Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

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Wain
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Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Wain » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:32 am

I've been having fun seeing what new beast skins I can generate and posted a few raptors over on this thread. However it's off-topic for that thread so I thought I'd post some more of them here, despite the fact it's not so much true "art".

I claim no real artistic talent for these. All I do is extract existing skin files from the WoW database and swap the colour channels around, either within the same skin image or between different skins for the same model. If it looks interesting I'll tweak it further by shifting the colours/contrast/etc. a bit, and clean-up stuff like fixing up teeth that turn out green or purple, for example. I then insert it back into the database and put it on the model. A lot of them look ugly, boring or unnatural, but some really do work. Some even look pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. Or at least they look kinda weird and interesting. And all it takes is just a few minutes' work (well, and a lot of trial and error!!!). In later posts I've been a bit more involved, adjusting colours, and regions of the images specifically, smoothing over pixellated areas, etc. But the images are still basically the original artist's work with modifications... I haven't created new textures or images.

INDEX
Beast: page(s) - Remember there could be multiple entries on the same beast, so check the entire page
Basilisks (Outland): 25
Basilisks (Old World): 32, 33
Bats: 1
Bears: 11, 12
Beetles: 1
Boars (Fel): 11
Bone Spiders: see Spiders (Bone)
Carrion Birds: 21
Chimaeras: 17, 33
Core Hounds: 3, 4
Crabs (Regular): 36
Cranes: 23
Crocolisks (Cataclysm): 26
Crocolisks (Regular): 26
Darkhounds: 40
Demon Dogs: see Darkhounds (non-runed) or Magehunters (runed)
Devilsaurs: 6
Diemetradons: 30
Dogs (Darkhound / Demon Dog): see Darkhounds
Dogs (Magehunter / Runed Demon Dog): see Magehunters
Dogs (Mastiff): 13
Dragonhawks: 1, 9
Dragon Turtles: see Turtles (Dragon)
Drakes: 21
Eagles: 16
Fen Striders: see Spore Walkers
Foxes: 5, 7
Faerie/Fey Drakes: 9
Fel Boars: see Boars (Fel)
Goats: 29, 31, 32
Gorillas: 18
Gryphons: 12
Hyaenas: 18, 19
Helboars: see Boars (Fel)
Hydras (original): 23
Hydras (Outland): 44
Jormungar: see Worms (Jormungar)
Kunchong / Mantid Tanks: 23
Magehunters: 41
Mana Wyrms: 28
Mantid Tanks: see Kunchong
Marsh Walkers: see Spore Walkers
Mastiffs: see Dogs (Mastiff)
Monkeys: 2
Moths: 1, 37, 38
Nether Rays: 7
Outland Hydras: see Hydras (Outland)
Pink menagerie: 3
Porcupines: 29
Pterrordaxes: 8
Quilen: 23
Raptors (Old World): 33
Raptors (Outland): 35
Ravagers: 14
Ravens: 4
Rhinos: 1, 32, 33
Runed Demon Dogs: see Magehunters
Sandreavers: 39, 40
Scarabs: see Beetles
Scorpids (Horde/Amber): 23, 25
Serpents: 27, 28, 31
Shale Spiders: 4
Shoveltusks: 38
Silithids (Colossus): 5
Silithids (Regular/Tank): 2
Silithids (Riding): 9, 19
Silithids (Worker/Ant): 2
Silkworms: 38
Spiders (Barbed): 8, 10
Spiders (Bone): 33, 34, 39
Spiders (Fire): 26
Spiders (Tarantula): 8
Sporebats: 1, 5
Spore Walkers / Fen Striders: 8, 29
Stags: 10
Stegodons/Thunder Lizards: 18
Tallstriders: 6, 7
Tarantulas: see Spiders (Tarantula)
Thunder Lizards: see Stegodons
Tigers (Pandaria): 22
Turtles (Regular): 8, 9
Turtles (Dragon): 22
Warp Stalkers: 15
Wasps: 2
Wind Serpents (Old World): 33
Wind Serpents (Outland): 33
Worms (Jormungar): 13
Worms (Regular): 13
Worms (Silk): see Silkworms
Wyverns: 10


