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How to Retexture in Photoshop for CS (CS Rn'RG)

A Tutorial for Counter-Strike 1.6

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This is a HIGH DETAILED tutorial. The first one of two about texturing and rendering using Photoshop and HLMV for Counter-Strike and Half-Life.


What up! I hope you are well.

Today is your lucky day! If your are one of those nonconformist
people... shall next I am gonna show ya' how to retexture any skin you want to.
You'll see you won't get missed around or even get confused
with this tut because it's really easy to learn, fun to do, and rewarding
to get the expected results and every body out there with
noobish skills can do it properly if you gain some practice.

Let's divide this Tut' in two separated chapters (maybe three,
I'll see...) so if you are not interested in rendering you can learn
some retexturing and vice versa. First we gonna start with the
most useful shit: TEXTURING. Then... when we reach a plenty command of
this simple tips I will teach ya' below, we gonna start with
the rendering tutorial which is a little longer than complex, so...


Getin' all you need

Here you got all softwares, resources and tools you will need throughout the process.
"Without all this stuff, you are so fucked."

1. WinRAR Archiver

Of course! THE MOST IMPORTANT tool for web surfers out there!
WinRAR is a powerful archive manager. It can backup your data and reduce the size of email attachments, decompress RAR, and ZIP and other files downloaded from Internet and create new archives in RAR and ZIP file format.

You can get it here:

WinRAR 4.20 (English)

Mirror 1

Just choose and download the version that match with your system.

2. Photoshop

(Any actual version like CS2, CS3 or CS4). This is one of the best software for design, painting, graphic editions and stuff like that...
It's easy to use when you get some help. I will help you up some with the basics and all the tips you need to work properly.
Here we gonna work with Photoshop CS3 -portable version- because it's the one I have, but it's quite enough for our purposes.

You can find and download the trial version of Adobe Photoshop for free at it's official webpage (you must sign up to download it).

3. HLMV 1.36

(Jed's Half Life Model Viewer) This is a very very useful tool created for Half-Life with which you will be able to open any CS or HL skin (CS1.6, CSCZ and Half-Life only).
Which it should be always a .mdl file, I mean... if you download (for example) an arctic skin, there should be like this INTO THE .RAR file:


"mdl" means "Model".
This tool is actually an "extended” version of the original Half Life Model Viewer. The Jed's one have a few more options and it support some other resources or something... I'm not sure; but it’s still better than the original HLMV.

So get it here now:

HLMV Setup

4. .mdl files (some skins)

Get 'em from GameBanana.

5.- Counter strike 1.6/Condition Zero

Get it from wherever you want (I own 1.6).

So that's all fella' now let's get deep with the real shit!

Retexturing some...

Let's do it step by step. Here we go!

Startin' whit Half Life Model Viewer

1.-Launch Jed's HLMV.
2.-Click on “File.”
3.-Then click on “Load Model.”
4.-Then open any model you want to...

Default Counter Strike models can be found at “C:\VALVe\Steam\Steam Apps.\“your account name”\Counter-Strike\cstrike\models\players”

Now you have the entire view of the model (skin). You can rotate and zoom it as well to check out closely how does the textures>
hold left click and move the mouse in any direction.
hold right click and move the mouse forward and back to you.

In this module “Model Display” you have several options who will show up different attributes that HLMV let you check about the skin.
You got a really good management tool in your hands now which will allow you to check out all the skin and additions. But eventually you might notice that you got the backpack textures into the texture files compiled on the skin but you can not see it wearing at no where...

This is the way to make it visible:

1.-Move to the next slide: “Body Parts.”
2.-In the slot “Submodels” showed below choose:“Submodel 2.”

There ya go… now you the view of the backpack.

The method (steps) to show up the backpack is not always the same, anyway... the thing goes always around the “Body Parts” slide.

For example

In the VALVe default models you can show up the bomb backpack clicking first in the “Part” slot, you will see it says “Studio” but if you pop down it you will see that it says “Backpack” below. You set “Back pack” then you go to the “Submodel” slot, pop down and you will see the option “Submodel 2”... set it.
Now you have the backpack view!

Let's continue…
Move to the next slide called “Textures”.

