1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

A call to artistsabout hexagons

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Creation & Customization' started by Steph, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. Takhisis

    Takhisis brown-haired beauty

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    47,694
    Location:
    up yours!
    Instead of having such an obnoxious amount of renders you could try converting the textures to vector graphics.

    Why is one of the hexagons overlapping everything else in that pic in post 59?
     
  2. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2002
    Messages:
    18,162
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pont de l'Arn, FRANCE
    Each type of terrain has an "order", and they are painted in that order.
    So dirt extend in desert, and then grassland extend into desert and dirt.

    I want to stay 2D, and my system allows variation for specific scenarios, or just for variety. But in fact, there is not so many graphics.
    Even for zoom, you may think they are many, but it's also there to allow "substitution" for different scale, so you can decide to use some graphics more adapted for zoomed out view.

    I suppose you mean the grassland in the south east?

    Because the grassland are supposed to extend to desert tiles, as that's how I have defined them in the editor. It looks strange because my transition graphics are quite ugly...
     
  3. BadKharma

    BadKharma Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,692
    Location:
    Brew City
    Do you know what vector graphics are?

    Vector graphics are 2D, and are scalable to any size without pixellating. However it would require you to use .eps or .svg files.
     
  4. Takhisis

    Takhisis brown-haired beauty

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    47,694
    Location:
    up yours!
    And that's where I'll have to step in and start dabbling.
    I know a bit... I'm fairly new to them, I have DL'd Inkscape somewhere but I haven't had the chance to do much with it yet. Here's hoping to a peaceful July break...
    I've only ever used .svg files, like those in wikimedia. What are .eps files?
     
  5. BadKharma

    BadKharma Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,692
    Location:
    Brew City
    I wonder how well inkscape works. I use adobe illustrator for making vector graphics and design layouts. The problem with vector graphics is that everything,,,,,,,,every single detail or line has to be individually drawn out. I have some "simple" designs that have over 160 layers because of this. On the plus side vector graphics have much smaller file sizes.

    .eps are encapsulated post script files and a form of vector file that can be opened by most vector graphic programs.
     
  6. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2002
    Messages:
    18,162
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pont de l'Arn, FRANCE
    Well, keeping png files is I think more modder friendly.

    And I don't think svg or eps could be used by XNA anyway, I'll have to check.

    Oh, but I don't the graphics to be scalable, the purpose of my zoom level with different graphics, is well, to have different graphics.

    Like at 256x128, the cities looks like civIII cities (possibly woth more buildings), at 64x32 they use a simplier graphics, and at 16x8, it is just a icon.
     
  7. BadKharma

    BadKharma Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,692
    Location:
    Brew City
    No problem, I was just explaining the main benefit for a vector graphic. Using png on the other hand a raster graphic with full alpha transparency should have a lot of benefits. Raster graphics unlike vector graphics can be completely photo realistic.
    The advantage to having the ability to use alpha channels are too many to list. How exactly are you doing the graphics? Textures are pretty easy to make in photoshop. Although I am still trying to make a good water texture like the one Ares came up with.
     
  8. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2002
    Messages:
    18,162
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pont de l'Arn, FRANCE
    I'm just using Paint Shop Pro. I took some base textures done by Bhiita, and then I used PSP to change size and canvas size, to edit pixels to add the grid and clean the edge, and change the background to magenta.

    For the transition graphics, I just draw a kind of mask, then I take the base texture and apply the mask, to get only a small part, and then the spray to add some magenta. The idea was to have some transparent holes, to get kind of "grass patches" extending in the desert, but it doesn't look good the way I did that.

    At least, it's enough to check the engine is working, and with nice graphics it should be OK.

    For the engine, I take any PNG, I can support full alpha transparency (even if with PSP, I only know how to make one colour transparent). Pure magenta will also always be transparent.

    For units, I'd made my own format. Basically, each frame is in fact made of two pictures, one without any civ colour, the other with only civ colour (which is always a shade of white).

    Then, to render an animation, I render the first picture normally, and the second one using the civ colour as hint. And moreover, as it doesn't use index, it allows full colour animation with alpha channel if needed.

    This way, I can use any colour as civ colour.
     
  9. WildWeazel

    WildWeazel -- Turns to Completion

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Messages:
    6,856
    Location:
    %CIV3%\Conquests\Scenarios\
    I'm confused... are you using the full alpha channel and filtering out magenta?
     
  10. Takhisis

    Takhisis brown-haired beauty

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    47,694
    Location:
    up yours!
    I don't know about Adobe Illustrator, can't afford the thing.
    What I meant was what's the difference between those and .svg files.
    Hmmm... an interesting possibility. Will the amount of zoom leveles be hardcoded or will it be left to the modder's discretion?
    Well, -besides Weasel's question- maybe the magenta could be applied in smaller patches... maybe 3x3 pixels if needed.
    Of course, you should already know that whatever we do will be outdone by whatever modders you manage to get, so a working standard version is all that we can do. :)
     
  11. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2002
    Messages:
    18,162
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pont de l'Arn, FRANCE
    Yes. Magenta is always 100% transparent. This way for simple graphics I don't have to put magenta as a specific index, or to remember about transparency.

