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Texturing Armour

Level 45
Jun 3, 2005

  1. Look upon the brush tool area to know the size of brush and colour I am using.
  2. Be gentle with your strokes and keep control of your pen pressure.
  3. Don't try to skip or divert to filters, they will distract you from learning the freehand content I am trying to teach in this tutorial.
  4. Armour can be done in various colours, this tutorial does not cover colour values or reflective lights.
  5. This tutorial is made with a GRAPHICS TABLET, not a mouse, please make sure you have a graphics tablet, if not make sure you have an ass-load of patience and know how to change your opacity/pressure well manually.
  • Difficulty:Medium=6/10
  • Time: Approx Leg=2-10 minutes
  • Picking up:Medium-Hard=7/10
  • Effort:Easy=4/10
  • Open Canvas4
  • A Graphics Tablet
  • Some Sense of Patience
  • Another Graphical/Art tool that Supports TGA.
  • Wc3Viewer
  1. Introduction
  2. Getting Started
  3. Scale Mail
  4. Smooth Scale Mail
  5. Chain Mail
  6. Plate Mail
  7. Cloth
  8. Padded Leather
  9. Transfer to Wc3
This tutorial is here to teach you some basic techniques through steps on making certain Armour textures, from scale mail to plate, this tutorial covers most of the commonly used Armour types. This tutorial is no way near perfect and not truly easy for those that lack in the learning of art. It's highly suggested you have at least some skill with the used programs and know some art making knowledge before truly trying to undertake thus tutorial.
This tutorial is made with a graphics tablet, so please take note of that and watch the brush settings on the screenshots.
-----------Getting Started-----------
Okay, the first step is to find a skin/texture or find a place on your own texture where amour placement would be suitable. Now, I have chosen the Militia texture.
Resize the texture to at least 2x (twice as large in dimension) so you can add in more detail and have more control.


. Now, to add fill, this is the base in which where our work will take place. Be careful to keep it clean and smooth, try not to interfere or go over any other parts of the texture/skin.


Okay, now lets select a darker tone, we are working on basing it on a slight blue tint, so thus, let's select a dark tone/shadow tone and gentle begin adding those dark tones.
Remember, the leg on the texture and pretty much all limbs on textures and such are based on a basic shape, here is a cylinder and the light source is directly on it, thus we shade around it and leave the mid tone/base alone in the middle.


Okay, now we have that done, we select a slightly brighter tone than the mid tone and gentle place it on the area of the middle area as shown, do not apply too much. This is used to make the leg stick out more and make depth seem more apparent.

3a.jpg 4.jpg

Now, there is objects around the leg right? Yes, shadows would be cast off from the surrounding amour, thus you shade with black this time.

The light is slightly leaned downwards directly upon the texture, thus the shadows will be more apparent and thick when cast off objects that are placed above the area we are working on on the texture.

We have now done that task, this is the base of the work, now lets get those ideas and details in with the next steps.

5a.jpg 5.jpg
-----------Scale Mail-----------
Alright, now, lets begin with the following line art, here you see the start bit as shown, this is a guide, if you have any black space at the top, fill it in with some scale[
a1a.jpg a1.jpg
Okay, now that we have the start done, it's time to finish off the line art, follow the start and here is a note:
Remember this is based on a cylinder shape, that means the content on the middle will be slightly enlarge while the sides with have slight wilts. Remember that.
Remember that the scales don't go in straight lines, they are much like pattern of diamonds and they follow that pattern.
Okay, since the line art also plays a part and blends as a shadow tone, a lighter tone is now needed, do as shown in the example and keep the light toning within the middle of the leg to keep the depth and prevent it from going flat.
Time for highlights, select the white, and make sure your brush is small, highlights make the detail seem more apparent in works and make things like "pretty". Add white highlights on the tips of the scales, add some on the scales which don't have mid tone, but don't add any to the edges or it begins to ruin the depth.
Good, now let's test this on the model and see how it looks, and ta-da. Scale Mail.





-----------Transfer to Wc3-----------
OpenCanvas is a painting program, not a graphics design program thus its support on technical graphical will surely lack. It will not support TGA, and thus no alpha layer, read on.
What If the texture is all custom and I want it to support TC/transparency effects (Alpha Channel)?
  1. Then you are set to go, resize it to an acceptable size: 256x256/512x512 or if wide or tall then 256x512/512x256
  2. Save your texture as a BMP to save the quality
  3. Open the BMP in a program that supports TGA/Alpha channels.
  4. EG: Paintshop pro 8+ (bugs with white alpha channel):
  5. Gimp:
  6. Photoshop:
  7. Now, that you have your alpha done, save your work as TGA.
    Open your Wc3viewer and go Convert Files>BMP,TGA or JPEG ->BLP and open your TGA. Now save your texture as blp, well done, now its usable in wc3.
What if the texture is based on a ingame texture, I want it to support TC/transparency effects(Alpha Channel)?
  1. Then you are set to go, resize it to an acceptable size: 256x256/512x512 or if wide or tall then 256x512/512x256
  2. Copy your whole texture, select Edit>Copy All, now let's re-extract the same skin but as it was on defualt and a TGA or open an already extracted version, it must be in TGA and have its defualt alphas.
  3. Open Wc3Viewer and extract the original texture, then open that TGA texture in a program that supports TGA and alpha channels.
  4. Now, paste your additions over that, now it will look just like yours the only difference is, is that it will use the same alpha channels as the original.
What if I don't need TC/transparency effects(Alpha Channel) if I want to use it in Warcraft 3?
  1. Then you are set to go, resize it to an acceptable size: 256x256/512x512 or if wide or tall then 256x512/512x256
  2. Save your texture as a BMP to save the quality.
  3. Open your Wc3viewer and go Convert Files>BMP,TGA or JPEG ->BLP and open your BMP. If prompted to add alpha, just click the defualt of yes and save your texture as blp, well done, now its usable in wc3.
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Something you might want to mention in the tutorial is that you really dont have to be careful at all when you are doing base coat to go outside of your area, just use the polygon lasso tool to outline the area, then the program wont allow you to go outside of the area that you surrounded. Though Im not sure if open canvas has a lasso ><. I use photoshop.