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Messages - Weatherproof

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Maps In Progress / Re: Crusader: No Remorse
« on: September 30, 2010, 03:41:23 pm »
Another update:
The program will now load a group of images, they can be any size and there can be any number of them.
The program will use a bunch of logic to determine the canvas size, then it will place the base picture, then overlay the second picture by the majority offset.
It then saves the new image as the new base repeats for all the pictures.  Because the base picture gets successively bigger each iteration, the program takes longer and longer for more pictures.
However, i did some profiling and found that the slowness is 99% the harris corner detection and the correlation (from the Accord.NET library).
So I'm going to code a custom corner detection (actually copy the Moravec or FAST algorithm).
The images also need to be loaded so that each new image will overlap at least some portion of the previous image (ie: you stitch some images together, then the next image is in a different part of the map), so I'll just have to do some really crazy logic to sort the pictures or something first.

Hopefully, this program will greatly aid anybody on this site stitching far away images together that need to be pixel perfect.

Maps In Progress / Re: Crusader: No Remorse
« on: September 28, 2010, 05:36:58 pm »
So i've done some more work on it.  I took out the homography estimation stuff because there's no point in using that on a flat image, it actually warps and worsens the result.  The homography is great for panoramic images but is useless for flat images such as video game maps.  The program now detects corners (Harris detection with Accord.NET still), correlates them, and instead of homography and ransac analysis to fit the inliers, it just subtracts the correlation points, then finds the majority of where the corners want to go and ignores the rest.

The result is a non-warped image that aligns perfectly, computes faster, and will work with any size image.  The next thing to do is implement a batch process so i can open a directory of images, and optimize stuff here and there.

The Harris detection is kind of expensive for large pictures so either i reduce the area searched, or move to a more simple detection algorithm (which is possible because there's no noise with these images), this would require me to actually write the algorithm though.

Maps In Progress / Re: Crusader: No Remorse
« on: September 27, 2010, 07:14:58 pm »
After taking a day off to spend on this, I've still gotten nothing to work.  The images are warped and distorted as soon as more than 3 of them get stitched.  I'm also having great trouble automating the process.  So in the meantime i'll have to find another corner detection/edge detection algorithm that is better suited for this set of images.

To answer your questions Maxim:
The HUD is in the same place every image, and that masking idea is great! I'll implement that eventually

The engine is tile based, I think...
And the HUD is never disabled (Cut-scenes are FMV)
And until I get this to work I won't be able to tell how it scales, but I'll report here first thing.

Maps In Progress / Re: Crusader: No Remorse
« on: September 25, 2010, 10:23:16 am »
So the past month at work I've been learning programming in VB .NET and C# and doing custom applications for stuff that my boss needs.  And one of them involved analyzing images, breaking them apart, and stitching them back together.  So after some minor adjustments, I've been reworking the tool for this Crusader project.  But I think it will really really benefit anybody stitching images together on this site.  It uses the Accord.NET libraries and is using some of the code taken from this site:

It's definitely a cool thing to check out.  I'm trying right now to be able to dump a directory of images into the program and have it stitch a mosaic together.
Here's a screenshot of it working currently:
So right now, it takes two images, stitches them together by corner detection and correlation, then blends them (you can see the blank alpha sections where neither picture covers.  The main problem will still be that goddamn HUD.

Maps In Progress / Re: Crusader: No Remorse
« on: August 02, 2010, 10:15:26 pm »
Thanks for the support! :)
I'm guessing the coordinates would be stored as in X/Y.  There's a cheat that I discovered during the last couple of hours into it where you can enable cheats, turn on 'hack' mode, and move your character around the world.  I noticed that elevated areas are just different flat positions, like there's no Z axis at all, it's all tricking of the eye.  This doesn't mean that the game stores your position with X/Y coordinates, I just know it doesn't handle Z stuff. 
I also did some reading and noticed that the rendering is done with a 'dirty box' method, where only the parts of the screen that need updating get updated, which allowed the devs to get up to a reasonable framerate at 800x600 at the time.
I'm wondering how the maps themselves are stored.  I'm guessing each thing in the world is just a tile with some properties, imagine if the world was stored as just raw data! The game would probably be the size of a DVD. :P

Maps In Progress / Re: Crusader: No Remorse
« on: August 02, 2010, 07:39:46 pm »
So I'm finally done with what I'm going to call the "Macro" level of level 1-1 (level 1, floor 1) in Crusader.  So this picture is just the stitching of all the images together and the blacking out of the inaccessible areas.  The "Micro" level of this would be editing out every single sprite, patching things together, and overall making it pixel perfect.  I know it looks sloppy but I also know that this step would just not be worth it in terms of time/cost to benefit ratio. I don't know how many hours that I've put in this because I've lost count.  I do know that it took 166 png screenshots from Dosbox, the raw raster image is 239.4MB, the un-indexed PNG is 14MB, the resolution is 13356x6210, and GIMP doesn't seem to like big things and complicated processes :)
I might work on the next three floors of this first level, but it will be whenever I'm free and feel like it.
However, I really feel like I've learned a lot from this failed project, I feel a lot more comfortable with image manipulation programs.
Anyways, here's the link for the compressed, indexed png!

