Introduction to Retexturing

The goal of the following guides on retexturing Moviestorm models is to explain how to create an Addon with custom variants of MS assets without having to overwrite MS texture files or include the MS meshes (.csf, .crf, and .cmf files) in a user-made Addon. They assume that you’ve gone through the previous Modshop Beginners Guides, and are familiar with both the Modshop and the file structure of Moviestorm’s directory.

Textures

General - Although Moviestorm can use images in the format of .jpg, .png, and .dds, Short Fuze has decided to switch to the .dds format to increase performance. Most of their textures are already in this format, and, to modify an existing Moviestorm texture, you’ll need to have an image editor that can at least read .dds files. Some image editors do not support the .dds format out of the box, however, most do have plug-ins available that do so. For texture performance guidelines and tutorials on creating specific types of textures, see Creating a texture, which is still a Work in Progress.

Modifying a Moviestorm Texture - When creating a 3D model, a texture template can be generated. This template is basically a texture with blank areas that, when filling them in, will apply the correct image to the correct place on the model. When retexturing a Moviestorm model, we don’t have access to these templates, so, we typically have to modify the Short Fuze created texture that was supplied with the model. For personal use, you can make any type of modification that you wish, without restriction. However, since Short Fuze owns the originals, if your intention is to distribute these textures, whether as a single file or in an Addon, there are restrictions that must be followed.

On redistributing altered Moviestorm textures, Moviestorm wrote:

We have no problem with you distributing edited versions of the Moviestorm textures provided that they are a significant change to the original. We reserve the right to ask you to cease distribution on any texture that we feel is too close to the original. You may not distribute the original mesh or the original texture. In the future, we may have to restrict this further on, for example, licensed content that we distribute.

“Significant change” is, of course, intentionally vague. With one texture alone, the amount of different ways to modify it is undefinable. Add to that the infinite amount of textures that Short Fuze could release and there’s simply no one set of guidelines that could cover every possibility. When asked for even a vague definition of “significant change”, Matt gave these very unofficial and personal (not Moviestorm’s) views on the subject.

On the definition of “significant change” relating to Moviestorm textures, Matt wrote:

My unofficial guidelines (i.e. the main criteria I would use if asked to make a call on whether a mod was significantly different) would be whether a viewer can tell the difference between the original and the modded one. My rule of thumb is more or less this: if the modded item would be considered a different item in a store, that’s sufficient.

So, for example, changing a couple of pixels on the texture isn’t significant. Changing the colour of the guy’s shoelaces in an outfit from #878787 to #878788 doesn’t cut it. Adding a tiny outline round the back pocket on a pair of jeans isn’t enough.

On the other hand, changing the logo on a polo shirt, turning a pristine coffee table into one covered with dirt and grime, creating a face with heavy eyeliner, or giving the sneakers a few contrast stripes, making a blouse cerise instead of scarlet - all seem fine by me.

But, as I said, these are unofficial guidelines, so don’t hold me to it, especially as it may very well not be me making the final call. Just be reasonable, and we’ll all get along fine.

Retexturing Methods

Regardless of the format type (Sketchup, .3ds, .obj, or an original Moviestorm asset), retexturing a model will always be done in one of two ways, as a Puppet (Costumes, Heads, Accessories, etc.) or as a Prop (any other object). Both methods are similar, with the biggest exception being for how variants are handled.

With any type of model, a file is created, a template, that tells MS which Mesh to use, which Materials to show, and which textures and settings to apply to each Material.

Prop Variants - For a Prop, this template file is called a TEMPLATE. It is stored in the Prop’s folder. To create a variant of a prop, a new TEMPLATE must be created and saved within your Addon. For each variant, you’d create an additional TEMPLATE. In MS, in Set mode, clicking on a Prop will bring up the Customization window which allows you to choose its variations, its TEMPLATES. Your variations will be added to the existing Prop’s customization list.

Puppet Variants - For a Puppet, this template file is called a BODYPART. It is stored in the Puppet’s folder. Variations of a Puppet all exist in one BODYPART. To create a variation of a MS Puppet, you must create a new BODYPART in your Addon. In MS, in the Character Customization screen, this variation will not be applied to a MS Puppet’s customization options. It will create an entirely new Head, Hairstyle, Costume, etc., which you can then add variations to.

Continue to Modshop Beginners Guide - 7. Retexturing a Prop
Continue to Modshop Beginners Guide - 8. Retexturing a Puppet