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Beta Skin Manager for Rise of Flight (beta04)


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#1 Laser

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 16:51

It's a beta, so i appreciate feedback.

Image

Beta 04 - download link (DDS preview enabled; opening archives is currently broken)

Version 1.0 beta4 NOTES:

Unlike historical or fictional skins, the official skins have more 'ambiguous' names (e.g. can be something like 110201.dds), which can match more than one preview dds (i.e. belonging to a different plane, in a different preview folder), especially if you don't update the skin-preview match pairs, as the Skin Manager help mentions.

<RoF>/data/graphics/skins/<Plane type>/ is not the same as <RoF>/data/swf/planes/<Plane type>/ (which you can see by reading in Skin Manager the paths above a displayed dds preview image). So for each 'new' planes, new skin-preview match helper pairs should be added in Skin Manager, to better guide the program in finding the correct prevews. For the Halb you should add 2 new pairs:

HalberstadtCL2:Halberstadt CL.II
HalberstadtCL2au:Halberstadt CL.II 200hp


When multiple previews are found for a skin, they will be all shown. There we'll just have to scroll down eventually until we found the right plane type -> that's the right skin for it.


In the case of the Pfalz D12, by mistake the Pfalz D12 and the Pfalz D3a have their match pairs REVERSED, so it should be corrected to:

PfalzD3a:Pfalz D.IIIa
PfalzD12:Pfalz D.XII

———-


Previous version (beta 03) - download link

Source page

Hint: you can also open tar.xz archives in the latest version of 7zip archive manager.

—————————————————————————————–

Courtesy of ImPeRaToR, we now have some compressed skin packs which you may find useful:

1. Squadron Skin Pack for Les Hellequins: hq_skins.1019.tar.xz

2. A Skin Pack for use with the 1.019 Career mode, "including the entire official skin pack as well as a few community skins which are being used or will be used in 1.020 by player and AI controlled squadrons, but without bloating it with skins that are not being used (yet)": 1.019 Career mode skin pack

Other packs:

Some more virtual squadron skin packs for those with many skins and members. I did not include "random" personal skins, only those with squadron markings.
Exception were Squids entente skins since he uses them frequently and J2 has no entente skins.



If I forgot your squadron please make a post and I will add yours as well.

In alphabetic order:

1.Pulk Lotniczy Entente* Skin Pack 1.019

Flying Barans skin pack 1.019

Imperial Royal Flying Corps skin pack 1.019

Königlich Preußische Jagdstaffel 2 'Boelcke' skin pack 1.019

Königlich Preußische Jagdstaffel 13 skin pack 1.019

Königlich Preußische Jagdstaffel 99 skin pack 1.019

Wing Walkers skin pack 1.019


*1.Pulk Lotniczy:
I made two packs for 1.Pulk Lotniczy because they are very confusing; also I believe they prefer to use Jasta 8 when flying central anyway for this reason. If you still want to install them I made a seperate pack below:

1.Pulk Lotniczy Central Skin Pack 1.019


P.S. Thank you Huetz and Parazaine for not including the J2 tag in the file name :roll:

—————————————————————————————
Install instructions for such skin packs, can't be easier (images by ImPeRaToR):

Image

Image


—————————————————————————————–

EDIT: added "Delete" button if source is a folder (and not an archive).
EDIT: "Delete" now also delete preview of the skin, if it finds only one or if, from more previews with the same name, the path of one "matches" with the skin path using the match helpers.

[edit - see page 8 for post with link to new updated version beta.04]
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#2 Panthercules

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 17:07

Awesome - can't wait to try it - but when I try the link it goes to some sort of weird Google Docs sign-up page. Can't seem to get to the download link itself.
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#3 J2_squid

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 17:13

Laser, thank you! Ive been meaning to clear out my skins and this is just the ticket. Awesome. Ill let you know how I find it

Hit a slight snag. Get this when trying to download

Sorry, the page (or document) you have requested is not available.

Please check the address and try again.
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#4 Laser

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 17:23

Sorry was too tired to observe - i changed link's permission to 'public', should work now.

