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How to Install Skins (applicable for v0.7.4 modding system)

install skins work help

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Final_Spark #1 Posted Jun 24 2012 - 22:33

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Since we always do get some posts on asking just how to get skins to work as opposed to creating them, I thought getting a guide topic up would be a good step. I've seen some success with a visual guide to a previous topic, so making it available in an easier to find place would probably be better. (Maybe sticky? *crosses fingers*)

Alright, so I noticed that just for installing skins, you don't need this entire guide. If you just want to get to installing skins, scroll on down to Part 2. If you want to understand more of the mechanics behind skinning and why it works, start up here at Part 1.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Part 1:

So then, let's get to it. First, I'd like to point out how modding works in World of Tanks. (skins can be defined as mods in a sense)

Let's go to our World of Tanks folder, wherever you installed it, and take a look inside of it.

Spoiler                     

Yeah, yeah. Go ahead and laugh it up at my desktop. I like it and that's all that matters.

OK, so I'm outlining these two folders res and res_mods. res is where we are going to find all of our default files, and where we'll concentrate on our tour first. The game won't work without the stuff in the res folder, and in essence everything is pretty much backed up for you. There's a specific place to find most of these files, including the original skins, so let's go check it out.

Spoiler                     

Alright, so inside of the res folder we have all of these folders going on. You may not have all of these, but don't worry. I've been around for quite a long time and still have some of the older modding system in there. Don't mind that and just concentrate on the packages folder for now.

So inside of the packages folder, we have all of these pkg files going on. These are where the default folders are. You need to use a program such as Winrar or 7zip to open them. Now, for skins we want to scroll to the bottom and find the files I've got outlined. These have all of the files for the specific vehicles including the skins. shared_content is a little weird in that it has some vehicle folders in it that you can't find in their respective nation folders. They seem the have files that are used in multiple vehicles.

For now, let's open the vehicles_american file. Obviously, this will contain the files for the American vehicles. Pay attention to the file path and specifically the folder names we have to go through to get to the files, it's important.

So, I'm going to go for the T28 Prototype in this case.

Spoiler                     

Alright. Notice the folder name for it? Really important. Inside, we've got the default skin files. That's them. For normal skinning, we don't need to worry about those extra folders. Again, the names are pretty important.

_______________________________________________________________________

You'll notice we have 5 "skin" files, all as dds files. I'll explain what they do now.

The T28_Prototype file is your main skin file. 99.9% of skins you get use this file.

The T28_Prototype_crash file is how the tank will look when it's destroyed. It makes it look less jarring than if the entire paint job changed on you when the tank is destroyed.

The T28_Prototype_CM file is how WoT places their in game camo correctly. It's in black and white where the white parts define where the camo goes. Blacking out or "blanking" the CM file means you won't see in game camo on the tank to ruin the looks of your skin. Some skinners (like me) provide you with the blank CM file for you, but it is out there on its own if you search for it.

The T28_Prototype_NM and T28_Prototype_SM files adjust the finer details of the skin. the NM file can be edited to make a zimmerit-like effect on a tank, while the SM file adjusts how light hitting and reflecting works. I find that not as many skinners edit these.
_______________________________________________________________________

OK, so we have found our default files. So just so you know, NEVER OVERWRITE THESE. We want to leave the default files alone at all times. Sure, we can open them and edit them, but we MUST save them elsewhere. You will be screwing with the install if you overwrite anything here.

That ends the tour with the default files and the res folder. Now how about the res_mods folder? And I still really haven't explained modding yet. Well here it comes.

Basically, the game checks the res_mods folder first. If there isn't anything it's looking for there, it reverts to the defaults in the package folder. This means we can omit files from the res_mods folder to keep it smaller and the game will still work; it'll just draw from the defaults. The only exception I know to this seems to be the audio folder, but that's not skinning.
________________________________________________________________________

Part 2:

Alright, so let's go find out how we install a skin, shall we? In your World of Tanks folder, open up the res_mods folder and you'll find a folder that is named after the current version of the game. Inside of this is pretty much nothing but a readme file (which we don't need. I got rid of it). I really do need to point out now that you have to create your own file paths from here on out. There's a trick to make this a bit easier, but the work in the end seems to balance out. I'll go into it later.

