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TC2M > SOWGB map converter

3 years 5 months ago #1 by voltigeur

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  • I read somewhere that a tool exists to convert TC2M maps to SOWGB format. Is this correct and if so, could a kind person please point me in the right direction?

    cheers

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    3 years 5 months ago #2 by Davinci

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  • I read somewhere that a tool exists to convert TC2M maps to SOWGB format. Is this correct and if so, could a kind person please point me in the right direction?

    cheers

    To My Knowledge - That is NOT possible.

    They use a different version of the Power-Render-Program and the map-making-format is completely different.

    The TC2M maps used a single (jpg) file to show the maps, SOWGB - uses ( 4- RGB ) files to make a map.

    You can use under four RGB files, but almost everyone sticks to using four.

    davinci

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    3 years 5 months ago #3 by voltigeur

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  • Thanks for setting me straight Davinci!

    cheers

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    3 years 5 months ago - 3 years 5 months ago #4 by Davinci

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  • voltigeur - Truth be Told - I'm not sure how you could ever want to go back to the previous games Map-Textures compared to this games terrain.

    One you have the hand-drawn-texture that is restricted to 2.5 mile, and this one you can crop Real-World-Terrain into it.

    Also, these Maps can be as large as you like, but that probably depends on the Computer that you are using.

    The Map-Making-Process isn't that hard after a while so if you ever decide to start making them there are approximately a dozen members on the forum that will help you out!





    davinci

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    3 years 5 months ago #5 by voltigeur

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  • Thanks for that info and beautiful screenshots Davinci.

    Yes although I can't really go back to TC2M, I really miss some of those scenarios, in particular the Cedar Mountain ones (oh and yes all of the 2nd Manassas if truth be told.. what is it with unfinished railroads anyway!!)

    So I was thinking, as I hadn't seen anyone produce a Cedar Mountain for SOWGB series (I think!) .. how hard could it be? :laugh:

    First off it seems one starts with the map - correct? In which case I would need to build that from scratch. Hence me enquiring here to see if there was a short cut. I gather I now would use the SOWWL SDK to build the map.

    Any links to pointers building maps that will work in SOWGB will be gratefully received; my initial brief read of the SOWWL SDK pdf didn't seem to include any info on that.

    cheers!

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    3 years 5 months ago #6 by Davinci

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  • How hard could it be? :laugh:

    Not, Really as hard as you may think!

    First off it seems one starts with the map - correct?

    1) Download and Install the SOWWL SDK - I have mine Installed at the top of the C-Drive for easy access. Basically the first Directory.

    In which case I would need to build that from scratch.

    Not, entirely.
    You should have all of the files from the previous game, correct?
    Some of this will require a little bit of Photoshop or equivalent Program.

    You can use the "CedarMt.tga" Height.tga - for the height of the map, it is 256x256 which is 2.5 miles roughly.

    Expand that to 512x512 which would create a 5 mile map, roughly.

    Also - the "CedarMt.tga" - in the Maps-Folder - can be used give you the location of the roads, streams, fields, and the tree area.

    Basically, these can be transferred over to the newer (RGB) files which should save you a lot of time.

    You will probably need a Step-by-Step - but it is fairly simple once you get the basics down.

    I gather I now would use the SOWWL SDK to build the map.

    True.

    This is where everything will be put together, most maps are basically only a dozen different files that require Modding, the other files are hardly ever used.

    Hope this Helps!

    davinci

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    3 years 5 months ago #7 by voltigeur

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  • You will probably need a Step-by-Step


    Yes I have the original TC2M game so that's no prob, but a step by step will help, is there any mapping documentation out there?

    Appreciate the time getting me started Davinci!

    cheers

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    3 years 5 months ago #8 by Davinci

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  • Is there any mapping documentation out there?

    Negative - As far as I know!

    But, the CedarMt - map from the previous game would probably be a good way to start and learn how this is done.
    Also - once you do one of them, the rest should be fairly simple since it basically works the same way on any map.

    Question - Do you have Photoshop, or any other Equivalent Program?

    Also - since a lot of maps have already been released, you could get a lot of the Graphics from those maps, such as...Grass, Field-terrain, Weeds, Road-terrain, etc...

