PAYDAY 2 Workshop Tutorial

PAYDAY 2’s lifecycle has officially come to an end. Which means we’re probably not going to get any new skins edited the game officially. However, for those who still enjoy the game and want to make the skins and actually play them in game, this tutorial will teach you how to do it. And who knows, maybe OVERKILL will consider adding new skins again if enough people keep the workshop alive. This video will cover the basics of skin making while trying to explain it as easy as possible. Since this is pretty much how I make skins, I might drift away from the official workshop manual in some ways, but I still recommend reading it. I will also focus on GIMP since it’s free and relatively easy to learn, but you can use any other program that can use RGB channels. Start by installing GIMP. Head to and download the current stable version. There are also tutorials provided there. Before you start your game, check if the steam overlay is enabled. You need that to upload your skin to the Steam Workshop. Just right-click on payday 2 in the library, go into the properties and make sure the overlay box is ticked. Now you can launch the game. Head into options and tick “enable workshop” to get access to the skin editor. If you go into your inventory, you can see that the weapons now have an edit skin option. Clicking on it will open the skin editor. Keep in mind that at the time this video is released not all weapons are available. In the description is a link with a list of all of available weapons. There’s also a link to a mod that enables some more weapons for skinning, that are currently locked for whatever reason. Making skins for PAYDAY 2 is different from making skins and other video games. While the most games you just paint over the weapon’s texture, in payday there are simply too many different weapon mods and attachments for each gun. It would take ages to create a skin for just a single weapon. That’s why overkill came up with a different way of making skins, that also comes with it’s very own benefits. Skins are split into four different textures that can be applied to your gun. The base gradient, the pattern, the pattern gradient, and the sticker. You can apply one of each to every single weapon part and also reuse them for different parts. Like that you could have a single base gradient dedicated to only scopes or gadgets, while a different base gradient is taking care of all the stocks. I made templates of these files to use with GIMP. They are linked down in the description. After you created the file you move it into the right folder of your skins directory. Make sure to properly name everything so you can keep an overview. Make sure to export all these files as .tga, Targa files with no compression. Weapon parts are split up into different materials: metal, plastic, rubber and wood, secondary metal, cloth and detail. Base gradients control five different aspects about each of these materials: color, wear, pattern visibility and reflection. I split my templates into different layer groups, so it’s really simple and easy to understand. Gradients and color lookup: By making a color gradient from the top to the bottom of material you can change the color when looking at the skin in a different angle. Making use of that you can give colors a nice effect or make metallic chrome colors. The opacity of the gradient will also control how much a pattern is visible on the specific material. Wear and tear: From left to right within each material found in the base gradient, you’ll see the different stages of wear and tear. So, farthest to the left as mint-condition and farthest to the right is battle-worn. The wear and tear timeline allows you to make complex layering of wear and tear, so you can for example make it look like there are different layers of paint underneath your top coating. Top pixels: The top pixels add different effects to the material. For now you only need to know three colors of this: Green, blue, and red, as well as the opacity. Green is somewhat of a default color. It makes the texture map stand out so it looks more like the material the original model is supposed to be. For example, making metal look more like metal or making small scratches visible. Blue will make the material look more like plastic. It will reduce how much of the texture map is visible and makes only the color you set on the gradient visible. Red defines how much of the cube map will reflect on the gun. Cube maps are preset reflections on the map. You can see them when you look at glass, metal and other reflecting stuff. Coloring the top pixels of red will add these cube map reflections on the material. In addition, opacity controls how the material reflects light. Lowering the opacity to make the material look matte, or increasing it to make it shiny. Base gradients are always 256 by 256 pixels. When you want to add more detail to your skin, patterns are usually the way to go. They are pretty complicated to use though. You can have all kinds of design on them, depending on what you need or what you want to make your skin look like. Creating these is a little bit of a hassle