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MarbleZilla

Custom Skins ROCK

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31st July 2007

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#1 11 years ago

((Note, I'm not sure if by the length, it should be a link. rather new to this forum and have no clue on any personal or generic file space options. I can always add it to my Geocities site. Txt isn't a worry when it comes to using up your hourly download volume limits. Heh. I'm pretty sure.))

MARBLEZILLA’S GUIDE FOR CREATING CUSTOM PLAYER SKINS

FOLDERS & FILES NEEDED:

PK3 file: This is actually a compressed folder that holds the folders & files named below.

TEXTURES folder: TGA file: An image file. Its just a picture which is applied or stretched over a blank shape. It might be in its own subfolder.

SCRIPTS folder: SHADER file: One big text file. Viewed with NOTEPAD. It lists the various shaders your skin will use. Each shader is a couple of lines of text. It says where a certain image file is located (Textures folder) and gives it a new custom shader name for it. This shader name is used by the TIK files to apply that image over a certain shape. Also, anything you see with “//” in front of it is only some helpful words of info. MODELS folder: SKD file: The skeletal file which is also called the MODEL. A blank shape the TGA image (Shader) is stretched over or painted on. The body has 3 SKD models, the body, the head & the hands. Any gear worn, such as a helmet, backpack, grenades……has its own SKD model.

I usually never include the SKD’s in my custom PK3s. We only change the way shapes look by changing the TGA images. When the game loads up the standard PK3s, it is loading up all the models too, so you don’t need to. Unless it’s a custom SKD model. That or if it’s a model that was added with Breakthrough, and a person using your skin only has Spearhead installed. Since Breakthrough was made after Spearhead, It already has all the Spearhead stuff plus whatever new things it adds to the game. TIK file: One big text file. Viewed with NOTEPAD. Lists what SKD models will be used and where they’re located. After each MODEL, it says what SHADER (TGA image) is applied to each SKD model. At the end of the TIK file, there’s some info you don’t need to worry about. Also, anything you see with “//” in front of it is only some helpful words of info.

There are 2 TIK files. The regular TIK says how others see the skin. The FPS_TIK file says what you see of yourself. It says what sleeves and hands you see holding onto your weapon.

Both types of TIK files are in folder called PLAYER ======================================== PROGRAMS TO GET:

PK3 EDITORS: PAKSCAPE: lets you open, view and edit PK3 files. WINZIP or WINRAR: Lets you do more with editing PK3s than PAKSCAPE. I still use Pakscape to create the PK3 file in the beginning.

TGA IMAGE FIEWERS: Windows can’t open up TGAs.by itself. Infranviewer: lets you view and do a variety of editing on many types of images. PicaView32: Lets you right-click on images to get a thumbnail view VIDEO EDITOR: Adobe Photoshop CS2 or any compatible image editor.

In MEDAL OF HONOR, a skin is the way you see yourself, others players, weapons and other objects in the maps that you play in. As for yourself, usually you only see your weapon and your hands and may be part of your arms. Everything else you simply see.

MOHAA store skins, maps, custom weapon modifications and many other types of mods in .PK3 file. If you're playing using SPEARHEAD, they're located in the MAINTA folder. If you play using BREAKTHROUGH, they go in the MAINTT folder.

If you been playing MEDAL OF HONOR on-line for any length of time, you've probably visited a server that runs custom maps and has custom skins. If a new map starts that you don't have, you immediately get kicked back to your MOHAA console. Many gaming clans customize their maps and customize the way their players look. You'd are we have to go to their website, possibly register, and go to their download section to get them. Many times, you'll see a PK3 file that has many “Z”s in front of the name. This is because they want their mods to be used instead of others. When the MOHAA game initially starts up, the game looks through the folders and files alphabetically. It compiles a list of maps, skins, mods and other things. Let's say you have installed a knife mod to see red throwing knives. Later, you install one from another clan that likes to use blue knives. What ever knife mod is read last is used. The same thing goes for skins and other mods. Just remember, the higher it is alphabetically determines if it's used in the game.

When playing on-line, the server you are in has to list of custom player skins or weapons mods that it lets players use in a game. In order for you to see them, you must have them in your computer. If another player is wearing a custom skin at the server doesn't support or that you don't have, MOHAA chooses a generic skin for you to see.

HOW A SKIN WORKS: The best way to first learned how skin works, is to open up a PK3 skin file that only has 1 skin in it. I'll try and simplify things as much as I can. Technically, I have to. I'm a rookie at this, but I'm a quick learner. Basically, this is how you see another player.