Also i'll add sometimes in the future a Delete button (see the Help notes btw) but only for 'folder' sources, not archives.
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#5 Panthercules

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 17:30

That got me to the D/L link, BUT, when I tried to run the program I got this error message (and a lot of noise in my speakers for some reason):

Image

Any idea what that's all about?
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#6 Laser

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 17:32

Yes, i'll update the archive in some moments, i forgot the program depends on that dll as i have it on all my working machines. Bear with me pls :D
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#7 J2_Adam

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 17:38

Great can't wait to try it. Many skins to delete LOL
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#8 Panthercules

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 17:39

Yes, i'll update the archive in some moments, i forgot the program depends on that dll as i have it on all my working machines. Bear with me pls :D

No problem - that's why they call it "beta" after all :)

No rush - just ignore the drooling sounds coming from us folks out here :lol:
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#9 ImPeRaToR

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 17:41

Very cool! So I have to install all the skins to a separate folder, for example the folder where the skin manager is, and then I can chose which ones to copy into my ROF skin folders?


It would be nice if you could implement specific filter that we can tick in the future, i.e. only historical, only fictional, only squadron skins, only historical aces, only historical default/generic etc. You probably thought of this and you are only human but I thought I should suggest it anyway, don't feel pressured :)


Those are things that would be helpful to me though since my partition is too small to hold both ROF and ROF beta and tons of skins so I would have to constantly swap my skins back and fourth.
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#10 Laser

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 17:52

I reuploaded, i hope it works and it won't have other dependencies …

@Imp, i wanted to also show details of the skins (and filter based on them, including what you say - make categories of skins) but these are packed into the .gtp files and there also seem to be some compression going on (i couldn't 'view' the contents of the information files directly). So, at least for now, you will have to rely on the name / external info to select which is which. It would have been nice if Rise of Flight would also expose this information automatically, e.g. in some unpacked files. In addition, the fact that the previews are in folders with other plane names than the skin ones (e.g. Airco D.H.2 versus DH2) gives additional pain to preview search :(
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#11 ImPeRaToR

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 18:05

Ah, I guess they all have to be tagged by hand then :? There already is the y and z prefix but generic or ace skin cannot be distinguished and neither can personal or (virtual) squadron skins. If you need help with that I am sure you will find people willing to help, including me :)

for reference, all our squadron skins had _hq_ in the file name.
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#12 hq_Reflected

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 18:05

Can you delete skins from this app?
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#13 Laser

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 18:08

Can you delete skins from this app?

No, not directly. But you can select N skins, invert selection and move all the other files to another destination. Than, you can remove manually the source folder/archive (i wrote in the help file about this). I'll add a Delete button for uncompressed skins sometime later.

Ah, I guess they all have to be tagged by hand then :? There already is the y and z prefix but generic or ace skin cannot be distinguished and neither can personal or (virtual) squadron skins. If you need help with that I am sure you will find people willing to help, including me :)

for reference, all our squadron skins had _hq_ in the file name.

Not by hand, i could extract the description files from the .gtp files and use those somehow. Which makes it rather ugly because at each new RoF patch the description files need to be imported again into the program.
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#14 Dutch2

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 18:24

Can you delete skins from this app?
I think this would be great, I do not like all the non historic skins, so it would be great if we could clear these we do not like, using this software. :idea:
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#15 Laser

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 18:40

Ok i added a "Delete" button for checked skins, if source is a folder (i.e. you can't delete from archives). Beware though it's a beta, test it - install some packs into other folder than RoF and operate on those.
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#16 Miggins

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 18:54

Nice work Laser.

I generally grab all skin packs as the are released, but some personal skins I dislike (even though I have voted a yes in the poll so the owner can use them if they want), and having a nice easy way to view and delete those that I dislike will be a nice feature.
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#17 HARRYq

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 19:06

Good news ^^
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#18 Panthercules

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 19:17

It is pretty easy to find sets of skins you want with the filter feature - I just entered "panther" and hit the "filter" button and it seems to have pulled up all my personal skins from my temporary "fun" install folders (because I had put some variation of "panther" in all my file names) so I could select and copy them over to my real RoF install which otherwise only has historical skins in it - very cool so far.