Maps In Progress / Re: Crusader: No Remorse
« on: July 25, 2010, 09:43:58 am »
Okay everybody,
After putting more hours into this, I'm realizing that this will be a huge project that I'm having trouble finding time for.  With the inability to disable sprites (which would probably make the screen black :P) and the sheer size of the maps, it's quite a hard project, so I may move on to another DOS game (maybe Jazz Jackrabbit or looking into the current Duke Nukem 2 maps).  I am going to upload the first level of crusader with all 4 floors but with NO editing with the sprites, just for fun (It'll be mostly like the pictures I have up now but with more completeness and black filling where inaccessible areas are). 
I really appreciate all your help and if there's an old DOS game that you would like me to work on let me know and I'll give it an attempt!

Maps In Progress / Re: Crusader: No Remorse
« on: July 22, 2010, 04:02:49 pm »
Yeah :\ the whole game is sprite based so it could run at a higher framerate, be better looking, and have destructible environments.  For it's time it was a real gem.  And if I'm not mistaken the graphics were rendered as needed, so the computer was only working on just the sprites that needed to change by the frame (the background would be rendered once when you enter the screen and not again until you re-center the camera again).
I can't seem to find an image download for the playstation version. I might have to buy a used copy off of amazon just to see if it'll work haha! An unused copy goes for about $95!

Maps In Progress / Re: Crusader: No Remorse
« on: July 21, 2010, 07:29:02 am »
Oh so the problem with that picture is just that I can't really get good screenshots of the areas that are outside the normal areas of play, it would be much much easier to make all inaccessible areas black.

Maps In Progress / Re: Crusader: No Remorse
« on: July 20, 2010, 09:09:20 pm »
Yeah, I'm using the command line one as well.  I guess I'll just have to leave it running for awhile and see what i can get out of it!

Maps In Progress / Re: Crusader: No Remorse
« on: July 20, 2010, 07:23:27 pm »
I totally forgot about image shack!  :D
Here's the problem when you wander around where you're not supposed to go:
I don't know if this is just the way dosbox is rendering stuff or what but it does it with Surface, Opengl, and Ddraw :(

PNGOUT on default settings takes it from a 81MB bitmap down to 253 colors but never completes.  The percentage indicator just keeps counting up to 99 percent and resets...
Crusader is available for Sega Saturn and for Playstation, I'll have to check them both out for differences but which one do you guys think would be easier to disable the sprite layer for?

Maps In Progress / Re: Crusader: No Remorse
« on: July 20, 2010, 03:09:22 pm »
I did some googling and I remembered now that the game is in 256 colors anyway. To be sure though, I made some comparison photos, one with RGB compared to Indexed-256, and one of a closeup of the comparison. I think tonight I'll try the cheats to walk around outside the first level and map that area.  Although I think the majority of this game has areas which are just black in the places you can't go, especially in the later levels.
Thanks for the tip on PNGOUT!
EDIT: forgot the pictures:

Maps In Progress / Re: Crusader: No Remorse
« on: July 19, 2010, 08:47:50 pm »
Just finished the first part of the first level.  The image size is 13356x6120.  I indexed the colors to 256 and the png at high compression is about 7.5 megs:
There's lots of touching up to do but this is a preliminary thing to see if I want to continue this.  Either on the PC or with the Saturn :P
I know it looks like crap but tell me what you guys think!

Maps In Progress / Re: Crusader: No Remorse
« on: July 19, 2010, 04:52:25 pm »
Yeah, I think that the inaccessible areas of the map I'll just fill in black.  There is a cheat however to walk around out there but it's not much use in the map unless people REALLY want to know what all those pipes and silos go :P
Thanks for the info on that Saturn version, I'll definitely have to look into that!
I think I'll give it a couple more hours and see where I'm at and where the file size is before deciding whether or not to continue... I did notice that I can make the pallet 256 colors and that really cuts back on the space used...

Maps In Progress / Re: Crusader: No Remorse
« on: July 16, 2010, 11:14:31 pm »
Thank you very much! And yeah, I'll go back through the game in another pass and make sure i merge that particular picture right.  Since it is Dos though, maybe there's a sprite hack... I'll have to look into it...

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