VGMaps

General Boards => Mapping Tips/Guides => Topic started by: Piranhaplant on December 07, 2008, 09:02:14 PM

Title: Background Styles
Post by: Piranhaplant on December 07, 2008, 09:02:14 PM
I'm working on a new level of Yoshi's Island, and I am considering two background styles to use.  



Style 1

The background is put in at full size.



http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp54/pirahnplant/Yoshis%20Island/SWM2YI-W4-A1--1.png



Stlye 2

The background is scaled up 200%



http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp54/pirahnplant/Yoshis%20Island/SWM2YI-W4-A1--2.png



Which one do you think looks better.

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Games I have mapped--Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES), Mario Party 3 (N64), Super Mario Bros Deluxe (GBC), New Super Mario Bros. (DS), Mario Kart DS (DS)
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: TerraEsperZ on December 07, 2008, 09:24:30 PM
My problem is that seen from that far away, you don't really get to see how bad the background might clash with the main map once enlarged. How about posting full-size versions of the two maps for a real comparison?



But personally, I try to never change the size of a background; I'll edit it instead, like adding more cloud rows or repeating sections if I can make it look good.



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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: Background Styles
Post by: Will on December 07, 2008, 11:19:58 PM
I find the second background looks better becasue it shows more mountains which gives you the feeling you're still on the ground and not  ridiculously high up in the sky as the first background seems to show, even if is full size and genuinely ripped. I think your idea to scale up to 200% was very creative Piranhaplant. On the other hand, if it wasn't originally like that, its going to stir players who might look at both the game and the maps. I'm sure you and Terra will make the perfect choice in the end.
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: TerraEsperZ on December 08, 2008, 12:10:11 AM
It's not my decision to make Will :P!



The only real problem I think is that an enlarged background might look too pixelated compared to the foreground. It really depends.



Personally, if *I* had to do it, I'd enlarge the background by an integer factor (2, 3, etc) so all the pixels remain the same size. I'd also try and use one those fancy pixel resizing algorithms like Super Eagle, Super 2xSaI, or hq2x, because they smoothen the resulting images in a way that still make it look like your average pixel art instead of the blurry mess with blended colors that most resizing utility usually output.



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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: Background Styles
Post by: Peardian on December 08, 2008, 08:40:16 AM
Though it does somewhat distort how the background is interpreted (like Will said, causing exaggerated sense of height), I myself would choose the normal size like in style 1. It's what I do for my Wario Land 4 and Yoshi Topsy-Turvy maps (with few exceptions), whose backgrounds sometimes would have to be stretched 2-3 times their size to fit the room they're in. From what I've experienced, it generally looks better when compared with the foreground and, though it distorts how the room may be seen, it can, depending on the shape of the level, look more "accurate". In the room you posted, for the most part the background is pretty close to how you would see it in-game for the first half of the room. I've tried resized backgrounds and can be a bit disorienting.



But that's just me.



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YTT (32%) - WL4 (60%) - PM (25%)
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: marioman on December 08, 2008, 09:40:47 AM
Style 1.



It looks more like the original game.  Keep in mind that these maps are probably not going to be viewed at the original screen size because people are going to want to see where the items are.  Therefore, using the original background size will make the maps look more like the actual game.
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: Piranhaplant on December 08, 2008, 04:33:26 PM
I have updated the urls, you should now be able to see them in full size.  Photobucket resized them automatically.

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Games I have mapped--Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES), Mario Party 3 (N64), Super Mario Bros Deluxe (GBC), New Super Mario Bros. (DS), Mario Kart DS (DS)
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: TerraEsperZ on December 08, 2008, 04:38:44 PM
Although I really think Style 1 is better in principle, in that particular case Style 2 does work pretty well, but I chalk it up to Yoshi's Island peculiar art style.



I tried something similar with other games and it always ended up looking pretty horrible, but in this case I can't honestly object. I wonder if the other backgrounds in the game would look as good though. If you can, please post more example.



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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: Background Styles
Post by: Revned on December 08, 2008, 07:31:23 PM
Seeing them full size, I'm going to have to put in a vote for #1. The second one just doesn't seem right to me. There's only so much you can do to represent a dynamic map with one image.
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: Mahrla on December 08, 2008, 07:39:22 PM
Just played Yoshi's Island DS and the background in pic 2 just looks too big compared to the foreground.

So style 1.
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: Raccoon Sam on December 08, 2008, 09:24:15 PM
Beautiful job.

Style 1 btw
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: Maxim on December 09, 2008, 02:35:05 AM
I vote for 1.
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: RT 55J on December 09, 2008, 12:39:43 PM
Style 2 looks surprisingly good. Honestly, either one would work perfectly for the level.

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"its a good day to do what has to be done by me and help my brother to defeat the enemys" - John Freeman
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: Piranhaplant on December 09, 2008, 02:12:28 PM
I'm going to test out this background resizing with the underground section of that same level.



