[Skinning] QoT

By on November 27, 2009 12:55:26 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Ptarth

Join Date 02/2007
+90

QoT Skin Project Release #1 & 2: Updated 12/30/09


Installation Instructions

  1. Backup your original Demigod Skins
    1. For the QoT and current skins those files are
      1. ..\Stardock Games\Demigod\bindata\characters\Queen\queen_albedo.dds
      2. ..\Stardock Games\Demigod\bindata\characters\Queen\flower_Albedo.dds
    2. Create the Folder: ..\Stardock Games\Demigod\bindata\characters\Queen\Backup\
    3. Copy all of the *.dds files from ..\Stardock Games\Demigod\bindata\characters\Queen\ to this folder
  2. Download the skins you want to use
    1. Save the new skins to ..\Stardock Games\Demigod\bindata\characters\Queen\NewSkins\
  3. Delete the queen_albedo.dds & Flower_Albedo.dds from ..\Stardock Games\Demigod\bindata\characters\Queen\
  4. Copy the skin files that you want to use from the download folder to the base folder
    1. Download folder: ..\Stardock Games\Demigod\bindata\characters\Queen\NewSkins\
    2. Base folder: ..\Stardock Games\Demigod\bindata\characters\Queen\
    3. You may need to extract the files from an archive (i.e., unzip them)
  5. Rename the skin files
    1. Example 1: Queen_Albedo.dds
      1. You want to use the monarch_queen_albedo.dds
      2. You would copy it to the base folder and rename it queen_albedo.dds
    2. Example 2:
      1. You want to use the blue_flower_albedo.dds
      2. You would copy it to the base folder and rename it flower_albedo.dds

How to enable the Mod

Once you have copied and renamed the files, the skin change is automatically in effect. Only you will see the new skins.


Skins

Pictures for the skins can be seen either below in this post or in my other posts in this thread.

Queen_albedo.dds

flower_albedo.dds

SpecTeam.dds

  • The current skins do not rely on changing the *SpecTeam.dds. With more interesting skins changes to those files may be necessary.

 


Examples:

Skin 1 at high visual settings at close and medium distances.

Skin 2 at high visual settings at close and medium distances.

 

I would like to point out how much of the actual skin tone is visible at the medium distance. This is approximatelythe distance that I typically play at, others may of course use different settings.

Skin 3:

 

I'm currently hosting these files at mediafire. It may be necessary at some point to host them at a different location.


 

 

 


Here is the original Post I made on the subject. I've edited the above to reflect the current status of the project.


Skin changes seem to be relatively trivial to do. I was able to do it.

My first attempts have focused on the QoT. I posted some of my findings in Chirmaya's DDS thread, however I thought I'd move things over to a new thread as to not fill his with unnecessary graphics.

 

This is the work so far. I've successfully added in rough approximations of a monarch butterfly's wings and added a bit more color to the flower. The left image is at low visual settings, the middle at high visual settings, and the right at low visual settings and a slightly modified wing pattern (a larger dark line at the top of the upper wings).

My personal thoughts are that I should create something halfway between the two wing designs, a little heavier dark line, but not as much as in the 3rd image. I also should replace the red glow (apparent in image 2), with a softer or whiter glow.

Any thoughts from the audience?

 

Also, unless I am mistake, it should be possible to have multiple skins present and then create a mod that randomly selects one skin when you play a game. That should allow for some interesting effects. It should count as a UI mod, however I can also see that changing the model could impact gameplay, thus I'm not sure if it will work out in the long run.

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SyDaemon
November 28, 2009 12:27:35 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

This is most splendid. Thanks for starting the legwork for this.

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November 28, 2009 12:43:55 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

This really nice!

May i ask why did you set details to low for the 2 side images? (left and right image)

Also: The wings look great in then middle picture, maybe a softer glow would be even better.

The flower could have a better red color, maybe a darker one that goes lighter through the top of it. I mean dark red at the base of it, and turning lighter as it goes to the top of it.

