Camo 10k Tank Icons in Minutes

Auto-Skin Icons:
Camouflage 10,000 Tank Icons in Minutes

The screenshot (click to enlarge it) is a quickly made pattern auto-painted onto old icons in the default sheet with no touch ups before or after so your results might be better.

I will use GIMP and PGF tacicons.bmp for the example but the idea would work with a 10,000-icon sheet too.

1. Make a universal camo pattern: Make a 60x50 or 50x40 camo.xcf of 3-color German camouflage with the patterns in scale to a PG vehicle (cover the whole rectangle, a 50x40 rectangle would vary the camouflage more on the icons).

I used this quickly made pattern but it could be better:

2. Make a universal base and crown to skin any way you want: Save copies of tacicons.bmp as base.xcf and crown.xcf.

2a. In both base.xcf and crown.xcf:

Add a new layer (with transparency) on top, copy the bottom layer into the top layer and anchor it, and fill (whole selection) the bottom layer solid white.

Color-select the top layer's pink mask (threshold=1, no antialias), clear the selected pixels (remove the mask), and select none (end selection).

2b. In crown.xcf:

Select Image Mode Grayscale and then revert to RGB (icons will stay gray).

2c. In base.xcf:

Select Image Mode Indexed and colors=4, select Windows Dockable Dialogs Colormap and click the colors and the pencil symbol to change all except the darkest color to ffffff white, revert Image Mode to RGB,and fill the bottom layer solid ffe1e1 pink.

3. Combine modular parts (base, camo, crown):

Add camo: Add a new layer (with transparency) to base.xcf, move it to the bottom of the stack, paste camo.xcf into it and anchor it, select the area around the camo and invert the selection, copy the camo selection to the clipboard, and select none (or you could add the camo as a permanent pattern instead).

Camo: Color-select the base.xcf top layer's white (threshold=1, no antialias), fill (pattern, clipboard, whole selection) to camouflage all icons at once, and select none.

Add crown: Add a new layer (with transparency) on top of the base.xcf stack, paste crown.xcf's top layer into it and anchor it, and set the crown layer to 50% opacity.

Finish: Flatten image and save as tacicons.bmp.

  • German tanks look good as is but you could touch-up shadows or (for other vehicles) tires or roundels. I only used tacicons.bmp as an example to show the effect on a whole sheet but you can save or move the icons you want.
  • You could auto-create a new country's OB in its distinct "monochrome" color (change base white to any color and crown it), auto-convert the whole German OB from gray to yellow, auto-convert the whole British OB to desert camo, or auto-paint a ship sheet to dazzle camo.
  • Each icon facing (if using multiple facings) does not have to be the same vehicle of the battalion and few people would notice variations between facings. People might be more particular about the exact patterns on a few capital ships.
Update 8/29/11 (including next image)

Facings: Make a 60x60 (or 80x80 for PG2) pattern, rotate, crop to 60x50 (or 80x50 for PG2), save each angle as a new file (northwestpattern.bmp or 22.5 degrees or whatever it is), and use each facing on a sheet for that facing (northwest pattern on a northwest facing sheet or paste 9 facings into a 240x150 pattern set for PG2).

Here is a quick and ugly example to show that the rotated pattern sticks to the same part of the tank. I guessed at the placement on the 240x150 sheet so exact placement probably would match better. Touch-up as little or as much as you want:

Doing 1 icon or 10,000 icons takes about the same amount of time
(you might notice a little longer for the computer to process the larger file).

Try it. It only takes a few minutes.