Author Topic: Graphics  (Read 120579 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Kyriakos

Re: Graphics
« Reply #600 on: May 18, 2016, 08:26:41 AM »
Hi! Let me know if i can help with city sets :) Did a number of those for CivIII...





Oh man, your work is quite beautiful looking.

I am actually sort of stumped on how to make my cities look for one of my custom factions, the Pathos Bastion. In my custom factions page there's more info, but essentially its a city state that requires monolithic structures, somewhat ornate looking- almost like a ziggurat or hanging gardens of bablyon except less focused on greenery and more impressive architecture, as its meant for a singular city state type faction that focuses on talents and peak performance of citizenry at the cost of almost impossible expansion beyond one city.


Thank you :D

That sounds a bit like a Khmer set i had created for civIII, years ago:

Nice to be here... :)

Online Buster's Uncle

  • Through art, I
  • Transcend
  • *
  • Posts: 45767
  • €1191
  • View Inventory
  • Send /Gift
  • Someone thinks a Winrar is You!  Because there are times when people just need a cute puppy  Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur  
  • AC2 is my instrument, my heart, as I play my song.
  • Planet tales writer Smilie Artist Custom Faction Modder AC2 Wiki contributor Downloads Contributor
    • View Profile
    • My Custom Factions
    • Awards
Re: Graphics
« Reply #601 on: May 20, 2016, 01:21:21 PM »
Harpalus, thanks to the Yahoo! spiderbot, I found the .flc thread the search function wouldn't turn up - no useful information about palette-changing, except the Flygon knows how to do it.  Kilkakon is doing whatever and saying he'll come by for two weeks now instead of just coming by, so I recommend you PM Flygon directing his attention here.  I'd really like to have some instructions here where I could find them when someone asks.

Offline Kilkakon

  • Likes cute things but is
  • Mostly Harmless
  • *
  • Posts: 1149
  • €695
  • View Inventory
  • Send /Gift
  • It does something (It's free and yet priceless)  
  • Creator of Lost Eden and C&C: Dawn of Tomorrow
  • Scenario Creator AC2 Hall Of Fame Custom Faction Modder AC2 Wiki contributor Downloads Contributor Author of at least one AAR Planet tales writer author of the Lost Eden mod for Alien Crossfire
    • View Profile
    • My website!
    • Awards
Re: Graphics
« Reply #602 on: June 09, 2016, 09:39:27 AM »
Going through my notes it appears I've never worked with flcs. Somebody did one for me at CivFanatics way back when but they used the original palette to do it. I don't have any tools for it.

Offline Kyriakos

Re: Graphics
« Reply #603 on: June 09, 2016, 12:15:36 PM »
Just to note that i am not perpetually away, just had no time to work on this... :)
Nice to be here... :)

Online Buster's Uncle

  • Through art, I
  • Transcend
  • *
  • Posts: 45767
  • €1191
  • View Inventory
  • Send /Gift
  • Someone thinks a Winrar is You!  Because there are times when people just need a cute puppy  Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur  
  • AC2 is my instrument, my heart, as I play my song.
  • Planet tales writer Smilie Artist Custom Faction Modder AC2 Wiki contributor Downloads Contributor
    • View Profile
    • My Custom Factions
    • Awards
Bases19
« Reply #604 on: August 21, 2016, 02:59:26 PM »
Bases19



Bases are the most difficult aspect of a SMACX faction graphic to create, so it is hoped that these graphic goodie files will give beginners at faction modding a leg up.  See also the Portraits, Diplomacy Landscapes and Logos series, also in this Downloads section, and for info on art techniques and/or to communicate with BU and ask any questions, see the Graphics thread: http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=1237.0  These are a lot of work to put together, so please be sure to credit me in the empty space of the .pcx.  Posting to let me know you found it useful would be okay, too.

Offline terzaerian

Re: Graphics
« Reply #605 on: September 21, 2016, 03:53:43 PM »
I've worked out a way to more rapidly assemble base art for SMAC, which I will relate here.

I mainly use Paint Shop Pro for my personal graphics work, so this system will work best with that, but I imagine Photoshop is similar enough and has similar enough commands that this will work between the two. I've also included a .PSD copy of the file I use for rapid assembly.

Basically the file consists of space enough for one layer of city pane, tracking the growth from outpost to full settlement:



The various alterations - the perimeter defense, tachyon field, seabase, and defense variations for seabase, are included as separate, invisible layers within the file.



This way, all you have to do is hammer out the growth progression for your base once, and then switch each layer on to get the improvements you desire set up immediately.



The shortcomings of this method is that I did not design the template's walls to expand or contract with the city, but that never made sense to me in the first place; when a medieval city built walls, they went up how they went up, and anything they couldn't fit inside the darn things got built outside and that was that!

