Home » SIRTECH CLASSICS » Jagged Alliance: Unfinished Business » Tools and Guides Repository (Archive) » Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request
Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180359] Mon, 07 April 2008 06:08 Go to next message
Kaerius

 
Messages:31
Registered:March 2008
Say I want to make a new RPC, or replace one of the AIM guys... how would I go about it?

How do I add the voices after I record them, are there naming requirements?

How do I add the speech bubbles to go with the voice and link that together?

What are the parameters of the picture and what format should it be in, do I need to convert it to a game specific format, in that case, what tool do I need to use?

How do I add an RPC to the already available ones?

How do I give it a description if it's for an AIM or MERC one?

If it's a MERC, how do I set when (s)he becomes available?

How do I link it all together?

If I get this going, and I'm satisfied with the results and want to share it, are there any chances it could be added to the 1.13 mod, or would I have to release it as a separate mod for 1.13?

Thanks in advance.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180365] Mon, 07 April 2008 09:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sphinx

 
Messages:43
Registered:February 2007
Funny... I was just messing around with the speech files.
Oh crap.. where to begin.. Let's see... Here are some things to do to get you started with the SPOKEN stuff.

1. Get an SLF extractor. Basically a program to extract stuff from SLF files that JA2 uses, specifically WAV files from Speech.slf (and BattleSNDS.slf) in the /Data folder. Mine's just named unslf.exe. Do some searching (forums or Google) for "slf extractor" or "unslf". It's a command line thing. There are more convenient programs, I think, but I've never used those. Hope you get a readme file with it too. Those 'battlesounds' are speech files for the small stuff in tactical map, for example for IMP voice 3 you can hear stuff like "Trash!", "Jesus Kay Reist!" or "Got it!"

2. After you've extracted the whole contents of Speech.slf (might take a minute) you can see the "conveniently" named wav files (like 053_001 and 026_012) and the .GAP files. Apparently those GAP files define the mouth movements on merc's portrait, to match the speech. There's a program named Gap File Generator somewhere, so you might want to have that too. I know nothing about lipsyncing the merc speech, though.




Do check out this thread at some point, lots of good info:
http://www.ja-galaxy-forum.com/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=160171&page=1#Post160171




See, all those speech files are named so that the first three numbers are the same for each merc, all the files that begin with 053 are for IMP voice 3, for example. So, if you get your hands on that unslf.exe, first try extracting all the files that END with 001. This way you'll get a sample from each merc's speech. I wish there was an index for which number prefix belongs to which character.

EDIT Aaand there is... (see the post #2)
http://www.ja-galaxy-forum.com/board/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/73364/page/4#Post73364


3. Ok, so once you've got the correct file names to replace, what to do with the new ones? You should create a folder named Speech in /Data-1.13 folder (this folder works as an OVERRIDE folder for the default game data) and place them there. Apparently they can be either OGG files or WAV files. And they don't have to have any specific properties as far as I can tell. If you open the current WAV or OGG files of JA2 with Audacity (another great program for sound editing) you can see they have few different sampling rates and formats. I think it might be a good idea to standardize all the sound files but that's a whole different story.


So there... something to chew on for starters Smile

[Updated on: Mon, 07 April 2008 09:52] by Moderator

Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180373] Mon, 07 April 2008 11:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
When Kermi's back I'll upload all the editors I have for JA2 to the FTP site. That includes SLF-Explore made by Bimbo (maker of STI-Edit) which makes handling SLF's easier. Can also remake them Wink


Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180377] Mon, 07 April 2008 12:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Starwalker

 
Messages:769
Registered:October 2005
Location: Hannover, Germany
Kaerar
That includes SLF-Explore made by Bimbo (maker of STI-Edit) which makes handling SLF's easier. Can also remake them Wink

The remaking is a bad idea, at least sometimes. I believe the code looks always at the same addresses in a SLF-archive, so if you change the size, it will break the game.
At least that is the case with Wizardry8, which SirTech produced at nearly the same time as JA2.


Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180379] Mon, 07 April 2008 12:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1844
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
Kaerius
Say I want to make a new RPC, or replace one of the AIM guys... how would I go about it?

How do I add the voices after I record them, are there naming requirements?

How do I add the speech bubbles to go with the voice and link that together?

What are the parameters of the picture and what format should it be in, do I need to convert it to a game specific format, in that case, what tool do I need to use?

How do I add an RPC to the already available ones?

How do I give it a description if it's for an AIM or MERC one?

If it's a MERC, how do I set when (s)he becomes available?

How do I link it all together?

If I get this going, and I'm satisfied with the results and want to share it, are there any chances it could be added to the 1.13 mod, or would I have to release it as a separate mod for 1.13?

Thanks in advance.



first, you need to select the slot you want to use. So as a first step, you look into proedit
proedit tells you which playable character has which INDEX.


why are the slots important? The proedit index will be part of every file you need to change/add for a character.
If you overwrite character #72, Maddog, then you may have to adjust files that come 072_XYZ.EXTENSION
However, this is kind of self-explanatory anyway

what's important is that any hardcoded story elements, such as being a trader (devin), getting placed in irregular fashion (hamous, devin, Iggy,), being a special RPC like Terry Slay or the Robot depends on the slot used. Using an extremely generic slot like Maddog will cause much less complication than using Terry/ Slay or, say, Carlos/ Miguel

so lets move on to the next step: Faces.

Once you have decidded which slot you want to use, you can also design the face Graphics. Why can't you just draw faces first and then apply them? This is becasue different PC slots require different face graphics and have different ways how their face coordinates that define the animations during talking are defined and edited.

MERC and AIM guys only have a bigface, a normal face 48x43 and some small faces (the 33 and 65 face)

RPC's additionally have a 90x100 Bface that is used for interaction prior to recruiting them
So drawing a 90x100 face for an MERC/AIM/IMP guy would be wasted time, that's why it's easier to decide the slot first.

IMP's are special as their slot does correspond to their voice and not their faces, so that no adjustments to the coords can be made in proedit --> either use faces with the same coords as the existing IMP faces, or find their repsetive coords in the .exe file

As AIM and MERC characters only require one set of animated faces, the 48x43 faces, the only require one set of coordinates, which can easily be edited in proedit
at MERC, the slot you use also defines whether your MERC will be available early (overwriting Biff or Flo) or late (cougar, stogie, gaston) given you use the normal MERC options

RPC's however, can only have the coords of their respective Bfaces defined in proedit, no the ones for the 48x43 faces. These are hardcoded in the .exe

so if you decide to take an RPC slot for your new character, then you have to either edit the coords in the exe or design a face that uses (just like with IMP's) the very same coordinates as the one you overwrite.

However, if you want to have ANY kind of story added to your character, you may have to use an RPC slot, as the only thing the other offer are some 2-3 lines of biography, which is awfully little to bring any plot or story across.

RPC slots may require some more data, but i'm just being superficial here, so first things first.

we have now decided the slot, drawn the faces and entered the values and coordinates for the animations into proedit. We assume everything is alright by here and move on to next steps. there are different options:

If it's an RPC, you'll have to place him in map sector and set him to the same map sector in proedit to make him actually appear in the game. Also, you need a script in order to be able to recruit him.

If it's an AIM/ MERC guy, you can more or less now write his bio (AIMbios.edt or MERCbios.edt something like that are the files called, probably in binarydata but i didn't really look it up, please someone correct me if that was wrong) and his speech

as AIM/ MERC guys only have speech on the phone and once recruited, you only need to write one new file, found in MERCEDT.SLF and follwing the naming convention #inproedit.EDT

Example barry is 000.EDT, Blood is 001.EDT
That's their speech bubble.

