OpenXcom Forum

Modding => Resources => Topic started by: moriarty on July 24, 2014, 11:44:28 pm

Title: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: moriarty on July 24, 2014, 11:44:28 pm
after failing at craft-weapon-icon creation again because I was using the GIMP, I thought we could collect a list of graphics programs that can or cannot be safely used for editing openxcom resources...

good list:
Photoshop https://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop.html (https://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop.html)
 - costly, but apparently it works  :P

Aseprite https://www.aseprite.org/ (https://www.aseprite.org/)
 - free to try or compile, 10 US$ for a license. haven't used it myself, but reportedly it's good

LibreSprite https://libresprite.github.io/
- free version of Aseprite

mtPaint http://mtpaint.sourceforge.net/ (http://mtpaint.sourceforge.net/)
 - GNU general public license, pixel editor

Evilpixie http://evilpixie.scumways.com/ (http://evilpixie.scumways.com/)
 - free open source, Windows and Linux, reportedly working fine

GrafX2 http://grafx2.chez.com/ (http://grafx2.chez.com/)
 - free open source, many operating systems, reportedly working fine

GraphicsGale https://graphicsgale.com/us/
 - free, windows only, latest version reportedly working fine

bad list:
The GIMP https://www.gimp.org/ (https://www.gimp.org/) but also as a portable app (https://portableapps.com/de/apps/graphics_pictures/gimp_portable)
 - while it is a brilliant image editor, it will screw up your indexed palette. I've been there several times now, and it's inevitable.

paint.NET https://www.getpaint.net/index.html (https://www.getpaint.net/index.html)
 - another very good image manipulator, free for use, unfortunately it will "optimize" the palette, removing necessary unused colors. not good for openxcom.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Falko on July 24, 2014, 11:58:31 pm
ohh aseprite changed its licence? i still have 0.95 with "donate" no mention of trial/buy software

i took a look at the portable version of icofx and run into issues: how do you edit larger files >256x256 (like ufopaedia entries, spritesheets) and i did not find the "palette load/edit" function there (perhaps i downloaded a wrong version?)


Edit:
old version (0.95) is still available here https://code.google.com/p/aseprite/downloads/list
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: moriarty on July 25, 2014, 12:16:32 am
ohh aseprite changed its licence? i still have 0.95 with "donate" no mention of trial/buy software

apparently... I didn't even try it, because it says on the download site that it will stop functioning after trial...

Quote
i took a look at the portable version of icofx and run into issues: how do you edit larger files >256x256 (like ufopaedia entries, spritesheets) and i did not find the "palette load/edit" function there (perhaps i downloaded a wrong version?)

while IcoFX won't create icon files larger than 256x256, it will load, edit and export larger images just fine :)
the palette load function is in the "colors" sub-window... when I first started IcoFX, that sub-window was just outside the visible part of the main window, on the right-hand side. weird, but eventually I found it.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Falko on July 25, 2014, 01:08:38 pm
this https://mtpaint.sourceforge.net/ is also worth a look
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Yankes on July 25, 2014, 01:45:36 pm
https://code.google.com/p/grafx2/
Interface have bit old feel, like Amiga Deluxe Paint.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: yrizoud on August 02, 2014, 12:29:35 am
Just a precision : The freeware version of ASEprite is fully functional. The author continues further development as commercial in order to try earn something for his continuing efforts, but when you run ASEprite v0.x, you run a program which has been developed and improved for several years.

Oh and if people have trouble using GrafX2, don't hesitate to ask me for support, I... have been coding it from 2009 to 2012.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: jStuffer on August 02, 2014, 12:37:05 am
Hello, using GIMP on Linux.
I've found that you can reuse a palette from existing valid graphic files. Just open a good image in GIMP, delete/hide the original layer, resize as needed and paste into it your own graphics; the palette should remain from the previous image and apply to your new layer.
This has produced working sprites for me.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: moriarty on August 02, 2014, 10:51:06 am
Hello, using GIMP on Linux.
I've found that you can reuse a palette from existing valid graphic files. Just open a good image in GIMP, delete/hide the original layer, resize as needed and paste into it your own graphics; the palette should remain from the previous image and apply to your new layer.
This has produced working sprites for me.

I'm pretty sure that it won't work unless your final image contains every color in the palette (or at least the first and the last color), else the palette will be truncated. and sometimes shifted.

I assume it might work if you keep a full-palette image as an invisible layer, which forces the GIMP to keep all colors in the palette... but I don't know what happens in the export function. if this actually works, it would be really cool, because I love the GIMP.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: niculinux on August 12, 2014, 04:28:24 pm
Hey, any info about the whole serie of ms paint (shipped with windows) and pinta?  (https://pinta-project.com)(for both win and linux, and its freee!)
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: luke83 on August 12, 2014, 09:15:45 pm
For what its worth,  i have used gimp on all of my mods...
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: yrizoud on August 12, 2014, 09:48:35 pm
Hey, any info about the whole serie of ms paint (shipped with windows) and pinta?  (https://pinta-project.com)(for both win and linux, and its freee!)
Just tested, nope.
Pinta can load GIF transparency but loses the palette. It can save PNG but loses transparency on save, and it can't save GIF at all.

MSPaint loses the palette AND the transparency on loading a GIF. (tested on XP)


Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: KingMob4313 on August 12, 2014, 10:32:23 pm
I also have used gimp for all my mod work so far...

