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SKINs for Blender

Author
Neuntausend
Rens Nursing Home
#1 - 2015-07-19 14:45:29 UTC  |  Edited by: Neuntausend
Updated to Version 2.0

  • Split up into "Standard" and "Pro" version. In the Pro version, you can plug in any material you like.
  • Added support for color gradients (necessary for camouflage textures and Ishukone SKINs)
  • Added sliders for overall Specularity/Occlusion Intensity.


Updated to Version 1.1

  • removed the option to set the specularity for each material separately. The shader now uses the specularity texture that comes with the model.
  • added inputs for dirt, light, normalmap and bumpmap intensity
  • switched around the textures. Should be much closer to the way they are intended to be used now.
  • general tweaks. Detail, lights and dirt are much more defined now.


Standard Version Download
Preview Render
Example Setup (Ishukone)

Pro Version Download
Preview Render
Example Setup (Blue Tiger)
Example Setup (Panels)

This is a plug and play type shader node for Blender (Cycles). It's intended to be used with models ripped from Eve Online using TriExporter. If you have done this before, you may know that the dds texture files coming with the game are a little strange and can't just be used out of the box. One dds file can actually contain multiple different textures in different color channels or the alpha channel, in order to keep the number of files as low as possible. If you look at guides on how to get those textures out, you will usually be told to tear the color channels apart using Gimp or Photoshop, and put them together in a different order. With this shader node, you don't need to do this anymore.

The "Standard" version is as simple as it gets: Just plug in the DDS textures that come with the model, mess around with the colors and values until it looks good and that's pretty much it. It cannot handle some things very well or at all: It cannot be used to properly texture the transparent panels on minmatar ships and it does not work very well with most Amarr ships.

The "Pro" version is slightly more complicated, in the sense that you will have to plug more nodes together. In turn, you can do about anything with this shader node. Want to make an Eve Ship model out of wax? Plug in a subsurface scattering material. Or glass? No problem either. It comes with a few basic materials (paint, metal and panels) to plug in, but I trust you can come up with much better ones for your purpose.

And here's how you use it:

  1. Open up your scene file containing a model exported from TriExporter
  2. Flip around the UV map of the model along the Y axis
  3. Go to File -> Append, select the .blend file provided by me -> Materials -> hull shader example
  4. Add the example material to your model, copy and/or rename it as you like.
  5. Plug in textures, pick the colors, tweak the intensity values and you are done.


Should you require assistance, feel free to contact me. If you make improvements or additions to the shader, I would love to see them.
CharlesMontgomery Burns
Fish Flavour Quaffe
#2 - 2015-07-21 23:30:51 UTC
Awesome job mate, will make my life a lot easier.. or at least it would if I figured out how to use triexporter to export models from new eve cache, care to share how are you getting your models exported?
Neuntausend
Rens Nursing Home
#3 - 2015-07-21 23:56:22 UTC  |  Edited by: Neuntausend
It works like it did before. However, you should make sure to check "download all the resource files" in the launcher settings, because otherwise you may not get all the textures.

You will also need to use TriExporter 5.1.1, which you can get here: https://github.com/ray/triexporter/releases/

Older versions cannot handle the new resource cache thingy.
CharlesMontgomery Burns
Fish Flavour Quaffe
#4 - 2015-07-22 00:36:16 UTC  |  Edited by: CharlesMontgomery Burns
Ohh god, thanks a lot, it works now!
For anyone else who might google his way here: I used old version of Triexporter and tried setting shared cache as a folder when in fact i had to selected main eve folder :)

Thanks again!
Benjamin Gareth Crendraven
KarmaFleet
Goonswarm Federation
#5 - 2015-09-02 03:13:22 UTC  |  Edited by: Benjamin Gareth Crendraven
Looks good, but I can't figure out how to get it working. I've exported a model as .obj and imported it to Blender. How the hell do I add the node thing? I've tried grouping all the nodes in the SKIN.blend file and then appending said group to the other file but nothing's happening when I add the textures to the texture nodes. Am I supposed to import the model into your file?

Some instructions on how to actually use this would be nice.


Edit: Nevermind. It wasn't working because I was using Blender Render instead of Cycles.
Neuntausend
Rens Nursing Home
#6 - 2015-09-03 22:28:40 UTC  |  Edited by: Neuntausend
Uhm, yes. I might want to add some instructions.

Basically, open up your scene, go to File -> Append, select the SKIN.blend file -> Node Tree -> Plug and Play Skin Shader.

Then you add a node tree to the material you are using for your model, and in the node editor, hit Shift+A -> Group -> Plug and Play Skin Shader.

Plug in the exported .dds textures into the right slots, adjust the colors and specularity and you are done.

