I'm new to the repainting side of the hobby.
I currently use DXTBmp to open the .dds files and then use either GIMP2 or Paint.net to repaint my aircraft. I'm on a $0.00 budget so I can't afford Photoshop
I've been able to do some fun things with BLANK white paint kits. It seems like they (blank paint kits) are hard to find. So, is there a process I can take a currently painted aircraft and stripe the layers off so I can get back down to the original clean paint?
It would also be helpful to know, if I start with a blank white paint kit and add layers of paint, logos, text, etc... and then once I'm finished I "merge the layers" back to 1 "base layer". If in the future I want to alter/edit parts of those layers can I break/decompress (not sure the correct term) the layers I've previously created?
One of the reasons I want to get back to the original aircraft and not just paint WHITE over the current file is I'm not sure how to go about adding all the rivots, windows, door frames etc....It seems like painting them back on would be very difficult to get their exact locations.
Also, is it possible (please describe if so) to add a silvery/chrome/reflective effect to the planes? I see there is a sticky on this for Photoshop but I can't seem to find those same features (listed in the sticky instructions) in GIMP2 or Paint.net. I don't know if it's just not possible or if there is another way to go about doing it.
Also, is what I'm talking about (the base layer) to referred to as the "alpha"? I'm not sure what that term is referring to.
Thanks for any help suggestions.