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GIMP PCX tutorial

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Tutorials, Reference, & Guides' started by Gray Wolf, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    How to Create a .PCX file using Gimp 2.8

    1. Find an Image you like on Wikipedia
    1.1 Open it up in GIMP 2.8
    1.2 Click 'R' (Rectangle Select) if you want to select just part of the picture.
    And then Edit/Copy and Edit/Paste As/New Image to see the newly selected image...

    1.3 Scale your image

    Image/Scale Image. Set Width and Height to whatever you need.
    Tip: Unclip the paperclip to turn off "proportional scaling"

    1.4 Make your colormap / palette
    1.41 Image/Mode/Indexed
    1.42 Set the Color map to "Generate optimum palette"
    1.43 Set maximum number of colors=254
    1.44 Leave all other settings alone
    1.45 Click Convert

    1.5 Export a .pcx file
    1.51 File/Export
    1.52 Name the file: Something.pcx
    1.53 Select the folder you want to save the file in
    1.54 Click the + sign where it says "Select File Type"
    1.55 Scroll to the bottom and choose ZSoft PCX image
    1.56 Click Export

    1.6 Fix the Palette (make it work with Civ 3)
    1.61 Close everything that is open and open up the .pcx file you just created
    1.62 Open the color map/palette: Windows/Dockable Dialogs/Colormap
    1.63 Make the colormap window bigger so you can see all the colors
    1.64 Set the last palette color (color index=255)
    Set the color to any color that is not in the current palette.
    Try Magenta (ff00ff)
    1.65 Set the second to last palette color (color index=254)
    Set the color to any color that is not in the current palette.
    Try neon green (00ff00)

    1.66 Fix any white colors
    Scan the palette. Find any palette color that looks white.
    If it is ffffff (pure white) then change it to fffff3 (off white)

    note: I'm not sure if this step is necessary. Pure white seems to work ok.

    1.67 File/Overwrite your .pcx file

    That's it. You now have a .pcx file that can be used in the game.
     
  2. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    If anyone has used my tutorials, please let me know if they helped you or if I need to revise them and make them better... thanks.
     
  3. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Based on my own experience using GIMP:

    1.43 - setting the max colors to 254 gives best results - leaves only the two required for the magenta / green.

    1.66 - Changing other colors to pure white doesn't seem to be required - made plenty of pcxs with a range of off-whites. Why do you do so?

    RGB values may be easier than the HTML for some people to understand & use - for example, when manipulating the color sliders.
     
  4. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Just suggestions ...

    Your various tutorials & tools are all greatly appreciated.
     
  5. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    Thanks Blue Monkey...

    1.43 - technically you are right. 254 would make a better quality image. I guess I've always used 250 or 251 (something like that) to make sure there are unused colors in the palette. But there's no real reason to do that because 254 will leave you 2 unused colors and that's all you need. I'll change it in the tutorial so people do things the best possible way...

    1.66 - That's what I meant... I always change all pure white colors (ffffff) to an off-white color like fffff3. I do this because I had trouble with a pure white color once where it would not show up in the image for some reason. And off-white colors always show up ok...

    Re RGB colors - I've been using HTML colors for so long that I guess I take it for granted. HTML codes show up when you double click a cell in the color palette though...so it's easy for me to change something from ffffff (pure white) to fffff3 (off white). But you're right. People may want to just use the color slider and pick another color. They don't have to fool with color codes that way...

    Thanks for your feedback.
     
  6. Rathvilly

    Rathvilly Emperor

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    Hi Fishlens - used your tutorial yesterday to make a wonder splash - was pretty excited ! Found it clear and easy to use - so many thanks ...
     
  7. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. :cooool:
     
  8. Erebras

    Erebras Chieftain

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    Fishlens, I and themanuneed are encountering problems with shadow and smoke effects due to a probable palette issue. It comes up when we resize a pcx or convert from bmp to pcx. Do you suppose this is a way to resolve this? If not, do you have suggestions of how to correct the issue? I started a thread entitled PLEASE ADVISE (Resizing Units Help) to ask for a way to preserve the palette or alter it to display correctly in FLICster and the game.
    :please:
     
  9. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Are you scaling in RGB mode or indexed?

    Have you set dithering / interpolation to none? If you don't you will get purple but not pure magenta (invisible) pixels. Bad, bad, bad ...
     
  10. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    Blue Monkey is right. You probably need to put the image in RGB mode first before you scale it to a different size. And then, after you scale it, you will need to reduce it back down to 256 colors again and make sure 254 and 255 are set correctly.

    I hope this helps because I always use GIMP to work on pcx files and I've never used the storyboard editor.

    If you attach the file, I'll be happy to open it up and try to fix whatever is wrong.
     
  11. Erebras

    Erebras Chieftain

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    Yes, I was rescaling in 24-bit/Millions of Colors (RGB Mode, right?), and then reducing the color depth to 256 before (and sometimes after) importing the PAL file. Somehow, even just converting from pcx to bmp screwed the unit shadow up, without doing anything else.

    I appreciate the offer to help. Vuldacon recommends I use SBB (Storyboard Creator) and export each image frame by frame, make the changes, then reassemble it back into a storyboard, then generate a flc. I was pretty much just editing the storyboard pcx, which in theory should have worked, but hasn't.

    Since Vuldacon's method of resizing units has been tried and true, I intend to give it a whirl and see what happens. We'll either end up with a slew of hobbit warriors or a despairing Civ-modder rocking back and forth in the corner sucking his thumb in the foetal position.

    Thanks.
     
  12. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Winter Wolf

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    That's cool. I hope we end up with some hobbit warriors! :)
     
  13. BeserksareOP

    BeserksareOP Chieftain

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    I have a sci fi cities pcx file of city graphics that I want to edit, Problem is when I try to cut one image out of the file, and replace it with a original civilization looking city, the civilization looking city comes out in a gray shade instead of the way it normally looks. Any idea why this is happening or how to fix?
     
  14. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Do you have both files in RGB mode? If you paste an RGB mode image into an indexed one you will get ugly and unpredictable results.
     
  15. BeserksareOP

    BeserksareOP Chieftain

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    I have a different problem now, when I settle a city in the game it comes out as a black box or the city animation with purple around it, how can I fix this?
     
  16. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Did you read the opening post and follow the directions? You've clearly left out one or more steps in the process. If you're still not sure what to do I've written a more detailed tutorial that includes images. Follow the link in my signature.

    In the long run you're going to get better help - and get it more quickly - if you start a new thread about your difficulties in the main C&C forum, rather than posting in a 5 year old thread in the tutorial section.
     
  17. Balthasar

    Balthasar Wise Man

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  18. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Thanks. Should be corrected now.
     

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