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Author Topic: [TUTORIAL] Creating a customized skin  (Read 1196 times)

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June 10, 2017, 01:44:11 AM
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Offline Pegg

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[TUTORIAL] Creating a customized skin
« on: June 10, 2017, 01:44:11 AM »

(NOTE: This thread was created so that people stopped using the old outdated skin tutorial from 2010.)

So, you think you're cool enough to make your very own custom skin? Well hold on there, buddy, because it's a bit harder than you may think.

INGREDIENTS:

    SLADE3
    An image editor that has rad transparency on PNGs (I recommend Paint.NET)
    A lot of time
    About 5 dozen eggs


Section 1: Setup

Alright, first things first. We need to make the sprites, which is easier said than done.

There are a lot of specifics for skins, so here's what you'll need to know.


Colors

8BDM uses certain colors on skins in order to make sure when you pick up weapons, your skin switches to that color. The default colors are specific shades of blue and cyan, which is why in player setup all of the skins are this color.

#0078FC, or color 198 in the 8BDM palette.
#00F8FC, or color 192 in the 8BDM palette.

There are also 2 other colors, black and white.

#000000, or color 0 in the 8BDM palette.
#FFFFFF, or color 4 in the 8BDM palette.

These are important to know, because 8BDM is very picky with it's colors. An off color could mean that it wont translate correctly and it won't work in-game.

Now that we know the colors, we can actually start making the sprites now.

Spriting

Open your image editing software and create a new image.

I've created a template here so that it may be easier to understand what exactly you're doing.



Now, before you do anything, please note that you do NOT have to make your skin within the template. You can organize them however you want, and I'd encourage you to do so.

Back on track, you may be confused by a few things in this image, which I'll explain here.

Below each classification (Walk 1, FrontRight, etc.) is a set of numbers or letters in brackets. These are used for naming conventions when compiling your skin. Before we get into that though, we first need to make the sprites. You will need to make an equivalent for every image in the template shown above.


This is the part where you go and make the sprites. I can't really give an 'art' tutorial, but I can however give a few tips.

    Make sure everything in your rotations are consistent height-wise. You don't wanna have a character's arm be in 5 different places in just one rotation!
    If your character is completely symmetrical, you can probably get away with mirroring the Walk 1 frame to use as the Walk 3 frame.
    Try to make it look Megaman-y! Your skin will fit in with the rest of them if it does.
    If you're still stuck, ask for pointers from artists within the community. Asking for help is generally helpful.



Section 2: Compiling your skin

Assuming you have your rotations complete, it's time to compile them into a .pk3 file.

First, you have to take every individual frame and put them into separate PNGs. This can be very time consuming, but there's a tool that can help you do this in seconds.

After you have all of your frames in separate image files, you have to name them correctly. This is where the letters and numbers from the template come in.

Here's how it works: The first 4 characters of the filename define what set of sprites it is. The last 2-4 define the specific rotation of the frame.

For example, here's the base skin's front frame.


PLY1A1

PLY1 is the set of sprites, A is the frame (idle) and 1 is the rotation number (front), hence why it's called PLY1A1. It's pretty easy to understand once you get the hang of it. The other frames follow similar formats.

Frame letters:

A = Idle frame

B, C, D, E = Walking frames

F, G = Firing frames

H = Pain frame

Rotation numbers:

x1 = Front

x5 = Back

x6x4 = BackRight

x7x3 = Side

x8x2 = FrontRight


Please note that "x" in this situation refers to any of the the frame letters.

Now that you have your frames in separate images, you now have to compile them into a .pk3 file

Putting your skin into SLADE

Open up SLADE3, assuming that you downloaded it earlier, and create a new zip archive.

Create a new folder and call it 'sprites', then import all of your image files into the sprites folder.

And now, presenting the most tedious part of the process: toying around with offsets. Go into your sprites folder and click the first frame, which should be the front idle frame. It'll look something like this:


Click that tiny little button at the bottom, and a window like this should pop up.



Click the dropdown menu and select "Monster (GL-friendly)", which should set the offsets for you automatically. Make sure to click the save icon up at the top under "Entry Contents", and then do the exact same thing for all the other frames.

Finally, we need to create a SKININFO file. What's a SKININFO file? I don't know. I hear it's magical, though.


In all seriousness, a SKININFO file is what you use to define the skin so Zandronum knows what it is. Exit out of the sprites folder if you haven't already. This is where it gets tricky. Create a new entry and name it SKININFO. Click it and on the right there should be a button that says "View as text". Click that, and paste the following code into the textbox:

Code: [Select]
{
name = " "
sprite =
class = Megaman
dsnoway = LAND
dsoof = LAND
dspldeth = MEGADEAT
dspdiehi = MEGADEAT
dsplpain = MEGAPAIN
dstaunt = dsnone
gender = other
}

The missing spaces can be filled with:

name = What you want your skin to appear as on the Player Setup tab
sprite = The first 4 digits of your skin frames (Ex. PLY1)


You can customize it a bit with sounds, so if your character is heavy you can change LAND to FATLAND. You can also change the pain sounds from MEGAPAIN to MM2PAIN, MM3PAIN, or MM4PAIN.

Now, click Save As and save your file as a .pk3 file in your skins folder (which can be found in the same place you installed 8BDM).

Section 3: Testing and FAQ

If you saved your skin in your skins folder, you're all ready to go. Just check out your frames in Roll's mirror, be sure to test out different weapons.

FAQ:

Q: I got an error about missing frames! How can I fix this?
A: Go check and make sure you have equivalent frames for each frame on the template in your pk3. If you don't, make one and put it in.

Q: I got an error about bad characters!
A: It means you named your file incorrectly. Go compare your filenames to the ones shown earlier to make sure they're named correctly.

Q: My skin doesn't change color with weapons!
A: That means you used the incorrect colors, and you'll have to recolor and recompile the whole thing. Yeah, it's not fun.

Q: My skin faces the wrong way!
A: You're gonna have to reverse the frames that are facing the wrong way and recompile them.

Q: My skin moves around a lot while animating!
A: You did the offsets wrong.

Q: why do i need eggs
A: you need egg to shot web

Q: Can other people see my skin?
A: Only if they have it in their skin folders too.

Section 4: Optional things and Conclusion

Skins can have more than 5 rotations, too. You can add 3 extra frames for a total of 8 rotations. They're additional FrontRight, Side, and BackRight frames. The codes for these are x2, x3, and x4 respectively.

You can also add custom sound effects and a taunt to your skin, but I'm pretty sure there's a tutorial for that somewhere, so I wont go into that here.


Anyways, I hope that this tutorial was more helpful than the older one, and I hope that it can guide newer players to make better skins because of it.

dont do megaman edits kiddos
they're bad


 

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