    Also - Once you have the Map-Making-Tools Installed - locate a file called "LibEdit" it is in one of the directories in the Power Render Program.

    This is the "Program" that is used to "Compile" and "Extract" all of the files.

    Once you are ready - I will use the CedarMt - files to show you how the process works, and how to convert it into a Map that should work with this game.

    davinci


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    3 years 5 months ago #9 by voltigeur

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  • I use paint.net, hopefully that will work.

    I also have the sowwl sdk installed and have located the libedit application.

    Ready to roll Sir! :)

    cheers!

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    3 years 5 months ago - 3 years 5 months ago #10 by Davinci

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  • We are probably going to run into a Time-Difference-Here! Almost Midnight here.

    I have the "LibEdit" shortcut located on the "Taskbar" since it is easier to locate and Open from there.

    Create a new folder named "CedarMt" in the "PR6Studio" directory - like in the example below.


    This is where all of your Map files will go for this Map.

    Download the file below called "Splat.lpj" and place it in that folder also. This is the file that will Open the Map in the Power-Render-Program.


    This next part is going to be sort of backwards and un-necessary but it will help to learn how to Open the Maps without starting from scratch.

    Locate the Gburg.lsl file from the SOWGB game and drag it into the "LibEdit" window.

    You should see a list of all of the files pertaining to that map.

    Click on and hi-light all of the files so that each one is blue in color.

    Click the "Extract FIle" - Click Open - Click Save until all of the files have been saved into the CedarMt folder...(Hmm...This part is confusing - but you must direct the files to be saved in the CedarMt folder)

    If done correctly - you should have 29 files in the "CedarMt" folder.

    Close the "LibEdit" window.

    Basically - this will save the Gettysburg Map - into the CedarMt Map folder.

    Locate the "CedarMt.lsl" file from the previous game and drag it into the Libedit window.

    Extract the "height.tga" file and the "terrain.jpg" file only and save unto the Desktop.

    Open the height.tga file with "Paintnet" and rotate it 90 degrees clockwise.

    Also - change the image size from 256x256 to 512x512.

    Save it and Copy it into the "CedarMt" folder in the PR6Studio directory. It should overwrite the height file from the Gettysburg Map.

    To Open the map in PR6 - you will have to direct the location to the location of that file.

    Click - the "LandScape Studio" - Click - File - Click -Open

    Click the Drive where the Program is Installed!

    Click the "PR6studio" File to Open its directory!

    Click the "CedarMt" folder - and select the "splat2.lpj" file.

    If all of this which is probably quite confusing at first is done correctly, you should be looking at the Gettysburg Map.

    Some of the structures will be in the air and or in the ground, Click on one of them and Select All - Re-click the same structure and choose the Delete All.

    All of them will disappear. The terrain is also from the Gettysburg Map, but we will change that tomorrow.

    Hope this Helps!

    davinci

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    3 years 5 months ago - 3 years 5 months ago #11 by voltigeur

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  • this is great Davinci!!

    I have got to the end of your steps above successfully.


    cheers!

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    Last edit: 3 years 5 months ago by voltigeur.
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    3 years 5 months ago #12 by Davinci

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  • I have got to the end of your steps above successfully.
    cheers!

    Great!

    Once you have opened the PR6-Program - and viewing the Map.

    Hold-down the - Right Mouse Button to Pan the camera.

    W - forward
    S - backwards
    A - left
    D - right
    Spacebar - up
    Shift - down

    These control the camera and allow you to examine the field.

    Step 2 - We will remove the Gettysburg Graphics and Install the CedarMt Graphics.

    Should return in roughly ten hours from now!

    davinci

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    3 years 5 months ago - 3 years 5 months ago #13 by Davinci

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  • voltigeur - All of this might NOT work the First-Time - since I have never really done it this way, but we will see.

    From the TC2M - Copy the "CedarMt.lsl" file from that game into the PR6 \ directory.

    Once there - Open the LibEdit window and drag the CedarMt.lsl file into it.

    Highlight All of the Files

    Click - Action
    Click - Remove Files
    Click - File and then Exit

    The "CedarMt.lsl" file should now be 1kb in size. This is the location that will hold all of the Map Files to go into the game once complete.

