Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Rendy's Car Skinning Life EP 04: Everything Looks Better on rFactor Somehow (Probably...)

Skinner's Block is a bitch. The struggles I had in search of paint splash brushes for use in my Desigual FTO Super Touring Car WIP skin took its toll, and so did the Alpha Layer business. But that is just a TMUF story, as right now I tried my luck skinning in rFactor (as the title suggests) because of one thing: Global Racing League. Before starting this post, I cordially invite you to Global Racing League, one of the best motorsport role-playing series based on rFactor, where racing, cuteness, and role-playing mix together with numerous racing disciplines! More on GRL can be seen in the full post.

Working on an rFactor skin for the aforementioned reason, I felt like the process is much more enjoyable than in both GTR2 and TMUF, especially the previewing part. The fact that you can immediately see your car once the game starts is really a plus and makes previewing a straightforward process without all that hassle going through menu and stuff, especially if you turn the "Player Car" option to "Full" in the Settings. That said, this pops out to my mind: "why can't I just do skinning in rFactor?"


Just your usual pink Supra here, nothing's that special, except it's a ChoroQ Supra.
Previously, I do skinning in rFactor because of the ChoroQ mod, wanting to make a couple of skins for a variety of cars, but with the new version still unreleased yet, I stayed off a while, until creating this random skin which involved a Supra body, a pink base color and a white double-stripe, as well as some fictitious sponsors I make. As this is purely original (not based on any livery in particular) and considering the super-deformed size of the car, I applied some Grand-Am aesthetics, especially in terms of the car's number, where it's just a number without numberplates or anything. This is currently just one car being worked, as I have an intention to do some other cars but still, I'm waiting for the new version to be released some time.

Fast forward to the present, where Global Racing League has become an established motorsport role-playing game and changed platforms from GTR2 in the first season to rFactor. This opened doors to more car choices (GT3 cars, GT1s, and stuff) and disciplines (the rF season adds a "Tuner" discipline) although there are sacrifices made (for instance, the absence of the RE Amemiya RX-7 GT300, the car I chose in the previous season, due to the lack of the GT300 mod). The best part is now templates are provided alongside the car selection, so you can get them right off the bat, but then again you'd need a mod to preview all the stuff, like Australian GT mod or Ultimate GT3 mod in case of the GT Endurance AM class (a mix of GT3s and some Japanese GTs).

My best ever attempt at skinning, being a car for GRL races.
I promised my team's livery to be as close as possible to the main inspiration: Kamata RC410 from Ridge Racer 7, which is largely based on the early iteration of Nissan GT-R (back when it was still a concept car). The front cover's livery features a black hood and roof coloring, an overlaid background, and two lines on both sides which one of them has a gradient. Looking at the Ultimate GT3's template of the GT-R GT3, I had two adversaries to be dealt with: junctions, and the gradient. Despite the difficulty, I surprisingly managed to make it work, and boy did it really fit! I've got the junctions well and the gradient effect as well, and I feel like I've found another technique to easily work with the junctions! Glad that I could deal with some things I always deem as difficult.

But somehow after doing that skin, my gut wanted me to skin once again, this time for another private project of mine explained below...


Currently, nobody dares to reference some elements on a certain TV series in particular, until now. It's like pulling Ridge Racer, but with pop culture references. This Work In Progress rFactor skin based on the Ultimate GT3 mod shows that.
With a successful skin in hand for the sake of GRL and another storm of ideas incoming, it's now the time to open the card I've been keeping for a long time: I have a tendency to portray the competition between fandoms, both TV and movies, as a racing series, taking the fact that I slipped some TV and movie character names in Turbo Sliders since the first time I discovered the way to edit its aiplayers.dat file. Although this following idea isn't very new, it becomes evolved to a more serious what-if scenario recently: what happens if TV and movie actors compete in a racing series where the teams they are racing for are based on their respective TV and movies they star in? I'm sure with the fact that we have lots of great TV series and movies with grand accolades and big fandom, the series would have a Blancpain GT-sized grid!

