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Main Menu BG+

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Mod Components' started by TheOneHitPupper, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. TheOneHitPupper

    TheOneHitPupper Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Messages:
    84

    225+ backgrounds

    2.0 Update
    I've since doubled the amount of backgrounds associated with this psuedo-DLC mod and gotten rid of some of the less appealing backgrounds from the first release. If you'd like to see as many as 225 new and different backgrounds for Civ5's main menu, go ahead and download the full version below. The lite version is essentially the unedited previous version and will not be updated to keep a minimal file size for anyone interested.

    I've strived to make this release more varied in content, so I'd appreciate any feedback on what looks good and what doesn't.


    Overview
    If you're not familiar with Sukritact's Main Menu psuedo-DLC mod, it basically is a redesign of Civ5's main menu. The interface is positioned in such a way that the buttons are moved to the bottom of the screen to allow for a clear view of a background image. I've since made a collection of custom backgrounds for use with Sukritact's mod, and I'll be posting them here in case anyone else wants to enjoy the scenic wallpapers.

    Each picture has been edited to appear similar to basegame backgrounds and so that everything fits into the aesthetics of the game. Standard resolution for each image is 1920x1200.


    Screenshots

    20171005182128_1.jpg 20171005182002_1.jpg 20171005182013_1.jpg 20171005182025_1.jpg
    20171005182306_1.jpg 20171005182206_1.jpg 20171005182314_1.jpg

    Full Version (~225 BG)
    File size: 100.1 MB

    Lite Version (~110 BG)

