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Installing and using custom skins


davidaa
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Easiest and most straightforward way is to go to your Saved Games\DCS folder and create a folder called "Liveries". Underneath that, create folders for each of the aircraft for which you have skins (these need to match the folder name in the original Liveries folder in c:\program files\DCS World\Bazar\Liveries). For example, if you have some Huey Skins you want to use, add a folder called uh-1h. Then put the skins in that folder, and the name of the skin that shows up in the mission editor is likely the name of that folder.

 

Here's an example using my HAL-3 Seawolves skin for the Huey; feel free to practice with it.

 

 

  1. Go to c:\users\<your user name>\Saved Games\DCS (or DCS.Openbeta, DCS Openalpha).
  2. Create the folder "Liveries"
  3. Under "Liveries", create the folder "uh-1h"
  4. Extract the contents of "UH-1H_USN_HAL-3_Seawolves_v1_3.7z" to Liveries\uh-1h.

You should see the following path:

c:\users\<your user name>\Saved Games\DCS\Liveries\uh-1h\USN HAL-3 Seawolves.

 

 

Now with most skins, going into the mission editor you would see "USN HAL-3 Seawolves" as the skin (because that's the name of the folder). In this case, you'll actually see "HA(L)-3 Seawolves (USN)" because I added a "name" field in the skin's lua file.

 

Note: it is also possible to just add the folders to your Liveries folder in your main install (e.g. c:\program files\DCS World\Bazar\Liveries\uh-1h\USN HAL-3 Seawolves), but you may have issues losing the skin if you need to reinstall or there's a comprehensive update. It's just cleaner to put it in your Saved Games\DCS folder.

 

Hope this helps.


Edited by Home Fries
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  • 2 weeks later...

Evening all.

 

I'm having trouble w/some skin files and what to do or where to put them. Some of them are in compressed zip folders, while others tell me they're RAR files. What do i do w/these types of files to open the skins in dcs?

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Installing and using custom skins

 

Zip files can be opened in windows explorer without any special software.

 

Other file formats (RAR, 7z, etc.) require software. 7zip is free and open source, and it can open any of the compression formats.

 

Then follow my instructions in my post above for file extraction. Then you can select the skins in the mission editor.

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  • 1 month later...

What type of software would you recommend for those that need it?

DCS status:

Online

 

 

Case:NZXT S340 Mid Tower;Motherboard:MSi 970 Gaming DDR3 ATX;CPU:AMD FX-8350 8-Core Unlocked with Hyper 212 Evo heatsink;Memory:Crucial Ballistix 16GB DDR3;Hard Drive:Samsung 640GB;SSD: Crucial 256GB;Sound:Asus Xonar DGX; Power: EVGA 600W B1 80+;OS:Windows 10 64-bit; GPU: MSI Radeon RX 570 8GB 256-bit

 

 

Modules: Flaming Cliffs 3, P-51D, Combined Arms, Black Shark 2, A-10C 2, WW2 Assets, F/A-18C, F-16C Viper

 

Maps: Persian Gulf, Syria

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:noexpression:?

DCS status:

Online

 

 

Case:NZXT S340 Mid Tower;Motherboard:MSi 970 Gaming DDR3 ATX;CPU:AMD FX-8350 8-Core Unlocked with Hyper 212 Evo heatsink;Memory:Crucial Ballistix 16GB DDR3;Hard Drive:Samsung 640GB;SSD: Crucial 256GB;Sound:Asus Xonar DGX; Power: EVGA 600W B1 80+;OS:Windows 10 64-bit; GPU: MSI Radeon RX 570 8GB 256-bit

 

 

Modules: Flaming Cliffs 3, P-51D, Combined Arms, Black Shark 2, A-10C 2, WW2 Assets, F/A-18C, F-16C Viper

 

Maps: Persian Gulf, Syria

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If you refer to something to extract existing files, 7Zip has everything you need.

 

For graphics software, that's a more complicated question and it depends on your patience and budget. Gimp is free and is both powerful and popular, so this might be a starting point.

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  • 5 months later...

Why do some skins show in mission editor and others don't?

I also get a bigger selection under some countries then others for instance Mirage 2000C all the "Tiger Meet" skins will show in mission editor if France is selected, but when USA is selected only one "Tiger Meet" skin is available. Under France I will have a selection of 15 skins and under Austria only one skin, why is that?

