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(Tutorial) How to add Civ Icons with Gimp 2

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Modding Tutorials & Reference' started by BoomerSooner76, May 31, 2012.

  1. BoomerSooner76

    BoomerSooner76 Chieftain

    Dec 6, 2011
    First I would like to say I highly recommend using Kaels Modding guide which is at the top of the forum stickied on the page you came from to get to here. I am new to the Modding community and I had a heck of a time trying to figure this out. Since I had such a hard time I figured I would entertain some fellow beginners and hopefully help them out along the way.

    In this guide we will be learning how to Mod Civilization Icons in the template with all the little white circles alot of people has been having problems with. I will explain in detail step by step and will also provide pictures as I go along. Here we go:

    We need Gimp, however I do not use Gimp 2.8 the newest release, I prefer Gimp 2.6.8 which can be found here: http://www.filehippo.com/download_the_gimp/6790/
    Download this and install it to C:\Program Files (x86).

    Next we need a .dds plugin for Gimp 2 which is located here:
    Create a folder on Desktop (name it anything) instead of extracting the files into the folder the readme says to were going to extract the files into our newly created folder on desktop.

    Now we need to take the dds.exe file we just saved to our new folder on desktop. Right click on dds.exe and click on "copy"
    Now we need to paste what we just copied into the directory the readme told us to extract to at the start, for me the directory is C:\Program Files (x86)\GIMP-2.0\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins

    Congrats now you have a free image manipulator with .dds functionality for free! On to the fun stuff!

    Next we need to get some templates from another mod community member who was nice enough to set it all up and give us access Thank you SamBC!
    Go to http://www.mediafire.com/?fcsfkkw58f7udy3
    extract the files in the same folder you created for the Gimp dds plugin on your desktop.

    Either create or find your Icon that your going to be using as your Civilzation Icon. Use any image program and size the image to 256X256 (THE SIZE OF IMAGE MUST BE IN INCREMENTS OF 4 if your using Gimp 2 and it changes your image size to 256X255 or something similiar click on the little chain looking butting right next to the little boxes where you enter the size of your image when your trying to resize your image. Save the image to your desktop folder as a .png

    Ok, open up Gimp 2
    Click on File top left
    Click on Open
    Open IconAtlas256.xcf
    Go ahead and resize it to 100% (you do this by click on the arrow pointing down in the lower left hand corner of Gimp 2 down by where it says 33.33%) After we resize it we need to scroll the screen all the way to the left and all the way up so we can see the top left white circle.
    Now we have a whole bunch of white circles with little gray and black squares in the background.
    Go ahead and open up your folder on desktop that has the image you want to use.
    Click the image you want to use and drag it to all the white circles in Gimp 2 and release it. It should drag it and now it has a copy in Gimp 2 over the background.

    Now on the Gimp 2 action bar (the tall bar that is detached from Gimp 2 that has all the tools you need) click on the "move" tool.
    Click on the image you dragged and drag it up to the top left white circle. Just do the best you can and get image to the best of your ability in the white circle.

    Now on the top action bar of Gimp 2 Click on "Layers" then click on "merge down"
    As you can see it now looks like one solid image.
    Ok now click on "File" then click on "save as"
    If we are using Kaels modding guide then we will name image as CivSymbolsColorLegends256.dds
    Were going to save it in the same folder we have been using. When the "Save as DDS" message comes up just make sure compression is set to "none" and format is set to "default" and generate mipmaps is unchecked dont worry about advanced options.

    Now before we go any further and so we dont forget we have to make 6 sizes of that image for our new civilization 256, 128, 80, 64, 45, and 32. Sounds like a lot of work but it actually isnt. We already have our 256X256 done....so all we need to do is just open that and resize the image scale to fit the other sizes.

    Open up Gimp 2, click on file, click on open, and open CivSymbolsColorLegends256.dds
    Now on the top action bar of Gimp 2 click on "Image" then click on "Image Resize" We need to change our X and Y axis to the right dimensions. So change the dimensions as follows:

    So we need to resize the 256 size of our image to these sizes and then save the images to our folder; MAKE SURE TO RENAME FILES! When you save the files make sure you rename them CivSymbolsColorLegends128.dds CivSymbolsColorLegends80.dds and so on for all the sizes.

    Congrats you now have your Civilizations Icon! Now we just need to load them up.
    If you have been following Kaels Modding guide then you should have ModBuddy and all the files created for your civ up to Icon.

    Open up ModBuddy, on the right hand side create a Art folder under your projects name if you do not have one already. Open up your desktop folder that has the 6 dds images we just created. Click on each image and drag them and drop them under the Art folder in ModBuddy.

    Almost done, In Modbuddy click on each image in the Art folder. At the bottom right of ModBuddy when you click on a image it loads a little information about it. We need to change one thing, scroll down to the bottom and where it says "Import into VFS" where it says "false" we need to change that to "true" so click on "false" and change it to "true"

    Once again if your following Kaels guide he explains what to change in your xml so the image protrays you will also need to create a new xml folder so the game knows where to look for your new Icon. Also make sure you create the CIV5IconTextureAtlases.xml file that Kael has you create in his guide or your icon will not work.

    Go to your Civilizations xml in ModBuddy find this text:

    make sure this text reas as follows:

    You need this because it basically tells the game to look for your leaders protrait in the first little which circle where we put our icon.

    Now to test it out!
    Go ahead and go to ModBuddy right click your projects name on the right side and click on "Build"
    Now you need to go to wherever your path is that you originally set up when you first created a new project on ModBuddy mine is
    C:\Users\Toshiba\Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 5\ModUserData\Mods
    Right click on your Projects Folder and click "cut"
    Now go to your mods folder for Civ 5 mine is:
    C:\Users\Toshiba\Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 5\MODS
    and paste your cut folder here.