    File size: 52.9 MB
    Installation
    1. Download UI_SukMainMenu.rar from the hyperlink above or from here.
    2. If updating, please delete the old UI_SukMainMenu folder.
    3. Extract the archive using Winrar or 7zip into C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sid Meier's Civilization V\Assets\DLC. This is the standard procedure for installing psuedo-DLCs like EUI.
    4. Go to your Documents folder and clear out your game cache.
    5. Launch your game and you should be good to go.
    Adding your own images
    1. Find an image on Google close to or bigger than 1920x1200. On Google Images, you can search for pictures like this by clicking Tools > Size > Larger than > 2MP.
    2. Save the file to a place on your harddrive and open it up with a photo editor. I will be using Paint.Net.
    3. The first step is to resize your image if it isn't exactly 1920x1200. To do this, simply hit Ctrl+R on your keyboard and resize it accordingly. You may want to mess with the photo to get it in frame in the way you like.
    4. Now to get the blurred look for Civ, go under Effects > Artistic > Oil Painting. A prompt will come up. I usually set the brush size at 1 but sometimes go as high as 3 for images with people in them. Will need to trial and error here. Most of the time I leave coarseness at 50.
    5. Sometimes to make subject of the image more simple, I go under Effects > Blurs > Surface Blur and mess with the Radius setting to make the image lose small details, making the overall photo look more drawn rather than an actual photo. Sometimes helps to do this before applying the Oil Painting effect instead.
    6. Now go to Adjustments > Brightness and Contrast. Use one of my photos as a point of reference to change the brightness and contrast for your image. Typically, Civ5 backgrounds are darker than the foreground buttons.
    7. For very vibrant and lively images, you may need to tone down the saturation, which will be under Adjustments.
    8. Now save your image in the .dds format and place it in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sid Meier's Civilization V\Assets\DLC\UI_SukMainMenu\Screens.
    9. Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sid Meier's Civilization V\Assets\DLC\UI_SukMainMenu or wherever you installed the psuedo-DLC. Open the folder inside called 'Core'.
    10. Open the FrontEnd.lua file in a text editor like Notepad++. Make sure it isn't the .xml.
    11. Now you'll see the list of images the Main Menu reads and displays when you start your game. It'll look like this:
      Spoiler Code :
      local tValidBGs = {
      "airplane.dds",
      "aqueduct.dds",
      "archeology1.dds",
      "archeology2.dds",
      "archers.dds",
      "archers2.dds",
      "aztecs1.dds",
      "big_ben.dds",
      "blacksmith.dds",
      "bolton_abbey.dds",
      "books1.dds",
      "burg_khalifa.dds",
      "cathedral1.dds",
      "china1.dds",
      "church1.dds",
      "colossus_rhodes.dds",
      "compass1.dds",
      "compass2.dds",
      "maps.dds",
      "eiffel_tower.dds",
      "electric_grid.dds",
      "empire_state.dds",
      "england_bank.dds",
      "franklin_kite.dds",
      "gladiator1.dds",
      "gladiator2.dds",
      "great_wall.dds",
      "greek_statue.dds",
      "hanging_gardens.dds",
      "harbor.dds",
      "hydroplant.dds",
      "japan1.dds",
      "lighthouse.dds",
      "lighthouse_alexandria.dds",
      "louvre.dds",
      "lumber_mill.dds",
      "mausoleum_halicarnassus.dds",
      "mayans1.dds",
      "monks.dds",
      "museum1.dds",
      "nuclear_reactor.dds",
      "observatory.dds",
      "orchestra.dds",
      "painting.dds",
      "phalanx.dds",
      "politician.dds",
      "ruins1.dds",
      "sanfran_bridge.dds",
      "sarcophagus.dds",
      "solar_panels.dds",
      "soldiers.dds",
      "space1.dds",
      "space2.dds",
      "space_shuttle.dds",
      "sparta1.dds",
      "spec_ops.dds",
      "taj_mahal.dds",
      "tank1.dds",
      "tank3.dds",
      "tank4.dds",
      "tank5.dds",
      "terracota_army.dds",
      "titanic.dds",
      "train.dds",
      "university.dds",
      "vikings1.dds",
      "vikings2.dds",
      "village1.dds",
      "washington_delaware.dds",
      "wind_turbines.dds",
      "la_bastille.dds",
      "stealth_bomber.dds",
      "wright_brothers.dds",
      "abu_simbel.dds",
      "cheomseongdae.dds",
      "farming1.dds",
      "chogha_zanbil.dds",
      "chogha_zanbil2.dds",
      "excavation.dds",
      "blueprints1.dds",
      "lights1.dds",
      "nazis1.dds",
      "dday1.dds",
      "dday2.dds",
      "destroyer1.dds",
      "nuclear_submarine.dds",
      "nuclear_submarine2.dds",
      "nuclear_submarine3.dds",
      "sam_missile.dds",
      "drone.dds",
      "aircraft_carrier1.dds",
      "aircraft_carrier2.dds",
      "aircraft_carrier3.dds",
      "ww1_grenade.dds",
      "ww1_shovel.dds",
      "ww1_knife.dds",
      "c4_plant.dds",
      "watch1.dds",
      "ananda.dds",
      "berlin_wall.dds",
      "model_t.dds",
      "newspaper_stands.dds",
      "nuclear_explosion.dds",
      "ethernet.dds",
      "orbital_atk.dds",
      "bor5.dds",
      "ciber_launch.dds",
      "arcology1.dds",
      "engine.dds",
      "st_petersburg.dds",
      Under any of these lines, add a new line and enter your new image filename under the same syntax like this:
      Spoiler :
      "YOUR_NEW_IMAGE.dds",
      Make sure to add both quotation marks, the .dds, and a comma at the end. Otherwise, the main menu will not load correctly.
    12. Save the file.
    13. Your new image should now load along with all other images listed. You may edit the list if you'd like to remove backgrounds as well.
    Disclaimer
    I did not like seeing the base game backgrounds so I had them removed from the mod. You will not see them at the main menu again unless you add them in manually.

    I do not take credit or intend for any copyright infringement for any of the images incorporated in this modpack. They have all been taken from various Google image searches.

