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  1. #1
    Founder Rickpa's Avatar
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    Default Skinning for dummies anyone?

    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.
    Last edited by Rickpa; 02-14-2008 at 02:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Community Member Nuckin's Avatar
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    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

  3. #3
    Community Member sheldie's Avatar
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    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?
    To err is human, to moo bovine

  4. #4
    Community Member Nuckin's Avatar
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    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.

  5. #5
    Community Member sheldie's Avatar
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    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:
    Code:
    <SkinName Name="UIArtPackTemplate"></SkinName>
    And change "UIArtPackTemplate" to the name of your skin, in this case "Test":
    Code:
    <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, 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 has the beginings of which files do what, so it would be the logical place to start.
    To err is human, to moo bovine

  6. #6
    Community Member Nuckin's Avatar
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    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

  7. #7
    Founder Ghoste's Avatar
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    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.
    My Videos Shadow Mage (ok, it's a build now)
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  8. #8
    Community Member sheldie's Avatar
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    If you're unsure of how to edit the files, you might want to have a run through the Gimp 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:

    To err is human, to moo bovine

  9. #9
    Community Member Nuckin's Avatar
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    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?

  10. #10
    Community Member sheldie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuckin View Post
    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.
    To err is human, to moo bovine

  11. #11
    Community Member Nuckin's Avatar
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    hehe how do i use this batch mode? lol

  12. #12
    Community Member sheldie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuckin View Post
    hehe how do i use this batch mode? lol
    It's in the tutorials dude
    To err is human, to moo bovine

  13. #13
    Community Member Nuckin's Avatar
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    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

  14. #14
    Master Cryptologist Wulf_Ratbane's Avatar
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    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.


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  15. #15
    Community Member Riddikulus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wulf Ratbane View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wulf Ratbane View Post
    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.
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     Sil - Human Paladin 14              Lava Divers           Tad - Drow Wizard 14
     Semolina - Elf Rog 13/Ftr 1             on              Rava - Drow Sorceror 7
     Riddikulus - Human Cleric 14          Khyber         Clamor - Warforged Barb 7
     Durum - Dwarf Ftr 10/Pal 3/Rng 1                Ridd - Dwarf Ftr 6/Rog 2/Pal 2

  16. #16
    Master Cryptologist Wulf_Ratbane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riddikulus View Post
    Yeah that's a logical place for them to be.
    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.


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  17. #17
    Community Member Yvonne_Blacksword's Avatar
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    lol...I am not alone in my n00bneZZ..
    posting...for reference...

    and to thank those who help the less gifted.
    Rogues:Sheillea & Sheilleah Noonscense, Yarrelle Clerics: Juin Muddawber Bards: Sequestria Isolatine & Gheorghe Zamfir Ranger: Eloah Farfletcher Fighters: Yvonniva, Ocksocks & Goodgame The Improper Sorceress: Blastrine Meanase Barbarians: Espresso Breve & Mkthirtyfour, Boomshakalak Wizards: Clairity of Merk & Misstickle Fingersofdeath

  18. #18
    Community Member Nuckin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wulf Ratbane View Post
    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.

  19. #19
    Community Member sheldie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuckin View Post
    ... 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.
    To err is human, to moo bovine

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuckin View Post
    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 ). 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 . 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.

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