Custom Skins

Custom skins can be made for the aircraft, vehicles and boats in Aces High and submitted to HiTech Creations, for approval, for use in any of the arenas. Custom skins are selected from the hangar.

In order to create custom skins, you must set the maximum texture size in the game, to 2048 (or higher) and install the high resolution texture pack.

Making Custom Skins

  1. Go into the hangar and select the plane you wish to make a skin for. We'll use the P-51D in this example.
  2. Right click the P-51D in the plane selection list and select Save Skin. This will export the default skin bitmaps for the P-51D to the folder ../HTC/Aces High/skins/p51d. The name of the export directory will always be the base name of the plane, vehicle, or boat.
  3. Create a new folder in the skins directory with the same name as the export folder but with a number appended to the end. In the example of the P-51D, this directory would be named "p51d_1". For each additional skin you make for a specific plane, the number in the name of the directory should be incremented by one so that the directories for each additional P-51D skin would be named p51d_2, p51d_3, p51d_4, etc, all the way up to p51d_15 which is the maximum limit. This will be called your working directory in this discussion.
  4. In the export directory, view the .bmp's and decide which ones you wish to modify.  Copy the files that you will be modifying from the export directory to the working directory you created in step 3. IMPORTANT: Copy ONLY those files that you will be changing.

    Note: There are 3 types of files in the export directory:
    • ***.bmp - The color part of a texture. This is what you will be modifying.
    • ***_a.bmp - The alpha channel of a texture.
    • ***.txt - 256 color textures can have a transparent index, this contains that index. There is also a material.txt file, for some planes, which contains various settings to allow for painted, versus bare metal skins.
  5. If the name of the .bmp that you wish to modify has an alpha or transparency file associated with it, you will need to copy that file to your new skins directory as well.  Example: If you wish to modify a file called p51dside.bmp and there is also a file called p51dside_a.bmp or p51dside.txt, then you will need to copy those files in addition to p51dside.bmp to your working directory.
  6. Modify the bitmap files in your working directory using a graphics editor. Note:  Do not change the color format, all files should be 256 color bitmaps. Additionally,all skins must be 1024x1024 texture size, or larger (2048x2048, 4096x4096...) as befits the plane being skinned. Older planes used 256x256 resolution and must be upgraded when doing a custom skin
  7. Describe your skin. Create a .txt file in your working directory with the base name of the plane. Example: p51d.txt. This is a one line text file that contains the description of your skin and is displayed on the clipboard in the hangar. Open the text file and enter your skin description on the first line. Example:  ###FG/###FS by PlayerName. Keep the length of your description short enough so that it will fit within the skin field on the clipboard, 30 characters or less.
  8. To see your skin in the game, go to the hangar and select the plane you modified. Use the skin dropbox on the clipboard to select your skin. Now fly with your new skin.

Please note: World War I skins have a special requirement. Please review this page for further information on the creation of World War I skins.

Submitting Custom Skins to HTC

Basic guidelines:

1) We would like to get some information about the creator of the skin. Create a text file named "info.txt" containing the following information:

Skin Reference #: (where applicable, leave blank otherwise)
Game ID:
Bulletin Board ID:
Email Address:
Contact Phone Number:

If you have any URL's which point to te history of the skin, or where you did your research, then include it. All the information about how you obtained the skin reference is helpful in expediting the process.

Put the "info.txt" file into the zip file you send as an attachment. Please do not send it separately.

2) Check the object.txt (replace the word object with the actual object name, for example p51d.txt note that the file name is all lower case too) to make sure the string in that file is not too long (20 characters or less will be fine).

We have adopted a naming convention for the information in this file we would like everyone to try and follow. Here is an example: 51FG/214FS by player_id

Basically, the flight group, and the flight squadron, separated by the '/' symbol. We are aware this convention does not work for all planes nor all branches of the military in the world, but you get the idea.

Replace player_id with your game/pilot handle.

3) Use the skin administration tool to submit and monitor the status of your submission.

Some basic guidlines:

  • We will not accept skins containing the swastika. NOTE: If you are making a skin that originally had a swastiska, just leave the spot blank where the swastika would have been, or change the swastika to the Iron Cross. Use your best judgement on this.
  • We will not accept skins that alter the overall shape of the object.
  • We will only accept skins that were historically used in World War II.
  • Only submit the files/skins you actually change from the original.
  • The text description file must be named by the object name, such as p51d.txt for a P51D skin, for example.

Flight Sim Screen Shots