I think most of the squads have done something similar with common/standard file name fragments (as Imp indicated that HQ has done with theirs), so that approach should work pretty well for those too.
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#19 J2_squid

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 19:34

Brilliant, does what it says on the tin. Now my ROF is back in WW1. And it can stay there!

Great work laser! U da Man!
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#20 Miggins

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 19:38

for reference, all our squadron skins had _hq_ in the file name.

Erm, didn't the revamped SE5a skins get through without the "hq_" bit though Imp?
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#21 Fubar

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 20:39

Thanks Laser very useful :S!:
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#22 ImPeRaToR

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 20:44

for reference, all our squadron skins had _hq_ in the file name.

Erm, didn't the revamped SE5a skins get through without the "hq_" bit though Imp?

Yes some … (insert word here) forgot to add it to the description but the file names have _hq_ in it as I said :)
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#23 Panthercules

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 21:55

Just did a run through the whole 6 volumes worth of Fun skins, pulling out all my own personal ones to copy into my main RoF install. Worked just exactly the way I had hoped for when I first asked for this. :D

Haven't tried the new deletion function for going the other way yet, but I'll give it a spin a bit later just to check it out.

Amazingly awesome!

This is going to be a real boon having this available when they release the next update.

You've definitely qualified for winning the initial challenge - let me know which RoF plane you want me to gift you for this :S!:
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#24 Panthercules

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 22:01

Small glitch/oddity about the delete function - it deleted the .dds skin files, but NOT the associated preview picture files. Seems like it probably should do both if it's not too hard to program that way, just for neatness sake and keeping the folders from piling up with stray/unwanted files.

Not a big deal of course, and the gift plane is still yours :) - just thought I'd let you know.

Thanks again for this super tool!

[edit] also noticed the help info hasn't been updated yet to reflect the addition of the delete function - I'm sure you'll update that when the time comes, just wanted to make a note of it since I saw it.
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#25 J5_Rumey

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 06:27

Great work laser, now I can finally have a look whats in thoose fictional skin downloads, just what I have needed. Will add j99, hq, syn and some other squads to my pack, if I can see you gents then I know when to stay clear .)
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#26 Laser

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 11:43

Thanks and also thanks for feedback!

I modified the "Delete" function: "Delete" now also delete preview of the skin, if it finds only one or if, from more previews with the same name, the path of one "matches" with the skin path using the match helpers.

If you download and ask yourself why the new exe+dll are smaller than in previous version, it's because i work on 2 different machines with different compiling toolchains installed on each one. (The newer one, not necessarily a better one, produces larger executables and has a larger mingw dll dependency).
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#27 Panthercules

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 14:39

This is so cool. I just tried the delete function again and it seems to work just fine. This is so easy to use, I've already finished doing everything with it that I need to do right now (until the next volume/patch is released) - but I still find myself just opening it up from time to time to look at it for a while and admire :)
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#28 Laser

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 14:51

:) BTW it may happen, when you copy skins with non-unique names (e.g. official skins, but not approved, users-made ones), to end up at destination with slightly more previews (those with the same name as the skin, but maybe of other types of planes) - i may modify this to act exactly like in the 'delete' case.
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#29 WW1EAF_Paf

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 18:20

What a nice tool Laser, Thanks!
Till now I always skipped the nonhist. Skinpacks.
This now is a great way to incorporate some fun-skins I like.
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#30 BroadSide

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 17:19

So with this tool I can load all skins into a directory, review and delete with the tool, then add only the skins I want into the game directory, and then with each released pack, review and delete new skins and then add what I like to my main directory?
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#31 Panthercules

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 17:33

So with this tool I can load all skins into a directory, review and delete with the tool, then add only the skins I want into the game directory, and then with each released pack, review and delete new skins and then add what I like to my main directory?


Exactly!

The few "Fun" skins I want to use in my main RoF install (mostly my own personal skins to use in SP, since I don't play MP, but maybe some of the other good semi-historical "Fun" ones that others have done that look cool too) are scattered throughout the various Volumes. I didn't want to install and weed out all the unwanted Fun skins from my main RoF install each time a new Pack was released, even with a tool like this.

