Reskinning Models

The fine art of reskinning. This guide explains in detail reskinning AI with COREL PHOTO PAINT , PAINT SHOP PRO & ADOBE PHOTOSHOP more programs may become available in the future but these are the most commonly used.


Hex Editors 

Hex editors are used to modify characters in 3d .bin files (Thief AI models).

Windows systems have a built in hex editor, you can access it by Clicking Start->Run and typing ‘edit.com /76’. Skin filenames should be the only readable text and should be close to the top.

If you don’t have access to this then you can download hex editors from download.com.


Creating Your Own Version of a Model to Reskin 

DromEd 1(Thief: The Dark Project/Thief Gold):

If you do not want to override (if you chose to skip this step you will not overwrite the original skins, you will only like the AI’s to different skins with the same name) existing AI’s skins. Than you have the alternative to copy a model, change the name, and specify a new skin. Thus creating your own AI without losing other AI in the process.

Step 1: Open the Mesh.crf from the Res folder in your Thief 2 directory or in your base Thief 1 directory with an unzipping utility such as WinZip.

Step 2: Locate the bin file with the same name as the skin you want to edit, in some cases the name is slightly different.

Step 3: Extract the .bin file to a local directory, and rename it to the name of your new skin.

Step 4: Open your new .bin file with a HEX EDITOR and change the name of the skin specified to the name of your new skin, it is important that the file name be changed to one with the same length (you can change haunt01.gif to haunt88.gif but not to bobs_new_skin_number_five.gif). To operate the hex editor, run it and open the bin file in your local directory, close to the top should be some readable text (the name of the skin), change this name one letter at a time, making sure to use the same amount of letters.

Step 5: Save the .bin file to your Thief 2/Mesh/ or Thief/Mesh/ directory.

Step 6: Load dromed and your FM, create the AI who’s .bin file you copied, then change the model name in properties to the name of the new .bin file in your Mesh directory. If the skin was done correctly and the .bin file was edited correctly, you should now have the same model with a new skin, only you can now use the same AI with two different skins!

DromEd 2(Thief 2):

After editing and saving your custom skin (see below), add the Renderer>Mesh Textures property to the AI in question. In the resulting dialog box, enter the full name, including the extension, of the existing texture (found by viewing the .bin file with a hexeditor) in the first text field, and the name of your new texture in the second text field.


Skinning AI with Corel Photo Paint

This was written according to Corel Photo Paint OEM version 7 on Windows 98 o/s. There should be little difference when using older and newer versions.

Step 1: Open the Mesh.crf from the Res directory in your Thief 2 folder or main directory in your Thief 1 folder with an unzipping utility such as WinZip and choose one of the skin .gif files.

Step 2: Extract the skin to any local folder.

Step 3: Open the skin with Corel Photo Paint by double clicking the icon or running the program and clicking open under ‘File’ in the menu toolbar.

Step 4: Once opened, edit the skin as desired with the Corel effect and paint tools.

Step 5: Convert the image to paletted with the COREL THIEF PALETTE which you can download from our server HERE. This is done by selecting ‘Image‘ from the menu toolbar, then selecting ‘Convert To ->‘ in the drop-down menu, here you need to choose ‘Paletted 8-bit‘. In the paletted options that pop up, choose ‘Custom’ & ‘Error Diffusion’. In the window that pops up, load the COREL THIEF PALETTE and click ok.

Step 6: Once the skin has been converted save it in Thief 2/Mesh/txt16 for Thief 2 orThief/Mesh/Txt16.

Step 7: Load the editor and open your level, create the creature that you changed the skin of and you will see the results of your reskinning. If changed a creature that is not in the hiearchy you will need to click ‘properties’ in dromed, then Add->Shape->Model Name->’X’, where ‘X’ is the bin file name of the creature (without the quotes).


Skinning AI with Paint Shop Pro

This was written according to Paint Shop Pro v6.02 registered download on Windows 98 o/s. There should be little difference when using older and newer versions.

