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Thread: A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

  1. #1
    Back in style Member Lentonius's Avatar
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    Default A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

    I have decided to write this tutorial based on the fact there isnt one really.

    what is skinning?

    Well, skinning is applying a texture to a model created in 3DS MAX.

    NOTE: people may talk of skinning when talking about 3DS MAX-
    SKINNING IN MAX IS DIFFERENT TO SKINNING IN THIS TUTORIAL

    REQUIRED TOOLS AND SOFTWARE:
    A) AN IMAGE EDITOR, SUCH AS PAINT SHOP PRO, AND ADOBE PHOTOSHOP.
    B) THE NVIDIA DDS PLUGIN
    C) 3DS MAX
    D) VERCINGETORIX'S CAS IMPORT/EXPORT

    OPTIONAL TOOLS/PROGRAMS:
    VERCINGETORIX'S X-PAK

    for this tutorial I am using Adobe Photoshop cs2

    Step 1
    Create a texture in Photoshop.



    For a basic texture I use 256x256 px and I make the background transparant. That means for parts of the texture not filled in there it will be transparant. This is important if you want a shield.

    Step 2
    KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO CREATE:

    Many a time I have rushed in to a texture without a clear idea of what I want to create.
    When you know what you want to create, simply look for pictures or books- anything to help you work from. It may seem more fun to just start, but it helps to get a clear image of what you would like
    For this skin I am making a Greek hoplite, so I have simply looked on GOOGLE images and found a good picture.



    I now have a good idea of what I wish to make, so I move on...


    Step 3
    OPEN YOUR MODEL IN 3DS MAX
    I will not go into opening models in MAX, because that can be found on other tutorials.

    Step 4
    UV CO-ORDINATES
    Once your model has been opened, you have to use the process of UV mapping to find out where each part of the texture goes.
    This can be fairly slow, so I will demonstrate with a couple of parts and then I will move on.



    Select part of the model. I am selecting the body. Click modifiers, uv co-ordinates, and UNWRAP UVW.



    Then, click the edit button as shown on the pic. This will bring up a grid filled with shapes. If you look, the map it gives you clearly resembles the body of the model. With this, in Photoshop, you can now begin to put the right shapes where they belong.

    Step 5:
    TEXTURING IN PHOTOSHOP
    Now, for this, we can CHEAT
    We can open up a texture and copy the shapes to give us a template to work from.
    This greek hoplite texture seems to look right...



    In photoshop, use the rectangular marquee tool to drag and select the body.
    Press SHIFT and then drag to select the head. Repeat with the others until you have a whole shape you can transfer. Copy it and paste to your new texture.


    Now, to be fairly honest, you can use your artistic talent to copy patterns you like, and texture the model.


    PROBLEMS:

    If you copy and paste your patterns onto your texture you may not be able to save the texture in DDS format properly.



    For this, you can clearly see there is more than 1 layer. You can always press CTRL-E to merge a layer, or if you choose to merge them all at once, press SHIFT-CTRL-E.
    REMEMBER- this solution is merging all the layers into the background


    SAVING-

    there are many ways to save your texture. For a shield you want there to be an ALPHA CHANNEL. This defines where the game will leave transparant holes and where it will use the texture.

    LOOK AT THIS ONE- A PRIME EXAMPLE OF AN ALPHA CHANNEL
    this is a faction banner used on the settlements on the campaign map...



    You can clearly see where there are meant to be gaps.


    ANYWAY- HOW TO SAVE YOUR TEXTURE
    I will not go on about why, as I do not understand how this works, but make your save box have these settings...



    Save it in DDS format first though!!!





    WELL DONE!!!.


    THIS IS ONE OF MY HOPLITES IN-GAME, USING THE TECHNIQUES USED HERE:



    BY USING THESE STEPS YOU MAY HAVE LEARNED SOMETHING NEW ABOUT SKINNING. THE SAME IDEA APPLIES TO ALL TEXTURES. LATER, IN MY NEXT TUTORIAL I WILL EXPLAIN THE PROBLEMS YOU CAN ENCOUNTER IN UV MAPPING, AND CREATING YOUR OWN PATTERNS...

    THANKS
    Hey, Im back

  2. #2

    Default Re: A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

    very great toturial, th best toturial about skinning i ever saw!

  3. #3

    Default Re: A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

    Excellent! with the other tutorial above, i start to understand of UVW mapping in 3Dsmax. I am completely new to 3Dsmax, almost no experience whatsoever, but complicated things always intruiged me. 3Dsmax is a perfect medicine for my sickness, I'll might just going to take out some courses and buy some books to learn more about modelling..
    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Back in style Member Lentonius's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

    no problemo. after just a couple of days at MAX i am now moddeling...

    it is surprisingly easy to pick up MAX...
    Hey, Im back

  5. #5

    Default Re: A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

    Damn nice tutorial! Skins turned out ace too!

  6. #6
    Back in style Member Lentonius's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

    thanks. i there is also an intermediate guide to skinning, which i wrote a week or so ago, so that may be of use...
    Hey, Im back

  7. #7

    Default Re: A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

    Your plume on that hoplite has some problems, good work though.
    Hegemonia Lead Modeller.

  8. #8
    Back in style Member Lentonius's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

    yeah, unfortunately that was the only screen of anything i could get, as i was strapped for time on this tutorial...
    Hey, Im back

  9. #9

    Default Re: A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

    Very good tutorial. Even I can follow it, that means it´s as idiot-proof as things possibly can get

  10. #10

    Default Re: A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

    where can i get 3ds max. and is there any way to make the units on the bar at the bottom not be peasants?

  11. #11

    Default Re: A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

    where can i get 3ds max.

    Download the trial version (find it using google) to try it out first.

    and is there any way to make the units on the bar at the bottom not be peasants?

    Yes, you have to make a relevent unit card which then goes into the dat/ui/
    directory (in the units folder as i recall, but im unable to check right now).

  12. #12

    Default Re: A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

    I have downloaded the free trial for 3ds Max but I noticed the full version is $3,495. Being brand new to this and looking at it as a hobby, I am hesitant to pay that much for it, are there any other tools that can be used in place of 3ds Max?

    Thanks

  13. #13
    Member Member Rand al'Thor's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

    yeah download gmax it's just as good and the buttons are the exact same so you can still understand the tutorials and it's free which is the best bit
    Carai an Caldazar!

  14. #14
    Member Member Rand al'Thor's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

    yeah download gmax it's just as good and the buttons are the exact same so you can still understand the tutorials and it's free which is the best bit
    Carai an Caldazar!

  15. #15
    Member Member Rand al'Thor's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Beginner's Guide To Skinning...

    yeah download gmax it's just as good and the buttons are the exact same so you can still understand the tutorials and it's free which is the best bit
    Carai an Caldazar!

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