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Creating and Positioning Tech Icons (using GIMP 2)

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Tutorials, Reference, & Guides' started by Varlin Saliptor, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. Varlin Saliptor

    Varlin Saliptor Does not hate the future.

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    THIS TUTORIAL IS FOR USERS OF THE GIMP 2.0 WHO WANT TO MAKE AND PLACE TECH ICONS IN THE GAME.

    For this tutorial, I am going to teach you how to:

    A. Make a tech icon for Civilization III
    and
    B. Locate the X-Y coordinates for placing the tech

    Programs needed:

    Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) v2.*
    Civ3Edit
    Microsoft Paint (yes, paint)

    Part A: Creating a tech icon

    Step 1: Finding an image
    There are many different ways to create a icon. You can use an image from the internet, or create your own. For this tutorial, we will be doing the former.

    Let us say we are doing a tech regarding architecture. For this tutorial, we will be using this image:
    Image is in the spoiler
    Spoiler :


    Step 2: Cropping the image
    Open up GIMP. Use the Rectangle Select Tool and hold shift to select a large square of the picture. Now, press, Ctrl+C (copy) and then Ctrl+N (File->New). Press OK in the dialog that comes up. NOw, goto Edit -> Paste (or Ctrl+V).

    You have now created a square crop of the original image.
    As you will have no doubt noticed, the image is too large, but we will deal with this at a later time.

    Next, apply any effects you wish (I will not be going into this here).

    Step 3: Resizing the image

    Next, goto Image -> Scale image


    In the dialog, make sure that both the boxes say 128 (as below)


    Press "Scale".

    Step 4: Creating the Pallette

    Just because the image is the right size, doesn't mean that it will work in-game.

    We need a pallette with the correct number of colors for it to work in-game.

    For this, goto:
    "Image" -> "Mode" -> "Indexed..."

    Then make sure that the number in the "Maximum number of colors" is 256



    Step 5: Making the Pallette Civ-compatible

    Civilization III reads the pallette entries to find the transparent colors. In GIMP, these two colors are the last two in the Color Map. To view and edit the color map, goto:

    "Dialogs" -> "Colormap"



    This dialog box should come up:



    Double click on the color in slot 255 (shown above) and edit the following box to look like this:



    Repeat this step for index 254 as well.

    Some people will claim that the last two colors must be Civ-Green (0,255,0) and Magenta (255,0,255), or the pallette is not civ-compatible. This is a misconception born from the fact that the original game files had these two colors. In truth, the colors must simply be easily seen so that they can be taken out of the image.

    Step 6: Optimizing the Image

    Go back to your toolbar, and find the "Select region by color" tool (Shift+O)


    Find the green in the image and click on it. Go back to your colormap and find a color that would fit in its place (usually 253 works) and use the paintbucket tool to color in the green.

    Repeat until all of Index 255 and 254 is removed from the image.

    Step 7: Saving and Creating the _small.pcx

    "Goto File" -> "Save" and choose your desired location. In the box type in FILENAME_large.pcx.

    Press OK in any dialog boxes that come up.

    Now, go back to our old friend "Scale Image" (see above), and change the dimensions to 32. Resize, and then "File" -> "Save As"

    Save it as FILENAME_small.pcx.

    Congratulations, you have just created a tech icon with the GIMP!
     
  2. Varlin Saliptor

    Varlin Saliptor Does not hate the future.

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    Part 2: Positioning An Icon

    Remember in the first half where I said we would be using Microsoft Paint?

    Well, be prepared to find it invaluable.

    Programs Needed:
    Civ3Edit (any version)
    MS Paint
    The GIMP


    Step 1: Add a tech in the editor

    A. Open up Civ3Edit (I am using Civ3QEdit)

    B. Open up your mod, and make sure that custom rules are enabled. (If you are making a mod, then that step is redundant)

    C. Click Edit, and goto the Technology tab.

    D. Click Add, and name the new tech.

    E. Select the Era for this tech (for the purposes of this tutorial, this is going to be in the first era).

    F. Choose all the effects that you want.

    G. Minimize the editor, but DO NOT save!!!

    Step 2: Determining the Location of the New Tech.

    Let's imagine that our new tech is going to come after map making.

    Start civilization and go to the tech screen. Press the Print Screen key on your keyboard to take a screenshot. (See below if you are confused)



    Now, goto Paint and press Ctrl+V (or Edit->Paste)

    For this next step, it helps if you draw a box where you want the new tech to appear. (See Below)



    Now, take the coordinates we just got, and go back to CivEdit. Put the first number of the coordinates in the "X" box on the edit tech screen, and the second in the "y" box.

    Now, with the Gimp, navigate to the Art/Advisors folder and open up the "Science_XXX" where XXX is teh era you are editing. Copy and paste the arrows into the correct position so that they will point to where the new tech will appear.

