[TUTORIAL]Creating Custom Skins in TC:E
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Author:  Rang3r1_v2 [ Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:17 am ]
Post subject:  [TUTORIAL]Creating Custom Skins in TC:E

BTW: Can I get a sticky please?

/////////////////////////EDITING PLAYERSKINS IN TC:E BY RANG3R1///////////////////////////////////////////

Alright, so you want to edit/ make your own skins for TC:E. This tut should take you from total noob to pro, as long as you pay attention to the details.

First of all, lets make a list of all the things you will need to create/edit skins for TC:E:

A copy of the most recent version of TC:E (.049)
A compress/decompression software to pack/unpack .pk3 files, I found that the free 7-zip works the best.
A good photo editor, whether it be Gimp, PAINT.NET, Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, etc, and it has support for .tga (you could use Paint for .jpg's, your choice)
A decent understanding of your photo editing program.
Notepad or equivalent

Alright, now we can begin:

First, let me explain about .skin files

.skin files are used to tell the engine what texture to attach to certain models, I will go over editing player skins in this tutorial, weapons in another.

the default skin files are located in the following folders-pak2.pk3

/models/players/temperate/allied(or axis)/soldier/engineer etc

here is an explaination for each

Allied (Spec Ops)
---cvops (.skin files for the first Sniper Skin)
---elite (images that make up the skins)
---engineer (.skin files for the first Recon Skin)
---fieldops (.skin files for the second Recon Skin)
---medic (.skin files for the second Assault Skin)
---sniper (.skin files for the second Sniper Skin)
---soldier (.skin files for the first Assault Skin)
---vip (uncompleted section that should be complete in future releases of TC:E)

Axis (Terrorists)
---cvops (.skin files for the first Sniper Skin)
---elite (images that make up the skins)
---engineer (.skin files for the first Recon Skin)
---fieldops (.skin files for the second Recon Skin)
---medic (.skin files for the second Assault Skin)
---sniper (.skin files for the second Sniper Skin)
---soldier (.skin files for the first Assault Skin)
---vip (uncompleted section that should be complete in future releases of TC:E)

now that you know what each skin file controls, lets go over editing one, and its file structure:
this is the structure of the allied soldier body_s3, which controls the main skin and tag list for the first assault skin with the body_commando texture.

//md3_back,      "models/players/temperate/allied/elite/helmet_snow_glasseslow.md3"  <this tells the engine where to find a pack, if needed>
md3_hat,      "models/players/temperate/allied/elite/helm_mask.md3"   <tells what helmet to use>
md3_rank,      "models/players/temperate/allied/elite/helm_mask.md3"   <tells what rank to use, in TC:E not needed, make same as ^>

l_legs,         "models/players/temperate/allied/elite/legs_commando.tga"   <tells where the texture for the legs is>
u_body,         "models/players/temperate/allied/elite/body_commando.tga"  <tells where the texture for the body is>
u_rthand,      "models/players/temperate/allied/elite/body_commando.tga"  <tells where the texture for the right hand is>
u_lfthand,      "models/players/temperate/allied/elite/body_commando.tga"  <tells where the texture for the left hand is>

here is a list of the .skin files in the folders
body_s controls the woodland skin
body_s1 controls the desert skin
body_s2 controls snow skin
body_s3 controls the commando skin

A little note, there are a lot of skin files in the folders, and anything that has _p# after it I believe is "old" I have not included them in mods, and my skins worked fine, but I may be wrong
BUT if it has _arms after it IT IS NEEDED, these control first person arm skins, but if you just edit one skin, you dont need them in your paks, it will still use default.

Now you may be wondering, Rang3r1, that is great, but what does this mean to me?? Well, I will show you.

Say we have this nice commando skin that I found in my uncompressed pak2.pk3 file, in the allied/elite folder.

I am going to add some text to it that says "POLICE"

So I open up Photoshop, open the file, and write POLICE on the skin, in a good place.

So now that that is done, I can save it as a .tga (ALWAYS USE EITHER .TGA OR .JPG!!)
I save it as body_commando_police.tga, on my desktop for easy finding.

Now that I have that done, I make a new uncompressed folder on my desktop called policeskintest, in this folder I create folders in the default quake 3 path type, according to TC:E's (ie models/players/temperate/allied)

I also make all the cvops, engineer, etc folders in the allied folder. After all of that is done, I go and find the default, I open it by right clicking it and selecting "Open with Notepad"

Now that I have it open, I type in the name of the new police skin I made, like so

//md3_back,      "models/players/temperate/allied/elite/helmet_snow_glasseslow.md3"
md3_hat,      "models/players/temperate/allied/elite/helm_mask.md3"
md3_rank,      "models/players/temperate/allied/elite/helm_mask.md3"

l_legs,         "models/players/temperate/allied/elite/legs_commando.tga"
u_body,         "models/players/temperate/allied/elite/body_commando_police.tga"
u_rthand,      "models/players/temperate/allied/elite/body_commando_police.tga" 
u_lfthand,      "models/players/temperate/allied/elite/body_commando_police.tga"

I then save it to my uncompressed folder on my desktop in all of the cvops, engineer, etc folders, make sure that there is one copy in each folder.

Now, I am satisfied, so I go see my models folder, I right click on it, and select 7-zip-add to archive, and the menu comes up, and I put in the following-
zz_skintest.pk3, and pick "OK", it compresses it to my desktop policeskintest folder that I made earlier., I then throw it in my tcetest folder, start up tce, at the start screen, press the tilde "~" key, and type in exactly \sv_pure 0, then type \map obj_northport (for non dev play) or \devmap obj_northport (for development purposes). I then wait to get in, and if you would like to see your new skin in game, press tilde again, and type in \bot_enable 1, then \addbot 4 b, to add a bot on the specops team. If you dont have waypoints for your maps, he will stay in one spot, and you can have a good look.

Now a few tips:

To uncompress a pak file, install 7-zip, and right click, and click "extract files". This works very nicely, or you can just rename the .pk3 extension to zip, but make sure you make a backup first, in case you mess up. But I have never had any luck with just renaming a .zip to .pk3, it always nukes my TC:E.

Also, if an ugly yellow and black skin shows up instead of your skin, you may have messed up in the .skin file, so check what you put in there, and that you didnt forget to put in your new skin.

Also, make it a habit to put zz_ before the name of your custom pak files, it makes it easier to tell custom from default, and if you were to use a letter before "p" the engine will overwrite your pack file with the default.

Author:  merlin1991 [ Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:17 am ]
Post subject: 

you might want to structurize the tutorial a bit (with colors, headlines, whatever), but you got your sticky anyway :wink:

Author:  Rang3r1_v2 [ Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yeah, I just copied them from my text files. All done, enjoy guys, and show me what you make!

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