There are a lot of reasons why you’d want to change the texture on one specific instance of a model without changing it for all of the others. Maybe you want to use alpha layers to punch a hole in a zombie to expose it’s gooey innards, Left 4 Dead style. Maybe you want to change the text on a billboard without changing it on other billboards. Maybe you want to give two Scouts different hair colours. Or maybe you want to go completely nuts with the Resizable Texture Panels and have access to more than 16 textures. Who am I to judge?
Whatever reason you wanted to do this, doing so before version 9.8.6 of SFM was a real pain - material overrides did not support changing texture paths, so either you’d have to temporarily replace one of the existing skins on the model, or you’d have to hex/recompile a duplicate with the skins you want. Both time-consuming and annoying!
As of 9.8.6, however, this issue has been fixed and you can now change texture paths more or less on a whim. Let’s learn how to do it!