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Author Topic: Image editors  (Read 3652 times)
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« on: August 17, 2007, 03:12:04 AM »

I'm impatient for the discussion from here to continue. So anyway, we all seem to have semi-irrational attachments to particular image editors. Apart from the obvious - not destroying colours and saving to a lossless format, hopefully true for all editors - I'd say these features are the ones that are most important for map-making:

1. Configurable grid (eg. 8x8, 16x16, 32x32) to double-check alignments and with a "snap to grid" ability for selection and pasting

2. Non-rectangular selection/copy/paste ability

3. Fast/easy eyedropper operations

4. Layers, if mapping a game with layers

5. Reasonable keyboard controls for most features

My editor is PSP7, which (in my dishonest opinion) is the last good PSP before the bloat balance and lack of focus on pixel-pushing tipped the scales in PSP8. I've never seriously used Photoshop or Gimp, and I have no wish to fall back to Paint unless I can help it. It has some bugs (I crash it frequently) and some annoying keystrokes and lacks thereof. I'd also say the "texture brush" is a killer feature, and probably saved me a few hours mapping Micro Machines 2. Basically, it allows you to flood-fill, paint and colour-replace with a tiled bitmap such that (if you don't make it do otherwise) all of the applied areas line up perfectly, a bit like the tartan ("plaid") paint in old cartoons, if you will.

I just remembered how, many years ago, I resource-hacked PSP (v3.12 at the time) to have different keyboard shortcuts. I wonder if it'd take in PSP7? (It tends to fall foul of anti-crack detection.)

If any of this requires further explanation, just say. What image editor do you use, and why would you recommend it? What am I missing out on?
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2007, 01:21:40 PM »

I won't be home this weekend, but I'll be contributing to this on monday once I'm back


"With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably." [...] The first time any man's freedom is trodden on, we're all damaged. - Captain Jean-Luc Picard

B*tch, meet reality. Reality, meet b*tch. - Me

Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2007, 08:22:50 AM »

I don't use anything special.  I use Paint mainly.  I have a copy of PSP4 for a few things Paint can't do (like palette adjustment) and proper resizing for screens caught with SSF.

For batch processing or programmatic editing, I use PHP and the GD library functions.
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2007, 11:12:02 AM »

Funny how you mentioned "semi-irrational attachments" and Paint Shop Pro v3.12 specifically, since I continue to use that.  It's usually enough for what I want to do, and feels better than plain old Paint.

I've tried Paint Shop Pro 7 and dislike how the "select rectangular area" tool seems a pixel off, and there doesn't seem to be any added value to PSP 7 for me to learn to compensate.

I have GIMP 2.0 for some of the more advanced things that PSP 3.12 can't do, or can't do easily.  Most of the time, that involves transparencies.  I don't remember the last time I did anything with parallax (other than my Super Kid Icarus maps) but layers and stuff I guess I do in GIMP 2.0 as well.

I have PhotoShop somewhere, which as I mentioned in the other topic, is something I should make time to learn (or really, just make time to find out where all the commands are), since that's something I could put on my resum?.  Not that there's much value in that anymore, but more than something obscure.

I've never been dependent on a grid overlay, despite following "The Grid" being something I always strive to do and expect everyone to follow.  I guess I wouldn't mind being spoiled if the function is already in GIMP 2.0 or PSP 3.12 somewhere.  Revned's Tile Slicer/Splicer is a good check for that, too.

Of course, most of the above is moot if I don't have time to make maps.  Though I still do a lot of work for the site in Paint Shop Pro, like how I am considering doing the "one new thumbnail a day" again since I'm like fifty thumbnails behind like I was late last year...
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2007, 03:18:18 PM »

The rectangle selection is fine so long as you drag top-left -> bottom-right, else it does that thing that makes sense from a programming point of view. With the grid on it's not an issue.
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