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Terrain and Interface Graphics Creation Templates

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Utility Programs' started by tom2050, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Whenever I try to open the psd files in gimp i get "Error loading PSD file: Too many channels in file: 57". I'm looking for a way around that - by converting the psd or something. Also looking for scripts/utilities to convert the actions to gimp script-fu.

    Thought of a way you might help us gimp along doing the work without the automation. Won't involve too much work on your part - just helping to create a different kind of templates.
    I've reread the text files. If I correctly understand what your photoshop actions do they take the graphic the user wants, split it into separate tile-size chunks & rearrange them from the order in your posted graphic



    to the order & layout of the terrain pcx. Something like this (numbers & colors may not match reality):
    thumbnail
    AskSample.jpg

    To manually use the colored terrain templates a terrain graphic with the rearranged numbers is needed as a guide. If nothing else, those without photoshop can then easily tell what borders what. Presently that's a major design issue that's only solvable by trial & error for most of us.

    Here's where you come in. The rest of this assumes I correctly understand the process you set up.

    Option One (least work for you)
    I see that the bmp templates vary in where various parts of the graphic files are used. But from your readme & tutorial it sounds like the rearrangement sequence (where terrain is moved to by Terrain Creator) is the same for all the original files. If that's so this option will work.

    1. If some combination of the layers in the psd will show the two sets of numbers then you create a file with only these layers: Grid Numbers, Image Area and 00 Main Tile, Grid Grey/Grid Magenta, Numbered, Grid Beach. Send it to me & your part is done.
    2. I make a graphic like the one you posted but with small #a, #b, #c, #d in place of the large numbers.
    3. Based on the rearranged numbers in your other layer I construct rearranged layers for each terrain type.
    4. Then I use the various bit maps as masks to construct new layers with the numbers from the different layers in place of the color blocks. End up with one numbered layer for each of the three terrain types.
    5. I turn the layers into a set of graphics to post - one for each combination of terrain type & terrain pcx. For example an xdgp with only the grassland numbers showing & the rest a single color (mask). Then another for desert & one for plains. Here's a sketch of how those graphics would look:
    thumbnail
    MaskSample.jpg


    Option Two (a little more work for you)
    Use this option if the first won't do or you are willing to sacrifice some processing time to save me some work.

    1. Send me the graphics as in step 1 above
    2. I make a set of graphics numbered as in step 2
    3. You run those files through just the Terrain Creator action - don't need to blend the numbers, obviously. Let me know what file format you want the numbered graphics in. This takes the place of step 3 and big part of step 4.
    4. I make the numbered templates as in step 4/5.
    With numbered templates anyone can cut some time from the work in GIMP or another program. CnP then blend. Just eliminating the guesswork will save a lot of time in creating a terrain file manually - thanks to your efforts in figuring out the process.

    Hopefully I've properly understood the process & the proposal is feasible. Thanks in advance if you are willing help out with either option. Which ever way works you'll get all the creator credits. You're the one who did all the thinking & creative work. I'll just be doing some CnP based on your files & a version of your instructions with manual directions.
     
  2. tom2050

    tom2050 Deity

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    I could never find anything... seemed some guy was working on doing this for Gimp 2.4, but never finished.

    Yes, exactly; it takes the image used by the user, splits them up into tile-sized chunks; and then rearranges them in the correct spots to the final civ-appropriate terrain file.

    Yes, that file (GridNumbers-XTGC Layers Info.txt) is kind of confusing. It helped me to remember what selections went to what. In the PSD file, you can go to Select -> Load Selections, and each 'tile' has a selection saved (like a box selection you would draw to select portion of a graphic). That is what this is used for, so I could see what part of the user graphic (as you show here):

    was to be copied to the final civ-ready terrain file.

    Ultimately, each PSD was made specific, so that the action file could stay the same.

    Hey, gotta go for a bit... I'll reply to the rest when I get back.
     
  3. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Take your time, tom2050. This is something in the mid-term stack - my short-term stack is big enough, let alone yours.
     
  4. tom2050

    tom2050 Deity

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    Okay... I need to go back and review what I did with that template (haven't used it in a while). I can probably do the 2nd option... or if you wish I could just run the template also if you provide a graphic; and I can make changes you want to get a result you are looking for. Either way, makes no diff to me. They don't take long to run the script. In the 30 day PSP trial, I didn't have time to get the template transferred over and as you said, couldn't find a way yesterday to work it with Gimp without having to rewrite a Gimp script :(. But let me know what you want to do.
     
