Reskinning

 
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
An introduction to reskinning models using TGATool2.

To obtain TGATool2, download it here: http://www.mnwright.btinternet.co.uk/train/tgatool2.htm

You can reskin any locomotive or item of rollingstock, as far as the Readme will allow you to. But first, you need the following programs:
  • TGATool2, as stated above,
  • Any paint program, ranging from MS Paint (for simple stuff such as mere renumbering), all the way up to PSP and Photoshop for the more complex, highly detailed stuff, if you were to fully reskin a loco.
Before you can start reskinning, you must configure TGATool2 first.

The first step is to tell TGATool2 where MakeAce is. MakeAce is a program supplied by MS with MSTS – you need this to export any files to .ace (the format of image used by the game). To do that, go to Prefs Locate MakeAce



Then, browse to the UTILS sub-directory located within your MSTS installation. If you used the default installation path, it should be C:Program FilesMicrosoft GamesTrain SimulatorUTILSmakeace.exe.

After you’ve located MakeAce, you need to select your default image editing prog. If you wish to save all the *.ace files to *.tga and then load them up manually in your fave prog, this part isn’t needed. However, to keep things simple, now go to Prefs Select Editing Program



As default, this has mspaint.exe in the filename box. You can change this to whatever program you use. For example, if you wish to use PSP, browse to C:Program FilesJasc Software IncPaint Shop Pro 7psp.exe (presuming you have version7 like I do – if you don’t, change the path to whatever is relevant to what you have). MSPaint.exe is located in C:WINDOWSsystem32mspaint.exe (if you are running WindowsXP. The location might be different for Win9x/Win2k etc).

After that, go to Prefs Register ACE to TGATool2. This means that whenever you double click on a *.ace file, it automatically loads up in TGATool2.



After this, you are ready to start reskinning! I’ll leave you to figure out how to reskin, and to work out your own personal preferences, just like I have.

To start reskinning, load up the *.ace file in TGATool2, and go to Image Send main image to editor.




This then loads up whatever program you have selected as your image editing prog, and then automatically loads up the texture inside it. Work away to your hearts content, occasionally saving by pressing CTRL+S, until you’ve finished. Note, you can view your work at any time during your reskinning by pressing CTRL+S in your editing prog and going Image Reload Data. Once you’ve finished your reskin, you need to go CTRL+S in your editing prog, and then Image Reload Data in TGATool2.



This then reloads the image in TGATool2, so you are ready to export the *.ace.

If the image has an alpha channel, you’ll need to select Export Ace (Alpha) – Not DXT, and Export Ace for non-alpha channelled textures. DXT is a form of compression.



Browse to where you wish to export it, and click export!

Note: Your firewall may or may not ask you to give makeace.exe permission to access the internet. Give it permission.

That should be all, if you have any further questions the post them below and I’ll try to answer them.

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  XP2009 Chief Commissioner

Thank you Michael for doing this for me. Now hopefully i can work it out  8)

Oh and um seems i am having a slight problem with my browser. For Example getting the link to download any suggestions. It could be that i just need to close Internet Explorer ill try that now.  

Cheers Joel
  K160 Minister for Railways

Location: Bendigo
This is a great program. No re-skinner should be without it  Very Happy
  Shacks Ghanzel

Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
Ok, I now have my parts repainted, what do I need to do to get it as a working model in MSTS ?
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
Ok, I presume you've taken an existing model and simply modified the textures via the method I detailed, correct?

If so, once you've exported your various textures, find them, and simply over-write the originals. Then, load the loco up in MSTS, or Shape Viewer (prolly easier, doesn't take as long to load up and is generally superior for quick viewing), and you should be presented with your re-skinned locomotive Smile
  Shacks Ghanzel

Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
Can we go back to where I save the images. I have given it a name and a losation, clicked on save. It then comes up with a screen titled MakeACEWin v1.04, what do I do now ?
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
Ah, you should've selected the normal MakeAce, instead of MakeAceWin Smile

Using MakeAceWin means you have to duplicate the export process, if you are still using TGATool2. Best to select normal MakeAce when locating it, as per "Prefs Locate MakeAce" Smile
  Shacks Ghanzel

Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
Ok, fixed that & got it working. So lets say I wish to reskin B74, but wish to keep the original, do I copy the entire file but rename it ?
I take it I replace the Train Sim Image files. What else do I need to change ?
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne

Embarassed I missed out a vital part in reskinning a loco.

When you wish to reskin a locomotive, you'll need to make some changes to the .eng file. I'm posting this from school right now, so I'll tackle it when I get home, if you can hold off for that long Smile
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
OK, now that I'm home...

