1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Trying (again) to learn to edit units

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Creation & Customization' started by Aethelend, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. Snodmaulvenn

    Snodmaulvenn Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Messages:
    73
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Kranj, Slovenia
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
  2. Jorsalfare

    Jorsalfare Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    345
    Location:
    Kingdom of Norway
    The grey box is the result of incorrect indexing. The index for transparent is #255, while your file uses #224 - which is for unit shadows. In your colormap the index #224 and #255 are identical (EE00ED), and when applying a colormap to a pcx-file, the first match will be used. Use color FF00FF for #255 and recolor the background in the storyboard with this color before indexing again.
    The crashing file is 4.flc. This is a known bug with Flicster. If some part of the unit animation comes closer than 2 pixels from the right frame border, the compiled flc will be corrupted and cause crashing - although Flicster itself will be able to run the file.
    Hope this helps.
    Sigurd
     
    Snodmaulvenn likes this.
  3. Snodmaulvenn

    Snodmaulvenn Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Messages:
    73
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Kranj, Slovenia
    Thank you, excellent answer, i will attempt at this unit again.
     
  4. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    11,236
    Location:
    Timeless Isle
    Dunno if you've looked at my tutorial on PCX editing. I used static images - like the civilopedia stuff - for examples. The section on rearranging the colormap (palette) would apply to units as well. Unfortunately in GIMP you have to move the colors around one at a time. But for things like getting the smoke, transparent, etc in correct places it's simple even if not fast.
     
  5. Puppeteer

    Puppeteer Emperor

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Messages:
    1,373
    Location:
    Nomadic in the Rockes, USA
    Interesting. I have an idea about that, having just coded my own Flic decoder. Is the source code of Flicster available?

    More: The encoding is done in two-byte packets. For animations with odd pixel width there is a special construct to set the last pixel of the row before going through the pixel pair packets for the rest of the row.
     
  6. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    11,236
    Location:
    Timeless Isle
    I don't think it's in a tutorial just in an old thread somewhere, but I know Vuldacon discussed that 2 pixel problem - along with making units with frames larger than the standard firaxis size.
     
  7. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2001
    Messages:
    6,724
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    The use of Civ3FlicEdit and Flicster have issues but not a big problem to get around.

    Using Flicster, keep the images 2 pixels away from the East Frame Line or it will cause "streaking" problems across the Animation Frames. All other Frames can be touched by the Images.

    Civ3FlicEdit , will add a duplicate Frame of the 2nd frame and remove the 1st Frame of an Animation if used for a first Unit. IF you open an existing Animation (Flc) and generate a Storyboard the problem will not happen.
    Some people have simply used existing animations (Flcs) to generate a storyboard then substitute the New Storyboard to make the Flc for a New Animation... that works. I assume the Program keeps the settings for existing Flcs but for New Animations , the 1st Frame is removed and the 2nd Frame is duplicated. This cause a Big Hesitation in the Animation as it is not only missing Frame 1 but it duplicates Frame 2.

    Not sure why the problems exist in the two programs but once known it is easy to get around and even use the two programs together to gain what is wanted.

    Personally, I only use Civ3FlicEdit to change Offsets for animations and prefer Flicster. It is no big problem to keep or remove any Animation images that are closer than 2 pixels from the East Frame Line.

    IF anyone wants to improve this for Flicster, add the ability to change Offsets and correct the need to keep 2 pixels away from the East Frame Line :)

    Puppeteer... No Source Code I am aware of but if you are interested perhaps you can make sense of this problem.
     
    Civinator and Snodmaulvenn like this.
  8. Puppeteer

    Puppeteer Emperor

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Messages:
    1,373
    Location:
    Nomadic in the Rockes, USA
    I found the thread for that, and there is supposedly even source code, but the download links don't work. I can't find either the binary or source in the downloads section. I grabbed Flicster but haven't looked at it yet.
     
  9. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2001
    Messages:
    6,724
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Snodmaulvenn... The problems you have had with your Multiunit Flcs are basically incorrect indexing on the Unit Palette.

    All simple to correct but I do not use GIMP. Blue Monkey uses GIMP and can help with that.

    The Unit Palette Slots are indexed for the Slots that are used for specific things:
    The Top Four Rows of 16 colors across each are for the "CIV Specific Colors" that change according to the CIV that owns the Unit.
    The next 160 Colors are for the Unit Colors.
    The Next 16 Shades are for the Translucent Smoke and Fog Shades.
    The Last (Bottom Row) 15 Shades are for the Shadow Shades and the Transparent Background for Units.

