Help the Noob-overall picture for creating a new character.
I got UT2004 about a month ago and I'm at the point where I think it would be really cool to create my own "player". I've been trying to read some of the tutorials and faqs on the subject but what is lacking is an overall "picture" on how things come together.
What I would like to know is if these statements are correct:
A "model" is created and then a "skin" is put on top of the model. A "model" can have different "skins" put on it for different looks. A skin is created from a "mesh" (or static mesh) and "textures". The "texture" is created in program such as Photoshop and the model is created in the UT editor.
Thanks in advance,
Good luck on creating a model in UT Editor. No really, you should use some modeling program. There's probably much more to this than you think. Don't get discouraged but you would have to spend hell a lot of time learning all of the stuff (I been here like what... 6 months now and still learn stuff constantly?). You have the basic idea right, yes. To start, I'd really recommend watching vtms from the UT2004 2 DVD (They're GREAT!) or if you don't have that, check the main board here for some good tutorials or Angel Mappers signature. Also, check out my site (my signature!). I (and some other people) have some pretty decent stuff over there and you might want to download some static meshes (static mesh - in game object) to see how they're made.
1: You create a model. (Physical representation of your player/object)
This is created in a modelling program such as Maya (included with UT2K4) or Gmax.
2: You 'paint' your model. (This layer of paint is referred to as the skin/texture.)
This is created in a paint/drawing program such as windows paint, photoshop etc.
3: The model and skin together are then imported into UnrealED (Unreal Editor) to be displayed inside the game.
Yes you seem right, just find a program like Maya or 3D studio max to make a model. That stuff takes forever to learn! If you can get your hands on photoshop start with that when it comes to character creation.
Open one of the already made character textures, do what you want with it, save as a .png (and .psd for future work) then preview it in UPaint (god willing it works).
For making skins, and this is just my opinion, practice first recoloring stuff with hue/saturation, but don't necessarily release what you make with that, or you may get flamed. Then later when you get better at PS you may get more interested with texturising and other cool effects. www.good-tutorials.com has some helpful stuff when you want to get into that.
Then once you got that stuff burned in your head I would suggest learning more about modeling but once again its just what I think is best.
Modeling a simple character really isn't that hard. Making a really good one is.
1) Create a model (character mesh)
2) It needs a skeleton (to 'attach' the model to)
3) Make a skin (texture) to cover it, usually done in Paintshop or something like it.
4) somehow get it into the Unreal Editor, this seems to be the most confusing part.
I don't know how other modelers make them but I've found a dirt cheap (around 30$) way to do it.
First, get Milkshape (this is the 30$). Milkshape is a very simple to use modeling program, that can import and export UT/UT2003/UT2004 stuff along with a bunch of other type of extensions.
Next get The Gimp. It's a free program similar to Photoshop etc. Read the directions carefully.
If you look in your Extras folder that came with your game you'll find the ".psk" which is the "model+skeleton" of the game characters that are in the game. You can import these into Milkshape and easily manipulate them once you've spent a little time learning how to mess around in Milkshape.
You can open the player skins, which are also in the Extra's folder in The Gimp and color/whatever you want to do to them.
I've just recently found out how to do this and it was a lot easier that I originally thought.
I helped a guy figure it out this week, here's the thread clicky. It's a rather down and dirty approach but I thought that it was relatively easy to do.
My thanks to all who responded. I think I have an idea of the overall process now. My wife is really great in photoshop and has the artistic bent. I, on the other hand, am a software engineer and only draw stick figures at best. We're planning on designing some characters and levels for the fun of it. Certainly beats watching TV reruns or reality shows!