Export Multiple Texture Skins

Posted Feb 12, 2012
Last Updated Sep 22, 2019

You can give your model multiple skins (textures) so that the same mesh can look differently in different uses. Inside Wall Worm, skins are controlled by a Multi/Sub-Object material applied to the WWMT Helper in the scene. Each material in the Skins multimaterial should also be a skin--and each of these should all have the same number of sub-materials.

To use this feature, you must follow these steps. Take note of the prefered method below.

  1. Create a (Master) Multi/Sub-Object Material. This material will store all of your skins.
  2. Assign this Master material to the WWMT Helper (the text icon that begins with WWMT: and has the name of your model) or select the material with the Pick Skin Material button in the WWMT Utilities rollout.
  3. Create a Multi/Sub-Object Material for each skin and assign the materials to it.
  4. Assign each Multi/Sub-Object Material (Skin) material to a slot of the master Multi/Sub-Object Material. Important! Make sure to add the material(s) that belongs to the model already as the first skin multimaterial!

When you have done this, the QC will have a $texturegroup that lists all of these materials when you export.

  • Each Skin should be a MultiMaterial. This means that you need to assign a MultiMaterial to each slot of your master multimaterial.
  • The first skin in the multimaterial must be the material that is on the model in the scene. Assigning it to a different slot will make the setup fail.
  • Each skin should have the same number of materials. This means that if your main model's material is a multimaterial with 5 submaterials, all skins should match this. If a skin doesn't need the same number of materials, simply assign one of the other materials to the unused slots.
  • The order of the materials in the Skin multimaterial remains consistent throughout the model. For parts of models that won't change materials between skins, keep the same material in the same slot of the skins.

Prefered Way : Using Proxies

The easiest way to create skins is to use WWMT Proxies. Here is what you do:

  1. Create a Proxy of your model. You can do this in the WWMT UI by opening the Utilities rollout and clicking the Create Proxy button.
  2. Select the Proxy and click the Collapse for Skinning button in the Modify Tab if the proxy is a WallWormMDL node.
  3. You can copy that proxy as much as you need to (making one proxy per each skin you want to create).
  4. Apply a new material on each proxy that should represent a new skin. Do whatever you want to the material and bitmaps (making sure to use the same UV channel in your main material and do not change material IDs on the proxy mesh).
  5. When done, click the Collect Skins from Proxies button in the Utilities rollout. This function automatically creates the skin material from the proxies and applies it to the WWMT helper.
  6. Re-export the VTFs and VMTs for this model (which will have more now that there are skins).
  7. Re-export the model.

Important Notes:

At this time you can run into unexpected results when you create a Proxy from a WWMT node that you have already exported into MDL and later click Gather Skins From Proxies. This is because new Proxies are WallWormMDL nodes by default that will have a multimaterial that includes all of the materials for the model. This means that the WallWormMDL node's multimaterial can have more materials than in the WWMT model's material (because it is a conglomerate of all skin materials). To alleviate that, when you've collapsed your model for skinning, you will need to copy the proxy's multimaterial, reduce it's submaterial count and only use materials in that proxy that you want for new skins).

Getting all the skins into Source

To get all the skins into Source, you must compile them into VMTs and VTFs. You can do this by clicking the Texture/VTF export buttons in the Model & Basic QC rollout and in the Texture Rollout.

  • Note that as of WW 2.9+, new WWMT Proxies are WallWormMDL nodes. One feature of WallWormMDL nodes is that they derive their skin data directly from MDL files in 3ds Max 2015+. This means that when using a WallWormMDL node for skinning, the node must be collapsed to an editable poly. Use the Collapse for Skinning button (modify tab) to do this because it will create the necessary data binding to let WWMT know this is a proxy. If you do not use that function, the object will no longer be considered a proxy.

Removing Skins

To remove a skin, simple open the WWMT Skins material in the material editor and remove the materials that you don't want. Then recompile the model.