The 3D models in “World of Warcraft” are made of two parts. The first part is the model file. This is a 3D model that actually moves through the game world. The second part is a texture file that is usually referred to as a skin. This 2D file is placed on top of the 3D model to create the visuals seen by the player. It is possible to extract and edit WoW skins so the player can change some of the game's visuals.
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Things you need
- My Warcraft Studio
- BLP Converter
- Image editing program
Start “My Warcraft Studio.” Select “Edit MPQ achive…” from the “Pack” menu. An open file prompt will appear.
Open the “Patch.mpq” file. It is located in the “Data” folder in the “World of Warcraft” directory.
Use the file directory on the left side of the screen to find the WoW skin to edit. The texture files are categorised and descriptively named.
Right click on the texture file to be edited. A menu will appear.
Select “Extract File To…” from the menu. A save prompt will appear.
Save the file onto your hard drive. It will be in .blp format and will have to be converted to a .png. Drag the .blp file to the icon for “BLP Converter.” A .png version of the file will automatically be created in the same folder.
Edit the .png file using the image editing program of your choice. Save the modified WoW skin as a .png file.
Drag the .png file to the icon for “BLP Converter.” A .blp file for the modified WoW skin will be made. The old .blp file will automatically be overwritten.
Right click on the texture file you edited in “My Warcraft Studio” again.
Select “Remove File” from the menu. Right click on the folder the texture file was located inside.
Select “Import File” from the menu. An open file prompt will appear.
Open the modified WoW skin using the prompt. The new texture file will be inserted into the MPQ file.
Hit “Save and Close Archive” from the “Pack” menu. The new WoW skin should now be visible when you play “World of Warcraft.”
Tips and warnings
- Editing WoW skins only alters the appearance for you. Other players will still see the original skins for the texture file you edited.
- Gimp is the most powerful free image editing program. This is the best choice for editing WoW skins for players that do not have access to commercial programs.
- Save a backup of the original .blp WoW skin on your hard drive. This will allow you to return to the default model at a later time. The only other option to remove modified WoW skins would require reinstalling the entire game.
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