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Thread: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

  1. #1

    Default How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Not sure if i had to continue in my previous topic... But i want to hear the graphic modders methods for building a bmp from many unit frames(not the actual bif making). UM_LoTR doesn't seem to do that, or i just skipped some of the documentation

    I tried TexturePacker and if i use png frames it will crop them(otherwise in bmp they won't be placed together) and then in Photoshop i could convert them to MTW's 256 color palette. The trial version puts a watermark on some but there is another free program i could try:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is a test version with only standing frames, i could have put the weapons and shields at the bottom too. But in the best case it's still making 12 bmps separately

  2. #2
    Member Member dimitrios the samian's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Good question Yan .
    In all my years here it has never been revealed .
    A thread some time ago revealed part of the puzzle .
    I will send you a link .
    ......
    but , from my self taught ideas .
    You need to use ReadBif but im not exactly sure how , click under Special & Extra & have a look , "load anime rectangle"
    ........... I think stazi & zwei know the procedure as they ported in a new model recently .

    One method you can try is , clear up 12 bmp's , divide the bmp set the co-ordinates manually using white lines & begin pasting in the individual figures .
    Will take lots of time , but until we unlock the secrets of BifReader ......... we can only try & ask & never give up

  3. #3

    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    You got me interested about that link, please send.

  4. #4
    Member Member dimitrios the samian's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    OK , Did a bit of searching & reading ..... bingo !!
    Its Readbif 23C that loads the animations into the rectangles .
    I only seen it today for the first time as I have been using 22b for almost 2 months now since I started .
    Anyway , it seems that I have been moving along , learning from my errors & it was nice to read this little nugget of info below .


    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm beginning too understand how shields & weapons are positioned & will make major changes in the coming years to many of the bifs !
    Last edited by dimitrios the samian; 08-05-2016 at 09:55.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Finally i made the custom skin fully playable. Some of the green wasn't converting to player color in game, but now i used the BOWMAN's palette and it worked(i keep the original png plates), some green pixels always become transparent though.

    Here are screenshots of a new Byzantine spearman in battle and preview_icon. Feedback would be appreciated!

    Last edited by YanBG; 08-10-2016 at 11:41.

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  6. #6
    Member Member dimitrios the samian's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?


    wow !! quick work
    It Looks great Yan ....
    Im sure more troops like this one will be welcomed with open arms !
    Don't stop here .
    cheers

  7. #7

    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    I'm glad you like it.

    I want to make a cavalryman also, with the horse parts cut off and being able to use more than one mount for unit variations. Sounds like a good challenge!

  8. #8
    Member Member dimitrios the samian's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Yes .... its definitely do-able .
    Separate horses & weapons is the way to go if you need folders , otherwise all together for smooth flowing animations .
    Did you use Readbif to make the bmp sheet ? or that Texture Packer ?

  9. #9

    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    I used Texture Packer but i saw your post about the rectangles and advanced options in ReadBif23c.

    Also i was told that a Json file/script can be used for the textures but i'm not a programmer and i don't know how to write it yet.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    More screenshots of the new armies. Setting the origins is painful :(



  11. #11
    Member Member Leith's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    They look great, especially the new mounts. The shields' co-ordinates need to be further refined and yes, it's a pain but you will prevail I'm sure. I cannot wait to check your final product,

  12. #12
    Member Member dimitrios the samian's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Nice pic Yan ...
    Great work allround , I really like the bards on the horses ....
    Yep , those shields need work ( I think it may just be the xy co-ords ) ..
    ...... bcoz as they are now , they look like delicious pizza's being served up !!

  13. #13

    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Thank you guys! I really want to release this small mod already, been more than 2 weeks and haven't got around to change the campaign map yet(Macsen have a great post here, how to do it fast and easy)!

    I made some discoveries on how to make review_panel pics in the MTW1 style and i want to share them with you. Few years ago i tried to make some from existing bif plates(didn't had models) and they wouldn't work for few reasons, mostly the angles are off, because CA clearly made renders exclusive for the icons(viking figure units have player color surcoat).

    Now that i have my model it's easy but the figure still seemed off or i couldn't fit it with the correct size in 68x50, then when i went onto cavalry review_pics i noticed that they are in Perspective and not Orthographic(the way they are rendered for the battlefield).