    From the TC2M - Copy the CedarMt.tga file onto the Desktop.

    Open it with PaintNet - Rotate it 90 degress Clockwise - then Save it as CedarMt.bmp

    Basically - the previous game used a ( tga ) file - this game uses a ( bmp ) file.

    While on the Desktop - Right Click on empty space - Select - New \ Folder - Name it Maps.

    You can then place the "CedarMt.bmp" file that you just created into the Maps folder.

    The Maps contain roughly ( Four Main ) folders - three to go.

    EDIT Post - Correction - The CedarMt.lsl file from the previous game doesn't work with this version of the PR6. A work around is to use another Map from SOWGB - remove all of the files and name it "CedarMt"

    SO, use this file below - Copy it into the PR6 directory - it will overwrite the previous one.

    File Attachment:

    File Name: CedarMt.rar
    File Size:0 KB



    davinci

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    3 years 5 months ago #14 by Davinci

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  • voltigeur - Working Prototype in game, but it needs a lot of work!





    The Jump-Map - is slightly off, I usually play with a large Map that doesn't cover several miles to the North or the South.

    It makes the units appear to March onto the map. Forgot how to correct the problem at the moment.

    davinci

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    3 years 5 months ago #15 by voltigeur

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  • Thankyou DaVinci, I will have a go at the above tomorrow and let you know

    Cheers!

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    3 years 5 months ago - 3 years 5 months ago #16 by Davinci

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  • Making the ( RGB ) files from the ( CedarMt.bmp ) file.

    The "CedarMt.bmp" file is 2048x2048, so for a easy conversion the RGB files will also be this size.

    This will help with aligning them properly by matching the coordinates.

    ...............................................................................................
    NOTE : "RebBugler" - Also uses the "Paintnet-Program" to make the excellent flags for the game.

    Any questions on how the Paintnet Program works that you don't understand should be directed to him.
    ....................................................................................................
    ( Making the RGB Files )

    Create a new JPG file with the size of 2048x2048 called RGB1 : Mode is RGB - NOT Grayscale :

    Use the "Rectangular Tool" to draw a border around the entire file and Color it Black or 0-0-0

    Use the ( Zoom ) keys to zoom all the way into the file, not sure of the exact steps with Paintnet.

    Copy the "CedarMt.bmp" to the Desktop and Open it also. Zoom all the way in and locate the Road-System
    at the top left-hand of the Map. Coordinates X 41 - Y 0 - This is Grayscale Color 140.

    .....................................
    NOTE : Use the ( Eyedropper tool ) to hover over the different colors to see the difference. This tool is going to be important.
    ......................................

    There should also be a ( Feather ) option that should to be set at ( 0px ). This will only pick one exact color.

    NOTE : The Road-System is designed to be two-colors. There is a inner ( 1px ) and outer color ( 1px or 2px ) color.

    To move the whole road-system it is easier to make the entire road system the same grayscale color.

    Magic-Wand - the inner ( color 135 ) and change it to color ( 140 ). There are multiple different colors used for the roads on this ( bmp ) file, so each one has to be converted to grayscale-color ( 140 ).

    A List of road-colors that need to be change to grayscale color ( 140 ).
    115, 125, 130, 145, 150, and 165.

    Now use the magic-wand to Select color 140 from the bmp file and Copy and Paste it to the RGB1 file.

    Double Check to make sure that the coordinates are the same on both files.


    Highlight the color 140 on the RGB1 file - Select it and change it to color Red. (255-0-0)

    While it is highlighted - Stroke it with (1px) outside with the color Green. (0-255-0)

    The Red - will be the road texture that you choose.
    The Green - will be the outside shoulder of the road.

    The RGB1 file should look like the Example bolow.


    Select the River \ Stream from the (bmp) grayscale color (10) and change it to grayscale color (20).

    This will help to locate it when it is transferred over to the RGB1 file.

    Copy and Paste the River \ Stream - over to the RGB1 file - check the coordinates to make sure that they match exactly.

    NOTE : Sometimes during the Copy and Paste the Layer will not align-exactly. Zoom in and drag it to the correct coordinates.

    Select the River \ Stream ( 20 ) and - Stroke it ( 1px ) outside with the color Green. this is the riverbank.


