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Haluter’s Skin Downloader for the IL-2 Sturmovik Great Battles series


BlackHellHound1
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=RS=Stix_09
On 3/9/2021 at 10:49 AM, JG1_Vonrd said:

For the screenshots

  • Image files may not be more than 200kb.
  • Image files may be no larger than 960x540p.

Does anyone know a good batch re-size and converter (bmp to jpg)? I've been using Irfanview but the Kb size seems to vary a bit between the files batched. Takes a bit of trial and error to get below the 200Kb limit. Is there software where you can specify the file size?

 

 

FYI: Irfanview has an option to specify file size when batch converting

 

 

image.png.a6ba3cf760db0b14350ad76c927cd961.png

Edited by =RS=Stix_09
formatting
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haluter
2 hours ago, Canvas25 said:

Done, and thanks!

I have identified the issue, an update will soon be released.

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JG1_Vonrd
55 minutes ago, =RS=Stix_09 said:

 

FYI: Irfanview has an option to specify file size when batch converting

 

 

image.png.a6ba3cf760db0b14350ad76c927cd961.png

Ah, thanks... never noticed that!

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A-E-Hartmann

ICDP ,

Very nice 👍.

Edited by A-E-Hartmann
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CrazyhorseB34

This thing is pretty worthless. It does almost nothing.

 

Disregard.

 

I figured it out. 

Edited by CrazyhorseB34
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BlackHellHound1

The last week has been amazing. We are extremely happy with how the launch went. (and that it didn't crash miserably).
We have over 1300 skins on HSD already and over 2TB of skins have been downloaded! (that's 100.000 skins worth).

 

Because of this, we had to upscale our storage already. Something we anticipated doing a month or 2 after release. Not 6 days after release

This does come with some extra cost for us. Therefore we would like to ask you all to consider contributing via Patreon.

 

https://www.patreon.com/haluter

 

Thank you all for this amazing launch, your support and your skins!

The HSD Team

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14 minutes ago, BlackHellHound1 said:

The last week has been amazing. We are extremely happy with how the launch went. (and that it didn't crash miserably).
We have over 1300 skins on HSD already and over 2TB of skins have been downloaded! (that's 100.000 skins worth).

 

Because of this, we had to upscale our storage already. Something we anticipated doing a month or 2 after release. Not 6 days after release

This does come with some extra cost for us. Therefore we would like to ask you all to consider contributing via Patreon.

 

https://www.patreon.com/haluter

 

Some technical notes, for the curious:

  • Our server is a Linode Linux virtual machine. It comes with 2 CPUs, 4GB RAM, 50GB of disk and 2TB/month bandwidth quota. We used 2TB in 6 days...
  • We use CloudFlare, a global content delivery network, on top of our web server. This allows us to offload some of the file serving -- CloudFlare's caching servers receive requests from the desktop skin downloader, then they download and store each skin. Then they can serve downloads super fast to end users, because they have servers all around the world (we benchmarked Australian downloads just as fast as US downloads, and the skins server is in the UK).
  • CloudFlare is free, at least in a non-Enterprise configuration. Because we control the web server and HSD, we can get good caching results even with the free tier of CloudFlare.
  • We saw a peak cache hit rate of about 98% in the first couple of days, but that's come down to about 93% because newly uploaded skins need to populate into the caching servers.

If you're ever interested in doing some high volume stuff, do check out CloudFlare. Their CDN definitely saved our asses on this launch -- 100,000 skins in 6 days is crazy.

And yeah, there's some monthly costs here that Haluter is on the hook for. If you were on the fence about supporting via the Patreon, please do consider it, even a small monthly donation is much appreciated and small donations add up, given how big an audience there is for this tool.

Edited by Alonzo
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VBF-12_Stick-95
On 3/9/2021 at 6:03 PM, =RS=Stix_09 said:

 

FYI: Irfanview has an option to specify file size when batch converting

 


Been using Irfanview for years and never realized it did batch conversions.  Thanks.

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haluter
1 hour ago, J2_Seya said:

I'm getting an error. What does this mean?

