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Here's why Ironskin makes Rhino's head look like crumpled tinfoil


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For over a year now, Ironskin (Prime) has turned Rhino's helmet into a gross mash of textures, but I just noticed the pattern: Ironskin uses his body texture for his helmet. See images #1-2. This is true for all helmets when used with a non-Deluxe body. Look for his shoulder texture on the back of his head; once you see it, you can't un-see it.

But don't worry, it gets worse! Ironskin also uses the wrong body texture for Rhino's Dex skin. See images #3-4. It uses the texture from his Prime skin instead. Thus, when using both his Dex helmet and Dex body, neither will use their correct texture: his helmet uses a body texture, while his body uses the wrong body texture.

Obviously, DE could just update Ironskin to always use the alternate effect from his Deluxe skin. But, if DE insists on making Ironskin ruin Rhino's fashion, it should at least ruin it in the expected manner -- again, this bug is over a year old now and affects all of Rhino's paid Tennogen helmets.

Summary of bugs:

  1. On Rhino Prime, Ironskin always uses the wrong texture for his current helmet.
  2. On Rhino Prime, Ironskin sometimes uses the wrong texture for his current body.

↓ Image #1:


↓ Image #2:


↓ Image #3:


↓ Image #4:


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I've looked into this further, and I might have gotten some terminology wrong -- I'm not a 3D digital artist, or even a 2D crayon artist, so forgive me. But, as a software engineer (and a 3D crayon eater), here's exactly what I think is happening:

  1. Rhino Prime casts Ironskin.
  2. Ironskin tries to retrieve the "specular map" (SkinRhinoHelmet_s.png) for Rhino's helmet.
    • Uh-oh! Ironskin has an incorrect pointer that retrieves the "normal map" (SkinRhinoBody_n.png) for Rhino's body.
  3. Ironskin uses coordinates meant for the helmet map to section off regions of the body map.
  4. Ironskin applies those seemingly arbitrary selections to Rhino's helmet mesh.
  5. Rhino Prime looks like a clown.

If you look at Image #3, you'll see what Ironskin looks like when it retrieves the correct map type (i.e. specular) for the correct component (i.e. body) but for the incorrect skin (i.e. Prime instead of Dex): it's a flat metallic layer without any topographical features; in fact, it has cutouts to allow non-metallic features to show through it. Unfortunately, those cutouts aren't in the correct places for the current skin.

Next, look at Image #1 for examples of both fully correct and fully incorrect implementations. On his body, you're seeing the correct Graxx specular body map applied to the correct Graxx normal body map, resulting in solid gold armor that preserves all topographical features while also allowing non-metallic stuff, like those tubes, to retain their original colors. But on his helmet, you're seeing the incorrect Graxx normal body map applied to the correct Warlust normal helmet map, resulting in a heinous collision of features from both maps.

I hope you enjoyed learning about this as much as I did.

Updated summary of bugs:

  1. On Rhino Prime, Ironskin always uses a normal body map instead of a specular helmet map.
  2. On Rhino Prime, Ironskin sometimes uses a specular body map for a different skin.
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As I mentioned, you can typically find Rhino's current shoulder texture on the back-left of his helmet with Ironskin active. Just to be certain, I looked for this pattern with every combination of helmet and skin that I have, and none of them used a helmet map for Rhino's helmet.

I also tested several combinations under the following conditions:

  • In Captura scenes
  • In the Simulacrum
  • In a regular mission
  • In an open-world
  • With various different graphics settings
  • On two different computers

And I own and tested every combination of the following skins:

  • Rhino Skin & Helmet
  • Rhino Prime Skin & Helmet
  • Rhino Blade of the Lotus Skin & Helmet
  • Rhino Dex Skin & Helmet
  • Rhino Graxx Skin & Helmet
  • Rhino Teutonic Helmet
  • Rhino Voidshell Skin & Helmet
  • Rhino Vojnik Skin
  • Rhino Warlust Helmet

The pattern held regardless of test condition or helmet/skin combination.

Some combinations are harder than others to validate, as their shoulder texture isn't as starkly unique or their helmet model isn't covered in Ironskin on the back. For such combos, I looked for part of Rhino's current chest texture on his forehead and usually found proof there.

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