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#3997507 - 08/18/14 04:09 PM Skinning Tutorial  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,722
Rick_Rawlings Offline
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Rick_Rawlings  Offline
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Here's a skinning tutorial that I put together for a challenge I am running:



Here are the software files you will need for your skinnin� goodness:
GIMP- Like Photoshop
DXTBMP Format and File Converter
IRFAN View Texture viewer

Good Luck, my fellow forumites!


I'll add new information as it becomes available to me...


Pro Tip: anytime you try ANYTHING, do it on a new layer! winkngrin


Naming Convention

Here's OVStachel with a tip on skin naming that may save you some aggravation later on:
Originally Posted by OvStachel

This is actually correct.

For a skin, use the format...

Off_(aircraft type)_ace_t_(squadron) (year)_(your pilot name)

ex:
Off_Alb_DIII_OAW_ace_t_Jasta 3 1917_Otto von_Stachel (you don't need the under score for your skin.. but I do it anyway.

OvS


Fullofit offered up some useful tips for using GIMP:
Originally Posted by Fullofit

Here are some tips/shortcuts for GIMP. You can zoom in and out by using the "+" and "-" keys on the keypad. I find it faster than selecting and switching the mode from the menu. For the part where you were cutting out the background behind the cupcake you can press the "Delete" key instead of edit/cut from the right-click menu. When scaling the cupcake, you can use the "scale tool" from the long toolbox on the left side. This will give you a preview of the object as you scale it, instead of guessing by typing in the scale value. Finally, when duplicating the cupcake, I suggest to duplicate layer. This way you will avoid accidentally moving the first cupcake, like it happened in the "fast forward" sequence. You can also move the second cupcake directly down by pressing the directional arrow keys - should help with precise positioning.


I decided I wanted to come up with a new paint scheme for Rick Rawlings flying the N17.

I wanted an alternating red/black pattern on the cowl, but had no idea how to divide it. So I added some color swatches to help define where things were going to be:
[Linked Image]
I was then able to use the ruler in GIMP to come up with a cowl that works pretty well:
[Linked Image]
You'll notice that despite my measuring it, the bars are still not evenly spaced:
[Linked Image]
For more on that, see Olham's tip below!

Then I decided I did not like the basic white body paint and wanted to do something different. I figured gray would be cool, so I painted (on a new layer, natch!) the body gray:
[Linked Image]
Yikes! That looks terrible! But, by using the Layer properties and layer opacity (circled in orange above), I can get some cool effects. Multiply produced this:
[Linked Image]
Nice! But I decided to go with Subtract:
[Linked Image]
That gives it a nice cool charcoal appearance that looks like this in game:
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


You can raid other skins and cut and paste them into the one you are working on. Here's a brilliant Albatros by RAF Louvert:

[Linked Image]

And here is his explanation of how he got the upper wing to work:

Originally Posted by RAF_Louvert


OK Rick, here goes. Just remember you asked.

In order to keep all the subtle wing detail and texture I chose not to do the stripes as an opaque overlay but rather as a colored layer of the existing top wing found in the WOFF Alb skins. To do this I first grabbed a clip of the red top wing surface from MvR�s Alb found in the �WOFF� skins folder. Using copies of this clip I then changed the hue and the intensity to achieve the yellow and blue I wanted for this project, placing the yellow layer on top of the blue layer.

Next, working in a transparent layer, on top of the yellow layer, I snapped the edges of the diagonals using 2-pixel-wide lines in the same average color as the blue layer beneath. I laid out these lines for the portside first then duplicated the layer and flipped it horizontally in order to have a mirrored layout. I then made minor adjustments to both of these layers until the point of the center inverted �V� was exactly in the middle of the wing and slightly back from the leading edge. After this I merged the two layer together, saved a copy of the merged layer for the �just in case� scenario, and then merged the �lines� layer onto the yellow layer. At this point I had a yellow top wing with narrow blue diagonal lines on it.

Now comes the magic. Using the �wand� tool, I highlighted the areas that I did not want yellow in this layer and simply deleted them. Viola! You have a top wing that has alternating blue and yellow diagonal stripes and you still have all the subtle details and textures. BTW, I did the 2-pixel-wide lines in blue so that any tiny bits left behind by the �wand� tool would not be seen as they would match the blue layer beneath.