This all means you really need to pay attention to the file paths I'll be giving you as well as spelling them exactly correctly including hyphens and underscores. I'd also follow the capitalization just to be safe.
________________________________________________________________________

So you've got your skin you've downloaded off of the internet. Where does it go? Well it's time for some more pictures. I'll reuse the T28_Prototype example.

Spoiler                     

Hey, notice something? That file path looks awfully similar to when we were hunting for the defaults. That's because it pretty much is. Pretty nifty, eh? Let's use that knowledge to our advantage.

Spoiler                     

So, with the file path being the exact same means we need to use that code-thing in front of the tank name again. Again, exact spelling is required. This is why I lead you to the defaults first. We need to be able to copy those names.

With that, we now have an empty folder with a pretty cool name. Let's make it better. Go ahead and plop those skin files you got in here. Remember, exact naming. Although the skinners almost always do that for you.

Spoiler                     

Again, you don't need all of those, and the only real file you need is the T28_Prototype file. You often get the crash and CM files as well, and the NM and SM files are the least common.

And bingo. Your tank should now look different from the default. Wasn't all that hard, was it?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Optional:

So about that other method to get the file pathing down. This is purely optional.

We need to go back to our packages folder for this, so let's do so. Now, open up whichever vehicles file you want. I'll do the American one again.

You'll notice how it gives you the "vehicles" folder. Select it and hit whatever button it is to extract the file. Tell the program to extract the file to where I'm directing it below.

Spoiler                     

After extraction, you should now have the entire file path all set up in one fell swoop. Problem is you now have to go through each vehicle's folder and delete everything you don't need. Basically, clean them out. You also don't really need the Camouflage and Tracks folders unless you plan to mod those.

You then just repeat for each country and I would prefer adding in the shared_content stuff manually.

Alternatively, kyphe has provided the whole shebang without any files in them. He still provides those folders we didn't care about, so take them or leave them. Here's where you get it: http://forum.worldof...-now-available/

And that concludes this guide. Hope it helps.

Edited by Cadyshack, Jul 05 2012 - 05:31.


securitycop #2 Posted Jun 24 2012 - 22:54

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i thought this new UI was supose to be esayer??

just looks like alot more steps then before

Final_Spark #3 Posted Jun 24 2012 - 23:08

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Maybe not as easy as before, but the nice part is that everything is pretty much backed up for you. If you want to delete a custom skin, you just go and delete or rename it. The game then automatically goes to the default.

Shadowjak #4 Posted Jun 27 2012 - 02:46

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Thank you sir.  Was looking all over for where the dds files went... :3

Removed Edit - everythings working!

Edited by Shadowjak, Jun 27 2012 - 04:01.


eisen1973 #5 Posted Jun 27 2012 - 19:04

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Excellent post, It works like a charm.

suitacos #6 Posted Jun 29 2012 - 20:48

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wow TY i forgot how to add skins was going to post for help, this was great thanks

yojoe266 #7 Posted Jun 30 2012 - 02:57

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what program do u need to remove the pkg file?

suitacos #8 Posted Jun 30 2012 - 03:31

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View Postyojoe266, on Jun 30 2012 - 02:57, said:

what program do u need to remove the pkg file?

winrar is what i use or 7zip

lucas7151 #9 Posted Jul 03 2012 - 13:40

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does any one know any good skins to use because i cant find any that are dds files they are always rar  and/or from closed beta

Final_Spark #10 Posted Jul 03 2012 - 19:07

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Everyone uploads skins as rars because it compresses them so you don't have to upload/download a larger file. Plus, most upload sites have file size restrictions that keep you from just uploading dds files. Also, it helps keep the right files together.

You really should get used to using extraction programs like Winrar and 7zip to open up downloaded files. A very large portion of files downloaded off of the internet are in archive form that requires an extraction program.

warmonger180 #11 Posted Jul 05 2012 - 01:09

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so, what happens when there are no folders in packages, just map/vihcles PKG files? there a more simple way than the maze the OP has?

Final_Spark #12 Posted Jul 05 2012 - 05:25

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I was mainly explaining how the entire system is set up from the start, especially where the file paths in the packages folder are the exact same in the res_mods folder.

