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Author Topic: Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1  (Read 7412 times)

Offline CrazyEnzo03

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Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1
« on: August 29, 2010, 04:22:48 PM »
It's something I haven't seen before I tried it, but when I figured it out a while back and simply haven't done much with it since. I remembered how I figured this out and decided to get back into it because the result looks cool.

Basically, it's just a personal project of mine now that I have gotten back into mining levels :)

The thread title explains what I'm trying to do.
The process I use is essentially to:
1) make a level with an exit (complete with a .txb file to make it actually work)
2) make a 16x16 heightmap using a program that can save to .iff or .bbm (such as Ultimate Paint (free, PC only) or Paint Shop Pro (at least older versions did, I do not know about newer ones), etc.) and save the file as (any name up to 8 characters long here).bbm (or if it is .iff, possibly .lbm, .ilb, or .ilbm, simply change the extension to .bbm) and put it in the Descent 1 root directory.
3) in the .txb file, instead of lev01ter.bbm, use the custom one you used (or if you are simply replacing the terrain with another lev01ter.bbm, then skip this step).
4) play, exit, and hope everything works well (read: at all).

For now, I'm trying to figure out the exact area of the palette used for the terrain grayscale. I tried using the exact same indexes as palette.256 with no luck, but this could simply be because of Ultimate Paint. What happens when you use the wrong indexes? Well, it makes a (mostly) flat terrain map, or (if you're lucky) one that has a few random ups and downs here and there. Actual color doesn't matter, as long as the indexes are correct, though color can help once I find the right ones.

Note: Regardless of height, you will want the location of the mine's exit to have LOW elevation. If it is too high, your mine's exit will be underneath the terrain. I don't know about you, but I do not think that a tunnel that ends underground makes for a good exit. As far as I know it is impossible to set the height of the exit itself.

I plan on updating it as I make new progress into building new terrains, including screenshots when I actually make something cool.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 04:49:43 PM by Enzo03 »
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Offline InsanityBringer

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Re: Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2010, 06:21:36 PM »
I've experimented with this before, using heightmaps built with Nem's tool. It's a little hard to get right, but it's fun once it starts working.

Also, you can use 64x64 IFFs to make custom planet backgrounds and terrain textures.

Offline CrazyEnzo03

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Re: Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2010, 07:36:58 PM »
Eh, well I did know about custom backgrounds and terrain textures but I am trying to get this heightmap stuff working using an editor I haven't heard of until yesterday.
When I worked with Paint Shop Pro I didn't have the problems I am having now with finding the correct color indexes (in PSP they were dead-on with descent's palette, not so much with Ultimate Paint) but I think I'm getting pretty close - I have a rough estimate as to where the indexes are at but I gotta make more tests before I can apply the 32 grayscale colors to the area.

Also, I don't really like Nem's Terrain tool. It's easy to use but I don't find the terrains to be at all realistic unless you put as much effort into modeling the heightmap as if you did it pixel-by-pixel. I guess it doesn't really matter as much when you only have a 16x16 image to deal with, though.
Some people are like Slinkies. They aren't really good or even useful for anything but they always manage to put a little smile on your face when you give them enough of a push down the stairs.

Offline TechPro

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Re: Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 06:24:35 PM »
"Ultimate Paint"?  Meh, If it was me trying to do that, I'd probably use Paint.NET (a totally awesome Photoshop alternative that is totally FREE!).

Offline CrazyEnzo03

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Re: Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 07:45:58 PM »
:-\ Paint.NET doesn't save in .bbm or .iff, etc.
If I open up a perfectly good version of the original lev01ter.bbm in Ultimate Paint, then re-save it, the color indexes it uses change up and the image doesn't work as a heightmap anymore. I'm not sure if there are any plugins for Paint.NET to save to .bbm or .iff but I didn't find anything on the forums about it. I still have to try google but I have my doubts, as I couldn't find anything about paint.NET and .bbm/.iff. I did find a GIMP plugin for saving to .bbm (or maybe .iff), but it has to be compiled on Linux, and nobody has bothered to make a version for any other OSs.
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Offline Kyouryuu

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Re: Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2010, 08:34:14 PM »
I'd also throw in that Photoshop CS3 doesn't seem to save in those format either.

Maybe what you need is an old fashioned graphics converter.  These formats date back to EA's Deluxe Paint, which might be a place to start:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deluxe_Paint

Offline TechPro

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Re: Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 09:13:48 PM »
That's a very good point.  Irfanview (an excellent image editor, also free) has a plug-in that allows it to open IFF files (don't know for BBM).  Of course, there is also Image Converter Plus (supports over 800 formats).

Offline InsanityBringer

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Re: Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2010, 03:05:20 AM »
.BBMs are just .IFFs so anything that supports IFF should load them.

Offline TechPro

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Re: Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2010, 08:25:21 PM »
.BBMs are just .IFFs so anything that supports IFF should load them.

In that case, Irfanview would be my tool of choice ('cause it's free and just so awesome... IMHO).

Offline CrazyEnzo03

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Re: Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2010, 09:30:52 PM »
Irfanview only opens .iff files, it does not save in the format.
Great as it is, it is simply useless for what I am doing.

Update:

Halfway works so far. I've been too busy lately.
Some people are like Slinkies. They aren't really good or even useful for anything but they always manage to put a little smile on your face when you give them enough of a push down the stairs.

Offline Scyphi

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Re: Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 06:18:14 AM »
Hey, that looks pretty good! :D
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Offline CrazyEnzo03

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Re: Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2012, 07:39:21 AM »
I want to renew my development on this.  Does anyone know where I can get  really old versions of paint shop pro?  When I used that tool, everything worked perfectly.
Some people are like Slinkies. They aren't really good or even useful for anything but they always manage to put a little smile on your face when you give them enough of a push down the stairs.

Offline -<WillyP>-

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Re: Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2012, 02:52:50 PM »
I used to use Paint Shop Pro, back when it was owned by Jasc Software, and it was shareware. I use the Gimp now. I don't see .iff or .bbm as an option to export to, though there may be a plugin to do so. If not, you might find a converter that will do the job.
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Offline TechPro

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Re: Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2012, 03:26:32 PM »
I have a really old version (ver 3.11, yeah).  Will that not be too old?

Offline Scyphi

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Re: Making New Escape Sequence Terrains In D1
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2012, 06:38:46 AM »
Oh wow, I remember that old version of Paint Shop Pro. I would've thought you'd have gotten rid of it by now...
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