Style 1--BG 100%



http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp54/pirahnplant/Yoshis%20Island/SMW2YI-W4-A1-Sub.png



Style 2--BG 200%



http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp54/pirahnplant/Yoshis%20Island/SMW2YI-W4-A1-Sub-2.png



Thanks to everyone who has commented, I appreciate your help.

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Games I have mapped--Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES), Mario Party 3 (N64), Super Mario Bros Deluxe (GBC), New Super Mario Bros. (DS), Mario Kart DS (DS)
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: Revned on December 09, 2008, 02:43:21 PM
Hmm. Now the second one looks better to me...
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: marioman on December 09, 2008, 03:23:30 PM
I still like Style 1.  You can see more of the sky.
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: RT 55J on December 09, 2008, 08:52:59 PM
Style 1 looks better in this case.

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"its a good day to do what has to be done by me and help my brother to defeat the enemys" - John Freeman
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: Maxim on December 10, 2008, 03:16:03 AM
I'd donate <link> and <pic> items to PirahnaPlant but this silly forum doesn't allow it until he has more fairy dust or something. Jon, can't you upgrade him or something?
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: JonLeung on December 10, 2008, 07:10:25 AM
Or I could just give those items to him.  Like I just did.  :P
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: Piranhaplant on December 10, 2008, 02:56:42 PM
The next section in this level is completely flat, so the background will be easy to put in, but I have made another option for the first part of the level.  In this picture the background is at 100%, but I have moved the clouds so that they in actually behind the mountains like you would see in-game.



http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp54/pirahnplant/Yoshis%20Island/SWM2YI-W4-A1--3.png

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Games I have mapped--Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES), Mario Party 3 (N64), Super Mario Bros Deluxe (GBC), New Super Mario Bros. (DS), Mario Kart DS (DS)
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: Revned on December 10, 2008, 03:47:50 PM
I prefer the new one. It makes the mountains look big, unlike before when they didn't even reach the clouds.



By the way, this is how you make clickable thumbnails:

< link >url(< pic >image< /pic >)< /link >

Without the spaces. To get thumbnail images on Photobucket, it looks like you just add th_ before the filename. For Imageshack, change the extension to .th.png, or similar. Example:



User posted image
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: Piranhaplant on January 10, 2009, 10:27:56 PM
I have another problem with the next level.  I need to fit this background with this level.  Any suggestions?

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Games I have mapped--Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES), Mario Party 3 (N64), Super Mario Bros Deluxe (GBC), New Super Mario Bros. (DS), Mario Kart DS (DS)
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: TerraEsperZ on January 10, 2009, 10:56:21 PM
For one, I can isolate a 512 x 272 pixels section in that background that repeats over and over horizontally. If accuracy is important to you, I'd crop it along the separation between 16 x 16 tiles like the edge of a waterfall.



Vertically is a very different matter. This background could only tile vertically with lots of editing to match the waterfalls and rock structures if you care about that. Or you could just tile it as is, and hope people don't notice the discontinuity too much.



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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: Background Styles
Post by: Peardian on January 11, 2009, 01:15:50 AM
Unless I'm mistaken the full background itself is 512x512, which would not only be tall enough to fill the map, but tile perfectly horizontally as well. In fact, the background you posted could tile horizontally if you cropped it to 512.



As for actually acquiring the full 512 in height, I'm not sure... You might have to get it from another room that uses the same background and match the palette.

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YTT (34%) - WL4 (60%) - PM (34%)
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: Piranhaplant on January 11, 2009, 01:34:42 PM
Thanks for your help.  It turns out that another section of that level has a tall enough background to fill it, so I will use that.

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Games I have mapped--Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES), Mario Party 3 (N64), Super Mario Bros Deluxe (GBC), New Super Mario Bros. (DS), Mario Kart DS (DS)
Title: RE: Background Styles
Post by: TerraEsperZ on January 12, 2009, 04:57:49 PM
You were lucky that the game uses a relatively small number of backgrounds so you could complete it using another stage.



I've got a question regarding backgrounds myself. I'm still working on the various Genesis Sonic games on-and-off, and I sometimes stumble on stages where the background is just too distracting. By that, I mean that the colors and patterns make it difficult to separate the two when watching a static map.



I've been thinking that for maps where this is extremely problematic, I could employ a technique used by gaming magazine back in the days: set the background at 50% brightness before pasting the foreground over it, so as to greatly increase the contrast between the two. I think this a nice compromise that would work well with the funky backgrounds of the Special Stages in Sonic 1 (which I removed because it made the maps illegible). You can see a comparison below.



-Normal background:

User posted image



-Background at 50% brightness:

User posted image



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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: Background Styles
Post by: Peardian on January 13, 2009, 08:36:39 AM
No problem. And just as a note, I plan on ripping all the full 512x512 backgrounds in the game for use in my maps and other personal uses. However, you are more than welcome to use them as well.



Right now, I'm still getting used to my new class schedule for the semester, so I don't know when exactly I'll get to them. Until then, you'll just have to continue using the normal method.

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YTT (34%) - WL4 (60%) - PM (34%)