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TUTORIAL: Retexturing a 2 tile object. Intermediate level

 
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ruthml
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:27 pm    Post subject: TUTORIAL: Retexturing a 2 tile object. Intermediate level Reply with quote

How to fill the market cart

retexturing a 2 tile object and editing the A and Z sprites.

This tutorial explains how to do the Harvest challenge - fill an empty market cart. The UL vegetable cart has been emptied out ready to be filled with different produce and flowers to make the cart. There are two cart bases to choose from, both are just décor objects with no NPC or sales function.

The cart with bottom panels is the easiest to do because if you keep all the filler images within the shape of the cart there won’t be any A or Z sprite work. Madoria’s bookcase tutorial is very helpful in explaining how to add clutter images and the same principals apply to filling the cart. http://bases.madoria.com/index.php?category=Fill%20a%20Bookcase

The cart with space under the cart will involve a little extra work. Once your images poke outside the shape of the cart, which will happen as soon as flowers are put in the buckets, then editing of the A and Z sprites will be needed.

Some general points

This tutorial assumes basic working knowledge of Tmog and a graphics program like Photoshop, PSP or Gimp. Don’t forget that the P sprite bmps exported in Tmog are in 8-bit colour (256 colour) or Index mode. They are always worked in RGB mode (24-bit colour) and converted back to Index mode, Local Palette (Adaptive) for Photoshop, 256 colours (8-bit colour) for PSP and Gimp, before saving as a bmp.

Always save your working file with all of its layers before converting it back down to 8-bit colour depth (256 colours) or Index mode depending on your graphics program, and then save as a bmp. You don’t want to lose all the layers by closing the file accidentally in its flattened state, and you don’t want to lose all the recent changes because you forgot to update the working file before making the bmp.

The A and Z sprites are worked in greyscale. PSP and Gimp users don’t have to change this, but Photoshop users need to convert from Index mode to greyscale first. They can be safely left in grayscale when saved as bmps - you don’t have convert them back into Index mode.

(When saving an image to use on the web, eg an in-game screenshot or a pic of your creation, use the Save for Web alternative – this will optimise your graphics specifically for web pages. Webmasters and dial-up users will thank you!)

When cloning in Tmog please always use a magic cookie number. Not using a magic cookie number is the number one reason for object ID conflicts. Once you have a magic cookie go to the Magic Cookie database, follow the instructions there to check you’re the sole owner and enter it for posterity. http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/magiccookie/

All tools like the polygonal lasso tool (point to point tool), the magic wand, the marquee tool etc should have anti-aliasing turned off and any feathering settings set to 0 pixels. Blurry edges are not welcome in Tmogging, except when added deliberately. Outlines of objects should always be solid.

A list of the main tools likely to be used by object makers in Photoshop, PSP and Gimp has been created in a separate thread for easy cross reference and can be accessed here: http://simblesseoblige.com/viewtopic.php?t=512

The two cart bases can be downloaded in the Harvest challenge thread: http://simblesseoblige.com/viewtopic.php?t=496



easy-cart.gif
 Description:
This is what the easy cart looks like. It can be retextured with no A & Z sprite editing.
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easy-cart.gif



intermediate-cart.gif
 Description:
This is the intermediate cart. Editing of the A & Z sprites will be needed.
 Filesize:  16.43 KB
 Viewed:  11225 Time(s)

intermediate-cart.gif




Last edited by ruthml on Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:40 am; edited 22 times in total
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ruthml
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Step 1

Those wanting to just retexture the easy cart can still follow this tutorial for most of the way. Clone the easy base using a magic cookie number and export it as Just Change Colors, One Zoom, One Channel.

If you want to make the intermediate cart, then clone the base, using a magic cookie number. Export One Zoom, All Channels, and uncheck the little box that says “ Smooth Small Zoom Edges” – edges of smaller zooms should be crisp.

Open up the two front P sprites. Use the magic wand tool (tolerance set to a low 10, no anti-aliasing) to select the pieces of cart. Do this by clicking first on the background, then Select Invert. Copy and paste each front piece into a new working file. Make sure the canvas size of the new working file is big enough to work comfortably.