    Save, and test in game!

    Congratulations, you have just added a tech and positioned it correctly.
     
  3. odintheking

    odintheking Lighting the way...

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    Oh, colormap. I never saw that before. Thanks!
     
  4. Stormrage

    Stormrage Ever Present Taskmaster

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    Looks helpfull, thanks! :D
     
  5. bd41094

    bd41094 Prince

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    Thx a bunch! can't wait for part 2
     
  6. Synsensa

    Synsensa Deity Retired Moderator

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    Agh!!! Do you have a version for Photoshop as well? Because apparently that won't work according to you.
     
  7. Varlin Saliptor

    Varlin Saliptor Does not hate the future.

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    No, I don't have a photo$hop version as I don't have photo$hop and don't plan on having it anytime soon, as it is expensive (hence the dollar signs in "PhotoShop" )

    What do you mean by
    ?
     
  8. estrongblade

    estrongblade Epaulette Inspector

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    Really great! Where were you 2 years ago - lol. I was trying to find anyone who could show me anything about GIMP. I don't suppose you would consider making tutorials on how to apply GIMP to unit making,would you? I don't even know if it can, but I'm here as soon as I can get out from under doing the text files for SOE. It may be awhile, but I just wanted you to know that I am thrilled to find someone here at cfc who knows their way around GIMP. Keep up the good work!!
     
  9. Blaze Injun

    Blaze Injun Night Radio KYSE

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    Hey,

    Thanks for this tutorial. I've been messing around with gimp 2 for months.

    I thought some gimp user might like this older thread by Thisispete. It not a tutorial but does have info. Anyone up to the task of making a How-To?

    Display your world as a spinning globe!

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=114649

    Blaze Injun
     
  10. Varlin Saliptor

    Varlin Saliptor Does not hate the future.

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    I remember that thread. I might check it out when I have some free time.

    I wrote a tutorial on making M-Units with the GIMP and Steph's Storyboard Creator. Lemme dig up the thread for you.

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=121169

    If that doesn't help, I would gladly try and write a tutorial for a real unit. The only thing is is that I don't know much about the palettes for units.

    I would gladly write a tutorial.
     
  11. polyphemus

    polyphemus join the long blue line

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    I added this to my library, Excellent job, I put it as recommened!
     
  12. Varlin Saliptor

    Varlin Saliptor Does not hate the future.

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    Thanks. I will probably post part two later on tonight.
     
  13. Varlin Saliptor

    Varlin Saliptor Does not hate the future.

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    Updated For Part Two
     
  14. estrongblade

    estrongblade Epaulette Inspector

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    Hey, VS.

    I have not a clue of where to begin on palletes, except to say that this site does have a few fine tutorials on making units with some of the other graphics programs, such as Bryce and Photo$hop.

    Not having the know how to understand those two (hell, truth be told, I barely know GIMP), I can only pass on that pallettes are discussed in detail, and they don't seem to be too difficult for one who is knowledgeable with graphics programs in general, as you appear to be.

    I loved the m-unit link you posted, and immediately put it into my favorites for later, as I am now up to my neck (or is it nose? eyeballs maybe..??) in text files, sound files and what have you for the Storm over Europe (SOE) Mod. I shall keep an eye out here, and invite you to check the progress of SOE at the following link, if it pleases you to do so. Thx!

    HEY!! You added PICTURES!! I LOVE PICTURES!! They're my favorite thing - especially where any kind of basic understanding on my part is concerned!! Thx for the extras -now I know I'll be back again and again - just for the pictures!!!
     
  15. TopGun

    TopGun 258 kills

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    Thanks for this tutorial. I am a heavy Gimp user but never really figured out how to use the palettes/colormap features. You definitely shed some light on this. Big whopping thanks, man! :D
     
  16. bd41094

    bd41094 Prince

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    I followed all the instructions and I got everything done easily but then when I went to save the image this is what happened:

    It's really making me mad, whats doing that?

    Edit: I figured it out, I was being stupid and didn't see the "Select File Type Here" below it. Duh:blush: :crazyeye:
     
  17. estrongblade

    estrongblade Epaulette Inspector

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    Hi, VS! I have something here that you may be interested in

    Below are two images, the small one of which I tried to change into a large and small pcx for the civilopedia/icons/buildings folder for SOE. I used the above tutorial to a point, thinking I could fudge through the rest. Naturally, I did not realize that the image would need filler on both sides until I tried to scale it down to fit. That is where this request comes in.

    I was wondering if you could use the second, larger image (where the plane actually has German markings) to create a large and small pcx. for the civilopedia/icons/buildings folder. I shall be using it for the 'War Relief' improvement in 'Storm over Europe'.

