VGMaps

General Boards => Mapping Tips/Guides => Topic started by: majax79 on April 30, 2009, 05:57:37 PM



Title: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: majax79 on April 30, 2009, 05:57:37 PM
I'd like to request a tutorial using FCEUX for extreme beginners (people who don't know what a sprite is lets say)with very detailed direction.





Title: RE: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: Maxim on May 01, 2009, 06:28:55 AM
1. Take a screenshot of a game. In FCEUX you go to File -> Screenshot or by pressing F12.



2. Make it so the screen moves over a bit, but you can still see a bit from the previous screen. You might let your character run to the right a bit, for example.



3. Take another screenshot.



4. Open both files in an image editor. Using its features, align one over the other, making sure that they're aligned pixel-perfect. (This can be tricky, you might want to try zooming in.)



In Paint, you can do this by choosing Edit -> Paste From for each image in turn, and then dragging them into appropriate positions. There are many other image editors that are better than Paint.



5. Repeat with more screenshots until you have the whole level.



That's the basic part, next you will probably want to tidy up the fact that you have dozens of clones of the main player all over the place, and possibly the same problem with enemies. That can be solved with the image editor but exactly how to do it depends on the editor's features.


Title: RE: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: majax79 on May 01, 2009, 06:42:44 PM
Hm, this is just beyond me. Oh well.


Title: RE: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: snesmaster on May 04, 2009, 06:16:40 AM
You can also just turn off the sprites before captureing the screen shot and that solves the problems of multiple characters and enimies.  I have it set for F4 to do that, however I don't remember if I set that Hot Key up or if that was a default.  But FCEUX can turn off the sprites layer.


Title: RE: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: Peardian on May 04, 2009, 09:53:28 AM
Perhaps we should put together a general screenshot-map-making guide that uses pictures with text labels and can be used for any emulator in general. It'll probably be a lot easier for new users to understand than instruction lists, since there are a lot of visual learners out there.

---

YTT (36%) - WL4 (72%) - PM (45%) - YI (13%)


Title: RE: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: TerraEsperZ on May 04, 2009, 10:22:28 PM
As well as an index that explains basic terms like "screenshot", "sprite", "background color", etc.



---

Current projects: Bucky O'Hare (NES), Metal Storm (NES), Clock Tower (SNES), Ristar-The Shooting Star (Gen), Sonic The Hedgehog (Gen), Sonic CD (Sega CD), Mega Man Zero (GBA), Battletoads (NES)


Title: RE: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: JonLeung on May 06, 2009, 11:31:08 AM
I would hope that anyone who wants to make a screenshot map is at least familiar with what a screenshot is...  (Sure, it wouldn't hurt to define it in an index of terms...but I'm just sayin'.)



A guide might mean higher-quality input (all the forum regulars here know what they're doing, so don't think any statements about sub-par maps refers to any of you), and maybe people will be more appreciative of the work involved when making these maps.



I try to show VGMaps.com to my co-workers, but unless they play games, they simply don't get it.  It wasn't until I brought in my framed Light World map into the office and explained to them it would take a minimum of 304 screenshots - but realistically over a thousand - to assemble that image, did they seem to realize what the deal was.  Somehow showing them the same map on a monitor doesn't generate enough awe.  Weird.



In the same sense, I wonder how many people click through maps here and not really understand that they could take several hours or even days to make?


Title: RE: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: DarkWolf on May 06, 2009, 02:33:05 PM
I tried recording a small session of the last map I did, but the resulting file size was just too big.


Title: RE: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: Revned on May 06, 2009, 06:19:29 PM
It seems like you could make a YouTube-quality video as long as you had voice-overs or subtitles. You don't necessarily need high quality, as long as they can see the screenshots being aligned.


Title: RE: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: majax79 on May 09, 2009, 04:23:14 PM
A visual tutorial and index of terms would be terrific. That could bring in some new people and that could only help, right?



I could see if all 677 licensed NES games were already mapped but they're not.