I have to use the 'palette' map and sometimes things stop working without reason (black boxes in all my views!?!), but it can be used.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: yrizoud on August 12, 2014, 11:30:43 pm
Here are two sample images, to test painting programs :
"15" is written in color 15, "255" is written in color 255, and the background is color 0.
It's the battlescape palette, so those three colors are black.
The first image has color#0 tagged transparent so you'll see the digits on your browser, but they are otherwise identical (OpenXcom doesn't care if your color zero is tagged transparent or not) If your painting program can open these image, save them, reload them and STILL has 3 distinct black colors in the right indexes, it should be ok for OpenXcom modding.

Edit: You can also add Evilpixie  (https://evilpixie.scumways.com/)to the "Good" list. If you want something simple and straight to the point, it's it. Paint with two mouse buttons, mouse wheel to zoom (and third button to drag view), keyboard shortcuts for every tool.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Arthanor on August 13, 2014, 03:18:52 am
Man! That EvilPixie program sounded like exactly what I am looking for from your description, and the penguin made me really hopeful, but it's another Windows only program :(

Anything good for Linux? Or a good tutorial for using gimp for OpenXCom?
(gimp doesn't strike me as simple, and apparently has issues with OXC, so.. I'm hesitant to get into it by myself.)
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Falko on August 13, 2014, 10:04:04 am
If your painting program can open these image, save them, reload them and STILL has 3 distinct black colors in the right indexes, it should be ok for OpenXcom modding.
see image the size of the image should also be a hint

Anything good for Linux? Or a good tutorial for using gimp for OpenXCom?
(gimp doesn't strike me as simple, and apparently has issues with OXC, so.. I'm hesitant to get into it by myself.)
After creating a optimized palette with only 2 colors (converting RGBand back to index in gimp) i could easily fix the image with https://falkooxc.pythonanywhere.com/palconvert -> upload [From: == To: - Palette ; more details-> [ x ] try to fix palette colors]
Can you try if that works for you with gimp if this screws the palette?
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: yrizoud on August 13, 2014, 11:40:31 am
Man! That EvilPixie program sounded like exactly what I am looking for from your description, and the penguin made me really hopeful, but it's another Windows only program :(
Evilpixie is originally developed on Linux, you can see the instructions to compile it here: https://github.com/bcampbell/evilpixie
Anything good for Linux?
Both ASEPRITE and Grafx2 are available as binaries on a few distributions
https://www.aseprite.org/older-versions/
https://code.google.com/p/grafx2/wiki/Downloads#Binary_packages

mtPaint (https://mtpaint.sourceforge.net/) should be another possible choice, it looks less intimidating than GIMP. The downloads page indicates how to find ready-made Linux builds.
--

I think Adobe Photoshop can be added to the "Bad" list, because I can see absolutely no way to select a specific color number to draw, when there are duplicates - and the UFO games' palettes have a few duplicates.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Acid on August 15, 2014, 02:16:28 am
Any one know of a good .spk viewer/editor preferably not command line based and thats compatible with Windows ?
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: jStuffer on August 24, 2014, 04:00:38 pm
OP: https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php?topic=2676.msg28507#msg28507 (https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php?topic=2676.msg28507#msg28507)
I'm pretty sure that it won't work unless your final image contains every color in the palette (or at least the first and the last color), else the palette will be truncated. and sometimes shifted.

I assume it might work if you keep a full-palette image as an invisible layer, which forces the GIMP to keep all colors in the palette... but I don't know what happens in the export function. if this actually works, it would be really cool, because I love the GIMP.

Sorry for the delay... I just tested that with GIMP 2.8.10 on some HANDOBs - the palette was correctly saved with all the original colors in their positions even though there were only 43 colors in all layers (original layer deleted).
The background color of the new graphics must match that of the palette's original (at index 0) - since some sprites use different background colors.

Edit: Okay, that didn't answer your question.
Another test: saving blank image (all filled with color id 0): still saves the palette right.
Saving an image filled with some middle color from the pallete also saves the palette right. Export options: all unchecked.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: RSSwizard on August 24, 2014, 10:12:44 pm
Using Photoshop for Palettes when there are Duplicates...

Find the colors on the palette that are duplicates. Along with any colors that you do not wish to be using (like that last set of 16 colors for Ufopedia graphics?).

Replace those colors with Hot Pink or Pure Cyan, or some other color that doesnt occur naturally in Xcom and is unlikely that you yourself are going to want to use. Pure White and Black may get confused in the graphics program but these other colors wont be. Perhaps even eradicating most of the colors in the palette so that your images are forced to comply with specific color ranges.

And if you see those pixels pop up in the image you can just manually recolor them to something else.

Save that Palette as something you will work with regularly but not use as a final product.
You should have a collection of these palettes, probably for different purposes.

You can take 24 bit images and Convert to 8 Bit using this palette as the Custom Palette setting. Best to do this with an entire series of images if you have them so that way the "custom palette" setting doesn't need to be changed inbetween.


* After you have loaded this palette, its determined where those color indexes will stay put.
NOW you can load the AUTHENTIC Xcom Palette you want to use.
But I think that might also be optional ... because the color indexes are already set in the image, and the GAME is not going to care what palette is in the image only the color indexes (?correct).
So when the game loads the image it will display it correctly.
 
* As for whether Photoshop saves any extra palette information beyond the 256 colors set... I cant tell you the truth about that. But I think the best chances to shoot for that are to save it as .GIF files because those have 256 color palette standarization.