So, I've created a dummy/test set of folders into which I install each of the "Fun" packs as they're released. Then, I can point this tool to that dummy set of RoF folders and use it to find and copy just the Fun skins I want into my main RoF install. Also, if I want to, I can point it to my main RoF install and use it to delete/remove a few of the Historical ones for which the Community skinners have created better or more accurate versions, so only the version I like best is showing up on the lists in my game.

A very cool little tool - great job Laser :S!:
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#32 LW_Jupes

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 15:22

Wanted to add my kudos - works very nicely for me - very well done.
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#33 O_Taipan

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 08:03

Looks great Laser!
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#34 Stick-95

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 20:20

New to RoF. I was told about this utility by ImPeRaToR. I have downloaded it. Currently I have installed the six historical skin packs and one fictional. Would like to reduce the number of skins if they are the cause of on-line flying. I don't know what the default skins are.

Not sure what my first step is in using this utility. I use JSGME a lot for IL2 where you activate/deactivate mods very easily but I don't think this works like that.

Are there instructions that I am missing? Any help appreciated.

Stick
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#35 Laser

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 22:11

New to RoF. I was told about this utility by ImPeRaToR. I have downloaded it. Currently I have installed the six historical skin packs and one fictional. Would like to reduce the number of skins if they are the cause of on-line flying. I don't know what the default skins are.

Not sure what my first step is in using this utility. I use JSGME a lot for IL2 where you activate/deactivate mods very easily but I don't think this works like that.

Are there instructions that I am missing? Any help appreciated.

Stick

Unlike the JSGME tool, this one assumes you know something about how skins are arranged in RoF when installed. But, a short howto would be:

Point the SkinManager program to your main RoF installation folder (e.g. C:\Games\Rise of Flight). All installed skins (normally found in the <RoF folder>/data/graphics/Skins/<aircraft name>/*.dds) would show up in the main list of SkinManager. These skins normally have a preview image (normally in <RoF folder>/data/swf/planes/<aircraft name>/Skins/*.jpg) which will be shown when you click on a skin. Those are exactly the paths where skins go, if you remember those you understand how skins are arranged in RoF.

Now if you tick/mark/check one, some or all of the skins in the list, you can copy those to a different folder, 'backup' them (archive - very slow operation) or delete them. You can use copy and then delete on a 'set' to achieve a 'move' operation.

In the worse case you can delete all skins from the RoF install, after that you can reinstall the skins only from the packs you want (e.g. 'official', 'historical' but maybe not the fun ones). Now if you would want only SOME of the fun category skins, you could fake-install from the packs those skins to a different folder (not the real RoF one), point SkinManager to that folder, select only those fun skins you like, and copy those to the real RoF folder. Then you can delete the 'fake' (temporary) folder.

When i say 'install from packs' i mean the normal operation, outside SkinManager, which you already used to install the skins as before. But when i say copy, delete i mean inside SkinManager, for all the 'checked' skins. The folder you load in SkinManager is a source for copy operations, and the target of the delete operation.
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#36 Panthercules

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 05:28

Actually, you can use this tool to help you create "mini skin packs" or groups of skins that you can then use JSGME with to very easily swap them in and out of your actual RoF install, if you want to (as if they were mods, as far as JSGME knows, although they'll still be aproved skins so you won't have to have "mods on" checked to be able to see them).

For example, let's say you want to create a special "Les Hellequins" squadron mini-pack that you would use JSGME to install into your game folders before you go online to fly with (or against) that squadron.

First, install all the official. fun and historical skin packs (or at least all that you want) into a dummy/extra set of RoF folders. (You'll only have to do this once - you can keep using this dummy/extra set of folders to keep installing any additional newly-released packs into so you'll always have all the skins in this one set of folders, if you have a big enough hard drive).

Second, point Laser's tool at the dummy RoF folder where you installed all those skin packs, and it will display all the possible skins. Use the search function of the tool, or go through it manually however you want, and select/tick all the HQ skins you want to have in your JSGME-ready HQ squadron mini-pack "mod".

Use Laser's tool here to copy all the selected skins, not into your main RoF game install, but into another dummy folder which you have created. That new folder will become the "mod" that you will use with JSGME to swap in and out of your real RoF game installation just like you would any other JSGME mod folder.

