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Flag Tutorial (Step by Step)

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Tutorials, Reference, & Guides' started by Gray Wolf, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

    Jun 2, 2012
    Note: A PDF file of this tutorial is attached below.

    How to make a Flag leaderhead FLC file (using GIMP 2.8 and PSP 7 which includes Animation Shop).

    Leaderhead flags are 200 width x 240 height. They look like this:
    Spoiler :

    This tutorial will show you how to make a flag leader head like this.
    Russian flag leaderhead:

    Spoiler :

    Here's how to make the Russian flag leaderhead:

    1. Find a picture of the Russian flag on wikipedia and save it.

    Spoiler :

    2. Open the flag up in GIMP and scale it to 200 width x 240 height.

    Image/Scale Image

    Spoiler :

    Spoiler :

    3. Export the file as a .pcx file.
    (1) File/Export
    (2) click the + sign where it says "Select File Type"
    (3) Scroll to the bottom and choose ZSoft PCX image
    (4) Change the file name: flag.pcx
    (5) Click export

    Spoiler :

    4. Close the current file(s) and open up the flag.pcx file in GIMP

    5. Index the Colors / Make a Color Palette
    (1) Image/Mode/Indexed

    (2) Set the color map to "Generate optimum palette"

    (3) Set Maximum number of colors = 254.
    This ensures that your palette will have 2 unused colors that you can change later on.

    (4) Set Color dithering to "None"
    (5) Leave "Enabling dithering of transparency" unchecked.
    (6) Click Convert.

    Spoiler :

    6. Overwrite the flag.pcx file
    File/Overwrite flag.pcx

    7. File/Close Without Saving

    8. Open up the flag.pcx file again

    9. Fix the Color Palette (make it work with Civ 3)
    (1) Windows/Dockable Dialogs/Colormap (Opens the color map/palette)

    (2) Make the colormap window bigger so you can see all the colors.

    (3) Double click the last palette color (color index=255)

    Set the color to any color that is not in the current pallette.
    Try Fuchsia (ff00ff).

    (4) Double click the second to last pallette color (color index=254)
    Set the color to any color that is not in the current pallette.
    Try neon green (00ff00).

    (5) Scan the pallette. Find any pallette color that looks white.
    If it is ffffff then change it to fffff3.

    Spoiler :

    10. Overwrite the file again
    File/Overwrite flag.pcx

    11. Close the File Without Saving

    12. Re-open the file again

    You may ask "Why do we keep closing and re-opening the file?" !!
    Basically we want to do this to ensure that the last part saved correctly.

    Leave the file open for a while.

    13. Open up a .flc file in the conquests/art/flics folder using PSP animation shop...
    Any flc file in the folder will work. Try the one called X2_Mursilis_ancient_bwrd.flc

    Spoiler :

    Delete all the frames in the file except for the first frame.
    Click on the 2nd frame and then use the shift key and the right arrow key
    to select all the frames from 2 until the last frame.

    Click the delete button to get rid of all those frames.
    You just have one frame now.

    Spoiler :

    14. Save the .flc file
    File/Save As/Temp.flc
    Click the Save Button

    A dialog box pops up. Just click the Next Button all the way through
    each diaglog box section. Then Click the Finish Button.

    Close the File.

    15. Re-open the file.
    You should only see 1 frame in the .flc file.
    All of the empty frames should be gone.

    Spoiler :

    16. Go back to your .pcx file and do an Edit/Copy

    17. Now go back to PSP and select the single frame that you have.
    Just click it's title bar.

    18. Now do an Edit/Paste/Into Selected Frame.
    Line up your frame so that it fits perfectly inside.
    It's sometimes a pain but it eventually lines up squarely inside it.

    Spoiler :

    19. Save your file
    (1) File/Save As. Example: Russia.flc
    (2) An "Animation Quality Versus Output Size" dialog box will pop up
    (3) Click the Customize button
    (4) Click the tab called "Canvas Color"
    (5) Change that to any color that is not white and not something used
    in the picture. I like to use some light "close to white" color.

    Spoiler :

    (6) Click OK
    (7) Leave the lever set to "Better Image Quality"
    (8) Leave the checkbox unchecked ("use these settings...")
    (9) Click Next
    (10) Click Next again
    (11) Click Next again
    (12) Click Finish

    20. Change Frame Time
    In the menu select: Animation/Frame Properties
    Then change the display time to 24 (which represents .24 seconds).
    If you leave it less than that, then there is a chance that it will hang/freeze
    during game time.

