, but mostly good.

Version 0.15
Added ability to load Ark Pnt files and to save as PNG.
The save dialog box now defaults to the name of the file you have opened. Useful for when the image you have loaded already has the correct name i.e. When you make a dinosaur skin from a template and save it with the original template name.

Vesion: 0.14 , Last change -- Edited colour code for "Royalty" to better match ark colours. Paintings will not mistake blue for royalty (see below examples)
< >
carlakaraoke Nov 5 @ 6:39pm 
Hi, thanks for this! Please forgive me, but how do I get it on the small sign I created in ASA? I am a novice player, was playing on Playstation with my son for a few months and I got Ascended for my computer. I was able to follow the steps for creating the MyPaintings folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\ARK Survival Ascended\ShooterGame\Saved\MyPaintings) and I saved the image according to the naming convention I think? (Thick44_Sign_Small_Wood_C.pnt) This is a tribute for a gamer who passed earlier this year, and I really would like to know how to finish the process. I appreaciate the help!
8bitpineapple  [author] Oct 30 @ 6:51pm 
Hey :) , nice work JL.
I'll add a link now
JL Oct 30 @ 4:42pm 
Hey! I created a PNT to PNG converter, I apologies Pineapple for sending a link here, I would appreciate if you could add this link to the top of this guide for ASA.
MasonTheStabber Oct 30 @ 2:37pm 
If the author sends all src files I think I could get it done within a day.
Nettle Oct 29 @ 8:59pm 
If anyone does end up taking over a similar project for ASA I'd love it if they could share the info here. I have a burning desire to use all these new colors for artwork, but no programming skill to make it happen lol.
Gygah Countah Oct 29 @ 7:23pm 
Hey man I respect your decision to not want to support a new version. However I know lots of us would love it if you did. I've used your paint convertor on Atlas and Ark for years. If you have a patreon or something love to support you for doing so. Thanks!
8bitpineapple  [author] Oct 28 @ 7:46am 
[Comment Part 1]

I don't have any plans at the moment on updating for ASA.

For anyone planning on making their own converter the way the PNT file format used to work:

So it has 4 bytes for a: Version number, Width, Height, Revision number, and array size (Should just be height*width).

My save function looked like this

After that it's list of colours by ID.
There was some complications with some ID's being seemingly missing and breaking the game when used. E.g. Colour code 5.
So in the end the best way I had to get colour codes was to save a painting for each of the colours in game and named them "Red, Green, Blue, Black ... etc" .
Then I checked the files for what ID got saved.
I made an Array for mapping Colours to ID's.

For dithering there are quite a few options with algorithms detailed online.
My favorite was Floyd Steinberg dithering.
8bitpineapple  [author] Oct 28 @ 7:45am 
[Comment Part 2]

General idea is to find the closest colour you have in your palette to the image - Then distribute the error to neighbouring pixels in your images.

Annoyingly I made the GUI for my program in Microsofts .Net -- So the GUI code is largely messy generated stuff that's not very human readable- I would have preferred if I wrote the GUI in Qt.
If it's of any help to anyone this is one of the iterations for the main part of my code that delt with generating the images.

Downside to the code is I was processing the images on the CPU instead of GPU.
But I didn't mind too much since every image is very low resolution.
It should be possible to get a converter up and running using something like ImageMagick.
I just liked the idea of shipping as a single Exe with no dependencies.

Cheers, Bradley.
IceBananaNL Oct 27 @ 5:37pm 
doesnt work for asa , even from old files all colour is corrupt. plz make update :luv:
JL Oct 27 @ 3:35pm 
Any plans to make this work for ASA, Asa uses 127 new colors, and I have been trying all day to make a converter from PNG to PNT using these new colors.