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: majax79 on March 22, 2010, 02:02:31 AM
I finally figured out how to remove both the objects and background in FCEUX. For some reason when I use a hotkey to pause the game the display options wouldn't work. Hallelujah!!!

I also changed my fceux.cfg file "gNoBGFillColor" to "100" (pink).

So, I'm now moving on to trying to put the pictures together. I'm using Day Dreamin' Davey (NES) to begin with. I'm starting simple and just trying to do level 1 without transposing the knight or anything like that.

My question is what image editor do you recommend to work with for a basic splicing together of images?

Also, when I take a screenshot my taskbar and fceux titlebar get into the screenshot. Is that what you guys/gals normally have or do you eliminate those items?

P.s. thanks to the TerraEsperZ for helping me in the Robowarrior thread. For some reason it all clicked when I reread your post.


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: Maxim on March 22, 2010, 02:29:45 AM
Are you taking a screenshot using Windows (PrintScreen key, paste) or the emulator (File -> Screenshot or F12)? The latter is preferred, it should avoid any stretching or filtering and should contain only the game screen.

Everyone uses different image editors. The biggest three are probably:

1. Paint. Comes with Windows, almost no features.
2. Photoshop. $$$, every feature you can imagine.
3. Paint Shop Pro 7 or less. Not sold any more, but I like it.

You can also use tools to help wrangle the hundreds of screenshots you end up with. I know of:

1. Windows Explorer. I just turn on thumbnails.
2. Irfanview. Great for batch operations like cutting off status bars.
3. Command prompt. I do a lot of del "Game Name (*).png"


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: majax79 on March 22, 2010, 05:13:21 PM
Omg, I'm an idiot, lol. I had setup F12 hotkey for screenshot on FCEUX earlier in the day and forgot about it.

Thanks Maxim. I can get paint shop pro 7 and give that a try.
I want to try just adding two together to see how it works. Any tips on how to combine screenshots?


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: majax79 on March 23, 2010, 01:28:44 AM
Ok, I have paint shop pro 7.04. Do you use the animation shop for anything?


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: Maxim on March 23, 2010, 03:25:24 AM
Animation Shop is useless.

> Any tips on how to combine screenshots?

This is where it depends on the tool. In PSP7, here's how I do it.

1. Load the first screenshot
2. Expand the canvas size. Image -> Canvas Size -> type some suitable numbers based on how you expect the map to grow.
3. Save this as a .psp file. This is our "master file".
4. Load the second screenshot.
5. Ctrl+C (copy to clipboard), then Ctrl+F4 (close).
6. Go to the "master file" and press Ctrl+E. Now what you have is a "floating selection". Move it with your mouse and click to place it. It's not permanent yet.
7. Select either the "Mover" or "Selection" tool.
8. Drag the selection around until it exactly lines up with the overlapped part. To double check, you can hit Delete (to delete the new shot) then Ctrl+Z to undo that. If it's perfectly lined up, you'll see no "jumps" in the overlapped area. You should be able to use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out, you'll probably want to zoom in to see the pixels clearly.
9. Deselect (Ctrl+D) to permanently add the new part to the image.
10. Ctrl+S occasionally.

There are other ways to do it. I tend to get busy with the Eraser tool to remove sprites between steps 8 and 9. I also use the grid to help check alignment, and use the layers feature to split the sprites from the background to help me make them consistent. But that's extra complication, work on the basics first.


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: TerraEsperZ on March 23, 2010, 06:31:43 AM
Obviously, we all can only speak about the tools we each personally use. I tend to do most of the work in Paint except for more advanced stuff like transparencies or removing specific colors on a large scale.

I'm not sure I have the patience to write a tutorial that goes into each and every little detail with accompanying screenshot, so I'm currently researching how to easily make a video of my desktop since it would be both much faster and more natural to mention all those little details, not to mention being easier to understand for beginners.


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: Peardian on March 23, 2010, 07:23:23 AM
Perhaps a short video would be good in this case? Alas, I have no way to do it myself or I would.