    The Palette is a 256 color Palette and because it starts with 0 the last color slot is #255 and that color slot is for the Transparent Background. #254 is the lightest Shadow Shade and generally not used with Unit Shadows but used for the Frame Lines on the Storyboard. Setting this Palette Slot as Green simply allows you to see the Frame Lines easier and also serves to block the Use of that Lightest Shadow Shade in a Unit.
    It is Not the Color that makes something Transparent but the Color used on the specific Slot of the Palette. The Transparent color can be any color and the Game will use the Alpha.pal Palette, making that color Transparent due to the Palette Slot the Color is in.

    The problem that has happened to Many people making Units is when they apply a palette to nearest Color Matching, All Graphics Programs will apply the first Color on the Palette that is closest to a Color. The "Smoke and Fog Shades" have extremely light Magenta Shades that are very close to Pure Magenta so a Light Smoke and Fog Shade is placed for the Background rather than the Magenta Color on Slot #255. You cannot see this Light Smoke Shade with the naked eye because it is so close to the Pure Magenta Color. In game, the Smoke and Fog Shade is seen as it really is... a translucent smoke/fog shade that is on the Palette.

    The Palette we use is the .pal Palette. The Game uses the Alpha.pal Palette in the Game automatically. You can see this in Flicster by checking the Alpha Blend box.

    When you apply a Unit Palette, check the Background to make sure it is the exact Color used on Palette slot #255 (Last Color on the Palette).

    Most people Use Pure Green and Pure Magenta for #254 and #255 because those Colors are not usually used in Unit Images but the truth is you can use any color you like... just make sure the Colors you want to use are in the Correct Palette slots. #254 Palette Slot is the Lightest Smoke/Fog Shade is not generally used for Unit Shadows but is used when you have Smoke such as an Explosion or Gun Fire. Therefore, you can Block this Shade on the Palette by making it Pure Green for example if you do not want it used.

    Not to confuse you but you can also use any of the same Colors that are visible in a Unit animation as Transparent colors because it is the index that sets a Color as Transparent not the Color... it is simply easier and also prevents index errors by using a totally different Color that is Not Used for any of the Unit Colors as the Transparent Color.

    A Note about the "CIV Specific Color" Palette Slots:
    As a General Rule, those Color Slots are all used for the Colors that Change for the CIV that owns the Unit. Just for your information, Not all of those Colors change.
    I will post a Unit Palette with information and also a Unit Palette that shows the CIV Specific Colors that Change, Blocked out with Green and show the Colors that do not change.

    The Blocked Out Smoke/Fog Shades (colored Pure Green) on the Unit.pal Palette Images are generally Not used but again this depends on what is wanted in the Animation.

    If you use Civ3FlicEdit or Flicster, keep in mind about their specific problems (Post #27 above) so they don't cause you grief.
    Unit Palette.png
     
  10. Snodmaulvenn

    Snodmaulvenn Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Messages:
    73
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Kranj, Slovenia
    Thank you for detailed explanation. At the time when I made multi tank unit I didn't know how to move colors inside a palette, I have only learned about it in last few weeks by coincidence when I found out rearrange colormap option. I have had a couple nervous breakdowns using gimp, for example when I was learning resizing and didn't notice the tiny button looking like chain link in between the numbers or when trying exporting and importing pallets

    I have tried to fix the tank multiunit the last day but it has too much colors on the frame lines and also when i export now, I get like a broken watercolor looking image in some frames, its better to start from beginning, its too much to fix.


    Zajeta slika.PNG

    I have more questions.
    I am also interested about how to recolor a unit, to remove civ specific colors, I have managed to do it on one specific unit, by moving colors in Flicster, but on all other units its like they have locked pallets.
    Another question is how to recolor a unit or change color numbers, I have read something about it on forums, so that a unit can be used a as leader, I remember that color numbers in a palette have to be reduced.
     
  11. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2001
    Messages:
    6,724
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Snodmaulvenn... Below is a Zip File of a Tutorial that might help you with Recoloring Units. It uses Paint Shop Pro but you can extrapolate what to do in GIMP.

    Naturally, most Tutorials are generally long because more words are required to explain what to do but I hope you can wade through procedures that are simple once understood.

    You can view the Thread "How to Make a Single Frame Leaderhead" Tutorial that may help you: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/how-to-make-a-single-frame-leaderhead.369271/#post-14653529
    Tutorial Download: https://forums.civfanatics.com/resources/how-to-make-a-single-frame-leaderhead.14914/
     

    Attached Files:

    Snodmaulvenn likes this.
  12. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2001
    Messages:
    6,724
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Snodmaulvenn... Just a quick note to say that when you combine different Units such as making a Multiunit, it is best to make a New Unit Palette that combines the Colors needed for all of the Units and their Animations used.
    Depending on how many different colors are needed for all of the different Units and Animations, the Palette will at least provide the best colors to represent all Units and Animations used.

