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Want to learn how to skin better...

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T.A.Sharps

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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:24 pm

Post Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:45 pm

Want to learn how to skin better...

Are there any good sources for learning how to skin well?

I've recently got really into modding my own skins for flying. I would really like to create some Naval schemes, but looking at other nice work, I have no clue how to make a basic skin color lay out that would be realistic. Right now I just take an existing skin and add my own markings and images.

I got them worked out to look pretty good, but I would love to be able to lay down a full paint job that is real looking and not just one dimensional "paint".

I hope the only way to do this isn't by painting with single pixels?

Also,
I'm not able to fly online right now, are you able to use custom skins online?
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Heinkel-162

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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:57 am

Post Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:18 am

Re: Want to learn how to skin better...

I hope the only way to do this isn't by painting with single pixels?


Unfortunately yes, only 2d image.

Also,
I'm not able to fly online right now, are you able to use custom skins online?


Yes you just select them in your plane loadout screen.
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{HVY-E}Jinxx

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Post Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Want to learn how to skin better...

T.A.Sharps wrote:Are there any good sources for learning how to skin well?

I've recently got really into modding my own skins for flying. I would really like to create some Naval schemes, but looking at other nice work, I have no clue how to make a basic skin color lay out that would be realistic. Right now I just take an existing skin and add my own markings and images.

I got them worked out to look pretty good, but I would love to be able to lay down a full paint job that is real looking and not just one dimensional "paint".

I hope the only way to do this isn't by painting with single pixels?

Also,
I'm not able to fly online right now, are you able to use custom skins online?



Go here: http://www.simmerspaintshop.com

They have FULL tutorial sections for GIMP, PSP and Photo Shop.
One of the best resources for skinners around. Not just for IL-2 either.

S!
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warbird1969

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Post Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:21 am

Re: Want to learn how to skin better...

no more to say ....... :shock:
geat site to learn how to ..... :D
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HH_Blaze

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Post Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:24 am

Re: Want to learn how to skin better...

I would suggest trying GIMP as it is free, and easy enough to use once you get the hang of it. If you do get it, I also suggest that you get version 2.2.17.

I did my first skin using Paint :roll: , but wanted better looking skins too, so I started looking in the forums (mostly Ubi forums back then) and found out how the skinners did their magic - and it all seemed very daunting to me, but I stuck with it. As Jinxx said, Simmerspaintshop is a great place to start. Read through the tutorials, there's a wealth of information in them. Also, I would suggest downloading and studying a template or two, you will see how all the layers make up the finished skin, and it will help you to understand how skinning works. It's best to begin skinning on an existing template, unless you're willing to go full steam ahead and make your own, just be ready for hours and hours and hours..... of work.
No matter what your choice, you will find many experienced skinners here who can help you with any questions you may have. Good luck with your skinning projects and don't be afraid to show us some screenshots of your work. :wink:
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Planemad

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Post Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:42 pm

Re: Want to learn how to skin better...

Its not too hard, I'll upload some pics later..

But first - MAKE LOT OF VOID.bmp BACK UP's!!!!!!!!!

Secondly - I use gimp so this is how you do it in gimp (SEE BELOW)

Thirdly - make it a RGB (Red Green Blue) and remove all white!

Fourthly - Add an new white layer

Then - Add a new transparent layer and use the PATH tool to plot around what you want to colour in

Choose a colour

Pain

Repeat

Done - I'll add pictures hold on

Planemad
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KG64_Cnopicilin

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Post Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:05 pm

Re: Want to learn how to skin better...

You can make from void, which lets you customize the skin a lot more, but you can also use templates.

With some template even the worst paintjob looks good.
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Fireskull

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Post Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:24 pm

Re: Want to learn how to skin better...

HH_Blaze wrote:I would suggest trying GIMP as it is free, and easy enough to use once you get the hang of it. If you do get it, I also suggest that you get version 2.2.17.