Someone asked me what I use to do this so here's a basic summary of the steps. All the programs mentioned are free:
- I use Ladik's CascView to load a copy of the WoW database from my game folder.
- I then go to the Creatures folder and look in the sub folders for the model of interest and extract (drag) the relevant .blp files to a folder on my desktop.
- .blp is a proprietary Blizzard graphics format based on TGA and very few programs will open it. Ignore the .skin files, they're not what you're after.
- I use XnView to open a skin (.blp) file of interest, it's one of the few graphics programs that will and is a nice picture viewer all round.
- XnView also has some very basic graphics manipulation tools, including a colour channel swap tool, so you can have fun switching colours around.
- For most work, however, I only use XnView to export the skin as a PNG image, which can then be handled by pretty much any graphics program.
- For editing the skin, if you have Photoshop then cool, but I use the free program Gimp. It's one of the best known of open source graphics packages.
- In the Colors menu of Gimp there's an option to "Decompose" the image into its red, green and blue (and alpha) channels. You can do this for a bunch of skins of the same type so you have lots of channels to pick and choose from. Close the original skin files and just leave the decomposed versions open. These images all look greyscale.
- Then select the "Compose" option, and choose random (or calculated) decomposed greyscale images for each of the red, green and blue channels. You'll end up with a skin that is a new colour. Probably something hideous. With practise you can start to guess at the right channels to pic to get colours you're interested in.
- If you like what you got, export it as a new PNG with a unique name.
- If the image has an alpha mask you may need to include that as well as the colour channels or it may look wrong on the model.
- If the alpha mask is making the skin look all misty and grey, don't include it in the compose until you're happy with what you've got (i.e. select "RGB" for the composition instead of "RGBA"). For example sporebats have a horrible alpha mask that makes it very hard to see the proper colours. It's easier to simply not include it at all while you're trying to view them. If you're happy with the skin you got, then deompose it again, and immediately recompose using the channels from your new skin, but select "RGBA" and include an alpha channel from another image. Ideally you should instead be able to just hide the alpha mask from viewing in Gimp, but that option seems to be bugged and makes the entire image vanish.
- Once you have your new skin saved as a PNG, use the little drag-and-drop app BLP2PNG to convert it to a BLP file, ready for inclusion in your WoW archive.
- Now to model your new skin!:
- Create a folder to keep your custom skins in. For this example I'll call it "Custom Skins". Now, inside that folder you need to create a series of sub folders that mimics the folder hierarchy for where the model was found when you viewed it in CascView. For example if you're working on warp stalker skins and they're in Creature/warpstalker/ in CascView, then you need to create a Creature folder inside your Custom Skins folder, then a warpstalker folder inside that, then place your new skins in that. The reason for this comes up next:
- Install and run WoWModelViewer. The first time it runs it'll detect your WoW folder and ask to load the database.
- Now you want it to include your modified skins with the relevant model. Go to the options, specifically the one that allows you to add custom files. Add the location of your Custom Skins folder to that and restart WMV.
- In WMV if you go to the correct creature file you should now see your new skin by name. You can select it in the skins menu below and it should (with a few odd exceptions) appear on the model. If the model takes multiple skins (like some flying creatures have separate body and wing skins) then there's a separate set of three menus on the right for selecting each of them.
- Some models won't display custom skins readily, which is annoying. In these cases their skin name is hard-coded into the model. But you can trick them into doing it by giving your custom skin the same name as the skin they do use (looking at the model's folder in CascView should gove you a good idea of what the skin name will be). In this case you need to also go back to WMV options and ensure the option is checked for custom files to replace database ones if they have the same name. Thanks to Wassa for this tip!