I then added another transparent layer to snap the narrow black dividing lines between the colors. A few adjustments to color intensity and the top wing stripes were done, or so I thought until I took a test run in the sim and found all the wrap distortions on the wing. At this point all a person can do is either scrap the idea altogether or start making minor adjustments until the distortions are nullified. I went with the latter option as I am a glutton for punishment.

I should mention that the crosses and aileron hinges were laid on top of the finished wing in their own layers so that I could fine tune the placement of these items.



A lot of work indeed, but outstanding results. Here's how the texture looked in the .dds file:
[Linked Image]
You'll notice there are some places that are offset. This is because the model is not perfectly smooth, so there is some distortion. You could play around with it for a bit, or you could try Olham's idea:


Originally Posted by Olham
A tip for those who are getting desperate with distortions:
if you can work with layers, you could copy milimeter- or math paper from a web pic,
and put it on the wings and fuselage. Either half transparent, or, if you can't do
that, you must cut it so, that you still recognise enough of the underlying skin parts.

Over that layer, you work out your paint job.
Now make a DDS-file from that, go into WOFF and make screenshots from all angles.
Make corrections and repeat that proceedure.
When everything is fine, switch off the math layer or delete it.
That may help you to aligne the stripes correctly (although with my "Quillfish" Alb
I gave up at some point and thought "What the hell...!")

So, if you took Olham's advice, you could find a pattern on line like this:
[Linked Image]

If you put that as a texture over your basic Nieuport skin, you would get this:
[Linked Image]
Interesting, but if you drop the opacity and change the layers properties, you get this:

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

These should help you line up some of the peculiar bumps and protrusions of your 3D model overlaid by a 2D skin... then just delete the grid layer when you are done!

Here, Cavaliere57 talks about selecting and changing colors directly, and uses Photoshop to do so:

Originally Posted by Cavaliere57
Rick asked me to explain a couple of things after i published my Camel skin, in the screenshot thread, here we go.
I use Photoshop CS6 64bit,but it applies with most all versions of Photoshop,except probably those prior to the CS series but only because something has changed in the Tools menu,basically they relocated something here and there.


Here is the basic Camel skin from which to start
[Linked Image]

starting from the background layer (the only one present at this point)select the upper wings and elevator surfaces
[Linked Image]

now with Ctrl-V copy the selection,and then Ctrl-C to paste it as a new layer,rename it as you wish,I use parts names
[Linked Image]

as you can see we have a new layer with only upper wings/elevator surfaces ( I have disabled the background layer to have a better view of it)
[Linked Image]

with the new layer active,from Selection menu,reselect again
[Linked Image]

from the Image menu,select the Substitute Color Tool
[Linked Image]

from the Substitute Color mask,clicking on the upper thumbnail,activate the color picker
[Linked Image]

point it to the brown on the wing
[Linked Image]

you now have a working color selection to work from,move the slider to the right to catch all the brown hues
[Linked Image]

now moving the lower sliders,get the color you aim for,desaturate always a bit and do not brighten too much,instead go for darker shades
[Linked Image]

now go again and select the lower wing/elevator surfaces,on a new layer, and chenge their color as well
[Linked Image]

we now have Green wings and light azure lower surfaces
[Linked Image]

From the Background layer,using the Lasso Tool instead of the previous Rectangular Selection Tool,select the lower fuselage section,as always Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V to paste as a new layer,name it and go changin' the color again,but this time keep active the lower wings layer,so to match colors
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

repeat the process with the rudders
[Linked Image]

we now have a Camel with green body/wings and azure lower surfaces,and five more layers thumbsup
[Linked Image]

starting always from Background layer,select (wit Round Selection Tool) the wheel,and repeat all the process
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Now select with Rectangul selection Tool,the engine cowling,copy and paste as new layer,rename it,and create stripes like these,with the Rectangular selection tool,and color them as the fuselage
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

et voila,our Camel is nearly ready to go
[Linked Image]

