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Old 02 September 2019, 12:07   #1
carrion
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Graphics tools and techniques for creating Retro games

@Tsak
That is really well done in the color planing department.
Being a pixel artist myself and a bit of a coder I know how hard it is if you just use a regular tools (grafx2 for example) for such tasks.
So my question is: Did you guys, as a profesional team consider to do your own tools for this? I ask because a tool like this for copperised OCS pics is something I dream about. I know it would help others to work on Amiga games gfx.
And btw Atari guys have something like this for doing 8bit Atari gfx it's called graph2font and it allows to pixel and choose colors every line - super useful.
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Old 02 September 2019, 13:31   #2
d4rk3lf
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Originally Posted by Amigajay View Post
Thanks for the info Tsak, very clever use of colour, i know some don’t like the look, i personally love the colours used, gives it a unique and metallic look.
Most people loved the look (including me).
What I think, some of the people are bothered a little bit, is that buildings goes (maybe) too much towards purple.
Here I did some quick CC test in PS.
https://ibb.co/L6mdTzJ

I personally like most when buildings go to towards a (desaturated) yellow a little bit.

But this is only (my amateur) theory and who knows what problems can cause.
And it's easy to make adjustment in PS... in actual game, it's another story.
Also, the character needs to pop out, so the background should be pretty neutral.

All in all, whatever they choose, it will be great... I am already perfectly happy with graphics, as it is.
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Old 02 September 2019, 13:50   #3
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Originally Posted by d4rk3lf View Post
Most people loved the look (including me).
What I think, some of the people are bothered a little bit, is that buildings goes (maybe) too much towards purple.
Here I did some quick CC test in PS.
https://ibb.co/L6mdTzJ

I personally like most when buildings go to towards a (desaturated) yellow a little bit.

But this is only (my amateur) theory and who knows what problems can cause.
And it's easy to make adjustment in PS... in actual game, it's another story.
Also, the character needs to pop out, so the background should be pretty neutral.

All in all, whatever they choose, it will be great... I am already perfectly happy with graphics, as it is.
The building colours are fine imo, they don’t always have to look a dowdy brown/grey colour all the time in games, its refreshing they have chosen off the wall (no pun intended) building colours, plus the characters stand out massively with the well chosen colour palette anyway so the homework had been well and clearly done on the graphics before any Amiga code had been done.
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Old 02 September 2019, 13:54   #4
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Agreed.

But we must "kill the time" somehow, in this thread, until the game is done.
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Old 02 September 2019, 16:28   #5
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@Tsak what paint program is used?
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@Tsak
That is really well done in the color planing department.
Being a pixel artist myself and a bit of a coder I know how hard it is if you just use a regular tools (grafx2 for example) for such tasks.
So my question is: Did you guys, as a profesional team consider to do your own tools for this? I ask because a tool like this for copperised OCS pics is something I dream about. I know it would help others to work on Amiga games gfx.
And btw Atari guys have something like this for doing 8bit Atari gfx it's called graph2font and it allows to pixel and choose colors every line - super useful.
We use a combination of Photoshop and ProMotionNG to do the pixel art. I'm personally very accustomed using Photoshop for my pixel work all these years so I've setup a nice workflow with it.

In regards to ProMotionNG, Mike happens to be the co-creator of the program and it's an AMAZING tool, specifically made for pixel art and working with limited palettes. ProMotionNG is the equivalent of DPaint for Pcs and provides the whole range of tools you'd fing in it, plus many more. To name a few stuff, you can select indexed palettes and color ranges for most of the classic retro systems and consoles (including Amiga), play with brushes, create update/tweak and manage tilesets, have layers and animations. It also has blending color tools (which uses your defined palette without messing with alpha), dithering options and even color cycling.