MOHAA takes images or pictures and wraps them around objects. These objects are called skeletal files or SKDs. Just like we're all skeletons the skin on them, so are players. The only difference is, don't think of the player has one big skeleton. Think of him as many separate bones, each one with its own piece of skin. Just like the song “the foot bone is connected to the leg bone. The leg bone is connected to the hipbone…….”.

MOHAA breaks down a body into different parts, or bones. Hand, head, upper body and leg bones. Don't forget anything special that the soldier is wearing. Helmets, grenades, pouches, radios, backpacks …… You name it. The helmet bone is connected to the head bone. All these things have their own and SKD skeleton. You may be starting to get the picture.

Speaking of pictures, the image is the rapped around each SKD “bone” are usually called Targa or TGA files. Once a while you'll see a JPEG image used, but TGA images are the norm. Some TGA pictures that you'll see look a little strange, but that's because it's getting stretched around an object that nine times at 10 isn't flat. That's especially true when you look at the pictures used for making faces. Take a photo of your friend’s head. Print up a really big picture and wrap it around your friend’s head. Does he still look like your friend. I doubt it.

So MOHAA now has all these SKD objects and TGA images to put on them. All it needs to know now is what picture to stick on what object. It uses TIK files for this. TIK files tell MOHAA to stretch this picture over a certain helmet model. TIK files are found in the MODELS folder in a folder called PLAYER. .

TEXTURES: All the images that get stretched over the different parts of the body or various accessories that the player is wearing are in here. Depending upon who made the skin PK3, they may be all in one folder, or broken down into many different ones. Just open up a couple in different skin PK3’s and look around in the TEXTURES folder. After a while you'll see how their broken down.

SCRIPTS: This folder has Shader files in it. The shader file list all the different images that are used to make a player's skin. It will say I've got this picture over in this folder and I'm going to call it JOES_HELMET. Its location is almost always somewhere in the TEXTURES folder. When you make a custom skin, the names you use in the SHADER file should have its own unique name. That way, when MOHAA starts up and compiles its lists of maps and skins, and your pictures don't erase another one previously loaded up, that unfortunately use the same name as yours.

MODELS: This folder contains the SKD files and the TIK files. The TIK files are found in a subfolder called Player.Somewhere in your TIK file, it might say “take the image JOES_HELMET, the one in the SHADER file, and wrap it around this helmet SKD that's somewhere in this folder. There are two types of TIK files, the standard .TIK and a file that has “_FPS.TIK” at the end. The FPS file is for when your wearing that skin. It says what you look like holding your weapons. It really just says “This hand and arm/sleeve will be holding the weapon”.

Now I just talked about to different types of TIK files. In reality, you'll probably want to make 4 pairs of TIKs.

One pair will be for your Axis skin.They will say “German_” at the beginning. Three pair will be for your Allie skins. This is so that you can use U.S. weapons, British weapons or Russian weapons. They will say “Allied_”, “Allied_UK_” and to “Allied_RUS_” in front of them.

All your skins may look the same or you may make each nationality look a little different. If you want each one’s shirt to be distinctive, you'll need four separate TGA pictures in the TEXTURES folder. In your shader folder, you'll have to make up a different name for each type of shirt and match each name to the correct TGA image.

CHOOSING A SKIN TO EDIT: There are two main ways that most people pick a skin that they want to modify. Usually are simply playing on-line can see someone else wearing something interesting. You simply asking the name of the skin. If you haven't I'm your computer, you should be able to see it in your multiplayer select options. The other option, while you're in the multiplayer options, is to click on one skin at a time. What you find the name of the skin you want to try and modify, find out which PK3 file its in. Look in custom skin packs that you downloaded, PK3 files in your MAINTA or MAINTT folders, or lastly the MAIN folder.

Go ahead and create a new folder to put all the files that you find which are used for that skin. Just name the folder with the skin is. Inside the folder, make three folders which are called MODELS, SCRIPTS and TEXTURES When opening a PK3 file, I first look into the Scripts folder for the skin' s Shader file. The Shader file uses the same name as the skin, except that it does not have the words Allied or German in front of it. Copy this file to your new Scripts folder. Open the Shader file with Notepad. Make note the TGA image files listed their, go to those locations in the Textures folder and copy them to your textures folder.

The textures can be in the MOHAA/MAIN folder PK3s, The MAINTT or MAINTA folder (Depending if you use Breakthrough or Spearhead) If any textures are in a subfolder, make sure your new Texture folder has the same subfolders. When you have copied all the TGA images, move on. The shaders don’t say what MOHAA folder the images are in or even what PK3 folder. AS the game loads up, it reads the PK3s alphabetically and simply compiles a gigantic list of MODELS, SCRIPTS(Shaders) & TEXTURES. If, as it’s reading, and it sees a file with the same name, it will replace the old with the new. That’s why it’s so important to have unique names in your custom skin PK3.