- Enjoy :)
Attachments
SporebatOrangeBlue.png
SporebatOrangeBlue.png (165.52 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
SporebatMagentaGreen.png
SporebatMagentaGreen.png (169.44 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
SporebatSky.png
SporebatSky.png (161.74 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
SporebatSilverRust1.png
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SporebatSilverRust2.png
SporebatSilverRust2.png (145.07 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
Last edited by Wain on Thu May 17, 2012 12:13 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Wain » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:37 am

First a few sporebats:
ImageImage
This is one I deliberately modified to make lighter and more ghostly. I was trying to make it like a beast from the plane of air. I think it'd fit well there:
Image
This one was completely unexpected. It's very sombre in colouring and wouldn't be for everyone, but the eyes and chest came out a very shiny silver. The back is a rusty red, fading to a tarnished copper green.
ImageImage

A few weird moths. I think the blue body with blue/orange wings is my personal favourite. I'm also fond of the green one:
ImageImageImage

It's more difficult to generate credible skins for beasts that don't have bright colours. Pretty much every bat colour I generated looked unnatural and weird - purples, greens, blues, etc. But this pink one looked quite natural:
Image
Attachments
MothBlueOrange.png
MothBlueOrange.png (241.77 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
MothIndigoRed.png
MothIndigoRed.png (259.04 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
MothMint.png
MothMint.png (243.44 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
PinkBat.png
PinkBat.png (237.24 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
Last edited by Wain on Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Wain » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:43 am

I first tried this because Spiritbinder and I were talking about the possibility of a green dragonhawk skin. I said I'd try to mock up something quickly, by adjusting the hue, just for fun. I'm no artist and I expected it to look bad but it looked even more horrific than I had imagined. So then I discovered this colour channel swapping thing and tried it out, based on the pink and yellow skin, and the first one I got surprised me. I fell in love with it very quickly:
ImageImage

A couple of other green ones that I didn't mind too much but I don't think look as natural or pretty. A bit too green:
ImageImage
Attachments
DragonHawkSkinChartreuse_angle1.png
DragonHawkSkinChartreuse_angle1.png (277.08 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
DragonHawkSkinChartreuse_angle2.png
DragonHawkSkinChartreuse_angle2.png (237.98 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
DragonHawkSkinCyan_angle1.png
DragonHawkSkinCyan_angle1.png (276.89 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
DragonHawkSkinGreen_angle1.png
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Last edited by Wain on Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:11 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Kalliope » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:53 am

Agreed on that first green dragonhawk. ;) The second and third moths look stunning and look like they'd blend in somewhere nicely. :) Love that bat! Nice variation on the white one.

As for the sporebats.....they are gorgeous. <3

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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Maria » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:51 am

Heh i accually fancy the green dragonhawk :)

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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Chimera » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:53 am

id def tame the 1st green dragonhawk model, the ghost and steel sporebats, and the blue/orange moth! These and the ones in the other thread are aaaaawwwweeesome Wain :D

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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by TygerDarkstorm » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:52 am

I'm kind of hoping that maybe Noah will see these and maybe make a nudge toward Blizzard to potentially try this to make some new skins for the families with very few to begin with (sporebats, devilsaurs, rhinos, etc). It's using their own files and requires very little effort according to Wain so here's to hoping for new color implementations. :D *crosses fingers*

Btw, I REALLY REALLY want that white sporebat. O_O

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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Wain » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:27 am

Since rhinos are one of the families with the least colours I tried to apply this technique to generate a few interesting ones. Unfortunately, being more "naturally coloured" creatures, most of the colours that turned up were a bit weird. Even some of these are pushing it a bit, but they're interesting all the same:

ImageImageImageImageImage
Attachments
Rhino_Flaxen.png
Rhino_Flaxen.png (314.02 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
Rhino_Ginger.png
Rhino_Ginger.png (310.32 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
Rhino_Lavender.png
Rhino_Lavender.png (263.57 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
Rhino_Red.png
Rhino_Red.png (245.25 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
Rhino_Strawberry.png
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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Silivren » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:19 pm

First one and the last 2 rhino's look awesome to me. Not pushing it TOO much and the red coat is really beautiful. :)

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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Lupis » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:21 pm

White and black sporebats = Amazing. <3

And that red rhino looks great!