Now in regards to the copper tricks I mentioned above there isn't any specific/specialised option available, so the job is mostly done manually with the use of layers and having the copper stripes available as guides.
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Old 02 September 2019, 17:08   #6
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Master464 did something very similar with his Street Fighter 2 Demo

Personally I think the choice of colours are Brilliant and that style has stood out in my mind ever since I saw Michael's Amos Demo.
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Old 02 September 2019, 22:09   #7
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@Tsak
aaahh Pro Motion NG. I use it myself
but also... Grafx2 + Photoshop + Timanthes + some other smaller tools.
Thanks for explanation. And thank you for this game. It's already awesome.
I will follow the development to learn from it
I still think a copperizing kind of tool would be cool but coding it seems like a lots of work.
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Old 02 September 2019, 22:20   #8
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@Tsak
Any tips on the pixel art with Photoshop?
For example, how do you "fight" with it's constant alpha semi-transparent pixels on sprites (or layers) edges, when you want to scale them, or do almost any adjustments?
Also, when I convert it to index color, and save as IFF, DPaint constantly refuse to load it, but other apps don't (PPaint, for example), even engines don't. Is that only a Dpaint issue, or I should be worried whenever I save IFF from PS?

Maybe we should open another thread about these things.
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Old 03 September 2019, 00:16   #9
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Originally Posted by carrion View Post
@Tsak
aaahh Pro Motion NG. I use it myself
but also... Grafx2 + Photoshop + Timanthes + some other smaller tools.
Thanks for explanation. And thank you for this game. It's already awesome.
I will follow the development to learn from it


Quote:
Originally Posted by d4rk3lf View Post
@Tsak
Any tips on the pixel art with Photoshop?
For example, how do you "fight" with it's constant alpha semi-transparent pixels on sprites (or layers) edges, when you want to scale them, or do almost any adjustments?
Go to edit>prefferences>general and then at the 'image interpolation' tab choose 'nearest neighbhor' then press ok. Now next time you 'll resize/scale/rotate/skew e.t.c. something it will always transform without alpha (transparent pixels at the edges and transparency in general) and without blending colors within the image (keeps the same exact colors the image has).

Also whenever you want to draw or pixel something always choose the pencil tool and never the brush. Pencil draws with zero alpha blending, while the brush always has it (even if you set it's hardness to 100%, in which case only the edges will have transparency).

Quote:
Originally Posted by d4rk3lf View Post
Also, when I convert it to index color, and save as IFF, DPaint constantly refuse to load it, but other apps don't (PPaint, for example), even engines don't. Is that only a Dpaint issue, or I should be worried whenever I save IFF from PS?
Personally I never trust saving iff's from the pc's side. If I want to transfer something on Amiga (for work) I either choose to save it as gif or png and then convert it to iff within workbench.
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Old 03 September 2019, 00:32   #10
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Originally Posted by Tsak View Post
[...] Personally I never trust saving iff's from the pc's side. If I want to transfer something on Amiga (for work) I either choose to save it as gif or png and then convert it to iff within workbench.
I even red in an old Amiga book about gfx (will try to find the reference back) that even if the IFF format is very well documented, a lot of program are not able to correctly save the format due to bad implementation.
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Old 03 September 2019, 01:25   #11
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@d4rk3lf, to add to Tsak's suggestion, If you also convert a sprite you want to rotate multiple times for example, convert it to a smart object then you can rotate, scale as many times as you like, just depends on what your trying to do.

Photoshop Export IFF tip: (might have to track down who wrote that plugin and see if we can get it upgraded to work better)

- Save Amiga IFF
- Open "grafx2" program, open IFF, Save IFF
- Then the image will open in any Amiga Software (eg Dpaint, Brilliance)

If you don't have Photoshop "Grafx2" is open source on many platforms.

