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How to animate own sprites[message #146924] Wed, 27 June 2007 04:42 Go to next message
Stupid_Drunkard

 
Messages:31
Registered:June 2007
I know this is supposed to be HARD work, I just wanted to try it, so, I'm asking how do I get the the game sprites and what programs do I use to edit/create my own?
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #146954] Wed, 27 June 2007 13:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

 
Messages:1836
Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
unfortunately, as far as i know, there's no such thing like a proprietary programme for this. There's of course sti-edit, but this basicly only allows to import bmp files to an existing animation. you'd have to draw the bitmaps in a normal graphics programme.

you'd probably best extract some existing animations using the dragon unpacker or slf-explore. these animations can be found in anims.slf

using sti-edit or stiview, you can have a look or edit them. You can design new anims by replacing the existing pictures of an animation frame-by-frame
oh, also by changing individual picture coordinates you can use larger/ smaller pictures than the one previously used by the animation you'd overwrite.

(that's also what makes designing anims for ja2 time intensive)

as far as i remember, you can't design new .sti format animations from scratch, only normal mulitpages. these wouldn't necessarily work as animations.
so if you want to design a completely new animations, you'd have to keep the overall frame number and the key frames in mind. different existing animations have a different number of key frames and overall frames. certain animations also don't like black and almost black colors due to the palette.

if you have a look further down the board, in the 1.13 section, Thor has designed/ is designing a custom animation. you might get the necessary additional information there.

maybe Thor, mAN or Khor1255 have more sophisticated ways of doing this, maybe asking them could help as well.
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #146988] Wed, 27 June 2007 17:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Stupid_Drunkard

 
Messages:31
Registered:June 2007
Thanks alot, I'll be sure to look into it!
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #154896] Wed, 29 August 2007 14:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Stupid_Drunkard

 
Messages:31
Registered:June 2007
Allright, so, I've looked inn to it (better late than never, right?) and editing theese sprites seems very possible, I just have a question still, is it possible to add edited animations and still keep the old ones left in the game? For example, the rifle as a standard weapon looks like a M16 with a grenade launcher attatched, but I want to keep that one and add one that looks like a AK47 for the many weapons that qualify for theese features, same with submachineguns and shotguns etc etc etc. Is this possible?
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155005] Thu, 30 August 2007 02:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wounded Ronin

 
Messages:77
Registered:August 2006
Hmm, maybe I should make my "messy death" animations even more gory. I want my head explosions to have tiny eyeballs and jawbones.
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155025] Thu, 30 August 2007 09:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CNC_gun

 
Messages:83
Registered:July 2007
Location: Moscow, RF

>I want my head explosions to have tiny eyeballs and jawbones.<

Strange idea... But, such an animation seems to be done by Sirtech as one of firsts! Cf. BOD_BLOW.STI in TILESETS.SLF!!! You surely have bleeding pieces of hands and legs... Not sure for eyeballs or even ordinary(?) balls - a bleeding PIXEL, probably...

As per Your own animation - there are two major ways of implementation inda game.
1. The unique one - The turning Yellow KEY in the map editor - the frames (8 in all) from the R_KEY.STI are put on screen under script control - the R_KEY.JSS file. Open it with NOTEPAD.EXE - it's simple and easy. There is also R_KEY.JSD file - a TYPE 1 one, just to allow the use of the .JSS script.

2. The standard way - most of animations are made under SOFTWARE control - frames are selected from .STI files in requested (and PROGRAMMED) order - this way You have the widest possibilities to combine very complex series of actions with a minimal set of frames - just control the "exposure" time. If code modif. is provided, You can even combine frames from DIFFERENT .STI files. Cf. the animation of autofire by both hands was done with 4 (FOUR!) frames only from standard doubleshot files - X_DB_PRN.STI, X(W)_DBLSHT.STI, X_C_DBLSHT.STI (X for F, M or S bodies) - You take frames in "fireR - recoilR" pairs (say) 5 times, then do the same with "fireL - recoilL" pairs.

You can ask Bugmonster for code modification opportunities to arrange new anim. series.

As per AKM like anims - You can start with minor modification of *_R_*.STI (from "aRmed") files - try to edit the rifle view. But it's a lot of (annoying) meticulous work!!!


Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155040] Thu, 30 August 2007 13:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Stupid_Drunkard

 
Messages:31
Registered:June 2007
I am ready for boring work, I gladly edit in all kinds of stuff on the exsisting anims, the problem I currently have is just the thing you took up, actually getting them into the game.

Also, I dont quite understand how the colors work, as the merc is lilac and bright blue, what colors represent what in game?
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155042] Thu, 30 August 2007 14:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Buren

 
Messages:17
Registered:July 2007
Location: Budapest, Hungary

probably it's just to simplify the system... with those colors i think that the game can interchange the brown, pale and other skin colors plus the shirt and trouser colors... but i'm not sure in 100%, so wait til the expert guys explain Very Happy
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155043] Thu, 30 August 2007 14:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Stupid_Drunkard

 
Messages:31
Registered:June 2007
Yeah that was my theory too, thanks for being so friendly, and what do you mean experts? You seem pretty well read about this.
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155044] Thu, 30 August 2007 14:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Buren

 
Messages:17
Registered:July 2007
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Smile Actually i never been really into sprite editing just thought that this is logical... i said experts because i'm certain that there are people who can describe this in more depth.
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155186] Fri, 31 August 2007 01:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CNC_gun

 
Messages:83
Registered:July 2007
Location: Moscow, RF

As You know and feel, JA2 was written by a group of near to genial people. In many aspects!

In the .STI graphics format they used a 256 indexed(!) colors or 8 bits (In fact, color "0" is "transparency", so 255 colors only, per .STI file).

But the game is a true 16 bits - it is done by dynamic palette control, and, when needed, by palette color substitution just before out to screen.

All .STI in anims.slf use a "poison light green" for pants, "poison light majenta" for shirt and "pull-out orange" for hair. Can't imagine a name for the skin color.

These four colors are substituted by those selected in prof.dat and etc. for all humans on the screen during output to it.

So, if You modify or draw a new animation, You MUST conserve these outrageous atrocious colors, using them for appropriate parts of "bodytype".

One more remark - all these four colours are non-printables!!! You can see them only on the screen - on the paper they will be "faded" to "grey-green" and "grey-violet". In other words such colours are unnatural, artificial - they are never meet in Nature.

If You are really "mordu" by animation for JA2, You can try a more sophisticated problem - How to wear/unwear a raincoat, how to put a kepi on the head and etc.

This is real and relatively simple, but You Must have a C programmer with You (if You aren't one Yourself).

In any way, You can count on my amical sustain, advices, schemae etc. But i really forgotten C for years ago.

[Updated on: Fri, 31 August 2007 01:20] by Moderator

Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155268] Fri, 31 August 2007 11:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Buren

 
Messages:17
Registered:July 2007
Location: Budapest, Hungary

@Stupid_Drunkard
See... He is THE expert. Wink
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155276] Fri, 31 August 2007 13:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Stupid_Drunkard

 
Messages:31
Registered:June 2007
Ah, this is just great! Very Happy So I am just going to start small and edit the weaponry over exsisting animations and someone will have to help me getting them into the game, if they look good enough that is.

Could you explain what keyframes are? I have my theroies but Im not quite sure.

Also, STI-edit doesnt seem to allow the "square" shape of pixels, and I dont seem to find anyway to overlap everything with a grid, the grid is not essential - it just makes work a bit easier, but being able to add square pixels instead of round ones as the pen tool currently allows is rather important.

I've noticed also that STI-edit seems rather unstable, I wonder what program Sir-tech used to make theese animations.

[Updated on: Fri, 31 August 2007 17:23] by Moderator

Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155492] Sun, 02 September 2007 17:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Stupid_Drunkard

 
Messages:31
Registered:June 2007
Allright, drawing with STI-edit is pretty futile, the program is unstable and crashes after prolonged use and the drawing tools are inadequate but I just cant find any other program to use to edit theese animations.
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155493] Sun, 02 September 2007 18:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Marlboro Man

 
Messages:1192
Registered:October 2005
Location: USA
Try "GRV" Game Resource Viewer. I have not messed with it much myself yet, but a few others say it is more stable than Stiedit. You can get GRV at Khelles site here. http://www.khelle.de/news.php Look in the Jagged Alliance section then under tools.


Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155498] Sun, 02 September 2007 18:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Stupid_Drunkard

 
Messages:31
Registered:June 2007
While this program is great for simply veiwing the animations, I'm in need of being able to edit them. Thanks anyway though, I'll continue my search but it looks pretty grim.
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155504] Sun, 02 September 2007 19:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Marlboro Man

 
Messages:1192
Registered:October 2005
Location: USA
I was quite sure that GRV is more than just a viewer. Maybe someone who has used it can help out more or one of the guys who are already doing animation work can steer you in the right direction.


Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155514] Sun, 02 September 2007 20:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CNC_gun

 
Messages:83
Registered:July 2007
Location: Moscow, RF

Sorry for delay - was a bit busy...

