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Blue Marble V4.0 Gold

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Graphics Modpacks' started by ColdFever, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. ColdFever

    ColdFever blue

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    This program allows the installation of a new graphic design for Sid Meier's Civilization IV™, based on images of the NASA projects Blue Marble and Hubble, supplemented with a graphically modernized and harmonized user interface. Individual components are selectable in the setup program.
    Homepage and Download: http://www.civfanatics.net/bluemarble
    German Mirror: http://www.civilized.de/www/content/index.php?cat=civ4_bluemarble

    Desired/Undesired components can be enabled/disabled during installation via options:
    Terrains: BlueMarble textures of the earth map or space map (FinalFrontier)
    Themes: BlueMarble fonts, color settings and mouse cursors
    Backgrounds: BlueMarble backgrounds (loading screens, advisors, civilopedia)
    Leaderheads: BlueMarble leaderheads (color adapted and "aged", transparent symbols)

    history:
    2005: V1.00 - Civ4 release
    2006: V2.00 - Civ4:Warlords release
    2007: V3.00 - Civ4:Beyond the Sword release
    2008: V4.00 - Gold release
    new: Gold UI, warmer colors, Civ4:Colonization terrain style
    Kudos to Firaxis Games for Civ4:Colonization updates

    2008: V4.20 - sunnier grassland, color selectbox and detail maps corrections
    2008: V4.50 - new brightness selector, new snow style, lots of refinements

    terrain screenshot:


    comparison screenshot:


    leaderhead screenshot comparison (color adapted and "aged")
     
  2. Dresden

    Dresden Chieftain

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    Very nice, ColdFever; I'll definitely give this a try. Looks like the gold background will play much more nicely with text in front of it than the clouds from the previous version did which remedies my main problem with the old one. :goodjob:
     
  3. strategyonly

    strategyonly C2C Supreme Commander

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    Would like to try it, but i dont like the Frontier style fonts, anyway to change them to the original, but keep the gold style background and stuff?
     
  4. ColdFever

    ColdFever blue

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    Yes, this version is trying to optimize such things following the user feedback received over the last year in the BMv3 thread. Thanks!

    No problem, you can change the Blue Marble fonts easily anytime. As default Blue Marble supplies a "sans serif"-style font that is also slightly larger for better readability. Nowadays people use larger displays with higher display resolutions than some years ago. To change back to the original tiny "serif"-style font:

    1. Open the "Texts" tab of the Blue Marble installer
    2. Select Serif as a "Font Style" and 1 as a "Font Size"
    3. Click on "Activate"

    You can experiment a bit to find the font setting you like best for your display. As default for Blue Marble I supply the setting that works best for me on different displays as combination of readability and information density. From mails I received I know that some people even like extremely large font settings for better readability on smaller notebook displays with higher resolutions.
     
  5. JustATourist

    JustATourist Lost in Translation

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    Interessting. What would you suggest someone with an outdated computer, to stay with Blue Marble 3, which runs okay, or to give v4.0 a try? This "Colonization terrain style" does give me a bad feeling, that it might be more hardware demanding. Or am I too cautionous?

    Btw: Is it nessessary to uninstall v3.0 first to install v4.0?
     
  6. ColdFever

    ColdFever blue

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    No need to worry here. BlueMarble 4 has the same requirements as version 3, meaning on "high res" it is using the high texture quality of Civ4 when it was released - before Firaxis later lowered memory requirements via lower res images through patches. So who can use BM3 should be able to use BM4 with the same settings. Who has problems with BM3 or BM4 on "high res" should try the "low res" installation.

    Uninstalling BM3 for BM4 is not necessary; BM4 adds one more file to the user area than BM3 did, so all BM3 files will be overwritten anyway. In the case where you do not like BM4 and want to revert back to BM3 you should uninstall BM4 first, so that all its files are uninstalled before you install BM3.
     
  7. The Capo

    The Capo godless Heathen

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    What if I am making a mod where I only want to use this interface? Is it possible to just import the interface to my mod?
     
  8. ripple01

    ripple01 Chieftain

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    I ask the same thing; I would simply like to use the font from Blue Marble in my mod. How would I do this?

    Cheers,
    ripple01
     
  9. The Capo

    The Capo godless Heathen

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    Well, I'm talking about the gold interface rather than blue. Not the title screen image.
     
  10. ColdFever

    ColdFever blue

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    If I understand correctly you are looking for a way to build a custom interface for your mod. BlueMarble changes the global interface, so all standard games and mods are automatically affected if they do no disable "CustomAssets" or have their own custom "Resouces".