Let's add an emblem and some text
[Linked Image]

save as .dds directly from Photoshop
[Linked Image]

and here we are!!
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


Sometimes layers can save you in a different way...
Here's the Amerispad skin I was working on for my latest challenge:
[Linked Image]
I spent quite a bit of time working on it and liked the basic idea, but when I looked at it in game, I was getting this:
[Linked Image]
It's not terrible, but it's just a bit too garish, too primary colors... Now I could go back and re-tune all the color layers, but I asked myself what I wanted to accomplish, and I decided I just wanted to take it down a notch, just de-saturate a bit on the added colors. So I created a new layer and put a bit of tan over the other colors:
[Linked Image]
Then by dropping the opacity of the new layer waaaaaay down, I got this:
[Linked Image]
In game, that looks like this:
[Linked Image]

which was much closer to what I wanted in the first place. Using a couple of layers like this, you could add progressive grime as you plane ages, if you want the ultimate realism, which that flag skin certainly isn't! rofl

Nietzsche just revealed a fantastic new camel skin:
[Linked Image]

Here's how he did it:
Originally Posted by Nietzsche

Well, I use the Gimp. First Thing I do is, "cutting out" everything and turning the Parts into different Layers (makes future Modifications more easy). Then I turn all of it into a Grey "Color" of the same Brightness. If I want to add a little Depth here and there, I play around with Color-Curves. Then I rebrush everything, that I don't want (Stripes, Numbers etc.).
Next, I multiply the Layers and tint them.
After that, one can use different "Eraser-Rubbers" to get a Pattern, or one can sharply cut out Areas for Stripes or so.
When finished, I combine all the Color-Layers and use a fuzzy Brush to erase some of the Color, so it gets grey again - looks like the Paint-Job is peeling off here and there.
In the End, you can finish your Texture "by Hand" with a bit extra Mud, or Ornaments or whatever you like.
If you want good Camo-Colors, use light Versions of Brown, Green and Yellow, fade away most of the Color and add a Bit of Blue into them.
I hope, that helped a little.


Here's more Nietzsche goodness!

Originally Posted by Nietzsche
Okay, I've tried to make a Tutorial about Layers and Transparency for the Gimp. I hope, that I managed to make it understandable for those, who are relatively new to the Gimp as well (that was my focus)


[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

end result:
[Linked Image]

Originally Posted by Olham

I have researched the German Lozenge camouflage a bit (mostly at [b][color:#000099]THE AERODROME[/color][/b] website).
I also saw Lozenge fabric on a Halberstadt tailplane in the BERLINER TECHNIKMUSEUM, and took a photo.

From what I have found, I have then made 5-colour and 4-colour Lozenge fabric for both, upper and lower surfaces.
Lozenge camo was screen-printed on endless panels of canvas with a width of ca. 4.5 feet (if I remember that correct).

My 'panels' here are layed out horizontally, but on an aircaft wing they were used "vertically", or better: in flight-direction.
Everyone can copy and use my Lozenge camo for their own skins - enjoy the skinning!


[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]



Last edited by Rick_Rawlings; 08/05/17 11:13 PM.
#3999000 - 08/21/14 07:53 PM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,411
Polovski Online content
Polovski  Online Content

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Nice job Rick I'm sure it will be easier to follow then documents.
Thanks.


Regards,

Polovski,
OBD Software, developers of immersive flight sims;
Wings Over Flanders Fields and Wings Over The Reich
http://www.overflandersfields.com
http://www.wingsoverthereich.com
#3999014 - 08/21/14 08:24 PM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Posts: 638
Freiherr_Wulff Offline
OFF Gives you WINGS!
Freiherr_Wulff  Offline
OFF Gives you WINGS!
Member

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Dudley UK
Interesting popcorn Good job thumbsup exitstageleft


Excuse my grammar please. I struggle writing English

Patience is not a virtue, Its a waste of time.

Wings Over Flanders Fields Pics/Videos on my Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/VonWulf

#3999169 - 08/22/14 03:58 AM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
Joined: Mar 2011
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Rick_Rawlings Offline
B.O.C. Challenger
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Thanks, guys!

#3999339 - 08/22/14 01:07 PM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Polovski]  
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MudWasp Offline
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MudWasp  Offline
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a shack in da woods
Originally Posted By: Polovski
Nice job Rick I'm sure it will be easier to follow then documents.
Thanks.


Yeah, even a bonehead like me was able to make a skin.