Next, look into the Models folder. Then look into the Player folder. Find the two or more TIK files for that skin. Copy them to your Models/Player folder. Open these two. Make note of where the SKD model files are located. Copy them to your Models/Player folder. Use the same subfolders that the found them in.

EDITING THE IMAGES Using Adobe Photoshop, open an image you want to customize. Open the Layers box. You'll see the original image is called the background. Right click. The background in the Layers box and change it to a layer. When you add text, an image, draw boxes or circles or draw something freehand a with the brush, Photoshop wheel add them as a layer. Think of it as stacking a bunch of things on top of your picture. In the layers box, layer on top is the first in you'll see. It covers up anything below, you will see the part that is covered up. If you to try and change the way the original image looks, make a duplicate copy of the layer. Save often. If you're doing something complex, it never hurts to save the PSD file under a different name. When she at the image the way you think you want, save it as a TGA file in the same folder the original image was in.

MAKING THE CUSTOM PK3 SKIN FOLDER Once you've customized all the images you want, here's the fun part. You want to make a brand-new skin. You just made brand-new TGA images. The new images must have a unique name different from all the other TGA images in the PK3 folder. Hell, different than any other TGA image in all the PK3 files in MOHAA.

Now go into your Textures folder and give a unique name to every custom TGA you made. I found it easy, say, if the TGA was called Airborne_Shirt, change its name to MarbleZilla_Shirt. I tend to rename all the TGA images, whether I've customized them or not. If later, you feel like changing one of the other images, you don't have to go into the Texture folder to change any names, let alone open up and change the Shader or TIK files. I tend to make a new folder in TEXTURES with the name of my skin. In there, I put all my textures. Then, I get rid of all the empty folders. This makes it easier if you or others combine a bunch of skins into one PK3. Its easier to look at each skin’s images than shuffling thru a gigantic list.

You have to change the Shader file's name to the name of your new custom skin. You have the same thing to the TIK files, except that you leave the words "Allied_" or "German_" to the beginning of the name. That and the word “_FPS” on the fps TIK.

Now you must open the Shader file. Go ahead and change the folder location names to the new TGA image names you just changed. It's also good change the name that the shader calls the image to something unique also. Once you've changed all the shader names an image locations, go on.

Now open up the TIK files. You must change the names of the shader's in there. You don't have to change the SKD models, because her only changing the way they look, not their shape. When you rename the shaders, make sure you don't call them by the name of the actual TGA image, use the new name that you refer to it as in the Shader file.

There’s more to it, but I’m tired of typing, heh. I could have made all the Capped words BOLD, but I ran out if steam. Heck, It’s a start.




MarbleZilla

Custom Skins ROCK

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31st July 2007

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#2 11 years ago

Hmmm, I made a few changes to it but there's no editing button. Oh oh.




Goody. VIP Member

Former Network Admin and Former Forum Admin

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26th July 2005

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#3 11 years ago

The edit button will disappear after 30 mins. If you like you can send me a text file with the altered post and I can edit it for you, (delete post content and paste txt file content in) Could you also submit a txt version to mohfiles.com to add to the tutorials. Sure that would help a few people out :) Forgot to say nice work btw




-Slick-cRiSsI

MoHFiles Vice-Site Manager

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13th December 2006

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#4 11 years ago

Good Job Marblezilla! Will help lot of person..

Like Goody said.. Submit it on MoHFiles with maybe a couple of pics.. will be a great tutorial.




MarbleZilla

Custom Skins ROCK

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31st July 2007

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#5 11 years ago

Yea, it needs some visual examples of real TIK / Shader text showing changes. That and some more editing to make it look professional. That, & a few tips on the best way to play with Photoshop or other Program's layers n stuff to make placement of eye-candy easier. Doing faces is it's own ball of wax.




MarbleZilla

Custom Skins ROCK

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31st July 2007

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#6 11 years ago

Yea, it needs some visual examples of real TIK / Shader text showing changes. That and some more editing to make it look professional. That, & a few tips on the best way to play with the layers in Photoshop or other compatible image editing programs to make placement of eye-candy easier. Doing faces is it's own ball of wax.

For example, I made couple of Photo CS2 docs. I've compiled every face (pretty much) I have as a different layer. I have 1 for reg males, 1 for any w facial hair, 1 for masked/covered, 1 for cooler weird, and 1 for facial parts such as eyes/hair/neck lines and ladies faces. The hair on some of the women are incredible.

