Author Topic: Graphics  (Read 120568 times)

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Offline Harpalus

Re: Graphics
« Reply #570 on: May 09, 2016, 02:51:58 PM »
I'll do some more searching.

Mockup: http://i.imgur.com/CHkAa67.gif

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Re: Graphics
« Reply #571 on: May 09, 2016, 02:53:47 PM »


Is the changed color sufficiently distinguishable from the Peacekeeper color?

Offline Harpalus

Re: Graphics
« Reply #572 on: May 09, 2016, 03:03:17 PM »
Is the changed color sufficiently distinguishable from the Peacekeeper color?


Well, my idea was that I'd use a palette. That colour is also reasonably close to the Data Angels. For the mockup I just picked a random blue from DawnBringer. Each faction would get a colour from the palette, ideally including native life. This would ensure distuinguishable colours for every faction, and hopefully eliminate some of the saturation. Of course, if the whole game uses the palette, I may need to adjust colours more subtly or borrow from different palettes in case those colours are used in unexpected places. The Peacekeepers would get a new colour, or I'd use the darker blue for the Hive, and the Data Angels would probably get a new colour altogether if I can get away with it.

I didn't really think this would be a difficult project, to be honest. I've have had it released already if the game respected palette.pcx. The game doesn't seem to be running in Windows 256 colour mode, at least not with PRACX installed, so presumably the game has an internal palette somewhere in memory (or if I'm lucky, in the files). Alternatively, GIMP isn't saving the files correctly and this really is a simple task.

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Re: Graphics
« Reply #573 on: May 09, 2016, 03:40:35 PM »
I'm never sure if I'm understanding you right.  When you put a color in those bottom left boxes in the .pcx, the closest color in the SMACX palette, which loaded with the .pcx file is what appears -booting GIMP now to make sure I put this right- Image>Mode>RBG to get around that only has everything in the file change back at once when you reload the palette while changing mode back to indexed so you can save.

I definitely described how to save the SMACX palette in GIMP in a tutorial mentioning palette in the title, I think.  Changing the palette is what you'll have to do to get the results you want, I'm sure.  Kilkakon used it extensively in Lost Eden to give the mod a very unique look with more pastels, but I don't recall if he described how to change the palette in the Lost Eden threads.

Protip: pastels stand out less against the minimap unless they're rather light.

I'm having a glance at my collected tutorials to see what I said about custom landscape colors -changing the look of the fungus, especially, which I've done a few times and is not tough- I'm guessing someone who finds the faction colors garish would love to fool around with that...

Offline Harpalus

Re: Graphics
« Reply #574 on: May 09, 2016, 03:50:50 PM »
I'm never sure if I'm understanding you right.  When you put a color in those bottom left boxes in the .pcx, the closest color in the SMACX palette, which loaded with the .pcx file is what appears -booting GIMP now to make sure I put this right- Image>Mode>RBG to get around that only has everything in the file change back at once when you reload the palette while changing mode back to indexed so you can save.

I definitely described how to save the SMACX palette in GIMP in a tutorial mentioning palette in the title, I think.  Changing the palette is what you'll have to do to get the results you want, I'm sure.  Kilkakon used it extensively in Lost Eden to give the mod a very unique look with more pastels, but I don't recall if he described how to change the palette in the Lost Eden threads.

Protip: pastels stand out less against the minimap unless they're rather light.

I'm having a glance at my collected tutorials to see what I said about custom landscape colors -changing the look of the fungus, especially, which I've done a few times and is not tough- I'm guessing someone who finds the faction colors garish would love to fool around with that...

I'm sorry? I'm not sure I'm saying wrong: I'm trying to assign a new colour to every faction, in a manner that hopefully is both nice looking and differentiates factions better. I defer to existing palettes elsewhere because they've already done the work of making sure the colours don't look too similar. I've been uncertain about changing the colours too much though (such as in my mockup) given that the game only has 255 colours I'm hesitant to change the palette drastically. I've been looking into the Hive first because they're one of my favourite factions, but I intended to get around to everyone. I'll look at Lost Eden and see what that did, but I'll probably give up on this project.