--
Sorry back to topic. I love the colour palette some clever use of similar tones that blend quite different colours.
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Old 03 September 2019, 01:28   #12
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Photoshop Export IFF tip: (might have to track down who wrote that plugin and see if we can get it upgraded to work better)

- Save Amiga IFF
- Open "grafx2" program, open IFF, Save IFF
- Then the image will open in any Amiga Software (eg Dpaint, Brilliance)
I usually save as a high quality .PNG from Photoshop; and then open / save as an .IFF using Paint Shop Pro

These usually work fine in the Amiga...but I'm no graphics format expert
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Old 03 September 2019, 04:28   #13
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I usually save as a high quality .PNG from Photoshop; and then open / save as an .IFF using Paint Shop Pro

These usually work fine in the Amiga...but I'm no graphics format expert
I used to have a Paint Shop Pro 4 on my computer just to save .iff files. It was really funny to install such an old app on Windows 10.

But after I found out Grafx2, it solved all my graphical .IFF needs.
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Old 03 September 2019, 11:25   #14
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It's kind of weird to me no Amiga painting program (or cross platform one) supports colour changes per scanline. It's been part of the IFF spec for many years and should really not be that difficult to implement on real hardware (considering the Copper).

That said, I do like to see this use of Copper colour reloading. I've always thought it makes more sense to reload colours as seen here than by simply using a 'Copper rainbow'.
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Old 03 September 2019, 11:49   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roondar View Post
It's kind of weird to me no Amiga painting program (or cross platform one) supports colour changes per scanline. It's been part of the IFF spec for many years and should really not be that difficult to implement on real hardware (considering the Copper).

That said, I do like to see this use of Copper colour reloading. I've always thought it makes more sense to reload colours as seen here than by simply using a 'Copper rainbow'.
Where it gets really tricky is when you have dual-playfield mode and each playfield plus backdrop has different rates of vertical scrolling that needs to be merged into a single, coherent copper-list in realtime.
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Old 03 September 2019, 11:50   #16
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I used to have a Paint Shop Pro 4 on my computer just to save .iff files. It was really funny to install such an old app on Windows 10.
I'm at least using "Paint Shop Pro 7" on my Windows 7 laptop
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Old 03 September 2019, 12:06   #17
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Where it gets really tricky is when you have dual-playfield mode and each playfield plus backdrop has different rates of vertical scrolling that needs to be merged into a single, coherent copper-list in realtime.
Very true, that can get quite tricky. The payoff is pretty good though, so the effort might be worthwhile nonetheless.

I still think that for a painting program it makes sense to implement such a feature regardless
Not just for use in game art, but also for stills.
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Old 03 September 2019, 12:51   #18
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In Photoshop, under the Image menu change the Mode from RGB to Indexed Colour, that will stop alpha transparency in its tracks too. But you will loose layers functionality.

I really do love the art style in this game from what's shown here and the copper tricks are fascinating, I've long thought this would be a great way to enhance colours on Amiga games (a bit like what Universe did all those years ago) and with some subtle colour cycling could show light shimmering on surfaces like thatched roofs and stuff like that.

I just don't have the skills to code copper lists

But I always appreciate good pixel art as a pixel art junky myself although I've not nearly done enough on game artwork, instead I've gone down the route of manga and animation, but yes, love it love it love it!

Yay!
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Old 03 September 2019, 12:58   #19
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@Marle: since this is far off-topic, I'm not going to post about it here - but if you like, I could explain a bit about the basics of how Copperlists work sometime? They're not as complicated as you might think - especially if all you're interested in is changing colours on a screen that doesn't vertically scroll.

There's actually quite a bit of info on them both on this board and other places on the net as well, so you might not even need my help
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Old 03 September 2019, 14:11   #20
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Thanks for the tips!

I don't mind using other apps (actually, I really like PPaint on Amiga), and will definitely try Pro Motion NG.
What I do need at this time, in PS, is it's powerful action options. I need to convert series of png images to IFF - 16 colors, and with actions PS allow me to do it with few clicks.
That way, I can test levels pretty quickly, saving each image separately would take a huge amount of time.
Is any other app have similar fuction like action (or bench where it will convert/render many images to Iff - 16 colors automatically)?
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