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City File Tutorial

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Tutorials, Reference, & Guides' started by Gray Wolf, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    Folks, I don't think my tutorial was ready for primetime yet. I fixed the .pcx files but I think I want to go step by step through my tutorial and look at everything again and possibly re-write some of the steps...

    So give me a chance to do that. I'll put a note down here when I think it's ready again...

    Laurana has made me realize that I did not index the .pcx files properly and that there are easier ways to work with the images using multiple layers.

    Also, I usually am not this bad on .pcx files. I've created about 235 buildings so far and they all look good in game...so I should be able to do these.
    Geesh. :blush:

    I'll eventually get everything right though so please bare with me...

    Edit: I finished re-writing the tutorial now...
    So I'm ready to begin some more mischief now... :mischief: :)
     
  2. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    One thing I would add to the section on working with layers:



    It is possible to link layers together so that they keep their relative position as a whole. To link layers just click in the space between the eye and the layer icon. The layers in the illustration with the chain icon are linked. They will move together regardless of which layer is grabbed/selected. None of the other layers are affected. Linking keeps placement I like, but allows other parts of the graphic to be adjusted. Keeping major buildings in relative position while trying different placements of other elements such as houses and walls, for example. AFAIK you can't have multiple sets of links: everything in the whole file that is linked moves together.

    Grouping (the other thing illustrated in the image) doesn't link for movement or placement in stack but controls for visibility, and helps with general organization. The group icon is not as layer - it's more like the folder icon in a file directory. I've worked with terrain files that at one point or another had up to 100 layers. Both grouping (not having to see every layer) and linking (moving layers as a batch) help a lot.

    As each city is assembled you want the whole cities to stay in place relative to each other. But by keeping the layers separate you can continue to make adjustments as you see them side by side - even moving buildings from one city to another. I recommend not flattening until as late as possible in the process.
     
  3. Pounder

    Pounder Phaethon was here

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    I find that it is so much easier to use MSPaint, layers are easy, set selection option to Transparent Selection and you are off to the races.

    Copy the template and anything else you want to layer, the white background is transparent so you can just pile stuff up.



    Once you are finished just select the completed piece and save it as a PNG.

    Open the PNG with gimp, do a select all and copy, then index the file and set the transparencies (pink and green in their designated 254 255), paste the copy and save as PCX.
     

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  4. Pounder

    Pounder Phaethon was here

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    BTW, don't place anything in the green area on my template, the terrain is drawn like fish scales, you will have your cities covered buy irrigation and other overlays, that is the whole reason for this template, the template with the blue will have problems as the blue at the bottom is going into the green area which can be covered buy overlays (irrigation, pollution, railroads, etc...).
     
  5. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    Thanks Pounder. That seems like a great way of selecting a transparent image. I haven't used MSPaint in a long time and I'll have to try that and use that as an example in my tutorial above...
     
  6. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    I am using your large template as the base now and I am adding 12 layers to it, one for each city/ERA. And I'll explain that the city needs to be placed in the magenta section (not the green), unless you are working on the 2nd column, in which case you need to place the city in the green section (not the magenta). I'll put a link down here to this post...

    I noticed that once... one of my cities was too large and part of it was covered by irrigation...

    Also, I should have asked you a long time ago if it was ok to use your Template in this tutorial. I apologize for that.

    Thanks...
     
  7. Pounder

    Pounder Phaethon was here

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    Any thing I post here I consider community property. Damn I'm sounding like a Marxist.

    No need to ask me for permission.

    I noticed I spelled by wrong twice, I use buy all day long, ....
     
  8. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    Researching Google, I found the answer to the anti-aliasing issue in GIMP.

    If you scale an image down, and you want to avoid anti-aliasing, then you set this command when scaling:

    Image -> Scale Image -> Quality: Interpolation -> None
     
  9. Laurana Kanan

    Laurana Kanan Don’t underestimate who I am.

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    Yep, unfortunately, when I set that up it basically came down to a compromise I was comfortable with in my own game. With extra-large or irregular size cities it means either having a small portion of the SE & SW of the city 'possibly' covered by an overlay or having the N, NE & NW terrain 'definitely' covered and unable to be seen.

    Glad you found that. Just a note of caution when using this setting - the results can sometimes look strange, especially if the scaling percentage is high. You may have to play with it some to get it to look good to you or use a different image interpolation method altogether. Sometimes it's simply trial and error...

    Just a thought about your tutorial. If you wanted to, what about having separate tutorials. The first, a basic "how-to" of putting together a city pcx from pre-made cities. The second, could be a more in-depth tutorial on building a city by cut+paste (like your tipis & totem). And, if you ever got into modeling, a third about building a city from model elements - maybe Kyriakos could help?
     
  10. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    I know. It worked this time on my totem pole...I tested it. But I think I've learned at this point not to assume anything works correctly.

    And for this new tutorial, I re-created all of my transparent files and index tested them before hand on a magenta background and they all look good this time (as far as I can tell). The ColorMap only shows 1 magenta color and it doesn't have any off-pink type colors in there this time around...

    And I figured out how to make multiple layers like you and Blue Monkey do. And how to flatten any visible layers you want, etc... So my tutorial should be better this time.

    Yes, this was meant to be the basic how to tutorial all along which shows you how to paste in any images you want.
    I'll show one example of how to add a pre-made city into a layer...

