Home Company of Heroes 2: WAR PAINT contest

WAR PAINT - Q&A

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polycounter lvl 15
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adam polycounter lvl 15
If you have any questions for this contest, whether it has to do with Company of Heroes 2, its Steam Workshop, Polycount, or the contest in general here is the place to ask it. Either the team at Relic or the moderators of Polycount will be on hand to help you out.


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  • Swaggernaut
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    Swaggernaut polycounter lvl 2
    So where are the contest details? what are we supposed to do?
  • adam
  • Port-Seven
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    Port-Seven polycounter lvl 7
    The COH2 tool in the Steam library doesn't seem to be showing up for me. Has anyone else looked yet? I don't think we need to have the game installed to see/download the tool.
  • Vailias
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    Vailias polycounter lvl 15
    I think someone at Relic's legal dept might be confused as to who's sponsoring and helping the contest: http://legal.relic.com/polygon-competition.html

    The forums and sponsor should be Polycount, but they've attributed it to the Vox Media property and game review site Polygon.  I've checked Polygon's forums for anything cross promotional and come up empty. Seeing as its technically a legal document they might want to correct it so the proper parties are named.
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    @valias Looks like Relic remedied the error. Thanks for the heads up!
  • Relic_Orca
    @port-seven You need to own the game for the tools to show up in your STEAM library.
    Tools don't show up in your Games Library in STEAM - so check you've switched to Tools Library in the STEAM client from the LIBRARY drop down.
    It's probably wise to install the game as well since you'll need it to test and publish. 
    Here's a quick link with some additional details on the tools: http://modding.companyofheroes.com/skin-pack-wizard#sourcefiles
  • Grumpntug
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    Grumpntug polycounter lvl 8
    I sent an email to get the copy of CoH2 mentioned in the description but haven't gotten a reply. Not sure if it's just heavy traffic but it would be nice to get started.
  • tanka
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    tanka polycounter lvl 9
    A couple of questions:
    Is this contest only about texturing? Are we able to add additional mesh to the tanks?
    With the British faction, is there a way to get their texture files as .PSDs, or are we stuck using Substance Designer if we choose them?
    The categories seem pretty rigid, is there much room to move creatively? Or is it like that intentionally to keep with the theme of the game?
  • reallymadmaveric
    tanka said:
    A couple of questions:
    Is this contest only about texturing? Are we able to add additional mesh to the tanks?
    With the British faction, is there a way to get their texture files as .PSDs, or are we stuck using Substance Designer if we choose them?
    The categories seem pretty rigid, is there much room to move creatively? Or is it like that intentionally to keep with the theme of the game?
    Not all the psd files are avaliable. If you download the COH2 tool it will give you access to all of the released game PSD,s. Not all are as comprehensive as each other. The modding tools do not give access to meshs all that is currently is textures

  • reallymadmaveric
    The COH2 tool in the Steam library doesn't seem to be showing up for me. Has anyone else looked yet? I don't think we need to have the game installed to see/download the tool.
       You need to look in the tool libary not the game libary. You should get the availablity to down load the tool one the game is installed. You will need the game to test your skin packs. If you go to the coh2 workshop you will find the cheat mod that will greatly assist you in loading up your skins to see what they look like in game. If you want to see them in different light effects there is no quick way to do that in game other than to load them into different maps.
  • Spencer_Holmes
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    Spencer_Holmes polycounter lvl 6
    Grumpntug said:
    I sent an email to get the copy of CoH2 mentioned in the description but haven't gotten a reply. Not sure if it's just heavy traffic but it would be nice to get started.
    I have not received a reply yet, either. Hopefully, it will be soon so I can get started.
  • puppeteer
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    puppeteer polycounter lvl 4
    I've already started making a skin about a week ago. Can I start a WIP thread for it and submit it through here? I'll show the PSDs I've been working on.
  • Spencer_Holmes
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    Spencer_Holmes polycounter lvl 6
    puppeteer said:
    I've already started making a skin about a week ago. Can I start a WIP thread for it and submit it through here? I'll show the PSDs I've been working on.
    Yes, start a WIP thread and show the work you have done so far.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    So for clarity, we don't get access to the meshes?  That would make texturing a lot easier ...  Blindly painting UV shells seems unnecessarily difficult.
  • skyline5gtr
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    skyline5gtr polycounter lvl 5
    Is there a picture list of all the current skins available in game ?
  • R3D
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    R3D greentooth
    Is there a picture list of all the current skins available in game ?
    gotcha covered good buddy http://modding.companyofheroes.com/skin-pack
  • skyline5gtr
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    skyline5gtr polycounter lvl 5
    Ryswick said:
    Is there a picture list of all the current skins available in game ?
    gotcha covered good buddy http://modding.companyofheroes.com/skin-pack
    Thanks I found this on COH2.org

    http://www.coh2.org/topic/27537/all-factions-vehicle-skins-database


  • realb33rm4n
    WarrenM said:
    So for clarity, we don't get access to the meshes?  That would make texturing a lot easier ...  Blindly painting UV shells seems unnecessarily difficult.
    I agree.
  • Arsenal
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    Arsenal polycounter lvl 8
    with more than a dozen vehicles per faction to paint? and need to have winter skin variants?

