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Making skins


Making Skins

Written by Seal (Matt Fabian)

This tutorial assumes that you know how to extract files from the XCC Mixer, and already have Paint shop Pro/Photoshop set up with the DDS Plug-in. If this sounds foreign to you, you may want to follow this tutorial first. This tutorial also uses Paint Shop Pro 7.

First, let's extract "c_nod_mgo.dds" from your always.dat folder. You should have a skin that looks like the Nod Officer. Open it with Paint Shop Pro (psp). Click "No" when it asks you if it should display MIP maps.

Our first step is to gray scale it. Go to "Color," then click Grey Scale." Next, go to "Layers," then click "Properties…" Set the Opacity to 65%. Your skin should look like this.


Figure 1

Next, we need a camo pattern. I use a plug-in called VDL Adrenaline that automatically makes camo patterns. You can download one here. For the sake of this tutorial, let's use this camo pattern:

Figure 2

Now, copy the Nod Officer skin and paste it onto the camo pattern. You should get something like this:


Figure 3

Now comes the tricky part. We want to remove all the red from the original skin. Copy and paste both the above skin and the original skin into MsPaint. In MsPaint, you need to manually remove all the red. Note: Some people may rather delete the red using the "color replacer" in psp. However, I find that psp will not give you the desired results and in some cases, may take you longer. This process may seem tedious, but it's worth it in the end. With practice, you can do it relatively quickly. This took me 1 minute: (yes, I timed myself)


Figure 4

Now, we need to merge the two. With both the skins in paint (Figure 3 and Figure 4), select Figure 4 using the select button ( ). Then click the button below to change the background clear ( ). Note: MSPaint already has white as the default background color, but just in case, right-click white in the color box on the bottom of the screen. Now, all we need to do is drag one over the other. Make sure they are aligned perfectly.


Figure 5

Select the skin and copy and paste it back into psp. Save it in your Renegade data folder. When you save it, you will get a huge options menu. The only thing you will need to change is the "Save Format." Change that to "DXT1." If the Save button is disabled, that means your skin is not 256x256. DDS files can only be 16x16, 32x32, 64x64, 128x128, 256x256, 512x512, etc.