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vonPilsner

Quick start guide to skinning with GIMP

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This is in no way the best way or the only way, but it may help you get comfortable with the tools and the process so you can start skinning yourself...

 

Quick start guide to skinning with GIMP.

 

By Me...

 

1. I'm using GIMP 2.8 with the DDS-Plugin installed (you need this to save your work.)

 

http://www.gimp.org/downloads/

http://code.google.com/p/gimp-dds/  (put the extracted 'dds.exe' file in your '/gimp/plug-ins/' directory.)

 

2. Of course you will need skin templates for the plane(s) you wish to paint.

http://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/13602-game-version-1008-discussion/ (bottom of first  post) or here: http://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/13615-skin-templates-links/

 

I'm going to be adding an insignia to a Yak-1 in this example if you want to follow along I'll upload the image I'm using too...

 

oI83hqV.png

 

3. Assuming all of the above is working correctly open one of the plane .psd files (you gotta extract it first from the .zip archive) in GIMP. You can also drop the .psd file into GIMP window to open it.

 

This gives a warning regarding the color profile used to create the image. You can keep or convert the color profile (I convert and don't ask me again).

 

4. Now your template is open in GIMP... You will find a layer called 'Paint in Here!', under (in) that you should find a layer named 'User Paint Here'. This is a good place to make some changes.  

 

kX2qCRT.png

 

Notice the opacity is at 0 by default, well that wont do... set it to 100% so we can see what we are doing...

 

Whz0Qh3.png

 

I'm going to drop the image onto my plane (GIMP) and move it to where I want it (I actually did it twice - one for each side and merged them into a single layer).

 

NOTE: Be aware of layer order, it is easy to get them in the wrong order then the weathering or something else may not appear properly. (new layers need to be lowered in the list generally or they appear on top of everything)

 

Wrong:

F7Q32gt.png

 

Correct:

7QMgUbf.png

NOTE: now that the layer order is correct the insignia is being weathered.

 

Ok well here is where you can paint or edit all you want, be sure to save frequently (and GIMP will want to use .xcf extension, you may as well that way you don't mess up the original template).

 

5. Weathering - before we flatten our image we should tone down the weathering a bit...

Find the 'Paint Fading' layer (under 'Advanced Users -> Detailed Weathering') and select the layer. 

 

Now I'm going to go to 'Colors -> Hue-Saturation' and adjust the color of the Paint Fading effect and the layer opacity.  Otherwise the winter paint effect will look too out of place on the green camo we are using.  You can also adjust the layer mode, I'm going to leave it on hard light for berevity.

 

Before:

F6OhvXi.png

 

After:

zpkPpGp.png

 

Next find the 'Exhaust and Soot' layer (under 'Advanced Users -> Detailed Weathering') and select the layer. 

 

I'm going to go with 80% opacity to tone down the exhaust soot just a tad since our emblem us under it.   :)

 

qB6eIp2.png

 

I'm sure you get the idea, just play with the weathering and adjust things to your liking. 

 

6. Exporting .dds skin file

 

When you are done save your template (now with .xcf extension) , make sure all your layers are in the correct order and choose 'Image -> Flatten Image'. 

 

If all went well it looks exactly the same... Now right click on the only layer and choose 'Add Layer Mask' and initialize it to Alpha 1 channel (and click 'add').

 

lt5hTVm.png

 

Now your image it kinda translucent (this is a good sign!!) at this point you can adjust your alpha layer if needed (The darker the area, the more transperency will be applied to it, I believe).

Now your image it kinda translucent (this is a good sign!!) at this point you can adjust your alpha layer if needed (The darker the area, the more transperency will be applied to it, I believe).

 

But we'll just choose 'File -> Export As' and I will name my new skin 'Yak1s69_Grn_Camo-Polish-BvP.dds' so it has a unique name that will easliy identify it.

 

NOTE: You may have to pick the 'DDS image' option under 'all export images'.

 

Now click on export and a new dialogue should show up.

 

Compression: BC3 / DX5

Mipmaps: Generate

Advanced Options

Filter: Box

 

eQDOw0M.png

 

and press 'OK'.

 

It should have saved your image.  I always take this moment to undo twice in GIMP (CTRL+Z two times) so I don't accidentally save my flat dds file into my GIMP skin template and it is ready to edit if I don't like my work.

Yak1s69_Grn_Camo-Polish-BvP.zip

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Move your new skin file (in my case) 'Yak1s69_Grn_Camo-Polish-BvP.dds' into your IL2 BoS game folder, specifically here:  ..\IL-2 Sturmovik Battle of Stalingrad\data\graphics\skins\Yak1s69\

 

fTfUTsN.png

 

7. Viewing the skin file

 

You can try the skin viewer in the '..\IL-2 Sturmovik Battle of Stalingrad\bin\viewer\' folder or simply go into a quick mission and on the screen where you normally pick a skin you change from 'OFFICIAL' to 'CUSTOM' and you should be able to select your skin (no preview at this time).