I used to do this alot to Re-Color images for other sprite games like Doom 2 Sourceports.
Using Photoshop to Hue/Color shift parts or whole sections of sprites . . . like make a critter that had red skin instead of brown or make some dude's armor turn gold.
Then I convert back down to 8 Bit and use one of these masking palettes to convert it back to the Doom palette colors but also dodge certain colors I don't want it to use.

Then I just load the actual Doom Palette on top of that and the color indexes stay put because its already an 8 bit image so it does not need to remap them.

(the key there was that the Green Spread of colors was used for Palette Remapping and if you wanted a Sprite to be re-mappable it had to be on that green spread. So naturally I created a Palette that was Pure Pink except for the Green Spread and the single Transparent Color near the end of the palette. This forced the program to funnel all of the Color Indexes into the Green Spread of colors near the center of the palette)


Paint Shop Pro was a little more efficient with this because you could force images to remap with a new palette if you wanted it to, without having to UpSample it to 24 bit first then Downsample it to 8 bit.

But as we all know Photoshop was designed to take up the Maximum Amount of Time to complete any project, I guess so that graphic artists can get the most money for their hourly rates.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: The Reaver of Darkness on September 17, 2014, 05:44:27 am
I got ASEPRITE v0.9.5 and it looks great, very easy to use! Only problem I have is that its list of file types doesn't seen to include ANY of the image file types in X-Com. Any idea how I can edit these file types?:
.pck
.tab
.spk
.scr
and any other types of image file it uses
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: RSSwizard on September 18, 2014, 10:30:08 pm
Reaver you have to use a utility for xcom to extract the images. You can define custom images in the .rul files for the mod, you dont have to repack the images back into those archaic file types.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: The Reaver of Darkness on September 22, 2014, 02:25:49 am
Alright, thanks. Any idea where I can get such a utility?
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: new_civilian on October 06, 2014, 12:19:30 pm
Try strategycore's file section, they have most of those.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Falko on October 06, 2014, 12:24:54 pm
.. or upload the pck/tab/spk/scr/bdy/dat files here https://falkooxc2.pythonanywhere.com/spriteconvert
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Arthanor on October 06, 2014, 07:08:23 pm
Using Falko's tools, it is incredibly easy to do OpenXCom graphics now (on the technical side, you still need to know how to draw!). I use a Linux equivalent of MSPaint (KolourPaint), of all programs, and it works wonders. I like the simplicity of the interface.

Just take the palette into the picture, only use the colours from the palette, then run it through Falko's palette fixer. Simple recolors are even easier since he has a (quite customizable) tool for that as well. It took me ages to try doing graphics because of the palette and format requirements but with those tools, it only took ~30 minutes to get going.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: volutar on January 10, 2015, 08:14:14 pm
I don't know why Falko chosen #ffa0ff (255,160,255) as "transparent", it's always been #ff00ff (255,0,255) - pure purple color (warboy given that palette long long time ago).
I couldn't find these act files, thus created my own, all palettes of xcom1/xcom2. Including background palettes (actual colors are in the range of ingame background colors - 224..239).
All "special" battlescape colors like colorgroup15 for xcom1 and color255 for tftd are properly replaced, transparent color0 = #ff00ff(255,0,255)
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Vesparco on April 22, 2015, 01:55:00 pm
Hi,

New here on the tools sections ^^. I am developing a mod for the vanilla version of the game in order to expand the missile arsenal of the game.

The idea was mainly to learn about openxcom modding and YAML and the process has been successful so far (I am still impressed with the ease given by the ruleset and the very much appreciated tools from falko).

For the images though I am using Paint.Net, which is a freeware photoshop with neat interface and controls (I am quite fond of it XD). The bad side of it is that the colour depth tweaking is quite painful (I tried in converting the image to gif (256 colours) in order to reduce it but the game stills shows weird colours in the process (the tweak is for the ufopedia).

Could anyone give me some insights on the colour palette used in the game? I think that would help me to fix the issue (and maybe you can add another tool to the list).
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Bloax on April 22, 2015, 02:52:29 pm
I think Adobe Photoshop can be added to the "Bad" list, because I can see absolutely no way to select a specific color number to draw, when there are duplicates - and the UFO games' palettes have a few duplicates.
Photoshop is a terrible choice if what you're looking for is doing things pixel-by-pixel with colors grabbed from a palette index.

It is really great for brushing things out in in black and white and coloring things with gradient maps that are based off palette ranges.
And since getting those up and running takes quite a while I've already done the job of making a bunch of gradients based off just that (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/63152810/xcom_gradients.grd).
Although these are only the inventory/ufopedia palettes, and since I'm extremely new I don't know if there are others.

The final step is then saving the image (usually in .gif) through File > Save for web and selecting a custom color table that is the appropriate color palette for the image.
After that you can finally open up and pencil the new .gif into perfection with no worries of messing up the palette.

gee i know too much about this program
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Dioxine on April 22, 2015, 04:08:23 pm
Could anyone give me some insights on the colour palette used in the game? I think that would help me to fix the issue (and maybe you can add another tool to the list).

See Volutar's post above, he uploaded all the palettes used by XCom in Photoshop format.

Falko's tools are also very useful: https://falkooxc.pythonanywhere.com/palconvert.