With PaintShop Pro, you can then use the "Copy Merged" command to copy the city pane layer with the walls as a single layer.



You can then paste the merged copy as a new image, and switch its palette to SMAC's in order to set the transparency properly.

I downloaded a shields.pcx file off the site here, and will work on adding all of those into my citypane template file, but for now, here is my prototype as it stands.



Offline terzaerian

Re: Graphics
« Reply #606 on: September 22, 2016, 04:40:53 AM »
For my next trick in graphics automation, leader portraits! Another one of my classic favorites, Baldur's Gate, is similar to SMAC in that you can pick out and use custom portraits for your characters, so I am already familiar with the principles of selecting, preparing, and cutting these images - as well as automating processes using PaintShop Pro!

First, of course, you have to pick a graphic to use:



Next, you need to pick out a crop that you'd like for all four portraits. This step isn't automated just because it requires a great deal of discretion on your part as a modder. From a technical standpoint, you'll get the best results if your crop is still larger than the resolution of the largest leader portrait, i.e. 162 x 196.



You'll also notice I picked a tall crop; the script is designed to assumed there will be spare room at the bottom to cut out, so make sure you have room to spare at the bottom.

Make sure your work area has been pared down to just the portrait you intend to run the script on; it may accidentally refocus on the wrong image by mistake, otherwise.

Next, go to File > Scripts > Run, or selected SMAC Portrait All In One 2.0 from the scripts pane and hit the play button:





A moment later and voila! The program will automatically resize, sharpen, and apply scanlines to the portrait in quick succession, outputting four new images which can be pasted into their respective slots on <faction>.pcx!

Unfortunately, this one I don't know how to make work in Photoshop, though I know it has similar capabilities. Anyone who is interested is welcome to convert the code for that program and redistribute it.

Offline terzaerian

Re: Graphics
« Reply #607 on: October 09, 2016, 06:06:04 PM »
So, inspired by ComradeCrimson's VA work on my faction blurb, I decided to really get down to business and see about conquering the esoteric world of the faction .FLC. My initial research was not promising - everything pointed towards sites and resources long gone, such as networknode.org, or a tutorial by Shuft that seems to have been zeroed out. What I did find out is that having an ancient and still working copy of Animation Shop Pro is a boon in my favor. And indeed, my initial experiments editing one of the FLC files was somewhat successful - it produced an FLC which did rotate through images in game and did not crash; however, the palette was all wrong.

 Finally, though, I went to the Internet Archive and plugged in networknode.org, and they apparently still at least have CAPTURES of the Network Node, and learned that using Fast Movie Processor (now VideoMach) I could extract PCX files from the faction FLC files, and from that derive a working palette. VideoMach unfortunately stamps a watermark on images, but it did not, I don't think, destroy the integrity of the palette, which was consistent between two frames from the Believers FLC. I'm going to do a couple more tests, but if I'm right we finally might have the key to FLC editing.

Online Buster's Uncle

  • Through art, I
  • Transcend
  • *
  • Posts: 45767
  • €1191
  • View Inventory
  • Send /Gift
  • Someone thinks a Winrar is You!  Because there are times when people just need a cute puppy  Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur  
  • AC2 is my instrument, my heart, as I play my song.
  • Planet tales writer Smilie Artist Custom Faction Modder AC2 Wiki contributor Downloads Contributor
    • View Profile
    • My Custom Factions
    • Awards
Re: Graphics
« Reply #608 on: October 09, 2016, 06:58:42 PM »
 ;b; ;excite; ;b;

Offline terzaerian

Re: Graphics
« Reply #609 on: October 09, 2016, 07:37:16 PM »
Unfortunately, still hitting some roadblocks. While initially the palette for exported PCX files was consistent between frames of each export dump, it was not consistent between the dumps; i.e. the University palette differed from Believers which differed from Fungboy, the only common denominator between them being a coda portion on the palette of five same shades of white at the very end, and the general colors used, just not the same order. Loading a copy of these palettes into Animation Shop yielded an FLC file which was slightly more legible than my previous attempts, but with the colors still incorrect. So I think it comes down to this: that each frame began life as a single PCX file with a specific palette, which was ordered in a very specific way, and the game expects each FLC file to use that same palette. That order is, unfortunately, lost as part of the file conversion to FLC.

My Hail Mary was going back to the internet archive copy of NN, and from there trying to track down a working copy of Fast Movie Processor, the exact program he used, and seeing if that might make a difference. I eventually did manage to find one, however it did not make a difference; unlike VideoMach it doesn't leave a watermark, and did export FLCs, but with the same garbled palette issue as Animation Shop. So I'm going to have to try and experiment with palettes a while yet.