I did my first skin using Paint :roll: , but wanted better looking skins too, so I started looking in the forums (mostly Ubi forums back then) and found out how the skinners did their magic - and it all seemed very daunting to me, but I stuck with it. As Jinxx said, Simmerspaintshop is a great place to start. Read through the tutorials, there's a wealth of information in them. Also, I would suggest downloading and studying a template or two, you will see how all the layers make up the finished skin, and it will help you to understand how skinning works. It's best to begin skinning on an existing template, unless you're willing to go full steam ahead and make your own, just be ready for hours and hours and hours..... of work.
No matter what your choice, you will find many experienced skinners here who can help you with any questions you may have. Good luck with your skinning projects and don't be afraid to show us some screenshots of your work. :wink:



Good day,

I took a similar evolution described here.

However, I would recommend getting the lastest supported GIMP. What I mean is this: Since you are new to this, get the latest GIMP matched to your type of operating system with an installer. These are available at the GIMP website. Make sure to test the download for corrupt files.

An advanced graphics artist would eventually get the latest Python scripts and add some plug-ins to the GIMP, but only keep that in mind for now.


I highly recommend getting the latest Resynthesizer plug-in for GIMP, if it is not included. The resynthesizer allows you to remove an element (such as a roundel on a skin) and the GIMP will automatically fill the space behind it with the surrounding texture. Resynthesizer is a big time saver and results in clean mods to a skin when something is removed and replaced with something else. Resynthesizer appeared in GIMP, as well as a bunch of other features, even before it was seen in Photoshop, so this gives you an idea of how the free GIMP is very powerful.

A GIMP tutorial is coming from me in the near future which will be in the tutorial forum.



Fireskull :)
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Planemad

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Post Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:45 pm

Skinning with GIMP

Here like I promised :arrow: And sorry Fireskull I beet you to it :wink:

Skinning with GIMP 2.6

Image

Step 1
Choose what planes you want to skin - I chose the Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-1 then copy its Void in case you mess it up.

Image

Step 2
Change the MODE into a RGB by clicking Image then choosing mode RGB

Image

Step 3
Now time to remove all the white from the skin - to do this go to layer and move the cursor down to TRANSPARENCY and click COLOUR TO ALPHA...

Image

And this should pop up Click Ok

Image

Now you have just the internals (rivets and stuff) on a grey and dark grey checked background Create a new WHITE layer by pressing SHIFT - CONTROL - N

Image

Step 4
Merge the new white layer down by clicking on the GREEN arrow facing downwards

Image

Step 5
Select the PATH tool and CLICK around what you want to paint

Image
Then click enter and create a new layer
Image

Step 6
The choose the colour you want to pain with by clicking on the Black and White box's (my black and white box's are different colours as I have already chosen my colours)

Image

Step 7
Merge all the layer down - like so

Image

Step 8
Go back to Image and make sure you convert the image into a BMP by going to MODE --> INDEXED

Image

This should come up just change the number to 256 and then click CONVERT

Image

Step 9
Click SAVE AS

Image
This should come up - Call it what ever you want to call it and IT MUST HAVE .BMP on the END
Image

Step 10
Close GIMP and Start up Il-2 and Fly you wonderful new skin ::)) Happy Days

And here is the skin
Image

Planemad
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KG64_Cnopicilin

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Post Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:15 pm

Re: Want to learn how to skin better...

Save it to PNG before indexing it for easy editing afterwards!

planemad, where did you get those oil splash brushes?
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Planemad

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Post Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:20 pm

Re: Want to learn how to skin better...

I got them and other ones that look cool here http://www.noupe.com/gimp/1000-free-hig ... ushes.html and I got some other Brush types from M4T here http://mission4today.com/index.php?name=Downloads&c=52 and Google'd for some.

Planemad
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Fireskull

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Post Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:52 pm

Re: Want to learn how to skin better...

Hi,


I made this into a Sticky Topic, at least for while.