I kinda disagree that Photoshop is bad for pixel-by-pixel, might be suboptimal but I've never used anything else :)

Also: be sure you disable any dithering when converting from RGB to indexed palette format.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Vesparco on April 22, 2015, 04:55:35 pm
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately Paint.net doesn't read palettes from photoshop (uses txt format) and I tried Falco's plugin but I am using external images (and I belive I need to filter them first through a palette to make it work).

Interesting enough that's what I've been trying to do in the meantime and I believe I am close enough.

I've been searching on the internet and found the following link:

https://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=PALETTES.DAT

I managed to rebuild some of the palettes on Paint.NET from the pictures by using the following plugin:

https://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/15318-palette-from-image-tool-20091111/

Then, going further and digging like crazy within the plugin repository I found this nice pack that has the "selective palette" filter which in theory is able to grade all the colours of a picture to a given reference palette.

https://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/8043-curtis-plugin-pack-update-for-354/

While the process seems to work properly the results give some error. I am applying the "research palette" for a ufopedia entry within the category 7. I believe the issue is that I am using the wrong palette (as the wiki page suggests that ufopedia uses one or more of them) or I should disable some of the colors within the palette.

I would like to keep trying this approach as if done It could convert quite fast any picture to the format required of the ufopedia :/

I attach a picture in case someone sees something I am missing
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Dioxine on April 22, 2015, 05:11:18 pm
There might be an error in this palette, but yeah, types 1, 3, 7, 8 use Research palette, while types 2, 4, 5, 6 use Battlescape (Tactical) palette minus last 16 colors.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: ivandogovich on April 22, 2015, 06:01:39 pm
There might be an error in this palette, but yeah, types 1, 3, 7, 8 use Research palette, while types 2, 4, 5, 6 use Battlescape (Tactical) palette minus last 16 colors.

@Dioxine:
Would you consider maybe working with Robin and reworking this Ufopedia.org page?

https://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=Modding_sprites_(OpenXcom)
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Vesparco on April 22, 2015, 08:31:03 pm
Found the issue by comparing with other images of the ufopedia. It seems that the image palette I took from the wiki is somehow "corrupted". By terms of the 63/x3F values the color RGB codes must be multiple of 4 (being maximum 252-255 values). The color palette gives somehow in paint.net numbers that are not multiple (I suppose is the conversion to the png format). Has anyone by chance the same palettes in gif format or any other? (even in RGB code should work).

Edit:

Tried to rebuild the color palette from the one presented in the falco palette fix. Basically I took a picture and read the values, as they all seemed in the correct format (multiples of 4) I tried to recreate the palette using a program that didn't messed up the codes ("pictures to color"). It exports the palette info into an html, which I then edited into sublime 2 and then crafted the paint.NET palette. I attach the file along with a file edited with it in case someone can tell me if the ARGB codes are wrong or the picture generated by it has something weird the final step.

Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Vesparco on April 23, 2015, 12:35:24 am
The file palette and the pictures
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Dioxine on April 23, 2015, 09:20:01 am
Nah they don't work at all. It seems like your software is cutting out the "unused" colors from every picture, which ruins everything. Hmm instead of using the files from the internets (I've tried them and these palettes don't seem to be very good), maybe you could try extracting the pallette from working pictures found in some mods? Or - I've modified one of your pictures to fit the research palette, you can try it. Also disable that dithering :) (although with such low-intesity dithering, sometimes a dithered conversion does look better than a smooth one).

@Ivan: nah I couldn't help, I'm an user, not a guru, I don't know a heck about graphic formats, graphic soft (except working knowledge how to use MS paint & photoshop) etc.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Vesparco on April 23, 2015, 10:01:49 am
Nah they don't work at all. It seems like your software is cutting out the "unused" colors from every picture, which ruins everything. Hmm instead of using the files from the internets (I've tried them and these palettes don't seem to be very good), maybe you could try extracting the pallette from working pictures found in some mods? Or - I've modified one of your pictures to fit the research palette, you can try it. Also disable that dithering :) (although with such low-intesity dithering, sometimes a dithered conversion does look better than a smooth one).

@Ivan: nah I couldn't help, I'm an user, not a guru, I don't know a heck about graphic formats, graphic soft (except working knowledge how to use MS paint & photoshop) etc.

Thank you for the picture dioxine, with it I was able to nail de issue. It seems while the color palette between mine are yours are the same (I took several points randomly of the picture), but the codification of the gif file was completely different between one and another. Searching on the net I found that Paint.NET always uses dithering with low quality formats such as 8-bit, it is totally unavoidable. What I did then was to save them again into png format using the range of 24-bit. Now the pictures are more or less visible as in the editor (although I admit that some are seen more ugly than expected XD).

Now that the issue is found maybe paint.NET could be a viable tool to mess pictures around.

In any case thank you very much for the help  :D
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Bloax on April 23, 2015, 12:15:36 pm
Could you post the original images here? I have a thing to try out.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Vesparco on April 23, 2015, 01:05:26 pm
Could you post the original images here? I have a thing to try out.

Yes, here they are. I may change the missile by another one which I believe fits better with the tonality. I decrease the quality of some because otherwise are quite huge.

I have still some issues with the palette not being right or paint.net saving the file with the colors he pleases. I have either snap the RGB values from somewhere or keep trying different file saves of PDN  :-\.