A little trick I use, in case you're not sure you lined it up correctly, is to use Undo and Redo (ctrl+z and ctrl+y) real quick. If the ground seems to shift slightly (don't worry about sprites or parallax backgrounds) then you know you have to redo it. If the ground doesn't change at all (might need to be zoomed in) then you know you placed it correctly.


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: majax79 on March 24, 2010, 02:30:19 AM
Thanks Maxim I'll give it a try tomorrow. After I get done with level 1 in Day Dreamin' Davey I'll post it.

A video tutorial would be cool.


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: Trop on March 24, 2010, 04:29:23 PM
Didn't I already post this somewhere?

http://www.vgmapper.com/Lab/RawMapGuide.png

And you're doing Day Dreamin' Davey too?  Somebody already requested a level from me.  Easy game to map.


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: Maxim on March 25, 2010, 03:42:53 AM
Perhaps a short video would be good in this case? Alas, I have no way to do it myself or I would.
Camstudio is free and works pretty well in my experience. You need to do a bit of work to get it on YouTube though - mpeg-4 lossless works pretty well for that.


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: TerraEsperZ on March 25, 2010, 08:52:55 AM
Thanks for the suggestion Maxim. I had done a bit of researching on that issue that program did come out as the best free option. Unfortunately, I won't be able to do anything on the subject until this weekend.

(And even then I'm afraid it will be impossibly amateurish, on account of me having never done any video in my life.)


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: DarkWolf on March 25, 2010, 10:02:08 AM
I used Camstudio once to try and make a video tutorial but I couldn't get the file size small enough while still showing enough detail.  Good luck though.


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: majax79 on March 25, 2010, 10:03:27 PM
Can I send my psp file to someone so they can tell me what I'm doing wrong?


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: Maxim on March 26, 2010, 12:14:02 AM
I'll have a look, you could attach them here.


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: majax79 on March 27, 2010, 06:31:48 PM
Ok, I renamed the psp extension to jpg so I could upload it here. I only tried two screenshots to begin with.


Title: Re: Request: Tutorial for extreme beginners
Post by: Maxim on March 29, 2010, 02:07:47 AM
Well, here it is in PNG format for those reading along. So long as it's a flat image, you can always save to PNG and not lose any information.

What I see is two parts of the level that don't overlap. Because of that, I can't make them line up. This may be because of the black status bar at the bottom of the screen which might have obliterated a chunk of the first screenshot.

There's a few options:

1. Cut off the status bar before copy/pasting the second screenshot. Use the Selection tool (shortcut: S) to select just the parts that are wanted (also avoid the left column that is solid green).
2. Use the Eraser tool (shortcut: E) set to maximum "hardness" and a size of about 16 to erase the status bar while it is still "floating"
3. Use Irfanview to batch crop the screenshots. That's a little more advanced.


Title: Rewind tool
Post by: feos on June 13, 2011, 12:04:28 AM
Let's imagine, you're ripping stuff & have missed something during the gameplay.
You don't need to play from the begining, or even from the savestate, you can REWIND & catch what you need.

There are 2 ways for it. One is more complicated & requires using the LUA script, that allows rewind. And another is rather simple, it is about using the inbuilt TAS Edit tool of FCEUX. You either record a movie, load it for playback & the open TAS Edit, or you play in TAS Edit from the beginning, easily rewinding & playing around with layers.

To play in TAS Edit itself, you load your ROM, go to Tools - TAS Edit, pless Q button (it allows you to record with you keyboard or gamepad) making movie Read+Write, & switching TAS Edit to Recording mode. Then you shall unpause emulation. Pless || button in TAS Edit, or use the Pause hotkey (can be configured though Config - Map Hotkeys). If your input doesn't take any effect while the game is running, uncheck Attach four-score in Config - Input. The rewind itself may be done by double-clicking on the frame number, that sends emulation to this frame, or by pressing < button (frame by frame).

Video demo of how to use TAS Edit
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAlV7dVtE_8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAlV7dVtE_8)

PS: use the latest build (http://fceux.com/web/download.html) of FCEUX to have all necessary functions.