    Credits
    • Sukritact: Author of Main Menu.
    • Estebanium: Thread template.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  2. ryanmusante

    ryanmusante Regular Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2018
    Messages:
    1,078
    This deserves more praise!
     
    japanesesamurai likes this.
  3. Detektrius

    Detektrius Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2019
    Messages:
    6
    It's so BEAUTIFUL :eek: :thumbsup:
    Even without deleting the cache and in russian lang

    I want to translate a hint... Understand. But I want everything in russian
     
    ryanmusante likes this.
  4. TheOneHitPupper

    TheOneHitPupper Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Messages:
    84
    Version 2.0 of Main Menu BG+ has been released! I have since doubled the amount of backgrounds (roughly 225 new ones for you guys)! I have also removed some of the poorer quality ones from the original release. I've tried to make the collection of backgrounds look more varied so I'd appreciate any feedback on what works and what doesn't.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
    vivresa and ryanmusante like this.
  5. ryanmusante

    ryanmusante Regular Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2018
    Messages:
    1,078
    TheOneHitPupper likes this.
  6. vivresa

    vivresa Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    @TheOneHitPupper Excellent update! Thanks for taking the time to put this together. Curating 225 images is no small task

    Overall I'd say this a very good selection of images. But if I may offer some (hopefully) constructive feedback, there are some images I feel don't quite fit in with the others. This is, of course, highly subject to personal taste, so make of it what you will - but some of the more obvious standouts are modern/contemporary images, particularly of military hardware.

    While some of this can be attributed to the highly detailed / photorealistic images contrasting starkly against the more minimalist or paining-like aesthetic of some of the others, there are some where it's more complicated than that. Take the mg.dds image, for instance: mg.png

    Even with the art filter (palette knife?) applied, it still retains its photo-like appearance. But more than that, it's just an unremarkable, flat image of a soldier's hands working a .50 cal against a bland backdrop. Compared to some of the other photorealistic modern images that do fit in well:
    It's not a breathtaking photo of an iconic symbol of military might like the stealth bomber;

    It's not a great architectural/cultural landmark like the Singapore gardens or a scientific marvel like the particle accelerator;

    It's not a integral piece of infrastructure upon which civilization is built like the hydroplant or electric grid;

    It's not an advanced piece of technology fundamental to every aspect of modern society like the computer chips or fiber optics (ethernet);

    It doesn't capture a slice of life or the vogue of a past generation like the picture of the couple buying the TV;

    It doesn't tell a story or pique the imagination like the image of soliders running across the battlefield or manning the cannon/artillery;

    And, unlike the picture of the missiles silhouetted against the sunset, or the well-perspective'd close-ups of the coffee beans and coke bottles - otherwise mundane items, the mg photo does not have an interesting enough composition nor other artistic qualities to make up for this mundanity.​

    Anyway, my point isn't to single out the .50 cal picture but rather to highlight the characteristics of the other amazing images in the collection that make them work so well. And while the mg picture stood out the most by lacking any of these characteristics, there were others I felt suffered from similar problems:
    • all the tank images - although I think tank4 could look ok by improving the dynamic range / contrast, and applying more filters to reduce the photorealism
    • all the aircraft_carrier images - while they're iconic symbols of military power and the photo composition/framing aren't terrible per se, something about these particular images made them feel out of place among the other pictures in the collection and compared to the aesthetics of Civ 5 as a whole... It's hard to describe, but they just look like obviously-staged military glamour shots more suited to a game like "world of warships" than to the quiet majesty we're accustomed to in Civilization. It's a subjective matter so your opinion may vary, but here are a few aircraft carrier images I believe fit better if you're interested: aircraft_carrier0.jpg aircraft_carrier4.jpg aircraft_carrier5.jpg
    • bridge - the Les Ferreres Aqueduct is a noteworthy landmark, but there are much better pictures of it out there. This one is really mediocre
    • computerdesign - again, purely subjective, but I think it could use a better composed picture. maybe one of these: computer design 2.jpg computer design 1.jpg computer design 3.jpg
    • drone - a CGI predator drone firing a hellfire with a cheesy looking lens flare and exhaust plume. looks like something straight out of an arms dealer's marketing brochure
    • destroyer - There are better images of the Sovremenny class (and other destroyer classes) out there. This one's not much to look at, the color contrast is dull, and it doesn't have particularly interesting composition, leaving the highly-detailed clutter of the ship to stand out conspicuously.
    • engine - I like the idea, but not the execution. poor subject separation and lots of background clutter
    • great_wall - The harsh shadows and uninspired framing in this particular picture do no justice to this incredible historical landmark.
    • milk - doesn't look good, but I'm getting too lazy to elaborate why. milk2 is ok, but could benefit from a bit more filtering to reduce the photorealistic detail
    • marinaginesta - This is a minor concern, but figured I'd mention it. The picture is not bad at all, but it feels a bit out of place as the subject is staring right at us (almost like "breaking the 4th wall") and I don't think any other image in the collection does this.
    • nuclear_explosion - a picture of a real nuclear explosion might be more fitting. this cgi render doesn't look great
    • nuclear_submarine & nuclear_submarine3 - same basic concerns as the other modern military hardware mentioned. Noteworthy subject, but otherwise lackluster photos not befitting the company of the others in the collection. nuclear_submarine2, on the other hand, is just fine.
    • tilburg - This street shot doesn't measure up to the other street shots in the collection
    There are other pictures that are fine overall but suffer from a lack of dynamic range / contrast that makes them appear dull and difficult to make out. I think most of these were from the first release and may have been a result of the method you used for dimming them, as most of the newer images seem less dim overall.

