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Thread: How do I edit a Units.gif file?

  1. #1
    AGRICOLA
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    How do I edit a Units.gif file?

    I've had no difficulty in using MsPaint to make minor changes to scenario bitmap files to better suit my preferences. However, I would also like to very slightly edit the current Units.gif file to make a couple units more visible when they are in highly congested parts of the game map.

    MsPaint can't seem to do it; the game won't load after any alteration. I have IrfanView v3.85and PaintShop Pro v8 available but not installed.

    Any suggestions re the proper software and procedure would be greatly appreciated by my sore eyes.
    Excerpts from the Manual of the Civilization Fanatic :

    Money can buy happiness, just raise the luxury rate to 50%.
    Money is not the root of all evil, it is the root of great empires.

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    fairline
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    I always had problems with MSPaint, which doesn't seem to cope with the civ palette. I would recommend using PaintShop Pro. Always work with an existing units file in 256 colours and, to be on the safe side, load up the civ palette from the original MPS units file before saving.

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    Mercator
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    It's not the palette Paint has a problem with, it's the file format. It can only save as GIF89a, while civ2 wants GIF87a. But PSP will work nicely.

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    Elok
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    Or, if you have FW, just save as a BMP. I like MSPaint, it's nice and simple...'course, I'm a crappy artist, but I still like it.
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  5. #5
    Harry Tuttle
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    The cool thing about PSP 8 is that you can convert bitmaps into gif's and vice versa by simply loading the Civ2 palette and saving. I use MS-Paint and bitmap format most of the time because it's just quicker and easier.

    I suggest using MS-Paint for unit creating with a nice Civ2 palette block in your scratch work for easy color grabbing. When each unit is done, plop them into the units.gif/bmp grid and convert using PSP 8 if need be.

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    AGRICOLA
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    @ fairline

    Originally posted by fairline
    to be on the safe side, load up the civ palette from the original MPS units file before saving.


    Thank you for your suggestion but, in my ignorance, I can't figure out what you mean or how to do it. Unfortunately you're dealing with a klutz who takes derives great joy from just being able to change ration, trade and shield icons to simple, single colour geometric shapes.

    EDIT
    Slight cross post here with Harry Tuttle. I really do need a few more details about uploading palettes.

    Last edited by AGRICOLA; May 2, 2004 at 09:48.
    Excerpts from the Manual of the Civilization Fanatic :

    Money can buy happiness, just raise the luxury rate to 50%.
    Money is not the root of all evil, it is the root of great empires.

  7. #7
    Mercator
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    So you're using PSP8?

    • Open up the standard Units.gif in PSP
    • Go to Image > Palette > Save Palette... and save the palette with a nice name. You should probably save it as a Microsoft palette, so Paint can also use it ( can Paint load a palette?).


    You can now load the default civ2 palette anytime you want using Image > Palette > Load Palette....

  8. #8
    Harry Tuttle
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    Originally posted by Mercatore Uno
    So you're using PSP8?

    • Open up the standard Units.gif in PSP
    • Go to Image > Palette > Save Palette... and save the palette with a nice name. You should probably save it as a Microsoft palette, so Paint can also use it ( can Paint load a palette?).


    You can now load the default civ2 palette anytime you want using Image > Palette > Load Palette....
    Nope, MS-Paint, at least the one I've always seen, cannot load a palette. The only good thing is that the program isn't as cumbersome as PSP8.

  9. #9
    curtsibling
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    PaintShop Pro is the tool to use!

  10. #10
    AGRICOLA
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    Thank you all for your collective wisdom and advice.

    OK, PSP8 it will be, though I didn't like the way it took over when I still had Windows Me. PSP icons on all graphics files. Again, many thanks.

    @curtsibling

    This is all your fault. I've got so many Recon Planes running around (Aug '14) that they are getting lost in the congestion around Germany's borders.
    Excerpts from the Manual of the Civilization Fanatic :

    Money can buy happiness, just raise the luxury rate to 50%.
    Money is not the root of all evil, it is the root of great empires.

  11. #11
    Mercator
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    Originally posted by AGRICOLA
    PSP icons on all graphics files.
    I think you can choose that during installation. If not, you can change in the program preferences which file formats you want to have associated with PSP. File > Preferences > File Format Associations

  12. #12
    GoPostal
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    Attached is a zip containing the Civ2 palette files - 1 for all gifs, one for city.gif . When you switch to indexed mode, select custom palette, and the load this one.

  13. #13
    Elok
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    What's so essential about GIFs? Do they save space or something?

    GoPostal: I'm not seeing the ZIP.
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  14. #14
    GoPostal
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    Oh, crud, forgot. Gifs are the smallest, and easier with PSE
    Attached Files Attached Files

  15. #15
    Mercator
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    You do NOT need more than one palette. The palette of the units.gif is all civ2 uses.

    So actually, it's probably best to load the units.gif palette for all your graphics, that way you're sure you will see in civ2 what you see in your image editor. When loading it for existing civ2 graphics, be sure to use the "maintain indexes" option when loading the palette.

    And not to forget, it will also get rid of the problem with the two shades of grey in some of the graphics files.

    The only advantage with GIFs, I guess, is that pre-FW versions can also use it. And they are indeed much smaller. But Zipped bitmaps are actually smaller than Zipped GIFs. Many people still have limited bandwidth, but most have nearly unlimited harddisk space, so using bitmaps would actually be better in that respect.

    Edit: There are actually 3 ways to save an image:
    (1) GIF
    (2) run-length encoded bitmap
    (3) uncompressed bitmap

    Uncompressed, GIFs are the smallest by far (~50kB), then RLE encoded bitmaps (~100kB), then uncompressed bitmaps (~300kB).

    When zipped, it's the other way around. Uncompressed bitmaps are the smallest (~45kB), then RLE bitmaps (~50kB), and GIFs (~52kB).

    That concludes our computer science class for today...
    Last edited by Mercator; May 3, 2004 at 08:49.

  16. #16
    Elok
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    PSE? Is that Paint Shop Extreme or something?
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  17. #17
    Mercator
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    I think it's Photoshop Elements. A "light" version of Photoshop.

  18. #18
    AGRICOLA
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    @GoPostal

    Thank you for the palettes. I've used them and the great advice from many people to convert an absolutely jewel-like result of the graphic artist's skill into something that is visible at 10 metres. Sometimes expediency can produce a result that does the job but is nothing that one has any reason to be proud of.
    Excerpts from the Manual of the Civilization Fanatic :

    Money can buy happiness, just raise the luxury rate to 50%.
    Money is not the root of all evil, it is the root of great empires.

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