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How to make your "Minecraft user skin" replace any survivor.
By lVlountainlVlan
This small tut will show you how to easily import your Minecraft user skin, into L4D2. No modeling experience required.
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Introduction. Step 1: Get some tools.
Hello everybody.

In this short tutorial I'm going to show you how to replace any of the eight L4D survivors, with a custom Minecraft skin. No modeling experience required.

This is my first tutorial, so if there is any portion of it that is not descriptive or helpful enough, or if there is any errors, let me know in the comments, and I'll try to refine it.

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First, you'll need to download some essential L4D2 mod tools we'll need for this tutorial.

1: GCFScape - http://www.nemesis.thewavelength.net/index.php?p=26
You need to use GCFScape to unpack vpk (Valve pak) files.


2: VTFEdit - http://nemesis.thewavelength.net/index.php?c=178
VTFEdit will be used to convert your user skin from a png/jpeg/bmp format, to a vtf (Valve texture file).

I would recommend downloading the installers, instead of the archives, unless you prefer to manually organize the applications' files.

Optional programs:

Paint.net - http://www.getpaint.net/download.html
You'll need a program for image editing. I use Paint.Net, but programs like Gimp, Corel Paintshop, or any other photoshop program should work fine too.


MCSkin3D (recommended) - http://www.planetminecraft.com/mod/mcskin3d/
This Minecraft skin editor is just perfect for making MC user skins, and for making mob skins as well. And as a heads up, splinks's original l4d2 minecraft survivor meshes don't support headgear... In other words, if your minecraft skin has a hat or helmet over their heads, you'll have to edit it so that it's attached to their head... literally. And that's where MCSkin3d comes in handy... But we'll venture more into that matter later on.
Step 2: Get Splinks's Minecraft Survivor Mods.
Splinks created the Minecraft Survivor models awhile back at L4Dmaps.com. And we'll be using his excellent modeling work, for this tutorial... But keep in mind, that if you wish to release your mod to the steam workshop as a public addon, you have to first give credit to Splinks.

He's the original author of this mod, and has done the intricate work of: Modeling, UV mapping, compiling, etc.

He also generously allows public revisions of his mods, so long as fair credit is given.

So again, please keep this in mind when modding anyone else's work.
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Now let's download Splinks's mod(s).

If you want to replace:
Bill, Louis, Zoey, or Francis...

You can download the L4D1 survivors here - http://www.l4dmaps.com/details.php?file=14180

Or, if you want to replace:
Coach, Rochelle, Nick, or Ellis...

Get the L4D2 survivor version here - http://www.l4dmaps.com/details.php?file=14167

Please note, that these mods will only replace the survivors in Left 4 Dead 2... Not the first Left 4 Dead.

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After you finish the download, proceed to step 3.
Step 3: Extract the files, using GCFScape.
Go into your downloads folder, and unzip the mod's vpk file from its compressed folder.

Extract the vpk to your desktop for now. It doesn't really matter where you put it, so long as you can access it easily.

Now right-click on that file, and select the option "Open with...", and open it with GCFScape. If GCFScape does not appear in the default programs list, then select browse for a different app and go to c:/program files/Nem's Tools/GCFScape. And select the GCFScape exe.

After selecting GCFScape. You'll see a window like this pop up:


All we need are the two folders: materials, and models. But we will extract and use the addoninfo.txt document file as well.

But before we extract these files, let's make a folder to hold the mod's contents. Just right-click on your desktop, and click "New > Folder".

You can name that folder whatever you want to name it, but for this tutorial we'll just call it: "My Minecraft Survivor".

Now with GCFScape still open, extract everything except the addonimage, to your newly created folder.

These models and textures will replace all four survivors though... What if you want to replace just one or two survivors?
Let's say you only want to replace Ellis (a.k.a: mechanic), or Bill (namvet). Go into the models/survivors folder that you just extracted from the vpk, and delete everything that does not have "Bill or namvet", or "Ellis or mechanic" labled in its name.

Here's a before and after:

And repeat this process for the following folders:
models/weapons/arms.
materials/vgui.

As for the materials/models/survivors, just delete all subfolders that do not share the same name as the survivor you're editing...