    You can see the Alan Mercenary's horse have huge head and tiny ass, then my figure in Perspective which looks kinda close to that and the third is the same but in Orthographic.

    TL DR: render in Perspective in png with anti-aliasing and soft borders(bif plates need hard borders) then Photoshop will convert them.

  14. #14
    Member Member dimitrios the samian's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Good day to you Yan ....
    Great link to a nugget of information on mapping .
    If you work out how it can be done , share it with us , just use a step by step description like macsen does.
    I like the Review Pic
    Last edited by dimitrios the samian; 08-16-2016 at 09:54.

  15. #15

    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Hm not sure how to describe it, but the setting is in the camera options for any 3d software and you need a model for that method.

    There might be a good way for editing from 2d though, i've seen some great preview_icons(Axalon!).

  16. #16

    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    I don't have much interesting to add here but them horses look mighty fine, and that new infantry are not looking bad either... Easily on par with the raw game's GFX. Of course all the calibrations on shields and weapons are totally screwed up - but you already know that... Especially shields are the worst to set right/sync... Anyhow, well done Yan....

    BTW, I just want to hand out some kudos to all of you guys in this thread... Leith, Dimitrios and Yan... You guys have seemingly keept this place, indeed the entire MTW-section, alive and happening while most others have essentially failed at just that. I also want to include fellow modder Macsen rufus on that note, as his clearly friendly and helping attitude demands it. This place is clearly better off with all you guys around, I just wanted to say all that before I forget it, and because it is well worth saying once in a while (or so I believe).

    But I deviate from the topic at hand, sorry for that... Bmps and Bif-plates it is...

    - A
    Last edited by Axalon; 08-16-2016 at 17:53. Reason: She-hulk wills it...

  17. #17

    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Thank you for dropping by! I like reading good posts, so bifs and bmps can be left for a bit

  18. #18

    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    If you want to get rid of the black dots in your preview_icons, without filling the straggler/lone one/two pixel large transparent spaces, i found a way from this archive: https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/archi...p/t-28585.html

    I exported the bif to bmp, loaded it in a paint proggy (I used Ulead Photoimpact), corrected the position 0 of the palette to pink (255 0 255), convert the image to 24 bit color, save as uncompressed 24 bit tga, drag the tga file into CA's purplegrab to create a bif. That bif displays in the game without black dots.
    Any image editor would work i used Photoshop and my png icons. It creates LBM too and it's faster than Bifreader but Purpgrab crops the images, so i had to place one pixel on the lower left and one on the upper right corners
    Last edited by YanBG; 08-18-2016 at 11:24.

  19. #19
    Member Member dimitrios the samian's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Great link that one !
    First time I have seen it ....
    good one yan

  20. #20
    Second-hand chariot salesman Senior Member macsen rufus's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Oooh, that's interesting, Yan. Where did you get purpgrab from, I can't find it in the downloads archive?

    And thanks for dredging my old posts out of the archive - I now realise how much I've forgotten in the years I was away from modding
    ANCIENT: TW

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  21. #21

    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    I got them from here: http://www.twcenter.net/forums/downl...o=file&id=4239

    Thanks to Axalon for uploading them! There are the Mithel Image Converter and Gnome Editor too.

  22. #22
    Second-hand chariot salesman Senior Member macsen rufus's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Thank you both, YanBG and Axalon - my life has suddenly become immeasurably easier

    Time to play with my new toys

    EDIT to add: OK, so the 'black spot' issue is solved, and review-panel and battle unit icons are a doddle to make (though it still has to be done twice with different background colours, once for BIFs and another for LBMs). The only issue left is to restore the palettes so faction colours work again... PurpGrab makes its own new palette from the TGAs, and of course it is not properly indexed for faction colours. I was hoping I'd be free of the need for another LBM editor, but alas, no.
    Last edited by macsen rufus; 08-19-2016 at 23:53.
    ANCIENT: TW

    A mod for Medieval:TW (with VI)

    Discussion forum thread

    Ancient TW2: Eastern Empires is under development again

    Featuring: Rise of Persia, Alexander's Conquests, Wars of the Diadochi

  23. #23

    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Oh, thank you for noting that! I have used it only for building icons so far(planned to do the units and battle lbms in the weekend...)

