The Horizon Case is here, with 17 community-made
weapon skins. I spoke with all of them and they shared with me secrets. Secrets about
their creations. Click on the timestamps in this video’s description to go to the weapon
you’d like to know about. The AUG Amber Slipstream by Dabes is the 4th
of this design to be accepted. By this point he doesn’t have a lot more to say about
it, other than that he was pleasantly surprised when it was picked. He and Slimeface have
a bit of ongoing banter where they take credit for each other’s’ work. So when speaking
with Slimeface, of course he assured me that this AUG design was all his idea.
The Revolver Survivalist by Ross is from a series of skins that he started way back in
2014. He revisited it later with an improved knowledge of skin design and worked to make
it better and more rugged looking. He’s pleased that Valve appreciates the work he
invested into it and is happy that it made it to this case.
Dual Berettas Shred by SHPR were originally named ‘Winter Raider’ and are part of
a collection of 14 different weapons with this design. These were all made almost 2
years ago, but have only just seen their first entry accepted with this case. They use the
spraypaint finish, which means that each design looks unique.
Following the success of the five-seven design, Teo advised that M03H made other weapons with
the same Capillary style. He made 4 others, but is pleased that the MP9 design was chosen
as he liked it the most. As an easter-egg, he puts a heart on the magazines of these
weapons. The five-seven sports a larger, more fleshed-out design, but there wasn’t enough
space for the same thing on the MP9 so he drew several in the style of old platform
games instead- which you can only see in-game after dropping a magazine to the floor.
Teo specialises in metallic, 3D, bumpy looking designs and the P90 Traction is no different.
It sports surfaces made of metal and rubber, using the gunsmith finish to give him the
flexibility to texture it realistically and to make it look convincingly bumpy. Although
named ‘Traction’, it is part of his ‘Tread’ series, from which 2 other skins have already
been accepted… though these have also been called different things. The CZ Imprint and
Revolver Grip are cousins of this design. The Tec9 Snek-9 by PTP was an experiment for
him, an opportunity to use normal maps to make convincing looking scales. He first attempted
it on a P250 design but wasn’t too impressed with the result. The tubular shape of the
Tec9 was ideal, though, as he believes it grabs the phong reflections in more lighting
conditions than a flat surface can achieve. He thinks this makes the design look more
visually striking from a first-person perspective, without needing to resort to odd angles and
lighting conditions to see the 3D effect. He also thinks the shape of the Tec9 was perfect,
since a snake is also round. The Glock Warhawk by Puchara and Khan was
the first thing he worked on in Substance Painter. This helped him to experiment with
the program’s tools and to learn the basics, which he can then build upon with future projects.
It uses the gunsmith finish and a small amount of baked lighting to give the design more
depth. He would like to thank Dima for helping him with this design.
The G3SG1 High Seas SLIMEface was a chance to experiment with realistic materials, as
he had been previously working on other styles like the bloodsport collection. He chose the
High Seas because he wanted to do something themed around PIRATES. And who can blame him.
It was designed with an alpha texture in-mind- as this controls the metallic finish and specular
layer. This wasn’t included in the initial release, but I suspect his post over on Reddit,
which gained a lot of traction, got their attention and they rolled out an update to
include it. Conveniently this update fell between the time I got the footage for this
video, and when I was going to release it, so I managed to get both. Here you can see
a comparison, and the difference this alpha texture makes- some parts of the weapon appear
plain without it. He says the High Seas uses a technique he used a while ago on the Mac10
Mother of Pearl design, only of course with the G3SG1 this is only part of the look, with
the rest appearing metallic and 3D. His friend, Dabes, would like to say that this was all
his idea. The Nova Toy Soldier by Hexeth was made because
he wanted to mimic the simple, superficial style of toy soldiers, but whenever he tried,
the results were very one-dimensional and flat looking. The solution came to him one
day when he was in the toilet and he spotted a cleaning agent in a bright, green bottle.
He took this back to his room and tried copying every detail. Every scruffmark, every spec
of dust and dirt. It required 8 different layers to achieve. He hand-painted lines to
make it look clear even on minimum graphics settings, then worked on hiding the Benetti
inscription behind drawn-on stickers. Using the alpha channel he then drew a tank, a car
and little men- this was an actual drawing he had done when he was 4 years old! It’s
placed where it is so that if a nametag is used, it looks as though it’s sat in the
back of the car. As the wear of this design increases, more of this sketch becomes visible,
making battle-scarred skins actually have MORE detail than the higher grades do. He’s
pleased that Valve appreciated this design. The CZ75 Eco by LoveCroissant isn’t the
first Eco design to be used. A Galil already exists with this style, it’s a double-meaning
of ‘economic’ and ‘ecological’- though so far the patterns have only been used in
the more exclusive ‘restricted’ and ‘classified’ classes. The series was intended to be for
weapons that you buy on eco rounds. The colours came first, then the pattern later for each
of the designs. There’s a barcode on each weapon, intended to be a bit of an easteregg.
The AWP PAW by DaniDEM contains a nice anagram. But there’s a lot more to it than that!
