Creating a Melee Weapon Skin
With the way our melee weapons are set up, we are able to do complete mesh swaps for them per weapon type! This lets our players use these skins for a variety of melees, unlike our weapon-exclusive primary and secondary skins.
A large number of our melee weapon types are now available in the workshop for you to customize! They must have the same scale and the “business end” pointing in the right direction, but you otherwise have creative freedom. The Skana could be reskinned to be a Corpus energy sword and the Jat Kittag could be an Infested abomination.
Modeling for games is well beyond the scope of these guides. It certainly isn't rocket science, but it is the type of skill where you need more than a few hours to get the results you want. Luckily we live in a time with fabulous education resources available, and we recommend you do your research on how to get the most out of your tools.
Here’s one of our favourite resources to recommend to creators:
- A focus on weapons from our Assistant Art Director, Lucas Hug: https://vimeo.com/lucashug
- Triangle budget: 3500 for a one-handed weapon (Skana, Rapier, etc.) and 7500 for two-handed or for dual-wielded weapons (Galatine, Kronen, etc.). For dual-wielded weapons, both weapons need to total a maximum of 7500 tris.
- Maps: Authored at 2048 x 1024. In-game will be 1024 x 512, so please keep this in mind with the fidelity of your details. Requires a full set of textures as per our texturing guidehere.
The hilt and blade lengths need to match that of the original weapon to allow for the animations to line up properly. That means hand positions need to be the same (which are done relative to world 0,0,0), roughly the same scale for both length and diameter, have blades pointing in the same directions.
- EX: An Orthos replacement must have blades on both ends to play with the character animation set that we will be using.
Weapons With Special Guidelines:
Most melee weapons are held in the Warframe’s hand, but there are a few categories that are directly attached to your Warframe: Claws, Sparring, and Fist weapons.
These weapons cover the back of the hand (and top of the feet, for Sparring weapons) and cannot obstruct the movement of the wrist (or ankle).
For Claws specifically, these weapons have an additional retracting motion that needs to be considered. These weapons are made of two parts with separate meshes: the glove, and the claw blades. The claw blades are scaled down to retract into the glove -- make sure the star of the show is your glove, as that will be the most visible part of the weapon!
Make sure you name your files appropriately for the left- and right-hand (and -feet) versions for these weapons. Example: ClawsR.fbx and ClawsL.fbx
- Keep the original model visible as you work on your concept. You will need to have blades in the same positions and be at the same scale, so design with those constraints in mind.
- If you want to add a special scrolling texture to your emissives, you need to provide us with the file!
- For custom FX, please make sure it’s set up on a separate mesh that fits within the triangle budget, with its own material set/UV unwrap.
- You can take your piece and change the faction and art style quite heavily (IE: In the above shot the Fragor Tenno-style hammer was interpreted to form the Brokk Grineer-style hammer.)
Prior to submission, please refer to the handy checklist below to make sure your Warframe Skin meets all the TennoGen criteria: