Welcome to this tutorial. To start of with you will need to download some programs, so that you easily can choose the character you want to make a personal skin for. You will also need a plug-in if you are using Adobe Photoshop.
When I started writing this tutorial I was planning to teach you how to use GCFScape to find the files, but VTF-files where not to find in any of the directories.
[i]VTF is the file extension we are going to modify.[/i]
First program you will need is Notepad++ i[/i], if you don't have it you can download it here: http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/site.htm
The other program you will need is an editing program, I recommend that you use Photoshop or Gimp. I cannot post a download link for neither programs here.
But if you don't want to spend a lot of money on those programs you can download VTFedit here: http://nemesis.thewavelength.net/index.php?c=178#p178
If you are using photoshop (as I strongly recommend you to do) you will find the plug-in here: http://nemesis.thewavelength.net/index.php?p=39
If you are using Gimp or similar softwares you will find the plug-in by searching for VTF Plug-in.
Say that you are using Photoshop CS3, like me. Then the directory where to put the VTF Plug-in is this: C:\Program files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS3\Plug-Ins\File Formats
Now we can finaly start!
Finding the VTF-file will be very easy for you!
You'll just have to download the VTF-files for the characters from here: http://www.lassejensen.org/FPSBanana_vtf-files.zip
They are ranged in the correct order as the folders are in the directory they will be going after you have modified them.
When you have downloaded them you will see that (i.e) producer_body_color.vtf has been changed to froducer_body_color.vtf, the reason is because we are fooling the game so that it has to search for the new file. (We will be coming back to this later).
Open the i.e froducer_body_color.vtf in photoshop if you want to modify Rochelle.
If you have been doing some skinmodelling before you will know what to do, if not, it's pretty obvious what's the pants, shirt, collar, hands and so on. If you don't have a clue of what to do, you either should not be doing this, or you can search youtube for some helpful videos. Or you can simply look at the screenshot below.
When you have modified it as much as you like, you save it as froducer_body_color.vtf and as Photoshop or Gimp file if you want to modify it later without downloading again.
Once you have saved your VTF-file in the Materials/models/survivors/producer-directory you copy the whole materials folder to Steam/Steamapps/Common/Left4dead2/left4dead2.
It will come up a message saying: [i]Do you want to replace...[/i], just click yes, you will not lose anything.
Scroll down to the bottom of the Left4Dead2 folder and find the "pak01_dir.vpk", once you've found it, make a copy/backup of it on the desktop or anywhere you would like to have it, then right click the original and [i]"open with"[/i] Notepad++.
2.0 (This is where we fool the game, as I said in step 1.0)
Once pak01_dir.vpk has opened in Notepad++, press [i]CTRL+ALT+I[/i] and search for producer_body until you find it at the start of a line and change this line:
Then search for producer_body_it until you find it at the start of a line and change it to froducer_body_it
and change this line:
Keep the changes to a minimum, if you change to much the game will not work!
This is a basic for making skins to L4D2, if you want more info of how to photoshop it, or anything else just send me a PM.
If you would like to modify the face to, you might need 3D face modelling experience if you want to make BIG changes, if not you just need some basic Photoshop experience.
You might find the VTF-files on other pages to, maybe you even find them here!
I have learned this all on my own, so if there is something missing in the tutorial, give me a notice and I will post it right away.