    Please let the community have access to the mesh with UV's!
  • f_x
    Can someone from Relic please explain in detail the correct bake settings to use for normal, spec, and gloss maps?  Thanks in advance.
  • Vailias
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    Vailias polycounter lvl 15
    It seems the old COH community tools can still work with the COH2 models. 
    I've managed to get all the Soviet assets into a useful format. 
    If the admins and Relic are ok with it I can post a download link, and continue converting the rest.


  • Spencer_Holmes
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    Spencer_Holmes polycounter lvl 6
    WarrenM said:
    So for clarity, we don't get access to the meshes?  That would make texturing a lot easier ...  Blindly painting UV shells seems unnecessarily difficult.
    Agreed! If we did get the meshes, then I would soon whip them into substance and paint away  :D
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    Vailias .. I think I love you.
  • Shriken
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    Shriken polycounter lvl 7
    I tried playing with the mod tools last night, and I appeared to only be able to swap out the diffuse map of each, does this mean we are stuck with the default normals/spec/gloss of the bases? I was planning on swapping some materials out from being painted metal.
  • skyline5gtr
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    skyline5gtr polycounter lvl 5
    Shriken said:
    I tried playing with the mod tools last night, and I appeared to only be able to swap out the diffuse map of each, does this mean we are stuck with the default normals/spec/gloss of the bases? I was planning on swapping some materials out from being painted metal.
    I had the same issue, I was messing with the german Tiger and it only had diffuse and the track map. I wonder if as long as you name it properly and dump it in the folder it will overwrite it
  • skyline5gtr
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    skyline5gtr polycounter lvl 5
    WarrenM said:
    So for clarity, we don't get access to the meshes?  That would make texturing a lot easier ...  Blindly painting UV shells seems unnecessarily difficult.

  • f_x
    Vailias said:
    It seems the old COH community tools can still work with the COH2 models. 
    I've managed to get all the Soviet assets into a useful format. 
    If the admins and Relic are ok with it I can post a download link, and continue converting the rest.


    That's awesome.
  • skyline5gtr
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    skyline5gtr polycounter lvl 5
    Vailias said:
    It seems the old COH community tools can still work with the COH2 models. 
    I've managed to get all the Soviet assets into a useful format. 
    If the admins and Relic are ok with it I can post a download link, and continue converting the rest.

    Awesome, but they used the same models in COH2 ? 
  • f_x
    Vailias said:
    It seems the old COH community tools can still work with the COH2 models. 
    I've managed to get all the Soviet assets into a useful format. 
    If the admins and Relic are ok with it I can post a download link, and continue converting the rest.

    Awesome, but they used the same models in COH2 ? 
    The Soviets were not in the original COH - those models are only in COH2.  So it's not the same models but the same underlying data formats in both games which allows for the old tools to still be applicable. 
  • skyline5gtr
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    skyline5gtr polycounter lvl 5
    Gotcha, i misunderstood my bad
  • Vailias
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    Vailias polycounter lvl 15
    f_x said:
    Awesome, but they used the same models in COH2 ? 
    The Soviets were not in the original COH - those models are only in COH2.  So it's not the same models but the same underlying data formats in both games which allows for the old tools to still be applicable. 
    Yes that.  The underlying model format for a lot of relic's stuff is the same. There's one fan out there who made a whole ton of tools. One of which is a model converter script for 3ds max. I had to modify the script a bit to get it to work right with current max versions, but it still did the job of bringing the models in. They needed a bit of cleanup: the UV's got flipped, and they lost their original normal data, but I figure just having the meshes to preview in Substance or to paint on directly would be a giant help for a contest with this tight a deadline.

    I have to stress that, should these become available, they're not going to necessarily reflect the in game models to full accuracy, but they're "close enough for government work" (as it were) 
    So if you wind up doing tight detail work where you need a one or two pixel wide detail to align across multiple shells: use the engine to check. These would be for broader strokes. 