To change the palette I'm opening palette.pcx and hive.pcx with GIMP. It's in Indexed mode so I use the Colormap window to change it, as per GIMP Documentation. Right click on the colour in the Colormap, change it to the new one, and export/save. I do the same in hive.pcx. After confirming that both files saved correctly, I start the game and nothing has changed.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 04:47:52 PM by Harpalus »

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Re: Graphics
« Reply #575 on: May 09, 2016, 04:25:48 PM »
chuft knew how to make that work, too, so searching him might turn up instructions (never a member here, but tends to get mentioned when the subject comes up).

I'll hang in there with you as long as it takes...

Offline Kyriakos

Re: Graphics
« Reply #576 on: May 09, 2016, 08:22:07 PM »
Hi! Let me know if i can help with city sets :) Did a number of those for CivIII...

Nice to be here... :)

Offline Harpalus

Re: Graphics
« Reply #577 on: May 09, 2016, 08:34:54 PM »
chuft knew how to make that work, too, so searching him might turn up instructions (never a member here, but tends to get mentioned when the subject comes up).

I'll hang in there with you as long as it takes...


Thank you for your help and your suggestions. I've found a way forward that I hadn't thought of until now.

Lost Eden doesn't change the palette that I can see. There's no included palette.pcx and every faction uses standard SMAX colours.

I don't know how to contact Chuft. Chuft's accounts haven't been logged into for several years.

I read every tutorial I could find, including every tutorial that you linked me. As far as I can tell none of them discuss changing SMAX's palette: only using it. I'm personally uninterested in creating or using new factions and I already know GIMP well: as far as I can tell I'm editing the resources correctly and my changes are ignored by the game engine.

I have had some success by not trying to change the original palette, so I'm going to proceed this way. The colours won't be quite as nice as I'd hoped, but I already obsess too much over pixel art and colour selection.

Perhaps changing the palette isn't possible without PRACX changes? I don't really know. I can't find any complaints about the saturated faction colours and the game's been out for 17 years now, so I suspect there isn't much interest in bypassing this limitation if it exists.

Hi! Let me know if i can help with city sets :) Did a number of those for CivIII...


I like the look of that city set. I'm not certain if the offer is directed at me or is a broad offer for everybody. Thank you! I hadn't initially intended to improve the faction artwork, and I don't mind the existing unimproved city sets. If you're interested, however, I'm not particularly fond of the Tachyon Field or Perimeter Defence artwork for the original 14 factions. The Tachyon Field graphics (and also the progenitor Perimeter Defence graphics) aren't particularly attractive in my opinion. New art would really help in that regard. Something resembling these shield graphics for the Tachyon Fields would look beautiful, but I'm not certain how that would look.

I'm sure somebody can come up with better looking city defences then these graphics, but I doubt my ability as an artist to improve on them, particularly with the palette restriction. Perhaps it might be easiest to simply make the human Tachyon Field graphics better resemble the Progenitor defences, even if it's just a simple colour swap. If nothing comes up, I might look into making that change.


Offline Kyriakos

Re: Graphics
« Reply #578 on: May 09, 2016, 08:41:42 PM »
^Ok... Seems the new shield is a sphere that is composed of something like the bases of an icosaedron, although far more than 20 evidently... :)

I will need two things to make that:

-size of the tile
-any particular palette which should be used

So if you have the tile in the palette, just post the palleted image and i will do the rest

Edit: Oh, you want the "wall" graphic altered? I suppose it is part of the actual city set graphics? (so it would need copy/paste work and not just making a new perimeter... I may try it, although it would take less time if you want a graphic that stands by itself instead of needing to co-exist with other ones not by myself :D )
Nice to be here... :)

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Re: Graphics
« Reply #579 on: May 09, 2016, 08:48:16 PM »
chuft knew how to make that work, too, so searching him might turn up instructions (never a member here, but tends to get mentioned when the subject comes up).

I'll hang in there with you as long as it takes...


Thank you for your help and your suggestions. I've found a way forward that I hadn't thought of until now.

Lost Eden doesn't change the palette that I can see. There's no included palette.pcx and every faction uses standard SMAX colours.

I don't know how to contact Chuft. Chuft's accounts haven't been logged into for several years.

