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Messed up skins: what happened?

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Messed up skins: what happened?

Postby OneManClan » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:02 am

Hey guys

I'm experimenting with a new set of skins (using photoshop), and everything was going well, here's an example of a WIP:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/60268498@N ... hotostream

But something, somewhere, somehow went wrong, and all the new skins have come out like this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/60268498@N ... hotostream

My procedure has been:
1. open pcx skin
2. Change to RGB mode (Image->mode->RGB Color)
3. add extra layers and paint some stuff (THEORY 1: I was using the 'eye dropper' tool to make sure I was only using colours that already existed in other quake skins, and something went wrong)
4. Revert from RGB back to indexed color (Image->mode->Indexed Color) THEORY 2: During this step I noticed that when selecting indexed color, a dialogue box popped up ("Indexed Color"), and the colors were NOT 256, they were another number, a lower number (I don't remember what it was).

Anyway, if someone can diagnose 'what went wrong' with the second skin (and ALL the new skins look like this now!) that would be much appreciated
Last edited by OneManClan on Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Messed up skins: what happened?

Postby Spike » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:35 pm

quakeworld engines require that you use the quake palette in skin pcx files.
the engine doesn't even verify that the palette matches. it just assumes. no warnings, just messed up colours.

its hard to fix such things without breaking skins that contain gibberish palettes.
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Re: Messed up skins: what happened?

Postby OneManClan » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:57 am

Spike wrote:quakeworld engines require that you use the quake palette in skin pcx files.
the engine doesn't even verify that the palette matches. it just assumes. no warnings, just messed up colours.

its hard to fix such things without breaking skins that contain gibberish palettes.


Thanks Spike.

Q1: Are you talking generally, or referring to my example pics? ie are you confirming that the prob was that I used a non-quake colour (rather than some issue with the 'saving format')?

Q2: (just curious) Why would one 'dud' colour mess up *all* the colors in the skin?
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Re: Messed up skins: what happened?

Postby Spike » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:36 pm

A1: Both.

A2: Add a new colour that isn't in the origional palette, and the origional palette cannot be used for that colour.

If you're lucky, there'll be an option to specify the palette to use when converting back to a paletted format - otherwise it'll make up its own palette instead, which is not what you want.
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Re: Messed up skins: what happened?

Postby OneManClan » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:32 am

OneManClan wrote:4. revert from RGB back to indexed color (Image->mode->Indexed Color)


Ok, THIS has been identified as the issue [EDIT: NO, it's more complicated than that, read the whole thread for more info!]. The reason I got confused was that an earlier version of the skin turned out fine, but ... I forgot that that version was a prototype and did not go through the 'indexed color->RGB_>indexed color conversion! And because these conversions were done using a batch/automated 'action', I never noticed that there was a slight change in colours during the conversion. I just tested, by converting a perfect original pcx to RGB, and converting back (ie no other changes), and yes - the colors were messed-up. Lord Havoc (thanks LordH!) suggests that "to edit in rgb and then convert back, you have to know how to convert back properly".. possibly to "keep the original color indexed image around and paste back into that, more or less".

Does anyone have any information as to how to do this?

Btw, the objective behind all this is:

OBJECTIVE: My objective here is to make multiple versions of skins. I'm using layers, so I don't have to redraw each version from scratch, and Photoshop cant do layers with Indexed colour - this is why I'm converting to RGB.

If my whole approach is wrong, I'm happy to try a different procedure if anyone has any ideas.
Last edited by OneManClan on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Messed up skins: what happened?

Postby OneManClan » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:18 pm

Update:

I understand I'm supposed to 'use pallettes' during the 'RGB-> indexed color' process, but I'm obviously doing something wrong. Here's the latest test results:

MAKE A TEST PALETTE (based on this instructional vid)
1. Open tf_scout.pcx in photoshop (this is a perfectly working skin!)
2. Select everything and paste it into a new empty (default) RGB, 8 bit document.
3. With this new untitled document open, go: Image->mode->Indexed Color
4. "Flatten Images?" dialogue box, I answered 'ok'.
5. In the dialogue box "Indexed Color" click on Palette and select "custom"
6. In the dialogue box "Color Table" click on "save"
7. Save as foo.ACT ( I tried .pal as well made no difference)

EDIT THE SKIN
1. Open tf_scout.pcx in photoshop (this is a perfectly working skin!)
2. Image->mode->RGB
3. Image->mode->Indexed Color (converting it back without any changes)
4. In the dialogue box "Indexed Color" click on Palette and select "custom"
5. In the dialogue box "Color Table" click on "load"
6. Select foo.ACT and click on 'load'
7. At the "Color Table" table click on "Ok"
8. At the "Indexed Color" table click on "Ok"
9. Save as pcx

This STILL results in messed up skins (as described in the first post)!!!

What's going on? What have I missed?
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Re: Messed up skins: what happened?

Postby qbism » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:11 pm

Maybe the order of palette colors is not preserved in the process. I'd suggest finding a pcx or gif that you know has the correct palette and colors in the right order. Make a copy and scale it to the size of the desired output. Paste into that instead of a generic 8-bit document.
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Re: Messed up skins: what happened?

Postby leileilol » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:15 pm

i'd also suggest not using photoshop because they may have regressed support for indexed color

I'm not sure how GIMP supports indexed color, but the most i'm familiar with is Paint Shop Pro 3, 4 and 5.

You can also try using Fimg to set the palette of your image.
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Re: Messed up skins: what happened?

