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Amit

[Tutorial] Simple Re-texturing Guide (From Start To Finish)

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NOTE: This guide will be updated to use the Arma 3 Tools once all relevant tools are released.

I've seen various guides on different stages of the texturing process, but I have not yet seen a single complete guide with all the steps laid out from start to finish with zero shortcuts taken. I've gotten a few requests for information on how I did my retextures, so I wrote this guide to allow complete novices to be able to get in on basic texturing. Using these exact methods, you’ll be able to achieve what you see in my Ghosthawk thread.

Set aside 2-4 hours to do this the first time because it takes time to get the hang of it.
 


Credits
Before I begin I want to credit the people who made this possible:

Right from the start you'll need Bohemia Interactive's official mod tools (40mB). Install everything included there even if you don't think you'll be using certain tools. Texturing is often the gateway to more advanced mod creation and while you may not think you'll get into that now, something might change your mind later and you'll be glad to already have the tools installed.

Note: The Arma2Work folder will be put in a virtual hard drive called P:\ in My Computer. It is essential to almost all modding that you have this available.

I'll outline my actions briefly and then run through the procedure from start to finish unlike most other guides. Don't worry if you don't understand the terms in the following list, it'll be explained after. Also, to prevent readers from being overwhelmed by the amount of information, I have put each section in spoilers so they can open them as needed.
 


Actions
1. Create new blank mission in Arma 3.
2. Install BI Tools, Eliteness, the DePBO.Dll, and PAA plug-in for image editor.
3. Use Eliteness to extract files from the pbo of choice.
4. Access the texture file that you want and open it in your image editor of choice.
5. Import a downloaded texture or custom texture and use overlaying techniques to fit it over the original skin.
6. Export the final texture design as a TGA file, open it in TexView2, and save it as a PAA file.
7. Test that the texture actually works by placing the item in the editor and using setObjectTexture script command.
8. Copy the textures to my addon build folder and edit the config to allow it to be available in the editor.
9. Use BinPBO to pack the data into a pbo file. That pbo will get installed like any mod you download from online.
 

 


Preparation

 

 

 


Run Arma 3’s editor and create a new blank mission. Call it whatever you want and then exit the game.

Currently the way I extract the textures (well, all the files including the models) is by using a program called Eliteness (177kB) to extract the files from the PBO file using Mikeo's DePBO.dll (582kB) and DeOgg.dll (499kB) files. After downloading both of those, use WinRar or 7zip to extract the files in the Eliteness download to a folder anywhere on your computer. Extract only the DePbo.dll file from the 2nd download into the folder where the Eliteness files are. If you don't do this, then the program won't be able to extract files from the PBOs. You'll also need an image editor that supports opening PAA files. I personally use Photoshop CS5 along with this PAA plugin (160kB). It works with both Photoshop and The GIMP. If you do not own either of those, you'll need to convert the PAA file to a TGA using TexView 2. Instructions to do this are in the Texture Editing section.

If you’re using photoshop, place it in: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS5\Plug-ins\File Formats\

If you’re using the GIMP, place it in: C:\Program Files\GIMP-2.0\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins\

Once you have done that, open Eliteness. On the left pane browse to your Arma 3 folder, go into the addons folder and click on the category of whatever you're looking to edit. For me, I wanted to get straight to work on the Ghosthawk, so I would look for it in air_f.pbo, but the only stuff contained in there was the alpha aircraft. The aircraft added in the beta are in air_f_beta.pbo. Another example is if you want to edit one of the APCs added in the beta, you would have to open up the "armoured_f_beta.pbo" file in Eliteness. In the left pane when you see the pbo you want to extract, double-click on it. It'll ask for a confirmation. Click yes. It'll extract the files to the /Steamapps/Common/Arma 3/Addons folder.

Previously there were no folders in the Addons folder, only the pbo files. Now you'll have a folder called whatever the PBO was labelled. Open that and then look for the vehicle you want. In my case the Ghosthawk is known as heli_transport_01. So I opened that folder, opened the Data folder and looked for the texture I want. There are two versions of the Ghosthawk (black and green), but I primarily use the green one for my textures as you may have noticed.

The PAA textures you want to grab are anything that relates to the section of the skin you want to edit BUT also has “_co.paa� on the end. This signifies that you editing the actual base colour of the skin. I won’t go into the specifics as to what the other ones mean.

Once again, for example, the Ghosthawk has the exterior and the interior. I was only interested in the exterior so I opened “heli_transport_01_ext01_blufor_co.paa�. I quickly noticed that there was no tail or rotor sections present in that skin. I assumed “ext01� meant exterior 1 to signify there are more parts to be displayed on the model in-game. Sure enough when I opened “heli_transport_01_ext02_blufor_co.paa� the tail portion of the helicopter was present. That was good news.

Make no mistake, there are A LOT of files you will be working with at this point, so organization is key. You should create a dedicated folder called “Arma 3 Texturing� in My Pictures to hold the numerous files you’ll be handling. After that, create a folder called whatever you are editing. For me it was the Ghosthawk. Inside that folder copy the relevant PAAs you want to edit here so you have a base to work from. I’m going to assume you have an idea of what you want to add to your skin, so create a new folder with the name of that. For me, I was editing camouflage patterns so I called the folder “camos�. Inside that folder I created subfolders for each pattern I wanted to create (e.g. Crystal, Hex, Russian, etc). Yes, a lot of folders I know, but this will help keep your retextures separated and easy to find. Next we can move onto the actual editing of the skin.


 


Texture Editing

 

 


Open your image editing program. From within the program, open any PAA files you copied from the original Data folder to the Arma 3 Retexture\{mod name here}\ folder. You’ll be asked to discard mip maps. Click YES. Mip maps are used for displaying textures at various ranges so that the full-res version doesn’t need to be used all the time. This helps speed up rendering of the texture at range. So now you have the base skin open in your program like you’re a surgeon and it’s your patient with its chest cavity exposed. Soon you will be performing surgical actions, so you can call yourself a doctor for the next few steps. We are, afterall, doctoring the textures to our liking, heh.

Note: If the PAA plugin does not work, then convert the PAA to a TGA in TexView 2 and then open that in the editing program. To do this, open the PAA in TexView, go to File>Save As, name the file what you want, but change the ".paa" to ".tga" and then change the file type to "All Files". Save it and now you have a proper TGA file. It's a hassle, but necessary if the PAA plugin is not an option for you.

The best looking retextures are probably produced using the pen tool, but that’s a bit too advanced for beginners. A great alternative for quick edits is the Polygonal Lasso Tool. Personally, that’s what I use since you can be somewhat rough with it and your skins will still show up fine in-game. At least, that is my experience and you can confirm it by checking them out using the link to my WIP thread above.

If you are doing work on editing infantry, there is a set of handy BLUFOR infantry PSD templates (205mB) made by Topas to make the entire process much easier. The set includes 4 templates: Uniform, Vest, Helmet & Misc. Equipment, and Armour. It is very easy to use those templates. Just open the PSD of the section you want to edit, disable all the layers except for "Layer 1", import your texture in and match it up to cover the same area as "Layer 1". Then, re-enable the layers that you disabled earlier and that should be ready for exporting. There are also some templates created by Saul to help with making cleaner looking retextures, but you'll need to actually do some work to shape your textures properly using these templates. Saul's BLUFOR, OPFOR, and INDEP (248mB) templates each include cavity, height, and ambient occlusion maps. Usually, the only one that you will require is the ambient occlusion map to be placed over top your retexture (diffuse map). This will be explained in a bit more detail a nearing the end of this section.

Unfortunately, we don't have templates for everything other than the BLUFOR infantry. So for anything else, select the Polygonal Lasso tool in Photoshop or its equivalent in the GIMP. In Photoshop you may have to right-click the Lasso Tool icon and select “Polygonal Lasso tool� in order to access it. Click on the outside edge of the section you want to edit and continue clicking along the edge of it until you end up back at the start. The final click will need to be on the first point you click to close the selection. If you mess up one of the points, hit Delete to remove it and try again. If there are windows or other shapes inside the select that you do not want to be textured over, then look in the top left section of the mainbar. You’ll see four icons with squares. You want to click on the one 3rd from the left (one solid square, one dim square). What this allows you to do is use the lasso tool to select the sections you DON’T want to end up in the final selection. When you’re done, you’ll want to duplicate that selection into a new layer to preserve the outline for later when you add your custom texture. To do this, hit Ctrl+J on the keyboard. I’m not sure what the hotkey is for the GIMP. You’ll see a new layer called “Layer 1� in the layers pane above the “Background� layer. You can click the little eye icon for Layer 1 since we won’t need to look at it anymore.

Note: Be sure to save your project as a PSD right now. You do not want to redo this tedious process.

Now, this is the part where you must import your custom texture into the project. Whether you crafted the pattern by hand or downloaded it from the internet matters not. The only thing that matters is that it is a high enough resolution to look good on whatever you’re texturing. The Ghosthawk is a large aircraft, so I aimed for textures 2048x2048 pixels in size and resized them to be smaller if necessary. Usually you’ll want your texture to cover the entire original texture’s area. Drag and drop your custom texture into the image editing workspace. It’ll now be the top layer as “Layer 2�. This is what you want, but it’s clearly not what you want it to look like ingame. Basically, you need to find a way to overlay the texture over the original such that the detail of the base texture is kept, but your own texture shows up. I find that the Color Dodge layer blend mode works fine for 90% of the custom textures I’ve used. To do this, select the new texture in the layer pane and click the drop down in the top left of the pane to select “Color Dodge�. What you see now will depend on the colour of both the base skin and the new texture. What you should see is a decent blend between the two. If it looks too dark, you may have to play around with the blending setting on the layer to find one that does look decent. I find that Soft Light will work alright with darker texture combinations.