You can edit them using different .edt editing tools, like the .edt editor or ja2edt.exe

once you have written these lines, you can more conveniently record what's written there and name it as outlined in the link posted earlier in this thread.

remember that .ogg support is only in late versions of 1.13, so if you maybe record first in ja2's supported .wav format, save copies of the files and then use a tool like "oggdrop.exe" or similar to convert the speech to .ogg, then you have speech usable in other ja2 versions as well as ja2UB in case you want to use your chars in UB for example.

for an AIM, MERC guy, you'd be more or less done by here.


however, the interesting part, RPC's is still to follow.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180392] Mon, 07 April 2008 15:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Starwalker
Kaerar
That includes SLF-Explore made by Bimbo (maker of STI-Edit) which makes handling SLF's easier. Can also remake them Wink

The remaking is a bad idea, at least sometimes. I believe the code looks always at the same addresses in a SLF-archive, so if you change the size, it will break the game.
At least that is the case with Wizardry8, which SirTech produced at nearly the same time as JA2.

I thought you could remake them. Will have to test that once I get the other stuff finished.


Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180395] Mon, 07 April 2008 15:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Realist

 
Messages:27
Registered:September 2005
Location: Duesseldorf, Germany
You CAN remake them. Offsets are stored within the slfs.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180396] Mon, 07 April 2008 15:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Starwalker

 
Messages:769
Registered:October 2005
Location: Hannover, Germany
Realist
You CAN remake them. Offsets are stored within the slfs.

Nice if it works with JA2 Smile

I know that it does not with Wizardry8, as I tried to do it myself. The change I implemented changed the overall size of the SLF, and the game crashed on the start. Maybe they did not use offsets but fixed addresses for that one.


Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180420] Mon, 07 April 2008 19:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1844
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
Kaerius
Say I want to make a new RPC, or replace one of the AIM guys... how would I go about it?

How do I add an RPC to the already available ones?

Thanks in advance.


i think i still haven't answered all of the questions raised by kaerius

specialities of RPC's:

RPC's are the most interesting character/ slot type in ja2, as they are the only way to combine quest/ story and the team-building process.
however, this requires something that we might call a double-entry for an RPC, as each RPC is first an NPC and needs all data for npc's as well as all data for PC's

EPC's are very similar, except they don't need "speech", just npc speech and battlesounds.
(and a script to get them unescorted once at their destination)

So for an RPC, you require in addition to the things you need for an MERC/ AIM guy: prof.dat defining the rpc slot onto a map on which the character has been placed (watch out for irregular slots). An npc script that allows him to join your squad. Npc speech as far as it is necessary, as well as npcdata subtitles (text bubbles) that accompany the .npc script

so in the folder npcdata, your rpc requires #characterslot.EDT and #characterslot.npc

the two should match otherwise you get crashes. The .edt file may contain lines not used by the .npc script, but the .npc mustn't use lines that don't exist in the .edt file

as outlined earlier, the RPC needs one more face, the 90x100 face, called "B#characterslot.sti"

The coordinates that you can define in proedit apply to this face that the RPC uses while he's still NPC. The coordinates of the 48x43 face, called "#characterslot.sti" are HARDCODED.

if you're using a version of ja2 that supports "proedit add-on", then you can use that tool for adjustments. Note: 1.13 doesn not support this tool. But the tool comes with a text entry for the default values, which is very useful.
the default values tell you exactly what coords are used on what slot, so you can create matching 48x43 faces for your RPC's.

the other way is to change the coords of RPC's by hex-editing, this is especially useful for RPC slots which are currently using 0/0m and 0/0e as their coords, as designing a face that works with those coords is rather challenging without causing CTH's becasue of faulty face graphics.

corresponding to this npcdata .edt file, you require npc-speech (same rules apply as for speech)



Now adressing your other question, how to ADD RPC's: There are 4 unused RPC slots that you can use. Just have a look at proedit, slots 65 and 71 are the ones where you can't break anything at all by adding your new RPC's, the other two slots might require some adjustments that go slightly beyond the point of this simple and superficial walkthrough.