I attach also some failed examples   :'(.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Dioxine on April 23, 2015, 02:08:00 pm
Converted them for you:
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: yrizoud on April 23, 2015, 02:29:31 pm
When an image converts poorly, it means it relies too much on colors which have no equivalent in XCOM's palette.
It's possible to improve the result by tuning the image's colors beforehand : push the saturation for everything that's not greyscale, and be sure that the largest surfaces use exactly the hue of the available color ranges.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Vesparco on April 24, 2015, 12:03:04 pm
Converted them for you:

Thank you kindly for transforming them. I will gladly use them and bash my head with other topics of the mod (mainly economics and manufacture ???).

When an image converts poorly, it means it relies too much on colors which have no equivalent in XCOM's palette.
It's possible to improve the result by tuning the image's colors beforehand : push the saturation for everything that's not greyscale, and be sure that the largest surfaces use exactly the hue of the available color ranges.

In theory the plugin should truncate all the colors to the nearest equivalent from the palette (the limits of it and if it can happens what you say is beyond my reach). I'll try what you suggest but I will also convert directly the full palette to see if is the PDN or the palette itself. I took the palette both from Falco's plugin and the .act format from Solarius (both gave the same RGB values so I assume they are the correct ones and the program is the one giving the issues).


I'll suggest to the OP to put Paint.NET in the list of not recommended until I find if it is possible to save the pictures in a way that doesn't screw the color code or a way to fix the palette within the program (in case it is that which I doubt).

In the meantime I've been tackling mtpaint (which seems good but I haven't got the skills yet) and graphics gale, which has a free edition and was recommended in a pixel artist web for beginners.

Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: yrizoud on April 24, 2015, 12:45:27 pm
I'll suggest to the OP to put Paint.NET in the list of not recommended until I find if it is possible to save the pictures in a way that doesn't screw the color code or a way to fix the palette within the program (in case it is that which I doubt).
Paint.NET is simply not designed to manage the "color indexed" representation of an image. When it loads a GIF, the file is immediately converted to RGB representation. The specific color indices are lost, and colors not used in the image are lost.
In the meantime I've been tackling mtpaint (which seems good but I haven't got the skills yet) and graphics gale, which has a free edition and was recommended in a pixel artist web for beginners.
mtPaint should be fine.
GGale's free version doesn't let you open or save GIFs, it can be annoying. But no problem handling PNG8.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Vesparco on April 24, 2015, 02:32:34 pm
Weird enought I've been trying Graphics gale this morning and seems quite a tool. The issue now is that the png8 that I can save makes the same results as with PDN (I've been working with the research palette). I tried to not save the alpha channel but the color weirdness still persists.

I attach the two missiles I've working on.

Also, out of a sudden fear. Does the aircraft weapons use a different palette ??? ?
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: yrizoud on April 24, 2015, 03:04:31 pm
These png files contain images of colors 0 to 22, and a palette of exactly these 23 colors.
It means this program optimizes the image on saving, by scrapping every color which doesn't appear on the image and renumbering the remaining colors.
It may save 699 bytes in the file, but the image becomes unusable in OpenXCOM. If there's no setting in this program to disable palette optimization, --> bad list.

Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: ivandogovich on April 24, 2015, 03:40:20 pm
Also, out of a sudden fear. Does the aircraft weapons use a different palette ??? ?

As Dioxine Mentioned earlier:
"<Ufopedia entries>.., types 1, 3, 7, 8 use Research palette, while types 2, 4, 5, 6 use Battlescape (Tactical) palette minus last 16 colors."

You can cross reference that with :
https://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=Ruleset_Reference_Nightly_(OpenXcom)#UFOpaedia_Article

To see which types of articles are which.   Craft Armaments are #2 so they would use the Battlescape palette.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Vesparco on April 24, 2015, 04:32:25 pm
These png files contain images of colors 0 to 22, and a palette of exactly these 23 colors.
It means this program optimizes the image on saving, by scrapping every color which doesn't appear on the image and renumbering the remaining colors.
It may save 699 bytes in the file, but the image becomes unusable in OpenXCOM. If there's no setting in this program to disable palette optimization, --> bad list.

I've searched the topic for the png in graphics for two hours without success. It seems that as PDN, it uses a library set in stone for the image saving. You can throw it to the bad list, at least for the free version :-\ (it seems it has more options to the .gif format).

Edit: Tried also with the 30-day trial of the full edition. With gif happens the same. Bad list it is.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: moriarty on April 25, 2015, 12:54:33 am
added mtpaint, paint.net and graphicsgale to the list in the first post. is the information provided correct?
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: yrizoud on April 25, 2015, 01:14:57 am
I think so. Can you also add:
Evilpixie (https://evilpixie.scumways.com/), free open source, Windows and Linux. I tested GIF and PNG, both work fine.
GrafX2 (https://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2), free open source, for many operating systems.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Warboy1982 on April 25, 2015, 04:56:25 am
no room for photoshop on the good list? i use it exclusively.
(glad to see you're still around, btw moriarty)
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Solarius Scorch on April 25, 2015, 12:51:58 pm
no room for photoshop on the good list? i use it exclusively.