    Before going forward and Saving this as RGB1 - which means that the Layers might need to be merged, Save it in the format that will keep the Layers in place. Photoshop uses a ( psd ) file. Not sure which format that you would use. This helps to go back and retrieve the Layers.

    Once Saved in the other format - merge the layers and Save as RGB1.

    Next will be the RGB2 file.

    davinci

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    3 years 5 months ago - 3 years 5 months ago #17 by Davinci

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  • ( RGB2 )

    Open the RGB1 file that was created earier.

    Rename it ( RGB2 )

    Select the Background and change the color to Blue (0-0-255)


    Select the Red and then the Green and change them to Color (0-0-0)

    Select the Grayscale Color (20) the Stream - and change it to Color ( 0-0-0 ) also.

    The file should now only be only two colors - Blue and Black.


    Moving the Field textures :

    Open the CedarMt.bmp file - use the ( Eyedropper Tool ) to locate color 190 on the bmp.

    Change all of the Fields on the bmp to color ( 190 )

    Once they are all highlighted - Select them - Copy and Paste to RGB2. - Align the coordinates correctly.

    Select the fields on RGB2 (190) and Color it Green ( 0-255-0 ).

    Stroke the Green with (1px) Red on the outside. This is the outer field.


    This will create the main Ground-Texture - the Field-Texture, and the outer field-texture.

    RGB3 - Next:

    davinci

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    3 years 5 months ago #18 by Davinci

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  • ( RGB3 )

    Open the RGB2 and Save it as RGB3

    Open the CedarMt.bmp file.

    ( Trees ) : Wooded Area

    The trees are defined on the (BMP) as color's 40 and 35

    Select the grayscale color (35) on the bmp and change it to grayscale color (40).

    Copy and Paste Grayscale color (40) to the RGB3 file.


    NOTE : The Problem here is that it only calls for a single color which means that the whole area will be
    the same Graphic-texture.

    Sometimes this doesn't look particular good, by only uses a single texture.

    First ( Merge All of the Layers )

    Select the Black ( Roads - Streams ) and Stroke it (1px) Red (outside).


    Select the Blue area and color it Black.


    Select the Green area and color it Black.

    Select the Gray area and color it Greeen.

    Then use the Rectangular Tool and color in some dots like the example below on the color Green.


    Once you have enough dots in place, use the Lasso-Tool to circle a large area and apply on the green.

    It doesn't really matter how it looks, it's purpose is to breakup the terrain a bit.

    Once completed, Merge all of the Layers into one.

    Save as RGB3.

    .......................................................................................
    .......................................................................................

    Re-Open RGB2 - Copy the ( Grayscale Color 40 ) from the ( bmp ) and Paste it to RGB2.

    Select it - Change its Color to ( 10-10-10 ) which is basically Black.

    This will define the tree area better.
    ........................................................................................
    ........................................................................................

    Create a new file 1280x1280 and name it RGB4.

    Make the Background Black 0-0-0.

    RGB4 Next.....Which is the ( Stream Area ) and also to break-up the Main Ground area a bit.

    davinci

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    3 years 5 months ago - 3 years 5 months ago #19 by Davinci

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  • ( RGB4 )

    Re-Open ( RGB1 ) File that still has the layers that haven't been merged. Mine is ( RGB1.psd )

    I used a random set of different patterns to apply to the background to break-up the terrain. (Optional ).

    File Attachment:

    File Name: Randompatterns.rar
    File Size:202 KB


    Select the Background and Apply - it will not overwrite anything esle on the map.


    Merge All of the Layers:

    Select the Green ( 0-255-0 ) and change it to Black ( 0-0-0 )

    Select the Red ( 255-0-0 ) and change it to Black ( 0-0-0 )

    Select the Stream color ( 20-20-20 ) and change it to Red ( 255-0-0 )



    Zoom in and Select one of the lighter shades of the Blue and color it Green ( 0-255-0 )


    Save as RGB4.

    .......................................................................................
    Re-Open the RGB2

    Copy the Blue and the Green from RGB4 to RGB2 and color them ( 10-10-10 ).

    ........................................................................................

    RGB2 - Should resemble the picture below. Save it - All RGB files are almost complete.


