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View Full Version : Skinning for dummies anyone?



Rickpa
02-11-2008, 04:52 PM
I tried reading about skinning in DDO when it was first announced, and again just now. The words are English but the meaning is incomprehensible.

I normally try to avoid embarrassing myself by displaying low mental acuity, but it seems that so few people have sought to pursue this topic and this section, the loss of reputation will be minimal. :) Besides, I am bursting with curiosity! Can someone post step by step skinning instructions here...... for dummies?


------------What I have learned as of 2/14/08----------------------------------

To install an existing new skin, the path is:

My Documents/Dungeons and Dragons Online/ui/skins/<skin name>/<contents of zip file>
You will have to create the ui folder, skins folder, and name the folder that contains the skin.


Log a character into DDO and go to User Interface panel, and select skin from the bottom options?

You'll also want to make sure you switch back to "None" (the default UI) before you log out. Seems there is a bit of a bug atm that breaks the map if you log in with a new skin loaded.

Nuckin
02-11-2008, 05:45 PM
hehe u saved me the trouble of startin one of these lol, im just as lost as u are hehe, am completely new to this and would also like a ui for dummies lol the farthest i have gotten is downloading the uiartskinpack from lotro and have no clue what to do after that :)

sheldie
02-11-2008, 07:41 PM
Well, that depends on what you want to do. Do you want to make a new skin yourself, or just install a skin someone else has made?

Nuckin
02-11-2008, 10:09 PM
not sure bout the op but i was talkin bout making one, like changing the colors of the bars, maybe changing the pictures of some etc then how to save it and upload it in the game.

sheldie
02-11-2008, 10:17 PM
Here are some basic things to do:

1. The Setup

You will need to get a copy of the UI Art Pack that was uploaded to the LotRO Interface web site. Once you've download the art pack, you then need to setup your skin directory (or folder). Open up your "My Documents" folder and then double click on the "Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach" folder. Create a new folder called "ui" and then double click on it. Now create another new folder called "skins" and double click on it. Now create another folder called whatever you want to call your skin, for the purposes of this example we'll call it "Test", now double click on the new directory. Now, unzip the contents of the art pack into this new folder.

2. The Modification

Firstly, you will need to modify the XML file SkinDefinition.xml, the best way to do this is to right-click on the file and select "Open With" and then pick Notepad. Once you have the file open in Notepad look for the following line:

<SkinName Name="UIArtPackTemplate"></SkinName>
And change "UIArtPackTemplate" to the name of your skin, in this case "Test":

<SkinName Name="Test"></SkinName>
Now save and close the file. Load up DDO, select a character and open up the Options panel, select UI Settings and scroll all the way to the bottom. click on the "Current User Skin" droplist and you will see Test displayed, this is the skin we've just added.

To change the actual skin, you will need to get hold of some kind of image editor, Photoshop is the popular choice, but I prefer Gimp (http://www.gimp.org), mainly because it's free and I've been using it for years. Then it's a matter of changing the various image files to produce the desired effect. This thread (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=135641) has the beginings of which files do what, so it would be the logical place to start.

Nuckin
02-12-2008, 12:23 AM
dude u are awesome, lol k so i got the file made and understand how to upload it now comes the big question lol how do i change things? i have gimp downloaded on my comp from a while back so i have the program just really unsure of how to do things like modify these files, the info u have given so far has been a huge help and i appreciate any further help you can give :)

Ghoste
02-12-2008, 12:35 AM
I use Photoshop, so I'm not suer how similar this process will be to Gimp.

I click on file>open

In the window that opens up I go to the folder where all those files were unzipped and start scrolling through them til I find something I want to change. Photoshop let's me see thumbnails of the pictures before actually opening them up.

Open the files you want to work on, and just start messing around. Sometimes it will be something as simple as running the picture through a preset filter (on the menu bar) or cutting and pasting from other pictures I found through google.

If you've created multiple layers, make sure to click layers>merge visible (not flatten image) before saving the newly altered pic.

