Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.
Patrick Henry, 1788
where your opinions are noted, and then summarily ignored

Weapon Templates (under HEAVY construction)

CamoPicker was designed to be very user-configurable regarding the types of things to be camouflaged, what kind of camouflage patterns to use, and the paint systems that provide the colors. Unfortunately, the act of adding your own stuff requires a lot more experience with a PC and the various applications/Windows utilities that need to be used.

Given the "living breathing" nature of software, I'm not going to try and keep up to date with all the latest and greatest versions of everything out there. I'm also not going to recommend the use of one program over another, but these instructions WILL be limited to the program and utilities I use.

To create weapon and camo templates, I use an OLD version (8.0) of Paint Shop Pro. This software costs money (albeit very little compared to Photoshop), but there is a free paint program available called Paint.Net which appears to have the features necessary to perform the necessary actions to create patterns and templates for use by CamoPicker. The most important feature your paint program should have is "layers". No, Microsoft Paint that comes with Windows is NOT suitable for this task.

How Weapons and Patterns Are Used in CamoPicker

The image of the weapon that you see in CamoPicker is a combination of a camouflage pattern and a weapon template. Each of these two things are comprised of one or more images that we call "layers".

[Image of a series of weapon layers being overlaid]

It all sounds pretty simple, and it is, but in order to add your own camouflage patterns and weapon templates, you have to be sure to follow a very strict set of rules. These rules are decsribed in the next section.

General Rules

The following requirements must be strictly adhered to, or I can't guarantee your results.

  • Each layer must exist in its own file.

  • Each layer file MUST be a .PNG file with alpha transparency enabled.

  • Each layer file MUST have a width of 1500 pixels, and a height of 720 pixels, as well as a DPI setting of 96 dots per inch.

Creating Your Own Weapon Template

Weapon templates are comprised of two files - a mask file, and an overlay file. The mask file is used to cut out parts of the image that are not part of the object being templated. The overlay file provides detail and edge boundaries for the object being templated, such as an AR-15 or 1911 pistol.

Unfortunately, creating an appropriate and usable overlay file requires some artistic talent and an eye for appropriate detail. The best way to create the overlay file is to start with an image of the object to be templated, and trace the outline and prominant features of the object (that's how I created the 1911 templates). Remember, you MUST start with a new image of the correct dimensions and that supports alpha transparency. If you don't, you'll end up with an opage image that will block the environment photo. You'll see what I mean when you make that mistake the first time.

After that you need to create the mask layer. The mask layer should also be a transparent image, but that has a *magenta* background wherever you do NOT want something on the outline file to be seen in the final image. Look at any of the existing overlay files (in the Weapons folder) to see what I mean.

These instructions will be improved at a later date. I promise.