    Copy All of the RGB files into the PR6 \ CedarMt folder.

    Next will be to assign the Textures to the RGB colors in PRStudio - to complete this part of the map.

    davinci

    The only true logic is that, there is no true logic!
    Last edit: 3 years 5 months ago by Davinci.
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    3 years 5 months ago #20 by Martin James

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  • Terrific stuff, Davinci. Always such a helpful modder :)

    Kind regards

    Martin
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    3 years 5 months ago #21 by Jolly

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  • Congrats on a terrific tutorial Davinci!

    David(jolly)
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    3 years 5 months ago - 3 years 5 months ago #22 by Davinci

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  • Starting the Power-Render-Program

    Start the PR6 Application

    Click the EDIT at top of screen

    Click - Texture Generator


    This is where you choose which texture goes where. Click each number and Click the ( Choose Texture Button )

    Note : Each Texture will have to be chosen One at a time and assigned to each number, with the exception of the four ( RGB ) files.

    .............................................
    .............................................
    0 ) dirtroad
    1 ) outer road \ creekbank
    2 ) grass - not the same as the Main ground texture for 6.
    3 ) RGB1

    4 ) edge of fields
    5 ) any dirt graphic
    6 ) main Ground texture
    7 ) RGB2

    8 ) wooded area - try to use a different texture for each wooded area
    9 ) wooded area
    10) wooded area
    11) RGB3

    12) water graphic
    13) grass or dirt
    14) dirt
    15) RGB4

    When Completed selecting which Graphic files to use.

    Click - File ..... Click - Save ..... Click - File - Click Exit:
    ................................................................
    ................................................................

    In the beginning the ( Compile Button ) didn't work, I think that that has been fixed.

    I have never used it when Modding Maps, so I still do it the old fashion way. ( Optional )

    Open the LibEdit Window:


    Drag the "CedarMt.lsl" file from the PR6\directory into it.

    The name on the top of the LibEdit will change to the name of the file...this case CedarMt.lsl

    Click - Action - Add Update Files...It will go to the last folder that opened a Splat2....CedarMt

    Select All of the Files


    Click - Open

    The "CedarMt.lsl" file is now Compiled with the latest changes.

    Click - File - Exit.

    Note : If I change a single file in the PR6 Studio - I still follow the same rule and Save all of them.
    ................................................

    Create a New Folder in the SOWGB \ Mods - Name it CedarMt. - Create a New folder in that folder and name it Maps.
    ................................................

    Copy the updated "CedarMt.lsl" into the Maps Folder that you just created.

    Note: Five Files will have to be inside of this Map folder for it to work.

    1) CedarMt.bmp - the file that defines the roads, woods, fields, streams, and open areas.
    2) CedarMt.csv - the file that defines the colors that were used in the bmp file.
    3) CedarMt.dds - the Jump-Map that is used in the Game, and also the Command-Map.
    4) CedarMt.ini - the file that tells the Game which Map files to load.
    5) CedatMt.lsl - the Compiled textures and the RGB files. Also the houses, fences, barns, and etc.

    Below are two of these files the CedarMt.csv and the CedarMt.ini file. Place both in the Maps folder.

    The CedarMt.csv file is not completed, but it will get you started and allow you to run the Map in game.

    File Attachment:

    File Name: 2Files.rar
    File Size:2 KB


    The last file to be completed is the Jump-Map - but the ( Terrain.jpg ) from the previous game will work well to create this file. ( Pending ).....

    davinci

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    Last edit: 3 years 5 months ago by Davinci.
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    3 years 5 months ago #23 by voltigeur

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  • this is awesome Davinci! Will post my results once done

    cheers

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    3 years 5 months ago - 3 years 5 months ago #24 by voltigeur

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  • @RebBugler : having some issues getting a stroke result in paint.net, (eg adding 1px color stroke to outside of selected object to achieve road results in Davinci's RGB1 example above); have tried an outline object plugin but that doesn't seem to do anything. Googled some results but confusion reigns - any pointers please? Ta!

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    Last edit: 3 years 5 months ago by voltigeur.

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    3 years 5 months ago #25 by Davinci

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  • @RebBugler : having some issues getting a stroke result in paint.net, (eg adding 1px color stroke to outside of selected object.