If you look at proedit add-on's default values, one of the two slots has useful coords, the other has 0/0 0/0

for the first, you can design a face that matches the coords, for the second, you may design an unanimated face or simply change these coords to your liking by hexediting.

if you follow all the steps outlined in the above and this posting, you should have little trouble filling these empty slots with your own custom characters.

As a hint i would say in order to have a good .npc script, just copy-paste maddog's script (072.npc) and rename it to 065.npc or 071.npc respectivly to get a starting point

you may make any adjustment later within the .edt or npc files in question.


adding an rpc might not be the most simple process ever in ja2 modmaking, but it is one of the most powerful and creative design changes, and thus alwas worth a try.

if anything doesn't work or any major problems occur, there are certainly people in one of the ja2 forums that can go in more depth than what i just outlined

i'd also like everybody to point out if there are important steps lacking in my hasty walkthrough and/ or any clear mistakes are present

the worst thing would be to cause unnecessary irritation

as to the discussion about slf archives, i've been using the "dragon unpacker" too and it has advanatges over slf-explore so that is an option too.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180421] Mon, 07 April 2008 19:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Marlboro Man

 
Messages:1268
Registered:October 2005
Location: USA
I am shocked. Scorpion actually wrote up some very good stuff here. Smile I am going to sticky this since it is helpful.


And dragon unpacker is the easiest I have used yet for JA2 files. Can be found here.
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Programming/File-Editors/Dragon-UnPACKer.shtml


Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180425] Mon, 07 April 2008 19:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1844
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
very good is exaggerated.

it is very basic and not checked for correction or even consistency yet.

But i hope it can help some people getting started.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180426] Mon, 07 April 2008 19:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerius

 
Messages:31
Registered:March 2008
No way for example to take one of the unused RPC slots(say eskimo), and attach it to MERC in addition to the current MERCs? Say between razor and bubba?
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180427] Mon, 07 April 2008 19:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1844
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
not yet, that'd require a flexible handling of the slots (or code changes... sure the 1.13 devs can do it be externally, you can't)

but to be honest, that would be an atrocitiy.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180458] Mon, 07 April 2008 23:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
That was some good instructions. The only thing I found issue with is changing the xy coords. Why not use sti edit and change them manually? This is the way I've always done it and while it requires trial and error tweaking, testing, retweaking it works for every instance except when I transfer faces from my laptop to my desktop. Because a dell laptop plays Ja2 in a window basically the xy's tend to be off. The same thing happens for smItems and everything so this is just one instance.


All the faces I made have been manually tweaked in sti edit. I've never used any other tool. These faces have been used on several computers and the eye/mouth always are in the correct placement.


So I advise using sti edit and just adjusting manually.

It helps to remember:



X=left and right (-heads animation left
+ heads it right)
Y=up and down (-raises the animation upward +
sends it down)
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180460] Mon, 07 April 2008 23:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
I thought the only way the game picked up XY changes for portraits was using proedit. Nice to know it isn't though cos now I can fix Selene to work without proedit changes Smile


Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180464] Tue, 08 April 2008 00:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1844
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
using sti-edit to tweak faces is a big no-no

in older, poorly made mods, this was one of the big CTD sources.

better do it the right way from the very beginning and then forget about it (using the default values from the very start. No tweaking ever necessary)

The best method is actually really changing the coords in the exe because that way, any face can be used for any slot, but it's not a method i'd suggest in a beginner's guide.

plus if the exe changes, which happens very often in 1.13, the thing has to be repeated, so becasue of 1.13 unstable nature, this way to do it has become tainted as well.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180465] Tue, 08 April 2008 00:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerius

 
Messages:31
Registered:March 2008
Thanks for all the advice scorpion.

Looks like I'm going to be replacing someone then, probably bubba, as he's not a good merc(needing training badly and having very low wis is not a good combo), and I find him to be annoying, so I never use him.

Now I just gotta make a few pictures, write the dialogue, and figure out if I should use my own voice or pressgang a friend or something. I'm not going to rip movie quotes from some actor... at least for my first one, assuming I get it done.