Just making suggestions, hope it helps (kinda)

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November 28, 2009 1:33:03 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I run Demigods on a laptop. Even with my not integrated graphics card, demigods runs better on low settings. So I do most of my work in low graphics. Everything will most likely look awesome with high graphics, so I mostly ignore them.

The glow comes from the QueenSpecTeam.dds I haven't gotten around to editing. As you can see glows don't show up in low settings, so I tend to forget about them.

Multitoned flowers are things I'm going to be looking into, mostly what I need right now is ideas and suggestions.

 

My project for today was to play around with trying to create a albedo randomizer in lua. All of the demigod graphics are defined in the *mesh.bp files. By changing them you can switch skins that are independent of others, hence you can use whichever ones you want. I want to try to create something that randomizes the skin you use. Unfortunately, I have been unable to make any headway into it. I suspect that the *mesh.bp are part of the files that are verified during play and may force desyncs for not having the same .bps. If anyone has any knowledge about this, I'd appreciate it.

My other project was to setup a system where I can mass produce Queen of Thorn Skins. I have a series of layers isolated in Gimp that I can modify allowing me to quickly edit any particular feature. It mostly works. My test case is the following:

 

 

This was an attempt to do several things.

  1. The wings are generated using the lava filter in Gimp. They look pretty good, but the red needs to be thicker so it stands out more.
  2. The hair is based on the original brown hair, but is heavily shaded black. I think I need more black to have truly black hair.
  3. The skintone was my attempt to make a Black character. I used a tone based on samples from Michelle Obama, however I'm not sure it turned out that well, thoughts?
  4. The eyes have been blue for several attempts (originally red). I'm not sure if the color is now visible because of the vast difference in skin tone or if there is something wierd going on with the eye holes in the face.
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November 28, 2009 2:52:07 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Yeah she needs darker skin. I dont like the black hair though. Her hair + her eyes make her seem like a witch now.

Red eyes would be great, but i assume something went wrong with the tones?

Anyway, i want to ask something irrelevant if you dont mind:

Can i modify 1 of the files inside dgdata.zip and be able to start a Single player Skirmish game? I tried but it doesnt even let me launch the game. I mean not even the application, to get to the main menu.

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November 28, 2009 3:27:56 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Yeah. Something a little less red and more brown for the skin tone.

Yeah. Something a little darker would be good I think to.

The base eyes for the QoT are red. They annoy me .

The demigods.exe does a hash check on the dgdata.zip, so unless you change the hash check it will never load. I've changed the hash and it does work, however it is far easier to just make a mod now that we have access to the modding functions. If you don't mind me asking, what are you trying to change? I may be able to help more constructively.

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November 28, 2009 4:28:28 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Attempting to fix the coloration problems.

Trial one revealed that the specTeam.dds was causing more problems than I had thought. The following is a revision of the above with a different wing pattern, darker skin, and darker eyes. Notice that the highlights on the hair are off the chart.

The skin tone is better, but the hair is really bad and the eyes are still odd. (This is with high visuals).

For a demonstration I took the queenTeamSpec.dds and decomposed it into the 3 different RGB streams.

(I'm borrowing the text from the DDS albedo link for the descriptions here)

green = SPECULARITY and GLOSSINESS seems to be BOTH specularity (how much color (white usually) the shine matches it's source) and glossiness (how HIGH and TIGHT or how small the reflected light spot and crisp it's edges) and they are not able to be controlled separately which is ok since they usually go hand and hand.

Notice the green on the hair.

red = reflection - adding red makes the surface reflect (think aeon)

This will be highlights, notice the edges of objects.

blue = bloom glow white (adds the nice glowing effect if you have bloom glow render on) this channel is much much more sensitive than the others, at a value of around 40, the effect is at 100%, if you want a more subtle glow use very small #'s like 10-25.

This is the glow that comes from the wings. The glow also combines with the aura glow from the map, which is why I'm switching to exile to give a more neutral white tone to my pictures.


Another interesting comparison is what happens when we give the engine a completely black and white albedo to use this specTeam.dds on.

The black was interesting. The highlights on the hair and on the edges of her features really stand out.

 

The white is actually superb, and I think I want to include it as a skin as is, or with a little modification.

