Palette Swapping with QME

The quake palette is designed to let you swap palette rows and get a passable design out of it – that’s how the player skin lets you colour your shirt and trousers. Sometimes you want to create skins for non-player models with some colour variants. Because GLQuake won’t let you do palette-swapping on other models through the engine, you need to create these as separate skins. Today’s article offers a quick way to generate these skins, using QME.

Step 1: Design your skin so that the regions of the skin you intend to colour-swap are already painted in one of the player colour rows (row 2 or row 7). You can see from the screenshot my model is painted to match the red-brown wizard wood textures, which use colours entirely from the lower range of row 7. This bit of good fortune is how I stumbled upon the trick. Don’t worry if brown is not one of the colour variants you’d choose to have in the final model, just work with it for now and discard the skin afterwards.


Step 2: Switch the left hand panel over to skin view. You’ll notice I’ve added a red arrow pointing to one of the buttons. This button lets you preview the skin with different player colours selected. We can use this to create the palette swap we’ve been looking for!

Step 3: The colour button only changes the preview of the model, the pixel data in the skin is unaltered. So we need to export the skin to make the change permanent. Change the middle panel to skin preview – notice that the change of colours is reflected on this view as well. Zoom out to 100%, and then take a screenshot using print-screen or the Snipping Tool. You can then crop the screenshot back down to just display the skin, and the job is done.

Simple! This post was bought to you by the letter U, and the word “trousers”, which are worn over “pants” by everyone except Superman.

One thought on “Palette Swapping with QME

  1. […] other is blank and torn. They are coloured in the quake player clothing colours, so you can use the palette shifting technique in QME to quickly generate a template in any colour from the quake palette. You can of course […]

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