Align the new texture over all the sections as mentioned before. Now, look down to the layers pane you should see little preview windows of each layer. Hold Ctrl and click on that little preview, but make sure the the new texture (Layer 2) is still selected. Now hit Ctrl+J again to duplicate that layer into Layer 3. Now you should have the area that you want retextured looking super bright. This is fine, just tick the little eye icon on Layer 2 to disable it. Now you should have it looking the way you want it.

At this point you’ll want to make a judgement call. If your texture looks comfortably visible and bright, then you should add a layer that darkens the overall retexture a bit. In my experience, when the sun hits the skin in-game, nice vivid looking skins from photoshop turn into bright glare generators. To do this, create a new layer by hitting Ctrl+Shift+N on your keyboard. Make sure that new layer (Layer 4) is selected and then do the Ctrl+Click thing on the retexture. It’ll show the selection and now hit Shift+F5 on your keyboard. In the Content section select Black and in Blending, keep mode at normal and opacity at 100%. Hit enter. Your skins turned completely black. No worries, just go to the Opacity area in the Layers pane for Layer 4 and lower it to something that looks less bright, but still comfortably colourful (or whatever you’re going for). I generally use something around the 45% mark. Example to follow.

 

                                                  Too Bright                                                                                                    Just Right

gJeh5I6.jpg   Jsz38Us.jpg

Once you have your texture looking the way you want it, you now need to put something called an ambient occlusion map over your texture. This allows you to retain the sharp detail of whatever you are texturing over. This becomes especially important if you plan to completely replace the original texture and to not use overlaying techniques. If you used Topas' template earlier for your infantry texture, don't worry about this part. If you used Saul's template then you already have the ambient occlusion map in the PSD file. If you were not using either of those, then you will need to generate the occlusion map yourself. Surpher has kindly uploaded an automated script for using the normal map of the model to generate the height and occlusion maps. You may obtain the script fromhis reply to this thread. You will need the program xNormal (156mB) in order for the script to run properly.

Download the action file and place it in Adobe Photoshop CSx\Presets\Actions folder, where "CSx" is whatever version of Photoshop you have. Examples: CS, CS5, CS5.1
Download and install xNormal. You don't need any of the video codecs, but they are highly useful to have on your PC in general.
Once both of those are installed, go into the /Steamapps/Common/Arma 3/Addons/ folder and go back to the folder where the original textures are. For whatever "_co.paa" texture you opened in Photoshop/GIMP, find the corresponding "_nohq.paa" file, open it in TexView 2, save it as a TGA instead of PAA (change file extension to .tga), and then open that up in Photoshop. At the top of the program, click on "Window", then "Actions". This opens the actions pane. You may or may or may not need to add the downloaded action manually. Click this: mWzdaKa.png then click "Load actions", browse to the action file and open that up. The new action will show up in the Actions pane. Click the little blue arrow next to "Normal Map Conversion" and highlight the entry "Normal _To_AO_&_Height" Then hit the little play button at the bottom of the Actions pane. This will create the height and occlusion maps. When it's done, drag and drop the occlusion map layer onto your retexture's document space and set the occlusion map layer's blending to "Multiply". The edges of your texture should bee more accentuated and darker. You may close all other documents open in Photoshop except your retexture.

Now you can export the texture.

You’ll want to export it as a .TGA (Targa) file because the PAA plugin doesn’t do a good job of regenerating the new mip maps in the new PAA file. TexVeiw 2 gets the job done properly and quickly. Call the tga files whatever you like. For my Ghosthawk skins I used “{pattern name}.tga� and “{pattern name}_tail.tga� formats. Highlight both of the TGA files in the project folder and hit enter to open them both with TexView 2. Go to File>Save As. In the file name box remove the .tga on the end and then click save. Do that for both files. The time it'll take to convert each tga file into the PAA file will vary depending on the resolution of the texture, so be patient. You’ll know it’s finished when you have the square box cursor back on the texture in TexView 2. This completes the texture editing section.


 


In-game Texture Test

 

 


Alright, you’ve made it this far and you’re almost to the point of getting it in-game for glorious viewing. There is one of two things you can do:

1. Test the new textures using the setObjectTexture command or
2. Edit the config file and package it up into a PBO right away.

I highly recommend testing the textures in-game BEFORE packaging them into a PBO addon because this way you can quickly see what the skins actually look like in-game and inspect them. It’s very useful for finding areas of the skin that need to be polished. The reason this is so quick and easy is because the files stay as PAA format rather than the extra step of writing the config code, binarizing it into a PBO and then adding it as an addon to Arma 3. All you have to do is drop the PAA files in to the folder containing the blank mission files from the first step. The mission folder is in Documents\Arma 3\missions\{mission name}.stratis.