Step 4: (Optional) Fix your skin's headgear.
If your minecraft user skin does not have any headgear, then you can skip over this step, an head to step 5 of this tutorial.
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MCskin3D is a program I highly recommend to use for this step, it's the program I will be using, and is what you're going to see in the example images. But you can use any photoshop program, that has the eyedropper, and pencil tool.

I'll be using my skin as an example in MCskin3D...
We're going to edit our skins, using the "Eyedropper tool" to copy pixels' colours from the headgear, then use the "pencil tool" to paste those colours, onto our skin's head...
After an arduous process, you should end up with something like this...
It doesn't look half bad either, it's much faster and easier than re-modeling the mesh in Blender, or 3DSMax. And here's an example of what your skin would like in game, if you didn't follow this step...
Yeah. Your headgear just disappears in game. It's rather silly. So this step is pretty mandatory for anyone who has a skin, that's got some form of headgear.

Well, we're done here. So let's save this version of the skin, seperate from the original. And move on to changing the skin's resolution.
Step 5: Resizing image resolution.
Right-click on the skin that you want to use, and select the option "edit". This should open the image in windows' default paint tool. Once open, press the keys: Ctrl+W
This will bring up the "Resize and Skew" options window...


Select the "pixels" dot to the right, and match your settings to equal my example below...


Horizontal 2048
Vertical 1024

If it doesn't- automatically assign the vertical proportions when changing the horizontal's, just uncheck the "Maintain aspect ratio" box beneath them, and enter the numbers manually.

And don't alter the skew... We want to keep the image perpendicular (Vertical).

Hit ok when you're finished...


Your skin should be much larger now, like mine (shown above), which is what we want. Because this is the native resolution for Splinks's minecraft survivor model's textures.

Save this new skin as a png file, seperate from the original (It's always good to have backups on hand). And don't worry about the loss of transparency notification when you save it, because that won't show in game.

Now let's convert this image into a Vtf...

Step 6: Converting your image, into a VTF.
If you don't have a shortcut on you desktop for VTFEdit from the installation, you can find the files for it here: (C:)/Program Files (x86)/VTFEdit.

Open VTFEdit...


Select file, then import (Ctrl+I), and browse to the image you just resized. After selecting your image, a window will pop up...


You don't have to change any of these settings, they are options for advanced users
(which I am not :P), so just leave everything default. Then hit ok...


And your skin is now imported into VTFEdit. Now it's time to save your image. So hit "file > Save as" (Ctrl+shift+S). And browse to the mods folder that you made in step 2, and save over the file called "blockdude" by clicking on it...


Click save, then accept if VTFEdit asks: "Are you sure?".

Yay! We've finally got our texture for the mod. *High fives all around* ^^

Ok, we're ready to move on to the last required step...
Step 7: Re-packing the vpk.
First before we re-pack it, let's make sure we got everything:
Models. *Check
Materials. *Dbl check

Cool.

Now, remember the addoninfo? We're going to edit that quick, before we start the packing process.
So go into your skin's mod folder, and "right-click > edit" the addoninfo.txt...






We are going to change a few lines.
See the addontitle line? Change that to whatever you want the mod to be called in-game, like "My Minecraft Sv", just make sure not to backspace over the quotation marks. I'm not certain if they HAVE to be there or not. But it's better to be safe than sorry.

addonversion: This line means how many changes/updates to the mod have been added, so you can change this to "1". But it doesn't really matter too much right now, cause we didn't make a whole lot of changes.

addonDescription: The description that appears in-game, in the addons menu you can change it to anything that best describes your mod, like: "King 'o' Swag". :P

addontagline: A brief-er description of the mod, for in the game's addons menu.

addonauthor: The credited author names go here, "[insert your steam user name here.]/Splinks", again make a habit of crediting other modders if you use there mods as a base or template.

addonSteamGroupName: Your favorite steam group "...".

addonauthorSteamID: This line doesn't matter all that much, so you can leave it empty "...".

addonURL0: This attaches your steam user url to the mods description. But right now, it's got Splinks's in it, so just go ahead and leave the quotes empty "...".