2014_12_26_23_29_46.png

(Jaws2002 I hope you don't mind me using your pic   ;) )

 

ddQmW3H.jpg

 

Now go fly and admire your handiwork!!!

 

-von Pilsner

  • Upvote 9

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Thank you von Pilsner, this is appreciated and will certainly help me.

 

Mick. :)

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Nice guide, thx you took yor time. This is very helpfull for newcomers to get into basic skinning in BoS.

 

I've one tiny question though, what does the advanced filter ("box") do in the export window and do you acchieve better quality with it?

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It is the filter used when making the mipmap, you can try the other filters as well, I think it's probably subjective as to what is best. 

 

:)

Edited by vonPilsner

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This is so good. Thank you very much for making and sharing this. I'm gonna try it out right now.

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I am so incapable... I was wondering what the best way to change the yak's default green to a different color? For example, instead of green I would like two separate skins; one with white and one with grey like on the Shark skin.

Edited by Misha--dedogist

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Quick and easy way would be to alter the green camo layer.  You can select the layer and then use the COLOR / HUE tools to change the layer color.

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Nice and easy guide, thanks! I got one problem, however. I cannot get the channel set to "Alpha 1" when adding a mask to the (flattened) layer. It stays on "Extra". Any idea why?

I have the dds plugin installed and loaded.

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Hi

 

Thx for the intro, but can you explain step by step how you drop the Polish emblem on the template, and how do you move it around? I tried and haven't got a clue, never skinned before, so absolute beginner!

 

And where can I get similar emblems, like the Guards one?

 

Are there any shark faces out there for the a/c (like the yak) and how would I use them?

 

All I can do at the moment is put text on a skin and alter the ageing.

 

Any help much appreciated!

 

cheers

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Hello everybody from Canary Islands, Spain  :happy:  I´m  Dani V from "Escuadrón 69" virtual squadron.

 

Just to thank Von Pilsner for that great quick-guide.

 

I hope you don´t mind if I drop this link in our Spanish forum  and translate it to Spanish, offering my Virtual Squadron mates a chance to quick work it on Gimp!

 

My sincere and big thanks Von! Great job. 

 

(If you wanna check our Squad we are at http://www.escuadron69.net/v20/foro/ Spanish "69 Squadron".

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Very nice quick guide!

 

I have been waiting for a while to have some time to get started and I did it today.

 

I am having issues relocating my logo once I drop it on top of the template. I cant find a way to select it and resize and put it in the place I want. 

 

Any help doing this step by step?

 

Never mind I figured it out!

Edited by Jade_Monkey

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When I open the template and try to draw or paint on the user paint here layer, it doesn't allow it.

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When I open the template and try to draw or paint on the user paint here layer, it doesn't allow it.

Same here. I usually duplicate the layer i want to change and hide the original, or leave it underneath.

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When I open the template and try to draw or paint on the user paint here layer, it doesn't allow it.

Did you check the occupacity level? Theres a slide bar in the upper part of your righthand tool that ranges from 0 to 100. In the Mig template it is set to 0 as default for some reason.

 

Also you may create and draw in as many layers as you want. As you seem to be new, here're soem helpful shortcuts:

 

left shift + ctrl + N   -    create a new empty layer

ctrl + N                   -    create a new image file

ctrl + c                   -    copy marked content

ctrl + v                   -    paste copied content

ctrl+ z                    -    revert last action

ctrl+ y                    -    redo next action  (basicly this is the reversed function of strg + z, should be clearer once you tried it out)

ctrl+ E                   -    quick export file

ctrl+ S                   -    qick save file*

 

* save function is for the gimp specific .xcf format that allows saving a skin file with multiple layers and all settings. You should always save your skin file and than export it as a .dds seperately to be able to have access to certain layers later on.

 

You can read up on how to export a skin with an alpha channle in my guide here: http://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/15420-custom-alpha-channel-tutorial-gimp-advanced-skinners/

 

Edit: Spelling.

Edited by Stab/JG26_5tuka
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Thanks guys! This is my first time venturing outside of MS Paint lol

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I was trying to paint somewhere I wasn't supposed to lol. I have another couple of questions though. Why are the gun barrels and other holes and inside parts white? And...

post-30291-0-50758100-1453506395_thumb.jpg

 

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Morning pilots. Guys i want to take some of my favourite existing custom and for example

 

change the number, or

add victory bars/stars or

add a personal emblem.

 

For the bars/stars number etc i will use existing stuff on other custom skins also.

 

I will use gimp and am a complete novice.

