Author Topic: SCI0 picture size limits when importing from bmp  (Read 944 times)

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Offline robbo007

SCI0 picture size limits when importing from bmp
« on: February 22, 2024, 06:05:41 PM »
Hi guys,
I've been using Aseprite to draw my pictures as its a lot faster than using the built in drawing tools in SC. Size and disk space restrictions are posing to be a real challenge for my game.

Does anyone know the ins and outs of Phil's algorithm that converts BMP to vector? I've got two backgrounds that look visually very similar. One imports fine using 65120 bytes and the other is using 72228 bytes when imported. Too big for SCI0.  What things influence the size increase? Is it a certain colour? The dithering, or certain shapes? Here are my examples:

b-top-down.bmp imports using 65120 bytes and b-top-left.bmp import using 72228 bytes..

I add views to these basic background pictures to spice them up a little. Rocks, trees and other things...



« Last Edit: February 22, 2024, 06:10:21 PM by robbo007 »



Offline Kawa

Re: SCI0 picture size limits when importing from bmp
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2024, 06:10:19 PM »
I don't know the ins and outs but I do know the auto-tracer does not know what a dither fill is.

Or even what a fill is for that matter.

If you scrub through the result you'll see that fills are done line by line and dither patterns dot by dot. So the second best suggestion I can give you is "don't use dither patterns".

Offline robbo007

Re: SCI0 picture size limits when importing from bmp
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2024, 05:47:41 AM »
Ok thanks, yeah I did sort of see that. I wonder if Phil will optimise the import algorithm at some point.  Being able to use external tools to draw the BMP's is a massive advantage. I'll have to hack and chop these backgrounds and see if SC will take them.

I was trying to be clever by creating a "matrix" design where I could use 6 basic backgrounds with various views chopped up like rocks, trees etc and then build about 30 rooms with these parts. Thus reducing the over all size of the resource.000. My resource.000 is 4MB at present and can grow to about 8mb tops as I want to ship this on 5 1/4" floppy disks. So size is the limiting form factor here.

Vector drawing is obviously the way to go but not an option in my case :(
 

Offline lskovlun

Re: SCI0 picture size limits when importing from bmp
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2024, 06:47:09 AM »
I was trying to be clever by creating a "matrix" design where I could use 6 basic backgrounds with various views chopped up like rocks, trees etc and then build about 30 rooms with these parts.
That's what LSL3 did with the jungle screens.

Offline mnicolella

Re: SCI0 picture size limits when importing from bmp
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2024, 12:28:48 PM »
Why is vector drawing not an option? Could you draw like you are now, and then make another pass where you use that as a guide to draw the vector art? Maybe you could find a tool where you could put your bitmap in the background so you could trace over it with vector drawing tools?

Offline Kawa

Re: SCI0 picture size limits when importing from bmp
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2024, 12:40:26 PM »
Maybe you could find a tool where you could put your bitmap in the background so you could trace over it with vector drawing tools?
That is literally a feature in SCI Companion.

Historical fun near-fact, something I concluded from the evidence: the original PE tool having digitizer support (think old-ass drawing tablet) plus the existence of pencil sketches implies to me that certain Sierrra artists drew their backgrounds on paper as black on white pencil sketches, stuck 'em under the laminate of the digitizer, and "traced" that way.

Offline Collector

Re: SCI0 picture size limits when importing from bmp
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2024, 01:02:47 PM »
Didn't SCI Studio have a feature to open an image to trace for its PIC editor?

There have been a number of tools to convert raster to vector. Both Adobe and Corel had such utilities to convert to Illustrator or Draw vector formats. I would imagine that there is an OSS project out there to convert from raster to SVG. Now whether or not there would be some way to convert from SVG to SCI Pic format or not would be the question. I would love to be able to work in CorelDRAW to create SCI Pics, even if I had to wait to add fills, etc. until after importing to Companion.
KQII Remake Pic

Offline Kawa

Re: SCI0 picture size limits when importing from bmp
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2024, 01:12:13 PM »
Yeah, you might think something like SVG to PIC might be an option but the very way they work is too different. Particularly in how filled shapes work: there are no "shapes" in an SCI picture, and there are no flood fills in off-the-shelf vector systems, only fills for those shapes.

So if you have to limit yourself to only drawing the shapes and doing the fills "in post" (that is, in SCI Companion), even then you'd have the added limitation of only being allowed to use simple, straight lines. Sure, you could have entire paths from A to B to C, instead of going A to B then starting a new line from B to C, but I feel like you'd still lose basically every advantage to using an external vector editor.

Offline lskovlun

Re: SCI0 picture size limits when importing from bmp
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2024, 02:22:01 PM »
mnicolella: You don't happen to have/be able to glean an answer to this question over at Jimmy Maher's site, do you?
Quote from: Eden
But no amount of resource-file prying answers the central question: to what extent was The Realm an abandoned Quest for Glory title? The most I?ve been able to find is summed up on a page from the QFG wiki (linked at bottom.) If the title crosses your radar again, I?ll be curious if you turn up anything more.
https://www.filfre.net/2024/02/the-rise-of-pomg-part-3-competition-and-conflict/

Offline lance.ewing

Re: SCI0 picture size limits when importing from bmp
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2024, 05:39:52 PM »
Historical fun near-fact, something I concluded from the evidence: the original PE tool having digitizer support (think old-ass drawing tablet) plus the existence of pencil sketches implies to me that certain Sierrra artists drew their backgrounds on paper as black on white pencil sketches, stuck 'em under the laminate of the digitizer, and "traced" that way.

I know that this is how they were doing it immediately prior to the AGI era. That 1982/3 youtube video that Ken Williams posted on the Colossal Cave channel shows Roberta sitting next to one of the game artists (fairly sure it is Michelle Pritchard) and the artist is tracing a black and white sketch of a picture on top of an Apple Graphics Tablet. This is for The Dark Crystal Hires Adventure. They most likely carried this technique into the AGI era, as the KQ project had already started when The Dark Crystal was released, and then perhaps from there into the start of the SCI era.

Here is another fun fact that I don't think we've discussed previously. Ken Williams included a pencil sketch in his book from a few years ago that shows the AGI priority bands and how they work. The sketch was drawn by Juha Terho. It can been seen on the following page (and may have been sourced by Ken W from that page):

http://agiwiki.sierrahelp.com/index.php/The_Making_of_an_AGI_Background_Picture

I wonder if Juha knows this. Its nice to see that Ken included something from the fan community in his book.

Offline Kawa

Re: SCI0 picture size limits when importing from bmp
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2024, 05:49:00 PM »
I based it on the SCI Picture Editor having a calibration function, but this is good confirmation.

Offline mnicolella

Re: SCI0 picture size limits when importing from bmp
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2024, 05:02:44 PM »
mnicolella: You don't happen to have/be able to glean an answer to this question over at Jimmy Maher's site, do you?
Quote from: Eden
But no amount of resource-file prying answers the central question: to what extent was The Realm an abandoned Quest for Glory title? The most I?ve been able to find is summed up on a page from the QFG wiki (linked at bottom.) If the title crosses your radar again, I?ll be curious if you turn up anything more.
https://www.filfre.net/2024/02/the-rise-of-pomg-part-3-competition-and-conflict/

My understanding is that at some point close to The Realm's alpha version shipping, the Coles were asked to come on board to design and implement quests, and there was some talk about turning it into "Quest for Glory Online". The quest infrastructure in The Realm was too primitive and the Coles declined to become involved.

There is an image supporting this in The Realm's old resource files (attached), but I don't believe at the game's inception that it was the goal.



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