You can find many ways to do or edit STIs in russian sites http://www.ja2.ru & http://www.ja2.org. If you understand russian, ofcos!!! Hu-hu...

But, if not, You can try to ask help from the russian GURU of modmaking - VM the Great and Terrible!
Check http://www.vwstudio.com for e-mail.

Hope, some time later we shall translate all of the "Russian Stuff", especially a VM's topic on STI drawing with PS - but actually we adapt the IMPed (IMP editor for all JA2 editions and mods, exept 1.13) and the Script Editor for NPC and RPC actions modding.

The most stable and fastest way to draw any kind of STI is the (classic) Photoshop, armed with an extention (C++) and a script (Java or VBA) - to extract palette from STI and to load it in PS as indexed colours palette, then to load the picture itself as BMP.
This can be done by hands, with the options of STIedit - it can export palettes and BMPs from STIs.
In the same way, You draw in PS using 8-bit indexed palette, You save that palette, You save Your picture(s) as .BMPs and You import both in STIedit - and save all as .STI. Voila!

P.S. Always remember - sprites in JA2 are not in STI format! STI files are a "sort of Frame ROM" with random access to any frame in file thru software!!! With STI You have many more possibilities than with ordinary sprites.

[Updated on: Sun, 02 September 2007 21:00] by Moderator

Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155516] Sun, 02 September 2007 20:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Buren

 
Messages:17
Registered:July 2007
Location: Budapest, Hungary

You can use Google Translate for the russian sites if you can't speak russian. It's a bit crappy but better than nothing. Wink
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155518] Sun, 02 September 2007 21:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CNC_gun

 
Messages:83
Registered:July 2007
Location: Moscow, RF

Try, but wait for surprises!!!

To Buren - google translations are true only with two glasses of Tokaji Furmint or Badaczony Boglari "lackered" with one of Czeresnye Palinka (mmmmm!!!). Ваше Здоровье!
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155520] Sun, 02 September 2007 21:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Stupid_Drunkard

 
Messages:31
Registered:June 2007
Photoshop has never made any sense to me as I've never used it to any greater extent, I'll have to fiddle around with what you said CNC, I really want to get this thing going so I can start to animate.
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155523] Sun, 02 September 2007 21:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CNC_gun

 
Messages:83
Registered:July 2007
Location: Moscow, RF

What kind of bitmap editing/drawing software do You actually use? Say, You must have Paint with Your Windows, You can load Paint.net (Framework2 needed) - it should "cover" Your needs...
The main problem - to cope with STI specs - color "zero" (transparent) and 256 colors palette...

P.S. Don't worry for round pixels in magn_x4 STI views - all seems to be OK when in game. It seems to be a bug of Viewing, not of the bitmap...

[Updated on: Sun, 02 September 2007 21:37] by Moderator

Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155527] Sun, 02 September 2007 21:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Stupid_Drunkard

 
Messages:31
Registered:June 2007

(Noted your added line)Well that's a relief, that means I can keep on editing in STI-edit

[Updated on: Sun, 02 September 2007 22:00] by Moderator

Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155529] Sun, 02 September 2007 22:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Stupid_Drunkard

 
Messages:31
Registered:June 2007
I'm such a retard! STI-edit is just perfect, cept being a little unstable. Instead of moaning I could've worked on the animations, ah well, atleast I'm getting somewhere now.
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155531] Sun, 02 September 2007 22:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CNC_gun

 
Messages:83
Registered:July 2007
Location: Moscow, RF

That's a DECISION!

Never seen STIedit to be instable - only program termination put XP out of sense - it prompt to send report to Recycling Bill!!!

One more thing - try to play with frame coords (upper center and right of STIedit) - in order to understand screen dynamics.
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155532] Sun, 02 September 2007 22:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Stupid_Drunkard

 
Messages:31
Registered:June 2007
Well, the unstable part is that after a while of editing the colors freak out.

And frame cords? Explain a little bit more, where do I find it?
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155534] Sun, 02 September 2007 23:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CNC_gun

 
Messages:83
Registered:July 2007
Location: Moscow, RF

The coordinates of the frame relative to iso grid on the screen.

Consider below, open the same file (in tilesets.slf, not in anims.slf) and look the offset dinamics. This was made to spare place...

http://s1.imgdb.ru/2007-09/02/STI-intface-bmp_8hxxgtkg.png

Below left are options for export/import palettes...

The offsets on the .sti shown seems to be abnormal - this is an exprimental one, it is not used in game...


