modifying existing ship graphics

how is this done? in specific, i'd love to be able to take the model for the thunderforge and just...change it's predominant coloration...that's it. can it be done without like...photoshop?

@breaker, on Jun 24 2006, 07:44 AM, said in modifying existing ship graphics:

how is this done? in specific, i'd love to be able to take the model for the thunderforge and just...change it's predominant coloration...that's it. can it be done without like...photoshop?

If you just want to tint the whole of the ship that you're flying, you could get AAC's "Paint Station Prime" plug from Ambrosia's "Add-Ons" pages.

If you want to do something fancier....

#1: Crack open the files in your "Nova Files" folder and find the "rleD" resource for the Thunderforge. On a Mac, MissionComputer is one way to go; on a PC, use EVNEW. (Links to apps are in the "Utilities" section of Ambrosia's "Add-Ons" pages.)
#2: Convert the rleD to one big image file. On a Mac, use DeRLE from wOOtware. On a PC, hopefully EVNEW can do this.
#3: Monkey with the image in an image editor. There are plenty of perfectly decent ones that don't cost what photoshop does -- the GIMP is free, for example, and Photoshop Elements can be had for around $50 or so. Some have even used MS Paint or AppleWorks.
#4: Get the image into the right format (16-bit) by running it through w00tware's BlitZen with compression off.
#5: Convert the image to an rleD. On a Mac, use MissionComputer or w00tware's EnRLE.

That's the basic outline, anyway; I left out lots of detail that you will discover as you go along. Go at it!

can paint station prime be used on escorts as well? or will i have to make new ship models for each? or perhaps cap a ship, use my old one as the escort, will it keep the paint job?

This post has been edited by Breaker : 24 June 2006 - 12:28 PM

Well, if you wanna know the possibilities, make a search for the Pirate Modified Starbridge, I believe all the entire graphics were done by Photoshop. If you think ATMOS had any intentions of releasing the actual models that went into Nova, they wouldn't let you have it, unless you could somehow by a miracle pry them off from their cold petrified dead fingers, or earned a cashola amounts of brownie points with one of the members.

You can't paint your escorts so yes, you'll need new sprites.

@dr--trowel, on Jun 25 2006, 02:25 AM, said in modifying existing ship graphics:

#4: Get the image into the right format (16-bit) by running it through w00tware's BlitZen with compression off.

Not necessary if you're just going to RLE them.

@guy, on Jun 24 2006, 05:44 PM, said in modifying existing ship graphics:

Not necessary if you're just going to RLE them.

Ah. Right. Step #4 can be skipped.

Incidentally, if you want painted escorts, one way to do it would be to buy the ship you want as an escort, get the paint outfit, and then take a snapshot of every single angle of the ship. That gets you the images; just reassemble them into a rled or spin and make a ship that uses the new graphics, then hire it.

It's a rather labor-intensive way to do things, mind.

@coraxus, on Jun 24 2006, 04:34 PM, said in modifying existing ship graphics:

Well, if you wanna know the possibilities, make a search for the Pirate Modified Starbridge, I believe all the entire graphics were done by Photoshop.

Psh. Please. Tons of people have made Pirate Mod. Starbridges, including myself on multiple occasions. You just select the sprite area of the Pirate Starbridge (i.e. not the surrounding black) and delete that selection from the Mod. Starbridge sprites. You're left with the single difference between the Starbridge and the Mod. Starbridge - the guns on the side. Combine the two and you've got a Pirate Mod. Starbridge. Hardly an example indicative of "the possibilities".

@orcaloverbri9, on Jun 25 2006, 07:05 AM, said in modifying existing ship graphics:

Hardly an example indicative of "the possibilities".

Well, it does provide a good example of how to splice together features from multiple ships, although the exact technique used wouldn't be very useful for most other ships.

The other simple thing to do to ship graphics is re-coloring. If your graphics program can split an image into its red, green, and blue color channels, and re-combine them in any order, you can do quite a bit to the colors of a ship, especially if it already has some color. Things get even more interesting if you can combine RGB channels from two different images- I've made some very colorful Lightnings working from both the Civilian and Rebel versions.

Unfortunately, I can't give you any advice on what cheap/free programs can do color channel seperation. The one I use currently sells for about $80 (although I got it free with a digital camera several years ago), and I haven't found any appropriate options in either the GIMP or GraphicConverter.

Edwards

This post has been edited by Edwards : 25 June 2006 - 01:32 PM

The GIMP doesn't have that? Wow. My copy of Photoshop 5 (for OS frickin' 9) has that.

@orcaloverbri9, on Jun 25 2006, 12:26 PM, said in modifying existing ship graphics:

The GIMP doesn't have that?

I don't know that the GIMP can't swap color channels, I just know that I haven't been able to find that feature in either the menus or the help files (although it is possible to edit the channels individually). I haven't gone to the trouble of searching online because I do have a program that can do that (and that I'm more familiar with), even if it is six years old and only runs in Classic.

Edwards

This post has been edited by Edwards : 25 June 2006 - 03:29 PM

For Graphic Converter, the colour matrix can usually do the job.

@edwards, on Jun 25 2006, 01:30 PM, said in modifying existing ship graphics:

Unfortunately, I can't give you any advice on what cheap/free programs can do color channel seperation. The one I use currently sells for about $80 (although I got it free with a digital camera several years ago), and I haven't found any appropriate options in either the GIMP or GraphicConverter.

Channel swapping commands are in GraphicConverter's "Effect > Channels/Frames" sub-menu. It's not as powerful as what you can do in Photoshop, but it's a quick way to create variants, even so.

@guy, on Jun 25 2006, 10:06 PM, said in modifying existing ship graphics:

For Graphic Converter, the colour matrix can usually do the job.

I wound up with blown-out, posterized pics when I played briefly with GC's "Filter > Color Adjustment > Color Matrix." What sort of values do you enter to get less-than-ghastly results?

@dr--trowel, on Jun 27 2006, 02:33 AM, said in modifying existing ship graphics:

I wound up with blown-out, posterized pics when I played briefly with GC's "Filter > Color Adjustment > Color Matrix." What sort of values do you enter to get less-than-ghastly results?

Yeah, I'm not sure exactly, I usually go with trial and error.
...
Wait a second, in the latest version the matrix seems, um, broken. Doesn't matter what I do I always end up with a mostly white image with a few bits of green.

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