Me too.
Curiously, there seems to be some sort of a small anti-Photoshop movement regarding modding Openxom. :P I don't really understand why.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Yankes on April 25, 2015, 12:59:11 pm
I think so. Can you also add:
Evilpixie (https://evilpixie.scumways.com/), free open source, Windows and Linux. I tested GIF and PNG, both work fine.
GrafX2 (https://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2), free open source, for many operating systems.
I support GrafX2 I use it when I have look on or edit graphic for OXC.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: yrizoud on April 25, 2015, 01:59:07 pm
Me too.
Curiously, there seems to be some sort of a small anti-Photoshop movement regarding modding Openxom. :P I don't really understand why.
Well, I've tested with CS2. I open the test image I made earlier
(https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2676.0;attach=10288)
1) Color zero becomes transparent in editor, and is actually turned transparent when you save. In the case of a sprite (not a flat background) you could consider it helpful, but I think OSX verskion of OpenXcom can't load GIFs correctly when they have transparent background.
2) I see absolutely no way to differentiate between colors 15 and 255. If I use eyedropper in the "255" area and then paint, the resulting pixels are in color 15. If I save the image's palette and use it as a color swatch, when I pick the last color and draw with it, it's color 15, not 255.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Solarius Scorch on April 25, 2015, 03:00:30 pm
Well, I've tested with CS2. I open the test image I made earlier
(https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2676.0;attach=10288)
1) Color zero becomes transparent in editor, and is actually turned transparent when you save. In the case of a sprite (not a flat background) you could consider it helpful, but I think OSX verskion of OpenXcom can't load GIFs correctly when they have transparent background.
2) I see absolutely no way to differentiate between colors 15 and 255. If I use eyedropper in the "255" area and then paint, the resulting pixels are in color 15. If I save the image's palette and use it as a color swatch, when I pick the last color and draw with it, it's color 15, not 255.

I can't explain it, because I never cared. I just save the file with the correct palette and don't think about it any more. (Using CS3.)

Yes, there is an issue with OXC not reading black correctly - this problem suddenly appeared in late 2014 - so I'm using some other dark colour and that's it.

I know my approach isn't very professional, but it works, so screw that. :)
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Bloax on April 25, 2015, 03:21:49 pm
GrafX2 (https://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2), free open source, for many operating systems.
Does a proper interface exist for GrafX2? I've tinkered a little bit around with it, but I have no plans for actually getting into using it since it still thinks we're still in the eighties and no interface design improvements have been made since.

Which is a shame since it otherwise has plenty of funky features.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: yrizoud on April 25, 2015, 04:53:56 pm
Does a proper interface exist for GrafX2? I've tinkered a little bit around with it, but I have no plans for actually getting into using it since it still thinks we're still in the eighties and no interface design improvements have been made since.
Sorry, no such plans. The program was revived especially because a lot of good interface design ideas from the best painting program of the 90s (Deluxe Paint) had been lost over the years : interface that doesn't get in the way, painting with both mouse buttons, single-key keyboard shortcuts for all the functions that you use all the time.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Bloax on April 25, 2015, 05:22:53 pm
Yeah, having two colors to paint with is a really nice thing that seemingly only remains(?) in Paintshop Pro of the modern editors.

But while there are good things, there are also bad things - like the really clunky interface; I'm especially bothered by the amount of screen changes.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: moriarty on April 26, 2015, 03:24:24 pm
Curiously, there seems to be some sort of a small anti-Photoshop movement regarding modding Openxom. :P I don't really understand why.

well, I was mainly looking at open-source or otherwise free-to-use software. I've actually never used photoshop  :P

@Warboy: thank you! I was never really gone, just very busy. I've tried to read almost every major thread regularly, but never really got around to posting anything :)

I added the recently suggested software, let me know if there's anything I'm missing.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Yankes on April 26, 2015, 04:19:51 pm
its missing one important thing,  pinning :D
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Solarius Scorch on April 26, 2015, 07:10:43 pm
well, I was mainly looking at open-source or otherwise free-to-use software. I've actually never used photoshop  :P

Yeah, my words were a bit too strong, and I certainly didn't mean you Moriarty. :) (BTW good to see you again.)

And sure, nice to have it stickied.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Vesparco on April 27, 2015, 08:52:50 pm
I have given my try to grafX2 but as some people say, I have a harsh time dealing with the interface (but I don't disregard the program, I've seen some videos on youtube doing amazing stuff).

In the end I took an old version of aseprite (v0.9.5) and managed to fix the missiles I did on paint.NET. Also by functionalities works quite well once you get around.

BTW moriarty, graphicsgale should be on the bad list. It has the same problems of color palette reduction as PDN ( just for the sake of avoiding anyone of having troubles with it).

 
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: moriarty on April 29, 2015, 03:22:50 pm
pushed graphicsgale off the edge into the bad list.  ;)
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: CanadianBeaver on August 21, 2016, 06:09:34 pm
I have given my try to grafX2 but as some people say, I have a harsh time dealing with the interface (but I don't disregard the program, I've seen some videos on youtube doing amazing stuff).

The GIMP with GrafX2 work well. You can draw in the GIMP, use zero index (lime green color for example) for background and export to the .gif. That is enough. If you want a transparent .gif, you can fix your exported .gif with GrafX2 - it is simple.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: hellrazor on August 22, 2016, 09:41:26 am
GIMP and gif is a bad choice.

Use PNG its much better.