    What I mean by Animations used takes into consideration other Needed colors such as an Attack that shows a Gun Flash with Yellows, Reds, Oranges, etc...
     
    Snodmaulvenn likes this.
  13. Snodmaulvenn

    Snodmaulvenn Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Messages:
    73
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Kranj, Slovenia
  14. Snodmaulvenn

    Snodmaulvenn Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Messages:
    73
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Kranj, Slovenia
    I made another multiunit from Delta Strife's units.

    However i don't know how to create a flc file for one action because i have shortened the last 10 frames in pcx file.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2001
    Messages:
    6,724
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Snodmaulvenn... In Flicster, click File then New. In the Box that opens, set the Frame Size and Number of Frames. You can either set the Flc Speed or leave the Default 80 speed and set the Flc Speed later. Click Export.
    You will have a Storyboard and .FXM file. Use the .FXM file with your Original Storyboard pcx file to look at it in Flicster and set the Flc Speed you want. Before Exporting the New Flc, click the Frame Delay and set the New Flc Speed.

    First, change the Resolution you have for the Death Storyboard before trying to use it with the New FXM file. It is set as 300... change it to 100. Keep the same Width and Height.

    Here is the Flc set at 66 speed. I changed the Resolution of the original Storyboard .pcx file to 100 first.

    Note that if you have problems selecting a particular Flc Speed such as 66, while viewing the Animation use the slider Bar and set the Speed. You can click on the small vertical bar to see what speed is set. IF it is for example 65 speed, use your Mouse Wheel to manually roll it one notch that you will not see. Then in the Export screen, click on the Frame Delay and you will see if it is set at 66 speed (Current Viewer Delay) that you set a dot in there.
    Yes, this is another minor thing to deal with sometimes but easy to set.
     

    Attached Files:

    Snodmaulvenn likes this.
  16. Snodmaulvenn

    Snodmaulvenn Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Messages:
    73
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Kranj, Slovenia
  17. register

    register Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2014
    Messages:
    346
    @Vuldacon - would it be very difficult for you to record unit palette process starting from storyboard until is ready for flicster but without flicster?
    Delta sent me a link to his tutorial but when I started reading it and doing first steps I got annoyed with it straight away and can't look at this anymore.
     
  18. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2001
    Messages:
    6,724
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    register... Tutorials require MANY Words to convey procedures and that is not only time consuming to make but equally time consuming for the Reader to "wade" through and understand.
    "A picture tells a thousand words" is true. Even using images still requires explanation and then if the Reader does not use the same programs that were used in the Tutorial they have to be able to extrapolate and apply the Tutorial to programs they have and use.

    Some steps require knowledge of how to handle them when something is not the same. Most steps are simple but one does need to know how to handle a step when there are differences required to accomplish the step.

    IF you have Skype I could show you and talk to you easier and faster.

    The Main step that can have differences is the initial Reduction of colors for the Unit. Going from ,bmp storyboards with 16 million colors to .pcx storyboards with160 Unit colors. If a Unit uses only the same colors for All Animations it is easier because the Default Storyboard can be used to make the Palette with the Colors for all Animations. For example, If there are other Animations that use different Colors such as a Gun Flash, Explosion or Smoke or different colors on the Unit for different animations such as the Attack or Death, that requires using those Storyboards as well as the Default all together when making a Unit Palette to have the Needed colors for all animations represented on the same Palette.

    It is true that we could make a separate palette for each animation and sometimes get away with doing that but it can easily change the base colors for the Unit and cause bad results where the over all Unit changes colors noticeably between animations... This is the reason to use the same Palette for all animations for a Unit and all Original Game Units use one Palette for all animations.

    Just one example of what I am saying:

    If I made a Tutorial and did not explain about when to use more storyboards to make the needed Unit colors for a Palette that would show all colors needed for all animations, the Reader may not know what or how to gain all of the needed colors for a Unit Palette, then if only a Default storyboard is used to make the Unit Palette, the Attack or Death or other animations that use different colors would not have the needed colors to show those animations correctly.

    You can see that just trying to convey a simple difference that can be required to accomplish a Step to make a Unit Palette requires many words. This is why Tutorials that really try to explain what and how to do something are so very long to read through and seem as though they are more like a Book than a quick, simple tutorial..

    Once something is understood as well as how to handle any differences needed to accomplish a task, it is quite easy. If a Tutorial does not address steps that can have differences, the Reader can have bad results simply because they needed to know more than was stated in the Tutorial. Many Tutorials are written with the understanding that the reader already understands more than the Tutorial states. This is due to having to make the Tutorial much longer than is already required to simply show some steps to perform a task.

    Rather than continue to talk about this here on this thread, I will start a "conversation" with you.
     
    Snodmaulvenn likes this.
  19. register

    register Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2014
    Messages:
    346
    Sent you pm.
     

Share This Page