Help Request: Various Skinning Issues

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    INTRODUCTION:
    Yes, I know most folks are no longer making custom skins for this game, which is sad as updates are still coming (albeit at a crawl compared to the heyday), but I've been working on some new, highly ambitious build projects at long last, and was working on some themed skins to go along with it when I found myself up against a few walls. Figured the community was a good place to ask for help. This post is literally just me askin on random skinning issues and getting answers, which will then be aggrigated into this post so that other members of this community can benefit!

    So now that the intro is outta the way....

    Question 1:
    Does the inner layer on helmets actually serve a function? 😆 Most of my tests show it seems to not do anything, e.g. a helmet with an inner texture and clear outer texture doesn't show at all. Even helmets I've attempted with semi-transparent windows seem to have a see-through backside and internal texture doesn't show. Just wondering if it's worth putting anything in there that isn't gonna be seen if the game doesn't seem to ever render it.
    Answer(s):
    -none yet-

    Question 2:
    I'm trying to create custom skins of both genders for my project. While I can get away with a basic formless sack for male jumpsuits (though I really shouldn't), I really could use some help with emphasizing the...erm...feminine form. Are there ways I can improve my work to make it look more form-fitting than I've been able to do thus far? Could also use some tips on hands...been tryin to render individual fingers since the resolution seems to make that possible but I'm against a wall there.
    Answer(s):
    -none yet-

    More questions/answers may be posted in coming months so feel free to check back. I try to check in monthly while I have mobile data.
     

    Dr. Whammy

    Executive Constructologist of the United Star Axis
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    Having run custom skins for most of my time in StarMade, I figure I'll take a stab at this. Hopefully you and the others find this useful.


    Regarding the Inner Helmet Texture: Years ago, there used to be a backface culling option that allowed you show areas of partially hollow or semi-transparent objects, (scaffolding blocks for example) that are technically facing away from you but would still be at least partially visible in real life.
    1704919232186.png 1704917305201.png

    This feature seems to have been removed from the game. ...which is unfortunate, since for helmets specifically, this would be the only way to make inner helmet textures visible. Failing that, you could make extensions to the player character model's head. Some examples include, a "Scouter" from Dragonball Z, Antennae, cat ears, glasses, visors, angel halos, devil horns, etc.


    Regarding character detailing, male/female body types, non-humans, etc.
    While you are limited to the physical constraints of the "Dave" character model, you can use texture Mapping to "imply" something a little different than the default model; be it more detailed hands, clothing folds, muscles or armor plating. Though I haven't personally tried it, you can probably use these same tricks to create a passable female form as well.
    1704918824253.png 1704918525955.png
    Player model for Dr-Whammy (Left) and skin request from Markus Mccloud (Right)

    Regarding hands specifically: The character model template is 256 pixels x 256 pixels. Getting detail in something that small is tricky but it can be done.
    1704919645797.png
    Looking this close, you can just start to see the individual pixels. Note the Star Axis emblem on my left shoulder. You should be able to pull off a decent set of hands with nothing more than a can of (Windows) "Paint".

    By all means, please let me know if you have any more questions.
     
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    Having run custom skins for most of my time in StarMade, I figure I'll take a stab at this. Hopefully you and the others find this useful.


    Regarding the Inner Helmet Texture: Years ago, there used to be a backface culling option that allowed you show areas of partially hollow or semi-transparent objects, (scaffolding blocks for example) that are technically facing away from you but would still be at least partially visible in real life.
    View attachment 62670 View attachment 62665

    This feature seems to have been removed from the game. ...which is unfortunate, since for helmets specifically, this would be the only way to make inner helmet textures visible. Failing that, you could make extensions to the player character model's head. Some examples include, a "Scouter" from Dragonball Z, Antennae, cat ears, glasses, visors, angel halos, devil horns, etc.


    Regarding character detailing, male/female body types, non-humans, etc.
    While you are limited to the physical constraints of the "Dave" character model, you can use texture Mapping to "imply" something a little different than the default model; be it more detailed hands, clothing folds, muscles or armor plating. Though I haven't personally tried it, you can probably use these same tricks to create a passable female form as well.
    View attachment 62669View attachment 62666
    Player model for Dr-Whammy (Left) and skin request from Markus Mccloud (Right)

    Regarding hands specifically: The character model template is 256 pixels x 256 pixels. Getting detail in something that small is tricky but it can be done.
    View attachment 62671
    Looking this close, you can just start to see the individual pixels. Note the Star Axis emblem on my left shoulder. You should be able to pull off a decent set of hands with nothing more than a can of (Windows) "Paint".

    By all means, please let me know if you have any more questions.
    Of course, this all makes sense. Sadly not gonna edit the character model. Guess I'll just leave inner helmet blank for now since it no longer serves a function.

    As for single-pixel editing...that was the intention of course. I'm actually using a Minecraft skin editor that lets me do just that, and handles transparencies well. Bit outdated I think but lets me edit like Paint does but better. Guess I should experiment a tad more + maybe search for some various sci-fi costumes as well. Might give me some ideas. As for fingers...rn default hands feature enough room for 4px-wide ones...tad basic but works I guess.

    Thanks for the help!