I have started opening up skin TIK file and making an Excel doc listing the skin-name/body model/possibly the images used for it. That way you can sort them in whatever order, seeing what other TGA's are compatible for the model you are editing.

I will eventually make a Photoshop doc for each model type, making layers for each shirt, pants,sleeves n such. Nothing bites like editing a skin, and seeing that the Camo pattern was sprayed all over the TGA, so you can't tell exactly where the different parts of the clothing actually are. Just look at another shirt from that body type that looks less colorful, yet shows off the edges of the distinctive parts better. Throw it on a layer on the skin your editing and you have a great guide.

I am compiling all the skin mini-pics (cropping screenies from the multi-player select). Easier than looking 1 at a time with the game on.

1 hint. You make a test skin. Look at in multi-player. Hope it turns or bends so you can see more of the side or back. The best way to view it is doing a 2 CPU LAN game w yourself to see the skin in-game from all sides.

Here's a happy medium. Start a LAN game in a small map. I made a few custom maps with custom textures. They're all small rooms with a single pastel color for the floors & walls. That makes it easier to trim the screenies into PNGs so you can add just the player to any image creation.

Anyways, smaller is better cause you only have a few seconds. Start a round, nade yourself, and as soon as you re-spawn, go to the temporary corpse. You can get a quick glance at or screenie it from diff angles. Suicide a few times till it flops in the right position.

Oh crap. I gotta do some work in the real world. You know, the other real world. Ummm...the Matrix?....heh, as THE TUBES sang, TALK TO YA LATER!




MarbleZilla

Custom Skins ROCK

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31st July 2007

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#7 11 years ago

Oh, a question on submitting a tutorial to the sister-site MOHFILES. I made this tutorial using MSWORD from MS Office 2000. In it , I did a table of contents of the top with hyperlinks pointing to bookmarks to jump to diff areas.

Should I save it as a MSWORD doc or as a web page. I assume the save-as-web would be the best bet as far as keeping the quick jump links. I'm not so worried about font formats or such.




PKM_676

Bill Hicks Deciple

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2nd August 2005

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#8 11 years ago

MarbleZilla;3834333

Here's a happy medium. Start a LAN game in a small map. I made a few custom maps with custom textures. They're all small rooms with a single pastel color for the floors & walls. That makes it easier to trim the screenies into PNGs so you can add just the player to any image creation

wow sounds a lot like you got the gist of my action room mod (small room textured with white used for testing custom skins, textures, animations, models, etc. and used for screenshots , the white being an easy color to edit out) but you didn't include the part about using jv_map's multiplayer bots for custom skins .




MarbleZilla

Custom Skins ROCK

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31st July 2007

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#9 11 years ago

Your mod? Grrrrr My Mod!!! Copyright Patent Violation. Danger Will Robinson!!

Haaaa. It just shows that great minds think alike. We both came up with the same vision in alternate realities.

Nothing like making a skin. Setting up a dual LAN game with yourself. Trying to find a map with a humongous wall with the lightest, most monochromatic texture on the map.

Even Photoshop's Magic Eraser tool needs time to trim a skin into a neat PNG image.

I did soo many pic-mixs of all my clan-mates custom skins that as you take the time trimming the first 20 or so, the brain knows a even colored setting would save you tons of time.

I made 4 small rooms, all a light pastel custom textures I made from scratch.If you can call a single color a texture. I figured on the 4, cause even a white room will run into trouble when your working on a snow stealth skin. I did a couple of sumo sniper foliage skins for myself. One had a white x-mas tree look. It never hurts to have a couple of colors that can clash just enough.

Action Room????? One skin strikes a pose and that's that. The other is doing the Austin Powers "Yea...Baby...Photo Shoot".

Never got that deep into mapping to create AI Bots. I'll have to see what thats about.

I read a gent's site, maybe the Wolf-Man on how he used a script to force the game to turn 1 common soldier you see alot into the skin of your choice.

Oh Noooo, Physical Labor calls over at my Dad's house. 4 Days till a 2 week vacation in Wisconson. No CPU. No MOHAA. Thank God 4 my PS2. Late.




-Slick-cRiSsI

MoHFiles Vice-Site Manager

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#10 11 years ago

MarbleZilla;3835284Oh, a question on submitting a tutorial to the sister-site MOHFILES. I made this tutorial using MSWORD from MS Office 2000. In it , I did a table of contents of the top with hyperlinks pointing to bookmarks to jump to diff areas.

Should I save it as a MSWORD doc or as a web page. I assume the save-as-web would be the best bet as far as keeping the quick jump links. I'm not so worried about font formats or such.

Both would be good.. Maybe as a web page would be a little better..




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