Launch Arma 3, go to the editor and open the blank mission you created earlier. Navigate to the Stratis airfield and plop the item down onto the runway. In my case I placed a regular Ghosthawk. In the initialization box I put the following:

 

 


this setObjectTexture [0,"russian.paa"]; this setObjectTexture [1,"russian_tail.paa"]

 

 

In order for the custom textures to show up, you need to specify what they are replacing and where they are located. The 0 represents hidden selection #1 on the ghosthawk. This is the main body, so I wrote the PAA name for the body and the 1 in the second entry specifies the location of the tail’s texture. A third entry with 2 would likely replace the glass as the hidden selections appear to be in the order that the textures are from the Data folder extracted from the pbo. Now, click okay and then hit Preview to check it out. You should now be able to see your newly created retexture. Use the overcast feature in the editor to see how it looks in both full sunlight, 50% overcast and 100% overcast at midday. That should help give the best representation of what your skins will look like. Remember, if it looks too bright or something, you can just open the PSD file again and make tweaks.


 


Configuration Creation

 

 


Your configuration file will depend on the type of item you are editing. Finding the code is somewhat of a drag if you aren’t familiar with scripting/programming. Below I will include the exact ones I use as a template to help you guys with yours. So far I have only tested infantry helmets and vests along with vehicles.

I’ll begin with vehicles (specifically helicopters) for the configuration. Unfortunately I do not recall where I got the code for the helicopters, but I know that it is a mix of someone’s helicopter config and my own configuration. If I find the article again I will add them to the credits.

You’ll want to start by creating a new folder somewhere on your computer to hold the mod files before they are packaged into the PBO. I suggest going into the P:\ drive and creating a new folder called “my_projects� and inside that call your mod whatever you want. I called mine “UH80. In that folder create another folder called “Data� and also create a new .txt file by right-clicking on the white space then going to New > Text Document. Name the document “config� and replace the .txt on the end with .cpp. Click yes to confirm the change of file type. Inside the Data folder, copy and paste your final PAA files into this folder.

Many addons combine everything into a single PBO (e.g. Infantry/vehicle skins), but some also separate items like weapons from skins. This is most likely to organization easier. To keep things simple, we’ll begin with a standalone addon where the item you edited is not mixed with other types of textures. So, we’ll keep vehicles separate from infantry, although, there is no reason why you can’t have both together in the same configuration.

For helicopters, this is the code you’ll be using:


Don’t add any of this to the config.cpp file just yet. Let’s analyze this code first and find what you need to change in order to make your skins work. In section 1 you see:


class UH80_skins {units[] = {};weapons[] = {};requiredVersion = 0.1;requiredAddons[] = {"A3_Air_F_Beta_Heli_Transport_01"};};

The “class UH80_skins� represents the name of your modification. The UH80_skins will be changed to whatever you named the mod. Make sure there are no spaces, though. Use underscores for spaces. The rest of this section can be left alone.

Section 2 looks like:


class Heli_Transport_01_base_F;class UH80_crystal_FG: Heli_Transport_01_base_F

Under cfgVehicles, the class of the base vehicle needs to be defined. That’s what the “class Heli_Transport_01_base_F;� is. The part relevant to our interests is where you see “UH80_crystal_FG�. This specifies the class name to be reserved for the specific pattern in the game. You will need to change that to whatever you want the class name to be in-game. The “:Heli_Transport_01_base_F� stays the same.

Note: If two items have the same class name from two different addons, there will be a conflict, so try to make it fairly unique to your addon.

Section 3 is the meat and the potatoes:


{_generalMacro = "B_Heli_Transport_01_F";scope = 2;side = 1;faction = "BLU_F"; //Change to your factiondisplayName="UH-80 Crystalhawk (Foliage)";crew = "B_Helipilot_F"; //Change to your pilothiddenSelections[]= {"camo1","camo2"};hiddenSelectionsTextures[]= {"P:\UH80\Data\crystal.paa","P:\UH80\Data\crystal_tail.paa"};typicalCargo[] = {"B_Helipilot_F"};availableForSupportTypes[] = {"Drop","Transport"};};

This section only has a few things to edit, thankfully. The line “displayName="UH-80 Crystalhawk (Foliage)";� is what defines the name of the item in the editor. So, if I wanted to name that vehicle to something else, I’d just replace the "UH-80 Crystalhawk (Foliage)" with the new name. “hiddenSelections[]= {"camo1","camo2"};� is used for selecting what areas of the model will be replaced with the custom texture. Earlier I mentioned that the hidden selections appear to be in the order that they appear in the Data folder. This is true for the Ghosthawk so I used camo1 and camo2 to define those selections. If the model only requires one hidden selection to be used, then use just “camo�. The line below that is what assigns the textures to the hidden selections. Change "P:\UH80\Data\crystal.paa" and "P:\UH80\Data\crystal_tail.paa" to the textures that you created.

That’s it. The rest can be left as they are. If you want to change with faction to add the vehicle to, then use the Six Config Browser to find the class name of the faction you want to use and replace it with that. In the top right section of the site, click on the mod name in the white box and select ARMA 3 Beta. That will give you the correct class names. If there’s a specific infantry unit you want to place as the default crew for when you spawn the vehicle, you can edit that field with the class name of the unit.