If I find that I enjoy the process and continue, the second one will likely be an RPC(and possibly converting the first one to RPC).

Current concept is a night ops expert callsign Nightowl, with ghillie suit, NVG and binocs as default gear. Supposed to be a trained spotter. Probably something like level 2/health 80/agi 75/dex 85/str 80/wis 80/mrk 75/mech 15/med 15/exp 5. Or thereabouts.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180468] Tue, 08 April 2008 01:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1844
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
sounds cool. You'll get opportunity for some nice lines fitting to such a character type.

The gang here and i will support you if any problems pop out.

from my experience i advise to have at least one of the mercs recorded by yourself. I feel much closer to the RPC's that i have recorded myself than to any IMP char i had ever made (and i have made hundreds of them)and have much more fun during gameplay than with the ones from sirtech especially if you hear the same voice actor all over the place.

Of course, you might see that differently, as the first attempt at recording your voice, the results will most likely surprise/ alienate you a bit (digitalisation of the voice cuts away a lot of "noise". However human speech is identified a lot by such "noise" so sometimes a digital recording migth sound "different")

also, it's not short and it's not all easy. Requires couple of hours silence, concentration, a good mic and some sound editing tools.

but after all, it's definitly worth it. "Top notch" ;-D
have fun
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180469] Tue, 08 April 2008 01:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
I don't know what possible ctd could happen from just changing xy coords in an sti. Do you know for a fact that this was ever the cause of a ctd in a mod and if so which mod?

I'm very interested because the faces I've done using this method have never cause a ctd either in the 1.13 or before I modded from the 1.13. I've been working with these for over three years in one case and 0 ctds have resulted from their use.

Similarly, I have never had an image related ctd of any kind except when an image is needed that is not present like a missing mdguns entry or such.

What other image related ctds are you suggesting?


Where and in what context did these occour?

I find that interesting because I have never had such issues in four years of modding.




Oh, I just wanted to add that if any of the pre alpha testers (including yourself) have experienced a ctd as a result of a face file loading I would surely like to know.


Anyone?

[Updated on: Tue, 08 April 2008 01:38] by Moderator

Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180501] Tue, 08 April 2008 11:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1844
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
well i'm glad to hear you don't suffer from these problems.


In the older days, not changing the .sti coords in graphic files especially faces was one of the key rules. I don't think this method has been used in any mod that i've actually played lately, but as 1.13 has become much cleaner code (e.g. no problems with the green line around items anymore) maybe this method has become safe now, if that's the case, i'm glad to hear it.

it's still an enormous waste of time and certainly not a method that should be taught in a beginner's guide though.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180518] Tue, 08 April 2008 14:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Marlboro Man

 
Messages:1268
Registered:October 2005
Location: USA
I used proedit only when I was playing around with Ron's face stuff to adjust the x-y coords. It was easier and it saved some time. But then again I did not create anything new so maybe stiedit can be used also. I will have to try it and see some day.


Edit: That's why if you use those rearranged faces I did, you also need to use the prof that goes with them. Otherwise you have to hand adjust each one I changed in proedit.

[Updated on: Tue, 08 April 2008 14:31] by Moderator



Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180519] Tue, 08 April 2008 14:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
If you use the default coords you are somewhat limited in which angle and perspective arrangement your face must be.

If you change it in the exe you must rechange it every time the 1.13 changes.

So I still think changing the xy coords manually in sti edit is the best bet.


Please explain your experience with 'older poorly made mods' that had ctds because of sti tweaks. I am very interested in getting to the bottom of this since I have never had this experience even pre 1.13.

I know Wodan took the trouble to make the proedit add on I guess for this very reason and I even thought about e-mailing him to get the low down on this.

But if you can remember what the situation was or anything about these ctds I would be very interested.

The good thing about using sti edit is that you can use any base image because you are not dependant on correct eye mouth placement at the beginning and once done you only have to redo it if you run into some weirdo resolution problem like with Dell laptops. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to tweak per face but once done it is done.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180531] Tue, 08 April 2008 15:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Basically with older mods the eyes/mouth would jump out of the frame of the pic. If it broke the bounds too much it crashed the game to desktop no warning.


Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180657] Thu, 10 April 2008 00:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
I have never had this issue. I can't imagine how they did in older versions.


Perhaps I need to try my mod on different resolutions to see if this occours. I currently use the default (800x600) because my tv/monitor does not like the maximum res.

I'll load the mod on another computer using a regular monitor and see if I can get to the bottom of this.

I doubt if it is an issue but I would appreciate anyone who has my mod giving me feedback on this since I have lately added about four new faces. I'll do it the clunky way scorpion describes if it is absolutely necessary but would rather leave them in a more universal configuration like I think I already have.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180659] Thu, 10 April 2008 00:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Its resolution independant. If you want to try it download my selene face and replace Fox without adjusting coords. It'll cause an overflow error after a while.


Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180662] Thu, 10 April 2008 01:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
Without adjusting xy coordinates?


Then we aren't talking about the same thing. Why don't you try adjusting the xy coordinates manually and tell me what you get?


It isn't that hard. Just requires going back to your savegame and tweaking until you get it right.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180684] Thu, 10 April 2008 13:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1844
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
Khor1255

Just requires going back to your savegame and tweaking until you get it right.


which is absolutetly needless and slow, clumsy work. Plus, it's said to cause crashes

looking at the files you sent me a long time ago, you only had one single RPC.

and the only adjustment is -2 for the eyes i believe. That might still be unproblematic.

but if you work at a certain scale, like multiple custom RPC's or maybe dozens of them as well as many EPC's (they work the same way) you might run out of chance.

the game might tolerate -2, but maybe it stops tolerating -3/-5 or wherever. As long as you only do minute adjustments in sti-edit, you're probably rather save.

but think of the 0/0 0/0 or any other inconveneint slot. there it won't work. At least what i read so far implies it doesn't tolerate extreme values in sti xy coords. If you say you can safely enter any coords to an animated face in sti-edit without the game crashing becasue of it (even with custom .GAP files involved) then that's good to hear and what was said formerly was wrong. i wouldn't mind that at all.
however i would see no advantage in doing that at all.

the 3 seconds saved while working with the .bmp isn't that much after all, and for transfering the face to a different slot, new coords will have to be used, and while this could be done quite fast if considering the default coords, without considering them, at trial-error only, i guess simply running the game once to test where the face blinks takes more additional time than the entire procedure for the other methods outlined above.

now if the default coords are considered in order to only require a single trial (without the "error part), then they can be considered from the get go too and then not a single trial is required, and no errors occur.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180690] Thu, 10 April 2008 14:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
I don't understand what you mean by the 0/0 0/0 or any other inconveneint slot?


I usually work with faces that are in the same format more or less than Ja2s as far as being centered the same way and such. My imaging program does not have any pixel placement indicator so I have to manually count off the pixels to even get the correct size and certainly to get the cutouts correct. But it goes pretty fast if the base image is similar to a Ja2 image.

I don't screw with custom .gap files because I can use the same sylables with new speech.

A little clunky that but it saves work down the road.


It is true that xy tweaked face .stis only animate correctly from the slot in Proedit they are designed for but that does not bother me since...that is the slot I designed for them. I'm certain any other placement would just require the trial and error 15 to 45 minutes depending on how distracted I am with rl while I am doing it.


If you say hacking the .exe or finding and comparing the default xy coords and making your faces using those strict guidelines is faster I guess I have to believe you. But I can crank out a fully functioning face .sti in the time it takes me to drink a beer and piss it out on an economy jet flight (just did one a few weeks back). And beer runs right through me.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180704] Thu, 10 April 2008 15:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
There is a really easy way to make coords fit everyone without adjustment.
You make the eyes and mouthes in full size with the portrait and reset the the xy coords in Prof.dat to 0/0.

The surround to the mouth and eyes can be left as the whole face or made blue 255 (if thats the first colour in the palette which is used for transparency).

