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How To Make One Model Use Many Skins

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Level 13
Jan 9, 2004
Using More Than One Skin For A Model

For Windows.
Pictures taken in Windows XP with Paint Shop Pro 8.

Tools Needed

Warcraft III - Reign of Chaos or The Frozen Throne
Warcraft 3 Viewer - Get It Here
War3File Converter - Get It Here


Have you ever downloaded a skin and wanted to use the original skin, and you've been unable to? This tutorial explains how to download multiple skins that wrap onto the same model, and still be able to import every one into your map and use them all at the same time. This process is short and easy, and in a very short time you will be importing many different skins of the same unit into your maps.

The Process

1. Exporting the MDX - You begin by opening Warcraft 3 Viewer. You should see something like this:
Next look in the Treeview window. On the top click the MDX radio button.
Then, find the model that your skin is based on.
  • TIP: Usually the model has the same file path as the skin.
Next click Current File->Extract MDX... Choose a folder that you will remember, and click Save. Finally, close Warcraft 3 Viewer.

2. Converting the MDX - Now open War3File Converter.
Click Load File and select the model you just extracted. Now click Convert to MDL. Now close War3File Converter.

3. Changing the File Path - Open the MDL file with Notepad. Now press Ctrl+F and look for Textures.
Now you should see this:
There are two or more file paths: *your model's file path*.blp (usually begun with Textures\), Textures\gutz.blp, and sometimes a few others. Focus only on your skin's file path. Now change the file path to whatever you want it to be. So, for example, if your skin is of a business man, you would probably change the file path to BusinessMan.blp (you can get rid of the Tetures part).
Now click File->Save and close Notepad.

4. Converting the MDL - Open War3File Converter once again, and load the MDL you just edited. Now click Save as MDX.
  • TIP: After converting the MDL back to MDX, you should delete all other files you were working with earlier (the original MDX and the MDL file) and rename the new MDX as the file path you gave it (so if you changed the path to BusinessMan.blp, you would name the MDX BusinessMan.mdx).

5. Importing the Files - Now open the Warcraft III World Editor and import the mdx and the skin, changing the paths to the one you specified (I will soon write a tutorial on importing skins if you have trouble importing), and make a unit for that skin based on the model (you can change the model in the field Art - Model).

End Note

Congratulations! Now you will be able to import as many skins as you want based on one model. Unfortuantly, every model takes up space, so every time you import another model your map size will get larger.
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Level 25
Mar 31, 2004
Gawd, I'm getting sick of every second topic here being about this question, so answer time

The answer? Simple


1 x WC3 Viewer
1 x WC3 File Converter
1 x Warcraft 3, Frozen Throne
1 x Word Editing program: I use Notepad, but you can use Word Pad if you want


1. Make a folder somewhere to keep all of your WC3 tools, I suggest putting a folder called "Tools" in your WC3 folder, but your choice. Then download the tools to this folder.
Why can't you put them in the WC3 folder? Because then you'll screw up WC3 and the tool

2. Open WC3 Viewer, click "File, Open MPQ" and select either "wc3.mpq" or "wc3x.mpq". wc3.mpq has the original units, and wc3x.mpq has the expansion ones. Neither of them have the Firelord, Tinker or Alchemist, seeing as how those three are in wc3patch.mpq, which you can't open due to its lack of a listfile

3. Find the model you want, and extract it somewhere

4. Use the File Converter to convert the mdx file you just extracted into a mdl file

5. Open the mdl file in notepad/wordpad

6. Find the part where it says "Textures", find the skin that this model uses and change the path to something else for the skin. REMEMBER THIS PATH

7. Save, then convert back to mdx

8. Get open WC3 World Editor, start a new map and then import the model and the skin. Put the skin in the path you gave it earlier, don't need to do anything for the model

9. If all went well, save and restart, then place the original unit and the one with the changed skin. They should use a different skin.

There, 9 steps to solving this ever-asked about question
Level 9
Jun 26, 2007
How to use different skins associated with the same model

How to use different skins associated with the same model

If you want to use both a original model and its reskined version, or more,
you can't simply import the skin, you've to export the model from the warcraft official datas files and apply the skin to it!

sample : in my map i need both Jaina original model and a Jaina-based orcish model
the second one use the Jaina model with this skin :
HumanJaina.jpg & OrcishJaina.jpg

Required tools to proceed : War3 Model Editor and Mdx Pather

Fist create the directory where you want to store the model like "OrcSorcerer"
create a Textures directory in the previous on and copy the skin into it.

Step 1 : Export the model as a mdx file

Then launch War3 Model Editor, clic on "Windows" and open "MPQ Browser"
in MPQ Browser, clic on "File" and load the correct .mpq
some explanations about the mpq:
in the War3.mpq are stored the ressources of the reign of chaos version (like the old priest)
in the War3x.mpq are stored the ressources of the frozen throne version (like the crypt lord)
in the War3Patch.mpq are stored the ressources added in patch (like the tinker)
there is no model in War3xLocal.mpq


in the sample, i need Jaina model, so i load the War3.mpq
wait during the loading, look for your model in the tree and double clic on it
(for the sample, i need to open "Units/Human/Jaina/Jaina.mdx")

Then go back to the War3 Model Editor main windows (You should see the model), save the model in the directory you've previously created with the filename you want ("OrcSorcerer.mdx" in the "OrcSorcerer" directory in my sample) and you can close War3 Model Editor.

Step 2 : Apply the texture to the model

Afterwards, launch Mdx Pather and open the mdx you've just saved
You'll see all the texture's default paths, you must correct the main texture's path.
be carefull to this two details :
- sometime, there is many texture, you've to find the main one
- sometime, the main texture is use several time, replace all lines

in the sample, i replace units\Human\Jaina\Jaina.blp with Textures\OrcSorcerer.blp
wtextures.jpg rtextures.jpg
Save the change and close Mdx Pather

You've finished, you can lauch War3 Model Editor again and open your .mdx to see the result.

Now, you're able to import the created model and use it with the original model in the same map.
Jaina meeting the OrcSorcerer :

PS: You can do all this with the portrait mdx too if you need it.
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