Please join the HSD Discord server where we can provide better support.

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Junkers188

Thank You so much for sharing this with us. BTW: I love all your video's. Please keep up the Great work that you do. Thanks to your tips and info on each aircraft you have helped me turn my game Around. I just wish IL-2 would make an ETO Night Fighter game, it would really be fun if that happened. Please keep up the Great Work.

     Thanks again.

            Rick

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Yankee_One

Hi,

 

thank you for your work.

Please, is it possible in the future to select the folder for downloaded skins where i wanrt to have it?

Now i am restricted for one path (...graphics/skins) but i dont want to have the skins in the skins folder.

 

S1

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BlackHellHound1
4 hours ago, Yankee_One said:

Hi,

 

thank you for your work.

Please, is it possible in the future to select the folder for downloaded skins where i wanrt to have it?

Now i am restricted for one path (...graphics/skins) but i dont want to have the skins in the skins folder.

 

S1

 

You can put it wherever you like. Just make sure the folder path ends with "/Skins".

 

BlackHellHound1

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J5_Spyboy

When I-Fly-Central broadcast a YouTube video of this a couple of days before release my comment was that it would revolutionise skin organisation across the IL2GB series.

So it is proving imho. A great piece of software!

I have posted in the HSD Discord: I have run the d/loader 1 time and got an error [FireDAC][PHYS][SQLite]ERROR:NosuchTable:Vehicles. I clicked ok and continued and successfully d/loaded a couple of SopCam skins. So it works and has an intuitive ui. Starting HSD again to get more skins, it is asking me to redefine the path to the skins folder. That is not right is it. Should I reinstall?

Posted it here as well.

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J5_Adam

Best thing thing since Squeeze-A-Cheez and Tang. 
 

Thank you! I hope all skin makers and squads will use this amazingly simple to use tool!!!

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J5_Gamecock

Agreed...Excellent!

 

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J5_Spyboy

Just a quick heads up.

Customer support is great for this product, you will get a prompt helpful friendly response from BlackHellhound1 if you use the Haluter Skin Downloader Discord to contact them about any problems. I know I did and BH solved it straight away!

Edited by J5_Spyboy
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RNAS10_Oliver
1 hour ago, AKA_Big10 said:

Is is just a 4k option only?


In the filters at the bottom of the program there is one for resolution, so using that you can have the program show you just the 4K skins. I assume that’s what your asking?

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AKA_Big10
22 minutes ago, Oliver88 said:


In the filters at the bottom of the program there is one for resolution, so using that you can have the program show you just the 4K skins. I assume that’s what your asking?

yea, that was it, thanks. 

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Hartigan

Awesome program! One suggestion for improvement. Would it be possible in the future to mark a certain skin that I don't want to load with a red flag, for example? When new skins become available it would be easy to find tagged skins.

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71st_AH_Mastiff

Great app, never knew there was over thousands of skins. 46GB worth!

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senseispcc

I live in Belgium and it does not work at all, "HSD is not hable to connect to the sever, please try later (30 minutesà" message at each try...:salute:

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BlackHellHound1
46 minutes ago, senseispcc said:

I live in Belgium and it does not work at all, "HSD is not hable to connect to the sever, please try later (30 minutesà" message at each try...:salute:

 

If you are running a VPN, disable it. some people had issues with that and it solved it for them.

Otherwise, check that your anti-virus is not blocking it. 

If you still have issues, join our discord and we'll try to fix it. Bit easier to communicate on discord.

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MarcoPegase44
On 3/5/2021 at 3:28 PM, BlackHellHound1 said:

XEmqJ3U.png
 

Welcome to Haluter’s Skin Downloader,

 

Since the implementation of custom skins into IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad, the forums have been the primary place to share and download skins. The downside of this system is that skins become buried under other skins and mountains of discussions. 

 

Haluter’s Skin Downloader (HSD) provides an easy and intuitive platform through which you can share, download and manage your skins. HSD takes care of all the details so you don’t have to worry about anything anymore. Just download the skins you want and use them. 

 

5yqhLZw.png

 

Excited yet? Don’t wait any longer and get HSD for yourself!

