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Basic skin tutorial

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How to Skin a Trifighter


I'm not an expert and don't pretend to be, but a friend asked me to do this, so here I am  :D



3ds Max

-Texporter Plugin (not necessary, but it helps a lot)

Adobe Photoshop (any version will do, though this tut uses CS2)

-Grunge brushes

A lot of time


You've just modeled and UV mapped a Confederacy Trifighter. Now it's time to skin it.


1) Go to Texporter and set the imagesize to be 512 x 512, uncheck polygon fill, backface cull, mark overlaps, and set the colorize by setting to be constant with the color white.


If you don't have Texporter, then take a screenshot of the UV map and crop it.


2) Save your UV map as a jpg file and open it with Photoshop




3) Duplicate the background layer and fill the original background layer with black. Set the layer you just duplicated from Normal to Screen.


4) It's very useful to have good references of the thing you're skinning, go to a picture and use the eyedropper tool to take a color sample


5) Make a new layer and fill it with the sampled color


6) You'll need some good grunge brushes, go to burn and set it to 8% and on highlights. Burn the entire layer until it looks like there's enough variation, be sure not to overdo it.


7) Go to dodge and set it also to 8% and highlights. Use a different grunge brush and do the same thing you did with burn.




8 ) It's time to do add further variation to your base layer. Create a new layer and set it to soft light. Use a grunge brush and paint randomly with white on a brush opacity of 67-70%



9) Add a layer mask to that layer http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g154/codeuser/Button1.jpg and keeping the opacity the same, paint randomly with black.


10) Make another soft light layer, and do the same as step 9, except with grey


11) Repeat step 9, except with another yellowish color (I used RGB value 121, 119, 109) Fiddle with the opacities of these layers to get the desired pattern.




12) Now it's time to start skinning on specific things. Coloring/logos/markings are up first. Take another color sample and paint the markings on. A useful thing is to use a 1 pixel brush on 100% opacity and draw the outline of your marking, then to use the magic wand tool and fill it in with the rest of the color. In this particular skin, use overlay or soft light, sometimes with more than one layer if using soft light, and play with the opacity. I went offcanon due to the way I UVed this (I care more about skin resolution). It's also very useful to use groups for your layers to save yourself time from scrolling and searching.




13) With coloring on the wing done, we can fake geometry and add a feeling of height to the wings, as if it was higher poly and smoother. Shadows and highlights do the trick for this. I noticed on one picture that there is a small extrusion inwards on the front part of the wing. Ignoring it through the model, I'm going to fake it on the skin. Do the same outline, magic wand, and fill trick used with the coloring except with white. Then set the layer blending option to multiply and go to layer blending effects. Turn on inner shadow with the only change of making the distance a value of zero.




14) Make a new layer below that layer and merge them together. This will stop the real time updating on the skin. Make the new layer multiply to get the same effect. Set foreground color to white and with a 5 pixel fuzzy edged brush, paint white over the edges of the shadow where that particular object ends and it leads to another secion to get rid of them.


15) Duplicate the base layer with the coloring. Use dodge with a 1 pixel, 93% opacity, highlights brush and dodge what would be the upper edge of the ridge.




16) That's all the geometry faked on this portion so now to do the height/specular lighting. Duplicate the base layer with the dodged ridge on it. Use a 65 pixel dodge brush on highlights with a 12 percent opacity. Dodge the middle portion of the wings. Use a burn brush with the same settings except with 8% opacity and burn the outer edges of the wings. It should make it look more realistic and give it a raised feeling.




17) That's it for the wing. Let's move onto the cockpit. Take another color sample and overlay that. Then use a 1px dodge brush on highlights with 93% again to dodge the edge of an extrusion on the cockpit. Then burn in some shadows around it.


18) Using the same settings on the dodge, move further up and dodge a horizontal line followed by a horizontal burn with the same settings as the dodge directly underneath it.


19) Using the selection marquee (holding alt and dragging on an existing selection will deselect while shift adds to it), dodge two rectangles, above and below the extrusion.


20) Now do the same height effect on this section also.




21) From here on, it should be relatively simple to do the rest of the parts, just repeat what was done for the wing and cockpit for the other sections, changing color where needed, using different shades of whatever color, painting on whatever markings there are.


22) Now we get to the eyes. Use the ellipse selection tool (click and hold on the rectangle marquee) and fill it with red. Rotate it. Make the top and bottom edges a very dark grey, almost black and at the beginning of the top part, put a bit of yellow there. Then make a new layer and paint on the gleam of the eye using a low opacity white brush.


That's it, you've made a Trifighter skin! Congrats and good luck with the rest of your skins in the future.





[3:52:33 PM] Arbiter says: Paracetamoxyfrusebendroneomycin would cure all of his diseases....

[3:52:47 PM] Arbiter says: Except with the side effect of probable death.

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There are quite a few modelers who know how to UV map and use Texporter, which is pretty much self explanatory. This was made for that group of people. There are better tutorials for UV mapping than I could write.



[3:52:33 PM] Arbiter says: Paracetamoxyfrusebendroneomycin would cure all of his diseases....

[3:52:47 PM] Arbiter says: Except with the side effect of probable death.

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