  5. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    I'll make a graphic with the alphanumerics. As I said above it's a midrange priority. If someone needs the results sooner I may be budgeable.
     
  6. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Looks like the black borders in the "Grid Numbers" image you posted are off-size from the terrain pcx diamonds. Should they be the same? If so it looks like the bare minimum size graphic is 832 x 448 pixels. Is that correct? Knowing the minimum it should be pretty straightforward to get you numbered graphics to manipulate.
     
  7. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    No answer to the size question lead on to making a set matching the tile size of the terrain pcx. Numbered bmps for grassland, plains, desert, tundra, coast, sea and ocean are in the zip. Tried to match the colors in Weasel Op's templates. Hope the dimensions & layout are correct. Hopefully running then through the scripts will give you a result similar to Weasel Op's templates, but numbers showing where on the base images the connecting sections lie. Making a set will surely be appreciated by many potential & current terrain makers, tom2050.

    thumbnails
    numbers with tiles (just to check layout)


    numbered sea base graphic (as an example)


    Weasel Op's xdcp template (for comparison of hoped for output)
     

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  8. tom2050

    tom2050 Deity

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    Sorry, the Grid Numbers don't match exactly, they are only there for me to know which is spot was which in general. I usually used terrain graphics that were larger; and repeated the graphic to fill the whole area to make sure.

    You are pretty much spot on, but I think the absolute minimum is somewhere around 775x325. But to be on safe side, I would make graphic a bit larger, or just paint it to cover whole image size.



    I had to check to make sure, It only grabs graphics from the squares shown in the selection, so it should be a bit smaller than 775x325.

    Sorry, haven't checked in here in a while.

    I wish there was an easy way for me to make the script for PSP, but I don't have $130 extra cash laying about to dish out to buy it. ;) For GIMP, it would have to be completely rewritten (re-recorded), which is a nightmare. If I could code a little FLICSTER-type program, this would be extremely simple for anyone to use (as the script mainly involves lots of copying/pasting mostly), but I'm not good enough to throw something together easily.

    The terrain stuff confuses me when looking back at it. Plus, it's stuck using the sea terrain of Ares; and it's not exactly easy to change out the sea/ocean/coast! The script has a pre-set selections; which would all have to be remade for another coastline, and I dread to use the Firaxis coastline!

    I think you mentioned swapping out Ares coastline. Did you have a specfic coast you are using? I suppose you could copy paste new coast in, and then just replace ocean/sea tiles; that's what I did for the subterranean terrain, because it was easier.

    If you want, I can run the script for you with the graphics you want to use; might be a bit easier. Since there are bunches of them to run through. At least you can see if it's satisfactory in what you may be looking for, and then can go from there.
     
  9. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    My idea is to use the numbered graphics in the zip to come out with a version of Weasel Op's colored template. Not as good as running a script. But at least with the guide those of us without Photoshop will have a basis for design. Wpouldn't want to tie you down running batches since there will be a series of terrain sets for the3 several steampunk scenarios. & you know how slow i work. Better to see if you can do something with the numbered graphics.
     
  10. tom2050

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    I'm not sure if doing it by hand is really feasible or not? Do you use Gimp or PSP, I can't remember.

    It may make sense if you can access all the saved selections in the PSD file; because those are what is used to copy from. And then it is relatively easy to verify what should be copied to where so they are placed in the right spot (which could be numbered according to Weasel Op's colored template, e.g.).

    But if you cannot access the saved selections in the PSD file, you have to manually make (draw) each selection, and it's a very long process. I think I invested tens and tens and tens of hours recording it. It's not really possible to explain where each selection is copied from, because they are all specific shapes for the most part (that avoids copying the water/coast e.g.) and only copies the specific portion of either grass/plains/tundra/desert etc.

    =========

    So if you can load these selections, then I can lay out on Weasel Op's colored template exactly what goes where, and from what selection you should use to get that part.
     
  11. tom2050

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    For example, on the XDPC template;

    Top image is the PSD file, with loaded selection XDPC01, it copies it into the bottom image. The bottom image is the terrain PCX file under construction, it starts from right to left/top to bottom.


    (I manually did it, and already messed up, the pasted portion in bottom image I put in the wrong spot, should be 1 square to the right)

    After it's done with XDPC01 selection, it loads XDPC02 selection and continues through all 50+ of them. Each PSD file has different selections, because each terrain has different shapes for each that it needs to load, copy and paste.

    It goes through and loads a specific selection set as shown in 1st image in the PSD file, loads the terrain that the user has put in; and then copies over the PCX file (which is built in that order, from right to left; top to bottom). It builds both the desert and plains, and then blends it all together with the coast; and inputs the sea/ocean tiles.

