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Quanon 02-16-2009 10:47 AM

[TUT] Quanons Tips on Skinning/Texturing

In this thread I'll attempt to show you some tricks I use in Photoshop to create skins/textures for your weapon models and other 3D things from the Kotor game.

Allright, first tip.

Getting your UVW-map of your model into Photoshop.

For G-Max users this is very simple: Take a screenshot.

Start photoshop, create a new empty file and just paste (ctrl+V).
Use the Crop tool (C) and drag a box around the UVW-map.

Hit enter and all the garbage around it will be deleted, your file will also get resized automatically.

Now create another new file, set it to this size: 512x512 pixels or 256x256.

Then use the Movel Tool (V) to drag your UVW-map into the new file.

Now it will not fit good, to solve that hit Ctrl+T to activate the Transform tool.

You'll see these small squares at the edges, you can drag those around.
So use'em to make it fit, hit enter to confirm the changes and your done.

If you get a bit confused/ freak'n out on this tool hit Esc to exit it ;)
Like that you won't get stuck :lol:

3Ds Max users:

First go the Edit window in the Unwrap UVW modifier.
There go to Tools => Render UVW Template.
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You'll get a new window. In there set the Height and width to 512x512 or 256x256 pixels. Down below hit Render UVW template.

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Again a window comes up showing you the render of the UVW. At the top left is a Disk icon. Hit that to save your UVW-map.

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In the browsing window set it to a location you'll like it to be saved and set the file type, if you choose JPEG, you get an extra window again :p
In there its just to set the quality.
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Thats it, you now have your UVW-map ready to be used in Photoshop/Gimp or Windows paint if you insist :lol:

Second tip:

With this tip I want to show you how I do razor sharp nasty cutting blades xD

In this example I used a one of my own modelled weapons, which has this spinning blade, lovely.

Ofcourse I made a nice UVW-map using the steps from above.

Now start photoshop, go to File=> Open. Look up the UVW-map.
When that is open I go to the Layers palette. I grab and drag the Background layer, to the NEW icon, just next to the trashcan icon.
Like so you get an instant copy of that layer.

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Now alter the modus of this copied layer to Screen. You'll find that at the top of the palette.

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Good, to make our blade look like steel/ metal I downloaded a plain photo of... metal :p

This is a good site for such things: CLICKY

Quanon 02-16-2009 10:48 AM

So I opened it in photoshop, using the Move tool (V) I dragged it to my UVW-map:

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Its to big, so using the Transform Tool ( Ctrl+T) I scaled it down.
I used the top left little squarre and holding down shift I just dragged.

Shift helps to keep it uniform, width & height are being kept the same scale compared to each other.

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Once content with the size hit enter, if your not happy hit Esc to leave the Transform tool.

Okay, now I'm going to add the sharp edge of the blade. To that quickly and easly, I used the Pen tool (P)

Make sure it sets to Paths, you'll find that at the top left of your menu bars:
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Then follow the shape of your blade, like so. Just click around to set a point and continue to set more points to create a shape like your blade.
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You don't need to close your path, but since I got a round blade I'm going to close it ;)

Now where going to setup our Brush (B)

Just right click anywhere on your map. You should get this handy menu:
Pick a brush with really soft edges, set it to a smaller size, I used 9 pixels.
You could use differant sizes, depending on your model really.

Quanon 02-16-2009 10:49 AM

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Before we continue make sure you're color is set to white:
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Now in your Layers palette, you should see 2 other Tabs: Paths and Channels.
Now I've dragged out Channels, as I like to have that seperate. So don't worry if my screenshots look a bit differant ;)

Go to the Paths tab. You'll find that path we just drew, right click on it and pick Stroke Path.
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Another window comes up, set it to brush and hit OK.
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Here's my result, the Brush nicely followed our little path, no need to this kind of thing by hand :p

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Nearly done, but we need to clean this up a bit.
Go back to Path palette and right click, this time pick Make Selection.
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Paths are real handy to make good selections. I'll show more of them later on, as they can be a bit tricky to get used to. Mainly on the curve part. o_Q

Quanon 02-16-2009 10:51 AM

This selection is to tight and close, where going to enlarge it a bit.
Go to Select=>Modify=>Expand.

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New window comes up, I've set mine about 10pixels.

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Now for some magic, do Shift+Ctrl+I to invert the selection and hit Delete.
Result should like this:
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Next a quick step forward, this blade should be shiny to some extend.
For that we need a Alpha Channel.