    Other things to note that may be of help: of the 15 models in the soviet arsenal, 2 share textures. The Truck and the Katyusha and the SV-1 and SV-8 (things you learn from contests: SV-8 IS an sv-1 flamethrower variant) So you only need 13 unique textures. :)

  • brandoom
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    brandoom polycounter lvl 11
    Hi, maybe this is a dumb question. Whats the best way to take a screen shot of in game?

    I try hit print screen, and I just get an image of my desk top and not what I'm seeing in game.

    Thanks

    edit: Nevermind, if you hit printscreen in game it will save a screen shot to My Documents\My Games\Company of Heroes 2\screenshots

  • puppeteer
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    puppeteer polycounter lvl 4
    @Vailias: Thanks for the modified tool, that should make things easier for my next skins ( before that I was saving in photoshop then running the game to see the result ).

    Another thing to add about the Soviet faction, in addition to the 13 textures you'll work on you need to get the texture for the Sherman 76mm which is under the US faction category, so don't forget to add that when creating the skin mod.

    You can also paint over the IL2 plane, even though it's not required.
  • puppeteer
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    puppeteer polycounter lvl 4
    @brandoom: You can press F12 to take screenshots in steam, which will be saved in your steam profile.
  • Shriken
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    Shriken polycounter lvl 7
    I'm not sure if this is common knowledge but it was throwing me off, so I'll dump it here and feel free to ignore me!

    So I got the normals in, and the spec. Gloss still won't build. I used the rgt viewer from http://www.coh2.org/topic/37612/tool-coh2-rgt-viewer/page/1 to pick apart their normal map and found its laid out as:

    Red - Spec
    Green - +Y normal
    Blue - Gloss
    Alpha - Red Normal channel

    of course these are built by the exporter so you just need tgas with the correct file extension added. However I still can't get the gloss (gls) to build into the map :(. Any help on that would be appreciated!

    file extensions for building the tga textures appear to be:
    diffuse - _dif
    normal - _nrm
    spec - _spc
    gloss - _gls <- won't build though :(
    alpha - 

  • Relic_Orca
    @Shriken
    We've added some more clarification about this to the wiki in case you want to change more than the diffuse layer.
    http://modding.companyofheroes.com/skin-pack-wizard#input-output
  • GenAugustus
    Relic definetely needs to address this.
    If they want to make this competition as most appealing as possible, they must provide meshes for the units.
    Otherwise, only experts in designing will be able to partecipate, while casuals (such as me) will be clueless about how to actually start reskinning the models.
  • Starbuck
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    Starbuck polycounter lvl 2
    @Shriken
    We've added some more clarification about this to the wiki in case you want to change more than the diffuse layer.
    http://modding.companyofheroes.com/skin-pack-wizard#input-output
    Adding in all those tga files(_nrm, _alp, _spc,_gls) for each vehicle will "bloat" the size of the curated skin pack to way over the 200 mb limit that Steam allows for individual uploads.  My US Olive Drab skin pack I put up on the curated section (with only _dif.tga's for each vehicle) came in at 164mb....  and that was only the summer version.  I can't even upload the winter version because I've reached my max allowable uploads for Steam.(1gb?)
    So, I'm not sure adding in the normal maps, etc into a skin pack is even possible to upload a curated version because of Steam's upload cap.
  • Kyle_RE
    Vailias said:
    It seems the old COH community tools can still work with the COH2 models. 
    I've managed to get all the Soviet assets into a useful format. 
    If the admins and Relic are ok with it I can post a download link, and continue converting the rest.


    @Vailias

    Feel free to post the download link and use this if it helps. Just know its not an officially supported tool.
  • Relic_Orca
    Yeah - that upload limit is a pain. I'm asking around to see what can be done about it.
    In the mean time if you do decide to include more than the diffuse layer the workaround would be to break up the mod even more. So you could break it into 6 and have heavy/medium/light x winter/summer.
    (not very convenient but a workaround)

  • f_x
    I also tend to delete the tread tga's which the wizard creates.  If you are not going to change the tread maps, not having the files means the game will use the default set with your skin.  Having them included in your skin pack without modifying them is unnecessarily increasing your mod's file size.
  • skyline5gtr
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    skyline5gtr polycounter lvl 5
    Is their no way to preview whats going on without loading the game ?
  • Starbuck
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    Starbuck polycounter lvl 2
    Is their no way to preview whats going on without loading the game ?
    Unfortunately not. 
  • f_x
    Is their no way to preview whats going on without loading the game ?
    Without the 3d meshes, no.  You are painting a 2d image, converting it to the game engine's format with their tool, then run the game to see it mapped to the 3d models.

    If we do get those 3d meshes (Vailias should get a reward for that!) you can either paint in 2d and then see the results instantly in some 3d package like Maya or 3DS, or go right ahead and paint directly in 3d in a package that supports that.