Move the two pieces together so they fit and merge together to make a whole cart.


Step 2

This picture shows the filler images used. They were copied and pasted into the working file by using the marquee tool or the polygonal lasso tool (point to point tool) to select them from the png file. Just like the spooky bookcase challenge, the bushel baskets and flower buckets were filled by arranging the image layers so some are in front and some are behind each other. Pieces of image were also chopped up, erased and flipped.

Check out the clutterbox for some great harvest and thanksgiving themed clutter that members have shared for free use. http://simblesseoblige.com/viewtopic.php?t=475



fillers-used.gif
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fillers-used.gif




Last edited by ruthml on Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:01 pm; edited 8 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Step 3

Filling the Cart

The filled easy cart shows how images can be recoloured to make different images. The onions in the top left basket were really the apples recoloured – the red colour values were made green. This caused the overall colour of the apples to change to brown - just like onions. The tomatoes were recoloured to be purple, then darkened a little and desaturated – which made them resemble plums (bottom right basket). In this way two images became four –and the cart is more interesting!



Recolour-produce-for-variety.gif
 Description:
2 simple recolours turns apples into onions and tomatoes into plums. Magic!
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Recolour-produce-for-variety.gif




Last edited by ruthml on Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:19 am; edited 5 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This picture shows exactly how the buckets and baskets were filled.

Pink flowers in bucket: cut from the mass of pink flowers.
Apples: Cut from the bucket of apples, duplicated, some flipped horizontally.
Beans: Duplicated several times, some flipped horizontally, some rotated 180 degrees.
Pumpkins, carrots and yellow peppers taken straight from the harvest clutterbox.
Sunflowers: cut from a piece of image clutter.
Maize: pieces of corn selected from the image with the lasso (point to point) tool, copied and pasted, some flipped. The single cob was duplicated and rotated so it lined up with the side of the cart.

Nothing was merged at this stage yet. When moving a group of layers link them to keep them together.

Note: Any rotation, skewing, rescaling will make a blurry image which has to be cleaned up. Duplicate the layer several times and merge them until the semi-transparent pixels are filled. Erase a few pixels around the edge to preserve the outline. Sharpen with the sharpen tool set at very low strength (5%).



cart-being-filled.gif
 Description:
Produce & flowers added to the intermediate cart.
 Filesize:  44.26 KB
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cart-being-filled.gif




Last edited by ruthml on Fri Sep 29, 2006 12:09 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two more pumpkins were added underneath and the cart was decorated with foliage. Pieces of shrub were cut out with the lasso tool and arranged on the top corners with sprigs behind the sunflowers and beans. The yellow peppers and apples changed places because it was too much yellow to have the peppers so close to the foliage. The last change made was to swap the blue-mauve flowers in the middle bucket for the yellow-pink ones which suit the autumn/harvest colour palette better.


cart-filled.gif
 Description:
All the elements are in place on the intermediate cart.
 Filesize:  45.25 KB
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cart-filled.gif




Last edited by ruthml on Fri Sep 29, 2006 12:10 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Step 4

Once the clutter is in place it needed to be blended into the cart and baskets. This was achieved mainly by use of shadow and softening of some edges. As this was done, the layers were merged into their separate groupings eg apples or foliage. However the pumpkins, beans and the single cob of maize were left separate.


Shadows

Shadow was applied by either the burn tool or a combination of weak colour brushed on and burn tool together. The burn tool used on a low strength is fine for small areas but will alter colours if used too much especially on light coloured areas. To avoid this, colour from a nearby dark area was picked up with the eyedropper tool and brushed on at 60% opacity using a small brush size, then the burn tool applied to finish the shadow. In this way, for eg the highlights on the apples at the back of the basket darkened along with the maize and the bottom edge of the large grey pumpkin. The single cob of maize was treated separately to the rest of maize and the biggest pumpkin darkened all over.

The pile of beans was given depth by merging first the underneath layers of beans and darkening that. Then all the bean layers were merged and the burn tool used to apply some shadow to the back of the bean pile.