P.S. Palette of the screenshot is reduced to 256 colours, so background is unnatural...

BTW. In bottom of the colour table of the STI editor (bottom left) You can see those poisonous colours...

[Updated on: Sun, 02 September 2007 23:52] by Moderator

Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155536] Mon, 03 September 2007 00:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Buren

 
Messages:17
Registered:July 2007
Location: Budapest, Hungary

sry to go off-topic, but... how can i make sti-edit english? mine is only in german. in the folder there is an ".en" file but i don't know what to do with it... help please? Smile
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155537] Mon, 03 September 2007 00:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CNC_gun

 
Messages:83
Registered:July 2007
Location: Moscow, RF

My own has a gui file "STI-Edit.ru" !!! But is in english! Wanna gift? Can upload a .rar somewhere...
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155538] Mon, 03 September 2007 00:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Buren

 
Messages:17
Registered:July 2007
Location: Budapest, Hungary

try esnips...it's a good place to upload Wink

EDIT: link hey, and thanks Wink

Or if ya want to ya can send it to my e-mail address... it's at my profile.

[Updated on: Mon, 03 September 2007 00:15] by Moderator

Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155539] Mon, 03 September 2007 00:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CNC_gun

 
Messages:83
Registered:July 2007
Location: Moscow, RF

Thanks, shall test Your russian! And we are not in yellow boots!!!

Take it here http://stream.ifolder.ru/3207524

Unrar and use!

Stand up, magyar! As homeland claims! S

[Updated on: Mon, 03 September 2007 00:39] by Moderator

Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155540] Mon, 03 September 2007 00:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CNC_gun

 
Messages:83
Registered:July 2007
Location: Moscow, RF

As for offtop!!!

How about JA2 COMECON? There are many to join! And JA2 Warsaw pact?

I see Will Gates, with a cigar, like W. JA2rchill!!!

[Updated on: Mon, 03 September 2007 00:35] by Moderator

Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155541] Mon, 03 September 2007 00:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Buren

 
Messages:17
Registered:July 2007
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Smile that's S. Petőfi Wink i don't know how do you write it down in russian, but it's written like that in hungarian.

Thanks for the editor, but it's still german for me... :'(
I don't get it cause in yer screenie, it is english... :headbanger:
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155542] Mon, 03 September 2007 00:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CNC_gun

 
Messages:83
Registered:July 2007
Location: Moscow, RF

Thanks - found myself - like Петёфи...

Wait a bit - shall try the .rar myself...
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155543] Mon, 03 September 2007 00:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CNC_gun

 
Messages:83
Registered:July 2007
Location: Moscow, RF

So, You opened my .rar, and the editor is in deutch?
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155544] Mon, 03 September 2007 00:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Buren

 
Messages:17
Registered:July 2007
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Yes. http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/1193/hatterjw9.th.jpg

[Updated on: Mon, 03 September 2007 00:48] by Moderator

Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155545] Mon, 03 September 2007 00:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CNC_gun

 
Messages:83
Registered:July 2007
Location: Moscow, RF

Buren, щён (schoen?)! Try to play with the extention .EN - mine (second copy, on other disk) with .EN was deutch, if changed to .RU - it became ENGLISH!!!

Something with codepage... Those deutchies...

[Updated on: Mon, 03 September 2007 00:55] by Moderator

Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155546] Mon, 03 September 2007 01:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Stupid_Drunkard

 
Messages:31
Registered:June 2007
Mine's still in German, but I can manage.

So, this whole offset thing, I'm still not certain what it is, but is this important? Is this something I must look after and stuff?

Also, what's up with this:
http://img65.imageshack.us/img65/596/bleahgheb4.jpg

Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155547] Mon, 03 September 2007 01:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CNC_gun

 
Messages:83
Registered:July 2007
Location: Moscow, RF

Nice sundown! And interface make me dream of my youth... Magyarorszag (at first - missed the second R)... Balaton Boglary... Once more Palinka, peachie one...
Re: How to animate own sprites[message #155548] Mon, 03 September 2007 01:06 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
CNC_gun

 
Messages:83
Registered:July 2007
Location: Moscow, RF

While editing old ones, if dimensions remains the same - don't worry. If new ones - You'll see all in tactics. Body will jump slightly, if frame offsets wrong.

As You can imagine - for new ones - You draw all frames of the same dimensions, then You cut off some columns and/or rows of pixels - their counts give You the offset.

P.S. Have You added frames for the STI on the screenie? It looks too big...

Checked - OK. Remember - every frame added to standard STIs needs code update!

[Updated on: Mon, 03 September 2007 01:11] by Moderator

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