    Night and Day.
  • brandoom
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    brandoom polycounter lvl 11
    Maybe I can bug someone from Relic to upload a better West German - Hetzer .psd to the Tools Data app. Right now all the textures (spec nrm diff) are baked to one layer each =\
  • skyline5gtr
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    skyline5gtr polycounter lvl 5
    f_x said:
    Is their no way to preview whats going on without loading the game ?
    Without the 3d meshes, no.  You are painting a 2d image, converting it to the game engine's format with their tool, then run the game to see it mapped to the 3d models.

    If we do get those 3d meshes (Vailias should get a reward for that!) you can either paint in 2d and then see the results instantly in some 3d package like Maya or 3DS, or go right ahead and paint directly in 3d in a package that supports that.

    Night and Day.
    If i got the mesh i would just use the quixel suite, right now im trying to adjust the lines ive made and connect but its freaking impossible with the seams and not being able to see where the turret break and or is connected 
  • f_x
    @Shriken
    We've added some more clarification about this to the wiki in case you want to change more than the diffuse layer.
    http://modding.companyofheroes.com/skin-pack-wizard#input-output

    The additional information is much welcome.  Up until now I wouldn't have known the blue channel in the nrm tga is ignored.  And I guess if you need to edit any one of the normal, spec, or gloss maps you have to include all three files as inputs?  But I am still looking for official confirmation on the burn settings to use.  MixInputsDefaults, PreferredFormat, etc.

    The reason I ask is because I've tried tweaking the normals and can't get results that look right in-game.  I've tried feeding in the unedited nrm, spc, and gls maps and it looks wrong.  All the features line up, so it's not that the map is flipped or shifted, but the shading as the model spins around in the light makes it look like the normals are changed too far in whatever direction was indicated.  I've also tried maps which are solid grey (rgb 128,128,128) and used that for normal, spec, and gloss, and the normals still look out of whack in the game, so I'm stuck trying to determine where the problem is.  If I knew I have the correct burn settings I could at least eliminate that possibility and keep investigating if the range of values or the tga file is wrong.

    Thanks for any help.
  • Vailias
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    Vailias polycounter lvl 15
    I'd bet your colorspace is set in the file as sRGB, and that's not being taken into account when burned.
    To remove the color profile in photoshop do the following:

    Assign or remove a color profile (Illustrator, Photoshop)

    1. Choose Edit > Assign Profile.
    2. Select an option, and click OK:
      Don’t Color Manage This Document 
      Removes the existing profile from the document. Select this option only if you are sure that you do not want to color-manage the document. After you remove the profile from a document, the appearance of colors is defined by the application’s working space profiles.

      Working [color model: working space] 
      Assigns the working space profile to the document.

      Profile 
      Lets you select a different profile. The application assigns the new profile to the document without converting colors to the profile space. This may dramatically change the appearance of the colors as displayed on your monitor.


    The numeric values should stay the same, but do check that they are.
  • Shriken
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    Shriken polycounter lvl 7
    f_x said:
    @Shriken
    We've added some more clarification about this to the wiki in case you want to change more than the diffuse layer.
    http://modding.companyofheroes.com/skin-pack-wizard#input-output

    The additional information is much welcome.  Up until now I wouldn't have known the blue channel in the nrm tga is ignored.  And I guess if you need to edit any one of the normal, spec, or gloss maps you have to include all three files as inputs?  But I am still looking for official confirmation on the burn settings to use.  MixInputsDefaults, PreferredFormat, etc.

    The reason I ask is because I've tried tweaking the normals and can't get results that look right in-game.  I've tried feeding in the unedited nrm, spc, and gls maps and it looks wrong.  All the features line up, so it's not that the map is flipped or shifted, but the shading as the model spins around in the light makes it look like the normals are changed too far in whatever direction was indicated.  I've also tried maps which are solid grey (rgb 128,128,128) and used that for normal, spec, and gloss, and the normals still look out of whack in the game, so I'm stuck trying to determine where the problem is.  If I knew I have the correct burn settings I could at least eliminate that possibility and keep investigating if the range of values or the tga file is wrong.

    Thanks for any help.
    Just confirming that I'm currently experiencing the same, I'll be trying later with 32-bit tgas, as I was using 24-bit. But I can't see that fixing the current visual weirdness! Hopefully we can get this sorted, I'll start up my thread then haha.
  • realb33rm4n
    @Vailias

    Can you post a link to the Soviet Asset? I'm a Maya user so if it's possible to have a .fbx format will be great. (I'm able also to import .3ds)

    Tnx in advance for your help.

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