Intro to Model Creation


Hi, my name is Crauzer and this is guide on how to replace, modify and create your own models.

So let’s start, shall we ?

These are the basic file formats you need to know about :

• DDS – A texture or a particle file ( Most of the time )

• SKN – A file that holds information about the model ( Used for champion models and cannot work in-game without an SKL )

• SKL – A file that holds information about the skeleton of the model ( Used for champion models and cannot work in-game without an SKN )

• SCO – Mostly used for particle models ( Doesnt need a skeleton but can contain one )

• SCB – The same as SCO but these are binary and arent mostly used for models but for paths for particles to orient them where to go

• BLND – A file that holds information about all of the animations of the selected champion ( Replace the BLND file of a base skin from another one and you’ll have the animations from the skin, but for this to work you need to replace the SKN and SKL too)

• INIBIN – A file that tells the game what is the name of the SKN, SKL…… so the game knows what to use for the champion ( Do never modify nor replace this file )

• ANIM – Holds animation data

– There are some more types of file but I wont mention them in this guide since they do not have to do anything with the models


Tools that we’ll need :

Maya 2011+ ( Version doesn’t really matter if it isnt below 2011 or over 2016 )

Riot File Translator –


And some basic skills in Maya

Video Tutorial

Please turn on captions (subtitles)

1st Step

First we will load the SKN and SKL of our selected champion

Then you will click this little icon so you can see the the joints and bones of the skeleton through the model

After that you will load your custom model into the scene

And click these icons

1st icon – Activates smooth shading so you can see the model

2nd icon – Enables texturing

2nd Step

Now you will need to make sure that your custom model fits the model you are replacing

Note : That the model can be in any pose as long as you can edit the skeleton so it fits

3rd Step

Now we’re going to edit the skeleton

You will need to rotate, move and sometimes scale the bones so they fit your character

4th Step

You will need to modify the UVs co you can properly edit the texture

Go to Edit UVs – UV Texture Editor

Now select an object in the outliner an make the UVs so they do not tresspass each other

Click this icon

and edit the UVs like you want

E – Rotate

R – Scale

More advanced tutorial :

( Credit to Glen Gramling )

5th Step

Now we’re going to preparate for the bind of skeleton to the model but first you will need to do this :

Delete the old model

Select the model and go to Normals – Reverse

(Remember to ALWAYS reverse the model before binding and deleting the history after reversing, because if you wont the texture will look really bad wih some parts invinsible or you may get a bug splat)

And then go to Edit – Delete All By – History

Note : Sometimes with new champions I get a weird bug where Reverse type doesnt work but I need to do this – Reverse and then Reverse again but change the type of Reverse to revAndExtract ( This is the reason Snow Day Tristana was delayed for a few days )

6th Step

Now we’re going to bind the skeleton to the model

We are going to switch to the Animation menu by pressing F2

Now select the Mesh (Model, note that your model needs to be 1 solid mesh ) and the skeleton (Select every joint in the Outliner but make sure that the model is next to the main joint (root), you can drag the model by holding the scroll wheel on your mouse )

Then you will go to Skin – Bind Skin – Smooth Bind (You are going to click the little square next to it so you can edit the settings of the Smooth Bind)

You will use these settings for the Smooth Bind

then you are going to click Apply and Bind Skin

7th Step

Here comes the fun part (Which I personally hate :D)

We’re going to paint the Weights for the joints so they know what part of the skin they move

Double Click this little icon

In Tool Setting change your options to these

Setting Explained :

Flood – Applies weights on the whole model for the selected joint

Value- Value of the weight 1 – 100 %

0 – 0 %

Opacity – Sets the opacity of the Value 1 and 0 means the same as on value

So how are we going to paint the weights ?

You will hold your right click button on your mouse and click Select Influence

Painting Weights : You will hold your left mouse button and will go over the vertexes of it and that’s how you paint your weights

Note : Every vertex needs to have painted weights, if not then it will stretch out from the model


How to paint weights –

8th Step

This is the last step, so you wont have to read more of this crap 🙂 jk

When you finished all of your weights you will select the model Hold Right mouse button and go to Assign Favorite Meterial and you will have to select Layered Shader

Then go to the Layered Shader material options and the model should be green and a little bit transparent

Now go to Window – Rendering Editors – Hypershade

A new window should open, then you will go to Edit – Delete Unused Nodes

And the final thing – Export

Select the model and go to File – Export Selected

A new window will open, select the name and directory of the file

Then you will select this option

And hit Export Selection

If it displays this error in the console

// Error: SknWriter: too much bound bones, plz remove 32 influence(s) //

Select the model and go to Skin – Edit Smooth Skin – Delete Unused Influences

Good Job! You made it to the end which means you should be able to create a remodel from scratch. I hope you enjoyed this guide

Notes :

Video tutorial :


Remember to ALWAYS reverse the model before binding and delete the history after it

SKN Converter for the new SKN files that cant be opened with maya –

SKN Converter – Google Drive mirror

( Credit to Chewy )

Note : It replaces the original file with the modified one









  1. I can’t seem to get the riot translator working on maya 2015. I would download maya 2014 but the free downloads only go back 2 years. So the earliest I can get is 2015. What can I do?


  2. I can convert the skn files using the sknconverter program, but if I’m having the same error with the skl files? I’m extracted then from the game with Wooxy, and Maya can’t recognize then, there’s any solution for this?


  3. Is there an easier way to paint the weights? or at least a way to check if there are any left that haven’t been painted… It’s kinda tough to sit down and select all those one by one, hurts my eyes and then it gets even harder to see xD


    • P.S. – I am using maya 2016, not 2014. I already painted weights etc. imported the model but it was kinda fucked up, it wasn’t moving correctly and it looks like I saved the .dds file for the textures incorrectly (the champion was in the “T” position and was still moving but without walking animation, textures were kinda see-through)


  4. I’m doing things exactly as explained in the tutorial. Everything is fine untill install the skin and try to use it (made a model for Riven, if that’s relevant). When I in game it bugsplats and gives me an error that an essential file in the game is missing : Riven.

    Can you help me solve the problem?

    Thank you in advance!


  5. I’m using Maya 2016 and i can’t load the RiotFileTranslator plugin probably because they arent compatible with Maya 2016. What do i do? Please someone help me, i’m searching for help for a long time


    • You simply download maya 2014 and use that one.. since the plugin only works there.