    Maybe SeqGrab can load a palette? Or was it only usable for creating bifs(multi-frame) and not lbms? In any case the first tool i tested from this pack was SeqGrab and the results weren't good.

    In the archived topic i posted before, someone investagated the Readbif corruption and figured that changing the first 2 values in hex editor, affects the black dots:

    I made an experiment. I opened a bif in readbif22b and I saved it with a different name without changing anything.

    Then I compared it with the original file in a binary editor. The problem is in the header:

    First 2 bytes of the original bif are 1F F8

    the first two of the saved with radbif are 00 00

    I manually edited the bytes as in the original and voilà the pink background in Bif Viewer now shoes up even with the new file.

    I'll check now if the black dots will disappear in the game.

    ...............

    Ok... Now I have pink dots instead than black ones.

    So my guess is that the problem is in the palette format. If you compare the files you'll notice a lot of differences in the second part of the file.

    I could have a look at the source code of readbif but this will mean that I should reinstall my C compiler...

  24. #24
    Second-hand chariot salesman Senior Member macsen rufus's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    I've also found that using the 'proper' background colour for LBMs (207,207,199) with PurpGrab makes it come out a shade too light - you can still see the background square faintly on the unselected battle icon. Changing the BG to 199,199,199 seems to give a perfect match though (at least good enough for my eyes ). However, using UP you do need to use 207,207,199 for a good match... weird. Using the LBM from a pink-backgrounded TGA leaves you with a black background in battle.

    So, now I am making two copies of my icons - a unit_name_BIF.TGA and a unit_name_LBM.tga - with the backgrounds pink and grey respectively (that way I know which version of output files I need to use where). Pity about the faction colours though, I was just getting some good faction-coloured review panel icons using BIF reader. Fluorescent pink hoplites just look too surreal.

    Another implication is that if your TGA is too 'colour rich' then I imagine PurpGrab will index so many colours that it starts using the 'faction colour' indexes - (index #208+). So a limited pallette is a good way to go when making your TGAs.

    Another odd observation I made y'day - the 'grey end' of the faction colours (#208 and #216) are both the same colour (208, 204, 192).

    I just wish there was a way to force the indexing used by PurpGrab....

    I haven't tried SeqGrab yet, but I did note trawling through the archives some people were using it for single-frame BIFs with some success. I'll look at it later. For now i'm still tweaking my PurpGrap-fu
    Last edited by macsen rufus; 08-19-2016 at 14:19.
    ANCIENT: TW

    A mod for Medieval:TW (with VI)

    Discussion forum thread

    Ancient TW2: Eastern Empires is under development again

    Featuring: Rise of Persia, Alexander's Conquests, Wars of the Diadochi

  25. #25
    Second-hand chariot salesman Senior Member macsen rufus's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Some further thoughts (though we may be veering away from the original topic here...)

    Another implication is that if your TGA is too 'colour rich' then I imagine PurpGrab will index so many colours that it starts using the 'faction colour' indexes - (index #208+). So a limited pallette is a good way to go when making your TGAs.
    I've found a quick and simple way to keep the 'faction colour' indexes unused. When you have your icon ready to save to tga, do this first: (I'm assuming Photoshop, but other editors should have similar facilities)

    Make sure you start in RGB mode then convert to Indexed mode, selecting the 'Local Perceptual' option and Limit Colours to 208. If you look at the Colour Table, you will see the bottom three rows (ie the faction colour section) is empty/greyed out. Convert back to RGB before saving the tga, and continue as normal. When PurpGrab converts the TGA it will find no more than 208 colours and therefore not put anything into those higher indexes. This stops the irritating 'bleed' of faction colours into the icon.

    I've also found that using the 'proper' background colour for LBMs (207,207,199) with PurpGrab makes it come out a shade too light
    ... sometimes!

    Haven't worked out why yet, so safer to start with the 'proper' version first and tweak if you have a pale square in battle.

    Here's some of the results I've had using BIFReader and PurpGrab:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    1 - Pezhetairoi: made with BIF Reader, using faction colour 2, but lots of fiddling to kill the 'black spot' plague
    2 - Hypaspists: made with PurpGrab, using faction colour 2. No black spots, but faction colour doesn't work as per previous posts
    3 - Katakoi: made with PurpGrab, as a 'full colour' image limited to 208 indexes by the above method. No black spots despite all the tiny areas of transparency between limbs etc etc

    Using BIF Reader to restore faction colours to a BIF created by PurpGrab also restores the black spots....