 

Download and Installation*

  1. Download HSD.zip here. 
  2. Copy the folder “HSD for IL2 GB” and place it where you would like HSD to install. (Make sure your drive has some space available as HSD needs to download preview images)
  3. Open the folder and start HSD.exe.
  4. In the start-up window, locate and add your IL-2 Skins folder folder. (...\IL-2 Sturmovik Battle of Stalingrad\data\graphics\skins) If you use IL-2 through steam, the folder is detected automatically.
  5. Wait for HSD to finish downloading and click “Continue”. 
  6. You will probably get a request to update HSD, do this to get the latest version. 
  7. You are now ready to use it.
    1. If you get a repeated "Cannot connect to the server", try running HSD as Administrator.

 

* An internet connection is required to install and use HSD.

 

Updating HSD? HSD has a built-in update system. When a new version is available, you will get a message in HSD. All you have to do is click “Install update”.

 

Support & discussion on Discord

We have a Discord dedicated to supporting you, troubleshooting and discussing any idea’s you have for HSD. Please, do not use this forum thread for support or troubleshooting.
HSD Discord

 

Upload instructions & notes for artists

Skins are uploaded directly to our custom storage server from where our curators manage them. Read the instructions below carefully so you always upload your skins correctly!

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Skin upload instructions*

  1. Go to the “Upload” tab in the top left. 
  2. In the middle panel, use the checkboxes to indicate what type of skins you want to upload.
  3. Add your DDS and JPG files on the left and/or right depending on which version it is.
  4. Fill out the form in the middle. 
  5. Double-check everything and submit your skin.
  6. Wait for a curator to approve your upload. This can take a few days.**

 

* Never upload skins that aren’t yours or under a name that isn’t you!

** If you don’t see your skin after a few days, look in the discord channel #removed-skins to see if your skin has been removed by a curator.

 

Upload requirements and notes

 

  • Skin files must comply with the following parameters.
    • Skin files must be saved as .dds.
    • Skin files must be saved with BC3 / DXT5 (linear) compression.
    • Skin files must contain an alpha channel.
    • Skin files must fall within the four known file sizes for correct skins (4,00MB, 5,33MB, 16,0MB, and 21,3MB).
    • It is recommended your skin files use Mipmaps.
  • Promotional image files must comply with the following.
    • Image files must be saved as .jpg.
    • Image files may not be more than 200kb.
    • Image files may be no larger than 960x540p.
    • Image must be a representation of the skin. 
  • Skin description can have a maximum of 400 characters.
  • A few vehicles require 2 files for a single skin. Make sure to check the “Skin with 2 files per skin” checkbox to upload those.
    • Vehicles that require 2 files are: HurricaneMkII, PzIII-M, PzIV-G, PzV-D, Su-122, Su-152.
    • You can also upload a single file skin for these vehicles which must be the primary file! In that case, don’t check the checkbox and just upload it like any normal skin. IL-2 will just use the default secondary file instead.
  • Skin file name !!
    • HSD will rename all your files to this. This is needed for HSD to correctly manage your skins and avoid mistakes.
    • Do not make any references to the (un)censored nature of your skin in the skin file name. HSD will handle this for you!
    • Do not add “&1” and “&1#1” to this file name. HSD will handle this for you!
  • Skin type: 
    • Historical: Must have existed during or around WW2. Evidence of its existence may be asked for.
    • Generic: Skins without pilot/plane specific markings. 
    • Fictional: Any skin that isn’t historical.
    • Racing: Air race skins. Both fictional and historical skins used for air racing
    • SkinHack: Skins that mess with the aircraft by removing/changing parts or use a template for a different plane. For example, removing covers or guns to make it look like a different aircraft or adding fake camera windows. Or, using a Bf 109F-2 template on a Bf-109G-4.
    • Other: Skins that don’t belong in any of the above such as but not excluded to anime and meme skins. 
  • “Skin pack” Allows you to add skins to a collection. 
    • You can make a new collection by typing a new name in the dropdown box. 
    • Do not add your skins to a collection that isn’t yours unless you have the permission of the creator of the Skin pack.
    • Do not add "sub-categorisations" or duplicates of the IL-2 group! 
    • There is currently no means by which to upload multiple skins from a single pack in one upload. You will have to upload them one at a time.
  • “IL-2 group” allows you to add skins for your virtual IL-2 Sturmovik group/ squadron. 
    • You can make a new group by typing a new name in the dropdown box. 
    • Do not use this for historical squadron collections. That is what “Skin pack” is for.
    • Do not add your skins to a group that isn’t yours unless you have the permission of the creator of the group.
    • There is currently no means by which to upload multiple skins from a single squad in one upload. You will have to upload them one at a time.
  • HSD does not support custom Normal Maps.
  • Skins with incorrectly uploaded files, “Skin file name” or vehicle will be removed by a curator. You will have to re-upload them correctly.
  • Curators may change the other elements if mistakes are found.
  • Curators always hold the right to delete a skin for any reason.
    • Active curators can be seen in the HSD Discord
    • There is a text channel “#removed-skins” in the discord where any removed skins will be listed and why they were removed. Check it regularly.

