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Victor FrankeinSprite
CONMAN [Posts: 295]
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  • [January 22, 2016, 04:17:22 PM]
Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
« on: January 22, 2016, 04:17:22 PM »
Frankein sprite tutorial

Many people come to this site and soon after joining ask that someone make them a custom sprite.  About one out of every one hundred requests gets fulfilled.  Nobody wants to make a sprite for you, sorry.  Similiarly, I don't want to change the oil in your car either.  Sure, I might be able to do it in only an hour or so, but what then?  How about we do it togethor this one time and then you can take care of it on your own. Win-Win right? I can teach you and you can turn around and reward us with a new sprite!

Spriting can get very difficult, but starting off is actually very easy.  While it might seem like a formidable task, the basics are incredibly easy once someone has dove in.  Not all the steps are particularly obvious, so allow me to make this process much more simple for everyone.

The only things required for this tutorial is shishi sprite editor (downloadable in the tools section), and graphics gale.  Other tools can be used, but graphics gale is awesome for editing tactics sprites(and free too). I'm going to assume that use of shishi sprite editor is understood.  Export your wanted Bmp images from here or the main site.

Part 1 -Introduction to tools

First let's look at the Palette box.  You'll notice it has 16 rows of 16 boxes.  The first row is your sprite's basic palette (and the ninth is it's portraits corresponding palette.) 

You must make sure that your sprite never exceeds 16 colors (or 32 counting the portrait)

Locate Image on the command bar. The count colors used button will let you know if you have too many.

Back on the palette box you will see a down pointing arrow with a line underneath it. If you select it several options will appear.  For the purpose of this tutorial you only need to use save palette/load palette.  Make a habit of saving your sprite's palette(s).  You rarely if ever will want ever make up your own colors- the game provides plenty of them. 

Select view on the command bar and make sure "layer" has a check mark.  The layer box should only serve one purpose for us.  A square box with the dots "..." will give us a few options when selected.  Here you can turn transparency on/off and select which color will be made invisible.  Rarely will you choose anything other than the first color (black).  This allows us to copy and paste without disturbing our image being pasted on. This way we can go ahead and steal a belt/cape/hat/boot/tail/head from one sprite and slap it on someone else!


Victor FrankeinSprite
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  • [January 22, 2016, 04:20:09 PM]
Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2016, 04:20:09 PM »
Part 2 -Beginning the process

Before we start combining sprites all will nilly, we need to recognize that we have several different sprite types: type 1, type 2, cyoko (chocobo), Mon (monsters that aren't humanoid/chocobo), Arute (first form altima) and Kanzen (altima 2).  For this tutorial only types 1/2 are important. All people (and skeletons/squid/goblins) are one of these two.  You should try to combine sprites of the same type.  While they can be worked out- it is a lot of trouble.  Head swaps can work out fine, but the way arms connect to the body and the angles of legs and such are off.  Trying to take something like a cape from one type to the other quickly screws up.

The most common request that pops up is the simple head swap.  Let's start with one of the more broken vanilla combos the "Ninja+Monk fusion".  What's more scary than a veiled assasin? One that shows the world his face, because you can't stop him! -Deleted Star Wars spoiler-

Let's go ahead and open up bmp's for both the male monk and male ninja.  We want to move the monk's head onto the ninja's body.  We are going to want to change some monk colors so that when we copy/paste onto the ninja we don't screw up the ninja's palette. THEY MUST MATCH EXACTLY!  If we don't Graphics Gale will try to fit these colors the best it can- meaning it will use colors from other palette sequences (meaning more than 16) and it may try to pull colors from the portrait row (also bad).

As you look at the palette rows you will different shades of the same color grouped togethor. They count across from 0 to 15 (and then 16 to 31 for the next palette). If you look at the monk, a pattern emerges: 0- invisible,1-shadow, 2-white (almost always for eyes), 3,4,5,6- red pants, 7,8,9- blue /shirt/bandana, 10,11,12-hair/arm band and shoes(mostly) 13,14,15-for skin color.  This is a common pattern (sort of) for humans, skin/hair after all the clothes colors.  Often some of colors are reused on the sprite elsewhere- trying to give your sprite purple hair may suddenly recolor something else unfortunately.