    Until you hear from "Reb" you could try this video, but you might also have to download a Plug-in.



    davinci

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    3 years 5 months ago - 3 years 5 months ago #26 by voltigeur

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  • thanks Davinci. Does the stroke stay within the boundaries of the selection, just taking up a pixel of a different color internally from the edge? Or does it extend 1 px from outside the selection. cheers

    edit: just realised my Lightroom subscription includes PS! Will download and try that.

    Edit2: success, stroke is now turning out as expected.

    cheers

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    Last edit: 3 years 5 months ago by voltigeur.
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    3 years 5 months ago - 3 years 5 months ago #27 by RebBugler

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  • @RebBugler : having some issues getting a stroke result in paint.net, (eg adding 1px color stroke to outside of selected object to achieve road results in Davinci's RGB1 example above); have tried an outline object plugin but that doesn't seem to do anything. Googled some results but confusion reigns - any pointers please? Ta!


    I think you're on the right track with the outline tool since Paint.net doesn't have a 'Stroke' function. I've had no issues using the outline tool, I've used it a lot with flag design. Make sure you select the object, don't expect an object within a window to be identified. If it's on an Alpha background it's best to select the background then 'Invert Selection'. Once the object is selected select the outline function, then apply the size and color data for the outline.

    After I catch up with some more flag upgrades I may dive into this tutorial and see if I can develop some mapmaking skills. When and if this happens I'll explore with what works best with Paint.net. But by then I'll probably be just asking you guys questions. :huh:

    Bugles & Flags Gettysburg - Toolbar, Flags, Scenarios, and More...
    Last edit: 3 years 5 months ago by RebBugler.
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    3 years 5 months ago #28 by Crikey

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  • You could use the path tool in the freely available Gimp 2 prog.

    You can choose a start and end position and repeat as necessary to complete the roads. You can select the pixel size etc. Make sure there's no blur selected otherwise it'll mess up the greyscale value..

    The whole map making process is a pain, but it's what it is.
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    3 years 5 months ago - 3 years 5 months ago #29 by Davinci

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  • Does the stroke stay within the boundaries of the selection, just taking up a pixel of a different color internally from the edge? Or does it extend 1 px from outside the selection. cheers.

    It goes outside of the Selective Color. But, bear in mind that it is completely optional.
    The Picture below shows that it just creates a realistic view, such as the leaves forming outside of the rocks by the stream.

    edit : just realized my Lightroom subscription includes PS! Will download and try that.

    That sounds Great!

    Note : RGB = Red - Blue - Green

    These are the "Main Primary Colors" , but just about {Any-Color) can be used in these files.

    Purple, Yellow, Lime, Orange, etc...

    Also, any Color "Red, Blue, or Green" can also be used, such as a dark green, and a lighter shade of green.

    Example : Lets say that Green (0-255-0) is used for displaying the rocks, a lighter shade of green will also display the rocks, but the contrast will be completely different.

    Also - some areas of a Map will be Black (0-0-0), but these areas can also be Gray (20-20-20) and the contrast will be different. If the area is black the Graphic will show up better, but if gray, the Graphic will show up dimmer.

    The (Jpeg) files that go into the PR6\Map folder can either be merged (no-layers) into a single file, or un-merged (layers ) and the Game will still run. The file will be larger but I haven't notice any other problems.

    This also goes for the RGB files.

    Lately, I have been doing all kinds of experiments to see if the game will crash, very seldom will I get the Joy of crashing the Game!

    The "LibEdit" will also open up the packages files that stores all of the objects in the game, these can also be edited with Photoshop or Paint-Net too change the appearance of the objects.

    You just Drag a Packages file into the LibEdit Window.

    The only downside to Modding the Maps, or Modding the game is that you will Play the game, only to stop and Mod the game.

    Its a never ending circle!

    davinci

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    Last edit: 3 years 5 months ago by Davinci.
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    3 years 5 months ago #30 by remus

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  • Hi Davinci

    Enjoyed the tutorial. I was wondering if you could share some information on putting new package files together? I have some buildings and other items that I would like to put together into a .dat file but haven’t found much about where to begin.

    Remus

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