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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Kalliope » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:54 pm

I like the last two rhinos; they'd blend in really well with the existing colors, since they're muted. The red one at the top reminds me of Banthar. :D The orange/greenish brown one could pass, but looks a little pukey to me. xD

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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Royi » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:43 pm

oh i would LOVE a Sporebat Spirit Beast, also I would LOVE a Sporebat Rarespawn.

Either I would be most pleased with
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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by TygerDarkstorm » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:56 pm

I think most of those rhinos would actually look just fine in this game, considering most stuff in WoW is far from natural. :P I really like the red and teal one and the lavender one.

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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Kaelys » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:13 pm

I am in love with the pink bat. But...well... I love the bats for some insane reason :D

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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Seilahyn » Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:40 am

ImageImage

I would love either of these two skins on a Devilsaur. I've mentioned in the "pets you'd like to see new skins for" (or whatever) that I'd love to have a blue Devilsaur with a purple belly. Blue and white would be neat, too. I have the blue and purple outland raptor, they'd match!

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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Cerele » Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:43 am

Seilahyn wrote:ImageImage

I would love either of these two skins on a Devilsaur. I've mentioned in the "pets you'd like to see new skins for" (or whatever) that I'd love to have a blue Devilsaur with a purple belly. Blue and white would be neat, too. I have the blue and purple outland raptor, they'd match!

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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Royi » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:29 am

Wain, tell your buddy Noah to put a rare Sporebat into the game. Have him fly high over Stormwind and be tameable only by Horde. Also Have a rare Sporebat fly high over Orgrimmar and be tameable only by Alliance.

There, no more griefing, nothing bad would come out of that situation whatsoever :)


But seriously. Wain i'm putting the responsibility on you to get a rare Sporebat.
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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by GormanGhaste » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:02 am

I've said before that I'd love to see a Sporebat spirit beast, and I think the ghostly model would be good for that.

I have a weakness for green pets, and like all the ones you've posted here including the Rhino, but the minty Moth makes me especially happy!
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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Wain » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:28 am

Ok, a few more things that I generated while playing...
First, a few more potential bats of interesting colours. I was especially happy how the grey ones turned out. They both have a very nice blue cast to them without looking too weird. Though one does have a blue nose...
ImageImageImageImage

This last creepy guy showed up while I was attempting to make the red bat. He's fine except for his red nose. You might think it's funny at a distance, but think again...
ImageImageImage
Just hope Evil Clown Bat doesn't notice you.
Attachments
BatGold.png
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BatGrey.png
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BatRed.png
BatRed.png (199.49 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
BatSilverBlue.png
BatSilverBlue.png (121.02 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
BatClown1.png
BatClown1.png (66.42 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
BatClown2.png
BatClown2.png (110.82 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
BatClown3.png
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Re: Miscellaneous skin mash-ups

Unread post by Wain » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:37 am

I tried to generate a few more Rhino skins that wouldn't be too bad. Including a fiery red one and another attempt at a blond one that doesn't look quite as nauseating as the last one...
ImageImageImage


Beetles and other crawlies are fun to play with. They're allowed to have bright colours, so almost anything goes:
ImageImageImage
The Uldum style one with the green yellow and purple is especially unusual and cheery:
ImageImageImage
Attachments
ScarabViolet.png
ScarabViolet.png (280.25 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
ScarabCobaltGold.png
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ScarabChromeGreen.png
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UldumScarabGoldIndigo.png
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UldumScarabChartreuseLavender.png
UldumScarabChartreuseLavender.png (336.89 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
UldumScarabMagenta.png
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RhinoBlonde.png
RhinoBlonde.png (369.63 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
RhinoFiery.png
RhinoFiery.png (315.7 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
RhinoStrawberry.png
RhinoStrawberry.png (348.53 KiB) Viewed 1266 times
Last edited by Wain on Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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