On the other hand, the sunflowers were too dark and had to be lightened, with care taken not to wash out the colour by boosting the saturation. Some of the individual sunflowers’ petals were lassoed and copied and pasted. This layer of petal bits was then set as a soft light in the layer properties (which makes an overlay effect) and merged with the rest of the sunflowers. This gave some of the petals a subtle colour boost. An alternative would be to lasso a few petal areas and increase the saturation a little. (Hold down the shift key while lassoing to select multiple areas.)

Effects like shadow can be made on a new layer rather than directly onto the image. This has the advantage of keeping the image unchanged (useful if intended for something else) and further editing of the shadow can be done without affecting anything else.

Edges

Some edges need softening – such as produce in the baskets, but elsewhere it was better to leave the edges solid for crisp detail – eg the leaves of the foliage trim. The edges of anything sticking outside the cart were left solid – never soften these edges.

Edge softening was done by either using the smudge tool set on a small brush (3 pixels) and low strength (20%). Or the eraser tool set at 1 pixel and low opacity (20-30%) to erase the edge a little.



closeup-of-changes.gif
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closeup-of-changes.gif




Last edited by ruthml on Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:24 am; edited 6 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Step 5

Where the images obscured parts of the cart that shouldn’t be covered – eg the edges of the bushel baskets, or the metal price tags, then the relevant pieces of cart were selected by the lasso tool and copied and pasted as new layers that sat over the top of the filler elements. Madoria’s bookcase tutorial provides more information on how to do this.

Or, another way of doing this would be to turn down the opacity for each piece of clutter, so the edge of the basket is seen and lasso the unwanted bit of the image and delete it.

Seeing the cart properly now identified a little more work to be done on the images. The beans were moved lower down in the basket and a piece of corn husk was lassoed and copied then arranged so it was tucked behind the single cob. The edges of the masking pieces of basket were softened by the eraser tool set at low opacity and 1 pixel wide. This made the hard edge between basket and produce less noticeable.


Last edited by ruthml on Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:25 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Step 6

Cutting it Up

Making the two P sprites – the left and right cart pieces is best done in a new working file. This keeps the layers in the original working file separate and accessible for future use. To do this, hide the background and Merge Visible, then copy and paste into a new file. Undo the merge in the original working file to restore the layers. Or else, duplicate the file (Save As), and then Merge Visible in the 2nd file. Either way, you will end up with a second file with a whole cart layer.

Into the 2nd working file, a piece of cart from a P sprite (right or left, it doesn’t matter) was copied and pasted over the top of the whole cart. This piece of cart becomes a template to cut the cart into two, thus:

Select the whole cart, then click on the piece of cart layer, and hide the whole cart. You’ll see the marching ants outline of the whole cart with the half piece of cart inside it. Making sure you’re on the layer that’s the half piece, paint in the new areas.

Then select this piece of cart and click on the whole cart layer and copy. This ensures the correct image is copied, ready to be pasted into its P sprite. Make sure the P bmps have been converted to RGB mode (24-bit colour depth) before pasting.

To get the 2nd piece of the cart, click on the layer that’s the half piece of cart to select the background this time. Click on the whole cart layer and copy. This copies the other side of the cart.

Position the new pieces of cart over the originals, make a new layer underneath and fill with yellow to make a new background for the P sprite. Save the P sprite as a working file and don’t forget to convert to 256 colours / Index mode before saving as a bmp.

(Why make a new yellow layer? It prevents accidentally saving a bit of the original image into the new object and the original image is kept in the working file to refer to if needed.)



cutting-up-the-cart.gif
 Description:
Once the piece of cart is made into the template it can be used to cut up the cart into 2 pieces.
 Filesize:  52.83 KB
 Viewed:  11238 Time(s)

cutting-up-the-cart.gif




Last edited by ruthml on Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:27 am; edited 8 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Step 7

All that leafy trim and flowers meant the shape of the cart had changed, so the A and Z sprites needed to be edited also. The A and Z bmps are worked in grayscale. The background of the P sprites is selected and copied and pasted into it’s A and Z bmps. Make sure the foreground/background palette is set to default black and white.