Step 1: Open the Mesh.crf from the Res directory in your Thief 2 folder or main directory in your Thief 1 folder with an unzipping utility such as WinZip and choose one of the skin .gif files.

Step 2: Extract the skin to any local folder.

Step 3: Open the skin with Paint Shop Pro by double clicking the icon or running the program and clicking open under ‘File’ in the menu toolbar.

Step 4: Once opened, edit the skin as desired with the PSP paint and plugin tools.

Step 5: Convert the image to paletted with the PSP THIEF PALETTE which you can download from our server HERE. This is done by selecting ‘Colors‘ from the menu toolbar, then selecting ‘Load Palette‘ in the drop-down menu. In the load options that pop up, select the palette from the local folder you extraced it to, and by preference you can choose ‘Nearest Color Matching’, ‘Error Diffision’ or ‘Maintain Indexes’. You may want to try all three to see which one works best with your skin (I prefer and recommend Error Diffusion, but sometimes Nearest Color Matching works best).

Step 6: Once the skin has been converted save it in Thief 2/Mesh/txt16 for Thief 2 or Thief/Mesh/Txt.

Step 7: Load the editor and open your level, create the creature that you changed the skin of and you will see the results of your reskinning. If changed a creature that is not in the hiearchy you will need to click ‘properties’ in dromed, then Add->Shape->Model Name->’X’, where ‘X’ is the bin file name of the creature (without the quotes).


Skinning AI with Adobe Photoshop

This was written according to Adobe Photoshop Full retail version 5.0 on a Windows 98 o/s. There should be little difference when using older and newer versions.

Step 1: Open the Mesh.crf from the Res directory in your Thief 2 folder or main directory in your Thief 1 folder with an unzipping utility such as WinZip and choose one of the skin .gif files.

Step 2: Extract the skin to any local folder.

Step 3: Open the skin with Adobe Photoshop by double clicking the icon or running the program and clicking open under ‘File’ in the menu toolbar.

Step 4: Once opened, edit the skin as desired with the Photoshop paint and effect tools.

Step 5: Convert the image to paletted with the ADOBE THIEF PALETTE which you can download from our server HERE. This is done by selecting ‘Image‘ from the menu toolbar, then selecting ‘Mode‘ in the drop-down menu, here you need to choose ‘Color Table… ‘. In the color table options that pop up, select ‘Load…’ and then select the ADOBE THIEF PALETTE and click ok.

Step 6: Once the skin has been converted save it in Thief 2/Mesh/txt16 for Thief 2 or Thief/Mesh/Txt.

Step 7: Load the editor and open your level, create the creature that you changed the skin of and you will see the results of your reskinning. If changed a creature that is not in the hiearchy you will need to click ‘properties’ in dromed, then Add->Shape->Model Name->’X’, where ‘X’ is the bin file name of the creature (without the quotes).


Troubleshooting

The skin works but the colors look like a rainbow.
A: You did not convert it with the Thief Palettle.

The skin works but there are holes in the AI that I can see through.
A: The first color in the palette is the transparent one, in both my PSP and COREL palettes for download on this site the color is neon green, if you used neon green it will be transparent in game mode. If you would like to use a different color such as hot pink for the index color, edit the palette in the program, or CONTACT ME.

The skin does not show up at all.
A: You did not put the skin in the correct folder.

The skin is in the right folder but it still does not show up.
A: You may have not saved the skin as a CompuServe Bitmap (.gif). Make sure you did so.


Palette Downloads

THIEF PALETTE w/ Transparent Neon Green for Corel Photo Paint (.CPL Corel Palette File) Zipped
THIEF PALETTE w/ Transparent Neon Green for Paint Shop Pro (.PAL Palette File) Zipped
THIEF PALETTE w/ Transparent Neon Green for Adobe Photoshop (.ACT Color Table File) Zipped

Extracting The Palette : You must extract the palette to a local directory before you can use it. You can do so with a program such as WinZip or NetZip.


Credits

This guide was written and tested by GENOCIDE. Please email all suggestions, comments, and questions.


About this entry