Because we want to transplant our monk head we need to match the hair, skin and bandana colors (and the white of the eye apparently-most are the same).

We are going to want to highlight the ninja sprite and save it's palette.  We will then hightlight the monk sprite and load the ninja palette. We don't want the "match colors" box checked and we want to move the first row down to a blank spot.  We will then swap each color from the ninja row to the top row (current monk palette). You can highlight the whole row and drag it over.  I'm moving the ninja boot color to the monk's hair.  You will notice other monk parts have recolored, but it won't matter because we aren't using them.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 04:26:34 PM by CONMAN »
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  • Victor FrankeinSprite
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    • [January 22, 2016, 04:22:33 PM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #2 on: January 22, 2016, 04:22:33 PM »
    Part 3 Sprite Work

    OKAY! We are pretty much ready to start copy/pasting!  A few notes on tools: You will find the options to copy and paste on the command bar under the "Edit" button, also on this edit bar- "undo/redo" will be very handy, On the tool bar you will see a yellow magnifying glass-you are going to need this a lot (alternatively, the view button on the command bar has magnifying options), on the tool bar you will see a dotted square (rectangular selection) which selects what we want to copy/paste, finally a little pencil we will need to either add/remove singular bits. Alternatively, you can turn transparency off for some off your copy pasting for say the top of the head/hair.

    FINALLY-LET'S DO THIS!  Highlight the ninja sprite and go to the layer box.  We are going to make the first color transparent.  Highlight the monk and choose a box to copy. Hit copy, highlight the ninja and paste (you can move your head around as you please).  Often, I will simply make sure the eyes from one head matches up with the other.  Alternatively, you will notice a series of numbers at the bottom of GraphicsGale that give you some co-ordinates fro where you took your copy- simply match them (this is one reason type1/2 can be tougher to combine).  To make these head swaps a little easier, you can go ahead and locate the various free floating heads on the right of the sprite to copy and move.  The Ninja head is infact slightly larger than the monks
    so we are going to have to highlight the pen/pencil tool, select the first/invisible color and remove some blue.

    To speed up some of this copy/paste we can simply recopy some parts of our fixed head onto the various front and back "walk" poses.

    Hopefully, I'll be back soon with a couple of other frankein-sprite tips for ease of creation.
    Valkirst [Posts: 132]
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    • [January 22, 2016, 04:50:11 PM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #3 on: January 22, 2016, 04:50:11 PM »
    Very nice Con! It's simple but I think this will bring a lot of people in to try spriting. :)
    Victor FrankeinSprite
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    • [January 22, 2016, 05:16:35 PM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #4 on: January 22, 2016, 05:16:35 PM »
    Thanks Valkirst!  I'm just trying to make stepping into spriting as easy as possible. 

    As a side note on head swaps- certain heads sit just a little off. I'm moving the monk head and noticing that a 1:1 swap won't quite look right.  I need to move the head over 1 pixel for it to look correct sitting on the shoulders.

    As another example of how we can make this whole process super easy: Body Part Isolation.  We can easily strip various colors from certain sprites and isolate pieces and parts for basically sprite "dress up".  Simply grab and drag colors down to empty black spaces.
    Not all sprites allow this, and sometimes we get a couple of parts instead of just the one we want.  Even still, a small amount of deletion from there can create outfit only bmp.s

    Here is Zozma's Zozma sprite:
    « Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 06:14:53 PM by CONMAN »
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    • [January 22, 2016, 07:05:08 PM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #5 on: January 22, 2016, 07:05:08 PM »
    All hail sir conman!!! I'm kinda swamped atm so it might be a lil bit but I'll try and get some practice in on this soon and post something. Thanks for doing this, I really appreciate it! This will be a great help for anyone starting out at spriting, especially those who have trouble with art ( like me  :P ).

