Starsiege: Tribes/Skinning

From Tribes Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Tribes allows you to replace the skins on every object with those of your very own. This tutorial will show you how to extract a skin from Tribes (the plasma gun), and then convert your skins so that they will work with Tribes. This page covers how to create skins for Tribes, Tribes 1.40, and Hudbot.

Step 1 - Tools

The first thing you need to do is download a few tools that you will need. You can download them here:

Tribes Tools

Skin Tools

Step 2 - Extracting the image

All of the skins for Tribes are in .vol files in your Tribes\Base folder. In order to extract the files from the .vol files, you need to use Tribes Tools. This program will also convert the .bmp files to an editable format. Launch Tribes Tools and click on Tools and then click on VOL File Extractor.

In the upper left column, go to your Tribes\Base folder. In the lower left column, select Entities.vol. In the middle column, select plasma.bmp. In the right column, select the location that you want your file extracted to. In the lower right corner, put a check next to PBMP -> BMP. Then click START. A progress bar should come up and then go away, and now your file should be where you told it to be extracted.

This is what your screen should look like:

If you don't need to extract the skin from a .vol file you can just click Tools and click PBMP -> BMP and use that window to convert your skin to an editable format.

Step 3 - Editing in PhotoShop

Now open plasma.bmp in PhotoShop. In order to edit the image, you will need to click Image, then go to Mode, and click on RGB Mode. Next you need to duplicate the layer (Ctrl + J), and then delete the original layer. You can now modify the image.

Step 4 - Saving in PhotoShop

After your image is edited you will need to go to Image, then go to Mode, and put it back on Indexed Color. A prompt will come up. Click the drop down next to Palette and click Custom.

Another prompt will come up, and you need to click on Load, and go to where you extracted Skin Tools and choose pal3PS.act and click Load.

Click OK until you get back to your image. Now click File, and click Save As. Save your image as a .bmp file. (NOTE: Tribes only supports a maximum image resolution of 256 x 256) A prompt will come up, and you need to make sure that Depth is on 8 Bit.

Step 5 - Converting to PBMP

Go to where you extracted Skin Tools, right click on makeskin.bat, and click Edit.

Delete everything after @echo off

After @echo off you need to add the following line:

makeskin pal3 ''your_image_name.bmp'' plasma.bmp

Replace the text that says your_image_name with the name of your image. For example, I named my new skin: plasmaskin.bmp, so my makeskin.bat will look like this:

@echo off
makeskin pal3 plasmaskin.bmp plasma.bmp

plasma.bmp is the file that will be created.

Save your file, and then run MakeSkin.exe

It will create plasma.bmp and put it in the folder that MakeSkin.exe is in.

Step 6 - Final Step

Now move the newly created plasma.bmp to your Tribes\Base folder, and launch Tribes. It will now be on your Plasma gun.

Armor Skins

If you're making armor skins, there's an extra part that you add to your makeskin.bat:

@echo off

makeskin pal3 light_armor_skins.bmp skinname.larmor.bmp
makeskin pal3 medium_armor_skins.bmp skinname.marmor.bmp
makeskin pal3 heavy_armor_skins.bmp skinname.harmor.bmp
makeskin pal3 female_light_skins.bmp skinname.lfemale.bmp
makeskin pal3 female_medium_skins.bmp skinname.mfemale.bmp


vt -sp MySkins.vol skinname.larmor.bmp
vt -sp MySkins.vol skinname.marmor.bmp
vt -sp MySkins.vol skinname.harmor.bmp
vt -sp MySkins.vol skinname.lfemale.bmp
vt -sp MySkins.vol skinname.mfemale.bmp

vt MySkins.vol

The left .bmp file is the input, so put there whatever you named your file, and the right .bmp file is the output, you can replace skinname with the name of your amor.

What this does:

Converts the .bmp files to the Tribes .pbmp format.

Then puts the converted .bmp files into a .vol file called MySkins.vol, which can be renamed to whatever you want.

Put the .vol file in your Tribes\Base\Skins folder.

Tribes 1.40

If you are using Tribes 1.40, follow steps 1 - 3 of the standard tutorial, and then save the image in the .png format. (NOTE: Tribes 1.40 does NOT have a maximum image resolution but the image size does need to be a power of 2)

Move the file to your Tribes\Base folder.


This section will go over how to create skins for Hudbot. If you don't already have it, you can get it here:


Follow steps 1 - 3 of the standard tutorial. Hudbot needs the image saved in the .tga format. If you want to have transparency or translucency, you will need to create an alpha layer for it to work correctly.

(NOTE: Tribes Hudbot does NOT have a maximum image resolution but the image size does need to be a power of 2)

Step 1

Check the Supported Recplacements.txt file in the TRIBES\Hudbot folder and see if the image you are replacing is on the list. If it is, you can just move the .tga file to the TRIBES\Hudbot\Replacements folder, unless it's a HUD, which needs to go in the TRIBES\Hudbot\HUDs folder.

If your image is not on the Supported Replacements list, there is another step you must follow.

Step 2

In TRIBES\Hudbot\Docs folder, extract the file. Move your new .tga file, and the original .bmp file into the t1_crc_textures folder. Open the command prompt to that folder and run:

t1_crc_textures.exe > out.txt

This will create a file called out.txt in the folder.

Step 3

Open the newly created out.txt file. Inside will be a CRC value for your new file. Copy the line and paste it into your Autoexec.cs file, which is in the TRIBES\config folder. You should find something similar to this in your out.txt file:

Hudbot::addReplacement( "4f0e55a3", "BLUE00.TGA" ); // .

Step 4

Move the .tga file to the TRIBES\Hudbot\Replacements folder, unless it's a HUD, which needs to go in the TRIBES\Hudbot\HUDs folder. And you're done.