Catfish TOT graphics - HELP!

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Doom Juan
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Catfish TOT graphics - HELP!

Postby Doom Juan » Sat May 07, 2016 9:31 am

Image

I would very much like to make a tileset for Freeciv (or if anyone is capable of making it?) using Catfish's TOT released 24-bit colour terrain graphics + units.

If no one is willing to make this, how do I go about it?

I've always loved the concept of FreeCiv, and have been watching it from afar for many years. It always struck me that so much talent from apolyton/civfanatics that worked on resources for the original Civ2/TOT never found it's way to FreeCiv, and much to the detriment of Civ2 community which has I believe disappeared as a result. I know from talking to Catfish in the past he had no problem with his resources being used, as would most of the artists who have contributed.

So yes... can someone show me how to make these into a tileset? 8-)

http://users.tpg.com.au/jpwbeest/files/ ... raphics.7z

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Arbogast
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Re: Catfish TOT graphics - HELP!

Postby Arbogast » Sat May 07, 2016 1:44 pm

your link gives a "forbidden" message back.

Doom Juan
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Re: Catfish TOT graphics - HELP!

Postby Doom Juan » Sat May 07, 2016 7:05 pm

Apologies, Catfish must like you to actually visit his site for hits ;)

Here's the link to the page with the download:

http://users.tpg.com.au/jpwbeest/jp_miscgraphics.htm

But there's no need, because I've just ripped it all out here:

Image
Image
Image
Image

Is it possible to make a tileset out of this lot?

There is a wealth of artwork like this that is still being produced on forums such as "Civilization Fanatics", which many of the old apolyton users now frequent also.

These people truly have perfected a certain style for Civ2 in my opinion, and it is a shame that their work is not more actively used on something like FreeCiv.

cazfi
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Re: Catfish TOT graphics - HELP!

Postby cazfi » Sun May 08, 2016 5:44 am

Doom Juan wrote:Is it possible to make a tileset out of this lot?

In short, there's two things you must do:
1) Make them to use real transparency instead of pink (.png with alpha-channel)
2) Write suitable .spec files for them

Doom Juan
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Re: Catfish TOT graphics - HELP!

Postby Doom Juan » Sun May 08, 2016 8:02 am

cazfi wrote:
Doom Juan wrote:Is it possible to make a tileset out of this lot?

In short, there's two things you must do:
1) Make them to use real transparency instead of pink (.png with alpha-channel)
2) Write suitable .spec files for them


How does one go about writing a suitable .spec?

What information is there that you recommend I look at?

cazfi
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Re: Catfish TOT graphics - HELP!

Postby cazfi » Sun May 08, 2016 9:15 am

Look at the existing tilesets for an example, and copy one as a baseline that you can implement your changes to.

For example to take amplio2 as a baseline (it has correct size tiles for you, I assume, so that you don't need to go adjusting those things when using it as baseline)
copy amplio2.tilespec as <name_of_my_tileset>.tilespec
copy amplio2 directory as <name_of_my_tileset>
In <name_of_my_tileset>.tilespec, change path of referenced .spec files from "amplio2/....spec" to "<name_of_my_tileset>/....spec". Those are listed after a line "files ="
In each of the <name_of_my_tileset>/*.spec change 'gfx = "amplio2/..."' to 'gfx = "<name_of_my_tileset>/..."
In <name_of_my_tileset>.tilespec change 'name = "amplio2"' to 'name = "<name_of_my_tileset>"'

For new unit graphics, you are probably about to modify <name_of_my_tileset>/units.spec and <name_of_my_tileset>/units.png

Doom Juan
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Re: Catfish TOT graphics - HELP!

Postby Doom Juan » Sun May 08, 2016 1:25 pm

Any relevant reading material regarding this that you could point to?

Also, should I copy these two and rename them?

Image

Doom Juan
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Re: Catfish TOT graphics - HELP!

Postby Doom Juan » Sun May 08, 2016 4:34 pm

From what I can see, isotrident seems closer to original Civ2.

Can .png files also have a transparent colour rather than a alpha channel? I notice this is the case with cities.png in the isotrident.

Doom Juan
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Re: Catfish TOT graphics - HELP!

Postby Doom Juan » Mon May 09, 2016 1:30 pm

Is anyone able to break this down for me so I can get my head around it?

I really want to know the process first before I even attempt to tinker with anything... how does everything work?

Thanks!

louis94
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Re: Catfish TOT graphics - HELP!

Postby louis94 » Mon May 09, 2016 5:19 pm

Doom Juan wrote:Is anyone able to break this down for me so I can get my head around it?

I really want to know the process first before I even attempt to tinker with anything... how does everything work?

Thanks!


Hello,

It's often easier to learn by trial-and-error.

To my knowledge, there is no up-to-date documentation available. The general idea is the following:
  1. Freeciv looks at .tileset files in the tileset directory.
  2. Each .tileset file contains the tileset name, some general information about it and a list of .spec files. These files are typically located in a subdirectory and contain information about the graphics.
  3. When the tileset is changed, Freeciv reads each of the .spec files and applies the required changes.
Each .spec file tells Freeciv how to use an image file. Each image is a grid of so-called tiles laid out in a grid. Tiles have a transparent background. Each tile in the grid gets a tag, which tells Freeciv how it should be used.

The best way to understand a .spec file is to look side by side at it and the corresponding image. Let me, however, describe amplio2/hills.spec:

This gives the Freeciv version the spec file is supposed to work with:

Code: Select all

[spec]
options = "+Freeciv-2.5-spec"

This is the artist:

Code: Select all

[info]
artists = "
         Peter Arbor <an email>
"

Here begin the interesting stuff. This tells Freeciv this file describe an image named amplio2/hills.png, or amplio2/hills.bmp, or whatever is present and supported by the client:

Code: Select all

[file]
gfx = "amplio2/hills"

The following lines describe the grid. The first two lines tell Freeciv it begins at 1px from the top and 1px from the left. The next two lines give the width and height of a tile. The last line says there is a 1px border between the tiles. If you look at amplio2/hills.png, you'll see that's how the file is organized.

Code: Select all

[grid_main]
x_top_left = 1
y_top_left = 1
dx = 96
dy = 48
pixel_border = 1

The last lines describe how to use the tiles. These are all terrain tiles ("t"), used on layer 1 ("l1"), for hills ("hills"). The remaining characters in the "tag" column are a bit special. The easiest way to understand them is to guess their meaning by looking at amplio2/hills.spec and amplio2/hills.png side by side.

Code: Select all

tiles = { "row", "column", "tag"
 0,  0, "t.l1.hills_n0e0s0w0"
 0,  1, "t.l1.hills_n0e0s0w1"
 0,  2, "t.l1.hills_n1e0s0w0"
 0,  3, "t.l1.hills_n1e0s0w1"
...


Louis