I’m not entirely sure everything you see above is absolutely needed just for changing the textures, but I left it in just to give you an idea of what is taken into account when the mods are processed in the editor and how to change certain things.

So now that you know what needs to be changed, copy the following code into your config.cpp file and make the necessary changes.

 


class CfgPatches{class [color=#ff0000]{mod class name here}[/color] { //e.g. UH_80_uniqueunits[] = {};weapons[] = {};requiredVersion = 0.1;requiredAddons[] = {"A3_Air_F_Beta_Heli_Transport_01"};};};class cfgVehicles{class Heli_Transport_01_base_F;class [color=#FF0000]{name the specific texture}[color=#FF0000]: Heli_Transport_01_base_F{_generalMacro = "B_Heli_Transport_01_F";scope = 2;side = 1;faction = "BLU_F"; [color=#FF0000]<--Change if necessary for your mod[/color]displayName="[color=#FF0000]{name of the vehicle in the editor}[/color]";crew = "B_Helipilot_F" [color=#FF0000]<--Change if necessary for your mod[/color]hiddenSelections[]= {"camo1","camo2"}; [color=#FF0000]<--Change to reflect how many sections you are replacing[/color]hiddenSelectionsTextures[]= {"[color=#FF0000]{path to texture 1}[/color]","[color=#FF0000]{path to texture 2}[/color]"};typicalCargo[] = {"B_Helipilot_F"};availableForSupportTypes[] = {"Drop","Transport"};};};



For helmets, this is the code you’ll be using:

 


enum {// = 2, // Error parsing: Empty enum nameDESTRUCTENGINE = 2,DESTRUCTDEFAULT = 6,DESTRUCTWRECK = 7,DESTRUCTTREE = 3,DESTRUCTTENT = 4,STABILIZEDINAXISX = 1,STABILIZEDINAXESXYZ = 4,STABILIZEDINAXISY = 2,STABILIZEDINAXESBOTH = 3,DESTRUCTNO = 0,STABILIZEDINAXESNONE = 0,DESTRUCTMAN = 5,DESTRUCTBUILDING = 1,};class CfgPatches {class [color=#ff0000]{mod class name here}[/color] {units[] = {};weapons[] = {};requiredVersion = 0.1;requiredAddons[] = {"A3_Characters_F_BLUFOR"};};};class cfgWeapons {class ItemCore;class HeadgearItem;class example_HelmetB : ItemCore {scope = 2;weaponPoolAvailable = 1;displayName = "[color=#FF0000]{what you want to call the helmet}[/color]";picture = "\A3\characters_f\Data\UI\icon_H_HelmetB_CA.paa";model = "\A3\Characters_F\BLUFOR\headgear_b_helmet_ballistic";hiddenSelections[] = {"camo"};hiddenSelectionsTextures[] = {"[color=#FF0000]{path to helmet PAA file}[/color]"};class ItemInfo : HeadgearItem {mass = 100;uniformModel = "\A3\Characters_F\BLUFOR\headgear_b_helmet_ballistic";modelSides[] = {3, 1};armor = 3*0.5;passThrough = 0.8;hiddenSelections[] = {"camo"};};};};



Most of what you see above isn’t too important. Just edit the sections that are highlighted in red text. The same will be true for the vests and uniforms.

The code for vests:

 


class CfgPatches {class [color=#ff0000]{mod class name here}[/color] {units[] = {};weapons[] = {};requiredVersion = 0.1;requiredAddons[] = {"A3_Characters_F_BLUFOR"};};};class cfgWeapons {class Vest_Base;class VestItem;class example_PlateCarrier1_rgr : Vest_Base {scope = 2;displayName = "[color=#FF0000]{what you want to call the vest}[/color]";picture = "\A3\characters_f\Data\UI\icon_V_plate_carrier_1_CA.paa";model = "\A3\Characters_F\BLUFOR\equip_b_vest02";hiddenSelections[] = {"camo"};hiddenSelectionsTextures[] = {"[color=#FF0000]{path to vestPAA file}[/color]"};class ItemInfo : VestItem {uniformModel = "\A3\Characters_F\BLUFOR\equip_b_vest02";containerClass = "Supply100";mass = 50;armor = 5*0.5;passThrough = 0.7;hiddenSelections[] = {"camo"};};};};




Now, Stiltman made a note about using uniforms on soldiers, so you must read and understand what he says before continuing on with uniform retextures:
 

 
 
Uniforms seem to be working a little bit diffrent from what i gather they are in fact soldiers

 

and when switching uniform the game just switches class/model on your soldier.

 

 

so one would have to make a new soldier aswell as a new item.

 

 

this example will put your soldier under bluefor as Uniform Test Soldier

 

 

for the soldier its in CfgVehicles.

