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Top Ten Tips for Skinner Begginners


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#1 HastyNancingEnt

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 07:46 PM

I have compiled a list of 10 of the most helpful hints for upstart skinners.

1. Have A Plan- Have a sketch, Concept art, or picture as a guide for what you want your skin to look like.

2. Collect your Assets- Have a combination of pictures, textures, even hand drawn pictures (scan them of course) to use on your skin.

3. Use effects- To make your skin better, Use FX on your photo editor. This normally will increase the appeal of your skin.

4. Divide and Conquer- The best way to skin is to split each part (face, vambrace, etc) into different layers. This allows for layer effects that cant be acheived on only one layer.

5. Take your Time- The longer time you take the better your skin will most likely turn out.

6. You first skins will suck- It is true. It always has been. Dont be a perfectionist on your first attempts. None of us were born skinning masters (unless your Nertea :shiftee:)

7. Remeber the Factors- Dont forget to include the 3D factors into your skin. Remember to include lighting, Distortion caused by movement, and other factors that come to mind. Each of these effect your skin in one way or another..

8. Dont Rely on Pictures- Pictures are an ok asset but dont rely on them. In most cases you wont find a picture of what you need in the exact way you want it. Most movie photos dont show a 360 degreess layout of an armor so try to improvsie.

9.K.I.S.S.- Keep it simple Stupid! Dont make things Excessive or overdone.

10. TEST TEST TEST! Dont just make a skin an expect it to work. Test the skin on a nonmoving model and an animated one. Animation can distort the skin and cause it too look bad. Testing is the Key to all sucessful skinners.

Hope this is helpful!

P.S.- I am open to critic on this list from experienced skinners besides myself.
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#2 ched

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 09:13 PM

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#3 Celeglin

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 09:36 PM

Excellent, but let me add a number 11.

11. Once you start getting better, you'll realise that you'll be making a lot of layers in your Photoshop/PaintShop/whatever image. Try to keep these neat and organised (name them if you can) because you'll soon end up with intercate skins that may have a hundred layers (I speak from experience :p) and having easy to find layers will save you a lot of time near the end.

This is a tip I need to start following one of these days...

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#4 Grim

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 03:03 AM

Excellent recommandations.

and never forget K.I.S.S. ! Anyway in basic BFME you won't notice much the details so make it simple and well balanced for the colour.
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#5 HastyNancingEnt

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 02:54 PM

Thank you. I came up with them one day and accidently erased all of it. So i finally decided to recome up with the :sad:! I have bee so busy lately that i am incapable to do lots of mod work. So i feel that by releasing tutorials and other stuff will suit my need to skin by helping others first.
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#6 Nertea

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 02:28 AM

Might as well add a few of my own as well for anybody's benefit

11. b) For organization, Photoshop does allow you to group your layers into groups, so you can organize that way if you wish. Alternatively, you can merge layers once you're done with them, though I don't recommend it.

12. You cannot see details from a distance. This is very true with .dds files, as they use a resized version at different LODs. If you want your skins to look anything other than blobs at long range, you may have to exaggerate certain parts - these mainly shadows and highlights. This may make the skin look less 'realistic' at closer range, but exaggerated highlights and shadows really show in BFME. Save the perfection for a Half-Life 2 mod.

13. Resizing a photo/larger image will generally blur it, even when shrinking. It is advisable to have the Sharpen tool ready for touch ups, or be ready to rebuild an area entirely.

14. Do not overuse filters/layer effects.... if you must use them extensively, make it so that an outsider cannot tell that they have been used. Nothing ruins a skin like being able to pick out the effects used.

15. Study the effect of light on the materials that you're drawing/editing. Every surface reflects light in a different way, so highlights should be placed accordingly.

16. The Photoshop paintbrush is the most powerful tool a skinner has, in my opinion. You can do nearly anything with it, so get to know it very well.




I have a skinning tutorial that I was working on, if people want it I will finish writing it and release it.