Danidem kindly spent LOADS of time collecting material for me to use for this video. The
design started in 2015 with his Impire skins. This was the first version- but he wasn’t
happy with it, he thought it looked too confusing and that there was too much empty space between
them. So he returned to the drawing board and eventually made THIS one. He said it was
like a puzzle, trying to figure out how to piece them all together. He gave them different
colours so it was easy to distinguish between them, and this design made it to the game
but in a green style. The AWP PAW is kind of like the next version
of this design. But rather than imps, he chose cats and dogs. He’s an animal lover and
owns two cats who he says try to bite and play with his digital pencil when he’s working.
They were like little terrorists, and hence he came up with the idea for the skin: dogs
are typically seen as good, so he made them the CT’s, and cats being more mischievous
so he made them the terrorists. They all represent different character skins from CS:GO. He loved
the interactions between the imps in the older designs and elaborated on this, fitting many
small stories into this new skin of his- he highlighted a few in this image for me. There
are 52 different characters- up from 31 for the impire design. He says there are a few
nods to memes, movies and games, but he’ll leave it to the community to spot them.
He talked me through the painstaking work of getting it to tile, how it ended up being
over 500 layers in photoshop, and how he developed a new technique to squeeze more than 4 colours
into the final spraypaint finish. He was working blind in Photoshop, having to load them into
Counter Strike to see how well they represented the original colours. He ended up in a seemingly
endless cycle of trial and error to try and keep the colours as faithful to the original
design as he could. He applied a shiny layer to the eyes, sunglasses and metal areas. He
even made an animated banner for it, this being the first animation he had ever worked
on. All in all, he wouldn’t recommend trying
this kind of design, he says it’s a test of patience and persistence. He enjoyed the
challenge at the time though! Along the way he came up with other ideas, and discarded
many others. When it comes to patterns, he says he doesn’t finish much, but what he
does release is generally the product of all his iterations and failed tests, so a lot
of it lives on spiritually. A while ago he designed liveries for the cars in Dirt 2 and
3- so skin design isn’t new to him. He says he’s going to take a break from patterns
to instead focus on custom paint and gunsmith finishes. He’s truly passionate about the
game- not just the skins but also about playing it. He likes to think that makes a difference
to the work he produces. Thank you to him for giving me so much material to work with-
honestly, there was more, but I think for the first time ever I was given more content
than I knew what to do with for this kind of video.
The MP7 Powercore by Endrit is the second in the series to be accepted- the other being
the Scar20, which was featured back in the Gamma2 case in 2016. The goal of this series
was to transform the weapins into powertools. He took a bit of a break after the Scar20,
but then went on to make this MP7 design, as well as an AK47 which is his personal favourite
since there isn’t yet a bright green AK47 skin and he thinks it would fit into the RESTRICTED
category nicely. The Sawed-Off Devourer by SHPR is part of
his Street art collection- a series of custom paint jobs with bold and colourful drawn designs.
From it, the M4A4 Hellfire has also been accepted and if you like this sawed-off, then you should
also check out his Mac10 Devourer which follows the same kind of design.
The Famas Eye of Athena by GENT came from an evening of staring at weapon skins, trying
to see them in a new way. With the FAMAS, the middle details of the weapon suddenly
reminded him of the head of an owl. He imagined an owl flying straight at him and based this
design around this vision. It came as a surprise to him when he woke up and found that it had
been accepted. He is very grateful to Valve and it has changed his life. Having drawn
since he was 5, he can now justify doing it and hopes that he’ll never have to stop.
He wishes everybody good luck with their own designs, too.
The M4A1-S Nightmare by Apel was inspired from a recent episode of Game of Thrones,
from an undead horse rider. He also borrowed from the Warcraft realm and the Horse of Arthad
when he became a lich king. But also from the Venom character from the marvel comic
series. And also from the videogame Prey. Hidden on the gun’s grip is a silhouette
of a girl, whispering to a creature. This is a small easter-egg about manipulation,
he says. ‘Don’t fall asleep’. This weapon is one of the items from the Dark Pact collection,
which is a series of striking, colourful monster-based designs.
DasDas thought about the design of The Code Red for the deagle for a long time. He loves
the style of this weapon, thinking that it’s unlike the others. For this skin he wanted
to emphasise the big handle and the length of the barrel. He used a long white band for
this and spent a long time picking the right colour. He eventually settled on red as he
doesn’t think there are enough red desert eagles. He thinks he chose the right one…
especially after Valve chose his design! The Neon Rider series is a very popular collection
of skins that has been around for years. Puffin aims to make one a year, treating each like
a fictional movie sequel from the 80’s. The AK47 Neon Rider is the second version
of the design. It was called the ‘Directors Cut’ and was made based off community feedback
that the first version had received. The original had a much plainer top and an open helmet
design, but people thought it was too much of a departure for the series. Another workshopper,
called KC_Sir, helped to suggest the details and added a normal map to the design. Puffin
is very pleased with the result and hopes to collaborate with more people moving forward.