The picture on center is the first texture in the list of textures compiled in this specific skin you loaded up.

Ok… this is basic.
Pick up any texture and check out some of the features that HLMV offers you!

There you have the attributes options or “Effects” you can apply on textures... a shit you wasn’t able to do with the default version of HLMV. I will show ya with some examples what this options are able to do.


It turns the textures which you decide to apply this to them like “Chrome effect”, like a super polished, shiny and very reflective metal taking as colouring reference the “environment’s colors”, the same ones which are painted on that specific texture.

Environment's colors?!

Yeah... what I mean with this?:
Imagine you got a piece of highly polish bumper stolen from a car and you throw it into a garden, it will reflect the same colors that the garden expose: green, maybe some red, brown, skyblue... because those are the environment's colors from the place where the bumper is. That's the roll which colors plays on the chromed texture.

How to apply

1.-Select a texture and set the “Chrome” attribute.
2.-Then go back to the “Model Display” slide and check it out!

Let's check out the next attribute option!


This basically turns textures into “ghost like” or translucent...

You can also combine the texture effects like Chrome and Additive all in one.

Next effect:


It sounds to be similar as “Additive” but the real shit is that nothing seems to happen when I set this up.
I don't want to check if it actually works into gameplay, perhaps something weird can occur there.

Continuing with...


It shows UV map’s lines.
The border lines of the polygons projected over a 2D image (the current texture) this is very useful some times like when you are re-painting textures. You can support on them like a position reference when you are texturing with Photoshop to keep “Color Consistence” and avoid to commit “irregular jumps” into the textures who get manifested at the points where texture join each other.
So this could be a good reference when you are painting. You could save some time.



This option just overlaps the “Texture” picture and “UV Map”


This shit just make the “UV Maps’s Lines” thicker.

Ok! once you know this let's move to the next tab.


This section is very important especially at the moment of rendering. Using this property and with some good imagination you could take nice screenshots of your skins for some subsequent rendering.
Options in this section shows on a playable list all the animations that skin brings, and have also a speed grader that will allow you to see all the animations on “slow-motion” or “stop-motion” as well.
This is an old feature of HLMV, but this Jed’s version brings a nice new add who let you forward the animation "FRAME by FRAME" so now you can inclose the skin in a specific position to get screenshots you like!

We almost finish with the HLMV interface.
The last two slides... we will ignore them because they aren't vital.

Instead, we should know for what purposes can the “Options” been used:


There's actually a way to change that default and boring turquoise background of HLMV.
The secret on this is to have a .BPM "indexed color" image... anyone, no matter size, it just must to be a .BPM format image with "indexed color mode" like the bodypart textures are.
You can apply this settings to an image on Photoshop. I will explain you how to do it below.
Then, when you finally have that image with those settings just go to "File" menu on HLMV
and you'll see below the option "Load Background Texture" click there and find out your favorite pic to set.
The thing will look just as you can see in the 4th render screen shot

¡The same thing apply for the "Load Ground Texture" option!

Now you know all this useful tips! I will show you next how to start with the textures edition process.

How to export a texture

1.- Go to the “Textures” slide on the JHLMV and pop up the textures list.
2.- Select the specific texture you want to modify, customize, recolour or any kind of edition.
3.- Once you have the texture on screen click on “Export Texture."
4.- Then save the texture in the folder you want to.

You better type an accurate name who reminds you with which part of the skin are you treating.

The texture will be saved as a .BMP file (Bit Map File), an images format which is the only one that the Valve's graphic engine (used for Counter-Strike and Half Life) supports on skins.
This files are pretty common on the web and videogame environments and each design software out there from PaintTM to PhotoshopTM supports it.
If you are working with a bunch of textures at the same time -like with a whole skin- just create a new folder on desktop and save there all the textures you'll use along the whole editing process. Doin' this way, it will be easier for ya' to keep an efficient management of textures.
If you load a skin and then you export a texture from it; it will goes to the folder where the .mdl file is contained at. As default destination.

Once you have the texture saved, just launch Photoshop and you can now start with the funny part.