 

Thank you.

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Question about custom skins

 

Hello i would like to know if community made skins and other community "objects" could damage DCS?

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  • 1 month later...
Why do some skins show in mission editor and others don't?

I also get a bigger selection under some countries then others ..

 

Every Skin Folder includes a text file that describes its content, called "description.lua". It's contents is something like this:

 

livery = {
{"F-18C_Texture1", 0, "F-18C_Texture1_BA", false}, {"F-18C_Texture2", 0, "F-18C_Texture2_BA", false}, {"F-18C_Texture3", 0, "F-18C_Texture3_BA", false}, {"F-18C_Texture4", 0, "F-18C_Texture4_BA", false}, {"F-18C_Texture5", 0, "F-18C_Texture5_BA", false}, {"F-18C_Texture6", 0, "F-18C_Texture6_BA2", false},
{"F-18C__BANO1", 0, "F-18C_Texture1_BA", false}, {"F-18C__NightCockpit", 0, "F-18C_Texture6_USN", false}, {"F-18C_Tactnumbers", 0, "empty.tga", false}, {"pilot_F18C_body", 0, "pilot_fa-18c_BA", false},
}

name = "Blue Angels No.2" countries = {
"USA" }

 

 

You can use a good text editor like "Notepad ++" (dont use Windows Notepad, as in some cases introduces extraneous characters into the text), to edit the description.lua file.

 

I almost always edit the "name=" field, in order to provide more meaningful names on those cases where I can have too many skins available for a given aircraft ... this is the name that shows up on the list of the Mission Editor.

 

I also edit the "Countries=" field ... to add more countries that can make use of this skin ... on the example above, only the USA can use the skin ... perhaps on this case it makes sense, since it's an american acrobatic team's skin, but you could change the field, for example:

 

countries = {"USA", "UK" }

 

... would allow aircrafts from the UK to also use the skin ... you can add as many countries as you wish ... the list of country names on DCS is this:

 

0 = "RUSSIA"

1 = "UKRAINE"

2 = "USA"

3 = "TURKEY"

4 = "UK"

5 = "FRANCE"

6 = "GERMANY"

7 = "AGGRESSORS"

8 = "CANADA"

9 = "SPAIN"

10 = "THE_NETHERLANDS"

11 = "BELGIUM"

12 = "NORWAY"

13 = "DENMARK"

15 = "ISRAEL"

16 = "GEORGIA"

17 = "INSURGENTS"

18 = "ABKHAZIA"

19 = "SOUTH_OSETIA"

20 = "ITALY"

21 = "AUSTRALIA"

22 = "SWITZERLAND"

23 = "AUSTRIA"

24 = "BELARUS"

25 = "BULGARIA"

26 = "CHEZH_REPUBLIC"

27 = "CHINA"

28 = "CROATIA"

29 = "EGYPT"

30 = "FINLAND"

31 = "GREECE"

32 = "HUNGARY"

33 = "INDIA"

34 = "IRAN"

35 = "IRAQ"

36 = "JAPAN"

37 = "KAZAKHSTAN"

38 = "NORTH_KOREA"

39 = "PAKISTAN"

40 = "POLAND"

41 = "ROMANIA"

42 = "SAUDI_ARABIA"

43 = "SERBIA"

44 = "SLOVAKIA"

45 = "SOUTH_KOREA"

46 = "SWEDEN"

47 = "SYRIA"

 

The names can be in upper case or lower case, it doesnt' matter.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok, brand new to DCS. I tried to install a skin I DL'd using the instructions at the top of the thread. I see you can add the skin in mission editor, but I have no idea how to do that yet....some help please? Also, if I try to do it the other way mentioned does the skin just show up?

 

~S

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No matter which file path method You choose, the skin must be "compatible" with the country You fly for (as explained on the bottom of previous page), and it must be manually selected in mission editor (second tab of Your aircraft properties, scroll mouse on the preview to zoom in).

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  • 3 months later...

Thanks, Home Fries - followed your advice (page 1 post), downloaded and installed your USN HAL-3 Seawolves skin into c:\users\xxxxx\Saved Games\DCS\Liveries\uh-1h\USN HAL-3 Seawolves. Then fired up DCS and went to Mission Editor, selected the Huey in the mission and the new skin appeared in the Load tab. Just like you said!

