Ghost Recon Skin Tutorial
This tutorial is for the beginner,
to the more experienced users, nothing new here. And, there
are several other ways to go about skinning, this is my way.
Don’t be afraid to try other methods. Also, I will NOT be
using Desert Siege, or anything thing from it.
What you will need
What you will learn to do
Creating a skin from scratch
First and foremost, know the areas of the
To make skin modding a lot easier in the
future we are going to create 'wrinkles.psd'. So go to my
first tutorial and scroll
down to the bottom where you will see three pictures (thanks
to Mike Schell). One for the arms, another for the legs, and
one for the chest. Right-Click and save them all somewhere
real handy. Next, go back to photoshop, and make a new 512x512
transparent (it must be transparent) background. Then open
up the three files you just saved. Next, copy and paste all
three of them into the second 512x512 canvas. Move them accordingly
to the skin (so all the pieces are where they belong). Then,
going back to your layers tab, click on the very top layer.
Then merge down (Ctrl+E) twice. Now, those three pictures
should all be in one layer. Double click that layer. When
a new "Layer Option" box opens, change the name
to "wrinkles". Now, look at the layer tab. Right
below it, should be a thin box that reads "Normal"
Click the pull down menu, and change it to "Multiply".
Then, go to File, Save As "wrinkles.psd". Dont close
it just yet. Copy and past the new layer into the other blank
512x512 canvas (making sure the layer mode is at mulitply).
Now you can close wrinkles.psd and have it ready for later
Use the VDL Adrenaline
Now create another layer. (Ctrl+Shift+N).
Then go to Edit, Fill, and select any color, either white
or black. (Down the road, it wont matter much, so pick any
color you want). I am going to fill mine with black. Go to
the Layers tab again, and find the new layer. It should be
BELOW the wrinkles, if it is not, click and drag it below
the wrinkles layer. (All of your layers that are to have wrinkle
effects should be below them.) Now go to the layers tab, find
the layer you just filled. Then click the ‘eye’ to its left.
The black should be gone, and all you can see is wrinkles.
Now, using the "Rectangular Marquee"
tool, select the area around the legs. Then, select the layer
you filled, and make it visible. Making sure you have selected
the proper layer, go to "Filter", "VDL Adrenaline",
For this tutorial, we will use the "Common-
Woodland" Camo. Change the "Scale" to 5 (small,
but it works). Now, select OK. You should have a set of legs
with woodland camo, and wrinkles. Cool huh? Now repeat this
process for the arms as well. With the body it gets tricky
depending on what model you use. For the sake of this tutorial,
we’ll use the npc_us_pilots_1ver.chr (which has no bags or
anything to worry about). For the torso, you have two main
choices. You can either keep it the same camo as the arms,
or change the camo completely to make it look like a vest.
What you do next is up to you. I am going to leave it the
Now we’re missing two key elements in the
skin as well, the hands/gloves, and the boots. So, open up
npc_us_pilots_1ver_body.rsb from your Mods\Origmiss\Character\Allied
folder. Select the boots and gloves with the "Polygonal
Lasso" and copy (Ctrl+C) and Paste (Ctrl+V) them into
your new skin. (In this specific model, the boots are wider
than the hands, if you try to change the width of the hands
to match that of the boots, you will end up with a flaw on
your skin, so leave it the way it is from the original RSB).
So now your skins should look a little like this:
If it does, great! If not, keep trying!
(OK, it isn’t the best, but it gets you started! :) )
Depending on your resources, you can take
one of two paths. If you own a 3D program that can open and
texture 3DS files, then this can save a lot of time while
testing and adjusting new skins as you don’t have to wait
for the game to load up when testing a skin.
If you do not have the ability to texture
models that's okay, just follow the next steps....
Save the Skin
Okay, save your skin as an RSB. Go to "File",
"Save A Copy", scroll down to "RSB (*.RSB,*.RSB)"
and save it as whatever you want (but keep it somewhere handy,
there’s still a lot to be done). We’ll call it my_skin.rsb.
When the RSB window opens up, just click OK.
The Mod Folder
Now we’re going to make your Mod Folder.
This is very easy to do. Open up IGOR. Click "File",
"Mods". A new window opens up. Click the "New…"
button, and enter in the proper information in the fields.
Now for this, we’ll call it, MyMod (how original... :) ) Author:
<yourname>, Version: 1, Description: Skin Tutorial.
Done, you now have a new Mod folder for your mod.