Postby frag.machine » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:42 am

leileilol wrote:i'd also suggest not using photoshop because they may have regressed support for indexed color

I'm not sure how GIMP supports indexed color, but the most i'm familiar with is Paint Shop Pro 3, 4 and 5.

You can also try using Fimg to set the palette of your image.



I have two PSP palette files (one with other wihtout fullbrights) for that. I usually work with skins on PSP 3.x (I can hear people like sock crying: "MY EEEYES! AYEEEEE!" :P ) in 24 bit color, and then I reduce the color to Quake palette using such files.

Actually, creating this palette file can be really easy: load up DOSQuake or WinQuake or software QuakeWorld client (you need a software render engine for this, preferentially the vanilla version), take a screen shot (it's saved as .pcx), open it on PSP 3/4 and export the palette (as a .PAL file). To create a non-fullbright palette: open your .PAL file, paint the last 16 colors as black EXCEPT the last pinky quad, which is used for transparency.
I know FrikaC made a cgi-bin version of the quakec interpreter once and wrote part of his website in QuakeC :) (LordHavoc)
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Re: Messed up skins: what happened?

Postby OneManClan » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:46 am

qbism wrote:Maybe the order of palette colors is not preserved in the process. I'd suggest finding a pcx or gif that you know has the correct palette and colors in the right order. Make a copy and scale it to the size of the desired output. Paste into that instead of a generic 8-bit document.


Hi Qbism, thanks for the response.

The settings for the new 8-bit document were determined by the object in the clipboard, ie the (perfectly working) tf_scout.
Here's a screenshot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/60268498@N ... hotostream

Having said that, I had another look, and noticed the 'advanced' section, and a BIG list of options under 'color profile':
http://www.flickr.com/photos/60268498@N ... hotostream

.. which include 'Adobe RGB (1998)'.. but not sure if I'm completely barking up the wrong tree..
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Re: Messed up skins: what happened?

Postby OneManClan » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:59 am

leileilol wrote:i'd also suggest not using photoshop because they may have regressed support for indexed color

I'm not sure how GIMP supports indexed color, but the most i'm familiar with is Paint Shop Pro 3, 4 and 5.

You can also try using Fimg to set the palette of your image.


Hi leileilol.

Wow, I always thought Photoshop (I'm using CS4) could do ANYTHING, but whilst rtfming the field of Quake Graphics, many people regularly suggest using older software, including programs I'd never heard of (eg "Wally", "Microsoft Photodraw 2.0").

I always thought people used old software out of habit, because they didn't need all the features of newer programs, or because (eg Photoshop) seemed unnecessarily complex .. but can it be that Photoshop, the so called 'state of the art' in image manipulation simply *cannot do* certain things ... that the older software can?

Are these older programs a 'simpler option'... or a 'necessity'?
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Re: Messed up skins: what happened?

Postby OneManClan » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:49 am

Apparently (is if things couldn't get more complex!) there are also different PAL formats! Here's a quote from a 1997 (!) README for a program called PALCNVRT:

Now here's a strange thing ... Adobe Photoshop 3.04 saves
the palette of an image using Quake's palette somehow
"reversed". (Note: only happens when saving in Microsoft .PAL
format!) Yep, you heard right ... color 0 = 255, 1 = 254 etc.
Don't ask me why ... simply don't create .PAL files with
Photoshop ... or you're in trouble! Anyway it has no
difficulties in reading Microsoft .PAL files created with
PALCNVRT.


Not sure how valid / relevant this is for Photoshop CS4; the prog he mentions is found here.
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Re: Messed up skins: what happened?

Postby qbism » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:18 am

Is it required for the pcx file colormap to match the Quake palette colormap?

Is it required for the colors to be in the correct order?

If 1 and 2 are true, it is necessary to have a program that preserves the entire colormap and the order when saving. Even if it may not be required, it is a good habit to follow so it can be ruled out as a source of the problem. A preview option of the colormap in a 16x16 grid is also nice. If a program mixes up the order or automatically blacks-out unused colors it is useless for the task.
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Re: Messed up skins: what happened?

Postby Spirit » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:09 am

Did you really pay 1000$ for Photoshop? Geez! As I said in IRC, try GIMP.

The Quake palette can be found at https://raw.github.com/atphalix/eviltoy ... alette.gpl
Put it into where GIMP has put its "palettes" directory on your system. Then do Image -> Mode -> Indexed: Custom -> qplague
Improve Quaddicted, send me a pull request: https://github.com/SpiritQuaddicted/Quaddicted-reviews
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Re: Messed up skins: what happened?

Postby OneManClan » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:12 pm

Spirit wrote:Geez! As I said in IRC, try GIMP.


Ok, ok.. I tried it:

Good News: GIMP does layers - WITHOUT converting to RGB, and managed to export a quake compatible skin!
Bad News: I really REALLY don't want to dump hours and hours of painstakingly detailed work done in Photoshop, so I'm still hoping the 'corrupted' *gulp*.. um .. I mean "currently incompatible" RGB images can be made Quake compatible!

Spirit wrote:The Quake palette can be found at https://raw.github.com/atphalix/eviltoy ... alette.gpl
Put it into where GIMP has put its "palettes" directory on your system. Then do Image -> Mode -> Indexed: Custom -> qplague


Thanks, loaded it, worked. The only weird thing is.. colours in GIMP look slightly different to those in Quake. ie brown on a skin in GIMP, looks like a different shade of brown when the skin is viewed on a .mdl in-game. Is this normal?
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