Creating A New Weapon Sprite by JJ86 7/16/04
This is a complete new tutorial I compiled from various smaller tutorials I had done before. It seems like everyone is always interested in how to do this so I am placing it here for convenience.
It isn't too difficult to create a new weapon or other object to use with Fallout Tactics. But you will need an advanced version of Photoshop, Spray 1.1, and the latest version of Redviewer. In the past I have used Photoshop version 5.0 but AFAIK, you can use the newer versions as well without problems.
Find the image you want to use and open it in RGB color mode within photoshop. If it is Indexed color mode, change it to RGB. This gives better edges and will give a better image later when it is scaled down. Then follow these steps:
1. Open your jpeg or gif file.
2. Hand color the background into one single darker color. Make sure it does not share a color with your image.
3. Use the magic wand tool to pick the background. Switch to the lasso tool and hold down "Shift" to add elements to the background or "Alt" to subtract areas from the background. The magic wand occasionally will select more of what it should so zoom in close and get as exact as possible.
4. Hold down "Shift+Ctrl+I" to make an inverse selection. This will select the object. Now hit Ctrl-C to copy the selection.
5. Go to "Image-Mode-Indexed Color" and use the default values of Adaptive palette, 8 bits/pixel color depth, 256 colors, and no dither.
6. There will be a toolbar for layers and channels on your desktop. Switch to the tab for channels. There should be one channel labeled "Index". On the bottom of that tool window there are 4 icons. Pick the icon that says "Create New Channel" when you hover the cursor over it. This will create an alpha channel. Click the empty gray box to the left of the Index channel. Make sure the alpha channel is still highlighted and hit the delete key. The object should show up now. Hit Ctrl-D to deselect.
7. While you are still in indexed color mode, go to Image-Mode-Color Table and save the color table. Hit the "OK" button. [Note: this is the palette you're using. You don't have to do it for each image you create.That was a mistake I did before realising you can actually import it in all 3 sizes of the sprite.]
8. Go to Image-Image Size and size your image to the size of the guibig as outlined below.
9. Save as a raw image with interleaved order and hit ok again.
10. Scale down the image twice more and save one for the guismall and the default images. [for the default images you can play with mirroring the image to get the directions you want]
11. Import them in Spray.
Here are some guidelines to use when picking a size to scale the image down:
Follow these guidelines closely, especially for heights. Otherwise there will be funny things happening in your gui screen.
Converting the raw files to a sprite.
First of all make sure that you are using Spray 1.1. Then you want to open a sprite that is similar to the one you want to create. So if you want to create a rifle then open a rifle instead of a character sprite.
Now for an introduction to Spray:
The first three fields will be important but you will have to use them in conjunction with Redviewer. You will need the visual reference for the bounding box that Redviewer provides to know exactly what you are doing. For now keep the values that are entered and that goes the same for the Center fields. If you used an existing sprite that is similar to what you are creating then they should be very close anyways.
The Material and Cover fields can be ignored. I have never changed them and for just about every sprite they have no real use.
For most sprites you should only have three options here; default, guibig, and guismall. Highlighting each one will change the values in other fields in the program. When you want to import raw files for each one (Pull down menu - Image/Import) this is what you highlight.
***Frames in sequence
Don't worry about this. It has to do with animated sprites and is not easily modifiable.
The first field is basically a reflection of the sequences. There should just be 3 images to correspond with the ones in the game. Each has a different size, the first being the default image which shows up on the map when the object is on the ground. You can make 4 different images as is done in the game for SE, SW, NE, and NW. I usually just make one to match the isometric perspective of the game and use it for all views. The second image in the collection is for the guibig that shows up in the open weapon slot. The third image is the guismall which shows up in the inventory and is half the size of the guibig.
The names are not modifiable here so you are stuck with what was in the sprite that you used.
This relates to the individual animated frames of an animated sprite. Rarely used and gets too complicated for Spray to handle effectively.
For each raw file that you import you want to enter the size of the image that was exported from your graphics program. This should roughly match the sizes listed at the bottom of this document. Just enter the width and height. The other values are changed by going to the pull-down menu - Image/Align big gui item.
Now to make a weapon sprite for example, follow these steps:
1. Open a weapon sprite.
2. You can start out with a minimum of two different images and their corresponding palette files. Name them appropriately:
3. Highlight the default sequence. Go to the pull-down menu Image/Import and find the raw file for the default picture. Go to Palette/Import and find the corresponding act file. Repeat this for each of the directions making sure to highlight each one as you repeat the process. Enter the values for each direction, they should all be the same. Click Image/Align small gui item for each direction.
4. Do the same for guibig.
5. For guismall you can do the same all the way to entering the width and height. Then click Image/Halve image size to reduce the image appropriately. Click Image/Align small gui item.
6. Now go to File/Save As and save it under a unique file name. Note a programming bug: If you hit Save after doing this it will still overwrite the original sprite. Close and reopen the sprite to keep working on the new one.
7. Open the new sprite in Redviewer and make sure you have the view bounding box option enabled. The only image that you care about for the bounding box is the default image. Make sure it is showing correctly around the object. See my other "Scenery Sprites in Spray" tutorial to find out how to correctly align the bounding box.
8. Congratulations!! You should have created your own sprite by now.