Add the Skin to the
Now to actually get the skin in game. Remember
that "lovely" skin we made, and I said to keep hand?
Find it, Cut it (Ctrl+X) and Paste it into the folder Mods\MyMod\Character.
So in that folder is my_skin.rsb.
Next, go to Mods\Origmiss\Character\Allied,
find and copy: npc_us_pilots_1ver.chr, npc_us_pilots_1ver_a.chr,
and npc_us_pilots_1ver_b.chr and paste them into Mods\MyMod\Character.
Rename them to MyChar1.chr, MyChar1_a.chr, and MyChar1_b.chr.
Keeping the _a and _be with the proper file. Do not switch
those with other files!
Then in the Mods\Origmiss\Character\Allied
folder, find, copy and paste Head.rsb from there, to Mods\MyMod\Character.
Note: For mods with more characters, you
may want to create subfolders to keep things organized.
Mike Schell's Skinner
Ok, now fire up Mike’s Skinner tool. Go
to "File", "Open". Find MyMod\Character\MyChar1.chr
and open it up, you’ll get a list of parts. Click the top
one, "Torso" , press and hold shift, and click the
one above "head", "Gloves".
Click the browse button. A new window should
open. Click my_skin.rsb (in your Character folder) then click
"Open". Do the same for "Head" but open
up Head.rsb. Then click "File", "Save".
When the new window opens up for a name, simply press save,
DO NOT CHANGE THE NAME! When it asks to over write, click
Repeat this same process for the _a.chr
and _b.chr files. (Its long and tedious sometimes, I know,
but worth it).
In your Character folder, there should be
4 files: MyChar1,chr, MyChar1_a.chr, MyChar1_b.chr, and my_skin.rsb.
The CHRs should have been edited with Mike’s Skinner as I
stated above. If all is correct so far, you’re only a short
bit away from having a working skin in Ghost Recon.
Now the ATR, an equally long and tedious
process, but again, worth it. Reopen IGOR. Only this time,
go to "Tools", "Actor Editor". These next
steps get annoying, because by default IGOR looks in the Origmiss
folder when browsing for files, instead of the last place
you were at. All of the fields are self-explanatory, but I
will go over them and what to enter in each.
Note: To edit the field, click the button
with the "..." to the right of the them.
Face>Head.rsb; Blink>Head.rsb; LOD
1> MyChar1.chr; LOD 2> MyChar1_a.chr; LOD 3> MyChar1-b.chr;
LOD 4> MyChar1_b.chr; Name>Jon Doe; Class>Rifleman;
Armor>Medium; Kit Path>Rifleman; Weapon>4; Stealth>4;
The rest, leave them blank. Click the "Save..."
button and save it as MyChar.atr in Mods\MyMods\Actor.
Making a Specialist
We are now going to make your character
a specialist for Ghost Recon. There are two ways of doing
this depending on your intention.
Method 1. Using a specialist in
Now a fairly easy, but tricky part. Go
to your Ghost Recon path and find "unlocked_hearoes.xml".
Open it in notepad. The hard part here is that the Ghost
Recon engine only allows for this many specialists. Which
means you need to pick one to replace for the sake of the
mod. We will use Buzz Gordon. Where it says Buzz_Gordon.atr,
type in MyChar.atr. Go to "File", "Save As..."
and save it as "m_unlocked_heroes.xml" in Mods\MyMod
When making your mission, you will notice
in the Mission Properties it has a box at the bottom of
the window. Type in "m_unlocked_heroes.xml" and
if you did it right. He/She will work.
Method 2. Adding a specialist for the
normal game campaign
Similar to Method 1, you simply need to
rename the ATR file to that of a specialist. Again, in this
case Buzz Gordon. So name it "buzz_Gordon.atr"
and keep it in the Mods\MyMod\Actor folder.
That’s it! Open up Ghost Recon Mod Manager,
double click "MyMod" and launch Ghost Recon. Then
launch a quick mission, and in the specialist menu, you should
see Jon Doe. In game, he looks like this.
Obviously a lot to be done. And he is pretty
ugly, but that’s the basics. And if yours looks similar to
that, you’ve done everything right, and just need to experiment
some more to get better at it. It takes time and practice,
but if you stay with it, you’ll get a lot better.
Also, check out some of my other tutorials
for doing things like wrapping
textures, and for over riding the ghillie
I hope this has helped you out some. If
you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. You can e-mail
me, or post a question in our skin
forums here at GhostRecon.net