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  1. #1

    Default Henford's Complete Skinning Tutorial

    I know i have been promising this for ages, but lately I have been suprised by the amount of people who still do not know how to properly UV skin.
    My first note is that im using the RenX game pack for this tutorial. gmax does not take plugins, so dont attempt to use them.
    First of all, you will need to download Chilli Skinner, a useful skinning tool. You can get it from:

    You will also need the DDS file encoding codec:
    Unzip this file into your "Plugins/File Formats" folder in either Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro. If the File Formats folder doesn't exist, create it.

    OK now that you have Chilliskinner, we will be using my Iraqi T-90 as an example.

    First, start off with your blank low poly model, open ChilliSkinner using:
    Make sure you name the portions of the tank which you want to appear as the color of the side you are playing HOUSECOLORx (x being a 2 digit number)
    Hide these portions using the hide selected button in chilliskinner (circled in picture)

    Next, select the whole tank and click Attach Polys on the Chilliskinner menu (circled with a number 1)
    Then, click Detach Polys (circled with a number 2).
    Your tank should now be seperated into all seperate faces like shown:

    Now, click the clone button (circled with a number 1)
    Then click the unfold polys button (number 2)
    The polys should take a while to unfold.
    When they do, press Optimise Polys (number 3)
    then press Arrange Polys (number 4)
    you should be left with a layout like shown:

    Now click Attach Polys (number 1). The whole layout will become 1 object.
    Now click Apply Planar Map (number 2)

    Now comes the bit where the skinning begins:
    Click the modify tab (number 1)
    Then click the Modifier List drop down menu (number 2)
    Then Click Unwrap UVW under that menu.
    Then click Edit (number 3)

    Then you will get a grey box similar to this.

    The white lines show the UV layout. Rearrange the layout using the flip, move and scale tools. Remember, by placing two different shapes over each other, they will share the same UV layout. Use this to your advantage. Place parts of the tank barrel, wheels, side panels over each other to reduce skinning time.

    Once you are happy with your your layout, make a screen capture with either Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, making sure that only what is inside the grey box is included. Make sure it is a perfect square. If the capture is too big, crop around the dark grey outline of the box. Now, resize this file. Reccommended sizes are 256 x 256, 512 x 512 or 1024 x 1024. If it isn't one of these sizes it probably wont work.

    Now save the layout as a .TGA file. Paint over the layout as this will appear on the tank while ingame. When you are finished, save the layout. This is what my T90 layout looked like when finished:

    Now you will have to save the file as a DDS, as this is what Generals uses to read the skin.

    Click Save As and select type as DDS. You will be confronted a box like this:

    Select the options that I have selected and click Save

    Make sure both the TGA and DDS file are saved in your ART/Textures folder in your Generals directory before proceeding.

    Now close Photoshop and back into RenX
    Click the Toggle visible button (number 1)
    Then the clone tank you made earlier will come up.
    Then click Select All(number 2)
    Then click Attach Polys (number 3)

    Now you will need to join the layout to the tank. To do this, click in the chilli skinner menu:
    Click Unhide All
    Then Click pick source and click the flat layout (number 1)
    Then Click pick target and click the tank (number 2)
    Then click Morph source to target (number 3)

    The 2 objects will now be one object.
    Now click Renegade Material Navigator (number 1)
    Then click New (number 2)
    In the menu that comes up, double click Bitmap then select "Targa Image File" as the file type in the box that comes up and select your TGA file you created earlier.
    Now click your image in the Main Material navigator window and then click apply image to target (number 3)

    Your skin is now applied! Well Done!!!

  2. #2


    dds saving, i thought u didnt need to change anything?

  3. #3


    well thats just the way i do it, no alpha reduces distortion i think

  4. #4


    Very nice,

    but henford optimize the skin a bit more,
    no use in placing the wheels on each other if you wont resize the skin!

    i mean now there is just a empty spot..

  5. #5


    hey I whipped it up quickly so I picked a basic model.
    It took me the good part of 3 hours to write that!
    Im happy with the skin anyway

  6. #6


    i didnt say it sucked,

    i love it! i never could get chili skinner to work!

  7. #7


    ok cool thats why i made the tutorial for

  8. #8


    Henford I will be working on this once I get home..

    and I can finally start skinning my models

  9. #9


    lol very gd quick tutorial henford..lol i was gonna do the tuts for ppl 2 learn 2 skin but seem u beat me 2 it..hehe o well looks like i'll just wonder back 2 3dsmax5 and leave notepad alone.. :lol:

  10. #10


    very good henford

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