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RoF Skinning 101 - using PhotoShop


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#1 WWDubya

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 04:41

In response to a request in another thread, linked below is a PDF of a simple seven-page document (no pictures) that just might come in handy for the purpose of creating skins.

RoF Skinning - 101
A Down and Dirty tutorial for the Photoshop User
By WWDubya



Hope it helps!
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#2 WWDubya

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 05:05

Ack!!! Forgot the include the DDS tool save settings… correction made and re-uploaded.
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#3 ImPeRaToR

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:00

Skimmed through it, excellent job of explaining everything :)
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#4 Doconicus

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 17:05

Yeah! Thanks WWDubya, Now that's what I'm talking about!
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#5 WWDubya

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 21:14

If it proves useful enough, perhaps this topic can be sticky'd for ease of discovery at a later date?
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#6 Panthercules

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 19:24

Should be very useful to the beginner. Interesting treatment of the alpha channel - not exactly the way I do it, but seems like it would work and is a good illustration that there is more than one way to skin that cat.

Have stickied this (and changed the title to make it clearer that this is for PhotoShop users) so it will be easier for folks to find it - thanks for putting this together :S!:
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#7 WWDubya

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 04:52

Thanks Panther; I do hope this comes in handy for someone.

RE: Alphas… Yeah, I've burned myself a couple of times flattening images… so now I do things the "hard way," just so I'll remember all steps and keep myself from ruining too much work!
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#8 J2_Wallenberg

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 12:04

Thank you dubya for the work and the quick response to requests!
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#9 elephant

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 15:56

:S!:
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#10 WWSandMan

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 16:41

S!

Nice work Dubya, thanks!
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#11 LW_Jupes

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:05

Nice job, Dub :)
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#12 J5_Wolf

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 23:55

Nice Job Dub for sure!
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#13 WWDubya

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:47

Lesson 101.1

A 13-page PDF for spanning images across wire map borders. Right click link and "Save As" to download your own copy.

Hope this helps!
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#14 J2_Wallenberg

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:59

This is perfect, Dubya! Very good!
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#15 -bbob

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:30

A single note, dubya, is when the image mips (distance) then seams might show if your decal is shaved at the UV edge. So a padding of 5px is preferrable when possible.

Just to illustrate my point, a 5 sided box with some shitty UV's.

The UV's:
Image


Heres the different maps used with the whites where the white just lines up with the UV's:

ImageImageImageImage

And here is what they look like on the box:
Image


Now lets try that with a 5px padding on the original, unmipped 256 and see how that renders down to 32 again:
ImageImageImageImage

In 3d:
Image
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#16 WWDubya

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:19

Great info, and thanks for posting that! I usually add a couple of pixels as well (5 would definitely be better), but didn't want to overwhelm my audience with too much information, and stuck to my lesson-plan. I actually had 25 pages, but pared it down for the sake of simplicity. :shock:
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#17 -bbob

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 19:18

Oh yeah, mate. I know how it is..

Just thought of it when I read through you guide, and decided to drop a little side-info in case someone was struggling with weird seams in the distance.

Great guide btw!
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#18 ER_O_v._Kessler

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 18:49

for me the easiest way to do skins . i use photoshop cs5, and i think it is much better than gimp. you just need the dds plug-in. take a template of your choice , save it under his name as XXXXXX_test.dds and open the viewer. it is realy easy with a little bit training and you dont need "dicta gimp" ;-))
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Spandau.. What else ?? :icon_mad:


#19 Pennato

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 12:24

-bbob: is that lightwave?
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#20 -bbob

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 12:40

No its 3ds max, but the tip is applicable across modelling packages.
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#21 Recon3

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 05:35

Hello all! Thankyou for doing this tutorial WWDubya!!

Just tried saving the psd to dds in Photoshop7 and I get the msg: "Could not save a copy as C:\….dds because of a program error". …Any ideas?

Thankyou for ANY help. :-)

Cheers!!
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#22 WWDubya

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 02:29

Sorry for the late response.

