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Civ4 Button Maker for Gimp, Photoshop and PaintDotNet

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Utility Programs' started by asioasioasio, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. asioasioasio

    asioasioasio Fallout Scrubber

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    This are the files for GIMP, Photoshop and PaintDotNet wich allows to quickly create buttons
    for Civilization IV. Tested on Gimp 2.0 and Photoshop 8.0 CS, PaintDotNet 3.0 but i think it should work with older versions and other
    softwere wich could read .xcf or .psd files.

    Download buttonmaker here:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=3994

    You may also try button maker for making flags
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=4796

    Both files for Gimp (buttonmaker2.xcf), Photoshop (buttonmaker2.psd) and PaintDotNet
    (buttonmaker2.pdn) contains layers so you need the basic graphic knowledge, especially knowing
    what the layers are and how they work.



    The top - is your border - under this is shadow with reduced opacity -
    where i paint with black brush shadows on the ground (not always used)
    Under this there's layer for pasting your custom graphics (it could be your custom background,
    graphic for technology, building, unit etc).

    The next layers are for units and promotions it contains backgrounds used by game.



    So if you want use your plane with civ4 buttons style you can (i use this method) make screenshot
    of the unit in nifskope, cut the gray background, and select only the unit (you should know how
    to work with selections in graphic programs). I just rescale selected airplane to the proper size
    (all graphics should fit the size of button wich is 64x64) and paste in the layer named "Paste Graphics Here".
    Here's the result:




    EDIT: You may consider using one of sniperrabits background http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=202164

    If You have Gimp or Photoshop you don't have to worry about the alpha it contains alpha - so just export it as .dds.



    If you don't have Gimp (freeware) or Photoshop but for example
    Paint Shop Pro or PaintDotNet (Note that for PaintDotNet you don't have .dds export plugin - so you have to convert it to .bmp)
    you should be available to open the files and export as .bmp. Don't forget in that situation
    to merge in DDS Converter with alpa (alpha chanel butons.bmp file)

    It saved me a tone of hours and it's very useful thing - I hope it'll help you in creating buttons too.

    EDIT:
    I was asked how to work with backgrounds. Hmm - just google for tutorials about selections and layers. You may find many tutorials about selections and layers and cutting down the image on the web i just present few of them:
    For Gimp Layers http://www.gilesorr.com/papers/gimp-tutorial/gimp.html#AEN111 this tut also explans other basics of gimp
    For Gimp using of Selections http://mercury.chem.pitt.edu/~sasha/LinuxFocus/English/January2001/article119.shtml
    For Photoshop Layers: http://www.elated.com/articles/introduction-to-layers/
    For Photoshop Selections: http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/ph..._Masks_and_Making_Selections_in_Photoshop.htm
    http://www.video-animation.com/photo_03.shtml

    So all you have to do for use civ4 background is take a screenshot (PrintScrn) in nifskope (i prefer this method) or find some cool graphic over the net and delete the old background - for example this gray background in nifskope or the sky and grass in other graphic - to that you'll have to now how to work with selections, you have to cut selected unit from background
    Cutting for Photoshop (two different methods): http://www.tutorialized.com/tutorial/Cutting/4032
    http://www.photoshopcafe.com/tutorials/cutout/cutout.htm
    Cutting for Gimp http://www.gimpguru.org/Tutorials/ReplaceForeground/
    and finally resize cutted unit to fit 64x64 button and paste it to the buttonmaker




    VIDEOTUTORIAL - HOW TO MAKE BUTTON IN GIMP
    Sorry for bad quality (especially the sound doesn't match the video in later part of the movie. But i'm not videoeditor and tried twice to fix it - always with the same result with video delay).
    But even watching video without sound you should learn new tricks and learn how to make new button.

    1. You will need GIMP, GIMP DDS plugin, buttonmaker and of course image you want to turn into the button.
    2. To watch video you need to have software for watching videos + xvid codeck

    Download tutorial here

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=11116
     
  2. snipperrabbit!!

    snipperrabbit!! Deity

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    Does it work with Paindotnet v3.0 ?
     
  3. asioasioasio

    asioasioasio Fallout Scrubber

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    Since PaintDotNet is freeware I've made version for it too
    You may donload new version :) it contains now buttonmaker2.pdn.
    I don't know how to work with channels in PDN and probably there's no .dds plugin for it - so you shoul export it as .bmp and merge with alpha
     
  4. GarretSidzaka

    GarretSidzaka Deity

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    asio

    you've made alot of people's lives easier, my friend.

    :goodjob:
     
  5. snipperrabbit!!

    snipperrabbit!! Deity

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    actually, I use paintdotnet to make the RVB work in various format and use DXTBmp to make the DDS importing the alpha mask provided by Laurino. It works fine and has the sectorization my mind requies. The tool you've provided will be of some help ( the bottom right corner of my former buttons needs some re-works ).
    Thank you, asioasioasio !
     
