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Thread: quetz’s advanced skinning tutorial

  1. #1

    Default quetz’s advanced skinning tutorial

    quetz’s advanced skinning tutorial

    this thread is from the dev forum but i thought i would share what i know with those who wish to learn some cool tricks. it may look complicated in the text but once you try it it is quite simple.
    you should be able to use these techniques in most image editors, but only micrografx picture publisher [the software i use] has the intuitive tools to make it easy. you can find free versions around or can buy it from around £5.

    for high resolution units re-size skins to 512. then use the unsharp mask tool to re focus the image and to use new textures to add detail ~ remember re-sizing alone doesn’t add anything.

    the most important area of skinning as i see it is...

    cloning is where you copy one part of one image onto another image using a cloning brush tool.

    in the image below you can see an example of cloning...

    step 1: download a PHOTO of the image which i want to put on the skin. here i got an image of a shield and cut it out exactly to the sides of the shield. i then re-size it to the same size as the shield on the skin.

    step 2: select the clone brush in your image editor [i use; micrografx picture publisher {it is the best for this task}]. then change the size of the brush to 230 pixels ~ which is the same size as the shield on the skin and the one you have re-sized to match it. now place the clone brush over the shield so that it matched the edge of that shield, then go over to the skin image, click on the bar of the window then the software will know that this is the image to be cloned onto. now hover the second brush over the shield on the skin until it matches the edges exactly and left click. your image will now have been trasplanted for the photo to the skin. click save.

    notes: your unit will now display that shield in game. as the shield was from a photo it will look far more realistic than anything you could paint. sometimes there may be white areas on a photo where the light has hit it, you can remove this by painting over it. alternatively as painting will flatten the image and put it out of shape, you can use the clone brush again to copy one part of the shield to another.

    what i do is e.g. if there is a light glint at the top of the shield [and you don’t like how it looks in game?], then flip the original image that you cloned from, then repeat the procedure above to copy from shield to shield. you will need to make the brush much smaller and set it to 100% ‘feather’ ~ this will give a gentle grade to how you image is cloned so it will blend in. you can also set the transparency to e.g. 70% to help blend the images.


    on the image above you will see how i made the borders for my Corinthian [in STW_III] banners again using the cloning tool. you will see that the cloning brush has a length of ‘350’, then that the panel on the right with the gold leaf photo has been copied onto the left hand panel which is the Corinthian banner. i have move the cloning tool down to show the line left on the image and just planted it randomly to show you the result.

    in the example here [below] is the Corinthian shield for the elite hoplites. i have numbered the steps taken to produce the image.

    1. find the Greek vase photo from the net with the image you desire, here it is a pegasus. note that such images are often broken i had to paint some of this image again using the cloning tool to patch up the missing parts.

    2. i re-sized the image so that the pegasus would fit onto the shield. i then changed the hue of the image to blue.

    3. i then used what i call my ‘magic tone’, this is a good colour to copy and use [use the eyedropper tool to use the colour from the image], it is much better than e.g. using the greyscale feature to turn the image black and white. i use it for all my black shades and at 80-90% to tone down colours so that they don’t look too cartoony.

    3,b. once this shade is selected, use the paintbrush under the setting ‘colour’ [most image editors have a similar kind of brush], to paint the entire image grey.

    4. make a copy of your shield/skin, now copy the finished pegasus from your image onto the shield using the clone tool. be careful not to paint over too much of the shield. then use the clone tool to go over any edges to blend the images.
    as the image and the copied version are the same there is a clever trick for this; use the square brush for your clone tool, click on the bar of the window for the copy [the one without the pegasus on it] so as to select it. now locate your clone tool in any corner and click ONCE, the first part of the tool is now located. then click on the bar of the image you have just painted your pegasus on, then locate the second part of the tool onto the same corner as you did on the first one, then click once and click undo.
    you now have the images perfectly mirrored pixel for pixel one onto the other, so you can use the now set clone tool to copy parts of the original shield onto the edited shield with your pegasus on. if you use the ‘feather’ feature of the tool, you will find it blends the images nicely, you can maginfy the images until they fit your screen and you can go up to the edges nicely.


    to add new faces from photo’s or other images; cut out a face from your image and re-size it to the same as the existing face on the skin. the best ways to locate your clone brush is by giving it a size of say 10 pixels and placing it anywhere you can find a line ~ usually the mouth or eyes are best for this. once you have both images selected [remember that both images must be the same kind of image [e.g. tga], just marry the image of one face onto the other using the 100% ‘feather’ option on the brush so that the two images blend perfectly.

    in the image above stage one is where just the eye has been copied from the face to the skin, stage 2 is the face when most of it has been added. this is just approximate to show the process, if you take your time you can blend the images perfectly. note the face use was just to show effect.
    Formerly quetzalcoatl. Proud leader of STW3 and member of the RTR, FATW and QNS teams.

  2. #2

    Default Re: quetz’s advanced skinning tutorial

    Great job , quetzal , you should put it in the RTW workshop subforum

  3. #3

    Default Re: quetz’s advanced skinning tutorial

    Hi theo, yea good idea, I just put it here for the fans.
    Formerly quetzalcoatl. Proud leader of STW3 and member of the RTR, FATW and QNS teams.

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