Fireskull :)
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T.A.Sharps

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Post Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:46 pm

Re: Want to learn how to skin better...

Thanks everyone!

Sounds like my basic aproach is sound for light work. I use Photoshop Elements. Though it is hard to get images to look totally smooth and not "pixally".

Basically I layer where the first is the Void, the next is the stock skin with desired paint base, then I paint with colored shapes for the layer aspect, and click and paste a photo or some image for what I want.

After it is all arranged I then erase the stock skin under the graphics I added, then sharpen the Void layer. to have the lines show through.

Then when it is all finale I save as BMP, copy and paste it back into a 8bit BMP and it is ready to go.

I will have to check out the GIMP and tutorials so I can go full throttle with skinning, at least for IL2. I always used to build models, and this is way cooler to be able to fly what you make too.

I would post an example here but the only way to upload a picture is from a URL not a file on your computer.
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bgn

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Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:30 am

Post Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:16 am

Re: Want to learn how to skin better...

Here's my four pennorth..

My standard approach to painting aircraft is to develop the 'base' in blue or grey, as required, and then finish the top surfaces. It's not a detail-heavy approach because my preferred style of skin-painting is more subtle and impressionistic- erring towards a persuasive use of colour and a deft touch with camouflaging. You can't see all the rivets in a photo ! : )

Here's how to rustle up a quick 'base' texture, which is the 'undercoat', so to speak...
(1) Look at the 'void' texture- is it just lines? If so, oops. Or., conversely, now's your chance to improve on that.
(2) If you are working on the FW189, JU88, say, go for a 2048 skin. Detail becomes pixelated close-up on the original texture size.
(3) Obtain a line drawing for the aircraft in question (Google) and the colour palette used by that air-force. German blue is different to Russian, etc.
(4) White-out over ONE of each structure that is repeated, ie one upper wing, one lower, etc. Go over the edges. The He111 exemplifies why this matters.
(5) Using a point-to-point tool selection, copy a bit of the line-drawing, for example, a wing. Open a new layer at 80+% on your 'void'.
(6) Adjust the size of the line-drawing to fit over the corresponding part of the void. Click to fix it in place.
(7) Use magic wand to delete the original background of the line-drawing. You now have a plain white wing on the background layer and panel lines on Layer 1. Colour in the wing to the relevant shade of blue or grey as per the underside of the plane. (I will call this the 'base' colour from here on in.)
(8) Now open a new Layer, at 100%. Make a dot from the pen tool in a darkish grey (but not too dark) at size 3. Zoom into it. Make another dot in white in the very top right, size 1.
(9) That is a rivet.
(10) Assemble the rivets in the relevant places, generally on the panel lines. Copy and paste. Adjust the lightness so the rivets are 'just' visible.
(11) Rotation tends to blur out the rivets so form diagonal lines using short straight runs of 2-3 rivets at a time, offset to follow the diagonal.
(12) Now go to the layer with the line drawing on it and increase the colour and contrast, you should get much finer line, with a halo of white feedback about it.
(13) With the colour-changer tool, change the white feedback to the base colour. Darken the remaining line and use the soften tool to smooth it out.
(14) You now have a wing with rivets and panel lines. Merge layers.
(15) Create a new layer, at about 70% transparency. Overspray with base colour, at about 60% opacity. Darken.
(16) Scratch over this layer with the eraser tool, using a progressively smaller and more opaque setting. Run over this with the soften tool.
(17) Merge layers, copy and paste to the other wing.
(18) Airlerons and other features can be approximated by forming their shape using the point-to-point tool, spray in and then the inner bevel and blur can be used in combination to form shadows and highlights.
(19) The rest of the aircraft can be finished similarly.

You now have the basic 'undercoat' for the aircraft. I'll check back in a while to see if you have read this and have any feedback. If so, we'll progress onto doing the upper surfaces.

Bye For Now
BGN : )

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