Geneforged Graphics

AuthorTopic: Geneforged Graphics
Shock Trooper
Member # 7662
Profile #0
The Geneforge graphics found on the Louvre site really look good. Unfortunately using the grass floor in a BoA scenario leads to white "snow" at the edge of the screen. This is only a problem with the Geneforge graphics, all other custom graphics work well. (When other custom graphics are at the edge of the screen the snow disappears.) I think this is due to the original Geneforge graphics being reduced in size. It was also a problem with other Geneforge graphics, like the hot pads on the floor. In the latter case I manually cleaned up the white border zone, that seemed to work. Has anyone else struck this problem?

While on the subject of graphics, how did Niemand do those boulders on his site? I tried the same thing with the grass and boulder graphics, turning one color transparent at a time. I used the Microsoft Photo Editor, the results were passable but not perfect.
Posts: 292 | Registered: Monday, November 13 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #1
quote:
Originally written by Ishad Nha:

I think this is due to the original Geneforge graphics being reduced in size. It was also a problem with other Geneforge graphics, like the hot pads on the floor. In the latter case I manually cleaned up the white border zone, that seemed to work. Has anyone else struck this problem?
I think you're right, but I don't think it's a huge problem.

I've actually been considering trying to port some more Geneforge/A4 graphics to BoA lately, but it depends on my having free time, which I don't. But personally, I wouldn't bother cleaning up the edges... that's a lot of tiles, after all.

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Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5576
Profile Homepage #2
The way I did the boulders was simple: Open up your graphics application, (these days I use a trial version of Acorn, but it's Mac only.) open up or paste in the sheet you want to edit, select the pencil tool and the color pure white (it must be exactly 255,255,255) and start coloring over the pixels you want to remove. It's tedious, but the only real way to do it. You could of course also use an eraser or paintbrush tool for large areas.

Concerning white snow: JPEG compression is commonly believed to be the cause. JPEGs use a method similar to Fourier series to compress the image data, as I understand it; this means that the exact colors of pixels may be altered slightly. The trouble is, BoA treats only pure white as transparent, so if some white pixel become slightly off-white, they suddenly show up when BoA draws the graphic. The moral: save images for use with BoA as GIFs or PNGs!

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Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Warrior
Member # 7254
Profile Homepage #3
IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v99/KommandoV/shjsaj.png)

At least in Photoshop, the tool "Magic Wand" and it's sub-option "Tolerance" offer quite an easy way of getting rid of the compression-smudges. After the general selection, it's quick to just de-select the possible few lighter parts of the graphic which got selected by the wand, and then delete the rest.

[ Thursday, November 01, 2007 19:00: Message edited by: Belial ]
Posts: 73 | Registered: Monday, June 26 2006 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 7662
Profile #4
The Geneforge problem was actually simple to understand and solve. I went into Windows Explorer and looked at the directory where the original jpg images were stored. Perusing the Size and Dimensions columns showed that most of the jpgs had a size (in bytes) slightly larger than the area (width x height) of the image. Hence they were 1 byte or 8 – bit images, whereas the images giving me all the “snow” I had saved as 24 – bit. Problem solved.

[ Thursday, November 01, 2007 20:12: Message edited by: Ishad Nha ]
Posts: 292 | Registered: Monday, November 13 2006 08:00
Shaper
Member # 3442
Profile Homepage #5
quote:
Originally written by Ephesos:

I've actually been considering trying to port some more Geneforge/A4 graphics to BoA lately, but it depends on my having free time, which I don't. But personally, I wouldn't bother cleaning up the edges... that's a lot of tiles, after all.
I have some creature graphics (mainly townspeople) from A4 and GF4, one of which I think is a Slith that Lazarus gave me, and some terrain (the spiral stairs spring to mind). I'll try and get some uploaded while I have some free time.

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Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 7662
Profile #6
Yes, the snow is RGB = 255,255,253 or some such combination. The snow can be removed in one hit by the use of a transparency function set to a color similarity of 1%. However Bitmaps don’t support the transparency function.

One option is to convert the jpg to a png, then reduce the resulting png from 24-bit to 8-bit. Reading the help file for the Microsoft Photo Editor: “PNG saves images as 8-bit or 24-bit images. In 24-bit images, PNG saves transparency in an alpha channel. In 8-bit images, PNG substitutes a transparent color on the palette.” What we want here is the transparency option not the alpha channel. Thus the trick is to go into File > Properties and choose “Palette or 256 color (8 bit)” type. Then save the file and exit the editor. Next open the file in Paint and save as 24 – bit Bitmap

Another option is to deal with the pixels individually; the file is left as 24-bit. What is really needed is a replace – one - color - with - another function. If the transparency function has the “Color similarity: Exact” setting, if 255,255,255 is deleted, a lot of the snow will then show up clearly. In the Editor you can’t delete near – transparent colors, but the information will be a guide in the Paint program where you can delete. Pixel view is 400%, there it only takes a few minutes to clean up one icon. You can use varying sizes of erasers, and a pencil if needs be.

As for deleting backgrounds from boulders, like the graphics for terrain types 128 thru 136, sometimes I am not too sure whether a given pixel is wanted or not.
Posts: 292 | Registered: Monday, November 13 2006 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5576
Profile Homepage #7
Yeah, when I was doing the boulder graphics, I started agonizing about whether each pixel was part of the boulder or the ground. After a little bit of that, I decided to just be aggressive with my erasing and see how it came out. The result looked ok, so I left it.

My preferred method for erasing snow is to open the graphic in a program that supports layers, place a magenta layer behind the graphic, then delete all white and off white pixels from the graphic layer. With the magenta background, remaining snow is easy to spot and eliminate. When finished, just use a fill tool to replace all transparent areas in the graphic layer with white and remove the magenta layer.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 7662
Profile #8
What we really need for things like the boulders is a graphics program that lets you see the same graphic at both 100% and 400%, at the same time. That way you can see immediately and exactly what the effect of deleting a particular pixel is.

While we are at it, if graphics are so tricky maybe we should compile a list of useful programs.
Posts: 292 | Registered: Monday, November 13 2006 08:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #9
Mac OS 10.5 seems to have this new ability in preview... You have a new "magic wand" tool, with which you can erase all unnecesary background. For more information, I redirect you to Macworld's video podcast "Cool leopard features."

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Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 7662
Profile #10
As for the Geneforge graphics themselves, one thing that I could not help noticing: in the actual game the automap icons are derived from the editor icons. There are editor icons found in all the Geneforge games, look around G1600.bmp, but they are in many cases a bit crude for use in the automap. So I have had to design my own.
Posts: 292 | Registered: Monday, November 13 2006 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 7662
Profile #11
One thing that I have noticed: if you edit your post, this won't show up in the list of posts and when they were last edited. Especially if yours is the last post in a given topic.
Posts: 292 | Registered: Monday, November 13 2006 08:00