Cheers - Dai.

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  • 10 months later...

Thanks for the install instructions but how does one create skins?

CPU: Core i7 7700k, Mobo: GA-Z270x Gaming 7 rev. 1, RAM: 2 x 8GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance 3200 MHz, GPU: Zotac GTX 1060 Amp Edition, SSD: Samsung 850 pro 512 GB, SSD: 2 x Samsung 850 EVO 512 GB (RAID 0), Intel 530 Series 240GB SSD, HDD: WD 2TB Caviar Black, TrackIR 5, Logitech Extreme 3D Pro, CH PRO Pedals.

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Thanks for the install instructions but how does one create skins?

 

 

:) ... thats the really hard part, installing skins is really easy in comparison ...

 

 

To create a skin you need to know how to edit layered graphics files, using software like Photoshop or Gimp

 

 

.. if you already know how to use this kind of software you are almost set, just go download the aircraft's template: https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/downloads/texture_templates/ and you can then edit a new skin starting from the template.

 

 

 

For those of us that have yet to learn Gimp or Photoshop, then there remains the difficult task of learning them .. and they are complex software, not easy to learn, in fact the training for these softwares usually has to be paid ... free tutorials doesn't cut it.

 

 

Here is a video where you can see what is involved with even a simple skin editing:

 

 

 

 

So, making a quality skin involves many hours of work and that's why I'm so grateful to the people who share their skins with the rest of us :)

 

 

Best regards

 

For work: iMac mid-2010 of 27" - Core i7 870 - 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz - ATI HD5670 - SSD 256 GB - HDD 2 TB - macOS High Sierra

For Gaming: 34" Monitor - Ryzen 3600X - 32 GB DDR4 2400 - nVidia GTX1070ti - SSD 1.25 TB - HDD 10 TB - Win10 Pro - TM HOTAS Cougar - Oculus Rift CV1

Mobile: iPad Pro 12.9" of 256 GB

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:) ... thats the really hard part, installing skins is really easy in comparison ...

 

 

To create a skin you need to know how to edit layered graphics files, using software like Photoshop or Gimp

 

 

.. if you already know how to use this kind of software you are almost set, just go download the aircraft's template: https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/downloads/texture_templates/ and you can then edit a new skin starting from the template.

 

 

 

For those of us that have yet to learn Gimp or Photoshop, then there remains the difficult task of learning them .. and they are complex software, not easy to learn, in fact the training for these softwares usually has to be paid ... free tutorials doesn't cut it.

 

 

Here is a video where you can see what is involved with even a simple skin editing:

 

 

 

 

So, making a quality skin involves many hours of work and that's why I'm so grateful to the people who share their skins with the rest of us :)

 

 

Best regards

 

Yeah I can see what you mean. I followed 2 tutorials, one mentioned in your post and another involving GIMP. I can't see anything when I open the downloaded Huey texture template in Ps or GIMP. I verified the MD5 hash for the zip file.

CPU: Core i7 7700k, Mobo: GA-Z270x Gaming 7 rev. 1, RAM: 2 x 8GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance 3200 MHz, GPU: Zotac GTX 1060 Amp Edition, SSD: Samsung 850 pro 512 GB, SSD: 2 x Samsung 850 EVO 512 GB (RAID 0), Intel 530 Series 240GB SSD, HDD: WD 2TB Caviar Black, TrackIR 5, Logitech Extreme 3D Pro, CH PRO Pedals.

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  • 2 months later...
Yeah I can see what you mean. I followed 2 tutorials, one mentioned in your post and another involving GIMP. I can't see anything when I open the downloaded Huey texture template in Ps or GIMP. I verified the MD5 hash for the zip file.

 

Can you pop a screenshot up on what you're seeing? Is it just blank? I've only used Photoshop briefly and I'm not good with it but I've worked with GIMP quite a lot. I'm working up the courage to try to do a better "how to" using GIMP that specifically shows the tricks I've learned regarding how to arrange layers and select bits to color. I'll see if I can help you work out the kinks with the UH1 skin if I can, but sometimes the file problems are over my head.

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