If you just want to go and get a skin implemented, just follow the second part. I'll edit the guide to point that out.

Tank_Buster_ #13 Posted Jul 09 2012 - 01:51

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View PostCadyshack, on Jun 24 2012 - 22:33, said:

Since we always do get some posts on asking just how to get skins to work as opposed to creating them, I thought getting a guide topic up would be a good step. I've seen some success with a visual guide to a previous topic, so making it available in an easier to find place would probably be better. (Maybe sticky? *crosses fingers*)

Alright, so I noticed that just for installing skins, you don't need this entire guide. If you just want to get to installing skins, scroll on down to Part 2. If you want to understand more of the mechanics behind skinning and why it works, start up here at Part 1.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Part 1:

So then, let's get to it. First, I'd like to point out how modding works in World of Tanks. (skins can be defined as mods in a sense)

Let's go to our World of Tanks folder, wherever you installed it, and take a look inside of it.

Spoiler                     

Yeah, yeah. Go ahead and laugh it up at my desktop. I like it and that's all that matters.

OK, so I'm outlining these two folders res and res_mods. res is where we are going to find all of our default files, and where we'll concentrate on our tour first. The game won't work without the stuff in the res folder, and in essence everything is pretty much backed up for you. There's a specific place to find most of these files, including the original skins, so let's go check it out.

Spoiler                     

Alright, so inside of the res folder we have all of these folders going on. You may not have all of these, but don't worry. I've been around for quite a long time and still have some of the older modding system in there. Don't mind that and just concentrate on the packages folder for now.

So inside of the packages folder, we have all of these pkg files going on. These are where the default folders are. You need to use a program such as Winrar or 7zip to open them. Now, for skins we want to scroll to the bottom and find the files I've got outlined. These have all of the files for the specific vehicles including the skins. shared_content is a little weird in that it has some vehicle folders in it that you can't find in their respective nation folders. They seem the have files that are used in multiple vehicles.

For now, let's open the vehicles_american file. Obviously, this will contain the files for the American vehicles. Pay attention to the file path and specifically the folder names we have to go through to get to the files, it's important.

So, I'm going to go for the T28 Prototype in this case.

Spoiler                     

Alright. Notice the folder name for it? Really important. Inside, we've got the default skin files. That's them. For normal skinning, we don't need to worry about those extra folders. Again, the names are pretty important.

_______________________________________________________________________

You'll notice we have 5 "skin" files, all as dds files. I'll explain what they do now.

The T28_Prototype file is your main skin file. 99.9% of skins you get use this file.

The T28_Prototype_crash file is how the tank will look when it's destroyed. It makes it look less jarring than if the entire paint job changed on you when the tank is destroyed.

The T28_Prototype_CM file is how WoT places their in game camo correctly. It's in black and white where the white parts define where the camo goes. Blacking out or "blanking" the CM file means you won't see in game camo on the tank to ruin the looks of your skin. Some skinners (like me) provide you with the blank CM file for you, but it is out there on its own if you search for it.

The T28_Prototype_NM and T28_Prototype_SM files adjust the finer details of the skin. the NM file can be edited to make a zimmerit-like effect on a tank, while the SM file adjusts how light hitting and reflecting works. I find that not as many skinners edit these.
_______________________________________________________________________

OK, so we have found our default files. So just so you know, NEVER OVERWRITE THESE. We want to leave the default files alone at all times. Sure, we can open them and edit them, but we MUST save them elsewhere. You will be screwing with the install if you overwrite anything here.

That ends the tour with the default files and the res folder. Now how about the res_mods folder? And I still really haven't explained modding yet. Well here it comes.

Basically, the game checks the res_mods folder first. If there isn't anything it's looking for there, it reverts to the defaults in the package folder. This means we can omit files from the res_mods folder to keep it smaller and the game will still work; it'll just draw from the defaults. The only exception I know to this seems to be the audio folder, but that's not skinning.
________________________________________________________________________

Part 2:

Alright, so let's go find out how we install a skin, shall we? In your World of Tanks folder, open up the res_mods folder and you'll find a folder that is named after the current version of the game. Inside of this is pretty much nothing but a readme file (which we don't need. I got rid of it). I really do need to point out now that you have to create your own file paths from here on out. There's a trick to make this a bit easier, but the work in the end seems to balance out. I'll go into it later.