since you can’t use the colors that you want to have on the gun. You pretty much only use Red, White and every combination of these two to draw your design. The game will look up the color from the pattern gradient. It will use the color all the way to the left of the pattern gradient for all the red parts on the pattern, the color all the way to the right for all the white parts and various pink tones will be colored by the middle parts, depending on how much red or white it is. The reason patters are so complicated is that you can reuse the pattern on different parts with different colors. You can also add angle effects via the pattern gradient. Just like on the base gradient. Briefly mentioned in the base gradient section. You can make patterns look less visible, or hide them completely on specific materials. Example: You have a buttstock with different materials on the sub part but you want the person to be only visible on one of these materials. A good example would be the Classic stock for the AK rifles because it uses wood and metal. Lowering the opacity of the metal material will hide the pattern on it. That way it’s only visible on the wood part. You need to be careful not to completely hide the material, else the color will not show properly. 1% is the lowest you should go. It completely hides your pattern and still keeps the color you want it to be. Pattern should be 1024 by 1024 pixels most of the time, but can be smaller like 512 by 512 or 256 by 256. Or even higher like 2048 by 2048 but keep in mind, higher resolutions will drastically boost your skin’s size. Pattern gradients are always 256 by 256 pixels. Stickers are usually just simple images you stick on your parts. Unlike pattern you are not restricted to key colors. You can simply draw the sticker exactly you want it to show in-game. Stickers won’t repeat endlessly over the whole part like patterns do, but you are able to resize X and Y individually. Like patterns, stickers should always be 1024 by 1024 pixels and lower. The editor is where you slap your files onto a weapon to make a skin. You enter the weapon skin editor by clicking on a weapon in in your inventory and clicking the Edit skin option. You enter the editor with whatever attachments the weapon has equipped at this moment. You can at any given time exit the editor, change the attachments and continue working on your skin. This is somewhat necessary because you have to make sure that every attachment the weapon can use is supported by your skin before you upload it to the Steam Workshop. Another method is to click on an empty weapon slot to buy a new weapon, but instead of buying the weapon you click on preview mods. There you are able to preview the attachment and enter the editor. This also works for DLC weapons you don’t own. The weapons skin editor has the following options: Base skin, this option lets you apply your files to every available weapon part at the same time. By type, this lets you apply your files to every part of a specific type like barrels, magazines or scopes. When you add a base gradient to a gadget using by type, all other gadgets are affected. Other types are not affected. By type will overwrite base skin. By part, this lets you apply your files to a single individual weapon part, more specifically its sub part. No other part or sub part is affected. Putting a pattern on the grip using by part will not affect any other parts of the weapon. If the part is multiple sub parts, only the sub part you selected is affected. By part will overwrite by type and base skin. Edit skin, this opens a list with all skins you’ve made for the weapon so far. It lets you choose which one of them you want to work on. Clear skin, this will reset the skin you’re currently working on. If you click on it by accident just leave the editor without saving it enter it again. Your created files are not affected. New skin, this creates a blank skin, which you can then apply your files to. Delete skin, this will delete the skin you’re currently editing. It will also delete the directory of the skin and all of the files is containing. Enter ID here, this will let you add an ID to your skin. This is mostly for you to differentiate your skins. It’s not gonna be the name Overkill will use to release it. Screenshot, this will move you and your weapon in a different submenu in which you can take screenshots from your skin. Browse to skin, folder this will open the skins directory in your windows explorer. If you’re in full-screen and will minimize your game. Safe skin, this will save the progress you made so far. I would recommend saving after every little change you made just in case the game crashes or you accidentally click on clear skin. Publish, this will upload your skin to the Steam Workshop. Entering the submenus of base skin, by type and by part lets you apply and tweak your files with the following options: Base gradient, lets you choose one of the base gradients from its directory. Pattern gradient, lets you choose one of the pattern gradients from its directory. Pattern, lets you choose one of the patterns from its directory. Preview quality, lets to