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Skins Noob problem to 4k skin modding.

Discussion in 'Assetto Corsa Modding Discussions' started by AnklaX, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. AnklaX

    AnklaX

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    I've made my first skin using the default template for the 488 GT3. All went well and thought I'd do a 4k skin. So, as per some online tutorials, I resize the template to 4k in photoshop.
    The base color is white without making any other changes from the original template as seen in photoshop but in showroom, it shows red!? I applied green base color and in the showroom it's nearly black. I put a big red circle on the hood. In showroom the color of the circle is red but the car is still black, or very dark nearly black green. So I thought I'd try some other template and took the template from the clearwater skin and applied green to base color and in showroom, the base color was again very dark nearly black also other colors had a different hue than what I saw in photoshop. I'm really lost. Someone help.
    I should add that I have very, very limited knowledge of photoshop or the nvidia texture tool. My efforts all worked except when I tried to do 4k.
     
  2. Ryno917

    Ryno917

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    Which car are you working on?

    Some of the templates by default have a black alpha channel, meaning the diffuse texture blends with the metal_detail.dds file, which on some cars (mainly Ferraris) by default have a red metal detail file. The result is that your skin blends with the red detail file.

    Replace the metal_detail.dds file with one from an all-white car and then have a look.
     
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  3. Henky SA

    Henky SA

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    remove the black alpha channel if any in the template project. go to Channels tab, see if there's Alpha channel under the RGB channels. highlight on the Alpha (or ctrl+6), right click it and click "Delete Channel". then save. with this, the metal_detail.dds won't blend with the main AO and you can apply any colors/decals as you want without worrying it will be blended. as the metail_detail works as main color if there's an Alpha channel inside the saved texture.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
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  4. Abilio_KID

    Abilio_KID

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    Just one thing to add, if I may: do as Henky SA said but also create a white "metal_detail.dds". This reverses the blending. Usually it's the AO (shades from black to white) blended with the color in "metal_detail.dds". Now it's AO (shades of your color) blended with white. This fine tunes the color, at least from what I could see in the skins I made.

    Edit: Sorry, didn't see the previous post from Ryno917^^
     
  5. AnklaX

    AnklaX

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    Thanks to all the advice. Problem solved. So here's another question. In my first successful skin I noticed a very, very light red tint all over the car. Was that the metal detail or something in the channels or both? I'd like to learn about that.

    After further tinkering, I feel that I should understand the channels more and also how the metal detail works. Think it's very useful to make my own metal detail.

    Also, I'm thinking of trying my hand at 3D paint but cant find a tutorial. Is there any resource that can help a total beginner with that?
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
  6. DM2zzion

    DM2zzion

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    You can find many tutorials for either Photoshop or Mudbox out there:
    http://bfy.tw/9uoI
     
  7. AnklaX

    AnklaX

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    Funny, 2d skinning has very good starter tutorial. I just couldn't find that kind of hand holding tutorial for 3D. As for mudbox, well, I just learned that name from you post.
     
  8. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
    Premium

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    The 3D painting is a nice tool but you do need a fairly beefy PC to run it.

    I suppose I've got so much into the habit of painting and then previewing the file in game I've had no need for it (surprised I haven't worn out my alt/tab keys! :roflmao:) However it does come in very useful for joining lines or logos across body panels, etc.

    My Aorus laptop is perfectly fine with it but I've tried 3D painting in Photoshop using a 3D Photoshop file on a fairly new PC (few years old) and it was just too slow to use. It puts a tremendous strain on the video side of the hardware.

    There are plenty of videos on Youtube on this side of things, I'll see if I can find one for you.

