I know I'm a noob on the site, and I've just started skinning on WoW, but don't let that turn you away. I've had plenty of skinning experience with other games, such as Halo and WoW is not much different.
This guide will help teach you how to make better skins using simple tools on Photoshop. I'll be using CS3 but the instructions should not vary much with each version.
What this guide will not teach you is exporting and importing textures into WoW. There are plenty of tutorials that teach you this. This one taught me, so I'd recommend it: Linky
Programs You Will Need
-WoW Model Viewer (So you dont have to go ingame to see it)
Introduction to the Tools
First I'll introduce you to the various tools we will be using in Photoshop.
The Polygonal Lasso Tool is probably the one tool you will use the most. It is unequivocally important when it comes to changing one part of the texture and not the rest.
To use the lasso tool, simply click on the outline of the section of the texture you wish to select,and then continually click on points around the section until you close it off to complete the selection.
When you select something, it should look like this:
The Clone Stamp Tool lets us copy and blend a piece of a picture to our texture using brushes. To use it, Alt+Click an area on the Stock Image and then brush on the texture. By adjusting the opacity and etc. we can blend the cloned stuff in.
New Adjustment Layers have many uses, but the most notable and the one we will be using will be the Hue and Saturation layer which allows us to change a color.
Now at this point, after we have made the previous selection, we can either decide to edit the Voidwalker's body or its cuffs. Lets start with the body.
Press Ctrl+C and then Ctrl+V to copy the cuff to a new layer. Now we can edit the layer behind it without affecting it. When retexturing, I highly recommend not to use brushes of any sort. Instead, use stock images or adjustment layers to get the effect you want.
Right now I'll show you how to change the VW's color. Select the bottom layer and then click Image>Adjustments>Black&White. Play with the settings until you get the contrast you want. I kept the default settings and it looks like this.
You may notice a blue outline around the cuff, dont worry we will fix this later.
Now for the good stuff . Click Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue and Saturation. Make sure the Colorize selection in the bottom right is checked. Mess with the Hue and Saturation till you get the color you want. I wouldn't recommend messing with the brightness as it tends to look bad. We can adjust the brightness and contrast later. Heres what i got:
Now we can edit the cuff to look however we want. First use the magic wand to select the transparent space on the top layer, then inverse the selection so you have the cuff selected. Use the techniques we used for the body to recolor it, but instead of using a new adjustment layer, you must use Image>Adjustments>Hue&Saturation so we dont overlap the colors.
Save it and check it out
The blue light stays there because of an effect not caused by a skin.
A technique I used to use alot during my modding days was to clone stuff from stock textures onto my skins.
The first step is to find a good stock image to use, google is your best bet. Ill be using this texture to give it a grungy, staticy feel:
Now that we have done that we can start cloning it to the skin. Click the Clone Stamp Tool, and use a decent sized soft brush. Alt-Click anywhere (normally in the center) on the stock texture and then brush it onto the VW. Adjust the opacity to a comfortable setting which should be a very very low number. Avoid hitting edges when using the clone tool, as it causes a seam. Readjust the copying point on the stock texture everytime you start brushing in a new space on the VW. Remember, this is just to give a small grainy feel.
Generally its best to stack stock textures with extremely low opacity, but for the sake of time I'll only do one. This is what it looks like ingame.
I dont particularly like the way this one turned out, but dont let that discourage you. Try out different textures and even use the techniques used in the first part to change their colors. Play with it and have fun.
Identifying Parts of the Texture
Sometimes its hard to identify what each part of the texture applies to. When this is the case there is an easy way to find out. Apply different colors throughout the texture and apply it to the model. Compare with the original texture and you have your answer. For Example:
I know its hard to tell, but this is the VW's skin lol. When applied to the model it looks like this.
Its funny looking, i know but when compared to the original skin, its quite easy to see what part applies where.
This concludes the first part of my guide. I'll most likely be adding on later, so be sure to check for updates.
Have fun skinning