If I recall correctly, I have seen this error once in PS7 when I first installed it on my new Win7-64bit (PS7 is 32bit). I had too much RAM (not the scratch-file) assigned to PhotoShop in PS7 preferences. I think I had it set to 3GB but ended up ratcheting it down to 1GB. No more errors for me.
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#23 Recon3

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 03:40

THANK YOU!!!! That worked!!…I was banging my head against the wall for three years because of it.

cheers,
Recon3
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#24 WWDubya

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 23:58

Wow! Three years of that? Well, glad I could help! Now, show us all your artistic abilities!!!
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#25 zachanscom

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 16:46

this is interesting. i've never known a texture system that includes normal map, env map and spec map in one file. usually they're separate pieces. do you know why people don't use this method more often? is it engine related?
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#26 spherehead

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 19:42

Hello Thank you dubya for the guide. I created a skin for my bruguet following your guide and got the nvidea plugin for dds conversions. I am pretty sure that the save setting I used are the same as in the guide, and I am saving the dds file in aircrafts folder(under data, graphics, skins,). I can open my work in the rof mfc viewer but it won't show up in game for me to choose in campaign or fly now missions. Any ideas?
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#27 Panthercules

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 20:14

Hello Thank you dubya for the guide. I created a skin for my bruguet following your guide and got the nvidea plugin for dds conversions. I am pretty sure that the save setting I used are the same as in the guide, and I am saving the dds file in aircrafts folder(under data, graphics, skins,). I can open my work in the rof mfc viewer but it won't show up in game for me to choose in campaign or fly now missions. Any ideas?

(1) are you sure you've ticked the "mods on" checkbox in your RoF launcher settings screen? If not, you will not see your skin in game because unless/until it has been submitted/approved and included in an officially-released community skin pack it will not be seen in "mods off" mode.

(2) What file name are you using for your .dds file? The game is more picky about file names than the viewer is - the name should be no longer than 17 characters before the .dds extension, and should contain no spaces or funky characters (dashes and underscores are usually OK). If the game doesn't like the file name, it won't show you the skin in game.

If you're still having problems after checking/fixing both those things, post back and I'll see if I can think of anything else to help.
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#28 spherehead

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 21:00

Thanks Panthercules, mods was off. Now its on and things are fine.:)
thanks again for the response
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#29 FroggyCanuck

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 17:09

Quick question on this : Is it possible to make a skin in Photoshop Elements rather than the full Photoshop software? I have Photoshop Elements 5, which is a pretty old version, but since GIMP can be used for skinning, can Elements be used too? Or is it too limited in capacity?
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bourgeois_hockey_in_the_duff.jpg

Hockey in the duff by Ardell Bourgeois

 


#30 WWDubya

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 21:29

Elements should be just fine, but you probably have to do the gimp-style dds conversion to dds and add the alpha using gimp-style as well.

Hope this helps!
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#31 FroggyCanuck

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 01:23

Elements should be just fine, but you probably have to do the gimp-style dds conversion to dds and add the alpha using gimp-style as well.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the reply! :S!:
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bourgeois_hockey_in_the_duff.jpg

Hockey in the duff by Ardell Bourgeois

 


#32 Pigmachine

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 22:27

Great info.. thanks!! :S!:
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#33 ScorpioDB

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 00:23

Sorry for bringing up an old topic, but why do I have to uncheck the alpha channel when saving the DDS? When I do that, my plane looks unnaturally flat. When I leave the alpha channel there, the plane looks just like the original texture - good
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#34 Agent86

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 00:40

Great stuff Thanks for posting Dub :S!:
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Sorry About That                                                           


#35 ScorpioDB

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 20:09

Just another question…. Why is the template skin of the Fokker Dr.1 much darker than the original one?? Other planes are working well, but Dr.1 alpha channel seems darker..
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#36 ScorpioDB

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 20:46

Pfalz D.III and Fokker D.VII are different from the original texture too
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#37 WWDubya

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 20:49

Sorry for bringing up an old topic, but why do I have to uncheck the alpha channel when saving the DDS? When I do that, my plane looks unnaturally flat. When I leave the alpha channel there, the plane looks just like the original texture - good

Good question!

The reason why I do it that way (save the dds without the alpha, then open the dds and copy in the alpha, and then save again) is because I'll have upwards of 20 "alphas" in the channels area (while working on different effects for different skins). Saving As to DDS will fail if you have more than just one alpha layer (not counting the red, blue, and green channels)… error is something like "Too many layers…" or channels so something to the effect.

At any rate, if you don't create any more channels and use just the default alpha, then saving as a dds with the alphas on will be just fine.
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#38 WWDubya

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 20:55

Pfalz D.III and Fokker D.VII are different from the original texture too

For both of your last questions…

Unsure why other than the idea that quite possibly the templates were edited and posted for public consumption after the creation of the default skins (or the creator of the defaults personalized a copy of the template for his own use without releasing his copy of the template for general use.

best I can come up with.
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