HOW DO I ADD NEW SHIP GRAPHICS ?

Hi. I am trying to make a plugin that will add the Protoss Carrier from Starcraft to EV: Nova. I know that there is already a plugin like that, but I have Windows and the guy that compressed that plugin was a total truck (so i was unable to get that one to work).

Anyway, I am using a combination of EVNEW, SpinApp7, Adobe ImageReady and Adobe Photoshop CE.

My question is: Once I have made the spin for the ship I want, how do I make a mask and then associate it with the RLE image? I did actually get the ship to function like it should in the game, except that it has a white box permanently behind it since there is no mask to tell the game what to show and what not to show. I have an image I want to use for a mask, but how do I add it to the game using EVNEW? What kind of resource is it?

Some things I tried already that DID NOT work:

1. went into photoshop and physically deleted the white background.
2. tried adjusting the RBG levels under "Adjustments/Levels" to make a mask. could not get clean edges could this be a format problem?

I did finally get an image to use as a mask by opening the PNG spin file with Paint. Then I inverted the colors and saved it. Last I opened the inverted version in Photoshop and simply deleted the ship portions of the image, leaving a black "cookie-cutter" version of the original spin. Will this be able to function as a viable mask? how do I add it in?

PLEASE EMAIL ANY SOLUTIONS TO: Slig_7@hotmail.com

Your caps and insistence on response by email annoy me. No cookies for you. Interesting concept though! ^_^

BY SCREAMING AND YELLING AT YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN AAARRRGGH!!!

ahem Well, first of all this is a messaging board; emails are not necessary, as we can just reply to your post here, and add on to our own insight as we add suggestions.

Second of all, reading up on how Nova displays RleDs in the Nova Bible (I think it's explained in there) or by performing a search on this very forum would be a good start. You'd learn that there are two parts to the graphics used by Nova, a 1 bit mask and a 16 bit color graphic with a black background. (okay it's a 15 bit graphic but it doesn't matter) RleD resources are where you'll keep the graphics you intend to use with your ships; you can safely ignore the dead Rle8 resource and the clunky PICT resource if what you want to make is a ship.

If you have the graphic for the ship in question, open the GIMP (after installing it if you haven't already. (Photoshop does not have the tools you need for this exercise. No, I'm not joking)) and open the graphic in question with it. Select the area in the graphic that you want to be masked out with the magic wand, and copy/paste the selection into a new image with the same dimensions as the one you're copying from. Anchor the selection, and apply a 1-bit index the image. Save the image as a .png and use it as your mask.

I realize that I left out some steps, especially for importing the images into a RleD in EVNEW, but I have to get ready to slush through 6 inches of snow on my way to school now. You'll have to search for some answers yourself, especially now that Google is everybody's friend.

In expanding on what Jacabyte put down, I'll help you get it into EVNEW. I seem to be the resident Windows guy around here.

SpinApp7 is supposed to be able to extract masks. I don't know how well it works; I haven't tried it. At any rate, take the image from SpinApp and import it into the GIMP, as Jacabyte said, and follow his directions. Make sure to use the PNG format. It is absolutely critical that your mask is a 1-bit image, otherwise, you'll get a fuzzy wierd mask that will look awful. I would also recommend either creating a black background around the sprite itself, or creating a transparent background (PNG maintains alpha channels, and this will help your mask look just a hair nicer.)

Next, go into EVNEW, create the appropriate rleD resource. Ignore the rle8's, since they're more or less defunct and WinNova ignores them entirely anyways. Go to the rleD resource, go file -> import. Make sure you select image first. Import the colored sprite image. Then, import again, making sure to check that you're importing the mask. Import the 1-bit image. It should, if you've done Jacabyte's process correctly, look like a cookie-cutter in pure black and white. Save the rleD resource, make sure that the shan resource points to the rleD, make sure the ship resource points to the shan, and you should be good to go.

SpinApp derives masks from 32 bit .png files only. The 32 bit files have 8 bits for red, 8 for green, 8 for blue and 8 for transparencies. The last 8 bits are the ones that SpinApp uses to make a mask.

I also have and use a Windows machine, it's just that I was too stressed for time to make a descent effort to cover EVNEW. 😛

Ah, gotcha. For some reason, I thought you were on a Mac. Good to know!

I'm on both a Mac and a PC, which doubly makes me a traitor. 😉

(quote name='krugeruwsp' date='Dec 7 2009, 11:22 PM' post='2018495')

Okay. I figured it out. I now have a working Protoss Carrier from Starcraft in my EV: Nova game. I will release the plugin on the Ambrosia Add-ons page soon, since the current Starcraft plug that includes the Protoss stuff seems to be for Mac.

I did not realize that in order to get SpinApp7 to make a 1-bit mask, you had to have images that were in PNG format. All I did was open up my images in Photoshop and re-format them by saving them as PNG's. Then I just dragged them all over into SpinApp and let it do the rest. I used the mask for an rle8 resource in EVNEW and the spin for the rleD resource. Once I finished making the SHAN resource, EVNEW automatically "deleted" the background, leaving a pristine ship spin with the traditional "gray" (transparent) background that it ought to have.

I will definitely check out this GIMP thing too, though. It's always good to have a few methods for these kinds of things, just in case. Thank you all so much for your help.

Happy flying!
-Vin

Well, if it works, great, but the rle8 resource isn't for the mask. It's for an 8 bit version of the sprites, meant for older monitors that only display a few colors.

...and, as such, the rlë8 resource is essentially obsolete, and can be omitted in modern plug-ins.

The rlëD resource actually contains both the 16-bit sprite and its 1-bit mask. If your image is working properly, that means that the process you used correctly encoded both into the resource (SpinApp probably deserves the credit, though I'm not especially familiar with the Windows tools) whether you realised it or not.

I do recall reading something, somewhere, that said that EVNEW will auto-create masks, but I've never actually attempted it. It's theoretically possible, I suppose, that this is what happened here.

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