Valve Source 2 Compiled Texture File
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What is a VTEX_C file?
Source 2 is a proprietary game engine Valve has used to create video games such as Dota 2 Reborn, Half-Life: Alyx, and Artifact. When creating in-game objects, developers use VTEX_C files to apply textures to those objects. Any common image file, such as a .PNG, .TGA, or .PSD files, can be used to create a VTEX_C texture.
The textures VTEX_C files contain are referenced by VMAT files, which are Source 2 materials files. VMAT files are used to apply the textures that VTEX_C files contain to an in-game object, along with shading and material properties that further define how the object appears. VMAT files are compiled into .VMAT_C files when a developer compiles their Source 2 game.
While most gamers will never encounter a VTEX_C file, those who want to mod Valve Source 2 games or create their own Source 2-powered games may interact with VTEX_C files. For example, those who want to mod Half-Life: Alyx or Dota 2 using Valve's official modding toolkits may encounter VTEX_C files after creating a material.
How to open a VTEX_C file
You can use the Valve Resource Viewer (Windows) to decompile a VTEX_C file into an image file. Then, you can open the image in any image-viewing or -editing application that supports that file format. For example, if your VTEX_C file is a compiled TGA file, you can open the resulting TGA file in GIMP (cross-platform) or Adobe Photoshop (Windows, Mac).