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Slime Knight
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Backgrounds 
 PostSat Jul 02, 2011 7:54 am
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Out of curiosity, what programs are everyone using to make backgrounds for battles and such? I'm using Adobe Photoshop CS4, which is great, but I have trouble with colors importing incorrectly.

Also, is it possible to have a background editor in the graphics menu of custom? Or would that be ridiculous since it could technically take up custom's entire screen?
Slime Knight
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 PostSat Jul 02, 2011 9:21 am
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I'm guilty of using MSPaint and enlarging tile-map-tiles. This time I'm planning on using the GIMP or MyPaint. I've stopped using MSPaint since Win7 due to it not being as good for doing pixel art. :/
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 PostSat Jul 02, 2011 11:52 am
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I use my cold bare hands.

Nothing has worked out for me yet.
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Liquid Metal Slime
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Re: Backgrounds 
 PostSat Jul 02, 2011 1:01 pm
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G-Wreck wrote:
Also, is it possible to have a background editor in the graphics menu of custom? Or would that be ridiculous since it could technically take up custom's entire screen?


Technically it already has this feature, though it may not work as well as you would hope. It's actually what I use to make battle backgrounds and it seems to work pretty well for me.

Just use a full, blank maptile set and export it when you're done. Then, import it in as a backdrop.
Cornbread Juice Games
Slime Knight
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 PostSat Jul 02, 2011 2:03 pm
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Meatballsub wrote:
Just use a full, blank maptile set and export it when you're done. Then, import it in as a backdrop.


I tried this once or twice before, and it worked. I just remember it being somewhat irritating.

Guess it's worth another try, though Smile
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostSat Jul 02, 2011 2:10 pm
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Yeah, it's not the most ideal way of doing things, but it works nonetheless. I have a terrible time doing battle backdrops any other way though. Gonk
Cornbread Juice Games
Metal Slime
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 PostSat Jul 02, 2011 2:29 pm
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I use GraphicsGale; I made a blank base thing that used the default OHR palette and just draw stuff from that. It works rather well, although it does take a really long time to make decent-looking stuff.
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Slime Knight
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 PostSat Jul 02, 2011 4:33 pm
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I tried using the map editor again. It's not quite as bad as I thought.

Still not perfect, but I think challenges like these are why I love the OHR. You can do crazy things if you think outside the box.

This is probably what I'll be using now just so I can say all the graphics were made in custom.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostSat Jul 02, 2011 7:04 pm
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I'll usually outline the basic landscape and any specific objects with the line and draw tools in MSPaint; then I'll fill in objects with some general colors using magic wand to contain any stray marks within the lines; then I'll take a 50x30 landscape texture from an exported tileset or screenshot and stamp it wherever I need grass, mountain, beach, or any kind of detailed texture, again keeping the magic wand outlined so that beach doesn't bleed into mountain when I get stamp crazy. I do all of this with the 256-color palette open in another window so that I don't accidentally choose colors that would map incorrectly. In some instances I'll also mess with drop shadow and lighting tools to enhance the image. Once I have a passable version of the backdrop, I'll import it into a throwaway game file as a tileset, fine tune the ugly colors and bleeding colors and whatever else is off about the image, export the final product, and then reimport it into the WIP game file as the official backdrop. This technique has produced screens such as these:













In capable hands this method works wonders. In my hands, it's passable ;)
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Slime Knight
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 PostSun Jul 03, 2011 4:59 am
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Dang it Pepsi, seeing those screens makes me want to play Powerstick Man again.
Luigi is almost as sexy as me!
Slime Knight
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 PostWed Jul 06, 2011 1:42 am
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Pepsi Ranger wrote:
I do all of this with the 256-color palette open in another window so that I don't accidentally choose colors that would map incorrectly.


Why I never thought to do this is a mystery. Genius.

Here's what I've got going so far:

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 PostWed Jul 06, 2011 2:58 pm
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That looks great. How did you end up doing it?
Cornbread Juice Games
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 PostWed Jul 06, 2011 3:56 pm
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I copy/pasted the OHR palette into MS paint, then made 1-point-perspective guides.

Trees and stuff were drawn with the paintbrush then refined with the pencil tool.

The grass was airbrushed, which I'm pretty sure is a no-no for pixel artists (I've already erased the above grass and redid it, it sucked :P ).

I also tried Pepsi's idea of stamping-in textures, but it seemed a bit too assembly-lined for me. Maybe I'm not doing it right.

The biggest thing that helped me, though, was figuring out a rough scale from looking at professionally made backdrops and adapting it to the OHR's dimensions.

Code:
y 0-50 = Background.  Good zone for drawing the sky and very far away objects.

y 51 - 75 = Middle-ground 1.  Good for mid-distance objects, (like the trees in the far left and right of the backdrop I posted).

y 76 - 99 = Middle-ground 2.  Just above the first hero's position.  Good for close-up objects that aren't actually in the battle space.

y 100 - 200 = Foreground.  Most of the battle space will be here.  I figured you might not want to put much more than ground texture and small objects/decorations like rocks, etc. here, unless they're important to the particular battle.


Here's the template I made if you're curious. Feel free to use it if it helps anyone.
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