  6. C~G

    C~G Untouchable

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    Quick question came to my mind and it's probably the stupidest question of century but can you edit the borders of civbuttons?
    Meaning them to have different outlook than that metal greyish?

    Haven't tested it myself yet...
     
  7. snipperrabbit!!

    snipperrabbit!! Deity

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    Do you mean something like this :



    for some reskinned interface mod ?
     
  8. ClassicThunder

    ClassicThunder Prince

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    Very Nice!

    I made some of this for myself but the backgrounds will be very useful.
     
  9. asioasioasio

    asioasioasio Fallout Scrubber

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    @ All
    Thank You. I hope it will be useful - restoring backgrounds could be annoying and here you have it :)

    @ C~G
    Yes naturally - the easiest way is to play with
    Hue / Saturation and Brightness / Contrast
    It's just another layer so changing collor won't affect the layers behind
    You can even turn off the border - but's it's not the purpose for wich it was created :)
     
  10. C~G

    C~G Untouchable

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    Yeah, exactly that.
    I was thinking of creating different kind of texture for the borders. Mainly keeping eye on the tan colored interface.

    Thanks for the answer and thanks for the tool, have to start experimenting with it. :)
     
  11. snipperrabbit!!

    snipperrabbit!! Deity

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  12. woodelf

    woodelf Bard

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    This is super asio. Thanks. :goodjob:
     
  13. asioasioasio

    asioasioasio Fallout Scrubber

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    :)

    I've added some explanation in first post and where to find some tutorials about making selections, layers, cutting images to paste them into button
     
  14. strategyonly

    strategyonly C2C Supreme Commander

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    So all you have to do for use civ4 background is take a screenshot (PrintScrn) in nifskope


    I dont see a print screen there?? Or are you talking about the one on the Keyboard, , mine dont work? I think?????
     
  15. asioasioasio

    asioasioasio Fallout Scrubber

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    Example for photoshop - in gimp and pain.net idea is quite the same

    1. Hit printscreen on keybord when you're in nifskope
    2. Open your graphic program
    3. Select Menu File\New - create new graphic file
    4. Menu Edit Paste - paste the screenshot from nifskope.
    5. Use different selection tool
    Marquee Tool or Lasso Tool or Magic Wand Tool. When you hold mouse click longer other options will appear

    When you hold mouse click longer on the button other options will appear

    The simpliest is to cut the unit with part of surrounding gray background with Marquee Tool. And paste to new smaller file and then with Magic Wand Tool select the gray background and hit delete

    6. Resize it to desired size - for example 64 x 64.
    7. Select once again with Marquee Tool you're resized unit and paste to button maker in layer named "Paste Graphic Here" and make visible or hidden other layers to get needed background
     
  16. Impaler[WrG]

    Impaler[WrG] Civ4:Col UI programmer

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    I noticed all the buttons made with this tool have square corners rather then rounded ones like the default buttons. It looks like this is because theirs some extra grey color filling in the space between the rounded corner Frame and the edge of the image, it should be transparent but that would allow the pasted picture to show in that space instead. So what I have done is add some magenta in that space for the border layer and made it transparent on the other layers. Follow all of asiox3's steps pasting on the middle layer and merge down. Then as the final step select the magenta and cut it out to leave transparency (Gimp can do this very easily). The button will then have the rounded corners like those made by Firaxis.

    I've attacked version 3, please check to make sure I haven't broken anything, I'm not much of a graphics man ya know.
     

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  17. asioasioasio

    asioasioasio Fallout Scrubber

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    Sorry - i couldn't test it well on gimp cause the .dds plugin doesn't work on my pc. I thought when alpha is one of layers or should work fine - it works well in photoshop. If anyone could check Impalers button i would update the button
     
  18. snipperrabbit!!

    snipperrabbit!! Deity

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    nice duck, asio

    @Impaler : With proper alpha mask, I think it works properly

    Anyway, I will get an eye on new version.

    EDIT : checked buttons made with buttonmaker 2.0 and nothing is wrong

    exemple :



    How to import as a new layer in Gimp ?
     
  19. Impaler[WrG]

    Impaler[WrG] Civ4:Col UI programmer

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    It seems to be working for me so I'm happy, I can round off the edges of existing square buttons, here is an example, your Sydney Opera House button originally had square corners as can be seen in the first screen shot, the second is the same button converted to rounded corners.
     

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  20. asioasioasio

    asioasioasio Fallout Scrubber

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    hmm about this sydney opera house button probably i forgot to set up for dds 3.0 - it happens sometime that i use dds 1.0 with noalpha
     

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