 

fXjl3iy.png

 

HSD Roadmap 

This roadmap shows our current plan as we continue to develop HSD further. Subject to change.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

1hagXgI.png

 

HSD Exclusive skins

To celebrate the launch of HSD, several skins have been made that are exclusively available through HSD.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Vesuvio Hunters

5 Macchis of the " Vesuvio Hunters". All historical and based on Neaples- Capodichino, Italy, summer of 1943.
By SARFlytitus

 

KfJMYbu.jpg

 

5 Hurricane Mk.II’s of the 303 (Polish) Squadron RAF

303 Sq. RAF (formed in Blackpool, Lancashire in July 1940) was one of 2 Polish Squadrons to fight during the Battle of Britain during WW2. Flying their Hurricanes they claimed the largest kill rate of all the 66 Allied Fighter Squadrons during this battle, even after joining the fray 2 months after the battle began. They moved to RAF Northolt on 2nd August.

By Raptorattacker

 

QxDXYrl.jpg

 

3 MiG-3 skins

By ICDP

 

XAsizxm.jpg

 

4 P-51D-5’s of the 362nd FS, 357th FG
A 4 ship formation of the 362nd FS, 357th FG, 8th airforce. Comprised of G4-B “Sweet Helen II”, G4-U “Wee Willy II”, G4-G and G4-S “Betsy”. The 357th operated from Leiston airbase and had the nickname “The Yoxford Boys”.

By BlackHellHound1

 

gSVxB29.jpg

 

Beta Testers Skin

An air racer for the Spitfire Mk. IXe to thank our beta testers.

By BlackHellHound1

 

mx1N8IL.jpg

 

Patreon

You can support HSD through Patreon. Every little bit is appreciated and will be used to sustain and improve HSD!

 

Go to our Patreon page

 

Help promote HSD

Of course, you can also help us by promoting HSD! We made a special banner you can put in your forum signature. And even better, hyperlink the image to this page!

 

5fZXOUl.jpg


 

Haluter’s Skin Downloader is built and managed by:

Creator and Programmer: @haluter

Graphics, Design, Testing & PR: Francisco @BlackHellHound1 Bindraban.

 

Special thanks to @Alonzo for his server side programming and invaluable advice.

We would also like to thank @Raptorattacker for his design & usability advice during development, and for keeping us motivated.

We want to thank @Megalax for allowing us to use his Discord during Beta testing!

And of course a big thanks to all our beta testers!

kBk8TX1.png               buglHM7.png

 

 

 

 

 

Hi,

This site is an excellent initiative as a bank of skins.
The possibilities for selecting skins by category are superb.

I just gave it a try by putting a C47 skin on "Haluter's".

I noticed the following points

Either with my poor English I did not understand everything, or there are gaps.

A priori as soon as the skin is put on the site, we lose the possibility of making modifications.

1 °) No possibility of intervening to update the skin.

2 °) No possibility of modifying the presentation text.

3 °) No possibility to delete an old skin.