    The ones that stood out to me as lacking DR / contrast were: ruins1, berlin_wall, chogha_zanbil, chogha_zanbil2, church1, harbor, lumber_mill, mayans1, and sanfran_bridge.

    Anyway, aesthetics are very subjective matter, so I hope this was helpful and you aren't offended by any of my suggestions, just as I won't take offense if you choose to disregard my feedback.

    I don't like leaving criticism without providing a viable alternative, so as I (slowly) go through the images I listed and find replacements (or otherwise alter them), I can share them with you if you'd like (and you can incorporate or discard them as you see fit)
     
    Yaviel and TheOneHitPupper like this.
  7. TheOneHitPupper

    TheOneHitPupper Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Messages:
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    This is exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for! Very detailed and informative.

    I actually wholeheartedly agree with you on many of the modern military photos. I felt that the vanilla backgrounds were lacking modern photos overall and wanted to incorporate them to make a complete range of history if that makes sense. The problem with that is that it proved difficult to find photos that fit the composition and color schemes I was looking for. I was thinking of deleting MG and most of the tank images since I've begin to see them in-game and I agree that they do seem out of place.

    aircraft_carrier - These were difficult as well. I feel as though aircraft carriers encompass a significant feat in human military history but many photos are very bland to look at in my opinion. Same problem for the nuclear_submarine photos.

    If I may offer some constructive criticism, I do suggest toning down the oil effect slightly on some of your images like on the aircraft_carrier alternatives.

    bridge - I honestly didn't know that this was the Les Ferreres Aqueduct and had only stumbled upon this photo when Google searching for 'bridges'. I'm sure I can find a better replacement now.

    drone, nuclear_explosion - The issues I see in these are related to how apparent they look in terms of CGI or photo manipulation. I'm sure I could find a better drone photo but the nuclear explosion was incredibly difficult as any real detonations were photographed in greyscale as far as I could tell. Other photos that I feel suffer from this are hindenburgdisaster, archers, and franklin_kite.

    milk - I like this one as I feel it portrays human progress in the ways we handle livestock and increase efficiency in that area.

    engine - I like this one as well but may touch up on it.

    computer_design - I really like your computer-design-1 image you suggested. I will likely swap these two out.

    marinaginesta - I really like this photo in general. Fits that oldschoolcool feel. However, I do agree it seems out of place with her looking directly at the camera.

    tilburg - I liked the composition initially but in-game, the photo does feel boring compared to others.

    It seems that overall, many of the images you commented on were from the first release and you're absolutely right in the way I changed my method of dimming them. Overlaying a dim layer on top of the original images makes the photos more vibrant and dynamic. The previous method dimmed entire photos and left out contrast. Slowly but surely, the collection's getting better!

    I really do appreciate this level of observation as it both helps me improve and lets me know that people are actually downloading my mods :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  8. MEQ

    MEQ Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Ireland
    I absolutely adore yer mod <3! Only critique I can really think of would be that I wish your pictures were brighter. Like, if you never performed step 6 and 7 on your picture modifying list. Would you by chance still have your original pictures and be willing to post them here? Because I could remodify them while just skipping step 6 and 7.
     

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