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Step-by-step Guide to Skinning
1 - Table of Contents
1. Table of Contents
2. Beginning Notes
3. Tools you will need
4. Understanding the files
-Height Map (_s)
-Reflective Detail (_b)
-Step by Step
2 - Beginning Notes
A couple notes before the tutorial - First, always back up whatever you're working on. I've had to reinstall twice so far because of carelessness. Secondly, you're going to need basic photoshopping skill [And photoshop] to create your own textures.
I'm writing this tutorial because I'd like to see the creative, imaginative ideas of the rest of the community -- Please hold any flames.
3 - Tools you will need
unSTUFF - http://blackandwhite2.filefront.com/file/UnSTUFF;48559
Used for unpacking everything.STUFF - Require for Skinning
Photoshop - http://www.soft32.com/download_346.html
Used to edit every filetype we'll be dealing with. You can download a 30 day trial if you don't have photoshop already.
DDS Plugin for Photoshop - http://download.nvidia.com/develope...3.0629.1500.exe
Used to open and save .DDS files. Can be used by owners of nVidia or ATI cards.
ATI Only CubeMapGen - http://www2.ati.com/developer/CubeMapGen_Final_v1.0.exe
You only need this if you don't have photoshop. This is apparently only usable with ATI cards, I've personally never run it.
4 - Understanding the Files
There are three main filetypes you will be working with:
-t_[creaturename]_[alignment]_d.DDS -- This is the main texture.
-t_[creaturename]_[alignment]_s.DDS -- This is a height map.
-t_[creaturename]_[alignment]_b.DDS -- This is the reflective texture.
Detail Texture ([_d])
This file holds the main texture for the skin. Basically, it controls the colors of the surfaces and hair of the creature. Hairs take the color of the pixel of texture they're sprouting from.
Height Map ([_s])
This file contains a 2D heightmap of the skin. It controls the spacial aspects of the skin, to an extent, such as the facial features [Nose, mouth, ears]. An easy way to think of the purpose of a heightmap is telling the texture how far to stick out or cave in. It's best not to directly edit this file with paint brushes and etc. It's okay to copy and paste sections from around the image, or from the heightmap of another creature, because these are properly formatted and won't be solid and choppy when applied to the model of the creature.
Reflective Texture ([_b])
This file contains the texture you see when light is shining on the skin. Mainly used to make the model shinier or duller in certain areas when exposed to heavy light.
5 - Step by Step
1) Back up your data folder.
-Navigate to your BW2 folder [Default is C: Program FilesLionhead StudiosBlack & White 2]
-Copy your Data folder. Remember where you stored it!
2) Run unSTUFF.exe
-Before starting, right-click your main data folder and hit properties. Uncheck Read Only and hit apply. Choose "All files and subfolders" when the prompt appears.
-Install unSTUFF.exe to your main BW2 folder.
-Switch your backup data folder with your newly unpacked folder.
-Your unpacked folder will not be edited -- At all. This folder will serve as your backup, and also as a source of files to copy into your main data folder for use.
3) Grab your creature's texture files.
-Navigate into your unpacked data folder. /Data/ctr/
-Find the folder of the creature you'd like to skin [ie. /bape /blion /btiger].
-Copy the contents of this folder into the corresponding folder in your main.
4) The files are in place - Now we need to open the .DDS.
-Install the .DDS plugin for photoshop.
-Open photoshop, browse to your main data folder.
-Open whichever aligned file you'd like to modify. The list of editable texture files:
t_[creature]_base_s.DDS <- The base files are your neutral skins.
-Avoid editing these files [They may cause your game to crash upon loading]:
5) Save as DDS
-Save your work as .DDS when you're finished.
-When prompted for DDS settings, choose settings as follows:
t_[creature]_[alignment]_s.DDS = DXT1
t_[creature]_[alignment]_b.DDS = DXT1
t_[creature]_[alignment]_d.DDS = DXT3
6) Run game
6 - Some Footnotes
Pupils in Main Detail file ([_d])
The pupils in the main detail file require alphas to be enabled [Use DXT3] to show up. Editing the pupil itself usually leads the the pupil completely disappearing ingame. The workaround I use for this is to just drop the pupil texture I've made right into the middle of the eyeball texture [The big circle next to pupil]. The pupils still move with the eyeball as normal, and it's pretty hard to notice the difference ingame.
I swear I thought of at least 5 during the process of writing this tutorial. This is the only one important enough to remember, I guess.
7 - Credits
Ricky26 - Made the sexy unSTUFF unpacker.
My IRC modding group - Keep me entertained while I'm slaving away at a texture =P
My parents - Brought me into this world, so they deserve a credit slot too. ;P
A big thanks goes to Llam4
for creating this tutorial and sending it in to BW2Files.com.