    *cough* sticky *cough*
    UnknownKnight (Help Vampire) [Posts: 25]
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    • [April 03, 2017, 11:31:27 PM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #6 on: April 03, 2017, 11:31:27 PM »
    Ok when I get to part 3 I get confused lol I change colors but I don't see no way of switching heads or anything like that it just keeps zooming in....... I have no ideal what I'm doing wrong..... I'm just trying to ramza head on a different sprite body n that's it

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    Event Kid, Mr. Peanut
    Jumza [Posts: 1515]
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    • [April 03, 2017, 11:41:50 PM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #7 on: April 03, 2017, 11:41:50 PM »
    It sounds like you have the wrong tool selected then? Instead of the magnifying glass get the selection tool.

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    Nyzer: Alma teleports out of her own possessed body.
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    • [April 04, 2017, 01:12:05 AM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #8 on: April 04, 2017, 01:12:05 AM »
    Assuming you make sure you are using the right tool...

    Quote
    OKAY! We are pretty much ready to start copy/pasting!  A few notes on tools: You will find the options to copy and paste on the command bar under the "Edit" button, also on this edit bar- "undo/redo" will be very handy, On the tool bar you will see a yellow magnifying glass-you are going to need this a lot (alternatively, the view button on the command bar has magnifying options), on the tool bar you will see a dotted square (rectangular selection) which selects what we want to copy/paste, finally a little pencil we will need to either add/remove singular bits. Alternatively, you can turn transparency off for some off your copy pasting for say the top of the head/hair.

    Just gotta keep at it, you'll get it.
    UnknownKnight (Help Vampire) [Posts: 25]
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    • [April 04, 2017, 02:40:37 AM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #9 on: April 04, 2017, 02:40:37 AM »
    once i cut his head off body how do i put ramzas chapter 4 head on the custo sprite on this site called sentinel? this is where i am having the most trouble at...... so basically i wanna make Ramza look like the sentinel, after i get some help in the right direction i will start making my own and be a step further in making my mod
    « Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 03:04:10 AM by UnknownKnight »
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    Victor FrankeinSprite
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    • [April 04, 2017, 03:36:01 AM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #10 on: April 04, 2017, 03:36:01 AM »
    unknownknight, You don't want to "cut" it off.  You need to "copy" it.  After using the "rectangular selection", go to the edit drop down.  You will see copy, or use control+C, on your keyboard.  And then go to the sentinal sprite sheet and hit paste, also on the edit drop down-or use Control+V on your keyboard.
    UnknownKnight (Help Vampire) [Posts: 25]
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    • [April 05, 2017, 04:36:43 AM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #11 on: April 05, 2017, 04:36:43 AM »
    so do i gotta do thi to every head on sentinel? ive tried to put his head on the body n it didnt look right at all........when it comes to this stuff i for some reason cant not understand it lol  but every thing else to modding the game i can do well not the events yet...... i read every about this and i get a brain fart lol
    « Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 05:38:33 AM by UnknownKnight »
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    UnknownKnight (Help Vampire) [Posts: 25]
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    • [April 05, 2017, 08:09:06 AM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #12 on: April 05, 2017, 08:09:06 AM »
    ok i removed all sentinel heads and added ramza but now when i add him to my modded game his colors are all wacked or hes very bright......now after i changed his portrait and formation battle everything disappeared only shadows show up and where name is and job name that is all blank not picture no nothing! can some one please tell me what i did wrong?
    theres what ive done to te sentinel, all i did was add Ramzas head.. didnt change color or nothing and ive added pics of the formation and portrait...... i just dont see what im doing wrong  
    « Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 09:15:46 AM by UnknownKnight »
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    The Puppet ---Master---
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    • [April 05, 2017, 11:59:26 AM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #13 on: April 05, 2017, 11:59:26 AM »
    ok i removed all sentinel heads and added ramza but now when i add him to my modded game his colors are all wacked or hes very bright......now after i changed his portrait and formation battle everything disappeared only shadows show up and where name is and job name that is all blank not picture no nothing! can some one please tell me what i did wrong?
    theres what ive done to te sentinel, all i did was add Ramzas head.. didnt change color or nothing and ive added pics of the formation and portrait...... i just dont see what im doing wrong

    First thing you did wrong was not give credits for what you've used... That is the Jot5 Ramza portrait.