 

 

 

 

 


class Example_Soldier_F : B_Soldier_base_F {_generalMacro = "B_Soldier_F"; //unsure what this doesscope = 2;displayName = "Uniform Test Soldier";uniformAccessories[] = {};nakedUniform = "U_BasicBody"; //class for "naked" bodyuniformClass = "Example_CombatUniform_mcam"; //the uniform itemhiddenSelections[] = {"Camo"};hiddenSelectionsTextures[] = {"pathtoyouraddonretexturefile.paa"};};
and then the uniform item linking it to the soldier class

 

making it an item in the gear menu without this it works as regular arma 2

 

 

and it will show no uniform in gear.

 

 

 

 



class Example_CombatUniform_mcam : Uniform_Base {scope = 2;displayName = "Example Mcam uniform";picture = "\A3\characters_f\data\ui\icon_U_B_CombatUniform_mcam_ca.paa";model = "\A3\Characters_F\Common\Suitpacks\suitpack_blufor_diver";class ItemInfo : UniformItem {uniformModel = "-";uniformClass = "Example_Soldier_F"; //would be same as our made soldier classcontainerClass = "Supply20"; //how much it can carrymass = 80; //how much it weights};};



Full code for uniforms:

 


enum {// = 2, // Error parsing: Empty enum nameDESTRUCTENGINE = 2,DESTRUCTDEFAULT = 6,DESTRUCTWRECK = 7,DESTRUCTTREE = 3,DESTRUCTTENT = 4,STABILIZEDINAXISX = 1,STABILIZEDINAXESXYZ = 4,STABILIZEDINAXISY = 2,STABILIZEDINAXESBOTH = 3,DESTRUCTNO = 0,STABILIZEDINAXESNONE = 0,DESTRUCTMAN = 5,DESTRUCTBUILDING = 1,};class CfgPatches {class [color=#ff0000]{mod class name here}[/color] {units[] = {};weapons[] = {};requiredVersion = 0.1;requiredAddons[] = {"A3_Characters_F_BLUFOR"};};};class CfgVehicles {class B_Soldier_base_F;class Example_Soldier_F : B_Soldier_base_F {_generalMacro = "B_Soldier_F"; //unsure what this doesscope = 2;displayName = "[color=#FF0000]{what you want to call the soldier}[/color]";nakedUniform = "U_BasicBody"; //class for "naked" bodyuniformClass = "[color=#FF0000]{give the uniform a class name}[/color]"; //e.g. "Example_Soldier_F"hiddenSelections[] = {"Camo"};hiddenSelectionsTextures[] = {"[color=#FF0000]{path to uniform PAA file}[/color]"};};};class cfgWeapons {class Uniform_Base;class UniformItem;class [color=#FF0000]{use uniform a class name from above}[/color] : Uniform_Base {scope = 2;displayName = "[color=#FF0000]{Display name for the uniform}[/color]";picture = "\A3\characters_f\data\ui\icon_U_B_CombatUniform_mcam_ca.paa";model = "\A3\Characters_F\Common\Suitpacks\suitpack_blufor_diver";class ItemInfo : UniformItem {uniformModel = "-";uniformClass = "[color=#FF0000]Example_Soldier_F[/color]"; //would be same as our made soldier classcontainerClass = "Supply20"; //how much it can carrymass = 80; //how much it weights};};};



And that should be it for configurations of gear and vehicles. I don’t believe this is possible on weapons.

 
Ic3gqYL.png
 


 


PBO (addon binarization)

 

 


So you finally have all your files ready. Your PAA files are in the P:\my_addons\{mod_name}\Data\ folder and the config.cpp file is configured and placed in the P:\my_addons\{mod_name}\ folder. There’s only two steps left to do before you can finally see your skins in-game working as an addon. You must pack the files back into a format that the Arma engine can read and then add it to the command line or use a mod manager.

  • Fire up the tool BinPBO Personal Edition.
  • Point the Addon source to your mod’s folder, so: P:\my_addons\{mod_name\.
  • Point the Destination to your Arma 3 folder, but inside its own addon folder, so: Steamapps\common\Arma 3\@{mod_name}\Addons
  • Make sure the “clear temp folderâ€� and “Binarizeâ€� boxes are checked and then hit the “packâ€� button.

Depending on how many files it has to process the can take anywhere from 10 seconds to 5 minutes (for really large packs).

Now you can either open up your Arma 3 properties and add the mod to the command line or you can use a mod manager.

The easiest way to manage your mods is to use a mod manger. I recommend using Arma 3 Launcher by Head. It automatically detects your arma install folders (includes A2/OA) and you can save multiple profiles for Addons. This is particularly useful for switching quickly between test Addons, Zoombies DayZ, Co-op/MP friendly, or simply because one mod is conflicting with another.

The more tedious way to add mods to the game to read is by opening the game’s properties in your Steam library. Click “Set Launch Options� and add “-mod=@{mod_name}� to the line and then hit enter. If you have more than one mod to run with the game, write it like this: “-mod=@{mod1};@{mod2};@{mod3}� and so on.

And that's it! Go in-game and start testing out your new textures!



I hope you have learned enough to get started on your own mods. If there are any questions, you may definitely post them in this thread. I expect there may be questions about the configuration, so post those here as well and I will contact Stiltman to guide us together on that topic.