You can repeat that process as many times as you want, creating whatever kinds of JSGME-ready mini-packs you want to have, with any combination of the "Official", "Fun" or "Historical" skins - for example, you could create one such mini-pack for each plane type (each with all the official and historical skins for just that plane type), and use JSGME to swap those in and out depending on what type of plane you plan to fly in the next game session.

I've not heard or seen anything indicating that the large number of skins causes any problems with RoF's performance, but this tool makes it very easy to create the JSGME-ready "mods" that would then let you use JSGME (also a fantastic tool, of course) to vastly reduce the number of skins you have actualy installed in your RoF game folders at any one time, while still having them readily available for future play.
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#37 Stick-95

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 22:36

Great info guys.

Panthercules, I see where you are going with JSGME and I think that would be great. Drive space is not a problem. Before your step #1 what about the Official, six Historical and one Fictional skin packs that are already installed? Can I just delete all skins from ROF (Rise of Flight\data\graphics\Skins) and then start with installing the Official skin pack? There are thumbnails of the skins also aren't there? Are they in a different folder?

Stick
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#38 ImPeRaToR

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 22:38

You can find them in there: Rise of Flight\data\swf\planes
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#39 Panthercules

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 23:55

Great info guys.

Panthercules, I see where you are going with JSGME and I think that would be great. Drive space is not a problem. Before your step #1 what about the Official, six Historical and one Fictional skin packs that are already installed? Can I just delete all skins from ROF (Rise of Flight\data\graphics\Skins) and then start with installing the Official skin pack? There are thumbnails of the skins also aren't there? Are they in a different folder?

Stick

Well, if I were going to take the kind of JSGME approach I was describing (I haven't yet, but I might), I would install all the skin packs (the one latest "Official" pack, and all the "Historical" and "Fun" ones, starting in order from the earliest to the latest), into the dummy RoF folder I mentioned, to create my repository of all available approved skins. Then I would go into my "real" RoF game install folders and delete all of the .dds skin files and all of the .jpg preview picture files. (I'm not at my home PC now and I don't remember the exact paths, but IIRC the skin files you'll be deleting are in one set of folders under …data\Graphics\skins\… and the preview pictures you'll be deleting are in another set of folders, somthing like …\data\swf\…)

That way, the only skins I would ever have in my real RoF game installation would be whatever skins I put in whatever mini-packs I created with Laser's tool and then activated/installed via JSGME.

Installing the Official, Historical and Fun skin packs into the dummy RoF folder/repository as I mentioned above will automatically put both the skin files and the preview pictures where they need to be, and using Laser's tool as outlined to create the various JSGME-ready mini-packs will copy both the skin files and the preview pictures into the right places in those JSGME-ready "mods", and then using JSGME to activate/install those min-packs into your RoF game installation will put both the skin files and the preview pictures where they need to be, so you won't have to worry about doing any of that stuff manually.
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#40 Panthercules

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 02:53

@ Laser - I decided to try actually creating some of these JSGME "mini-packs" I've been talking about, to see if the reality matches the theory.

Basically, it does, BUT I've spotted an odd glitch/behavior in your tool that I don't understand.

Specifically, while the tool copies all the checked/selected skins and preview pictures just fine, it also creates extra preview picture folders for a few (but not all) of the un-selected plane types and populates them with preview pictures of a few (but not all) of the un-selected official/default skins.

For example, I used the tool to create a small JSGME mini-pack of just the official/historical Albatros D.II (early) skins (those were the only ones I selected/checked in your tool). As you can see, the actual skin files were handled just fine:

Image

However, as shown below, the tool also created these extra preview picture folders:

Image

I suppose that as long as the skin files themselves are being handled correctly, the presence of extra preview pictures won't really matter as far as the JSGME mini-packs working correctly in game, but it seems wierd that the tool would just (seemingly) randomly be creating and copying these un-selected preview pictures.

In any event, at least I confirmed that the process I had in mind really does work for using this tool as a cool "front end" facilitator to help use JSGME to manage groups of skins routinely and easily. That way, you only need to use the tool (and search/plow through all the skins with the tool) once (or at least, once with every skin pack Volume release) to create the JSGME mini pack(s) you want, and not every time you want to swap these groups of skins in and out of the game.

Very cool :D
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