#4000221 - 08/24/14 02:13 PM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 656
Slick Wilhelm Offline
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Slick Wilhelm  Offline
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Rochester, MN
I need some help, please. I'm wanting to paste a purple heart onto the fuselage of my Pfalz, but all the .jpg files I find on the internet are hearts on a white or black background. The Pfalz fuselage is gray.

In gimp, is there a way to "lift" the heart off its white background and paste it onto the fuselage. The way I've tried so far, with mixed results, is to paste the the .jpg onto the fuselage as a new layer, then try to erase the white part around the heart. This is tedious and difficult. Thus, I'm hoping that there is a much easier way to accomplish this.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions.

#4000268 - 08/24/14 03:35 PM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Rick_Rawlings Offline
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Slick, once you paste your heart in as a new layer, use the "magic wand" tool which looks, well, kind of like a magic wand! It is up by the lasso looking tool at the top of your tool dock. Touch the white area once and that should select all the white. Then right click and cut and it should be gone, with maybe some minimal erasure cleanup after. Let me know if that works or makes sense...

#4000340 - 08/24/14 06:19 PM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Slick Wilhelm Offline
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Slick Wilhelm  Offline
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Thanks Rick! Your instructions worked perfectly. Great tutorial, too. I would be hopelessly lost without it. salute

#4000450 - 08/24/14 10:29 PM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Rick_Rawlings Offline
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Glad it worked! thumbsup

#4000729 - 08/25/14 05:09 PM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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gaw1 Offline
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gaw1  Offline
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I must be a bigger bone head.....still failed...

#4000757 - 08/25/14 06:21 PM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: gaw1]  
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Rick_Rawlings Offline
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Originally Posted By: gaw1
I must be a bigger bone head.....still failed...


give us a bit on what's happening and we'll see if we can talk you through it!

#4000929 - 08/26/14 01:48 AM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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MFair Offline
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Slick, you can also open the image "as layer", scale it to the size you want, right click on image, "layer", "transparency", "color to alpha". Whalah, only the image is left.


Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from either end.
BOC Member since....I can't remember!
#4000934 - 08/26/14 01:57 AM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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pixelbaron Offline
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You could also use Select by Color

Always a million different ways to do something in these kinds of programs.

#4002371 - 08/29/14 01:19 PM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Slick Wilhelm Offline
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Slick Wilhelm  Offline
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Wow, thanks MFair and pixelbaron! What an educational thread this is. yep

#4011647 - 09/19/14 02:34 AM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Rick_Rawlings Offline
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I got stickied! Woot! Woot! Thanks, whatever magical forum-powers-that-be that did that!

#4011740 - 09/19/14 09:19 AM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Olham Offline
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(this is for Photoshop or similar programs)

gaw, if you have more than one layer, make sure the layer you want to work on
is the activated one. Otherwise you cannot work on it's content.

If you have inserted a JPEG or whatever, and want to delete the white surrounding
your object:
- highlight the layer in the "layers" menue
- select the white with the "magic wand", and delete it with "delete"

It is also possible in Photoshop to open a JPEG or other picture, unlock the layer
in the "layers" menue (which puts the image over a transparent background now),
and then select and delete the white.
The image you now have - let's say a purple heart over a transparent background -
can be saved as a GIF format. A GIF allows transparency.

Now you could always copy and paste that Purple Heart GIF into any skin works,
and it should show no white surrounding.


Vice-President of the BOC (Barmy OFFers Club)
Member of the 'Albatros Aviators Club' - "We know how to die with Style!"
#4012087 - 09/20/14 02:22 AM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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carrick58 Offline
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thumbsup

What a Great little thread

#4012764 - 09/22/14 12:53 AM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Wolfstriked Offline
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Wolfstriked  Offline
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Anyone know where the compass texture is for German planes?Fokker EI to be exact if they are different for the different models.

#4012800 - 09/22/14 03:31 AM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Rick_Rawlings Offline
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Rick_Rawlings  Offline
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The interior model uses different textures from the exterior skin, as I'm sure you know. I haven't found them yet. Please post if you find them first! thumbsup

#4013046 - 09/22/14 05:48 PM Re: Skinning Tutorial [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Wolfstriked Offline
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Wolfstriked  Offline
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I searched every file in the WOFF directory with no luck.Its no big deal as I just wanted to rotate the compass so that when I look at it I do not have to do the calculating in my noggin of where its actually pointing.

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