Please note, that you still have to flip the UV map for your exported model along the Y axis, as the textures come mirrored.


I have also improved the node and made it even simpler to set up. I will post an update soon, if I don't forget.

Edit: Figured I could as well do it now. OP updated.
Xercodo
Cruor Angelicus
#7 - 2015-09-24 07:42:27 UTC
Can you elaborate on how the specular works? I'm trying to use EVE ships somewhere else but happen to use Blender to instrument them. The renderer I'm targeting wants an actual specular map separate. Any advice?

The Drake is a Lie

Annexe
I N E X T R E M I S
Tactical Narcotics Team
#8 - 2015-09-30 09:06:47 UTC
can someone explain how to get the actual diffuse textures for the ships and the new SKINs. I've managed to export the 3x dds files from triexporter, but not sure how to organise them all.

eg; Quafe Megathron SKIN

I'd also like to create a single diffuse/texture map to put onto the model for use in other 3D programs.

Any help on how to go about this would be great.

Annexe

ITAI - VIP

"i will pop your wreck with faction loot"

Esnaelc Sin'led
Les Petits Pedestres
Toilet Paper.
#9 - 2015-09-30 12:44:28 UTC  |  Edited by: Esnaelc Sin'led
Big thank you for your updates since then.
I've tried it, and it's quite effective.

Unfortunately, it seems that CCP kinda tweaks his textures to make SKINs in game.
For instance, i've tried to redo the Blue Tiger SKIN on Blender, and it looks like some part of the texture is separated from the original to create those Yellow Edges on the official SKIN.

http://i.imgur.com/jn735TB.png?1
Neuntausend
Rens Nursing Home
#10 - 2015-09-30 15:19:39 UTC  |  Edited by: Neuntausend
@Xercodo: Specularity is not a term used anymore by most physical renderers becaus, as I understand it's not physically accurate. Instead "roughness" is used to determine, how "reflective" a surface is. Basically, both a roughness- and a specularity image are greyscale textures. On a specularity map, white means "shiny" and black means "diffuse". On a roughness map, it's the other way around. Eve models come with a roughness map, so if you need a specularity map, try inverting the colors on that one and go from there. You may still have to tweak brightness/contrast to get a good result - to be frank, I have not yet figured that out completely myself.

@Annexe: There is no actual "diffuse" map anymore in Eve. You have paint-, material-, dirt-, glow-, albedo-, roughness-, normal- and occlusion-maps. Except normal and albedo, they are all greyscale maps. The albedo-map is the closest you have to a diffuse map, but it's still mostly black and white. This is because the colors are not defined in the texture. When you look at the skins, you will notice many of them use exactly the same textures, but all in a different color. Now, they don't make a new texture for each color-scheme. Instead, you are supposed to multiply the albedo-map with a color of your choice.

In order to get a single diffuse texture, you can try the following: Add a plane in blender, and apply my shader node as material. Plug in all the textures needed for the ship of your choice. The special versions such as T2, faction and SKIN variants require you to plug in the appropriate _PMDG.dds - you can find those in subfolders for the ship you want to render. Only set up the "diffuse" color inputs, and set the specular color inputs to black. Set the normal-/displacement-inputs as well as the specularity slider to 0 (you don't want those in your diffuse map). Don't add any lights to your scene, and set the environment to white instead. You can then bake out the combined texture into a single, colormap you can use as a diffuse map. You will still need specularity/normal maps for the whole thing to look any good.

Please note that some skins that use color gradients and "mix colors" such as Guristas or Ishukone do not yet work well in this version. I have fixed that already, but I have not yet uploaded the updated version. I would still like to tweak it a bit, it's coming soon™

Esnaelc Sin'led: Those yellow "edges" look like they are either based on the "dirt" or the specularity roughness (see, I'm still confusing those all the time. crazy new world) map. Try those to mix in the yellow. Maybe I will try to recreate that SKIN later, once I'm at home just to see how it works.
Esnaelc Sin'led
Les Petits Pedestres
Toilet Paper.
#11 - 2015-09-30 15:49:37 UTC  |  Edited by: Esnaelc Sin'led
Already tried and it's not.
I think that's like a 4th texture map (or layer as in Photoshop) added "above" the classical texture map.
It might be needed to tweak the original textures to recreate the "edges" with grey variance (or alpha ?) i guess as the new "diffuse-like" shader (which i forgot the name) is based on to, then, create colors.
edit : ^albedo, here we go.