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    UnknownKnight (Help Vampire) [Posts: 25]
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    • [April 05, 2017, 02:07:55 PM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #14 on: April 05, 2017, 02:07:55 PM »
    Sorry about that Elric, I could not remember who all made what...... I just don't understand why ramazas color is all messed up and formation screen every thing blank, it was after I imported everything in CD mage

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    Nyzer [Posts: 768]
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    • [April 06, 2017, 01:40:20 AM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #15 on: April 06, 2017, 01:40:20 AM »
    Quote
    First let's look at the Palette box.  You'll notice it has 16 rows of 16 boxes.  The first row is your sprite's basic palette (and the ninth is it's portraits corresponding palette.) 

    You must make sure that your sprite never exceeds 16 colors (or 32 counting the portrait)

    Locate Image on the command bar. The count colors used button will let you know if you have too many.

    If the colors are whacked, you did the palette wrong. Copying your image into GG and using Image > Count Colors Used says you're using all 32 - sprite and portrait - at once. Only half of those colors can be loaded at any time.

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  • UnknownKnight (Help Vampire) [Posts: 25]
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    • [April 06, 2017, 12:56:10 PM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #16 on: April 06, 2017, 12:56:10 PM »
    If the colors are whacked, you did the palette wrong. Copying your image into GG and using Image > Count Colors Used says you're using all 32 - sprite and portrait - at once. Only half of those colors can be loaded at any time.

    i tried it again and i lmow i did everything right but now ramza has white hair and gray skin, he looks like hes a zombie lol and at the formation screen, i cant see no one but there shadow and the portrait shows up but his name brave n all disappeared, this all happened when i imported it all to cd mage........ i followed everything word by word and i still cant figure out what i doing wrong....

    I put ramzas head onto the body of sentinel made by deadmanwalking but like i said when i added it all to the game and cdmage i dont see nothing at all at the formation but in battle he looks like a zombie..... this is the only S**t i cant figure out how to do it right lol....... PLease help so i can make new sprites and add them to this site

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    Victor FrankeinSprite
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    • [April 06, 2017, 03:31:08 PM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #17 on: April 06, 2017, 03:31:08 PM »
    UnknownKnight, the issues you are having all start with the palette.  I'll upload a video here in a little while to show you what needs to be addressed.  Currently, your ramza sprite has 25 different colors, 22 unique colors.  A sprite can have a maximum of 16.  The portrait gets 16 other colors.  I believe you did the head swap with the ramza port's palette already on the sheet.  When you pasted the head, it pulled colors from the ramza portrait. 


    I don't have an audio recorder, but you should still be able to see what i'm doing pretty easy.  You will definitely want to expand the video to maximum size to better see what is happening.

    update edit: Usually you can find the colors for skin/hair at the end of the 16 color palette row. I made a quick video to give you an idea.  Ramza has a lot of colors for his skin/hair.  I had to sacrifice one to make it look alright.  You could just as easily change the colors for clothes or something to maintain the 16 color limit.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWSSoLnjNoQ
    « Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 04:32:37 PM by CONMAN »
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  • UnknownKnight (Help Vampire) [Posts: 25]
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    • [April 07, 2017, 02:09:25 PM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #18 on: April 07, 2017, 02:09:25 PM »
    i give up on trying to do this! lol.... ive done everything you did in video n still some colors were off like the back ground n i think ramzas hair....... and do i gotta white out the portrait? cause if i can get this right ima just keep it as the sentinel one, but doubt i will get this to work! spriting is the only thing i guess i cant figure what the hell is going on

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    Nyzer [Posts: 768]
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    • [April 07, 2017, 04:29:20 PM]
    Re: Basic Frankein-Spriting with GraphicsGale
    « Reply #19 on: April 07, 2017, 04:29:20 PM »
    Link your new image, but I can almost guarantee you that you're using more than 16 colors at once again. Also, the formation sprite has nothing to do with the Shishi sprite at all, that's imported separately.

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