Author Topic: VGA Editing tools Sierra Used  (Read 858 times)

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Offline cosmicr

VGA Editing tools Sierra Used
« on: May 27, 2023, 02:13:24 AM »
Ok, so I know that sierra famously used scanned images/paintings/etc for the backgrounds in VGA SCI games. I have read somewhere that they developed their own "codec" for scanning the images in (does that mean their file format?) But what I'm interested in is how the images were processed after being scanned.

Specifically, did they use proprietary tools for editing, or something like deluxe paint? How did they reduce the colour depth to 256 colours? I have seen a lot of games reserve the first 32 colours for the UI and other fixed items (like inventory, views, etc), whilst the rest of the palette was dynamic, depending on the background. I would like to know more about their dithering techniques.

For the most part the dithering looks like it's a kind of ordered dithering method, and then touched up manually, but it could be something else.

Does anyone have any insight on how it was done?



Offline Kawa

Re: VGA Editing tools Sierra Used
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2023, 02:23:44 AM »
With "codec" they may either mean a method of actually getting the art into the system, or the file format. Which is the same as an individual cel in a View, wrapped in a "draw this bitmap at this position" command in what used to be purely vector commands.

For editing the art after the fact they could've used anything, perhaps Deluxe Paint which was incredibly popular at the time. One of the old tools we have converts TGA files to pics. Another takes two PCX files, one for visual and one for priority, and makes SCI2 pics from it.

And then of course there's PicEdit, seen below.

Offline Collector

Re: VGA Editing tools Sierra Used
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2023, 09:29:56 AM »
Sierra did use Deluxe Paint. John Shroades cites it as the software he used.
KQII Remake Pic

Offline Collector

KQII Remake Pic

Offline lskovlun

Re: VGA Editing tools Sierra Used
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2023, 06:56:13 PM »
Yep. The tools that Omer posted include various converters to and from PCX and LBM. There are also various tools for palette manipulation.

Offline lskovlun

Re: VGA Editing tools Sierra Used
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2023, 07:30:09 PM »
This one for example. This is called RE. I'm still trying to find out how it works; the palette that RE shows on the left is clearly not right, even though it can load the picture.


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