Also use Falkoos Sprite Tool to apply the proper palettes for a unified format :)
You can find those here (https://falkooxc2.pythonanywhere.com/spritepalette#)
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: The Reaver of Darkness on July 16, 2017, 04:16:11 am
mtpaint should go in a "Okay" list, I think. It gets the job done, but it lacks tools and has a few problems. It's very easy to use and does color palettes very well, however it does not have any options for shifting your colors along the palette even though it has several for shifting and rearranging your palette. It has some options for animations but they don't seem to work in a way that is compatible with any games. You can make sprite-sheets in mtpaint and those work well. If you select something, it selects the transparency as well, and the transparency will overwrite things underneath. I guess mtpaint works with only one layer and it doesn't give an option to let things show through the transparency. This creates additional problems when you try to carefully use the polygon selection tool to trace around the image, because the polygon selection tool grabs extra pixels along the right side of the piece. But it doesn't do it in a very consistent way. It is extremely difficult to figure out how to draw your selection such that you get exactly the pixels you want, all of them, and no others.

Overall, mtpaint is tedious for anything but the simplest work.



Have any of you used Evilpixie or Grafx2? Could you tell me how they measure up as far as working with images and sprites in openxcom? I want something that is easy to use but also offers several tools in case I want to get down and dirty and make complex graphics.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: hellrazor on July 16, 2017, 06:42:01 am
Have any of you used Evilpixie or Grafx2? Could you tell me how they measure up as far as working with images and sprites in openxcom? I want something that is easy to use but also offers several tools in case I want to get down and dirty and make complex graphics.

I use grafx2 mostly for recolors and when i fix sprites.
I find it waymore easier to use then GIMP, especially if i have todo something quick.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Bloax on August 12, 2017, 02:24:26 am
Personally I have a very peculiar approach.

oh and watch out it has DANGEROUS tiddies in the last two minutes or so
just in case someone has an allergic reaction to that for some reason

Not really a thorough explanation of workflow so much as a showcasing of what "doing shit" entices and what "exporting results" looks like.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: mrcalzon02 on August 25, 2017, 05:55:52 am
hate to necro a reallly long dead post, but do any of these tools still work? Gimp is mutilating my images.
*update* IcoFx portable seams to be the only DL link that still works and it *seams* to be working. Testing now.
*update* no all of the no. gimp was better....blah.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Roxis231 on August 25, 2017, 01:46:54 pm
Personaly I use a combination of MSPaint (The one from Win98) and Paint Shop Pro 7 (Had this for years)
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: ivandogovich on August 25, 2017, 07:16:48 pm
Photoshop is pretty solid once you get down setting the palettes correctly.  Many of the established modders use this tool.

A different option to consider for battlescape objects (unit sprites, terrain, BigObs, HandObs and FloorObs) is mcdedit by volutar. https://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/MCDEdit

In the pckedit mode, you have the option to work on 32x40 px for sprites/handobs/floorobs/terrain, and an ability to change the view to 32X48 px for working on Bigobs.  I like this tool for its simplicity and the fact that it auto palettizes images in the Battlescape palette.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: The Reaver of Darkness on December 11, 2017, 10:12:10 am
MCDEdit has good image editing tools for openxcom. I wish there was a full image editor made with that interface and set of tools that I could use for any size image.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Solarius Scorch on December 11, 2017, 02:20:48 pm
MCDEdit has good image editing tools for openxcom. I wish there was a full image editor made with that interface and set of tools that I could use for any size image.

I imagine it wouldn't be too farfetched to assume it might be worth a shot to contact Volutar about this.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: The Martian on January 16, 2018, 12:13:38 pm
Since I didn't notice anyone else mentioning it, may I suggest Krita (https://krita.org/).

It's free, runs on Linux and has a variety of features.

I've been using Krita (https://krita.org/) in combination with Falko's Palette converter (https://falkooxc2.pythonanywhere.com/). (https://openxcom.org/forum/Themes/InsidiousV1-k/images/post/thumbup.gif)
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: tkzv on January 17, 2018, 07:17:22 am
Since I didn't notice anyone else mentioning it, may I suggest Krita (https://krita.org/).

It's free, runs on Linux and has a variety of features.

I've been using Krita (https://krita.org/) in combination with Falko's Palette converter (https://falkooxc2.pythonanywhere.com/). (https://openxcom.org/forum/Themes/InsidiousV1-k/images/post/thumbup.gif)
It can't save indexed images. It can't be used for swapping colours in existing images. If you create your graphics from scratch, then maybe. If you work with other people's images, brace for colour artefacts the converter creates.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: The Martian on January 17, 2018, 09:29:28 am
What I've been doing is using the colour selector tool to pick the current brush colour from pixels harvested from existing images that are already in the correct palette for X-Com.

Then using Falko's Palette Converter (https://falkooxc2.pythonanywhere.com/) to make the background transparent.

I do admit it is far from a perfect method.

It can't be used for swapping colours in existing images.

You can use it to swap colours in existing images via this method:
- Select the "Similar Colour Selection Tool".
- In the Tool options set "Fuzziness" to 0, this way only the exact colour you select will be selected.
- Fill the selected area with the desired colour.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: RSSwizard on January 17, 2018, 06:58:21 pm
I have uploaded a certain graphics program that I use which, despite being sorta bloated, does serve the purposes quite well for doing pixel art for openxcom. It is an older program so your mileage may vary when it comes to installing it and such, if you have a newer version then the only reason you'd want to get this is for backup purposes. In any case the hosting site will only keep the link available for 30 days. Replace the equals with a dot and add an http for a usable link.
ge=tt/9fRLZ9o2

In exchange I was hoping for some advice about how to do modern map editing in openxcom to set up an editing suite.
Edit:  I found the elusive MapView II program, havent tried it out but figure I should drop the link here just in case others are looking:
https://github.com/kevL/OpenXCOM.Tools/tree/master/Distribution
Title: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: Edwardtoist on March 23, 2019, 08:36:50 pm
I am looking for modern top down or iso style graphics. They are very hard to find.
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: misterx on January 31, 2020, 11:56:20 am
I am looking for modern top down or iso style graphics. They are very hard to find.