    The archer top left and spearman bottom left have been remade using PurpGrab, both had black spot trouble before, and the spearman also had faction colour bleed - both problems sorted by using PurpGrab. (Look closely and you can see the single-pixel spots I had to include to stop the PurpGrab cropping issue.)

    All the rest are legacy HTW icons except the peasants, of course...

    Thanks so much for pointing me to this new (to me) tool, it has helped a lot
    Last edited by macsen rufus; 08-20-2016 at 00:15.
    ANCIENT: TW

    A mod for Medieval:TW (with VI)

    Discussion forum thread

    Ancient TW2: Eastern Empires is under development again

    Featuring: Rise of Persia, Alexander's Conquests, Wars of the Diadochi

  26. #26
    Member Member dimitrios the samian's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Whooa !! Macsen ....
    Those are some fantastic looking Unit Icons you have just shown us .
    They look on another level , compared to the original HTW set ( & I always said they had character)
    With these new detailed ones it will make it so much quicker on the battlefield !
    I like the work your doing here very much .
    Every mod is gonna need a new set of these beauties .
    Nuggets galore

  27. #27

    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Huge thanks Macsen, for keeping us updated, like Axalon said this place become so alive i love it!

    I enjoy reading your discoveries and i would use your method to make my unit icons!

    Quote Originally Posted by macsen rufus View Post
    Some further thoughts (though we may be veering away from the original topic here...)
    No problem at all but if it would be easier for new people/guests to find the information we can post a new thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by macsen rufus View Post
    I've found a quick and simple way to keep the 'faction colour' indexes unused. When you have your icon ready to save to tga, do this first: (I'm assuming Photoshop, but other editors should have similar facilities)

    Make sure you start in RGB mode then convert to Indexed mode, selecting the 'Local Perceptual' option and Limit Colours to 208. If you look at the Colour Table, you will see the bottom three rows (ie the faction colour section) is empty/greyed out. Convert back to RGB before saving the tga, and continue as normal. When PurpGrab converts the TGA it will find no more than 208 colours and therefore not put anything into those higher indexes. This stops the irritating 'bleed' of faction colours into the icon.



    ... sometimes!

    Haven't worked out why yet, so safer to start with the 'proper' version first and tweak if you have a pale square in battle.

    Here's some of the results I've had using BIFReader and PurpGrab:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	new_icons.jpg 
Views:	75 
Size:	111.7 KB 
ID:	18830

    1 - Pezhetairoi: made with BIF Reader, using faction colour 2, but lots of fiddling to kill the 'black spot' plague
    2 - Hypaspists: made with PurpGrab, using faction colour 2. No black spots, but faction colour doesn't work as per previous posts
    3 - Katakoi: made with PurpGrab, as a 'full colour' image limited to 208 indexes by the above method. No black spots despite all the tiny areas of transparency between limbs etc etc

    Using BIF Reader to restore faction colours to a BIF created by PurpGrab also restores the black spots....

    The archer top left and spearman bottom left have been remade using PurpGrab, both had black spot trouble before, and the spearman also had faction colour bleed - both problems sorted by using PurpGrab. (Look closely and you can see the single-pixel spots I had to include to stop the PurpGrab cropping issue.)

    All the rest are legacy HTW icons except the peasants, of course...

    Thanks so much for pointing me to this new (to me) tool, it has helped a lot
    Awesome work with the new icons! I didn't like the workaround of filling the black spots, between limbs like you said, because it all becomes visible when you drag units(there won't be parchment background). Too bad we need the pixels to avoid cropping.

    From where is your new icons art, i can't recognize it? The HTW icons remind me of RTW2, they should have rendered their models and make "real" icons.

    Feel free to post/show us about the LBMs too!

  28. #28
    Second-hand chariot salesman Senior Member macsen rufus's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you assemble bmp sprite sheets?

    Thanks both

    From where is your new icons art
    Heavily modified stuff trawled off teh interwebs, mostly ... but I am not above recycling some RTW unit_info TGAs such as the archer and spearman I mentioned above (which are 'Eastern archers' and 'Pantodapoi' respectively here in the Seleucid roster). Some icons I've made by screenshotting the unit in battle, but there aren't any on this parchment. And of course there are a still a few original MTW ones, mostly 'placeholders' to get the units working til I can find something more suitable.

