DC6 Item Conversions

DC6 Item Conversions

Description: by Joel Falcou

Categories: Tutorials (1.09x)


Getting Started ...

While moding your favorite Diablo II version, you'll surely feel the urge
to give it a brand new look. If the simplest way is to change the various screen
background, one of the most appealing temptation is to modify the old look of
our beloved items.


First we gonna talk about the required tools. Basically you need an image
editing application that can handle the most common format like BMP, JPG and
obligatory PCX format. MS Paint could be enough but you could grab a free trial
version of the allmighty Paint Shop Pro at the
JASC website.



Then you'll need the modified version of DC6CON by Paul Siramy, that you could
grab directly at The Phrozenkeep File Center.

It's a MS-DOS based program that should work on every machines.


When you get ready, hang on to the next Section : Mastering the Tools.




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Mastering the Tools


Now you have all the forementioned tools, we gonna take a look at the functions
we'll need to know.


Paint Shop Pro :


These are the following functions you'll use often. Some advanced users
may use others, and I encourage them to send me their tricks. I don't mind
to be omnipotent with this one ;)


  • Load/Save : Obvious isn't it but you get to know how to change

    the output file format by using the combo box of the Save
    As
    function.


    Shortcut : Ctrl+O/F12




  • Resize : This function will help you to get your image into the
    proper size
    . There are many options in this function that we'll see
    later.

    Shortcut : Shift + S





  • Load Palette : The bread 'n butter of us. With this one, you'll easily
    apply the correct
    palette
    to your image. Like the Resize function, the Load Palette function
    is a bit complex and will be described later.

    Shortcut : Shift + O







Modified DC6CON :


The easy one :) Paul has done a good job on this one. Without getting into
the details, there is a little bat file
that will simplify your life. Download it, I'll use it from now.







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Finding Originals



It's often the trickiest part :).



Personnaly I use my friend Google to find out some pictures or artwork that
look like the items I want to convert. The Medeival - Fantasy - Weapons - Armor
keywords in the images seeking sections could do miracles.




However, the major sources of new items are the other RPG. Without any order,
the inventory images from Darkstone, Diablo/Hellfire, Prince of Qin, Nox, Throne
of Darkness, the Baldur's Gate series and alike and many more is perfectly suitable.
Don't hesitate to crawl over fan sites, strategy pages and the like.


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The Conversion Process



Here we'll cover the step-by-step process of converting an item gfx to dc6
format. For this one I'll use an original item from Planescape Torment : the
Godless Priestess Cleavage. Download
the needed files
and let's start !!








First Step : Correcting colors


Open the original BMP file with Paint Shop Pro.








Click to enlarge.



As you see the background is a bit green and some shadows don't look good.
Use the Magic Wand to remove the green background and the obsolete shadows.
You're Cleavage should now look like this :





Click to enlarge.




Now the Cleavage looks fine, open the custom palette that comes with this
tutorial package. Select the custom.pal file, and check that the palette is
applied by using the 'Nearest color matching'.





Click to enlarge.

When you have selected the palette, click on the color box on
the right of the screen. This will open the palette screen where you'll select
the index 0 color. With the custom palette, it looks bright blue. It's intentional.
The actual tin' of this color isn't important. The game use the Palette Index
to generate transparency so if you want to have a purple or green background,
it's up to you BUT its index MUST BE 0.








Click to enlarge


Select the Flood fill tools and fill all the background with your new color.
When the background is a bit tricky to access (fur items, hairs etc ...), use
the Color Replacer to replace all the old background color with the new one.
Your item should now look ike this.





Click to enlarge



Now you get the proper colors on your items, hope to the next step ...


Second Step : Size does matter


All inventory graphics in Diablo II follow a strict pattern. Both width and
height are aligned on a 28 pixels limit. If you look closely to your inventory
screen in-game, you'll see that it's composed of a bunch of little square. Each
of this square is precisely 28x28 pixels. So any items must be composed of an
entire number of such square.


Now, look at your cleavage item. Its size is 34x63. So if you look at a regular
Diablo II armor, its size is 56x84. Yes, you guess it, it's 2x3 squares. So,
as our cleavage fits in these limits, you'll just merge it with a blank image.
If the item was bigger than 56x84, you should use the Resize function in 'Pixel
Reduce' mode. If you use bilinear or bicubic resample, you'll create blurry
pixels that will not fit right with the palette.


With Paint Shop Pro, create a new image (Ctrl+N). Make it 56 pixels wide and
84 pixels high. Turn it on 256 colors and click OK. You should get now two image
: the blank one and the cleavage one.






Click to enlarge


Click in the blank image and load the custom palette (Shift+O). This ensure
that you won't get color distorsions while copying the cleavage to its new container.


Press Ctrl+A to select the whole Cleavage image and then copy it to the clipboard
(Ctrl+C). Click in the blank image and paste the cleavage with Ctrl+E.

Adjust the Cleavage position into the image and press Ctrl+D when you're satisfied
of the result.






Click to enlarge


Now, we've finished with Paint Shop Pro. For safety needs, re-apply the custom
palette. PSP could sometime forget to do it and save it into PCX format with
the Save As ... command. Close all the images and close PSP.



Third Step : DC6 forever


The trickiets part is done now. Copy your pcx into your DC6CON folder. Drag
the file over my dc6item.bat and let dc6con do all the work. If everything is
right, you should get a little dc6 file along in this folder. Rename it to invclvg.dc6.


Copy it into your data\globa\/items folder. Open armor.txt and go to the Quilted
Armor row. In the invfile row, change invqlt to invclvg. Save the file and close
your text edition application. Launch Diablo II using the -direct -txt method,
run a game and go buy a Quilted Armor. Normally you could now equip your sexy
Priestess cleavage ;)







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Tips


Reallife photographs conversion



When using a reallife photograph to create a new item image, some tricks have
to be known. First don't try to cut out the items off its background. Instead
resize the image right now and apply the custom palette. Then cut-off the item
and correct pixels errors. When resizing, use the Bicubic resample options and
check if every pixels stay fine.



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Conclusion


Here we are. Now the Items Gfx Conversions should be easy for anyone of you.
If you got some tips or if you find some errors, feel free to send report to
me.

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[url=https://d2mods.info/forum/kb/viewarticle?a=180&sid=70d3e8363e6957b00993fb47f308b93b]Knowledge Base - DC6 Item Conversions[/url]