Enjoy!

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Nice tutorial you should stick it on the BIKI.

To preserve detail from the original textures I created a Photoshop action (also requires xNormal). To use just convert the relevant normal map(_nohq) texture to a .tga using TexView2. I don't use the PAAPlugin because it use to and may still mix up the channel order in normal maps. With the tga open in Photoshop run the action and it will copy the normal map to a new document and produce a height map and a ambient occlusion map. I then copy these two maps to my re-texure document as multiply layers. I tend to only use the ambient occlusion map in my textures, but sometimes I add the height map on low opacity.

6mlA3s7.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/d1ly6c1ob1i2o9e/Normal%20Map%20Conversion.atn

Action steps.

Action: Normal _To_AO_&_Height
	Set Selection
		To: all
	Copy
	Set Selection
		To: none
	Make
		New: document
		Preset:  “Clipboardâ€
	Paste
		Anti-alias: none
	Delete Background
	Select blue channel
	Set Selection
		To: all
	Copy
	Select RGB channel
	Make layer
	Paste
		Anti-alias: none
	Set current layer
		To: layer
		Name:  “Blue Channelâ€
	Select layer “Layer 1â€
		Without Make Visible
	Hide layer “Blue Channelâ€
	Select green channel
	Set Selection
		To: all
	Invert
	Copy
	Invert
	Select RGB channel
	Select layer “Blue Channelâ€
		Without Make Visible
	Make layer
	Paste
		Anti-alias: none
	Set current layer
		To: layer
		Name:  “Green Channelâ€
	Select layer “Layer 1â€
		Without Make Visible
	Hide layer “Green Channelâ€
	Select red channel
	Set Selection
		To: all
	Copy
	Select RGB channel
	Select layer “Green Channelâ€
		Without Make Visible
	Make layer
	Paste
		Anti-alias: none
	Set current layer
		To: layer
		Name:  “Red Channelâ€
	Select layer “Layer 1â€
		Without Make Visible
	Set current layer
		To: layer
		Name:  “Original Normal Mapâ€
	Hide current layer
	Select layer “Red Channelâ€
		Without Make Visible
	Set current layer
		To: layer
		Mode: multiply
	Show layer “Green Channelâ€
	Select layer “Green Channelâ€
		Without Make Visible
	Set current layer
		To: layer
		Mode: multiply
	Show layer “Blue Channelâ€
	Select layer “Blue Channelâ€
		Without Make Visible
	Set current layer
		To: layer
		Mode: multiply
	Select layer “Green Channelâ€
		Without Make Visible
	Levels
		Preset Kind: Custom
		Adjustment: levels adjustment list
		levels adjustment
		Channel: composite channel
		Gamma: 2
	Select layer “Blue Channelâ€
		Without Make Visible
	Levels
		Preset Kind: Custom
		Adjustment: levels adjustment list
		levels adjustment
		Channel: composite channel
		Gamma: 0.25
	Select layer “Red Channelâ€
		Without Make Visible
	Merge Layers
	Merge Layers
	Set current layer
		To: layer
		Name:  “Heightmapâ€
	Levels
		Preset Kind: Custom
		Adjustment: levels adjustment list
		levels adjustment
		Channel: composite channel
		Input: 0, 145
		Gamma: 1.1
	Set current layer
		To: layer
		Mode: normal
	Set Selection
		To: all
	Copy
	Make layer
	Paste
		Anti-alias: none
	Set current layer
		To: layer
		Name:  “Ambient occlusionâ€
	Hide layer “Heightmapâ€
	Height2Occlusion
		HeightSource: Red
		Without NormalizeSource
		false
		Radius: 4
		Method: DEF
	Levels
		Preset Kind: Custom
		Adjustment: levels adjustment list
		levels adjustment
		Channel: composite channel
		Input: 75, 255

Edited by surpher
Added action steps
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Thanks for this mate. Will be most useful if I ever sort myself out;-)

Cheers

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I always get an error when installing Eliteness:

---------------------------

Eliteness Setup

---------------------------

Error opening file for writing:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Mikero\DePboTools\bin\Eliteness.exe

Click Abort to stop the installation,

Retry to try again, or

Ignore to skip this file.

---------------------------

Abort Retry Ignore

---------------------------

Help?

Edit:This issue has been resolved.

Edited by ADUILO

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Nice tutorial you should stick it on the BIKI.

To preserve detail from the original textures I created a Photoshop action (also requires xNormal). To use just convert the relevant normal map(_nohq) texture to a .tga using TexView2. I don't use the PAAPlugin because it use to and may still mix up the channel order in normal maps. With the tga open in Photoshop run the action and it will copy the normal map to a new document and produce a height map and a ambient occlusion map. I then copy these two maps to my re-texure document as multiply layers. I tend to only use the ambient occlusion map in my textures, but sometimes I add the height map on low opacity.

I do the same thing, but instead I take the NOHQ, open it in Photoshop, discard all colour info. Then, it's ready for overlay/multiply on the texture. You could also do it with the SMDI file as well, and get a lighter effect.

