How to make a custom skin for

SWAT4: The Stetchkov Syndicate

Step 1: create a texture package

The first step to making your custom skin is to make sure you have the correct bitmaps. You need create these textures:

face
a 256 by 256, 32 bit targa, with facial features
regular pants
a 512 by 512, 32 bit targa, for the light armour pants and arms
regular vest
a 512 by 512, 32 bit targa, for the light armour vest
no armour vest
a 512 by 512, 32 bit targa, for the no armour vest
heavy pants
a 512 by 512, 32 bit targa, for the heavy armour pants and arms
heavy vest
a 512 by 512, 32 bit targa, for the heavy armour vest
GUI image
a 256 by 256, 24 bit targa for the skin selection screen

You should create these images in a program that can save 32 bit targas such as Paintshop Pro. All of these, except the GUI image, may have alpha channels, for transparency or specular masks, or normal maps which would be an additional 24 bit Targa image. However this is not required.

These need to be imported, using SWATed, into a texture package (.utx) and setup with shaders.

To do this open the texture browser(view/show texture browser) in SWATed and select file/import

when the import dialog box comes up, browse to select your textures, and hit ok.

Now another dialog will appear. Enter your new texture package name in the field at the top (eg: Suspect1_officerTex) and the name of your texture should appear in the bottom field. Make sure you have 'create mip maps' turned on. Set the compression type to DXT1 for images without an alpha channel and hit ok.

Your texture will appear in the browser. Click the save button and save your new package in ../SWAT4/ContentExpansion/textures/

Now select file/new and enter a name to create a new shader. It must have a unique name. This will bring up it's properties with several slots for different textures.

To assign your texture to the shader, click on a texture in the texture browser, and then click on the small '>' to the right of the slot marked 'Diffuse'. This will bring up a small menu. Select 'use'. You may also assign textures to other slots but the diffuse slot is the only required slot.

Create shaders for all the textures you imported, except the GUI image, then assign the textures to their respective shaders.

Step 2: Make a new SwatCustomSkin class

In the class browser(view/show class browser) expand the actor class, scroll down, and then expand the equipment class. Make sure you have 'all' selected and 'show unplaceable' selected.

Here you will find the SwatCustomSkin class. Right click on this and select 'new...'

Now give your new class a name ending in 'CustomSkin'. Eg: 'suspect1CustomSkin'

Make the package name the same as the class name but without 'CustomSkin' on the end. Eg: 'suspect1'

Save this class in the ../swat4/contentExpansion/customSkins/ folder with the same name as the package. Eg: 'suspect1' When you save it set 'Save as type' to 'all files' and type in an extension of '.skn'.

Step 3: Setup your skin

Right click on your new class and select 'Default properties...'

This will bring up the attribute editor showing the attributes for the custom skin. For a custom skin the important attributes are in the 'customSkin' section.

Scroll down and expand this section and you will see several attributes:

FaceMaterial
GUISkinImage
HeavyPantsMaterial
HeavyVestMaterial
NoArmourVestMaterial
PantsMaterial
SkinDescription
SkinFriendlyName
SkinTeam
Vestmaterial

You should set these attributes so that they reflect the textures you imported in step one. To set them, open your texture package in the texture browser and select a texture then click on the '>' and select 'use' as you did for the shader in step 1.

Here is an explanation what each one should be set to:

FaceMaterial
This should be set to the face texture in your skin texture package.
GUISkinImage
This should be set to the User interface texture in your skin texture package.
HeavyPantsMaterial
This should be set to the heavy pants texture in your skin texture package.
HeavyVestMaterial
This should be set to the heavy vest texture in your skin texture package.
NoArmourVestMaterial
This should be set to the no armour vest texture in your skin texture package.
PantsMaterial
This should be set to the regular pants texture in your skin texture package.
SkinDescription
This is not a texture. It is the description of the skin for the skin selection screen in game. You should enter something descriptive of the skin here. Eg: 'urban camouflage skin'
SkinFriendlyName
This is also not a texture. It is the name that displays below the skin in the skin selection screen. You should give this a short name to identify your skin. Eg: 'urban'
SkinTeam
This setting is also not a texture. It allows you to restrict which team may use the skin. There are three different settings:
TEAMVALID_All - your skin can be used by either team
TEAMVALID_SWATonly - your skin can be only used by SWAT
TEAMVALID_SuspectsOnly - your skin can be only used by the suspects
Vestmaterial
This should be set to the regular vest texture in your texture package.

Once you have set all these attributes save your class package. Make sure you set 'Save as type' to 'all files' and save over the class package you created in step 2.

Now startup a multiplayer game of SWAT4: The Stetchkov Conspiracy and select your skin. To distribute your texture to other players send them both the .utx file and the .skn file. Otherwise they will not be able to view the skin.