Edit2 : i've tried to search in Tri-Exporter to see if there would be a new .pmdg texture for Valklear or Blue Tiger (like there are for Thukker / Nefantar / Blood / etc) and did not foind one. :(

CCP did something even more meticulous with Blue Tiger SKIN than with Valklear Glory SKIN it seems.
Neuntausend
Rens Nursing Home
#12 - 2015-09-30 16:07:20 UTC
There is always a bit of color mixed in with the albedo-map, so it might be in there. I am at work right now, and don't have access to Triexporter or Eve, but if there is another texture for that SKIN, it should be in a subfolder of the mbc2 folder. Could you check if there's a different _PMDG (contains paint, material, dirt, glow) or _AR (contains albedo and roughness) texture in there somewhere?
Neuntausend
Rens Nursing Home
#13 - 2015-09-30 16:14:29 UTC
ANother thing coming to mind: Those yellow edges appear where the normal map adds "bumps" to the mesh. So it could also be done with some kind of fresnel effect. I have not yet looked at that Skin, but if you turn it so that the surfaces are at a very flat angle to the camera, do the reflections turn yellow?
Esnaelc Sin'led
Les Petits Pedestres
Toilet Paper.
#14 - 2015-09-30 16:15:10 UTC  |  Edited by: Esnaelc Sin'led
i've checked res/dx9/model/ship/minmatar/bc/mbc2 (for hurricane) and couldn't find a new texture file or folder.
There're still thukker / nefantar /navy /brutor, but no valklear or blue_tiger ^^
May be in some other folder somewhere.

Edit : The yellow material looks like a real gold, very reflectiv, very metalic, whereas the blue texture looks more diffuse, mat, rough.
I really think that's a brand new texture, looks like they cut the textures one by one to bring out those edges on each and every models.
Neuntausend
Rens Nursing Home
#15 - 2015-09-30 16:21:53 UTC
Can't really imagine why there would be a hurricane-specific texture somewhere else than the hurricane folder, but it's :CCP: so you never know. Will have to look into that later.

On a different note, here'S a little sneak peek at the upcoming version: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B949Yd6PzZH6cnNyLUJ4ZWoxTVU/view?usp=sharing

I know there are some frames missing. Couldn't be bothered to re-render them because :effort: (I am lazy)
Esnaelc Sin'led
Les Petits Pedestres
Toilet Paper.
#16 - 2015-09-30 16:56:17 UTC
Neuntausend wrote:
Can't really imagine why there would be a hurricane-specific texture somewhere else than the hurricane folder, but it's :CCP: so you never know. Will have to look into that later.

On a different note, here'S a little sneak peek at the upcoming version: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B949Yd6PzZH6cnNyLUJ4ZWoxTVU/view?usp=sharing

I know there are some frames missing. Couldn't be bothered to re-render them because :effort: (I am lazy)


Looks great ! Good job !
Although, i kinda feel like there're some material not really rendered correctly, i don't how to say that.
It seems to me that some metalic part of the material are looking rubbish/plastic more than metalic.

Also, would be great to see some minmatar ships. :p
Specially those sun panel things. :D
Neuntausend
Rens Nursing Home
#17 - 2015-09-30 17:09:12 UTC  |  Edited by: Neuntausend
True, I am using the same material for everything, just with different roughness and glossy colors. I'm considering changing the whole node setup so you can plug in your own materials if you so wish.

edit: Although you can get a half-way decent effect by making the glossy color brighter and more saturated than the diffuse one. To get gold, for example, try setting the diffuse color to a dark brown and the glossy to a much more saturated orange-yellow tone. For steel you'd use a dark grey for diffuse and a blueish tone for glossy.
Esnaelc Sin'led
Les Petits Pedestres
Toilet Paper.
#18 - 2015-09-30 19:17:16 UTC  |  Edited by: Esnaelc Sin'led
Neuntausend wrote:
edit: Although you can get a half-way decent effect by making the glossy color brighter and more saturated than the diffuse one. To get gold, for example, try setting the diffuse color to a dark brown and the glossy to a much more saturated orange-yellow tone. For steel you'd use a dark grey for diffuse and a blueish tone for glossy.


Yep, i figured that out.
Like the solar panels, for matar ships, i use a transparant shader mixed with your shader group on the material shape linked to that specific 3D shape. But it put transparancy to the fasteners as well :x

I think i found the .pmdg on which they built Valklear and BlueTiger SKIN : the nefantar pmdg.
The yellow edges are the "ancient color" on your group shader
Neuntausend
Rens Nursing Home
#19 - 2015-09-30 19:37:28 UTC
I'll figure something out for the different materials, including transparency and make a sample setup. Should not be too difficult, but I will have to rip the shader node apart.
Esnaelc Sin'led
Les Petits Pedestres
Toilet Paper.
#20 - 2015-09-30 22:30:25 UTC
I think i need to work more on the environment as well.
Kinda hard to really recreate the exact shaders InGame lights and reflections, and such.

http://i.imgur.com/blBQyaj.png?1
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