We need to select our blade again, to easly get that, just Ctrl and left click on its Layer.
If you still got your selection just do Shift+Ctrl+I to invert it back.
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Do Ctrl+C to copy it.
Go to the Channels palette and hit the NEW icon down below, next to the trashcan. Then do Ctrl+V to paste the blade in the channel.
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Quanon 02-16-2009 10:52 AM

You could leave it like that now. But the shine effect depends on the black/white in the alpha channel.

Darker = stronger effect
White = No effect at all

I find that its to dark in my channel, to adjust that I go to Image=>Levels.
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You'll get this new window. In there you can play around with these sliders to alter the contrast between black/white.

I dragged back the white to the middle make it stronger.
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Just play around with it to see its effects on the channel, once your happy just hit OK.

Thats it for these first few tips.

LordRevan999 02-17-2009 12:49 AM

Amazing tips Quanon.Btw,I figured out how to use metal textures myself.I hope to see more tips on texturing from you.

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Quanon 02-17-2009 05:29 AM

Looks good LordRevan999, glad you got some nice results :)

DarthParametric 02-17-2009 10:16 AM

Might I suggest an alternative method for obtaining precise UV map guides for GMax users? It looks a bit convoluted, but it's relatively straight forward once you've done it a couple of times.

First, download UVMapper Classic from here. This is a standalone EXE (i.e. no installation required) that is free. It has limited functionality, but is fine for our purposes.

Then you'll need to download Xzzy's OBJ export script and the GrabListener utility from here (the "Renx OBJ Tools" link). Make a folder in GMax's \scripts directory and extract the tools there.

In GMax, do the following:
  1. Change to the Utilities tab
  2. Click the MAXScript button
  3. Click the Open Listener button
  4. In the Listener window that pops up, go to Edit->Clear All
  5. Back in the MAXScript tab, click the Run Script button
  6. In the file browser that pops up, navigate to the folder you just created and select
  7. In the Utilities drop-down menu, click on OBJ Import/Export
  8. Under the section that appears, click the Export button
  9. You'll see the Listener window fill with lots of co-ords. Wait until it finishes and then go to the directory you extracted the OBJ tools to and run GrabListener.exe It will pop up a save file window. Save your file with an OBJ extension
  10. Run UVMapper.exe. Go to File->Load Model and navigate to your OBJ. You should now see the UV map. It will be stretched to fit the window, but don't worry.
  11. Go to File->Save Texture Map. In the window that pops up, choose a resolution (the default should be 512x512) and save out a BMP of your UV map.
  12. Open Photoshop or whatever editing program you are using and import the BMP. Make it the base layer and build your texture over the top of it.

A pictorial guide for the GMax component:

A note concerning multi-object GMax files. The OBJ script only exports a single mesh object at a time. If you have a multi-part model (like a body for instance) you'll have to join them all together into a single mesh before exporting. You should also delete any bones and helper objects if there are any. Just make sure you don't save the GMax file after you do that!

Drunkside 02-17-2009 12:14 PM

Is the alpha channel black/white thingy the alpha treshold in gmax? thanks.

Quanon 02-17-2009 12:43 PM

Thank you DarthParametric, I wasn't aware of any good plugins for G-Max.
I'll include your handy post in the tutorial section aswell :)


Originally Posted by Drunkside (Post 2590417)
Is the alpha channel black/white thingy the alpha treshold in gmax? thanks.

Eh... no.

The alpha channel, I talk about is part of the skin/texture, its contained in the Targa file.

The 3D model has nothing to do with it.

Ferc Kast 02-17-2009 02:41 PM

Thanks, DarthParametric. I just tried that out on a new hilt and it worked perfectly. :) This'll save me time when trying to get a copy of any UV-Map I edit/make.

As for the main tutorial of this thread, it seems very helpful. :D

DarthParametric 02-18-2009 05:02 AM


Originally Posted by Quanon (Post 2590428)
Thank you DarthParametric, I wasn't aware of any good plugins for G-Max.

Because GMax can run MAXScript, pretty much any script for MAX is worth a try.

Quanon 02-18-2009 08:08 AM


Originally Posted by DarthParametric (Post 2590816)
Because GMax can run MAXScript, pretty much any script for MAX is worth a try.

So it seems :)

Still sucks they left that part out, as it makes the working progress flow more nicely, so to speak.

Quanon 02-23-2009 08:52 AM

A new tip, this time its all about the blending options.

To illustrate I'll create a sort of floor texture. This could be used
for example in a reskin of an area.

Its just one example, this stuff can be used in various spots of
texture/skin creating. Remember my Sith/ Jedi Quarren, I used this
trick on him aswell

Now onwards !

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