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How to make an M-Unit?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Tutorials, Reference, & Guides' started by Jurimax, Feb 16, 2003.

  1. Jurimax

    Jurimax Duke of Flanders

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    I know there are some threads out there that cover the aspect of multi-unit creation. I must however mention that these different guides only cover a part of the creation progress each.
    This is how I do it: (thnx to Kryten, Zulu, Sprnv8, ... for the ideas)

    1) Needed programs:
    - Flicster
    - Stephs Storyboard Builder (SBB)
    - a graphics program (In this tutorial, I use Paintshop Pro,
    you can download a free trial version at jasc.com)

    2) IMPORTANT:
    - backup your unit files

    3) Open the flc file you want to change (in Flicster). Remember that you'll need to change more than one flc file in order to make a complete M-Unit.

    4) On the export tab (still in Flicster), select storyboard as export type. You'll also need to increase the frame size (240x240 max) so that multiple units will fit in there. Also note the frame count and the outputdirectory. Then press export.

    5) Open Paintshop Pro and then open the storyboard file (it's a pcx file) Flictser created (if you don't find it, remember the uotput directory).

    6) Still in PSP go to the Colors menu, Load Palette and then browse towards the directory in of step 4. There you should see two pal files: one of them has Alpha in its name, that's the one we need.
    IMPORTANT: When loading the Alpha palette, maintain indexes has to be checked!!
    Result: the background has changed from pink to grey, now save the file (but don't close it, we'll need it again in a couple of minutes).

    7) Next, open SBB, click Multi Figures.
    On the next screen, select a formation. After that you have to select a required number of input storyboards (the pcx file such as the one saved in step 6).
    IMPORTANT: The Nb Frames is the same as the frame count from step 4.

    8) The other options on SBB are covered in the user manual. Once you're happy with the way it looks, browse a location to save your new storyboard (this time it's a bmp file, it might be a good thing to give it the same name as the pcx file) And then press the vutton to generate the new storyboard.

    9) In PSP open the bmp file you created with SBB. Again load the Alpha Palette (see step 6, REMARK, maintain indexes is greyed out, nearest color is ok)
    Result: the background has changed from pink to blue.

    10)Still in PSP: here comes a tricky part:
    - select the pcx file from step 6
    - we want the background of our BMP to be grey like the pcx instead of blue.
    - Tool to use, color replacer (if you don't know how to use it, see help (in PSP)
    Once you're done, save the bmp file, but IMPORTANT save it in pcx format thus overwriting our original PCX file.

    11)Let's go back to Flicster:
    In step 4 next to creating two pal files and out original storyboard pcx, Flictser also created an FXM file
    (IMPORTANT REMARK: Make sure all the files you created in this proces are in the same directory)
    Open the FXM file, and when you look at the animation, you should see you multi animation.

    12)Last step in Flictser:
    Export the file as a civ3 unit flc
    select an output directory. When you choose the art\units\xxx folder, your original file will be overwritten. (that was the need of the backup) After that, press export.

    13)FINAL STEP
    Play a new game of CivIII and if you're happy with what you see, you can share it with the rest of us in the multi unit figures thread ;)

    --> In case of any problems, you may PM or mail me.

    Greetings Jurimax.
     
  2. horsematrix

    horsematrix HE WHO SPEAKS TO HORSES

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    This is very informative Jurimax thanks a lot for the help :goodjob: I copied all the instructions and later on today i'm going to work on it some more :D
     
  3. Jurimax

    Jurimax Duke of Flanders

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    If you run into difficulties following the different steps, feel free to mail or PM me. I hope I have been of some assistance.

    Greetings Jurimax
     
  4. Rabid Pop Tart

    Rabid Pop Tart Aspiring Graphic Designer

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    Very nice Jurimax! I think you covered everything.

    And remember, discussions can be done in this thread (can they? it seems okay), and there is also a thread here in the Multi-Figure Units Forum where good help has been given (I learned to to make a munit there!)

    Once again, great job. :goodjob:
     
  5. zulu9812

    zulu9812 The Newbie Nightmare

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    It doesn't appear you mentioned about reducing the bmp from a truecolour (which is what SBB exports as) and a 256 colour bmp (which is what you need before converting to pcx)
     
  6. Jurimax

    Jurimax Duke of Flanders

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    I never decrease the colors to 256, and everything works out fine. AFAIK loading the Alpha palette of the original pcx file in the bmp file SBB created reduces the number of colors to 256. Anyway, every unit I created this way has worked perfectly.

    Greetings Jurimax
     
  7. Rabid Pop Tart

    Rabid Pop Tart Aspiring Graphic Designer

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    You don't have to even go that route. Press Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, then go back to the original .pcx and press Ctrl+E to paste as a new selection. Center it and click. or click, center, go to the selection tool, and right-click. Then save. Works like a charm!
     
  8. horsematrix

    horsematrix HE WHO SPEAKS TO HORSES

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    I haven't got to mess around with sbb yet since I read Jurimax's thread however I saved it to my computer so I can work on it sometime and I think this just might be the little bit of info I need so thanks again Jurimax and to evreyone else trying to help out :goodjob:
     
  9. The Great Apple

    The Great Apple Big Cheese

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    Can I just ask - what is the width of one square in Civ III (for instance, if my MUnit is over 35 on the X axis in SBB will it overflow onto the next square??)

    Edit - After a few tests I found it will, I'm guessing the squares are 60 by 60, so my work on 3 Munits is useless :mad:

    BTW, Great tool :goodjob:
     
  10. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    You cannot just use a 60x60 size, because the grid is an iso perspective, so the Y are "flattened" and X "widdened".

    That's why I've included a grid overlay in the preview
     
  11. The Great Apple

    The Great Apple Big Cheese

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    Oooops... stupid me!!
     
  12. Bjorn Bjornson

    Bjorn Bjornson Libertarian

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    Does anybody know a way to do this in Photoshop? From what I've attempted in PS, it seems it doesn't consider "palettes" the same way as other image programs do, and it calls the color index a "color table."

    In which case, it does read Microshaft palettes, (.pal), but it will not read the ones FLICster creates! :mad: Stupid piece. Would there be any work around?

    Edit: I just figured it out myself, I can extract the correct "color table" (palette) in PS from the FLICster .pcx file itself!

    So I think I should be good - if everything goes well, I might pump out a few M-Units shortly! :)
     
  13. The Slayer

    The Slayer Warlord

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  14. The Slayer

    The Slayer Warlord

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    I shoud be like this. Taken from the *pcx file.

    :confused:
     

    Attached Files:

  15. The Slayer

    The Slayer Warlord

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    Nevermind, I have solucionated this after a second try.

    Now look at the Munits forum....
     
  16. warmwaffles

    warmwaffles Programmer

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    Could you post steps for people who don't have PSP?? I am using adobe photoshop 4.0LE and yes I know it is an old painting tool but it works trust me.
     
  17. warmwaffles

    warmwaffles Programmer

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    Scratch that your steps work fine I checked it real quick on my computer
     
  18. killer_J27

    killer_J27 I Love My Avatar

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    Were can i get Stephs Storyboard Builder ?
     
  19. Jurimax

    Jurimax Duke of Flanders

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    Hi there,

    you can find the story board builder in this thread:
    Story Board Builder

    Greetz Jurimax
     
  20. killer_J27

    killer_J27 I Love My Avatar

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    thanx Jurimax
     

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