Hi there, I have created this guide to show you step by step how to skin a model for Trainz. I am using Trainz A New Era and will be demonstrating the process with my skinned CFCLA CF Class #CF4401. I see you might be struggling to skin aswell. It takes a lot of thought so make sure your positive with whatever you plan to skin.
If you have any problems or questions please comment them or message me. Thank you and enjoy.
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Step 1: Finding What You Want to Re-Skin
Always have a think to yourself what you should re-skin, and possibly to also make sure someone has not beaten you to it. Also get permission off the original author of the model you will be using, if you release it to the public..
Step 2: Clone Before Start
Its always a good idea to clone what you will be skinning, so it doesnt overwrite the existing version. You can do this by clicking Content on the navigation bar at the top, then as the drop-down menu appears, press clone.
Once you have cloned it, the cloned model should appear in the list below the model you pressed clone so AKA the original.
Step 3: Open for Editing
Opening Your Model for Editing is easy.. right click on the cloned model (or what ever you intend to skin) and you should see 'Open For Editing..' press that then click 'Show in Explorer'. This opens up the explorer file for the model.
Step 4: General Editing
One of the most important things we need to do before changing the skin is opening the 'config' text document. Open that and yours should look (hopefully) something familiar to this (as seen in pictures). Find 'Username' in the config file, and change the default clone name to what ever you could be skinning.. this username text your changing appears as the name to display in Manage Content and also in the game. If you want to leave a description aswell go ahead. Once done, make sure to save.
Step 5: OPTIONAL : Backing Up File
OPTIONAL : Backing Up File
For safety, you may want to consider backing up the file how it is now, in case something goes wrong or becomes faulty.. If you are not interested in doing this, skip to the next step.
Step 6: Accessing the Body Folder
The Body of the Locomotive / Rollingstock / other is the main thing we will be skinning. This covers the nose, sides, and back. So in the same spot as the Config text file is, go through the files, and find the files with the most TGA files. TGA files can only be opened by certain software, such as GIMP or Paint.Net. Other softwares can work opening this type of file. Preview the files, and if you have found one or more that look to be the trains skin layout your in the right path!
Step 7: Starting Our Skin
Starting Our Skin is exciting! Today I will demonstrate skinning one of my already completed skins, this being my CFCLA CF Class. To start off, lets find the file that regards the cab layout. This being the nose of the locomotive / train. If you are skinning rollingstock such as wagons, hoppers, containers, you will have an easier job. With the less amount of files, open and skin away. Back to the locomotive /train skin jobs, You can see in the photo I have circled the file I need to open which is a basic starter, the cab layout. The names could be different on your screen, so go through til you find the cab layout. Once you have found the cabin layout, skin away!
Step 8: Skinning
As you can see I have completed the nose (Front) of my locomotive. Try to make it look real and also test it.. some spots could be out of place so you might wanna go back and fix em up. You can also see I have used Paint.Net for this. I have GIMP but I just prefer Paint.Net's controls. Once you have completed this step, save this TGA file (or Paint.Net file, whatever file it registers as)
Step 9: Side Skinning
Now probably one of the most trickiest parts of skinning a train. The side. Now some authors make their model so that its extremely hard for another person to skin it, and others make it as easy as 1,2,3. In this scenario (in the photo) we have a fairly easy skin awaiting. But seen in the photo, we have 4 rows.. these are the side walls on the side of the train. In this case the 2x up the top are to join for the left hand side and the 2x down the bottom are to join on the right hand side. They are split in half, so the TGA doesn't take up much room. Once done, save the TGA.
Tip: Make sure you align up your skin with where it cuts off, you dont want an uneven side.. Usually previewing your model, you can see if you have succeeded or amazingly failed. Simply go back into the editor and shift the spot of where its un even to a location when you think it will sit fine.
Step 10: Back of Locomotive
Nearly done!! Now a less-stressful part. Skinning the back of the engine. As said earlier, I am demonstrating how to do this on my skinned CFCLA CF class. Simply try to skin the main sections of the back of the engine. The line at the top is the verandah colour. Also this file contains a lot of roof bits, so dont paint the roof an awkward colour! Once you have skinned, you can fix up your headlight and ditchlight style of look, then save the TGA.
Step 11: Checklist
Always good to do a check list, if you haven't made one up, heres mine. It should work on your locomotive/train aswell.
1. Check that you have correctly saved the nose skin
2 Check that you have correctly saved the side skin
3. Check that you have correctly saved the back skin
4. Any additional files you have edited, make sure they are saved too.
5. Go over this a 2nd time to make sure you don't lose your work.
Step 12: Submit Your Edits
Once you have everything completed, submit your changes by pressing the Submit Edits button when you rightclick on your model. If it shows up successful, you have correctly created your first (or more) skin for Trainz.
The status of the skin you just completed should read 'Modified' or 'Complete'
Now you can open your game and test it out. If their is a mistake, which can happen, simply find where the mistake is coming from in the editor and fix it up.
Also make sure your Config file is accurate with its info included.
Step 13: Completion
Completed. If you have any problems or questions just comment below and I should be able to help you out
Warning: Do not release any content by you with out the original authors permission.
Warning: Skin At Your Own Risk.