EDIT: Further experimentation with the palettes yielded from the exported PCX frames revealed the exact same set of color was not created by each palette, when reordering them by luminance. However, copying a frame where a modified palette is reordered by luminance, seems to have shifted how the image is discolored in SMAC, which would seem to indicate that palette order remains the smoking gun here. I will attempt reordering by hue sometime later.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 08:11:50 PM by terzaerian »

Online Buster's Uncle

  • Through art, I
  • Transcend
  • *
  • Posts: 45767
  • €1191
  • View Inventory
  • Send /Gift
  • Someone thinks a Winrar is You!  Because there are times when people just need a cute puppy  Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur  
  • AC2 is my instrument, my heart, as I play my song.
  • Planet tales writer Smilie Artist Custom Faction Modder AC2 Wiki contributor Downloads Contributor
    • View Profile
    • My Custom Factions
    • Awards
Re: Graphics
« Reply #610 on: October 09, 2016, 08:46:38 PM »
It's definitely a palette issue; I remember that much.

Offline terzaerian

Re: Graphics
« Reply #611 on: October 10, 2016, 02:04:19 AM »
I have an idea. I will make an FLC which is a screen capture of one of the scrambled palettes I get from the extant FLCs, and import that into the game. Once in game, I will capture the appearance of the results. That way, I might be able to discern which colors are getting switched where and build a palette from scratch.

Offline terzaerian

Re: Graphics
« Reply #612 on: October 10, 2016, 10:31:43 PM »
Very weird. Here's the results of the experiment:

This is the palette that was outputted by the Fungboy FLC file:



This is how it displayed ingame:



Now, that palette looks awfully familiar. Almost like...



The default faction palette.

So I'm thinking what's going on is that FLCs are still using the default palette, somehow, but is locked to the palette index rather than the palette color, which is a problem as most graphics editors, when you force a palette, are going to pick the closest color on the palette instead of the index.

Offline ComradeCrimson

Re: Graphics
« Reply #613 on: October 14, 2016, 02:08:54 AM »
Glad you like the voiceovers overall. While I know its not related to graphics, if any of you want voice acting for your quoted blurbs hit me up. I can do that a lot quicker than making new graphics and editing faction files; so its not a biggie.

Right now I'm also contemplating rehauling the basic concepts of some of my factions yet again, still want to do a city state faction but I think I'll be shifting focus of it quite a bit and modifying it to make it a bit more feasible and balanced.

Looking at this graphic set here:



I'm really liking these. Thinking of using row 2 or 3 for the Planet Pioneers, and row 6 for the Pathos Bastion.

Between row 2 and 3, which would you think would suit a sort of frontier expansionist green-wealth society? As the planet pioneers preferred is wealth, but they do so in an environmentally friendly way typically.



I'm also thinking of using the last row and row 8 for something, will have to see. I've been contemplating an air focused faction. I'll contemplate it more in my own thread.




Online Buster's Uncle

  • Through art, I
  • Transcend
  • *
  • Posts: 45767
  • €1191
  • View Inventory
  • Send /Gift
  • Someone thinks a Winrar is You!  Because there are times when people just need a cute puppy  Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur  
  • AC2 is my instrument, my heart, as I play my song.
  • Planet tales writer Smilie Artist Custom Faction Modder AC2 Wiki contributor Downloads Contributor
    • View Profile
    • My Custom Factions
    • Awards
Re: Graphics
« Reply #614 on: October 14, 2016, 03:01:10 AM »
-I think I'd do a certain amount of re-coloring if I was going to use several bases from Bases19 in a custom faction set, to avoid any sameness of look - SMACX just added prominent stripes in the faction flag color, and that might be enough.  -Just an awful lot of grey-tan in that bases set ...

 

* User

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?


Login with username, password and session length

Select language:

* Community poll

SMAC v.4 SMAX v.2 (or previous versions)
-=-
18 (6%)
XP Compatibility patch
-=-
9 (3%)
Gog version for Windows
-=-
77 (29%)
Scient (unofficial) patch
-=-
28 (10%)
Kyrub's latest patch
-=-
14 (5%)
Yitzi's latest patch
-=-
85 (32%)
AC for Mac
-=-
2 (0%)
AC for Linux
-=-
5 (1%)
Gog version for Mac
-=-
10 (3%)
No patch
-=-
12 (4%)
Total Members Voted: 260
AC2 Wiki Logo

* Random quote

Now it's day and night the irons clang, and like poor galley slaves
We toil and toil, and when we die, must fill dishonored graves
But some dark night, when everything is silent in the town
I'll shoot those tyrants one and all, I'll gun the flogger down
I'll give the land a little shock, remember what I say,
And they'll yet regret they've sent Jim Jones in chains to Botany Bay.
~'Jim Jones', Traditional

* Select your theme

*