    21. File/Save ... to Save the File again.
    That's it. Now you have a .flc file that you can put in your flics folder
    and use in the .BIQ editor for your civilization.

    If you don't know what I'm talking about:

    For each Civilization in the .BIQ editor, there is a section in the lower left
    called Animations. And it has a dropdown box for each era
    (Ancient, Middle, Industrial, and Modern). And there is a Forward filename
    and a Reverse filename for each era.

    Just use "Art\Flics\Russia.flc" for each era and both the forward and reverse filename.

    Spoiler :

    Anyway, that's it. You're done...

    Attached Files:

  2. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

    Jun 2, 2012
    Sometimes a standard flag does not scale very well.

    For example, here is the Mapuche flag that I found on Wikipedia.

    Spoiler :

    When I scaled it to 200 width x 240 height, it looked like this:
    Spoiler :

    We want something better than that. Here's one way to fix it:

    1. Open up the Mapuche flag in GIMP
    2. Use the Rectangle Select Tool to Select an area that is approximately 200 width x 240 height
    in the flag. Like this:

    Spoiler :

    3. Edit/Copy that Image.
    4. Then Paste/As New Image

    5. Then scale THAT new image to 200 width x 240 height.

    Spoiler :

    Then you can follow the directions of my first post to create the flc file.
  3. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

    Jun 2, 2012
    Sometimes a flag needs to be put into a blue canvas to look ok.

    For example, here is a 1965 Canadian flag that I am using in my mod.

    Spoiler :

    It doesn't look good when scaled to 200 width x 240 height.

    It also doesn't look right if you try to just select 200 x 240 in a rectangle.

    Spoiler :

    See how I can't get the whole leaf. Also, notice how we would lose the blue color
    on the left and right hand sides of the flag...

    So, here is how I make these kind of flag leaderheads.

    1. Open the flag you want (the 1965 Canadian flag in my case)

    2. Window/New Toolbox

    3. Change the foreground color to a light pastel color.

    There are 2 colors stacked on top of each other.
    The top color is the foreground color.
    Change it to a nice pastel color.
    I use a light blue color (bce5ff)

    Spoiler :

    4. Now create a huge blank canvas with the blue color.
    (1) File/New
    (2) Width 2000. Height 2000.
    (3) Click Advanced Options
    (4) Fill With: Foreground Color
    (5) OK.

    Spoiler :

    5. Now, you have a flag image and a big blue canvas.

    6. Paste the flag image into the blue canvas.
    (1) flag image: Edit/Copy (this copies the image)
    (2) blue canvas image: Edit/Paste Into
    This pastes the image into the center of the blue canvas
    (3) Layer/Anchor Layer (this gets rid of the 2nd layer)
    (4) Close the flag image. You don't need it anymore.

    Spoiler :

    7. Now select a proportional 200 x 240 rectangle around the flag

    (1) Tools/Selection Tools/Rectangle select
    This lets you expand a rectangle around the flag

    (2) Create a rectangle around the flag that is closely proportional to 200 x 240.

    For example, if the flags image is 600 width, then 720 height would be
    perfectly proportional...

    But you don't want perfect proportions here...

    So knock off some of the height.

    The basic goal is to select the smallest rectangle around the flag that looks good
    after it gets scaled.

    I selected this area on the blue canvas:

    Spoiler :

    (3) When the flag in the rectangle looks pretty good, copy it.
    Edit/Copy (this copies the image)

    (4) Edit/Paste as/New Image

    (5) Then scale the New Image to 200 width x 240 height.

    Spoiler :

    8. And then follow the directions in post 1 from here to make a canada.flc file.
  4. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

    Jun 2, 2012
    Well, I updated this tutorial because I realized it needed to be better and it needed screenshots. If anyone uses this and has suggestions on how to make it better, please let me know.

  5. Serutan

    Serutan Eatibus Anythingibus

    Feb 20, 2002
    Baja Arizona
    Why don't you rotate it 90 degrees before scaling? I would think that would eliminate the need
    for the rectangle business.

    Are/were you at Western?
  6. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

    Jun 2, 2012
    Sometimes you can rotate and make it landscape and it will look really good...but a lot of times it looks too weird. For example, the Canadian flag's leaf would be sideways. Or the Russian flag's stripes would be the wrong direction.

    Anyway, there's a bunch of different ways to make a flag leaderhead.
    I'm just sharing some of my approaches...

    I make picture leaderheads every now and then too. Like this one with Washington on a horse.
    Spoiler :

    I went to Western for 2 semesters and then I went to the University of Louisville to finish up my degree. And I got my law degree from Salmon P Chase which is at Northern Kentucky University...

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