Custom Skin Tutorial v1.2
Written by Zen from the BZ:Armory
Modified by Alex of ZOD
Making your very own tank skin is very relatively easy. I've done most of the work for you so you will only have to go into your favorite paint program and paint the skin to your preference.
Here are a couple of things you will need to get started in making your own tank skins, most of which are included in the Skins Pack Zip.
A Paint program.* There are alot of full featured Paint programs you can use, like Paint Shop Pro and Adobe Photoshop that will give you more options for editing your skins, but the basic Paint program in windows will do just fine. (*Not included in the Skins Pack)
The safe color palet, so that you will use colors supported by Bz.
I have included .ACT (Adobe & BZ) and now .PAL (Microsoft & Most paint progs.) for 7 of the planet types in the Skins Pack. Just be sure to load one of these in before editing your skin.
The Bmp2Map utility for converting .BMP to .MAP files used in Bz.
Thanks to Slight at Slight's Scrap Page, for this wonderful program.
To simplify the making of skins. The Skin Templates. Check below for the listing.
Making the Skin
You will first have to know which Planet type you will want your skins to work with.
If your map is set on the Planet Achilles, then you will need to load up that palette in your paint program before editing your skins.
Skins may not display correctly if placed in different planet settings.
Simply load up one of the safe color palets, then open up the .BMP file for the tank you would like to repaint. Just brush on or cut/paste anything you would like to put on the tank. & Save it.
Just drag your new .BMP tank skin file into the Bmp2Map executable, and the program will create the .Map texture file for Bz.
Copy your new .MAP tank skin into the addon folder in your main Bz Dir.
Load up your favorite game, and check out your new creation.
To restore the tanks to their original glory.. just delete or remove the file from the addon dir. Its as simple as that.
Making New Templates
If you would like to make your own templates for any of the units and buildings just follow the simple steps below. There may be a better way to acomplish this task, but so far I havn't found it. A general knowledge of the map editor is required, so read the map editing tutorial first.
Go into a .TRN file from one of your current test maps, and change one of the feature textures, such as river or one of the planet textures such as Rocky or Sandy to the vehicle or building of your choice (eg. avtank00.map) you can get the full listing of vehicle and building codes from any one of the map editing sites. The Bz:Hanger has a very current listing.
Go into the map editor, switch to texture painting and paint the new texture on a flat portion of the map. Go back into game mode and switch to the F4 view, move your ship right next to one of the textures (you will see the funny looking skin) zoom in and grab a snapshot of the vehicle or building texture.
Now heres the tricky part.. load up your paint program, and load up one of the custom palet files included. Again thanks to Slight for these Bz safe colors. and load up the Snapshot you just took. Crop out the texture (remove all the other stuff) and resize it to a 256x256 square bitmap out of it. Make sure the color is set at 256 color 8 bit. then save it with the code for for the building or unit you have captured the texture for.
It may take a little tweeking to get the image crop'd right.. and some minor changes to the texture may be needed to make a smooth cover of the poly's. If you create a new map texture for a unit or building I don't have in my templates, please send it in so I can include it in the skins pack.
Simply load it into Slight's Bmp2Map program to create the new texture..
Tank and Building Codes
so far this is just a partial list of the units included in the Skins Pack and the units they corrospond to. More will be added as I get them in. If you have a new template not listed here please send it in so I can add it to the next version.
Code Type Code Name
avhraz00.bmp NSDF Bomber Thunderbolt
avltnk00.bmp NSDF Lt.Tank Bobcat
avrckt00.bmp NSDF Rocket Tank Wolverine
avslf00.bmp NSDF SLF Armory
avtank00.bmp NSDF Tank Grizzly
avturr00.bmp NSDF Turret Badger
avwalk00.bmp NSDF Walker Sasquach
bvapc00.bmp BD APC Tracker
bvart00.bmp BD ??? ???
bvltnk00.bmp BD Lt.Tank Bobcat
bvraz00.bmp BD Scout Razor
bvrckt00.bmp BD Rocket Tank Wolverine
bvscav00.bmp BD Scavanger Scavy
hvraz00.bmp Fury Fury1?
hvsat00.bmp Fury Fury2?
hvsav00.bmp Fury Fury3?
svfigh00.bmp CCA Fighter Flanker
svhraz00.bmp CCA Bomber ??
svrckt00.bmp CCA Rocket Tank Grendel
svscav00.bmp CCA Scavanger Scavy
svtank00.bmp CCA Tank Czar
svturr00.bmp CCA Turret ???
svwalk00.bmp CCA Walker Golem
If you have any more skin templates not listed here please send them in. Also if you should find any errors in this list, please let me know so I can fix it.
Some tips you should know:
The color palette you chose is very important for the map you will be making. So some of your skin creations may look slightly odd on other planet textures other than the one you designed it for.
The BMP's must be 256x256 8 bit 256 colors, using one of the safe color palettes.
To restore the tank or building skins back to their default original settings, just remove or delete the new textures you have created form the addon folder.
You may experiece problems with the textures not matching up to the vehicle.. just rotate the BMP 90 degrees and try it again.. you may have to do this a couple of times before you get it right.. I havn't yet tested all the BMP's to make sure they are pointing in the right direction.
Alex of ZOD DAMMIT! the originator of the new tank skins.. with all his work to recreate the textures in the game. Alex of ZOD has put together his own tutorail and has included some Adobe Photoshop textures for a few of the units which are much clearer.. I suggest you read that also.
If you are having any troubles, he knows what hes doing.
But if I can do it, anyone can.. thats how easy it is.
Slight of Slights Scrap Page, for the intense work he has done to make this all possible with his Palets and Utilities. (Bmp2Map)
Nightwing of the Bz:Constructor for the original use of additional textures in a map. (Retro)
email: webpage: http://members.xoom.com/constructor/
Commando formerly of the Bz:Hanger for the First map to use new tank skin textures. (cyborgs!)
ChickenMan & RedRiver for their support and help.
Zen for just throwing all this stuff together for you, the Bz fan.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org webpage:http://www.zenworld.com/bzarmory/