A How-to on Custom Camouflages and Ship Textures
I thought I'd make this guide for anyone interested in creating their own skins or camouflages for ships but had trouble doing so or thought the process was too complicated. The process isn't very difficult at all, though it is a bit time consuming. The first half of this guide will talk solely on ship textures and the second half will focus on ship camouflages. This guide will not be featuring how-to's on photo editing; only topics relating to the camo or texture files. If you have any questions, feedback, or comments about the guide, please post them here. Thank you .
The first program you will need is the World of Warships Unpacker Tool which is used to obtain the textures (thank you MajorRenegade for re-uploading this). All of the texture and camouflage files are in .dds format. To open and edit these files, I recommend either Photoshop or Paint.net, though some versions of Photoshop seem to not be able to open .dds files. In that case, you will have to convert the files to .bmp format using a program like ReaConverter. If you chose to convert the files, keep in mind that you will have to convert the .bmp back to .dds format before you can install it into your res_mods folder. For Camouflages, you're going to need Notepad++ to be able to edit camouflages.xml.
Unpacking the Files
Once you downloaded and installed the unpacker tool, open Wow_Unpacker_Gui.exe. On the upper left hand side, select your res_packages directory. It should look something like this:
Next, click "Load Contents" at the bottom left and wait for the files to load. Once they do, you should be able to navigate through the directory and find the files you need. For this guide, I will be using Bogue as a demonstration. Bogue's ship textures can be found by navigating to res\content\gameplay\usa\ship\aircarrier\textures. Some ships like Bogue have two texture files: hull and deckhouse (Usually for the superstructure of the ship), while others only have hull textures. All other nations have their texture locations organized identically so finding them should be easy once you know how to do it the first time.
The two files that we will need are the ones that end in "a": ASA003_Bogue_1943_Deckhouse_a.dds and ASA003_Bogue_1943_Hull_a.dds. (The same rule applies for all ships and weapon textures. Look for the files that end in "a", not "ao", just "a". For ships that have multiple hulls in game with different texture files for each, the later hulls will almost always have a later year on them then the original hull. In Bogue's case, we don't have to worry about this.) Select the two files and click the small ">>" button at the bottom. This will move the two files to the right side of the program. On the upper right hand side is another directory selection; this is where your files will be exported to. Once you have all the files you need, click "Unpack".
Finding Weapon Textures
Weapon textures can be found much the same way as ship textures. Using the in game details about your ship on the right side, you can find the names of the weapons your ship has.
Using the unpacker tool, navigate to the weapon texture location (It's the same as finding the ship textures but instead of going to "ship" go to "gun", example: res\content\gameplay\japan\gun). To find the main armament of this ship, go into "main" folder in the "gun" folder. From there, go into the textures folder and search for a file that matches the gun described above: 356mm/45 41st Year Type. Once you find the files with this name, again select only the one that ends with "a". Finding secondaries and torpedoes works the exact same way, simply go into their respective folders within the gun folder instead of the main battery folder. (Note: some guns like the 120mm guns on Mutsuki's final hull may be listed under secondaries due to the fact that they are used as secondaries on other ships.)
Editing the Textures
I'm not going to show the full process on editing textures for a ship but I'm going to show a useful trick that makes editing them much easier. First, find the two files you just unpacked. (They will be exported to a file called "content" because the unpacker tool includes the file directory that the two files were originally in) Place the content folder these two files came in into your res_mods folder. The textures should be located here once you do so:
Once you have located the textures, start up your game but leave the file browser open. You can edit the texture files with the game open, allowing for a much easier editing process.. Just make the edits you want, save the file, then go back to your game and select a ship other than Bogue, let it load fully then return to Bogue. You will have to do this selection of another ship in game every time you make a new edit and save the texture so that the ship textures can update.
When you first open the .dds file you'll see textures for every part of the ship located all around the file. Most of the objects on the file are easy to identify on the ship, but some may take a bit of work to find. The aforementioned editing while in game trick helps with this. I have pointed out the location of some of the parts of the Bogue texture below as an example.
The port side of the hulls on ships will always be mirrored. This shouldn't be a problem if you plan on just editing colours but if you plan on writing text or placing an image, you will have to reverse the text or image. Once you've made all the edits to the file, save and you're done! The process is the same with all textures of ships, weapons,etc. Just be sure to put everything in the right folders.
Editing camouflages is a little different and arguably more difficult than editing ship textures. The first thing you're going to need to do is unpack the camouflages.xml file and the camouflage from the ship of your choice using the same unpacker tool. I will be using Atago for this example. Camouflages.xml should be located in res folder in the unpacker tool's left window so you won't have to dig for this one. Atago's camouflage will be located in res\content\gameplay\common\camouflage\textures and is called JSC038_Atago_1944_Hull_camo_01.dds The first thing you will notice about Atago's and every other ships' camouflage file is that they are all black, red, green, and blue. These colours are obviously not the ones shown on the Atago in game, instead if we want to find the actual colours, we need to open camouflages.xml with notepad++. Once you do so, press ctrl and f to bring up the search menu and search for "Atago". Keep hitting "Find Next" until you locate this specific set of code:
This section is for Atago's permanent camouflage. It tells us the file location of each part of her camouflage and the colours assigned to the four we saw earlier on Atago's camouflage file. The four numbers after "<color0>" are organized in RGBA format and tell us what the colour is and its opacity. The first three values refer to the colour's red, blue, and green values respectively and the last value is the colour's opacity. For example, <Color0> has a red value of 26.3%, a blue value of 27.5%, a green value of 13.3%, and an opacity value of 78.4%. <Color0> itself refers to the black seen on the actual camo file. <Color1> is to red, <Color2> is blue, and <Color3> is green. This rule applies to every single camouflage file, 0 will always be the black on the file and so on and so forth.
Recolouring and Editting the Camouflage File
Recolouring the camouflage on a ship is quite easy. Using a website like this one you can find the RGB value of any colour you like but before you can add it to the .xml, you have to convert it to a percentage value. If you wanted a colour with a red value of 200, you would divide that value by 255 and put that value in the proper location in the .xml file. As for editing the camouflage file itself, it can be done using the same programs used for editing ship textures. The only difference here would be that you are working with 4 predetermined colours rather than any colour of your choice. Editing the camouflage file itself can also be done while in game. Just be sure to place the file in res_mods\content\gameplay\common\camouflage\textures. However, editing the camouflage.xml file requires a restart of the game (Be sure to put camouflage.xml in Games\WorldofWarships\res_mods)
Removing Camouflage from a Ship
Removing the permanent camouflage from a premium ship or ship that has "permaflage" is very simple:
However, removing temporary camouflages is different because the same camouflage file is applied to multiple ships. Deleting the temporary camouflage's code in the .xml will remove it from every ship it applies to.
And that's pretty much all I have for this. The rest relies on your ability to use Photoshop/Paint.net/Gimp etc. and edit the textures. Sorry about the wall of text and sorry if it gets a little hard to follow in some areas. Feel free to leave any questions/comments here .
Edited by Battleship_YamatoKai, 11 August 2016 - 12:51 AM.