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November 28, 2009 4:32:12 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

If you don't mind me asking, what are you trying to change? I may be able to help more constructively.

I want to be able to mess with the lobby options. add very low exp rate, towers with very high damage, very strong creeps etc etc

Stuff like that. but everything about the lobby options is pre-launch game, and thus i can use the mod manager. I need to be able to mess with the dgdata.zip file to change the options.

 

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November 28, 2009 4:49:52 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

This is all very very interesting to me

First picture:

I dont know about you but i think she looks awesome. the darker tone is better now, and you can see that now SHE IS a black woman. Her hair reflection is wierd, but kinda fits her body because it reflects her green vines. I cant see her eyes through this picture though.

G R B pictures:

Umm this is interesting, but why all 3 are black and white? Isnt it supposed to be Green, Red, Blue?

Last picture: i think the white is really good, maybe you can use it to your skins? I suggest that you leave her original skin color at default, and put this white color in her wings, hair, eyes, and the vines that cover her body. So basically as she is white, but with a normal skin color. She will look like an angel he he 

p.s. double posted, coudnt help it^^

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November 28, 2009 5:03:36 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

re:mod

Quoting morpheas768,

If you don't mind me asking, what are you trying to change? I may be able to help more constructively.
I want to be able to mess with the lobby options. add very low exp rate, towers with very high damage, very strong creeps etc etc

Stuff like that. but everything about the lobby options is pre-launch game, and thus i can use the mod manager. I need to be able to mess with the dgdata.zip file to change the options.

 

Ah. Well, I'd go about it the hardway and just make a mod that does all of those things as add ons. So your "hard tower" mod would add to the attack of all towers, your "easy tower" mod would reduce the attack, etc. It would be a little annoying, but not too horrible. Modifying the executable is really obnoxious. You'll also have to keep around various executables for various "mods" and an original one to play online. I would really suggest it isn't worth it.

re: hair in black toned picture.

Aye. The highlights give her the bride of Frankenstein look. It looks worse in game.

GRB: The decomposition removes all of the colors except the base color (red, green, or blue). The remaining color is the converted to black & white, essentially a percentage conversion. For example, in the green decomposition an object that was completely solid green would be bright white, whereas an object with no green would be black. The same is true for the others.

Re: White albedo

A white angle with vines eh? That's sorta creepy. I'll try it out when I get a chance. I'm also curious what 25/50/75% greys would look like.

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November 29, 2009 8:38:41 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Ah. Well, I'd go about it the hardway and just make a mod that does all of those things as add ons. So your "hard tower" mod would add to the attack of all towers, your "easy tower" mod would reduce the attack, etc. It would be a little annoying, but not too horrible. Modifying the executable is really obnoxious. You'll also have to keep around various executables for various "mods" and an original one to play online. I would really suggest it isn't worth it.

Can you tell me how though?

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November 29, 2009 8:43:54 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

can you make her back dark skinned and give me the mod?

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November 29, 2009 10:37:07 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Another vote for the dark-skinned version.  I want her.

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November 29, 2009 10:49:24 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

She look so much better brown with dark hair I mean seriously.

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November 29, 2009 11:47:28 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Great work so far! That more-optimized dark skin looks really nice. As far as adding randomizations go, I am pretty sure that the mod would have to be a non-UI mod. The easiest way of doing it (I think) would be via code in the queen's script file, swapping out the associated texture/mesh before the character is loaded.

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December 1, 2009 2:31:16 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

So, I finally managed to get the size scaling to work, so now I don't have to squint as much. I'm currently tracking down what is wrong with her eyes, there seems to be some sort of white artifact that shows up. With the larger figure I found that:

  • She does have eyebrows, that are rendered seperately from her face.
  • Her eyes are not very bright. I might have left a translucent layer somewhere.
  • The white artifacts might be the inside of the model. If that is the case, it may have only appeared in the higher contrast dark model, rather than the low contrast white model. I'll be doing some more experiment later trying to track down the edges.
  • I also found that I can strip out all of her animations making her standup straight all the time. It also occured to me now that I might also force her into the looking upright position so I can look at her face better.