This all means you really need to pay attention to the file paths I'll be giving you as well as spelling them exactly correctly including hyphens and underscores. I'd also follow the capitalization just to be safe.
________________________________________________________________________

So you've got your skin you've downloaded off of the internet. Where does it go? Well it's time for some more pictures. I'll reuse the T28_Prototype example.

Spoiler                     

Hey, notice something? That file path looks awfully similar to when we were hunting for the defaults. That's because it pretty much is. Pretty nifty, eh? Let's use that knowledge to our advantage.

Spoiler                     

So, with the file path being the exact same means we need to use that code-thing in front of the tank name again. Again, exact spelling is required. This is why I lead you to the defaults first. We need to be able to copy those names.

With that, we now have an empty folder with a pretty cool name. Let's make it better. Go ahead and plop those skin files you got in here. Remember, exact naming. Although the skinners almost always do that for you.

Spoiler                     

Again, you don't need all of those, and the only real file you need is the T28_Prototype file. You often get the crash and CM files as well, and the NM and SM files are the least common.

And bingo. Your tank should now look different from the default. Wasn't all that hard, was it?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Optional:

So about that other method to get the file pathing down. This is purely optional.

We need to go back to our packages folder for this, so let's do so. Now, open up whichever vehicles file you want. I'll do the American one again.

You'll notice how it gives you the "vehicles" folder. Select it and hit whatever button it is to extract the file. Tell the program to extract the file to where I'm directing it below.

Spoiler                     

After extraction, you should now have the entire file path all set up in one fell swoop. Problem is you now have to go through each vehicle's folder and delete everything you don't need. Basically, clean them out. You also don't really need the Camouflage and Tracks folders unless you plan to mod those.

You then just repeat for each country and I would prefer adding in the shared_content stuff manually.

Alternatively, kyphe has provided the whole shebang without any files in them. He still provides those folders we didn't care about, so take them or leave them. Here's where you get it: http://forum.worldof...-now-available/

And that concludes this guide. Hope it helps.

it be nice to a lot of newer players if some1 would make a very simple Video tutorial , i have a lot of players ask me how to , i try to explain and redirect , yet they are still lost in space :Smile_Default:

Boneduster #14 Posted Jul 15 2012 - 18:07

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This prevent that skins get deleted after updates?

Final_Spark #15 Posted Jul 16 2012 - 00:31

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View PostBoneduster, on Jul 15 2012 - 18:07, said:

This prevent that skins get deleted after updates?
Skins are never deleted through updates. What happens is the game makes a new version folder in the res_mods folder. You just have to either rename your older version folder to the newer one, or copy/paste the mods to the new folder. Other mods can break the game (make it crash, etc) on an update, so be careful.

The only thing that can really happen to skins is if they change the UV map for some tanks, which then means the skin will be placed incorrectly on the tank. They don't do it often.

EasyEight65 #16 Posted Aug 03 2012 - 00:39

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I'm probably one of the unfortunate few who can't seem to to get a skin installed on 7.5....kinda at my wits end and I need step by step instructions.  The pics are nice but don't really help.  Please assist if you can --  Thanks!

Final_Spark #17 Posted Aug 03 2012 - 01:19

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Unless they changed the system on us, the only thing that needs changing is that the version number should be 0.7.5 for the folder in the res_mods folder. I'm on vacation right now, so no access to the files yet.

The basic things to check are the names of all of your folders (needs to be exactly correct), and you have the dds files in the right places (not rars; you need to open those).

jasonvoorheesrevenge #18 Posted Aug 05 2012 - 00:25

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This is still confusing. How do I create a path? Lol. Cause all I get is a read me file, and theres no folders for the tanks.

jasonvoorheesrevenge #19 Posted Aug 05 2012 - 00:32

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ah nvm just forget it. It seems way to complicated.

Final_Spark #20 Posted Aug 05 2012 - 02:22

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By creating a path, I mean you need to create all of the folders yourself and name then correctly.

You right-click -> Create New -> Folder. It;ll then appear and you just name it to what you need (shown in the guide).