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Winter Lady (paint by numbers) Challenge
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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:47 pm    Post subject: Winter Lady (paint by numbers) Challenge Reply with quote




If you have never made a skin before, or are still fairly new to skinning, this simplified version of the Winter Lord, Winter Lady Challenge will let you discover how easy it is to make even a fairly complex skin on a really good mesh like the Varda Winter mesh.

I call this version of the Winter Lady Challenge "Paint by Numbers" because I am going to show you how to add colour or texture to the different areas of the bmp to produce your skin.

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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As well as a graphics program, you will want to have a preview program available.

The best preview programs for pc users to check out a skin as you work on it are SimPose, and BodyWarp,. Both of these programs will show bmp's that are 512x512 pixels, and 24 bit colour (PhotoShop uses the term Index mode for this colour depth.), which is exactly what you want when you're previewing.

This thread gives information on how to obtain all of these free programs: http://www.simblesseoblige.com/viewtopic.php?t=123

Each of these programs has other capabilites, but we're not concerned with those now.

BodyWarp
will look into any folder where you are saving your skins in progress. You can put the skn file into the same folder. The cmx is not required.

SimPose requires that you save skins in progress to SimPose/GameData/TexF/Body, and that you put the skn file in SimPose/GameData/ObjF/Body. The cmx is not required.

SimShow requires that you save your skins in progress into SimShow/GameData/Textures, and that you have the skn AND the cmx files in SimShow/GameData/cmx3. SimShow has other restrictions. It cannot handle buyable skins (which is why this challenge is working with the "b" regular version of the skin), and it requires bmp's be 8 bit colour depth. SimShow is therefore a poor choice for pc users. Some mac users can use SimShow, so SimShow instructions are included.

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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are going to work with the non-buyable version. Don't worry - we can convert it to buyable in seconds, when we're done. Working with the regular "b" version will make previewing easier for a lot of members.

Go to Simarillion Winter and download the Varda Winter Regular zip. (hint: it's a very good idea to copy and save the preview picture for Varda Winter. Referring to it will help you find your way around this mesh.)

Since this is your first experience in making a skin with a lot of textures other than those for the basic garment, make sure that you take a close look at MJ's original bmp, which is in the zip you downloaded from Simarillion.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Download this zip. It contains a set of nude fafit bmp's 512x512, plus a 512x512 colour map for the Varda Winter b0g9fafit mesh.

The Colour Map looks like this:

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you put the B0g9fafitlgt_ColourMap.bmp into a preview program like SimPose, this is what you would see.

The red areas are where the flesh should show.

The white areas are the dress body and sleeves.

The blue area is the cloak.

The green area is the scarf.

The purple area is the belt.

The gold area is both the cloak clasp and the belt clasp.

The brown area is the shoes.

The colour map is a simplified version of a uv map. If you are new to skinning and have never used a uv map before, the colour map should be sufficient to enable you to make some skins of acceptable quality. After you've made a few, try working with a real uv map.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to assume that you have a graphics program with a Layer function. (It's possible, but infinitely more difficult and nerve-wracking to try to use MSPaint!)

Open your graphics program, and open a new image 512x512 pixels, with a transparent background.

Paste the lgt nude skin as the next layer above the background layer. Name the layer "lgt".

Paste the colour map as the next layer above the lgt nude. Name the layer "map"

Save the image in your working folder as B0g9fafitlgt_XXX1, with your initials in the place of the XXX.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the colour map layer, use your Magic Wand Selection tool to select the red areas.

(Look in this thread for the tool equivalents if you use Photo Shop or Gimp:

http://www.simblesseoblige.com/viewtopic.php?t=512



Delete the red areas.
This will allow the skin of the nude bmp to show through.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since this is a Paint by Numbers challenge, we're going to go for instant gratification.

You saw how flat the Colour Map looked in the SimPose picture.

This is how it would look with some shading, so that the clothing looks a bit more like cloth. In this case, the shading was done with a simple, rather rough underlay layer.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a zip, containing a 512x512 bmp of the shading underlay.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Extract the shading underlay bmp form the zip, and open it in your graphics program.

Paste it as a new layer between the lgt layer and the colour map layer. Name the layer "Shading".

Delete the red areas (where the skin would show) from the shading layer.

Now change the blend mode of the Map layer from Normal to Multiply.

Magically, shading suggesting fabric folds, etc. will appear.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now you can start 'painting' to make your own unique Winter Lady skin on the Varda Winter mesh.

Use the Colour Map layer to select the first part of the costume that you want to recolour. (After you have made the first selection, you will want to turn off the visibility of the Colour Map layer until you need it to make another selection.)

Here is how you might proceed.

On the Colour Map layer, use your Magic Wand Selection tool to select the white area.

Make a new layer on top of all the other layers. Name the layer "dress". On this layer, use the Flood Fill tool to fill the selection with the colour of your choice. Make the blend mode for this layer Multiply. Try adjusting the transparency of the "dress" layer until you like what you see.

Save your work!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This would be a good time to take a look at a preview. So if you are previewing with SimPose, Save Copy As bmp to SimPose/GameData/TexF/Body, or, if you are previewing with BodyWarp, to a working folder that you have created for this challenge.

If you are previewing with SimShow, it's a little more complicated. Save your image, then reduce the colour depth to 8bit/256 colours. Save Copy as BMP to SimShow/GameData/Textures. Now immediately Undo the colour depth reduction of your image in your graphics program.

The illustration shows the bmp as it is at this point, in each of the preview programs.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the Colour Map layer, use your Magic Wand Selection tool to select the blue area.

Make a new layer on top of all the other layers. Name the layer "cloak". On this layer, use the Flood Fill tool to fill the selection with the colour of your choice. Make the blend mode for the "cloak" layer Multiply. Play with the transparency.

Remember to keep saving your work!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to compare one version with another, do another Save Copy As bmp. Call the second one b0g9fafitlgt_XXX1a. SimPose and SimShow have to be reloaded for a new bmp to show.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Continue in this fashion for all other areas of the costume, using the Multiply blend mode for everything except the clasps for the cloak and belt. These would not be fabric, so for these you might want to find a metallic texture rather than a colour.

I used a free texture from Noctua Graphics called "hambras" (hammered brass) at 30% of its normal scale. This produced rather glittery clasps. Next time, I would use it at a larger scale.

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