After you've done the minor changes to the XML file as already explained by Sheldie, that's all it takes for the changes to take effect.

sheldie
02-12-2008, 12:38 AM
If you're unsure of how to edit the files, you might want to have a run through the Gimp tutorials (http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/). It's a simple matter of changing the images to look how you want them to look. For example, I edited the file full_bar.tga to look like this:

http://www.guilduniverse.com/guildfiles/8000/8623/guildimages/SpellswordsUI-Sample.jpg

Nuckin
02-12-2008, 01:13 AM
k so using gimp if i made a change like u did to the toolbar is there a way to apply it to the all the files in the folder? like if i changed the toolbar hue to orange making it orange is there a way to apply that to all the files instead of doing each one individually?

sheldie
02-12-2008, 01:19 AM
k so using gimp if i made a change like u did to the toolbar is there a way to apply it to the all the files in the folder? like if i changed the toolbar hue to orange making it orange is there a way to apply that to all the files instead of doing each one individually?

Yes, there is a batch mode that would work for simple changes, but for a change like what I've made it would not work.

Nuckin
02-12-2008, 01:23 AM
hehe how do i use this batch mode? lol

sheldie
02-12-2008, 01:28 AM
hehe how do i use this batch mode? lol

It's in the tutorials dude :)

Nuckin
02-12-2008, 01:53 AM
yea went to the page and saw gimp batch mode at the bottom of the page but have no idea what it was sayin when i opened it lol

Wulf_Ratbane
02-12-2008, 08:19 AM
What I am about to say is probably going to make me unpopular:

All of the files and directions are available on the LOTRO Interface forums.

You do not need to know XML. You do not need to be a computer programmer or a graphic artist.

You DO need to be able to (a) read, (b) use Windows Explorer and (c) know how to use a paint program.

You really should determine if you meet those criteria before you proceed.

Riddikulus
02-12-2008, 08:54 AM
What I am about to say is probably going to make me unpopular:

All of the files and directions are available on the LOTRO Interface forums.
Yeah that's a logical place for them to be. :rolleyes:


You do not need to know XML. You do not need to be a computer programmer or a graphic artist.

You DO need to be able to (a) read, (b) use Windows Explorer and (c) know how to use a paint program.

You really should determine if you meet those criteria before you proceed.
Blunt, but basically accurate.

Wulf_Ratbane
02-12-2008, 09:38 AM
Yeah that's a logical place for them to be. :rolleyes:

Point taken-- but it's basically impossible to even know that UI skinning exists without being exposed to that site.

There's a permalink to it at the top of this forum. (This falls under Criteria (a), Know How to Read.)


Blunt, but basically accurate.

That's my thing.

Yvonne_Blacksword
02-12-2008, 10:48 AM
lol...I am not alone in my n00bneZZ..
posting...for reference...

and to thank those who help the less gifted.

Nuckin
02-12-2008, 04:15 PM
What I am about to say is probably going to make me unpopular:

All of the files and directions are available on the LOTRO Interface forums.

You do not need to know XML. You do not need to be a computer programmer or a graphic artist.

You DO need to be able to (a) read, (b) use Windows Explorer and (c) know how to use a paint program.

You really should determine if you meet those criteria before you proceed.

This was an uneeded post really, Sheldie and Ghoste have been very helpful in explaining the concepts so far, and i have also read mudfud's post about batching, only thing is he uses photoshop and i have gimp so still confused in that aspect. And yes i have been to the site and unless u have done this kind of thing before u prolly dont understand what it means, ive used gimp to change images before ive even used it to make a skin for a website game i used to play it was just a lot less complicated and not many files so never needed to learn how to batch lol.

And i know u were probably trying to help in some weird way but like we said we are all relatively noobs at this so any info u can provide that can actually help us would be appreciated but posts like that one are really uneeded and come off rude.

sheldie
02-12-2008, 05:11 PM
... and i have also read mudfud's post about batching, only thing is he uses photoshop and i have gimp so still confused in that aspect.

I'll try and post a quick-and-dirty guide to batch for Gimp after work (Aussie time), unless someone else posts one before hand.

~Zornochio
02-12-2008, 05:23 PM
And i know u were probably trying to help in some weird way but like we said we are all relatively noobs at this so any info u can provide that can actually help us would be appreciated but posts like that one are really uneeded and come off rude.

I think he was trying to help you out. This sort of thing is not all that hard to do (the hard part is making it look good :p). It just takes a lot of time and reading to get started as well as a lot of trial and error. Once you get going though, things start falling into place and you start to understand the how and why of what you are doing.

For the graphics program side.. Stopping to read through the help files and tutorials, while boring and time consuming, will answer just about all of your questions.

