Skinning is definitely the hardest type of modding in this game.
Making the Claire A (a) scenario was child's play compared to the tens of hours of frustration and going back to the drawing board that this skin took. When I started I thought it was going to be a ten minute deal of just copy/pasting one of my old pants textures onto the skirt texture I made, but then I said to myself, "I ought to improve on that." A big mistake, because this crap took like 20 hours to do. This is the most work i've done for a skin and it's probably the last I'll do.
i was able to make the back and front of the "waist" the proper colors they ought to be by finding where the image takes that information from the pl05 model, which I used so that i could vary the coloring of the model around the neck area: pl01 takes its waist info from a section of the skin immediately beneath the neck, which precludes claire wearing, say, a jacket that doesn't end before her waist.
I was also able to make her jean pockets into a proper pocket shape, which was a HUUUUUGE pain. Misaligned textures are the bane of skinning, and so even if it doesn't look like much, the most impressive parts of this skin to me are the jean pockets and the straps of her tank top that I've aligned properly to join in the front.
the worst part of all had to be the little triangles that make up the shading, I guess, on her butt--seriously, if you've ever edited Claire, you know that little bit of, in the regular model, the cutoff jeans above her sidepack texture? just TRY editing that to make it partway shaded. it's an astonishingly weird little bit of information. You'll notice in the example image that I never did get it perfect on the left, but it's as good as I can get it.
Another frustrating thing with skinning is that you have to know when to add a lot of detail, and when to take away detail. Like, look at the front of her pants. Looks kind of detail-less, right? Trust me, for most of the evolution of this skin it had lots of detail in it, and it just did not work. It didn't blend well with the legs, and the legs--if you put any detail in the legs, the pixels are all stretched out to accomodate the changing size of her thighs, so it looks beyond horrible. Like, when I first started skinning back when Maltes posted his skins and i figured out how to do it, the first thing I did was to copy his Yoko jeans texture onto Claire's legs, and it looked like she was wearing a block of marble on her legs. And the Yoko jeans texture is full of detail and looks great in RE3! If there's something in the skin that you look at and say "hm, that doesn't look quite perfect I would have done this instead" be guaranteed I at least tried it.
This is probably the last skin I'll ever make for RE2. It just took that much work, but I'm also VERY satisfied with it. When I started skinning, I started with Claire because it seemed like everyone else was making Leon skins--SWAT team Leon, RE4 Leon, etc. I decided to not make characters from other games but instead to give the character a bit of realism and give her clothes that didn't look like they leapt from a video game. I intended to start making Leon skins after that, but there is no way: skinning is a pretty monumental effort--at least, skinning and making it look as good as you can--and it's taken me, what, a year to learn not even ALL of the ins and outs of TWO Claire models (pl01/pl05) never mind pl09 which is pretty much impossible to make look good in a skin, and I would have to do the same thing for Leon's models. No thanks. So yeah, this is probably the last skin I'll make for the game, I hope you like it.http://rapidshare.com/files/384284207/final.PLD.html
sorry about the rapidshare download, megaupload is giving me huge problems, i'll try again later.