Startin' with Photoshop

1.-Launch Photoshop
2.-Wait till it load his resources, plugin, and stuff.
3.-You got the main workspace:

How to open Texture files on Photoshop

1.-Go to “File” menu on top-left on workspace and click “Open.”
2.-Find the texture you just exported from HLMV and then open it.

Ok, once you have the texture already on the workspace it's almost ready to be edited up.

You can not unlock this layer if it's as “Indexed Color” mode image. So… before you can even give a brushstroke over it you must change the Image's “Color Mode” from “Indexed color” (Texture image's default color mode) to “RGB color” (more workable color mode) otherwise, you wont be able to edit almost anything on this texture cuz the available editing options for idexed color images are very very limited.

This is how you change the image color mode:

1.- Go to “Image” menu on the top of the screen.
2.- Pop up the “Mode” submenu.

Now you will note that the thumbnail in the “Layers window” (the big spot at left on workspace) blinks once. Now you got the image as “RGB Color” mode and you can now unlock the layer and start with the edition process!

Let's retexture some!

Using Ctrl+Z command in Photoshop

Like we all already know, "Ctrl+Z" is probably one of the most used command when we are making anything shit on Microsoft...
Into Photoshop it results to be similar:

Ctrl+Z > Back to the previous state.
Ctrl+Z again > Back to the current state again.

?!... It's kind of endless!!! Probably you'r wondering: " So... how can I go further back?!"

Yeah... I take some time to learn it too.

The key is that you must press and hold “Ctrl+Alt” and then press “Z” to get back to the previous state. Press "Z" as many times as you want to get to the previous state through worktime.
If you want to go ALL THE WAY BACK to the current state just press “Ctrl+Z” only.

Here you have how to exercise some of the tools you will use during the texturing process.

How to select a piece of a same image

"If ya' want to pop up the derived tools just click “right” on any tool icon in the “Tools Panel.”

Once you have the “Quick Selection Tool” on the workspace it will look something like a “pluss sign pointer” and once you drag it, it'll start to add sections of the image into the selection zone sorrounded by a sliced line.
In case that you accidentally select more space that you wanted at first and you want to push the “sliced line” back, just press and hold “Alt” till ya' have the “Quick Selection Tool” on screen and it will turns into a “minus sign pointer” which have the opposite effect than the “pluss sign pointer” of course. Then you start to reduce the selected zone.

Once you have something selected you could try now to use some “Sizing Tools.”
Lets try with “Warp” first.
This is how the “Warp Tool” looks:

I just select the boot silhouette… and then; once selected, I went to “Edit” menu and I just choose “Warp” and then a kind of wire shows up. You just have to pull away of this points, from the edges or from the wire lines 'emself (from anywhere) BUT, be careful! If u pull away from the edges a hole will appear below the image.
If u want to quit this “Warp” tool undoing the changes, just press “Esc”.

How to copy a single image

If you wish to copy a selected part, you could do one of three things:

a.- Once selected, use the "Move Tool" and click over the image and just move it. (NOT RECOMENDED cuz when you do this, the removed image will left a hole under itself).

b.- Once selected, set the "Move Tool". Situate over the selected image, then press and hold "Alt", then move the image with the "Move Tool" holding "Alt" once you disjoined it (Copy) RELEASE "Alt" cuz if you don't it will make several copies anytime you click over it to meve it holding "Alt" down. Then u can move a copi of the selected image but it will remain into the SAME LAYER.

c.- APPLY THE SECOND STEP. Then set the "Move Tool" and CUT ("Ctrl+X" > "CUT" command) the copy you just made. That way the main Layer will remain unchanged. Then you just paste the shit you cut before over the workspace. It will be pasted automaticly into a new Layer over the Layer below.

Sometimes.... you will realize that almost all the edition tools in the top menus will be shaded off, that's beccause you must select the layer where you want to work on before you can select or apply any option over it. Then you'll see that all options in menus will be available again!
The current layer where you are workin on is showed on in the “Layers window” enhanced with skyblue color.
If you want to select another layer to work on just click twice over. And if a windows shows up just click "OK".


When you have several Layers and there's one that you want it to be over another in order to make it visble above the others just go to the "Layers Window" on workspace and situate next to the thumbnail of the Layer you want to move. Drag that "thumbnail slot" holding click on it, then release it into the slot you want between layers.
"Just like when you move an icon on your PC desktop."