    Mudbox is a similar sort of thing. It's a piece of professional 3D software that allows you to create objects like using clay so fantastic for organic forms like faces, clothing. You can then paint straight onto the model you've created in real time.

    http://www.autodesk.com/products/mudbox/overview

    Assetto Corsa is awesome and frustrating for fans of skinning. It's almost unlimited in what you can do for your design. Colours of the wheels, seatbelts, labels on the dashboards, metallic paint, matt paint, maps, tyre textures and so on. The only downside to all of that detail is just the time required and of course making sure it all works together. Compared to the Rfactor2 livery I've just done (body, windows and wing spoiler files) it's a more involved process. I'm not saying it's better or worse just more involved if you want to go that far with your design :)

    The best advice I can give is look at other liveries for other cars in the game and try and get an understanding of how the files are laid out, how they are named, etc. That helped me a lot to get started.

    Some are slightly mysterious like the metal_detail.dds you mentioned and you have to play with those to see what they do others are more self explanatory.

    Have fun and I'll try my best to answer and questions you have.
     
  9. Abilio_KID

    Abilio_KID

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    Not sure what you mean about the red tint. Would be nice if you could upload a zoomed picture of it or the full image, if you wish. Could be color banding (not sure if it's the correct English word for it).
    The file "metal_detail.dds" is usefull for skins where you only change the general color or when you only design small details (stripes, text, etc.). It has a base color then the detail is an alpha channel (greyscale) where every part defines the details that get reflected when hit by sun (+-). Check some cars with skins that show metal flakes in it (like metallic paints).
    Sometimes there are color issues. For example, a black car with red stripes will show small white parts where the 2 colors touch each others. This is due to DXT compression and the car's alpha channel. To avoid this, paint all the colors in the AO (the car paint, from template) and make a white "metal_detail.dds" like I said. It won't be the same but it fixes the banding.
    Oh, try to save the "metal_detail.dds" as "8.8.8.8 - ARGB 32 bpp - unsigned" so the color doesn't get weird.

    I used Photoshop for the 3D painting but it's not very satisfying. You have to open the car's 3D as "obj" but it can't be too big or there will be problems. Then you'll have to make it a very big picture, like 10000x10000 pixels or so. Prepare yourself for huge cache files... Also, direct painting in it will create irregular pixel transitions. Use it only to more easily define where the stripes, etc., will be. Then do the rest in 2D (by hand) on top of that.
    Yes, not that easy...
     
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  10. Henky SA

    Henky SA

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    i'm all echo with Abilio said above.

    for just a tool for help you get the fast preview of the skin you are currently making using PS 3D, 2048px or below should be okay (for me at least). but the pain comes when you want to draw stripes on place some logo(s) on the hardest placement or when the AO is asymmetrical at all so it's hard to get the stripes or logos right with just using 2D paint or you will be ended up fighting with pen tool/warp/cut the selection over and over again (like 919 Hybrid or Ferrari F1s for example, and some cars do have asymmetric mapping at some parts). using 3D is probably the only option to make them right. in order to get the good result when you merge the stripes/logos down onto the AO, you should scale the 3D project in 8000px (or 10k pixel as Abilio said). below it will make the stripes/logos very pixelated when merged down. (and you must redraw them in 2D if you're really not bothered at all). and disk space is also a worry factor, too.
     
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  11. AnklaX

    AnklaX

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    Thanks again to all who shared their knowledge with me. I keep getting better. But here is another hurdle for me:

    So, I can finally say I can make skins for AC, even posted a few here but there's one thing I can't do.
    I want to make a pattern for the body of a car and I want the pattern to perfectly cross over the body panels perfectly. I can't do it in Photoshop and don't see any reasonable way of doing it given how the templates are. I tried in Mudbox but if I get it to crossover the panels on the top of the car, it gets skewed at the sides and if I get it right at the side, It's all messed up at the top.

    What's the trick here? I'm limited with Photoshop but still can do quite a few things but in mudbox, I'm even worse.
     
  12. Ryno917

    Ryno917

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    The trick is a lot of time, a lot patience, and a lot of swearing.

    No, really.

    The thing you have to remember, is that you can not put a flat graphic on a 3D shape and expect it not to get distorted. It's impossible, physcially. 3D shapes can't be perfectly flattened out - take the globe for instance. The typical map that everyone uses stretches everything out the further you get from the equator. The north end of Canada and Greenland isn't nearly that wide, but because it's a flat representation of a sphere it's horribly stretched out.