4 °) There are no categories to put mods and campaigns.

This site is good for users who want to search, but incomplete for skinners.

Even though you have to wait for a global update each time you open (I have a very bad internet connection and the morning update sometimes takes me 20 minutes), It would be good to be able to do a selective update in relation only to its center of interest. for example historical skins or the game that you own without redoing a global update each time.

I'm sorry but my english is bad

 

Edited by MarcoPegase44
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RNAS10_Oliver
3 hours ago, MarcoPegase44 said:

Hi,

This site is an excellent initiative as a bank of skins.
The possibilities for selecting skins by category are superb.

I just gave it a try by putting a C47 skin on "Haluter's".

I noticed the following points

Either with my poor English I did not understand everything, or there are gaps.

A priori as soon as the skin is put on the site, we lose the possibility of making modifications.

1 °) No possibility of intervening to update the skin.

2 °) No possibility of modifying the presentation text.

3 °) No possibility to delete an old skin.

4 °) There are no categories to put mods and campaigns.

This site is good for users who want to search, but incomplete for skinners.

Even though you have to wait for a global update each time you open (I have a very bad internet connection and the morning update sometimes takes me 20 minutes), It would be good to be able to do a selective update in relation only to its center of interest. for example historical skins or the game that you own without redoing a global update each time.

I'm sorry but my english is bad

 


On the post you have quoted there is also a roadmap for the program given;

 

image.thumb.png.4c949c0f488342edddf8e05ea31d11e5.png

 

From that you can see that updating the skins and the information for them is hoped to be included in the program at a later date.

 

For the moment updating and deleting appears to be possible to an extent through contacting the HSD team on Discord.

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MarcoPegase44

Thank you for the quick reply

 

I will therefore wait until the skin update function is available to upload other skins

 

Other questions

Is there a download counter per skin?

Edited by MarcoPegase44
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6 minutes ago, MarcoPegase44 said:

Is there a download counter per skin?

 

Not at this time. The HSD team do not want to create unnecessary competition or negative behaviors through a downloads counter or 'popularity' measure.

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MarcoPegase44
28 minutes ago, Alonzo said:

 

Not at this time. The HSD team do not want to create unnecessary competition or negative behaviors through a downloads counter or 'popularity' measure.

 

In fact I misspoke, I thought of a counter that would not be visible to the skinner to get an idea of the success of his own skins

The counter of the other skinners does not need to be visible, I did not think of a competition between skinners.

For example, by Mediafire, I know the load count of my skin

This is only personal information

Edited by MarcoPegase44
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BlackHellHound1

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We've just hit 2000! unique skins on HSD. It's been an amazing effort from everyone to upload their skins and see it all appear on HSD!

The team had not expected this milestone but we're incredibly happy we did. 

 

Of course, we are looking forward to everything else you guys will bring to the platform. Can we hit 3000 before the end of the month?

 

The HSD Team

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jollyjack

a Stupid Q, but the 'owned' red mark in 'browse', does this mean that you've got it installed in '...graphics\skins',

or does it have to do with your upload and eventual copyrighted 'works".

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haluter
4 hours ago, jollyjack said:

a Stupid Q, but the 'owned' red mark in 'browse', does this mean that you've got it installed in '...graphics\skins',

or does it have to do with your upload and eventual copyrighted 'works".

Not a stupid question at all 😉
"Owned" indicates that you have the skin in '..graphics\skins'.

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XQ_Lothar29

It would be interesting that people could leave like masks that they like within the Program, I don't know if it would be difficult to add this option.
But that would be one more incentive for creators, I'm sure it would.

regards

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haluter
35 minutes ago, XQ_Lothar29 said:

It would be interesting that people could leave like masks that they like within the Program, I don't know if it would be difficult to add this option.
But that would be one more incentive for creators, I'm sure it would.

regards

We deliberately chose not to implement this as a publicly viewable option, as we wanted to avoid a popularity contest between creators. However, we may add a private feedback option as part of creator accounts in the next version.

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352ndOscar

Some of our TC skinners need to get on board with this app.....

Looks and works great.  Thanks!

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