 

Change= delete....+copy and paste

 

Could some1 please make a short tutorial here with pictures (please) to show me how to do this.

 

Many tbanks.

Edited by Chandalier1969

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nevermind figured it out

Edited by Fern

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THe new Gimp sucks. I cant even find the "Paint in here" layer. I'm using public skin templates.

 

Really?

 

I was excited to download it, not I'm not so sure.

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hello,

this is my first post. I cannot find the following:

 

1) the plug in folder to drop the exe in . I created a folder called plug in and dropped it in the gimp folder in C programmes . is this ok?

2) i cannot find under layer drop down menu the "in" and  "paint in here" .

3) How do you move a PSD insignia to the skin ?

 

need your guidance to move on

regards 

Edited by dog1

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Hey mates, first thax to vonPilsner for this great Tutorial.

 

I need help PLEASE, because i skinned my Peshka and in the viewer.exe it looks great, but ingame the right spinner is grey, not yellow with red stars like the left one!

Any ideas???

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There are two spinners you need to paint. When the engine is on and when the engine is off. You probably only painted one (off).

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GIMP user here.  I was just wondering if there are any plugins that would specifically make skinning easier or give a special effect?  So far, I have just been using vanilla GIMP v2.8.

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GIMP user here.  I was just wondering if there are any plugins that would specifically make skinning easier or give a special effect?  So far, I have just been using vanilla GIMP v2.8.

Not a real plugin but brushes can be very helpfull for camouflage / weathering effects. Just google "weathering brush" and how to install them (most brushes created for photoshop should work in gimp as well).

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Hey all.

 

Are there any tips or tricks that we need to know for skinning the 4k templates in GIMP?

 

Any hints would be much appreciated

 

:drinks:

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I've been using GIMP for a while now and have come to this understanding of layer use.  Every layer has a Mode (found on the Layer tab just above the Opacity slider).  Usually these are Normal, Overlay, Soft Light, or Multiply.  As you are probably aware many layers are found in Layer Groups, indicated by a + or - sign to expand or contract the view of the individual layers inside the group.  The ONLY layer mode that can be in a Layer Group is Normal.  If layers with modes other than Normal are present in a layer group they will not effect the skin.  Simply drag layers other than Normal to a just above the group they were in.  Best solution I could come up with.

 

I knew Overlay had to be moved out of Layer Groups but not other modes until I found out the hard way.

Edited by VBF-12_Stick-95
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My first paint and I owe you a beer.  Great guide to make what was frustrating to be simple.  I do also have a follow up question...how does one reduce the shine on the aircraft?  Thank you.

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Il-2_Sturmovik_12_14_18_11_01_48_PM.png

Il-2_Sturmovik_12_14_18_11_01_00_PM.png

6 minutes ago, PatCartier said:

You have to edit the alpha channel.

Thank you.  Ill try that now

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10 hours ago, PatCartier said:

You have to edit the alpha channel.

I have played with editing the alpha but still cant get a mat finish.  Any ideas?

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I now know after trying many things that the alpha mask should be whiter to reduce shine.  Thanks

 

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Posted (edited)

Has anyone tried the most current version of GIMP (GIMP 2.10.12)?  I seem to be unable to use it to edit/modify files.  Also, has anyone used Corel PaintShopPro as a photo editor?  It seems to stomp the alpha mask when saving work.  I am trying to make skins and only run into problems.  Thanks in advance for any pointers or assistance.

Edited by photog95661
spelling

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On 12/15/2018 at 5:02 PM, pjmack11377 said:

I now know after trying many things that the alpha mask should be whiter to reduce shine.  Thanks

 

How exactly do you do this?

 

 

Is it possible to reduce the surface reflection with GIMP?  Or is that something controlled by the game?

 

I followed the instructions in post #1 and it works perfectly.  But when I try to only use the OD (Olive Drab) base color it is so reflective that you can barely see the green color.  How can I reduce the shiny reflectiveness a little bit?  (I have exported without applying the Alpha Layer Channel Mask, but that seems to remove all of the reflection.)

Il-2 2019-09-02 15-49-06.png

Il-2 2019-09-02 16-24-43.png

Edited by DDSnacko
  • Like 1

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On 9/3/2019 at 8:59 AM, DDSnacko said:

How exactly do you do this?

 

 

Is it possible to reduce the surface reflection with GIMP?  Or is that something controlled by the game?

 

I followed the instructions in post #1 and it works perfectly.  But when I try to only use the OD (Olive Drab) base color it is so reflective that you can barely see the green color.  How can I reduce the shiny reflectiveness a little bit?  (I have exported without applying the Alpha Layer Channel Mask, but that seems to remove all of the reflection.)

 

 

I'm trying to figure this out as well!

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