For the DDO side I don't think anybody has even gone through the whole thing yet :). I spent the weekend going through the files and there are still a bunch that I have no idea what they are for and where they show up in the game :confused:. It also doesn't look like anybody (based on whats been posted so far at least) has had any luck resizing the images, the ddo_asset_sizes file doesnt seem to do anything. :mad:

sheldie
02-12-2008, 05:34 PM
It also doesn't look like anybody (based on whats been posted so far at least) has had any luck resizing the images, the ddo_asset_sizes file doesnt seem to do anything. :mad:

I think that file is for reference only, to give you the dimensions of the various images if you wish to build a UI from scratch. ;)

Nuckin
02-12-2008, 05:39 PM
cool cool thx sheldie ive read the tutorial and am still confused so any kinda help even a rough one would be a huge help :) i appreciate all ur help so far and the help a few others have provided as well :)

Rickpa
02-12-2008, 06:26 PM
What I am about to say is probably going to make me unpopular:

All of the files and directions are available on the LOTRO Interface forums.

You do not need to know XML. You do not need to be a computer programmer or a graphic artist.

You DO need to be able to (a) read, (b) use Windows Explorer and (c) know how to use a paint program.

You really should determine if you meet those criteria before you proceed.

I am clearly no "Master Cryptologist," and after following this thread, I see in limpid clearness that I will not be skinning my DDO client anytime soon... even with skins someone else has made.

Cairenn
02-12-2008, 09:46 PM
I am clearly no "Master Cryptologist," and after following this thread, I see in limpid clearness that I will not be skinning my DDO client anytime soon... even with skins someone else has made.Installing skins that someone else has created and made available for use is easy breezy:

Download to desktop
go to "My Documents"
go to "Dungeons and Dragons Online"
create "ui" folder
create "skins" folder
extract downloaded zip file
load up in game

:)

sheldie
02-13-2008, 09:31 PM
cool cool thx sheldie ive read the tutorial and am still confused so any kinda help even a rough one would be a huge help :)

Just to let you know that I've not forgotten, I just forgot how much stuffing around there is in gimp batch processing.

Nuckin
02-14-2008, 01:51 AM
np man the fact that you are even taking the time to help me is awesome, and i know thats what i was talkin bout i read the tutorial and still had no idea what to do lol, so take ur time and thx again for all ur help :)

Rickpa
02-14-2008, 09:38 AM
Installing skins that someone else has created and made available for use is easy breezy:

Download to desktop
go to "My Documents"
go to "Dungeons and Dragons Online"
create "ui" folder
create "skins" folder
extract downloaded zip file
load up in game

:)

Thanks!

That's what I was looking for.

Rickpa
02-14-2008, 10:40 AM
Thanks!

That's what I was looking for.


--------------later---------------------

I followed the instructions, and nothing.

My Documents/Dungeons and Dragons Online/ui/skins/unzipped file

Nuckin
02-14-2008, 10:56 AM
inside the skins folder u need another folder named whatever u wanna call ur skin and then put the unzipped files in there.

sheldie
02-14-2008, 12:04 PM
My Documents/Dungeons and Dragons Online/ui/skins/unzipped file

You actually need to have:

My Documents/Dungeons and Dragons Online/ui/skins/<skin name>/<contents of zip file>

<skin name> will be in the SkinDefinition.xml file in the zip file and Windows XP should allow you to view the zip file as a folder. Just copy and paste the files from the zip to:

My Documents/Dungeons and Dragons Online/ui/skins/<skin name>/

Wulf_Ratbane
02-14-2008, 12:12 PM
--------------later---------------------

I followed the instructions, and nothing.

My Documents/Dungeons and Dragons Online/ui/skins/unzipped file

Also, you'll need to actually select the skin once you log into DDO. It won't show up automatically; it's at the bottom of your UI Panel options.

You'll also want to make sure you switch back to "None" (the default UI) before you log out. Seems there is a bit of a bug atm that breaks the map if you log in with a new skin loaded.

Rickpa
02-14-2008, 12:22 PM
So now we have:

My Documents/Dungeons and Dragons Online/ui/skins/<skin name>/<contents of zip file>

In world go to User Interface panel, and select skin from the bottom options?




You'll also want to make sure you switch back to "None" (the default UI) before you log out. Seems there is a bit of a bug atm that breaks the map if you log in with a new skin loaded.

Sounds like too much hassle. I think I'll just see if I can do that, then elect not to mess with it unless I get in a mood or something.

Wulf_Ratbane
02-14-2008, 01:01 PM
So now we have:

My Documents/Dungeons and Dragons Online/ui/skins/<skin name>/<contents of zip file>

In world go to User Interface panel, and select skin from the bottom options?