I'm happy about how things are going, but annoyed that it took me so long.

My next plan is to work on the above plus explore her specTeam.dds more. I'd like a transparent crystal version of her, as well as be able to accurately place the various lighting effects. My attempts thus far have been unsuccessful.

Re:modding

At this point in time I think Chirmaya is right, and the only way to do it is a non-ui mod. This defeats the entire purpose of this mod. I might have to fall back on either creating a program that runs outside of demigods and manages skins (someone want to write a pretty one? I can do it the hard way, but it will be ugly (text-based)). I don't really like this solution because it means giving people executables. I know that I'm not particularly trusting with such files. The other alternative is that people copy & paste the files themselves. I like this version more. However, it also requires a higher familiarity with how Windows works.

Re:skin requests

If anyone wants any of the skins I have made so far, feel free to request it and I'll post the files. I do however need something a little more specific that the requests so far. Please include the wing style, skin tone, and hair tone (if applicable).

I say this because heavenlysynn's request confused me: "can you make her back dark skinned and give me the mod?" Does this mean he wants a reverse skunk style QoT. That's wierd?

Re: Grey models

Only the 20% grey was interesting, it has a statue like effect, the others were technically interesting, but not artistically so.

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December 1, 2009 7:42:57 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Ptarth,


I say this because heavenlysynn's request confused me: "can you make her back dark skinned and give me the mod?" Does this mean he wants a reverse skunk style QoT. That's wierd?

If that's how you got her looking like this than ya

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December 1, 2009 8:57:03 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Ptarth: I want the same one that heavenlysynn wants (posts 6 & 16).  Yes, the "reverse skunk" (whatever that means!).  That'll work fine until you have a chance to perfect the model.  Thanks!

EDIT: Can you keep the goldish-orange wings?

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December 1, 2009 2:35:34 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Apparently, it is just me, but when I read:

Quoting heavenlysynn,
can you make her back dark skinned and give me the mod?

I had the impression he was asking for a version with the regular light skin tone but with her back dark toned.

Skunks are black animals with a white stripe on their back, hence a reversed skunk would be white with a black stripe, i.e., like what heavenlysynn asked for. However, at this point, I realize he just wants the dark skin tone.

Do you guys want me to fix the hair lighting or send you as it is now? I can always send a different version later on, eitherway no real worries.

Oh, and those aren't just golden-yellow wings those are morphed monarch butterfly wings. It's classier.

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December 1, 2009 2:58:46 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I've been requesting since beta for like and dark skins for each demigod. well done! it doesn't seem that complex, wonder why they couldn't have done it.

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December 1, 2009 3:09:42 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I dont like this "african Queen" !

 

The model is much too dark now !

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December 1, 2009 3:26:33 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Edit by request. -Delete-

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December 1, 2009 3:33:04 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Ptarth,
I had the impression he was asking for a version with the regular light skin tone but with her back dark toned.

Skunks are black animals with a white stripe on their back, hence a reversed skunk would be white with a black stripe, i.e., like what heavenlysynn asked for. However, at this point, I realize he just wants the dark skin tone.

Do you guys want me to fix the hair lighting or send you as it is now? I can always send a different version later on, eitherway no real worries.

Oh, and those aren't just golden-yellow wings those are morphed monarch butterfly wings. It's classier.

I want the dark skin tone, dark hair, and yellow monarch wings.  And yes, go ahead and fix the hair lighting (as long as she's a brunette).  Thanks!

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December 2, 2009 7:48:05 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

 

QoT was the only demigod with a little bit "sexyness", the only eyecandy  !

now, theres no contrast, I cant see as many details as before, she looks like nothing !

 

 

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December 2, 2009 8:48:59 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Ptarth,
My next plan is to work on the above plus explore her specTeam.dds more. I'd like a transparent crystal version of her, as well as be able to accurately place the various lighting effects. My attempts thus far have been unsuccessful.

Have you messed around with the shaders on the Queen at all? Here is a list of some from the beta times: http://demigod.wikia.com/wiki/Shaders

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December 2, 2009 2:33:27 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Edit by request. -Delete-

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