Skins @ Hive World Terra

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Skinning 4 Dummies

I've been inspired to write a short tutorial called "The sh*t I wish people had told me about WTPs"

The skins used in dawn of war are packed in files called *.WTPs

The WTP is made up of 8 512x512 pixel tga images:

  • _default.tga
  • _dirt.tga
  • _*color*.tga (There are 5 of them, 1 for each color in the Army Painter)
  • _badge.tga

Each of these files will be prefaced with the unit's name (eg. guardian_default.tga) Each part of the image corrisponds to part of the model. These files are interconnected and represent different "layers" of the skin. While you can get away with changing only one file at a time, most projects will require edits to most if not all of the files.

Different files effect the skin in different ways that are not always clear. It'll probably take poking around to figure out what part is what. but to save you all the trial and error I went through here's an general overview.

_default.tga is your base coat. It is a 16bit true color image that shows the complete skin of the character. However most of the _defualt.tga does not show up in game because it is covered by the *color* files.

This is where _dirt.tga comes in.

_dirt.tga is a 8bit grayscale image, that determines what areas of _default.tga will be visible through the color layers. Areas that are white will cause the _default.tga to be visible, where as black areas will be totaly covered by colors. Shades of gray will create a faded "overlay" effect allowing part of each layer to show through (Note: this is good way to add weathering, rust, dirt, and other effects)

Which brings us to _*color*.tga

There are 5 _*color*.tgas one for each color in the Army Painter, they are:

  • _primary.tga
  • _secondary.tga
  • _trim.tga
  • _weapon.tga
  • _eye.tga
(Note: you only NEED the _*color*.tgas asociated with the colors you're going to use. EG if you don't plan to use "Eye" color in the army painter you can remove it from the WTP to save memory) *Thanks to Dottim for pointing this out*

Each _*color*.tga is a 8bit grayscale image, that determines which areas will be covered by *color* in the army painter. Black areas are empty, while shades of gray represent your color, the lighter or darker the shade of gray the lighter or darker the color will appear on your skin. (Note: RGB 128,128,128 is neutral)

Finally you have _badge.tga

_badge.tga is a 8bit grayscale as well and should appear a a 64x64 white box on a black field. The location of this white box determines the location of your badge on the model.

(Caution: Do not save an empty _badge.tga, (all white/all black) this can cause errors when you try to load the WTP. if you do not want a badge simply delete the whole .tga) *dottim again*

To use your skin in game, repack the .WTP using your program of choice (I use Beroc's WTP, available from Skins@HWT) and place it in the following folder in your Dawn of War folder
*race* = Orks, Eldar, Chaos, or Space_Marines.

Obviously an ork skin goes in Orks, Eldar in Eldar, and so on.

Have a good one

Note: Some of the points in this tutorial apply only to patterns extracted from WTPs and not patterns that have been created by 3DS Max's "Max Exporter".


Help Us!

Are you artistic? Do you know your real Warhammer 40,000 races? Skins@Hive World Terra needs pattern files, colour schemes, badges and banners for any pre-existing chapters, craftworlds, clans and legions, plus any fitting home made contributions.

If you want to help, then read the Submitting Your Work article