This means quick and easy switching of all portraits in the game at the cost of a few kb.


Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180712] Thu, 10 April 2008 17:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1844
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
Khor1255
I don't understand what you mean by the 0/0 0/0 or any other inconveneint slot?

If you say hacking the .exe or finding and comparing the default xy coords and making your faces using those strict guidelines is faster I guess I have to believe you.


0/0 0/0 slots are character slots that use this coords for the face animations. slot 65 being the primary example.


see, "default" values, are always the same values. It means you look them up ONCE, write them down and will never have to bother about them anymore. And when you plan your faces, you plan already which face for what slot and pick the correct coords from the get-go.

that means basicly i do the same as you, i use faces that can be used on slots that have similar faces. But, rather than making them have approximately correct coords, i pick the correct coords from the beginning. This is a matter of seconds and it saves the sti-edit changes.
of course, it is only necessary for RPC's and EPC's and the 0/0 slots are excluded, the 0/0 slots i hack them in, i think adding a -22 or even -25 in sti-edit would break things.

You see hacking the exe, while it may take 5 minutes maximum, is only required for the 0/0 slots anyway. For any other characters, the only reason to hack the game is if other than default coordinates are used.

But i had another look at your files seeing that as much as -5 seems to be supported, which is more than what i had thought. If -20/ -25 is supported too, you may even work on the 0/0 slots that way.
so maybe no hacking the coords required for you. Me i have to thoroughly hack the exe anyway, so the 5 minutes for the RPC faces are just a drop of water into the ocean ;-D

the speed of the method described is quite okay. From the finished "base" face bitmap to the fully animated, read-to-use face it's a couple of minutes. It especially saves and testing time, which is quite important sometimes.

I invest most of my time creating the base face. Especially since everybody plays on 800x600 and higher resolutions these days, the detailed animation of the 48x43 faces has lost a lot of importance IMHO.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180771] Thu, 10 April 2008 23:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
How do you find the exact coords?


How many pixels from the left must the eye coord be for 0 and how many pixels down?

Same question for mouth? (I know the mouth has to be at the bottom pixel line for the 0 coord)


This would be a good method and you are right it would be far more elegant but I do not know how to determine pixel coordination for the cutouts.

[Updated on: Thu, 10 April 2008 23:41] by Moderator

Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180775] Thu, 10 April 2008 23:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1844
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
depends on the progamme.

in mspaint, the programm will display to you at what coordinate you're aiming.

once you clicked and started to draw a rectangle from the base pic (in order to use this part of the base pic for the animated frames), for some reason, it's always 1pix more down and 1 pix more to the right than from where you drew the rectangle. the number of the coord is one larger for x and one larger than y than what ms paint tells you.


what you say about bottomn pixel line and such... i don't get what you mean.


of course, for RPC's, we can figure e contrario that looking up the default coords, then clicking at the shown correct coords gets us the right image.

There may be the opposite 1 pixel differecne than there is for the contrary procedure though.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180777] Fri, 11 April 2008 00:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
Maybe I should explain this farther. When you make a cutout you are 'cutting' out a section of the base face image. This 'cutout' is obviously several pixels to the right of the original image's x-0 coordinate and a few pixels down from the y-0 coordinate (top left of the image = x-o, y-0 right?) so how then do you know what = x-0, y-0 on your cutout?


I guessed that having your cutout in the center of the base image from left to right = x-0 coordinate but am still guessing at where the y coordinate would be?

How does a program show you where on the image to make your cutout?



What I meant by the bottom line of pixels is just that, the bottom line on the base image. In other words, the y=0 coordinate on the mouth corresponds to starting your cutout at the bottom line of the base image and counting up to get your mouth cutout.

