DOS graphics

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warpedboard
Posts: 555

DOS graphics

Post#1 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:46 pm

Anyone know of / have a good editor for the DOS resource.pln file -- best would be something that can import existing BMPs. Thanks!

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Klauser
Posts: 991

Post#2 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:34 pm

Hey ...

Converting then inserting BMPs into DOS's RESOURCE.PLN is a tricky proposition at best.

Step 1: Taking your BMP's - which I assume are at least 8-bit (256 colors) and decreasing them to 4-bit (16 color). Then consider that you can only use 5 of the 16 colors. IIRC color-0 is black, color-1 through color-5 are usable, and color-6 through color-15 are generally not usable. Also, the graphics must be resized to 105x93.

Step 2: Now that your pretty BMPs look like washed-out crap, you must insert them into the RESOURCE.PLN. I strongly suggest you use PCX2PLN.EXE to do this.

<< Note to BANE: Let me know if I left a step out here .... >>

What you're basically doing is taking your beautiful 2006-era scenario and knocking it back into a 20+ year old graphics format.

Oh ... and by the way ... you'll also need to convert your race graphics (portrait and symbol) as well as fighters for each race.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions on this issue. It's definitely time consuming and frustrating.


"If it were easy, anybody could do it!"
Klauser

"Any ship can be a minesweeper ... once!"

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B A N E
Posts: 3777

Post#3 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:43 pm

The options we used:

editpln.exe
This is to edit directly each picture within resource.pln
I've used this program to do almost all the work I do in resource.pln
I created the pics up to altpln2 to work in Dosplan, vpa and vcr without
weird color glitches/artifacts due to the way TimW. did the color options
within resource.pln.

pln2pcx.exe and pcx2pln.exe
Exporting pics from the resource.pln and vice versa.
When you export from resource.pln, you'll discover that the colors in
the pcx do not match the pictures within resource.pln as seen via the
various programs (vcr.exe, dosplan, ships.exe and vpa).

Regarding Resource.pln.
There are 5 changeable colors (within a ~256 color spread IIRC).
The other eleven colors are not all true within dosplan, vcr and vpa.
In editpln.exe you'll see the sixteen colors in a column:
Black & variable
Bluegray & Blue
variable & variable
Red & Dark Blue
variable & variable
Green & Dark gray
Ochre & Gray
Yellow & White

The colors marked green are true across the various dos programs.
The colors marked red turn black or bright green in one or more.
The colors marked yellow turn dark gray in one or more.

Planmap.exe
Matt Clauser will have to explain that one.

As I'm sure Matt will be along to explain, importing is sadly not a
simple case of bmp => pcx => .pln.

Then there's the issue of the alchemy ships, the TRex/Mado and the
color palette swap.

Any questions you may have, please feel free to contact me.
Understanding is a three-edged sword.
Your side,
their side,
and the truth.

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Havok
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Post#4 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:45 pm

Klauser wrote:Hey ...

Converting then inserting BMPs into DOS's RESOURCE.PLN is a tricky proposition at best.

Step 1: Taking your BMP's - which I assume are at least 8-bit (256 colors) and decreasing them to 4-bit (16 color). Then consider that you can only use 5 of the 16 colors. IIRC color-0 is black, color-1 through color-5 are usable, and color-6 through color-15 are generally not usable. Also, the graphics must be resized to 105x93.

Step 2: Now that your pretty BMPs look like washed-out crap, you must insert them into the RESOURCE.PLN. I strongly suggest you use PCX2PLN.EXE to do this.

<<Note>>

What you're basically doing is taking your beautiful 2006-era scenario and knocking it back into a 20+ year old graphics format.

Oh ... and by the way ... you'll also need to convert your race graphics (portrait and symbol) as well as fighters for each race.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions on this issue. It's definitely time consuming and frustrating.


"If it were easy, anybody could do it!"
This is why these graphics (see BANE's set of them) look so crisp, like they're from a cartoon drawing. BANE's where defintely a light year ahead of Tim's original ones.
Last edited by Havok on Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Regards,
][avok

User avatar
B A N E
Posts: 3777

Post#5 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:46 pm

Oh that's funny.
I'm busily checking my post for accuracy and Matt gets his reply in
Last edited by B A N E on Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Understanding is a three-edged sword.
Your side,
their side,
and the truth.

User avatar
B A N E
Posts: 3777

Post#6 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:51 pm

Resource.pln limits all the work to:
Ten colors (5 hardset and 5 editable colors) within a 256 color palette.
Understanding is a three-edged sword.
Your side,
their side,
and the truth.

User avatar
Klauser
Posts: 991

Post#7 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:46 pm

See ... that's what I get for trying to answer the bloody question away from my VGAP files ...

BANE is more correct about the palette available for PLN work. Since I've done most of my work in PLANMAP, I work the graphics in 16 colors - but you effectively can't use 6 of the colors. BANE works mostly in EDITPN and is correct about the 10 colors.

Regardless of how you work it, you're drawing with a set of about 10 crayons.

I strongly urge you to try EDITPLN first - it will give you a better feel for all the limitations we're refering to. I do a good portion of my work exporting stuff in and out of the RESOURCE.PLN using PLANMAP. While copying from PLANMAP to a standard graphics programs has it's advantages, you're working with the RESOURCE.PLN and PLANMAP's funky false color. Had I known about EDITPLN when I stared mucking about with graphics in the early 90's, I'd have learned on it instead.

Reading back over my comments and BANEs comments ... we're probably confusing the hell out of you. That's not really our intent (well ... not my intent anyway ;) ). Try out the apps we've mentioned then see if it makes more sense.
Klauser

"Any ship can be a minesweeper ... once!"

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warpedboard
Posts: 555

Post#8 » Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:41 am

:stars: Does it make it simpler if you get good & drunk first?

Thanks for all the info though -- that definitely ought to get me started on the right path! And if not, well, I'm sure you'll hear from me about it again ;)

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Havok
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Post#9 » Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:46 am

warpedboard wrote::stars: Does it make it simpler if you get good & drunk first?

Thanks for all the info though -- that definitely ought to get me started on the right path! And if not, well, I'm sure you'll hear from me about it again ;)
Drink heavily.
Regards,
][avok

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Cherek
Posts: 5695
Contact:

Post#10 » Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:23 am

Havok wrote:
warpedboard wrote::stars: Does it make it simpler if you get good & drunk first?

Thanks for all the info though -- that definitely ought to get me started on the right path! And if not, well, I'm sure you'll hear from me about it again ;)
Drink heavily.
And enjoy it.
The line below is true.
The line above is false.

Cherek

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