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Old 01-07-2006, 01:50 AM   #1
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Hero Contest #3 - 2nd Place

Information How to: Import skins?

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This tutorial is an introduction about the funny and sometimes frustrating world of importing skins to wc3 maps. This tutorial has been designed for TFT, Original warcraft III is way too old to be considered and The frozen throne made things much easier for us (although some other things are more difficult).

Note: In order to see the images you need to be logged in .

Step 1: Get The Skin.
Get the skin you want to implement, I am going to implement whitehorn's Tainted Satyr You decide what skin to import.

Download it, and make sure you get the file that ends with .blp (blp stands for Blizzard picture) in this case satyr.blp .



Step 2: Open your map

Step 3: Find the import manager

This is easy, you can use Menu Bar\Module\Import manager , or find its button :
Zoom (requires log in)

Step 4: Import the skin.

This is the most important step and not as easy as it could be. To get into the import file dialog either try: "File\Import file..." Or find the import file button.

It will show you a typical "open file" dialog. Now find the .blp file of the skin then select it

If you did so correctly you will be able to see the imported file listed:
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Step 5: Save the map.

Very few people are aware of a world editor bug that unimports files, the best way to prevent it is to save a file instantly just after you import it.

Step 6: Know the path of the skin.

This is the most difficult part actually.

To import a new skin you actually have to replace another skin so an already included model could use the new skin instead of the old one. This requires you to import the skin in the same path as the old skin.

Usually the author of the skin should also tell you the path of the skin where you should import it. Probably a readme file included within the skin.

But if the author does not specify it, then you have to figure out.

There are many ways to find out:
  • Ask - you can ask somebody what path should it use, but this should be your last resource, you don't really want to annoy people with this kind of question every single time.
  • Be smart - There is something you have to know about wc3, most of the models use skins that are located just in the same path as them. So you just have to figure out the path of the model.

    And that is really easy to do. What unit uses the model? Find that unit in the object editor then double click Art - Model File. You will see the path of the model in the Custom - option. In this case I chose the satyr and it says:

    units\creeps\Satyr\Satyr

    The final Satyr is the name of the model file. Warcraft 3 often adds .mdl automatically to the paths.

    So the path of the model is:
    units\creeps\Satyr\Satyr.mdl

    (It is actually .mdx phisically but when game loads it converts it into mdl)

    And the path of the skin should be:
    units\creeps\Satyr\Satyr.blp

For the moment I will not name other methods to know the skin, cause second one works most of the cases.

Step 7: Change the path of the imported file

Go to import manager and double click the imported .blp file. Then check "Use custom path" and change the path to the path of the skin.
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Then press Ok.

Step 8: Save the map

That bug may also happen if you don't save the map inmediatelly after renaming/changing the path of an imported file.

It is done!
You finally imported a skin!

Ok, you imported the skin, but does it work? You can be sure that if you place a unit that *should* use the new skin in the editor it will show the old skin. To make a custom skin work in the editor you have to close the editor then open the map directly (this is usually done by double clicking the map file)

But don't try that. The most effective way to check if a skin works is the [Test map] button. Just place the unit that uses the model that uses your skin in the map (make sure that you, as the testmap player, can see it or better control it)

Press [test map] and check the unit.

3 possibilities:
- The unit still uses the old skin
- The unit uses the custom skin.
- The unit is invisible.

If you get the third result, then either you missplaced the unit or the skin file is corrupted, it doesn't work.

If you get the second result, congratulations!

If you get the first result (in the case of this satyr skin that will happen) then the path was wrong.

You have to figure out the real path and repeat steps 7 and 8.

Other methods to know the path
  • "Common" skins: some skins, specially when they are used by many models (it is the case of the satyr skin) they use the path: textures\skin.blp . So it will be textures\satyr.blp in this case.

    Zoom (requires log in)
    The "Tainted Satyr" attacking a peon just after I imported it using the right path.



  • The method that never fails: Get an mpq extractor, extract the model file, then convert it to mdl or open the mdx file directly with notepad or a hex editor, you will eventually find the right texture path. [More information]
The Final step
It does not end when you import the skin correctly. The final step is to thank the author of the skin and include him on the credits of your map.

Note
Note that this replaces a skin so we would be able to have a normal Satyr and a "Tainted Satyr" at the same time. This is because blizzard didn't make the unit options skin friendly, and skins used by units are set by the model. There is a way to have 2 skins of the same kind at the same time but it involves editing and importing another copy of the model [More info].
Attached Images
File Type: jpg impskin1.jpg (18.7 KB, 2405 views)
File Type: jpg impskin2.jpg (39.0 KB, 2792 views)
File Type: jpg impskin3.jpg (46.4 KB, 2683 views)
File Type: jpg impskin4.jpg (56.1 KB, 2850 views)
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Old 01-07-2006, 04:34 PM   #2
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Really nice tutorial. Just as a note:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexorian
  • The method that never fails: Get an mpq extractor, extract the model file, then convert it to mdl or open it directly with notepad or a hex editor, you will eventually find the right texture path. [More information]
You don't need to convert the model, texture paths can be viewed in mdx format (but not changed, that corrupts the file).
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Old 01-07-2006, 05:20 PM   #3
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Pointed that out in the texture tutorial.
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
or open it directly with notepad or a hex editor
I guess I didn't make myself clear enough.
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:37 PM   #5
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Default im hopeless

I downloaded my skins from some kind of foriegn asian site and i can't understand what they are saying.. i am not sure about the file path i need some help. when i imported. it appeared as the file name as what i downloaded. so i went and Cop & pasted the Custom thing and changed the file path from the old one to units\human\HeroMountainKing\HeroMountainKing.blp. then it said "no appropriate imported file exists" and i am having trouble because of newbiness and inexperience with skins and models..
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbaca
and i am having trouble because of newbiness and inexperience with skins and models..
wow the pictures finnally loaded and now i have the walk-thru pictures you put in instead of that "pic 1_bottom of screen" crud i thought i saw before
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:24 AM   #7
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yeh im havin troubles loading it up too
it either comes up with the old skin or comes up invisable
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:13 PM   #8
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Make sure the path is right for every piece of the skin. What unit are you trying to skin?
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Old 06-28-2006, 05:11 PM   #9
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Your Satyr Skin don't even work with me that sad... And the LichBlademaster skin don't work more then the Satyr but tell me ... Wich unit suposed to be Lichbladmaster?
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Old 06-28-2006, 07:40 PM   #10
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They both work. Your inability to function does not mean our tried and tested methods and work are wrong. You are doing something wrong.
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Old 06-28-2006, 10:29 PM   #11
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Ah, Yes wrong path now both work but i have to learn more then just that thanks for this tutorial
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Old 07-22-2006, 04:20 AM   #12
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My editor refuse to write .blp at the end of path. It's probably why i haven't custom satyrs. I don't understand. help me plz !

thx ^^
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Old 07-22-2006, 10:59 AM   #13
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Please help! I'll provide no information, you must guess!
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Old 08-04-2006, 03:23 AM   #14
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i do all that but im not getting any thing at all... maybe im not getting it right
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:00 PM   #15
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The editor isn't good at updating textures, so you have to test them in game.
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