Maybe should give a try to catch 90's game that use that feature, such ha crusader no remors, syndicate and jagged alliance 2, these assest have been posted on the forum.

As for editors, my experience: i use paint.net  (https://www.getpaint.net/)as for drawing tool and irfanview (https://www.irfanview.com/) to apply palettes: both offer varius plugins, the former even to save files in .psd and .psb photoshot format, the latter provides even a plugin for a limited drawing capacity but is good as resizing images, in fact paint.net handles palette only in .txt files.

Adobe Photoshop C2 was relased for public download but as freeware back in 2013; (https://www.techspot.com/news/51316-adobe-offering-creative-suite-2-for-free-but-they-didnt-mean-to.html) I've tryed also mtpaint (http://mtpaint.sourceforge.net/) but it lacks of a good tool to resize areas of an image file previously cutted, but it loads the palette along with the image saved but has some compatibility problems with win 10 64 bit versions though it's usable even if it crashes on and off.

(https://i.postimg.cc/YhPTr06r/mtpaint-340-screenshot.png) (https://postimg.cc/YhPTr06r)

Tryed also pinta (https://pinta-project.com/pintaproject/pinta/), it does not support savin .gif savind but has a tool to resize image selected areas and a community repository for add-ins but it's quite scarce of advanced funtionalities and manages palette only in .txt and .gpl files.

(https://i.postimg.cc/k6jfTYwJ/pinta-16-screenshot.png) (https://postimg.cc/k6jfTYwJ)

If you need a tool to manage palettes give a shot to Cryotec pallete editor, it supports a veriety of formats (ACO (Adobe Photoshop Color Swatch Files), GPL (GIMP Palette Files), PAL (JASC Palette Files), TXT (Paint.Net Palette Files), and PAL (Raw Palette Files) (https://www.ilovefreesoftware.com/22/windows/free-palette-editor-create-color-palette-save-various-formats.html). As for such tools and image editors, you should try your luck with online editors - for instance there is pixlr  (https://pixlr.com/) but requires adobe flash to work - but don't know if these gonna work.

Oh and the link in the first post there are a couple of URL with broken links:

mtpaint:
http://mtpaint.sourceforge.net/

GraphicsGale got another address:
https://graphicsgale.com/us/

Pleasu update first post? Thanks :)
Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: misterx on February 04, 2020, 01:31:27 pm
Roaming the web came across an OMGbutn article on PhotoFlare image editor (https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2020/01/photoflare-free-photo-editor), it's free opoensource and avaiable aside for win also for Arch and Ubuntu, its homepage is here (https://photoflare.io/)

The software has also a youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrxM8BhxpTf0pV1J4QpQ-fA/featured), which features its functions, some senak peak here (refers to theold 1.5 relase):

Anybody cares to give a shot? Thanks

Title: Re: image editors / graphics programs
Post by: xcomfan on October 08, 2020, 02:40:28 pm
I'll suggest to the OP to put Paint.NET in the list of not recommended until I find if it is possible to save the pictures in a way that doesn't screw the color code or a way to fix the palette within the program (in case it is that which I doubt).

I've checked better; paint.net is really good, only problem it does not handle palette files in .pal format, like openxcom ones > = (
In the meantime I've been tackling mtpaint (which seems good but I haven't got the skills yet) and graphics gale, which has a free edition and was recommended in a pixel artist web for beginners.

Good news, as for editors  GraphicsGale (https://graphicsgale.com/us/) as of 28 june, 2017 is gone freeware, it has also a protable win version too. Also Pixel edit (https://pyxeledit.com/index.php) seems to be nice, the older verisons are free, but file opening is done by selecting import inage, and sa, export. Same as palette, in colors menu, but it is gotten from existing images, no directly .pal file loading. A windows only useful too is rotsprite (http://info.sonicretro.org/RotSprite), to resize and rotate sprites.

Aside from the recent fork of Gimp, Glimpse (https://glimpse-editor.github.io/) (basically providin' some interface adjustments)  after some other search i found a very excellent alternative to Aseprite (https://www.aseprite.org/): LibreSprite (https://libresprite.github.io/)! Avaiable for win (installer), linux (as portable AppImage) and macos, it has nearly all the function of the paretn program, a screenshot is attched as well  8) Here is a quick showoff video too, here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2UqItBJii0). There is a video demonstration - about one hour (!!) - here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-bDG8yIs0o). Pixelorama (https://orama-interactive.itch.io/pixelorama) is a nice editor which can even make animations,and in the 0.8 version added support for palette in .pal format (https://github.com/Orama-Interactive/Pixelorama/blob/master/CHANGELOG.md), another choice might be mypaint (http://mypaint.org) Also, a good alternative to win-only irfanview might be xnview MP (https://www.xnview.com/en/xnviewmp/) from xnsoft (https://www.xnview.com/en/apps/), it has also a wiki (https://www.xnview.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page).

Oh, also this thread need to be moved in the Tool board (https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/board,13.0.html)