Ghost Recon Skin Tutorial
By Ruin
Published : 6th August 2002
Feedback : Here
Reference Links : Original, Bajabravo, Camo tutorial.

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 skin!




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.


Use the VDL Adrenaline Camouflage plugin

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", "Camouflage."

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 same.

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 Game

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 YES.

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.

ATR Files

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; Stamina>4; Leadership>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 a mission

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 suit.

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