see your skin in different conditions. Pattern position X, lets you move your pattern horizontally. Pattern position Y, lets you move your pattern vertically. Pattern scale, lets you set the size of your pattern. Pattern rotation, lets you rotate your pattern. Pattern spec opacity, lets you set how much the pattern reflects light. Pattern cube map intensity and influence, this lets you set how much the pattern reflects the maps cube map. Sticker, lets you choose one of the stickers from its directory. Sticker X and Y, lets you move your sticker horizontally and vertically. Sticker width, lets you squeeze and stretch the sticker horizontally, Sticker hight lets you squeeze and stretch the sticker vertically. Lock scale, tick the box to control both sticker width and sticker height at the same time. Untick to move both sliders individually. Sticker rotation, lets you rotate your sticker and Sticker quality influence, lets you control how much the sticker reflects light. When you’re done with your skin you can upload it to the Steam Workshop and let the community vote for it. But before you do that, make sure your skin is finished. And every available attachment is supported. Then you can click on publish. The title is gonna be the name of your skin. That is the one Overkill will use if they add it to the game. You can change that later from your workshop page. In the description you can put a bit of information about the skin, what inspired you to create it, credit people who helped you or make up some trivia how it could, you know, fit in into the payday universe. Be creative. Then you need to set one of the screenshots you made in the screenshot menu as a thumbnail. If you don’t have any go back and take at least one. If you want to, you can edit it and give it your own personality. When everything is done, you can click on publish and let the world see your creation. Well almost… Now you need to fill in Valve’s payment information stuff. This is simply a requirement for Valve for you to be able to publish your skins on the Steam Workshop. If you have filled out Valve’s payment stuff You should now be able to add collaborators and they’re cut other awards in percent. This however is not really important for payday items, as it is using a different payment system than for example CSGO does. More on that later. You can still add people you work with as collaborators. Scrolling down you should see two tabs: public user comments and private developer comments. If you have everything filled out and prepared you can change the visibility of your item to public. Now people can see your item when browsing the Steam Workshop and vote whether they want your skin to be in the game or not. If you want to you can still update your skin. Just open it the in-game skin editor, make your changes and publish it again. This time you have the option to add change notes If your skin got enough upvotes and is going to be added to the game by Overkill, the following will happen: An Overkill developer will contact you in the items private developer Comments, notifying you that your skin will officially be added to the game. It usually happens a few days before the update. Overkill will prepare a website showcasing yours and the other skins that got accepted with links to the workshop pages After the update, Overkill will provide you with a code that grants you one of each skins in the collection your skin is in, for free. You do not get cuts from market sells of your item. If you made your skin in a collaboration with other people, all of you have to agree on who gets the code and how the skins are split between each of you. Each accepted item only gets one set of skins. At the time I’m making this tutorial, it is not known if Overkill will add any more skins to the game. So I thought I’d include ways to be able to play with your creations and let others use them as well. Alternatively to uploading it to the Steam Workshop, there are ways to make your skin playable and usable by other players. The most known mods for this are “Apply Your Skins Design” by Dr_Newbie and “Usable Workshop” by The Joker. Both of those mods are easy to use but tend to crash a lot and lack some features. The recently added BeardLib weapon skin module however is the best option to add your a standalone skins. It may be a bit intimidating at first, but you’ll get the hang of it. This should cover the basics of making skins for payday 2. Again, it is highly unlikely that Overkill will add anything to the game officially, so don’t expect much. But the methods of modding your skin into the game should make up for that. Thank you very much for watching this video. If you got any more questions or need some help, leave a comment and I will try to assist you as best as I can. If enough people are interested I might also make a more in-depth guide about specific parts of skin making. I’m looking forward to seeing your creations in the workshop.

3 comments on “PAYDAY 2 Workshop Tutorial”

  1. M4rvinLP says:


  2. RunicDragon3 says:


  3. Red Wolf Gamer X says:

    Noice thx bro <3

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