[Updated on: Fri, 11 April 2008 00:12] by Moderator

Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180786] Fri, 11 April 2008 01:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1844
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
the top left of the picture is 0/0

so when the coords of your character slot is m9/8 e8/25

then you hower your mouse cursor over the image until you reach 9/8 on the display. then you click and draw a box, open a new file, paste the box into there, save --> correct eyes anim first bitmap

same with the mouth bitmaps. you may have to watch that you get the necessary parts of the face into that box and it should have a similar size than the ones from vanilla. No need to exactly match the sizes though

the other anims frames you derive from the first frame so it will always be correct.



that thing about the mouth y coord is not the case. If you look at the coords in proedit or the exe, than the mouth Y coord is, for each face, by far the highest value --> far away from the mouth's location on the picture

so the differenc between y=0 and the eye's location is usually around 6-10 pixels, the difference to the mouth from Y=0 is usally around 20 to 25.

the 0-point is always top left corner, just like ms paint will indicate it when howering over the bitmap. That's the convenient thing, ms paint and proedit/ exe perfectly fit to each other.


try it out, use any face for miguel, make the eye cutout at 9/8 and it will fit by default.
*edit*
the 48x43 face that is.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180794] Fri, 11 April 2008 01:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
Oooops!


O.K., cool. So they give you the right xy's right in proedit and all you have to do is transfer them to your cutouts. Very cool!

I think I started the way I explained way before I understood where x-0 y-0 was on a given image. I asked this question several times and never got an answer so I just started ignoring Proedit xy's and making faces the way I described.


Using the default proedit values is the easiest way by far!


You are correct sir.


This will save a lot of time and produce absolutely glitch free faces (I don't think my faces have any glitches as they are but I will most likely even reset them to the 'new' way you describe so that everything is uniform.


Thanx man and sorry to clutter your tutorial with this crap.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180882] Fri, 11 April 2008 14:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1844
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
i'm glad you came to agree with me for once. The two of us argue too much for our own good anyway.

maybe just a tiny attempt for additional clarification from my side if you don't mind:

the proedit defined characters, e.g. all AIM/ MERC characters are even more easy. You can pretty much use random coords, write them up and save them to proedit, as their 48x43 face is their only animated face, so only the set of coords in proedit matter!

This allows using pretty much any face for AIM/ MERC slots while for RPC's, you have to be slightly cautious that the face can be sensibly animated with the default coords at all.

The process i described is more meant for RPC's that don't have their 48x43 face coords in proedit.

The AIM/ MERC guys faces on the other hand are most easily made the other way around: you make a cutout in the base image where you think it fits best. You look at mspaint and what it tells you, then you enter these coords (plus 1 x, plus 1 y) to proedit.

it is more or less the reversed process, but way more flexible.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #180890] Fri, 11 April 2008 15:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
We have been on the same side of a huge ammount of on topic arguments to my understanding.

When I have a question perhaps it may sound challenging but I really just want a better and more versitile modding platform (as I'm sure you do).


But I must say that I have not experienced any glitches with the method I describer in at least three years of using it. The first face I ever did was an rpc and still no problems. I will be doing it the way you described but I am still wondering what they did to get the crashes?

No matter I guess since we have a better way.

Thanx again for the tips. And by the way the dedrianna elliot joe thing is comming along very nicely. Thanx a million for that.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #181264] Sun, 13 April 2008 22:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1844
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
glad to hear that.

ontopic:

i think in the next couple of days i'll add some information on IMP character face design.

still researching and practising though.
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #185501] Sat, 17 May 2008 14:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1844
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
okay, while i did the research mentioned above, i found no testers for my findings.

so, nobody cared, that's good, i find IMP's boring anyway.


more on-topic: some of my statements about the slot types are apparently wrong. i'll be researching this as well and see what needs to be corrected for future "tutorials".

everybody reading my guides concerning RPC's: Don't stop where my guides stop, they don't cover all of the truth Wink
Re: Making/Replacing RPCs, guide request[message #185877] Wed, 21 May 2008 16:01 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Attila76
Messages:3
Registered:June 2007
it's possible to add eskimo in any map and hire him? if yes, how can I do that? eskimo already had graphics & sound files?
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