    The best thing you can do is paste the pattern on the sides, paste another copy on the top and then try to align them as best as possible. Then you have to go in an manually alter the design to align perfectly. It takes a lot of time, but that's the best way to do it.

    AFAIK Mudbox and other 3D painting apps project an image onto the model from the viewpoint, they don't try to wrap it on the model, so you will get skewed images doing that around sharp curves (like the transition from side to top, etc)
     
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  13. AnklaX

    AnklaX

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    Oh God!!
     
  14. Abilio_KID

    Abilio_KID

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    AnklaX, think about it this way:
    - Extract textures from the car
    - Check every DDS format and size of each texture
    - Disassemble the 3D
    - Separate all parts for each "material" (the textures I need to change)
    - Create templates from the UV maps of those textures (bigger than the original ones)
    - Open the converted parts in Photoshop for 3D painting and resize it to a huge resolution (usually 10000x10000)
    - Create layers and draw stripes, logos, etc. (from top, left, right, front, back, as needed)
    - Open the texture from the blending, correct mistakes, smooth lines (all in 8K resolution)
    - Convert everything to 4K and check for more mistakes
    - Save files as DDS and test for colors, special effects, tilling mistakes, etc.

    More or less like that... yes, takes time :D
    Just make sure you have everything in PSD format for backup, then do more backups, lol... And create templates for tires colors, seats, etc. ;)
     
  15. Michael Hornbuckle

    Michael Hornbuckle

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    And just wait until two parts of the car that connect, and that your design covers both of, are of two separate size scales. Fun.
    Thank Goodness for content manager showing saved changes in real time; I've spent far too many hours of my life the past couple years just waiting for the showroom to load so that I could see if moving that stripe one pixel up and over finally aligned it with another part of the car or if it needs to be moved another pixel.
     
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  16. Abilio_KID

    Abilio_KID

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    If the 2 parts have different scales but are proportional, you can increase the size (aka detail) of the smaller one. Takes more space but may help.
    For realtime preview I use "Lith Unwrap", a free UVmap program that can load psd files. It's good enough to check for aligment and such. I may sound silly but I don't like Content Manager. Has too many options, gets a bit confusing. But that's just my opinion, of course...
     
  17. Ryno917

    Ryno917

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    I've found it quite simple - select the car and skin you're working on, right click on the icon for the skin and select 'load in custom showroom.' Voila. Leave it open while you're working, and any time you update any of the files the skin uses it will update in the CM showroom as well. It's a great tool - especially since it uses the AC shaders so you can check how different "_map" and detail settings react in real time as well, plus you can use it to view the driver, crew, and all other textures as well - like tires, wheels, blurred wheels, chassis textures, etc etc etc.

    It's very handy. :) I just wish there was a way to view the driver model outside of the car - preferably standing - in CM as well.
     
  18. AccAkut

    AccAkut

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    this is not something modders or Kunos likes you to do with their models

    CM can export the UV layouts without this step
     
  19. Abilio_KID

    Abilio_KID

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    I understand and I don't use the 3D except for the skins. I don't use CM, so I have to manually separate the parts used for each texture to create my own templates. Oh yes, I don't use Kunos templates at all either (except maybe the AO part because the DDS is compressed). They are innacurate, the wireframe is too small and slightly out of place.
    Content manager is a nice program but it confuses me a bit. Not that it's too complicated but I tend to do things from scratch myself. Stubborn, I know.
    The use of the 3D as a template, and it's just my opinion, is perfectly normal. As long as I don't copy, change, or create my own 3D content based on it.
     
  20. Ryno917

    Ryno917

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    I personally don't use 3D templates; they come with their own large drawbacks. A properly UV mapped car should be quite simple to paint on a 2D template, and allows you to use some other features of Photoshop that offer benefits that 3D painting just can't match.