    The HTW ones mostly came off the web, as I've come across some of the originals (or some of teh interwebs many copies of the originals, at least...) in the course of my research. I just seem to have a more successful method for scaling them down to unit icon size. I might redo some of those, now I have PurpGrab, because some do have a bit of 'faction colour bleed' (yes, Thracian Peltatsts, I'm looking at you!)

    In fact, there are quite a few who will get PurpGrabbed now. I spent a long time last night finding and converting more suitable RTW images, and will have to get some testing done. I think I finished seven, and have another dozen or so to go.

    I'll post some battle icons later, when I have a suitable battle to screenshot
    Last edited by macsen rufus; 08-20-2016 at 12:18.
    ANCIENT: TW

    A mod for Medieval:TW (with VI)

    Discussion forum thread

    Ancient TW2: Eastern Empires is under development again

    Featuring: Rise of Persia, Alexander's Conquests, Wars of the Diadochi

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  29. #29
    Second-hand chariot salesman Senior Member macsen rufus's Avatar
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    Default Battle icons and PurpGrab

    As promised, I've had a battle with a few of the new LBM icons featuring.

    Picture the scene: Philippos V the (soon to be...) last king of the Antigonid line, is holed up in a low level stronghold in Mysia with a loyal, but pitifully small band of followers. The besieging forces of the Seleucid Empire are about to consign these verminous curs to history, all to the greater glory of our noble basileos, Antiochus II Theos (a modest chap, really... )

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The army is selected to show the wide ethnic diversity of our realm, and also to showcase some new LBM icons, and the results of using PurpGrab etc.

    Icons from left to right:

    Heavy slingers (HTW legacy)
    Hetairoi (HTW legacy)
    2x Eastern Archers - made with PurpGrab, based on RTW unit_info TGA, with colours basically monochromed to my standard(ish) pale browns
    Ekdromon (HTW legacy)
    Hypaspists - made with Purpgrab, and as with reviewpanel icon, the faction colours don't work as discussed above
    Phoenician Militia - made with PurpGrab just like the Eastern Archers, but note the background square is off-colour
    Phoenician Marines - made with PurbGrab from a 'full colour' RTW TGA (indix limited by my technique above) - again background square off-colour
    3x Pezhetairoi - made with PurpGrab, again from a 'full colour' original (not RTW), with faction colours replaced with white using Photoshop before saving the final TGA for PurpGrab - another off-colour background square
    2x persian Archers (HTW legacy)
    3x Pantodapoi - made with PurpGrab, same method as the Eastern Archers and Phoenician Militia - background colour is fine

    SO... what do we conclude?

    Mostly that there is something odd happening with the bg colour. It appears to become 'biased' towards the strongest colour in the rest of the icon. It is definitely not faction-colour bleed as no more than 208 colours are used, keeping those indexes empty. And also as proved by the Pantodapoi, because their old icon - made with Ultimate Paint, did have some faction colour bleed, especially in the centre of the shield. This does not occur with PurpGrab images made from the colour-limited TGAs.

    As mentioned before, some of the icons that have had background-square issues have been sorted by remaking the icon using 199,199,199 as the BG colour instead of the expected 207,207,199. I still need to pin this down, and I shall let you know if an answer emerges

    Finally - could be a screen resolution issue or my eyes, but I don't think the LBMs are as sharp as the RP icons. (Or it could be I just didn't increase the size of this image.)

    ps the game still works even if a 'cropped' review panel makes it through the net - but the 'number of men' and 'valour' figures do get squeezed closer together
    Last edited by macsen rufus; 08-21-2016 at 01:59. Reason: sp.
    ANCIENT: TW

    A mod for Medieval:TW (with VI)

    Discussion forum thread

    Ancient TW2: Eastern Empires is under development again

    Featuring: Rise of Persia, Alexander's Conquests, Wars of the Diadochi

  30. #30

    Default Re: Battle icons and PurpGrab

    Quote Originally Posted by macsen rufus View Post
    Finally - could be a screen resolution issue or my eyes, but I don't think the LBMs are as sharp as the RP icons. (Or it could be I just didn't increase the size of this image.)
    I think the engine keep LBMs' original size and the campaign map scales preview_icons up.

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