To make the required changes to the locomotive, whilst keeping the original, you need to make three changes:
  • Firstly, you need to rename the *.eng, *.s and *.sd files for the locomotive in question to whatever you feel is appropriate.
  • Secondly, you need to open the *.sd file in Wordpad (you can open it in Notepad in Win2k and up, but to keep it simple use Wordpad) and change the line starting with Shape ( to the name of your renamed *.s file - for example...
    SIMISA@@@@@@@@@@JINX0t1t______
    Shape ( Au_b74.s Rename this to whatever you renamed the *.s file to
    ESD_Detail_Level ( 0 )
    ESD_Alternative_Texture ( 0 )
    ESD_Bounding_Box ( -1.515490 0.062018 -9.285391 1.515816 4.318365 9.293155 )
    )

  • Now, open up the *.eng file in Wordpad (again, can be opened in Notepad in Windows 2000 and up), and make the following changes:
    SIMISA@@@@@@@@@@JINX0D0t______

    Wagon ( Au_b74 *This must be renamed the same as the other asterixed parts
    Type          ( Engine )
    WagonShape    ( Au_b74.s )Rename this to whatever you renamed the *.s file to


    About half way down...
    Engine ( Au_b74 *This must be renamed the same as the other asterixed parts


    A bit below that...
    	Wagon ( Au_b74 )*This must be renamed the same as the other asterixed parts


    And finally, near the bottom...
        	Name ("AU VR B74")


    This is the name that will appear in Consist Editor.
That should cover everything. Smile

NOTE:  will not be found inside the files listed, this is to denote what you should do in this section.
  Shacks Ghanzel

Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
Thankyou for your time michaelgreenhill, I have got it to work. I now have a B Class with my name on it running around in MSTS.
  K160 Minister for Railways

Location: Bendigo
Can we see a screenie Shacks?  Smile
  L254 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Thanks michael for putting this up about reskinning now i know how to do it, they are not good but ill get used to it.
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
Not a problem, happy to help out Smile
  Shacks Ghanzel

Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
Here are my first re-skins, the B took about an hour, as it was only a logo change, the G took alot longer as it was a total repaint.

Shack's Railway Company B74.

Shack's Railway Company G511.
I would like to thank michaelgreenhill for his help.
  K160 Minister for Railways

Location: Bendigo
Very nice work Shacks. The joys of Virtual Railways, you can have loco's and rollingstock whatever colour you like  Very Happy
  S 301 Chief Commissioner

Location: in front of the computer
OK, now that I'm home...
SIMISA@@@@@@@@@@JINX0t1t______
Shape ( Au_b74.s Rename this to whatever you renamed the *.s file to
ESD_Detail_Level ( 0 )
ESD_Alternative_Texture ( 0 )
ESD_Bounding_Box ( -1.515490 0.062018 -9.285391 1.515816 4.318365 9.293155 )
)

  • Now, open up the *.eng file in Wordpad (again, can be opened in Notepad in Windows 2000 and up), and make the following changes:
    SIMISA@@@@@@@@@@JINX0D0t______

    Wagon ( Au_b74 *This must be renamed the same as the other asterixed parts
    Type          ( Engine )
    WagonShape    ( Au_b74.s )Rename this to whatever you renamed the *.s file to


    About half way down...
    Engine ( Au_b74 *This must be renamed the same as the other asterixed parts


    A bit below that...
    	Wagon ( Au_b74 )*This must be renamed the same as the other asterixed parts


    And finally, near the bottom...
        	Name ("AU VR B74")


    This is the name that will appear in Consist Editor.
  • [/list]That should cover everything. Smile

    NOTE:  will not be found inside the files listed, this is to denote what you should do in this section.
    "michaelgreenhill"

    what happens if the loco has freight anim file as I have reskinned a loco that has one.
      michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

    Location: Melbourne
    Nothing happens, as far as I know.

    Just change the paramaters that I instructed you to change, and it should work. I've never tried this on a loco with freight anim, but I've never read of anyone having any problems with freight anim Smile
      maybenever Deputy Commissioner

    Hey,

    I have had a crack at reskinning 4803 (the one that came with Coal Road), renumbering it 4836.

    I have changed 4803 to 4836 in the ENG file, the SD file and the names of all the files with 4803 in the title.  I have created a consist with the new loco, but I get messages "Failed to open texture file  Trainstrainset483648t2-4803.ace"  when I try to use it.  I have run it through conbuilder and it doesn't pick anything up.

    Any ideas?
      R 742 Train Controller

    Location: VIC.....AUS
    The .ace files need to keep the original name..

    unless you open the .s file with SFM and edit the .ace names to the new ones.
      gallop3 Deputy Commissioner

    An easy shortcut to renaming eng and wag files in wordpad is
    1 to open file to be edited.
    2 Press conrol=h , a window will pop up asking you to input old name and new name.
    3. Click on replace all.
    Yoila, your file has been renamed completely.
    Save as new name to new folder with same name in trainset folder.
    Cheers
      maybenever Deputy Commissioner

    Thanks R 742,

    That has fixed it.

    BTW what is SFM?

    Later

    Wesley
      michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

    Location: Melbourne
    SFM=Shape File Manager
      R 742 Train Controller

    Location: VIC.....AUS
    Wink
      maybenever Deputy Commissioner

    Thanks for this post Michael,  you have created a monster!

    [Edit - 11/7/04] removed some old links.  To see other screenies:

    http://wesleygleeson6100.fotopic.net/c226010.html

    Wesley

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