Welcome to Steelbeasts.com

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

JustSomeGuy

JustSomeGuy's Skin/Mod creation tutorial

33 posts in this topic

Since other people have been asking, I decided to share the skin-making process I found out myself "the hard way", using trial and error.

So, here it is. The base presumption is that you want to make an entirely new camo pattern for some AFV. In this tutorial, this was the case of creating Czech Army "U2500" camo pattern for the Ulan IFV.

JustSomeGuy's SB Skin-making tutorial

 

  1. you don't need paid Photoshop: it's perfectly possible to create SB Pro skins in Paint.NET, which is freeware
  2. you need a base skin. However, unless you only want to add details, typical "woodland" skins already have their own camo patterns, which probably wouldn't fit to the new ones you want to create. Therefore:
  3. copy a skin of the vehicle you want  to mod (.dds file) from the "<SB Pro Pe folder>\textures\desert" folder
  4. open the copy in Paint.NET (or photoshop)
  5. reduce the saturation of the desert skin to 0, to get rid of the "sand" color. Behold: a gray, non-camo base layer of AFV details is born
  6. paste the .dds file of the vehicle you want to mod from the "<SB Pro Pe folder>\textures\woodland" folder as a new layer
  7. move the woodland layer beneath the desert layer
  8. on the "desert" layer, delete all the non-camo pieces, eg. MG barrel, head&brake lights, gunner sights, wood, etc. Thus, they will be replaced by the details from the "woodnald" layer underneath.
  9. create a new layer, above the desert layer. This will be your actual camo layer.
  10. Now, your graphics editing program should look like this ("U2500" is the camo layer, "sedivak" the gray, ex-desert one, "Layer 4" is the woodland layer with color details like wheels, lights etc.):
    toNVtq3.jpg
     
  11. set your camo layer's properties to blending mode "overlay". That way, it would "combine" with the underlaying AFV details from the "gray" (ex-desert) skin layer.
  12. Get as much as possible reference images of the camo pattern you want to model. When skinning a new vehicle, get hi-res photos of other AFVs the army of your choice is using to get a feeling for what their camo pattern looks like, especially near the edges and ends of the vehicle.
  13. create your camo pattern. Itself, it would look like this:
    RE7yHZP.jpg
    (Note the "holes" in the camo pattern: that's because in their place, details from other places of the model are inserted and if the camo pattern continued over them, it would look bad.)
     
  14. the texture itself is not proportional. What that means is that parts of the model which seem to be equally long on the texture are actually of different length on the model. That means that things which look directly underneath on the texture are way off on the model. So,
  15. debug the texture! Pixel by pixel, you have to align the camo pattern on the model's various surfaces. You could make the proccess a lot faster by adding another layer of temporary reference points like this:
    9Vpp8lC.jpg7R5LJRV.jpg
    Which allow you to do the corrections in "one edit, one hit" pattern. Anyway, this phase could and would take hours and hours; for example, the Ulan took me about 10 hours of debugging, because each time, you have to "compile" the skin (see further points 17 through 19), restart SB Pro editor, have it re-load the skin, wonder around it, taking screenshots of things to correct and agin and again and again.
  16. It might happen that your are clueless of what certain portion of the texture represents on the model. In such a case, it's again bright colors what helps you. Create a spots of different colors or even numbers on the texture, save it's printscreen as a legend, then see it in-game, save screenshots, remove the colors/numbers and debug:
    yqMJoLE.jpgJlbHnoI.jpg
     
  17. When ready to try your skin in-game, merge the layers and save the resulting texture/image as .dds with options "DXT5 (Interpolated alpha)" and "generate mipmaps".
  18. Put the resulting .dds in the proper <eSim games>\mods folder
  19. Select the appropriate faction's camo pattern in SB PRO's editor, insert the vehicle, view it
  20. Something is still wrong? Go to step 15.
  21. Otherwise, rejoice upon the beauty of your final creation and create a screenshot:
    c9ivQ2l.jpg
     
  22. create a readme file, ZIP it together with the .dds skin (using legacy zip algorithm, otherwise, some users migh be unable to unpack it) and rename the resulting ZIP archive to "<AFV type> <your mod> (<SB version>), eg. "Czech Ulan (3.025)"
  23. Upload the archive to the corresponding section of steelbeasts.com and add the printscreen you took earlier as a thumbnail
  24. Wait till everything gets approved by moderator
  25. Mission accomplished!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The skin mod is only for your personal view?

Meaning  in multiplayer no one else will see this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Zaphod said:

The skin mod is only for your personal view?

Meaning  in multiplayer no one else will see this?

 

That's right. Unless they also download it and put it in their mod folder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Lt DeFault said:

 

That's right. Unless they also download it and put it in their mod folder.

Can the skin be installed to a scenario that you edited and it be seen by all who plays it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Zaphod said:

Can the skin be installed to a scenario that you edited and it be seen by all who plays it?

No but you can include the skin files in the zip and provide instructions to the user on installing it.

 

Quote

Justsomeguy

Thank you sooo very much. This is the best instructions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

On 4/3/2016 at 0:14 PM, JustSomeGuy said:
  1. When ready to try your skin in-game, merge the layers and save the resulting texture/image as .dds with options "DXT5 (Interpolated alpha)" and "generate mipmaps".

 

Note that for general vehicle skins DXT1 (no alpha) is adequate, DXT5 is typically for images such as rotor.dds and decals (ie, files that actually have an alpha channel).

Edited by MAJ_Fubar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

10 hours ago, Zaphod said:

Well sounds like an option to add to the wish list

 

Except that the resulting scenario "pack" (Missions plus skins) might be multi MB in size.

 

As it is Ssnake is suggesting the new terrain model may require scenarios to not have maps embedded due to size issues.

 

So scenario, map, skin, terrain mods, etc. might result in a very large package.

Edited by Gibsonm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

4 hours ago, Gibsonm said:

 

Except that the resulting scenario "pack" (Missions plus skins) might be multi MB in size.

 

Yes, I included skins with my "Burning Sands" mission and it ended up being five and a half MB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So , (just for argument sake) I could skin all the red units white or bright orange so I and only I can see them and come off as eagle eye in multiplayer? :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes but I believe after a "hot pink" incident this was identified as cheating of the first order and very much frowned upon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

1 minute ago, Gibsonm said:

Yes but I believe after a "hot pink" incident this was identified as cheating of the first order and very much frowned upon.

How did you find out that person was cheating if no one was seeing it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Off hand I don't recall, I just heard about it.

 

Perhaps they posted some AAR screenshots?! :o

 

This might provide some context:

 

 

Edited by Gibsonm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

1 minute ago, Gibsonm said:

Off hand I don't recall, I just heard about it.

 

Perhaps they posted some AAR screenshots?! :o

Hmm that would be like shooting yourself in the foot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Gibsonm said:

Yes that was meant as a joke. :)

 

Anyway, have a look at the link.

Where's the link?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Zaphod said:

Where's the link?

 

 

Look up 4 or 5 posts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

Oh I was expecting a video link ... sorry. Didn't know that quote box was a link.
I am set now thanks :)

My idea was more to add on the side of the tanks some graffiti like 'I'm with stupid' but no fun if I 'm the only one seeing it :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Ssnake said:

PE 4 will come with some countermeasures.

Best statement(in my opinion) I've come across from EsimGames this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now