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Making and Editing Skins for Dawn of War FAQ

Answers for the most commonly asked Skinner's questions - either creating new textures or editing old ones.

Beroc's WTP Tool gives strange results with the Scout and other non-square textures. What can I do?

There are two alternatives.

The original alternative is to resize the textures so that they are square. You will need to do this for every layer, resizing the area of the badge square down to 64x64 if the texture contains one. Once this is done, you should recompile the texture. This has the unfortunate side-effect of distorting the size of the badge and shrinking it vertically.

The new alternative that creates WTPs just like the originals is the new WTP tool from IBBoard - the Dawn of War Texture Tool. Not all of the features of Beroc's original are contained in it yet, but it will handle all WTP files, including non-square ones such as the Scouts, without resizing.

Beroc's WTP Tool won't add a banner to a texture. What can I do?

Beroc's original WTP tools did not correctly handle the banner layer of a texture. Instead it treated them as a larger badge, which the game engine didn't recognise.

The new alternative that creates WTPs just like the originals is the new WTP tool from IBBoard - the Dawn of War Texture Tool. The Texture Tool will handle all WTP files, including textures with banners in them, as well as RSH and RTX texture files.

Note that if you have extracted a texture with a banner in it from Beroc's WTP Tool, you will need to either re-extract it, or rename the banner layer to "_banner.tga" before recompiling the WTP with the DoW Texture Tool.

Can I change the skin of the Campaign units?

Yes! Although depending on which game you are attempting it for, the difficulty will change.

To change the textures in the original Dawn of War, you need to create a new RSH file for all of the textures. RSH files are non-teamcolourable and so are only rarely available on this site.

To change the textures in the Winter Assault and Dark Crusade (and probably Soulstorm) campaigns then you need to replace the RTX files. RTX files are similar to RSH files but are just the colours, not the effects.

To replace the campaign textures then you need to either replace all of the RTX files (for which you need to find out which set to replace) or you need to change the SCAR script that controls the campaign missions. The second method should work, but some people have reported game crashes in Dark Crusade when they altered the campaign race data file.

Can I make areas of my texture partially transparent?


It had been believed for a long time that textures in Dawn of War only supported 'binary transparency' and that even though the alpha channel on the _default.tga image had an 8-bit alhpha channel, this was approximated to true-false transparency around a certain threshold.

A recent lucky accident that created 'stealth Space Marines' with a ghostly shape proved this wrong. Although the Army Painter only supports an approximated binary transparency, the game itself supports full 8-bit alpha transparency!

Be prepared to see some interesting new effects in skins

I get a "Runtime Error 5" message when I run Beroc's WTP Tool. What's causing it?

The Runtime Error 5 is a Windows message that tells you that you haven't got one or more of the VB6 runtime libraries installed.

Check the Readme that came with the WTP Tool and make sure that you follow the instructions about installing the DLL files.

I get an error saying "The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135)." when I run one of IBBoard's applications. What does it mean?

This is a Windows error that it throws when you try to run a .Net application without having the .Net Framework installed on your computer.

To solve the problem and be able to use the Pattern Switcher, the <a href="/TextureTool/"> and an ever increasing number of .Net applications then check out Microsoft's Get the .Net Framework article.

I want people to be able to download and use my skin in their games. Can I do that?

Yes, and we can help!

Skins@HWT was set up to be the home of the biggest and best collection of skins and other texture-related items for Dawn of War. As part of that aim, we will gladly accept just about any contribution from the community and host it on our own server. Downloading is free and getting hosted will always be free!

Please read our Submitting Your Work article for more details on how to get your work hosted.

I want to make my own patterns, how do I go about it?

The following is a very brief description. For more details, check the Tutorials section.

First get an SGA reader, such as SpookyRAT, Corsix's SGA Reader, the Relic Mod Packager from the Mod Tools, or SGA Explorer and use it to extract the WTP files. Next get the Dawn of War Texture Tool or Beroc's WTP Tool (mirrored at Skins@HWT) and extract the WTP files to TGAs. Once this is done, edit the TGAs and then use the Texture Tool or WTP Tool again to recompile the WTP. If this is still in the correct folder, then it will automatically be used by the game when you run it.

And the final step? show the world your talents - email the WTP file to me with some screenshots and your name, or upload it to an FTP server for me to downlod it from and I'll add it to our downloads section with full credits. For more details, see our Submitting Your Work article.

Which program do I need to edit the TGA files?

Any paint package that understands TGA files is suitable. Most skinners on the Relic Forums use Adobe Photoshop (very expensive, unless you can pick up a slightly older copy from a computer fair or similar). Jasc's Paint Shop Pro is also suitable, and cheaper than Photoshop. The free alternative is The GIMP - the GNU Image Manipulation Program.

Please note that if you are using Photoshop 7 you may need to download Adobe's Targa plugin to allow you to save with Alpha Channels.

Why do I sometimes get stray pixels on my textures that are a very bright colour?

If you've ever noticed an odd bright pink, green or other coloured pixel on your texture, then you're suffering from "Pixel Clash". Unfortunately, many of the standard Relic textures suffer from this problem as well.

Pixel Clash is caused when the same pixel on two or more different layers contain too much colour. Because of the way that the layers are used (Additive Colour, for those who know their colour theory) if too much colour is added in one channel, e.g. red, then this 'overflows' and makes a very bright colour.

The solution to this is issue is simple. If you think that that area is only on one layer, then check the same location in all other layers and make sure that it is filled with pure black. If you are purposefully trying to overlap colours for a fade effect then just reduce the lightness of the pixels on one or all of the layers it occurs on.


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