I read every tutorial I could find, including every tutorial that you linked me. As far as I can tell none of them discuss changing SMAX's palette: only using it. I'm personally uninterested in creating or using new factions and I already know GIMP well: as far as I can tell I'm editing the resources correctly and my changes are ignored by the game engine.

I have had some success by not trying to change the original palette, so I'm going to proceed this way. The colours won't be quite as nice as I'd hoped, but I already obsess too much over pixel art and colour selection.

Perhaps changing the palette isn't possible without PRACX changes? I don't really know. I can't find any complaints about the saturated faction colours and the game's been out for 17 years now, so I suspect there isn't much interest in bypassing this limitation if it exists.
Okydoke - I don't know what it is wrong with my brain, 'cause customizing the palette didn't look hard any of the times I've seen it explained, but I just couldn't wrap my head around it.

I'm SURE how to has been explained here, but I'll go find it the easiest place I know of, and be right back...  Should at least make find the next time it comes up easier.

I've designed a few sorts of alternate shields, BTW, and I'm not sure there's enough pixels in the base file squares to do something like that hex dome, but if I can get caught up later today, I might take a run at it...


Hi! Let me know if i can help with city sets :) Did a number of those for CivIII...


Valka said you were a big III modder.

The graphic goody files I've worked up and am slowly releasing look like this:
Bases18

9 structures adapted from GalCiv2, laid out to copy/paste into the .pcx of your next custom faction.



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.

Thanks to Russia4life for the GC2 files I worked with.

http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=304
-but the layout doesn't matter beyond getting the row of four stages like that for convenience of copy/pasting.

-What I'm trying to say is we can never make too many bases sets available to encourage new modders - or lazy old ones.  I never had CivIII, and have no idea of the city stages or how those files are laid out...

-If you take a fancy to trying your hand at Alpha Centauri art, try the tutorial links I put up this morning on the last page to get up to speed, and don't be afraid to ask questions or talk shop.  I love talking art modding shop.

Offline Harpalus

Re: Graphics
« Reply #580 on: May 09, 2016, 08:53:50 PM »
Edit: Oh, you want the "wall" graphic altered? I suppose it is part of the actual city set graphics? (so it would need copy/paste work and not just making a new perimeter... I may try it, although it would take less time if you want a graphic that stands by itself instead of needing to co-exist with other ones not by myself :D )

I'll defer to BUncle's tutorials, but here's the game's palette file, my hive.pcx (human faction), and the usurper.pcx (alien faction) file.

Yeah, I really just dislike the wall graphics, and they're built into the city graphics. If you do new (generic/empty) wall/defence graphics for both the humans and the aliens, you can release them as a modder's resource and I can personally do the work at integrating them into all of the game's factions.

Thank you! At the end, it would all be released as a "improved artwork and colours" mod.

Offline Kyriakos

Re: Graphics
« Reply #581 on: May 09, 2016, 08:58:58 PM »
Ok! Thank you both, i will try to have something up in the somewhat near future... Btw, does the game work on Linux? (currently using that..). Even if it doesn't it's ok, i will just have difficulty in-game checking the files.

Btw, if you want new city sets, you could post some image of what you want them to sort of look like. I can model most such stuff, but i am not aware of the architecture to be used :D
Nice to be here... :)

Offline Harpalus

Re: Graphics
« Reply #582 on: May 09, 2016, 09:01:39 PM »
Ok! Thank you both, i will try to have something up in the somewhat near future... Btw, does the game work on Linux? (currently using that..). Even if it doesn't it's ok, i will just have difficulty in-game checking the files.


This page outlines installation, including on Linux. There was an official Linux release, but it's very old. It wouldn't run on modern Linux distributions easily.

The Linux version is also really hard to find.

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Re: Graphics
« Reply #583 on: May 09, 2016, 09:21:27 PM »
I've asked for Draz to come in here - he has the Linux version, too.  His tech power is max.

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Re: Graphics
« Reply #584 on: May 09, 2016, 09:36:39 PM »
No joy finding palette editing instructions - chuft's are all deleted, and I can't find anything here.  If I'm remembering right that Draz understand the trick, he'll be by sooner than Kilkakon, though I've also left a note for him to come by...

 

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