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Quake Modeler Tutorial Part Three

All right!  Made it this far, let’s put some skin on the monkey.  Open the modeler and load up your monkey file.


Now, go into face mode and highlight the left half of the monkey’s head (we’ll do his body later).  Press F2 or click on view -> skins on the menu bar.  This will open the skin editor.


In the skin editor window, delete the blank skin that is there by default (it’s the wrong size) and File->Import skin image to load your monkey skin (a 64x64 256 color image).

The colors may be wrong, don’t worry about it.  The colors will look right in the finished product.  The Quake Modeler uses the default Quake palette which is different that the one in the skin image.


Click ‘Zoom In’ a few times so the image is a little bigger, easier to work with.  Your screen should look something like this:



Okay, now we’re cooking with monkey oil.  Let’s lay down the skin on the model.  Still in the skin window, click on Edit->Get position from model.  In the window that pops up, select Left:

Then click Ok.


Now you have the left side of the monkey’s head in the view.

Now, go back and unselect the left side of his head and highlight the right hand side.  Open the skin viewer and get position from model->right side.  Now, so that things line up correctly you need to turn off the Y axis and click the ‘Mirror’ button.  This will flip the left vertices around so they line up with the right side.  You may have to move them sideways a little bit.  If it doesn’t line up 100% exactly, don’t worry too much.  We can fix this later using Npherno’s Skin Tool (I’ll tell you more about this later).


Now, in the skin editor un-select all the vertices.  One at a time take the vertices and move them into position around the monkey’s head skin.  I will move them all into position and highlight them so you can see where they are in the screenshot.  I just noticed that they are lined up backwards (whoops).  This is easy to fix, just highlight all the vertices in the skin image and lock down the Y axis.  Now click ‘mirror’ and all is well.



You may also notice that the 3d window behind the skin editing screen will show the skin on the model as you adjust the vertices.  This will help guide your placement of the vertices.  Remember how to change the views from the last tutorial?  Ctrl-1 is line mode, ctrl-4 is texture mode.  Move things around until the face looks just right on your monkey head.  You may also want to unselect the faces in the main view window so that the highlighted area doesn’t screw with you.  In the screenshot above, one side of the face is highlighted and the other isn’t.


Use the same methods outlined above to place the skin for the monkey body.  Your monkey should look something like this:


We can call the skinning done now, or we could tweak things with a little program called Npherno’s Skin Tool. 


Before we do that, we need to save our monkey in a form that is usable by both Npherno’s skin tool and Egoboo.  In the main file menu click on Export->Export to MD2 and use the name tris.md2.  Select the monkey skin image and you’re done.  You could now copy the tris.md2 file into the game (lets do this for fun):


Open your Egoboo folder->Modules->Adventurer->Objects->grubbug


In this folder, delete the current tris.md2 and tris.bmp file.  Now, paste into this folder your monkey tris.md2 file and the skin bmp file.  Make sure you rename the skin file to tris.bmp.


Now fire up Egoboo and play the Adventurer mod to see your monkey in action.  He won’t animate much, he’ll just be like a statue that moves around.


Back to Npherno’s skin tool.  It’s a very full featured program that you can use to tweak the skins and paint new skins on your models.  I won’t go into a lot of detail, but I’ll introduce you to it.

Go ahead and fire it up, load your model.  It will have a default skin image painted on it.  Select the skin menu->open and find your monkey skin.



You will see a series of buttons along the top.  From left to right, the first three are:


Eye – This is used for rotating and viewing your model.

Paintbrush – Used for painting the model.  The palette is along the bottom of the screen.

Polygon tool – Used for adjusting and viewing the polygons that make up your model.


Zoom in on the skin using the eye and by right click and dragging in the skin view window.  Now click on the Polygon tool and unselect the Eye.


You can now select the vertices in the skin view and line them up with more precision than you could in the Quake model editor.


Play around with this versatile program and see what else you can do.


I’ll wrap up this tutorial with some Quake Model Editor tips that might make skinning things easier with more complex models.


When drawing the skin image, try to reuse texture space.  Also try to use as much space on the image as possible (don’t leave much space that isn’t covered by at least one polygon).  This will improve the visual detail on your model.


It may help on more complex models to hide the faces that you aren’t currently working with.  Or you can also hide the faces that you have already skinned.  This should help make selecting the proper faces for your next area to skin easier.


I will usually make the image as I make the model.  For instance, I will make the head and then skin the head.  Then make the body and skin the body.  I switch back and forth between the modeler, Npherno and painting program frequently.  Make sure you save progress and load your new progress into each program so you don’t save over two hours worth of pixel editing accidentally (I’ve done this many times).


If you want something to be invisible use the first color in your palette (usually black).  It won’t show up in the game.  Likewise, if you want something to be black but not invisible use another black or dark gray.  I use the invisible color for the space between creature’s toes and on the edge of creature’s wings for curves.  There are many other uses.


I’ll be back next week talking about how to model your creations.  Right now you have all the knowledge it takes to make furniture, feel free to practice.  Make some chairs or beds or statues.