For the A channel

On the top layer click inside the space then invert the selection. Fill the background with black, pencilling in any little clusters of pixels. Select invert again. Most of the existing alpha channel can be used so click on the alpha channel layer and just pencil in the new areas with white.



Alpha-channel.gif
 Description:
The background of the new Alpha channel is filled with black. Most of the original Alpha channel is used.
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Alpha-channel.gif




Last edited by ruthml on Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:30 am; edited 6 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stay on the alpha channel layer and set the smudge tool to 3 pixels wide, 50% strength. Smudge around the outline of the fiddly foliage bits. The straighter edges of the pumpkins do not smudge so easily so instead use the line tool set at 1 pixel wide, anti-aliasing turned on (for once). Select a light grey (eg 50%) from the palette and draw a grey line around the outline. Try to get the line clinging to the very outer pixels.

Do not draw a line around or smudge any joining edges, these must be left totally white. Merge the layers, and save, leaving the bmp in greyscale mode.



Alpha-channel-joining-edges.gif
 Description:
The joining edges of any multi-tile object always stay white.
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Alpha-channel-joining-edges.gif




Last edited by ruthml on Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:32 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Step 8


The Z channel

Like the A channel, the space of the object was selected and then inverted so the entire background including the little pixel clusters could be filled – but this time with white.

Important: Make sure the default foreground/background palette is set to black and white before filling the background of the Z buffer with white. After you have pasted in the outline copied from the P sprite, the foreground/background palette may appear to be white, but it is not true white.

After filling the background with true white, the selection was inverted again and the original Z buffer layer clicked on. The new outline has to be filled in with Z buffer. This is done by picking up the shade of grey near a gap and pencilling it in, sampling the grey frequently to get a close match.

Then a brush set at 60% opacity smooths excess blotchiness. Larger areas like the pumpkins were filled quickly by lassoing a square of existing z buffer taken above the gap, copy and pasting it, then moving it to the area to be filled and lightening it until it blends in. Like the Alpha channel the new Z buffer was merged, and left in grayscale mode when saving the bmp.

When imported into Tmog and viewed, one piece of cart had to be adjusted in the x/y coordinates so they fitted exactly. Clicking on Set All in Tmog makes sure the mid and small zooms are automatically re-set as well. The object was exported again in Tmog, (One Zoom, All Channels) to lock in the new coordinates.



z-buffer.gif
 Description:
Z buffer showing the new area being filled.
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z-buffer.gif




Last edited by ruthml on Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:10 pm; edited 5 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Step 9


Back of the Cart

The back view of the cart was done in the same way as the front view. The cart pieces were copied and pasted from the P sprites into a new working file. Little bits of produce that would be seen from the back of the cart were cut out and pasted in and arranged – the tips of sunflowers, a sprig of carrot leaf, the maize cob and the pumpkins. The maize cob was cut into two pieces – husk and cob and each flipped separately until they were facing the right way to pull off the back view. The pumpkins were darkened a little bit more than what was done for the front view and shadow applied with the burn tool. Bits of foliage were cut out from the original shrub graphic to make the trim.

The back view is never going to be literally true to the front view, because only making the object in a 3d meshing program (like Anima8or) would achieve that. The aim is to suggest what the back could look like and be convincing enough so that anyone looking at it accepts totally this is what the back should look like.



back-of-cart.gif
 Description:
The back view is always "made up" to give an idea of what it might look like....
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back-of-cart.gif




Last edited by ruthml on Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:12 pm; edited 7 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Step 10


Nearly done!

The final step was to go into the game and check out the new cart. The cart’s z buffers were checked (they were fine). In the mid and small zooms white spots were visible on the buckets – this is a common fault – Tmog does this to greys sometimes. To fix this, the object was exported as All Zooms to access the mid and small P sprites. Each P sprite with the white spots was converted to RGB mode (24-bit colour) and with colour picked up from the bucket, the white spots were pencilled over. The edited bmps were converted back to Index mode (8-bit colour) and re-imported in Tmog.



cart in game.jpg
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cart in game.jpg




Last edited by ruthml on Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:42 am; edited 2 times in total
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