“Adjustements” is in fact another submenu you'll surelly been vistin' around very often along the whole editing process.

It have many options related exclusively to the colouring of the current image, layer or selected part on workspace.
These options are particulary useful when you are retexturing cuz in contradistinction with the “Brush Tool” it allows you to change the colouring of a defined zone on the picture without loss of details or clearness.

I will explain you next the most usable of ‘em.


It allows you to correct and modify the amount of brightness and darkness of image as well.


This option shows up a window where you gonna be able to grade the balance between color amounts (Magenta, Cyan and Yellow) in order to reach the hue you want to set on image.


This option helps you out to set brightness and darkness givin' it in a soft way.


This option basically is used to turn the image in Black and White mode, but also allows you to manage the color and hues saturation.
To use this just set the property called “Tint” on.


Here you got basically all the previous colouring options mixed in a whole, here u can change the hues, set some lightness and grade the hues saturation too.

And last but not least!


This module is very very useful.

This will allow you to automaticly mix hues and give them strength, from the shadows to the highlights with diferent levels of saturation.

If ya' click once on “Original” it will automaticly reset all modifications you have done in “Variations” module.

We’re done with the “Adjustments” options.

Now we’ll continue with the “Filter Gallery” on “Filter” menu.

1.- Go to "Filter" menu on the top of the workspace.
2.- click on "Filter Gallery" (U will note that actually there's 2 submenus called "Filter Gallery" but the true is that the first one is just a re-apply option called same. So you cilck on the second one).

This will be displayed:

This module offers you over 45 visual effects that will allows to play, create and even to mix each other in order to create weird and original stuff “outa realism shit”.
Use the graders to change little setings, unique for each effect.
Once you've finished applying an effect, you can go back into the “Filter Gallery” to add another effect over the same image, or apply the same effect once again with a simply lick here:

Lets's continue with another shit.


In this main manu we can found a big list of windows and modules which can be displayed on workspaces with a simple click on them... like the "brush setings" "History record" "Layers" and more.

In this useful menu you can show up several Windows like “History” and “Brushes”.

I'll teach ya' a little trick to make the “History States” on “History Window” more extensive, so this will store a greater number of actions throught worktime and that way you gonna be able to come back from further previous actions.
This is how:

1.- Go “Edit” menu.
2.- At the botton, situate over “Preferences.”
3.- Now click on “Performance...”
4.- You must se the "History Presets" (placed at the right side of that window)
at max (1000).

Here you got the graphic example:

Now you'll have 1000 actions slots (“History States”) saved in the “History” count!

Photoshop Toolbox Reference

In this section of the websiteyou have an Easy Photoshop Tools Manual.


[]( "")

Let's asume that you already know how to use tools and everything and you have done your textures edition whit all details and shit.

It is quite done BUT HEY!!! Still remains a crucial detail that can not be overlooked.
Recall that i told ya' before that VALVe graphic engine only support .BMP pictures over his models? And also that images must be set as “Indexed Color Mode” before save them?
You just need to change the “Color Mode” on “Image” menu.

And you set it as “Indexed Color...”

Then a windows gonna be displayed up... it asks you: Merge Layers?


This is becuz the .BMP format can not lay up the Layers info into it, it just can't be posible.
The only image format that support and store this info is Photoshop files (.PSD, .PDD).

SO! After that only remains to save it... this is the way:

1.- Go to “File” menu and click “Save As.”

2.- Below you have a slot with the diferent image formats, look for .BMP and save the texture as .bmp format.

3.- Then another window will be displayed. Click “OK” without touching anything else.

FINALLY!!! You have finished this tedious process...


Of course... you wish to see a model wearing your quite finished work on, so...

This is how you do it:

GO HLMV and follow this:

1.- Click on “Textures.”

2.- Select the texture you wish to replace for...

3.- Then click on “Import Texture.”

3.- Look out for the texture you want to set instead the old one.

4.- Click “Open”


It must be of the SAME SIZE than the default one.
It must be a .BMP image file.
It must be a “Indexed Color Mode” image.
It must replace the same part of the skin to keep.


Hope ya' like it.


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