Alright, we're finished here. Let's pack this thing. ^^

But before we can re-pack the mod, we need to install the "Left 4 Dead 2 Authoring Tools", if you haven't already.

In case you have not installed the tools yet, here's how you do it. Launch your steam application, and select the view tab (just above the store page tab), and view "Games Details"...


After that, you select the "ALL GAMES" option (Right of the search box), and choose "Tools".


Doing so, will bring up this page...


Type in the search box (located in the upper left corner of the browser): "Left 4 Dead 2"...


And double click on the Authoring tools, to begin the download and installation of its files...
Though this takes quite a while to do, so... how 'bout a cookie break? :p

Alrighty. Once steam's done downloading it, go to:
Program Files (x86)/Steam/SteamApps/common/Left 4 Dead 2/bin.
And there should be an application called "vpk", installed from the authoring tools...


Right-click on it, and hit: Send to > Desktop (create shortcut).

Now click/drag your mod's folder (with everything inside), over the vpk shortcut, like this...


And this will create a copied vpk file, with your skin packed and ready to play-test!

Oh, and for anyone who has never installed a L4D2 mod manually.

Just place that mod into your addons folder, located here:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Left 4 Dead 2\left4dead2\addons

Don't put it in the workshop folder though, it will be deleted when you launch the game.
Now if everything went smoothly, we should see are skin in the game. Launch a single player campaign that has your survivor in it, and...


Voilà! That's all there is to it. ^^

I hope this tutorial was helpful to anyone out there.
If it helped you, then please rate some thumbs ups. b ^_^ d
I'd really appreciate it.

And if anyone is experiencing some difficulties getting this to work and stuff. Or if I missed some steps, or messed up anywhere, Just post in the comments, and I'll try and help the best I can.

Also, Big thank you(s) to Splinks for making this mod in the first place. + Suscribe to him on the Steam Workshop, he's always making new, awesome mods for everyone.

Happy modding, And see ya later. ^^
- lVlountainlVlan
30 Comments
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TeamSonicFTW Aug 18 @ 9:13pm 
can someone PLEASE tell me how to replace the lobby,incap,and picture from the game be replaced with my minecraft survivor PLEASE
PillsStealer Jul 27 @ 9:47am 
File names are
nick: survivor_gambler
ellis: survivor_mechanic
coach: survivor_coach
rochelle: survivor_producer

bill: survivor_namvet
zoey: survivor_teenangst
louis: survivor_manager
francis: survivor_biker

you should add that so people would know
mashion :3 Jul 13 @ 3:56pm 
what the file name for rochelle??
Raz Jul 10 @ 12:35pm 
Hey! It worked :D
I seem to have lost the player image next to the health bar, or maybe i need to add one somehow?
And also, you mentioned modeling Headgear in Blender would take along time.
I'm actually pretty experienced with blender tools, would you know what file i would need to import into blender and and what would need to be replaced to add headgear?
ok thx i'll try ^^
lVlountainlVlan  [author] Jun 14 @ 1:46pm 
@ Mr.Humbles
I did plan on making a "Custom Vgui Tutorial", a while back. . .
I'm just lazy. :3
lVlountainlVlan  [author] Jun 14 @ 1:42pm 
@ Mr.Cookie
I've had this instance happen to me before, just once, though.
Sadly, I don't remember what causes it. Make sure you are using the matching models for whichever survivor you're replacing. . .

That your skin's vtf file resolution is exactly 2048 (horizontal), and 1024 (vertical). . .

And that the folder directories, specifically, the materials folder, are all in correct order. . .
If this doesn't help, you may have to "fiddle" with some files or restart the guide's process from scratch.

'Hope everything works itself out, ok.
i have a problem but it's just a little ^^ ...
...
...
...
...
MY CHAR IS INVISIbLE PLEASE HELP ME :C
Mr.Humbles Jun 13 @ 9:13pm 
I have a question [Has nothing to do with the topic] I am trying to make incap icon's, except I don't know an easy way to do it. If you happen to know an easy way please, let me know about it.
lVlountainlVlan  [author] Jun 13 @ 11:45am 
@Mr.Humbles
Nice. I'm glad this guide is working for everyone, so far.