    Start up Civ 5, click on "Mods" click on "Browse Mods" make sure the Name of your project is listed and make sure you have a check mark next to it.
    Go back and instead of selecting "Browse Mods" select "Set up Game" the rest doesnt matter just load up a game.

    Now click on "Help" inside the game should be up at the top right, click on the tab for "civilizations" Now you should see your new civilization you created and when you mouse over it and also click on it you should see your new Civilization Icon!

    I hope this helps some beginners, I had a heck of a time trying to figure this out, after messing with it for three days and taking a little advice from about 50 different places and combining them this is what I came up with. Works for me hopefully will work for others.

    I will add the pictures later, got a little behind schedule so cant upload atm hopefully some can get it from text without pictures.
  2. Patcheresu

    Patcheresu Chieftain

    Jun 13, 2012
    Unlike whowards, yours was easy to follow and it worked. He was the reason why I went through so many broken icons. Now I just need to find someone who can teach me how to make Dawn of Man dds pictures and fix my TXT_KEY bug and my new mod is ago. You can see it here, I'm gonna credit you for your hand in this. http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=464233
  3. Equaton

    Equaton Chieftain

    May 28, 2012
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Quick question:

    Everyone keeps saying that the picture we use for our icon needs to be 256x256, but the circles themselves are much smaller. That probably means that the icon itself must be part of a square picture, the square being of the aforementioned size. But does that mean that the icon:square relation must be exactly the same as 256x256:circle relation on the template? If not, can the picture we put in the template be any size as long as the round icon itself is in the white circle?

    What I'm trying to say is, how do you get the circle (the icon part) of the 256x256 square picture to fit exactly into the white circle?
  4. Syrinxo

    Syrinxo Chieftain

    Jun 28, 2012
    The icon image is 256x256 - the white circle represents the area, within that 256x256, that is surrounded by the icon "frame" that the game's graphics supplies. The graphic you use can be any size that fits within 256, but it won't fit in the icon's frame in the game if it extends outside of the white circle. Which may be desired (see below).

    Tip: When you move your icon image to cover the white circle, set the icon layer's opacity (slider at the top of the Layers panel on the right) to 50-75%, and it will help you see where the white circle is beneath your icon graphic. It usually takes a bit of using both the Move tool and the Scale tool to get it to fit where you want it.

    I start with a big square image I built/painted, move/scale it over the white circle, then crop it to fit that circle.

    To crop a icon to fits perfectly in the circle, try this: select the background layer, use the "wand" tool to select the white circle underneath your icon, go to Selection -> Inverse in the top menu, then select your icon graphic layer and press the Delete key. This will crop your graphic to exactly the size of the white circle. Don't forget to set opacity back to 100% before you flatten the image and save as DDS.

    The other cool thing you can do, like Kael did in his guide, is to extend your graphic OUTSIDE of the game's icon frame. To do this, instead of cropping to fit the white circle exactly, paint with your brush (you'll have to use white, I think) on the background layer BENEATH the part of your graphic you want to stick out. Then use the Wand tool on that layer to get a good Selection, inverse selection, select your graphic layer, delete key, and you should have the circle + extended bits you painted left behind.

    I hope that helps/makes sense!
  5. isnorden

    isnorden Amnesiac Modder

    Jul 6, 2012
    Madison, Wisconsin, USA
    I'm more used to Photoshop than Gimp; does the Modders' Guide list the instructions I'd need to create the Civ icon with PS? It's been a while since I needed to consult the file, so please forgive my "n00bish" question... :blush:
  6. Plastrader

    Plastrader Chieftain

    Nov 10, 2011
    Thank you for this guide! It was very helpful.
    However I do have a problem with one of the sizes. I think its the 80px one.
    For some reason it's misplaced, see screenshot.
    Its the city screen, and the leader scene(head).

    The others are fine, but this is aligned topleft and not centered...

    I'm new to all this icon editing and etc so any help would be highly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

    Kael doesn't mention how to create the icon itself.
    All you need todo is a circular icon with the surrounding area being transparant.
    Then as mentioned in this guide you need to resize the icon to fit the circles in the Atlas.
    Actually as Howard mentions in his guide the actual icon size would be 174x174px.

    If you want to be more brave with icons "sticking out" follow the instructions by Syrinxo.

  7. LuvToBuild

    LuvToBuild Prince

    Mar 9, 2006
    Evansville, IN
    @BoomerSooner76 - Thanks a lot! You really helped me get up and running with using GIMP to mod Civ5. I haven't used it for quite a while since trying my hand at modding Civ4. Your guide was much appreciated and a major shortcut bypassing all of that trial and error learning.

    @Syrinxo - Thanks for your help as well. I was having problems similar to Equaton. Your guide to getting them fit into the circle really helped me towards getting the right "professional" feel.

    Sorry for bumping an old post but I just had to pay homage. :worship:
  8. Professor137

    Professor137 Chieftain

    Aug 1, 2015
    Albany, WA
    I also found a really good way to do a lot at a time.

    First, merge all your icons into one layer excluding the background (or main sufrace). You can do this by making the background invisible by clicking the visibility button and then right click on another layer and click merge visible layers and expand if necessary.

    Second, turn the background visible again and select the transparent part of the background layer with the wand have a fairly high threshold (that increases the amount selected). Then click the layer with which you merged your icons and press delete.

    Hope that helped!

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