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How hard is it to skin planes?


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S! all,


I'm wondering, how difficult is it to skin your own planes? I downloaded Photoshop CS2 recently but can't seem to wrap my head around it. It seems that I am wholly unfamiliar to this sort of program. :( I figured out how to add text to photos, but couldn't figure out how to put other photos inside the base photo (like the pilot's photo inside the background photo for the JG1 signature). I must admit, when I first heard about creating skins and sigs, I thought it would be a pretty quick and easy process. Apparently, I had no idea what I was getting into. In fact, the only "photo-editing" I have ever done has been within Office Word - and that isn't even a photo-editing program program! :lol:


I know Photoshop is a very dense and powerful program. Do I have to know all about it before I am able to skin planes and create sigs? If so, how long would it take for me to learn it all? I like the idea of painting planes - I've done plenty of real-life model aircraft - but I guess "painting" PC planes is a little different... 


All this to say, I'd like to be able to have a few personalized skins for tournaments and a forum sig, but am not quite sure how to get them. :lol: Any advice would be appreciated. :)


Danke all,

Uffz. Noel (Hotlead) Kappel

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Hi Hotlead,


Let me know when you're going to be online, and I can walk you through a quick tutorial of Photoshop.


The big thing that makes Photoshop really powerful is the layer and masking abilities.  The pilot photo inside the signature is just a layer (let's call it Layer A), placed on top of another layer (Layer B ).  That way you can adjust, change and work with Layer A without screwing with Layer B.  And vice versa.  It's kind of like a digital version of a collage.  Expect that you can always change things.


Additionally, I'd look for some tutorials online.  There are a few nice ones on Youtube (if you like people talking to you).  And there are definitely some websites / books that can help.


Hope to talk more soon about this!

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For planes you have to download the template from RoF useful materials page. Best to make a copy somewhere. The templates are in many layers. Not all planes have the same number or type. Layers can be parts, shadows, markings, all sorts of things. The really big deal is that you have to eventually flatten all the layers and save as a .DDS file. Just before doing that you will want to save it in a photoshop format. That way you can always go back and make changes.


The .DDS thingie is a plug in that only works in a 32 bit format.

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My PC is a 64 bit operating system and have had no problem with the DDS converter. However, I am using the DDS converter provided by NVIDIA.

I can speak for NVIDIA, just google Photoshop DDS converter for NVIDIA and the top link will be it.


Before you get to into the world of photoshop understand your tools. Play with them and go to Youtube, they have a video on all the tools and their uses.



When you feel comfortable with, layers, and working between them with the tools in the toolbar then look at the video I posted. Just pause it step by step at first.


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