I was going to make a video tutorial about the process, but since this exists I won't have to! Nice work!

Abs

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Superb! As said already, this serious needs to be added to the BIKI! Thank you for taking the time to put this together, man. :)

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Hey guys, thanks for the feedback. Sorry I took so long to reply. I've been on vacation for the past 4 days and will not be returning for another 4, so I'll get back to making some improvements and clarifications when I do. Once I do, I will start making video tutorials as Abs wanted to do originally. It's a good idea and I think it could provide some quick tips on the texture editing process because I think the description will be vague without visual demonstration.

Edited by Amit

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I always get an error when installing Eliteness:

Help?

Edit:This issue has been resolved.

I have this problem also. Care to explain how you resolve the issue?

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I have this problem also. Care to explain how you resolve the issue?

I downloaded it from a different place...link...thingy...

I'll try and find the link for ya.

EDIT:Okay, I found it, thank NoQuarter from Armaholic for these:

Edited by ADUILO

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Anyone know what's the equivalent of the Polygonal lasso tool in GIMP?

You may use the Bezier Tool in the GIMP to achieve the same thing. It works more like the Pen Tool in photoshop, though. As long as you don't curve anything and just do straight lines between your points, it should work out fine.

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I'm having a little bit of trouble understanding how the blufor uniform textures are edited:

I've managed to get the textures I want to edit, saved as a png. But, there appears to be gloves on top of part of one of the leg textures.

iniform.jpg

I'm not really up on image editing. I use gimp, which in itself is a bit unwieldy ( to newbies at least - Get your head around selections :D )

How do you guys retexture uniforms?

Is it a case of applying the retex to the upper leg piece, flip and rotate a copy of it, then paste it over whats already there in the bottom left corner, then add the gloves back in afterwards?

Any and as much help as poss would be great.

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It is a bit disorienting to look at textures for the first time. Rest assured, the gloves are right where they should be and they aren't covering anything. The textures are formatted for efficiency. The top right part of the texture is identified as the full right side of the pants while the bottom left area is the left side of the pants. Due to the way the texture is mapped onto the model, only the right side needs to be fully textured while the left side can use some elements of the right side, but then be textured for additional customization. At least that is my interpretation of it.

So, you don't need to worry about flipping or rotating anything. Just put your texture directly over the areas you want to replace and then put the ambient occlusion layer over it with colour blending set to Multiply. I"m not sure how that is done in the GIMP, sorry. The Ambient Occlusion layer can be generated using Surpher's method. Unfortunately, I don't think it works in the GIMP.

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I should also mention that I couldn't get Surpher's method to work completely. The automation process gets to the point where the height map is to be converted to an ambient occlusion map, but then throws up the following error: 'The command "Height2Occlusion" is not currently available'.

I found a workaround, though. If you export the height map that Photoshop generated to TGA and then go into xNormal, you can convert the height map into an ambient occlusion map using the built-in generator (under tools). This is what I find odd. The function is there, but the automated Photoshop script doesn't appear to detect it.

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Is the Height2Occlusion filter in your Photoshop filters menu?

No, it doesn't appear to be. And I manually copied all the filters to my Filters plugin folder. Then again, I'm using the 32-bit version of CS5.1 and these plugins have x64 on the end of them. Maybe I need the 32-bit version of xNormal, then? However, there is no mention of an instruction set specific installer on the download page. How do I get the 32-bit version of the plugins?

Edited by Amit

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I think xNormal 3.17.16 was the last version with the 32bit photoshop plugins, its on there download page.

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Thank you! That did the trick. I wonder why they would remove the 32-bit version of the plugins from the newer installer. Plenty of people still use 32-bit versions of the program. I do use the 64-bit version of CS5.1 on my laptop, but due to some performance reason I cannot determine the cause of, I cannot use the 64-bit version of CS5 on my desktop.

Finally I can update the guide to include your suggestions.

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Guide has been updated to include information about ambient occlusion maps and easy ways to retexture infantry. All changes are under the "Texture Editing" section.

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I'm getting an error when I try to launch Eliteness.exe saying the program can't start because MSVCR110.dll is missing, anyone run into that problem?

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I'm getting an error when I try to launch Eliteness.exe saying the program can't start because MSVCR110.dll is missing, anyone run into that problem?

Try re-downloading it with the links I provided on the first page.

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Well the Eliteness and the Extract Pbo link addresses do not exist anymore.

I originally went to the Files page and downloaded DePbo4.13 and Eliteness3.10.0.4.Installer.exe, anything wrong with what I did to cause my MSVCR110.dll error launching Eliteness?

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Well the Eliteness and the Extract Pbo link addresses do not exist anymore.

I originally went to the Files page and downloaded DePbo4.13 and Eliteness3.10.0.4.Installer.exe, anything wrong with what I did to cause my MSVCR110.dll error launching Eliteness?

They exist for me

https://dev-heaven.net/projects/mikero-pbodll/files

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