Exactly.


Sounds like too much hassle. I think I'll just see if I can do that, then elect not to mess with it unless I get in a mood or something.

It IS a hassle. They should fix it...

But it may just be that the bug is involved in changing the radar circle, or the background on the map (though I am not sure what file that is...)

In the short term, modders could avoid changing the radar circle to see if that prevents breaking the map.

sheldie
02-14-2008, 02:12 PM
But it may just be that the bug is involved in changing the radar circle, or the background on the map (though I am not sure what file that is...)

Nope, not related. In my early tests, I only changed the main toolbar and got the same bug.

~Zornochio
02-14-2008, 05:22 PM
I think that file is for reference only, to give you the dimensions of the various images if you wish to build a UI from scratch. ;)

I should have taken Wulf's advice :o

I was really hoping we could re-size some things though. Guess I'll just have to get tricksy and make the best of having three types of hotbars.

Rickpa
02-16-2008, 01:00 AM
A BIG problem I am having is when I go to change my skin back to default, I lose all of my (Hot keys, sound, and other preferences) settings, and the client goes low res.

Anyone else having this problem?

Ghoste
02-16-2008, 01:14 AM
A BIG problem I am having is when I go to change my skin back to default, I lose all of my (Hot keys, sound, and other preferences) settings, and the client goes low res.

Anyone else having this problem?
Post a screenshot of your menu when changing the skin back to default. I suspect you may not be selecting the correct option for that.

sheldie
02-16-2008, 02:13 AM
A BIG problem I am having is when I go to change my skin back to default, I lose all of my (Hot keys, sound, and other preferences) settings, and the client goes low res.

Anyone else having this problem?

There seems to be a delay between selecting the new skin and when it appears. Also the skin droplist falls right over the top of the "Default" button, so you may be accidentally hitting the default button.

Rickpa
02-16-2008, 10:22 AM
There seems to be a delay between selecting the new skin and when it appears. Also the skin droplist falls right over the top of the "Default" button, so you may be accidentally hitting the default button.

That makes sense. It appears to me as if I am making the right selection, but I am probably off just a hair. Though I am not seeing the default box, I am selecting it none the less.

I don't think skinning in DDO is ready for prime time. I don't think I'll mess with it until I can install a new skin, and not have to think about it.

Baervan
03-05-2008, 09:31 PM
A BIG problem I am having is when I go to change my skin back to default, I lose all of my (Hot keys, sound, and other preferences) settings, and the client goes low res.

Anyone else having this problem?

Yup. I just tried a new UI skin today and now all my previous settings reset. There's a common glich somewhere when the new skin is activated.

Another glich I saw was that selecting the default "none" skin doesn't always reset your UI. You may need to log off and restart the game for the selection to stick.

~Zornochio
03-06-2008, 04:54 PM
Yup. I just tried a new UI skin today and now all my previous settings reset. There's a common glich somewhere when the new skin is activated.

Another glich I saw was that selecting the default "none" skin doesn't always reset your UI. You may need to log off and restart the game for the selection to stick.


The problem is that the 'default ui settings' button is directly below the list of skins. when you click one it takes several minutes to load and looks like the game froze so if you click again you are actually clicking the default button and resetting your UI options. When I first did that it took me about 3 days to even notice that everybody's names were different colors and I couldn't understand why my ranger would grab his cure wand every time I tried to sneak :p. Maybe they can add a timer to prevent any changes for 30 seconds or so after changing a skin, or move the default settings button :)

So far the only time I've had trouble with the 'none' skin not all changing back was when I had errors in the SkinDefinition file or missing images.

Baervan
03-10-2008, 12:46 PM
The problem is that the 'default ui settings' button is directly below the list of skins. when you click one it takes several minutes to load and looks like the game froze so if you click again you are actually clicking the default button and resetting your UI options. When I first did that it took me about 3 days to even notice that everybody's names were different colors and I couldn't understand why my ranger would grab his cure wand every time I tried to sneak :p. Maybe they can add a timer to prevent any changes for 30 seconds or so after changing a skin, or move the default settings button :)

So far the only time I've had trouble with the 'none' skin not all changing back was when I had errors in the SkinDefinition file or missing images.

Well what do you know, I guess it wasn't a programming problem but a menu layout problem. I hope the devs pick up on this and add a UI change confirmation window to help us avoid this problem in the future.