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#7 {IP}Gil-Galad

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 04:09 AM

Of course we want it what do you think, Master of skinning.

#8 Lauri

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 10:28 AM

Nertea, He is the master of all Skinners, The Lord of all Brushes......

Of course we want a skinnin' tut

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#9 Lavskaegge

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 10:30 AM

It would be my bible.

#10 {IP}Gil-Galad

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 05:30 PM

and my idol to worship of course

#11 HastyNancingEnt

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 01:50 AM

16. The Photoshop paintbrush is the most powerful tool a skinner has, in my opinion. You can do nearly anything with it, so get to know it very well.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Can you elaborate on that Nertea?
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#12 Nertea

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 04:10 AM

It'd probably make a good subject for a tutorial to write, as explaining it would be long.

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#13 Celeglin

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 09:38 AM

16. The Photoshop paintbrush is the most powerful tool a skinner has, in my opinion. You can do nearly anything with it, so get to know it very well.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I guess this one totally depends on the type of skinner you are. I, personally, never use the paint brush tool unless making layer masks.

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#14 Holy Light

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 05:09 PM

Don't forget adobe photoshop has a excellent resizing algorithm, meaning you can start out very big do all the details you want and then shrink it to the right size. chances are that photoshop will get those pixels in just the right place alot better than you can. (if that was obvious please forgive me)

Now that was photoshop, I am just starting modding bfme2, not sure this is the right place for this but could some one explain how to skin :p

1.) You bind meshes with bones using WWskin in space warps right?

2.) Do you specify the texture in renx? if so why doesn't it like dds files which all the other units have. (really confused here)

3.) When creating new models is the correct way to export a skl and skn, put them into a art/W3d/"modelname" folders and amend the asset dat with it, and then add the same models too the W3d.big file? If so when exporting the skn do you select a "Hierarchical Model" or a "Simple Mesh".

#15 lycan

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 05:29 PM

you idiot, why did you revive a 2 and a half year old topic.

#16 lloyd

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 06:36 PM

hello im working on a new rotwk mod children of hurnin and all of tolkiens other books if your good at skining or moding or skripting send me your email at REMOVED thanks.


Edited by lloyd, 31 January 2013 - 06:22 PM.


#17 Nertea

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 07:19 PM

you idiot, why did you revive a 2 and a half year old topic.

You idiot, it's a PINNED THREAD. By definition it CANNOT be revived because it is ALWAYS up there.

And I would seriously recommend against drawing bigger than things should be. You will run into the mixed pixel problem and end up with a badly contrasting skin - anything more than 2x the resolution will be practically invisible.

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#18 Holy Light

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 08:28 PM

you idiot, why did you revive a 2 and a half year old topic.

You idiot, it's a PINNED THREAD. By definition it CANNOT be revived because it is ALWAYS up there.

And I would seriously recommend against drawing bigger than things should be. You will run into the mixed pixel problem and end up with a badly contrasting skin - anything more than 2x the resolution will be practically invisible.


mixed pixel problem? No nevermind that, I am going to learn how to make a new unit from scratch to finish and then I am going to write a complete guide to it becuase one is needed!

Edited by Holy Light, 30 May 2008 - 09:35 PM.


#19 lycan

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 11:09 PM

you idiot, why did you revive a 2 and a half year old topic.

You idiot, it's a PINNED THREAD. By definition it CANNOT be revived because it is ALWAYS up there.

And I would seriously recommend against drawing bigger than things should be. You will run into the mixed pixel problem and end up with a badly contrasting skin - anything more than 2x the resolution will be practically invisible.


:O my bad ok im the idiot in this case sorry @ holy light.

#20 ttandchotmail

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 08:43 AM

G'day to all

I was looking through this thread to make sure I'm doing things correctly and I think I have but one thing I havn't seen on this thread is Texture/picture size limits.

Is their a limit to the size of a texture/picture that we wrap around the models? Does the size of a texture/picture effect anything?

Kind regards for future replies

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