how to make skins using gimp

this tuturial is not perfect.i will edit this and improve this,this tuturial is not 100%finished, but hope this helps you. anysuggestions or tips, please comment below.

this is a guide to make skins for rfactor 2

and other games( the naming of the dds files is nto the same in other games but the rest is  this tuturial you can use for other games, this should work in 2.8.6, i dont know about older versions.

older versions do not have exctract , only save as.

this tutorial shows you how to make skins with psd templates.

to be able to extract the skin to DDS (DirectDraw Surface), you must downlaod this

and unzip it.

you don’t need extra software to do this,

but when you download other things for rfactor 2 it could be in rar file or other files that windows explorer does not support,

so you can use 7zip. i used 7zip its free [url][/url]

Install DDS plugin:

To install, extract the file named dds.exe to your GIMP plugins directory.

This directory is usually located at:


download this:

[url][/url] or here: [url][/url]

i olso recomend installing irfan view+ plugins it supports almost every image and video and audio format,dds too.

[url][/url] irfan view have a Thumbnail viewer: IrfanView Thumbnails ,so you can can browse images like in windwos explorer, but see thumnails of images files that windwos explorer does not support

I used gimp 2.8 in this tutorial.

Save as (shift+ctrl+S or file then save as )xcf(gimp file that can be edited saved as it is) i dot not use psd files in gimp becaocue i loose layers.

do this to be able to edit it later or make a similar skin.

ctrl+S save

the layer group called ”shadows-lines” : move every layer from that layer group and move it in hte same order it is in the layer group over the layergroup.

the layer group called : paint here

LAYER CALLED Arrière-plan copie 3. Is where you change the color.

add a new layer for the livery,

to do this , right click on one layer,

then click new layer.

add a new layer for every logo and

name them to make it organized.

if you have issues with the templlate and,  the layers,

jsut take them out fro mthe layergroup.

leke on the mr01 template.

Driver template and skin:

move every lay out of every layer group.

Left click on the eye on the side of the layer named : wireframe.

This makes the layer invisible.

When you merged all layers

this is the last part: Layer to image size

Let the layer be selected when you extract(shift+ctrl+E or file export to) the image as shown here : alt at the end (example)

The layer must be selected as you see in the image .

Do NOT celect the alpha1 then the extracted dds will be grey and will not show your skin but a grey car with no or without logos .

channels: Leave the alpha1


when you extract to dds are compression to make the file size smaller:

use: BC3/dxt 5(for best skin quality)

(if you have too old dds plug in it might not work image could be ruined, i have tested v3.01 tested and works)

minimaps: generate minimaps

Open rfactor 2 and select the car you want to skin, click tuning, then you will see where the folder for the skins is located  click create dir.

save the skins in that folder.

make sure you have ALT in the name for the body skin at the end like this:


for windows skins its ALTWINDSHIELDIN and ALTWINDSHIELDOUT at the end:



the name chould not exceed 10 characters.

car window skins:YOU NEED PHOTOSHOP FOR WINDOWS,dds plug in is currently not supportign the correct compression format(DXT5         ARGB   8 bpp | interpolated alpha)

you can’t do windows in gimp, with the dds plugin with the relust you want witch is windows that look liek windwos.

i tried to use alpha exponent(DXT5) but it will not give the result you want,

currently the dds plug do not have DXT5         ARGB   8 bpp | interpolated alpha

so you wont get transparent windows but oyu wil lget white tinted windows instead.

for proper skins get photoschop.

how to make a alpha channel like the templates have:

flatten image

delete every thing on the channel named alpha1,

copy the flattened image to the channel named alpha1

paste it, go to layers agin and click on the pasted layer, right click on the layer and click Anchor layer.


how to make skins without templates:

run MAS2 its located in C:\Users\username\Documents\rFactor2\Support\Tools

click open

extract all files to a folder n

find the tga image that is grey,

open it in gimp,

add new layer,

start painting.

how to make the car glossy ,chrome,metallic,matte:

i dont know this so if you know how to it would be nice of you to share


how its done in photoshop:



to see changes you made click reload and the new skin wil laod up

mabye you find something interesting here:


share skins here:


sponsor logos? :




dtm startnumber



numbers for nas cars:



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s