    Without knowing what the selections are, you are in essence drawing from scratch each and every single tile. It took me almost a month to record this thing out, and I probably spent literally 60 hours doing it.

    To blend everything together, the PSD has a mask image saved (which you might be able to access).

    If you can access the saved selections, then all is good; although for each terrain, you'll have to go through each square individually copying/pasting the right selections to the right spot, which still takes a fair amount of time. If you can't, the road ahead will be at best, very arduous (it was for me).

    That's why I (or someone else with PS) could run the script for you, takes about 10 minutes total to complete a whole terrain package.
     
  12. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    The posted image isn't showing, so these remarks are based on what you wrote.
    Added emphasis to highlight the key phrase. This is precisely the goal. Taking the single colored images with the red numbers & running them through the scripts should end up with images that look like Weasel Op's templates, but with the numbers added. Here's a sample of one section - top is Weasel Op's version, bottom after running the scripts on the numbered images:



    Sure it will be a lot of work doing the CnP by hand. There are already a few people doing terrain by hand - without a useful guide like the one you could create. It will also be of use when doing things like CnP to combine several terrain sets. A problem with the Hollow Earth scenario (limited terrain types) can be solved by using one of the Underworld terrain set plains as the sea/ocean. since the different pcx are arranged differently the numbered pcx can serve as a rough guide to which tiles to place & where.

    Making terrain sets is going to take several trials to see what works together as a whole in most cases. It's unfair to ask you or anyone else to run graphics through those scripts for every attempt by everyone with a need in perpetuity. When you've got the time please take the 10 minutes to make a set. If the numbers are misaligned or the images are the wrong size to work with let me know & a new version can be made in fairly short order. If they're fine then you've made a set of templates usable by everyone who doesn't have access to the software to run your scripts.
     
  13. tom2050

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    Okay, I'll run the script with the numbers and place the images up here for each terrain type. Perhaps I can also create a masked image with selections saved to make it easier, although can't remember if this is feasible or not.
     
  14. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Thanks in advance.
     
  15. tom2050

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    I'm working on finishing this up now, I'll try to get it up in a short bit.
     
  16. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    No hurry. I see from posts in other threads that RL has you on the run lately. Take your time with this.
     
  17. tom2050

    tom2050 Deity

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    Okay, everything should be here...

    All the X*** files are there, and I included 3 overlays, one with the numbers, and 2 more with the magenta Isometric Squares. They are png's because they include transparency. You can combine them into layers in whatever graphic program you use, and can be used, if needed, to know what came from where, etc.

    http://www.easy-share.com/1915730616/TerrainNumbered.rar

    If you need anything else just let me know! I hope this helps out.
     
  18. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Thanks, tom2050. This will help a lot with the Hollow Earth landmark terrain. Hopefully many others will be able to use your work as well.



    Here are Numbered Terrain Templates. Constructed from the originals by WildWeazel.
    tom2050 ran some numbered images through his scripts. All I did was some CnP & placing some red numbers as annotations. Thanks also to Pounder for correcting my faulty logic. Any remaining errors, omissions, or faulty changes are entirely mine.

    Explanation
    This meant to be of help to anyone who can't run tom2050's Photoshop scripts for turning images into terrain pcx files. Hopefully the templates will be of some use in creating new terrain, especially blending the edges of tiles where terrains overlap.

    The numbers on the terrain tiles relate to the positions on the solid color images. The solid colored files are stand-ins for whatever graphics you want to base your terrain on. Here's a section of a numbered terrain file in the corner of the solid-colored image that corresponds. In this case the numbers on the Sea portions of the tile match the numbers on the solid-colored sea.
    Spoiler :



    Use the numbers to find what tile edges will touch other as a guide to blending your terrain. tom2050 made a numbered / transparent file with (apparently) only the numbers for the parts of the file that actually appear in the finished pcx. That may easier to use than the colored files with all the numbers. It's included in the set.

    Spoiler :


    A very few tiles in WildWeazel's templates that include Desert / Coast lack indicators where there is a tiny bit of desert extending into the next tile. The small diamonds indicate where it might be helpful to add a bit of terrain in what would otherwise be just coastal waters. Comparison of a single tile from the templates & various terrrain sets:

    Spoiler :


    Code1's Space terrain shows the minimalist overlap. Without at least a taste of land there will probably be some ugly geometric edges showing in-game.


    Happy Designing!



    direct download
     
  19. Supa

    Supa Out of Cheese Error

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  20. tom2050

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