While this idea has been resided within me since Patrick Dempsey drove the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans while carrying some Grey's Anatomy and fandom competition knowledge at disposal, I am still constructing the lore as I go, not only toying with the present-day grid in 2016, but I also am constructing the lore for the previous seasons: 2015, 2014, 2013, you name it, so there will also be some history in the project. Adjusting the project with real-life motorsport occurences such as car regulations, situations and stuff, will be another half of battle in order to have some of that... "simulation value," so I would consider that this project would take place on parallel Earth.

While this is still a work in progress (a mega WIP, if you'd like to call), this project is known in its works title as "World Fandom Championship," exactly the same name as another project of mine over LiveJournal where I determine which TV/movie fandom get the best balance between award shows and polling competitions, now in its second season. The only difference would be the context being used, so the racing-universe WFC will be different than the fandom-driven WFC where the action is more than just me sitting in front of my laptop lol. Back to topic, World Fandom Championship pits together the best in TV, movie, and fashion in a racing series based on a mix of GT3, JAF GT300, and original cars that comply within the GT3 formula, fighting head-to-head in both sprint and endurance-based races around well-known race tracks around the world a la Blancpain GT Series with a double-points, 24-hour race mid-season.

I know that I've kept this project to myself all the time to make sure that once it's out, it would become a big surprise, but for some reason, I just leave it here, and bang, there goes my big project. Currently, it's simply limited to showing just one random rF skin with a chance of you getting all the references inside the WIP skin posted above, whether it's a TV reference, movie reference, or perhaps another medium. But who knows, once it has a clearer storyline, both the project in general and individual teams, this will become as established as ever! As for the platform, "multi-platform" pops out on my mind since there are several cars exclusively available on either rF, GTR2, or TMUF, but I might make this rF only given the straightforward nature of creating stuffs like skins, AIs, and others (and talk about AIs, some say GTR2 has a dreaded AI rubber-banding issue...).

"I spent my time creating this very skin with a load of Shadowhunters references proudly slapped on this V10-powered precision German engineering."
But apparently, even if I am currently sticking to rFactor right now, I still make skins in GTR2, particularly because of the fact that I found the templates in GTR2's EEC GT3 mod is easier to work with compared to the Ultimate GT3 / Australian GT templates posted on GRL (perhaps because of the "stretching" portions in the templates?), though there are actually similarities between both mods in terms of templates since the rF mod is largely based off of the GTR2 mod. The above GTR2 skin is pretty much "the most finished" skin in the project, leaving only the tire brand sponsorship and most probably porting this skin to rF. As much as I really wanted the new, more badass 2015 version of the Audi R8 GT3 model to be in either rF or GTR2, I spent my time creating this very skin that not only is based on Matech Engineering's Ford GT1 livery with a dash of Nissan Skyline GT-R LM styling, but probably has a load of Shadowhunters references. I'm pretty sure that, if you watch Shadowhunters at least once, you can easily spot which references proudly slapped on this V10-powered precision German engineering. Spoiler alert, this is one of the teams that will also compete in this project, together with the previous rF skin above.

But perhaps I've finally found the tricks of the trade for skinning, which is enough to have my interest in skinning re-propelled: that middle part in Free Transform, using Pen Tool and Smart Objects, and utilizing Layer Mask. The Guides is also useful in skinning as this can really aid with positioning and stuff. In the end, I'm finally in good terms with skinning now. I'm currently unsure whenever I will continue that TMUF WIP I had troubles with or not, but for the time being I will stick to the GT3 cars first, particularly those in the EEC GT3 mod (and its converted counterparts as long as their templates are the same), yet as I type this apparently, Yatsu brought another GT3 addition in TMUF!

And now, allow me to construct the World Fandom Championship lore now if you will, while thinking what skin I should do next (either on rF, GTR2, or TMUF) and whether to release it one by one or as a whole mod with others...


P.S.: Shout out to John B. Marine (John's Creative Space) for showing his GTR2 skins and projects such as Fashion Racing Association and Summer Racing Tournament! I can say that my revealing my own skinning project is inspired by his mentioned project (and he did say that my skinning post inspired his projects too). Be sure to check out his SRT video here! And also, Global Racing League for being more than just your usual racing manager RP! Don't forget to visit these two sites for more good stuffs!

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