    Anyway, you made me realize how much easier it is to do everything with multiple layers... and after learning that, I basically HAD to remove the cumbersome, confusing process that I explained before! LOL :)

    So this will be a basic tutorial with how to add any type of image. And after following the tee pee example, people should be able to understand that they can use some pre-made city images that others made ... by just cutting them and making them transparent and adding them into a layer...

    I doubt that I'll make a tutorial on modeling. I have Wings 3D and understand some of it... but not enough to write a tutorial yet...

    I think I write tutorials because I like to hear myself talk! :)

    Actually I started writing them so I could have a place to go to read my notes on how to do something.
    Because I'm always forgetful and have to look back at my notes to understand something...
     
  11. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    Ok, this tutorial is finished...hopefully! :)
     
  12. MPK

    MPK prince

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    Great that a Tutorial is being made on this subject. Remember a Tutorial is for those people who don't know what they are doing. So if you think, "will we understand", best to believe that we won't. I gave it a go. I have Gimp and I did get used to using it a while ago.

    1. It was was easy to follow. Wasn't really doing anything. Also my folder path to find Art/Cities is way different than yours. But that does not confuse me, anymore.

    2. I opened up the City Template that Pounder made in Gimp. I stumbled through creating the Layers, finally getting all the layers and numbers in the correct order. Magneta 1st, then Modern 3, Modern 2, etc etc ... ...

    3. Now I am halted. Says open up your Transparent Teepee 1.png. I don't want to use your Teepee. But also how did you make the Teepee? ----- I guess I have to learn how to use Gimp again.
     
  13. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    Yea, I was trying to write this with a lot of details and screenshots...for people who haven't used GIMP and/or layers before


    Thanks. I'm glad everything made sense....

    Right, sometimes people have different installation paths, so your folder may be in a different location. But I think people can probably figure that out because the main folders are all the same...

    I included a City Template.xcf file that already has the layers in it. But I guess I should have put in some notes about how to create your own layers. You were able to figure that out though so that's good.

    Basically you just Layer/Add Layer. And name the layer whatever you want. And then you can do a CNTL-L to see the layer box and drag your layers up and down and put them wherever you want.

    I put those transparent images in the zip file so that people could use them and focus on how to make a city file when they already have a good image with a transparent background.

    I sort of wanted to avoid talking about how to make transparencies because there's so many different ways to do it. And some people are better at it than I am.

    But to answer your question about how I made the tee pees. I went to Google Images and searched. I found some good Tipi illustrations and used the Gimp Scissors tool to cut out the images. Tools/Selection Tools/Intelligent Scissors or Click I for short...

    Once I scissor an image, I do an Edit/Copy. And then Edit/Paste As/New Image. This will give me the image on a transparent background. (a Tee Pee on a transparent background in this case).

    Then you have to zoom in on the image and fix a lot of pixels. And you usually have to scale it down to the size you want.

    I usually fix colors and brightness also using some of the color tools...

    Anyway, it takes a lot of time to do this kind of work.

    Sometimes you can do a Google search like this: Transparent Tipi. And you might get lucky. Someone out there may have already made a good Transparent Tipi that you can copy and use...

    Well, that's just the basics. If I have time, I guess I'll write a separate tutorial on how to use GIMP scissors and make transparent backgrounds and things like that.

    If you attach the image you want to use in the city file, maybe I can use that as another example of how to use your own image (make it transparent and add it to a layer).

    Thanks for your questions...
     
  14. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    If you like writing tutorials, maybe that is your niche. Ozymandias is a great archivist for all things downloadable. We could use someone to bring together the good information about how to make those things - available but scattered across multiple threads. You could pick just about any topic, do a bit of searching, gather the relevant posts as raw material and ask the people who've worked on the issue the most if your draft makes sense. Then as new information is discovered, or techniques are refined, there would already be a tutorial to update, rather than having yet another piece of the puzzle tucked away in a different thread.
     
  15. MPK

    MPK prince

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    Does MSPaint work with windows7 64bit?

    I don't seem to be able to get it to do anything.
     
  16. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    Yea, I have Windows 7 64 bit and MS Paint opens and works good...
     
  17. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    Yes, the information is definitely scattered around. I always have to hunt and peck in order to learn how to do anything. So, once I learn something, I feel the need to organize it in a good way and put it in one place. Mostly for myself, but also to share with others.

    So I would like to write some more tutorials... but I think I need to make sure I understand the material first. I think I jumped the gun a little too soon this time...

    Also I don't want to peck people too much for information. They'll get sore from all the pecking! LOL :)

    I do think that more people should write tutorials though. Some people have a lot of expertise
    that they could share if they have some extra time.
     
  18. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    MPK, if you have an image that has a building inside it, attach it here and I'll use it as an example of how to use scissors to cut out a building. Otherwise, I can just show people how to cut an Aztec temple out of a picture...
     
  19. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    I've gotten better on tracking down the info - just don't have time to write it up because my writing time is all for classes these days. So it wouldn't be pecking to ask for help tracking down info.

    Same goes for writing the tutorial itself. Just as with anything else, make a wip thread in the main C&C forum. Once you've gotten the input/feedback you need & are satisfied with the state of the text, then make a thread in the tutorials subforum.
     
  20. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    Yes, that's a great way to do it. I'll probably start a WIP thread on something soon. I'm not sure what my next tutorial will be about but that's a perfect way to gather information and do things... thanks..
     

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