    And then, for all other colors, they can be from 0% to 100% transparent.

    It is in a way hardcoded, because it needs to be power of 2.
    Max size is 256x128. Then it's 128x64, 64x32, 32x16, and 16x8.
    It's useless to go further : 8x4 you see nothing.

    Also, you cannot have the same details at every scale: for instance, I'll have formation with several figures for 256x128, but at 64x32, only one figure will be displayed.
    And at 32x16 and 16x8, the units will not be visible at all.

    How true! That's why I try to design the game around an editor, and don't bother too much with details.

    For instance, the game engine allows adding as many terrain types as you want, you just have to make the graphics for it (but each terrain has it's own graphics, you don't need for instance to make grasslsand / desert + grassland / Plain transitions, you just make grassland).

    What I need is not perfect graphics, just graphics that work well enough to program the game (I need to "see" it works), and give some example for future modders.

    Of course, if the graphics are really good, it will help to get people interested, but they don't have to be perfect.

    Moreover, it can (should) be a progressive work. It's better to make some draft graphics, without many variation and details, check everything works well (I know from past experience that sometimes my ideas do not work well and need correction), before commiting more time to improve the textures.
     
  12. BadKharma

    BadKharma Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,692
    Location:
    Brew City
    It is not as bad when you can get student pricing.

    The main difference is that eps files can be read directly by professional printers to be printed out. eps can still be loaded into a vector program and changes made to the file.
    That really defeats the purpose of using png with a true alpha channel. Are you doing that because you need that for the units? Is it possible to have the units set with magenta and png's working normally?


    How exactly are you doing the graphics? Do they need to be on a sheet like Civ3 were each tile can connect together in different patterns? Or is it simply just a texture?
     
  13. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2002
    Messages:
    18,162
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pont de l'Arn, FRANCE
    Well, if you use anything else than pure magenta, you can have semi transparency with a real alpha channel. Use (255,0,254) instead of (255,0,255) for instance.
    And for the units, I'm using a different system when converting FLC to my own format.

    None of this :p. They need to connect together in different patterns, like in Civ, but they are each individual graphics, in different folder.

    For instance, instead of one sheet with the different combination of transition between desert, grassland and plain, you need one set of transition with only grassland, one with only plain, one with only desert.
     
  14. WildWeazel

    WildWeazel -- Turns to Completion

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Messages:
    6,856
    Location:
    %CIV3%\Conquests\Scenarios\
    Steph, you should know better than to think we won't notice the difference between #FF00FF and #FF00FE when we see it. We've been training for a decade to notice that. :p
     
  15. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2002
    Messages:
    18,162
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pont de l'Arn, FRANCE
    Anyway, as Firaxis made the grave offense of using pink as France civ colour...

    Any colour that ressemble it deserves to be banned!
     
  16. Moosezilla

    Moosezilla Grognard Warlord

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    1,037
    Location:
    Canton of Roaring Waste
    My thought exactly as I am playing the Inca in CCM and they are pink. France is blue.
     
  17. Takhisis

    Takhisis brown-haired beauty

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    47,694
    Location:
    up yours!
    Half the civs have blue as their secondary colour. I've never known why. But they're usuallly enemy, as I don't play pinkies.
     
  18. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2001
    Messages:
    6,514
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Steph... Are you using 16 Million Colors for Unit animations and if you are also using "Civ Specific" Colors yet have no indexing, do those Civ Specific Colors change for each Civ?

    I like the idea of a multiple range of transparancy and full spectrum colors because unit animations would be Fantastic compared to the limited Unit Palette normally used.
     
  19. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2002
    Messages:
    18,162
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pont de l'Arn, FRANCE
    I use colour defined in ARGB, with 0 to 255 values for each of them.

    For each civ, you can define a civ colour in RGB.

    I don't use indexing. The idea is to have two "layers" in the animation, one with all the non civ coloured pixels, the other with all the civ coloured pixels. They are in fact shades of grey/white, and when displaying the animatin, I paint the non civ coloured "as is", and the civ coloured with a hint. Turning the shades of grey to shades of red for instance.

    The main question now is: how to generate these two layers?
    When converting FLc, I scan pixel by pixel, if it uses an index of a civ colour, it goes in one layer (and is converted to a shade grey), if not it goes to the other layer.

    Now, when you generate frames from poser for instance, it is possible to render separetly civ coloured and non civ coloured part?
    If it's possible, I could make a new version of SBB that would automatically take the two layers.
    Meaning that you could just hit "render" with poser, and then go in my SBB, and completly forget the tedious task of defining a working palette.

    I also don't know if you can render with full transparency or not. I know that if you generate a png with full alpha channel, I can use it. But can you generate it?
     
  20. vingrjoe

    vingrjoe Landlocked Shipwright

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,211
    Location:
    Midwest, USA
    This is very interesting. Although I would have preferred to keep the East/West directions and omit the North/South. I like to gaze at the profile of warships...
     

Share This Page