    If you could add how you do this to your above tutorial as an expansion, I'm sure that many would appreciate the addition. I need both large and small from the same image, along with an explanation of how to add the filler. I feel that if you also show how to add filler to the top and bottom of an image as well, that many who wish to mod with GIMP would find it invaluable in their efforts.

    My thought was to put a filler on both sides of the picture to match the background of the poster so that it would be square, rather than using white or black. This would then allow the image to be scaled down without squishing the poster to illegibility. The smaller image is the one I attempted to alter, but it may be too small. When I went to find the larger version of this image, I discovered the other, which better suits my purpose (SOE is for WW 2 Europe) and put it forth as the better of the two.

    I would like you to look the small one over and tell us if you think it is too small to be effectively used for the purpose as described, and perhaps a short explanation of why so that future modders will know to avoid choosing images that are too small, if such applies.

    Anything you can do with this would be greatly appreciated, while at the same time providing a good subject for expansion of this fine tutorial. If you are unable to do so, I understand, as time may not allow you to do so. If you can, I thank-you very much in advance for your efforts, as I'm sure that anyone working with GIMP to mod C3c will as well. I shall keep this thread on my radar in hopes that you can help. Thx again and Cya! Here are the images:
     

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  18. Varlin Saliptor

    Varlin Saliptor Does not hate the future.

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    Let me start with the advice you suggested I give for future modders, es: DO NOT USE AN IMAGE THAT IS LESS THAT 128x128, UNLESS YOU PREPARED TO VENTURE DEEP INTO THE REALM OF IMAGE SMUDGING AND PIXEL PUSHING (MEANING THAT YOU WILL BE USING THE PENCIL TOOL OF YOUR FAVORITE GFX PROGRAM AT A ZOOM OF 800%).

    That being said, allow me to continue.

    In short, yes, the first too small. The second, after I blend out the creases and crop it, will work fine. I am a little confused though. You want it to be the building's icon? The one you see in the Civilopedia? All you do is follow part one of the tutorial and then plop it into the art/civilopdia/buildings folder. I will, however, add a bit about fudging borders for size issues.
     
  19. estrongblade

    estrongblade Epaulette Inspector

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    Well, you were right, VS.

    The first part of your tutorial DOES work just fine for the purpose that I asked about - I discovered that not long after I sent you that PM. Before I read the response there, or here, I figured out more things about GIMP than I have in the last two years with just what you put here as a jumping off point. It's amazing how quickly one learns when one HAS to. ;)

    Granted, I'm STILL muddling along slowly, but I did come up with a few interesting images for use as the large pcx in the civilopedia. I took the liberty of posting them here. I used ONLY the GIMP to come up with these images, and though they are not by any means perfect, they are perfect enough. I shall be wading into actual buildings soon, because I do have a fair hand with a brush, as the comparison images of 'Unternehmen Barbarossa' show below. Anything you put in here about layers, channels, masks etc will be voraciously read by yours truly, as I'm sure such things will rear their ugly heads and assault my abilities at every turn as I continue wading into the morass of graphics design and alteration.

    About the pictures - the first, as many of you know, is the finished pcx for the 'War Relief' improvement for SOE. This image is posted here in it's actual size of 128X128 pixels, so you will not get a much larger image by clicking on the expand option. The second image is what I used to create the third image. It is an actual depiction of a real poster used by Germany during WW 2. BTW, my new B-17 avatar was blended in order to reach that square look - the actual image is about half of the square you see. I used GIMP for that, too.

    I had to remove the flag, fill in all borders and missing elements of the picture and readjust the foreground to match the rest of the shot with blending and a few other things that I can't even remember the names of in order to achieve the results in image 3. I also added the words, a true headache for anyone that only knows what a third of the buttons in this program mean. :twitch: The image shall be used as the large civilopedia pcx for 'Unternehmen Barbarossa', a particularly interesting BLDG in SOE. I hope you like the results, VS. Know that what you put here was a great jump point for me, even if I'm only dogpaddling rather than swimming. If you need a testimonial for a better job or something, I'm your guy! Thanks for this fine tutorial once again! :goodjob: ;) :) :cool: And now, the images:
     

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  20. Varlin Saliptor

    Varlin Saliptor Does not hate the future.

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    I know that the first is finished, but i think it would look better if you blended the brighter yellow of the flames into the duller yellow/ochre in the background, or made hte background on the left brighter.

    I never use masks, only layers. Sometimes, even those are a pain and i just end up opening a new image altogether to use as a bulletin board of sorts.

    I like what you did with the second/third images. I had to do something similar on a school project to get rid of a pesky copyright notice on an otherwise perfect pic of a painting (I still gave him credit for it!!!!!) That involved a very varied stormy background and half of a ship that i had to recreate.
     

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