    To have a custom interface for a mod became possible with the BtS-Addon. BtS introduced custom "Resources". So your mod will require this addon. You can see how this is done by looking at a Firaxis BtS-mod where this has technique been used, like "Final Frontier". Open this mod folder and look for the folder named "Resource". Here you find the interface definitions.

    Basically to change only the font style and color you only need to define one file:
    Resource\Themes\Civ4\Civ4Theme_Common.thm
    As a start you could copy the new theme from BlueMarble inside of the global Resource folder.
     
  11. JustATourist

    JustATourist Lost in Translation

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    I tried v4.0: While I like most of the changes from v3.0, I do think the terrain in v4.0 is really dark, especially the dark green grass. I tried to install only the terrain from v3.0 and afterwards install everything of v4.0 exept the terrain, but for strange reasons I got the vanilla terrain then. So I had to return to v3.0 in general. Is the terrain really meant to be this dark?
     
  12. The Capo

    The Capo godless Heathen

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    Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try and figure it out.
     
  13. ColdFever

    ColdFever blue

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    Indeed I enhanced the contrast of the graphics and made ocean and grass somewhat darker and more realistic compared to the space images I got via NASA Blue Marble. Here are some recent NASA images for comparison:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/BlueMarble/BlueMarble_monthlies.html

    Sorry, if the darker terrain does not work for you. I finally was able to buy a professional monitor with color calibration - and I was surprised how bad the colors of my old monitor were compared to the calibrated colors of my new one. So I changed a lot for a more naturalistic appearance, also with the leaderheads. But perhaps on older monitors with less lucency the darker terrain indeed might be problematic. Have others similar problems?

    Did you try raising the brightness of your monitor? Did you trying adjusting your picture with a calibration image? Here is a link to a brightness/contrast test image. At best you can set your monitor so that you can recognize all numbers from 1 to 8, on both sides. But I admit this test image is pretty extreme, not even my expensive monitor can handle the "1"s well. Try to achieve the best setting, the more numbers you can see on your monitor, the better sophisticated pictures will look on it:
    http://www.fc-prints.de/fileadmin/daten/einser.jpg
     
  14. CellKu

    CellKu Chieftain

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    I like the new terrain a lot. :goodjob: However, I have one question: Is it possible to use the new terrain graphics introduced by v4.0 but keep the blue UI of v3.0 (which is not solid as the new gold one is)? Does the "color setting" allows that (to have the not solid one) during the setup?
     
  15. JustATourist

    JustATourist Lost in Translation

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    It is not that the darker terrain doesn't work, it just that I have the feeling, the land terrain is too dark as a whole in the new version. (The water really does look much better.) Of course I can see everything, it's just my taste, and it seems I am the only one, who thinks the grass is too dark. :)

    But I don't think it is a problem with my monitor. I am using the same setting for quite long now and never had the feeling to increase the brightness in any game. I just guess, that I have a strange taste. :)
     
  16. Wolfshanze

    Wolfshanze CFC Historian

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    On a rare nod to concurrence... I agree with JustATourist.

    It looks very nice, but on-the-whole seems like the entire world is in twighlight-mode.

    Looks real pretty, but just too dark for my tastes.
     
  17. ColdFever

    ColdFever blue

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    You can change this in the BM installer anytime after installation easily:

    Setting Text colors:
    1. Start the Blue Marble installer
    2. Change from the "Graphics" tab to the "Texts" tab
    3. Select another "BG Color" of your choice. Standard for v4 is Gold, for v3 it was Aqua, you also should give Copper a try, select Original for the original color.
    4. Set "BG Opacity" as you like, 256 means no opacity for better readability
    5. Select "Activate" to activate your settings, then restart Civ4.

    Hmm, what do you other guys think? Are there people who like the new lighting (like me), or is it general consensus that the terrain is too dark now? I would be willing to make the terrain somewhat brighter again, but not that then will come complaints from other people?
     
  18. The Capo

    The Capo godless Heathen

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    With the installer program does everything go in automatically, or can I customize it to go in certain folders, or use certain colors etc.?
     
  19. ColdFever

    ColdFever blue

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    Just try it out to see yourself. There is a button called "List Affected Files" that shows all changes. The BM installer program provides one safe installation scheme, using the CustomAssets folder where possible and only changing original files where needed (because CustomAssets don't work in some cases). So the safest installation that works for the main game, the original addons and most of the mods is automatically chosen. Afterwards you can change the appearance of texts via the "Texts" tab. Selecting custom installation folders is not provided, sorry. Safety and simplicity of usage for average users comes first, any serious modder with other requirements will be able to copy the files elsewhere when needed.
     
  20. CellKu

    CellKu Chieftain

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    ColdFever, thanks for your help! :)
    Actually, I would also appreciate it if the terrain was a bit brighter.
     

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