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what software are you using? late 2017 edition
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=16642
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Author:  calima [ Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what software are you using? late 2017 edition

There's a theme/mod to Gimp that makes it look like Photoshop, IIRC called GimpShop.

Author:  rainwarrior [ Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what software are you using? late 2017 edition

calima wrote:
There's a theme/mod to Gimp that makes it look like Photoshop, IIRC called GimpShop.

Unfortunately there are some cautionary notes about "GIMPShop".

Author:  dougeff [ Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what software are you using? late 2017 edition

Actually, having used Photoshop for over a decade, and switching to GIMP...I hate a few things about it.

In Photoshop, if you were drawing, you could do something (alt click) to quickly get an eye dropper. Doesn't work in GIMP.

In Photoshop, dragging a selection moves it, clicking off the selection drops it.

In GIMP, you have to select, then choose "float selection" then move it, with a specific 4 arrow move tool, then you have to switch tools again to the select tool, point it somewhere off the selection until it becones an anchor icon to drop the selection. 4 slow steps instead of 2 quick ones.

But Photoshop is too damned expensive. I refuse to "rent" a software. Out of principal, I can't do it.


Edit - I'm looking at GIMP docs it looks like CTRL click from a paint tool will do an eyedropper. I could swear I tried that and it didn't work. ? Next time I'll try it.


Does anyone know a fast way to import a pallette to Aseprite? The NES one is a little off, and I don't want to edit each color manually.

Author:  rainwarrior [ Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what software are you using? late 2017 edition

I definitely use the eyedropper ("color picker" tool) constantly, and I'm used to just pressing O on the keyboard for that. (Or similarly I'm used to using the keyboard to choose a tool in most cases.) I don't know if you can make it behave exactly like photoshop, but you can remap the keyboard and mouse buttons quite a bit. You could certainly at least assign it to a key that's close to where Alt is? Personally I just got used to the default keys for everything.


As for selections... the selection tools just select an area for operations to occur, and then a "float" action will make a movable floating layer from the current selection, so... yes that's two steps compared to something like MSPaint where the selection immediately and always picks up stuff underneath, but I got used to the selection being a more primitive thing, a tool I use with other tools. There's a lot of versatility to being able to work with the selections by themselves prior to combining them with another action. Like the eyedropper, though, you can get to float quickly by learning its keyboard shorcut. Or just a quick cut and paste accomplish the same thing as well.

...but once you've made the float, if you haven't changed tools yet it actually behaves exactly as you're asking. Dragging on it will move the float. Clicking off it will put it down. Putting it down is actually called "anchor layer" in GIMP. This is also why the action happens to be in the "Layer" menu, not the "Select" menu... this is not intuitive, but that's where it is.

Another part of the problem you're having is that only the selection tools (rectangle, circle, lasso, etc.) behave like this with the float layer. All of them can move it or anchor it. Every other tool can't. The move tool can move it, but can't anchor it (its intended use is for moving your permanent layers around, and it behaves the same way for all layers, including the float-- no anchor action). What you really want is one of the selection tools instead.

One more thing, if you have changed to another tool, there is still a keyboard shortcut to anchor the float from anywhere (Ctrl+H by default), which is really handy anyway because it's pretty normal to want to change tools mid-float.

There's maybe some other weird side-issues here, like if you click and drag with a selection tool starting off the float, then you'll create a new selection rectangle that restricts where the float will paste to within that selection. That's a bit weird, but if you're expecting this it can actually be useful. If you do it by accident though, it probably looks like you've deleted your float.


Anyhow, pretty understandable that this feels terrible when you don't know what's going on. Once you've switched tools, there's really no way to anchor the floating layer by clicking unless you know that you have to switch back to selection, or know that it's called "anchor" and it's in the "layer" menu, etc. all of that is not what I'd expect either. You're in a situation where you want to put that float down and you can't see any clear way to do it!

...but there are 3 ways to do it, and they can be learned! They're not hard to do once you know where to look, and GIMP in general can be very expedient when you're used to it. Once you get oriented a bit, you start to understand where to find things. For instance, hovering over any tool should show you its keyboard shortcut on a tooltip, or you can find them in the menus. Experiment a lot and press Ctrl+Z to undo. Or better yet, find the undo history and take a look at the names of all your actions.


Anyhow, I'm not saying all this to try and argue people into using GIMP, I don't really care if nobody else likes GIMP (use what works for you!), I'm just trying to help with the complaints as given.

Author:  rainwarrior [ Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what software are you using? late 2017 edition

dougeff wrote:
Does anyone know a fast way to import a pallette to Aseprite? The NES one is a little off, and I don't want to edit each color manually.

Put the palette in a PNG (or GIF) and load it.

dougeff wrote:
I'm looking at GIMP docs it looks like CTRL click from a paint tool will do an eyedropper. I could swear I tried that and it didn't work. ? Next time I'll try it.

Ha! I didn't know about that one! Thanks for the tip.

Author:  Sumez [ Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what software are you using? late 2017 edition

GIMP is a fine drawing program, but it's not really specialized for any specific purpose, which makes it generally lacking for every potential purpose. I used to hear people namedrop it as an "open source alternative" to Photoshop, which I think is extremely insulting towards Photoshop. Not only is the interface just nowhere near as sleek (as partly covered by above posts), it simply doesn't have a fraction of the features PS has.

I guess it's useful as a fallback program until you find a better one for whatever needs you have. :P (for example - aseprite, pyxeledit, etc.)

Author:  russellsprouts [ Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what software are you using? late 2017 edition

I can recommend aseprite. It's not free, but not too expensive and great for pixel art animation. It also has a convenient output format that puts all frames and layers in a single PNG on a grid with a JSON to describe the location of different objects. There's a command line interface which I use in my build system to convert the .ase files into a png and json, and then I created a Python script to automatically created de-duplicated metasprites and convert everything to NES format.

Other than that I do use GIMP as well.

As an aside -- what strategies does everyone use for defining the order of colors in images? My technique is to make the top row of pixels be a set of palettes. So pixels 0, 4, 8... represent colors that map to 0, pixels 1, 5, 9... map to 1, etc. That decides the bitplanes for the colors in the images. Those colors are mapped to the closest NES color then defined as constants, like PLAYER_PALETTE_1_0

Author:  Celius [ Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what software are you using? late 2017 edition

I personally find GIMP hard to use, though I'm sure it's pretty powerful for being free once you learn how to use it.

I recommend Paint.NET for people who use paint, but want layers, magic wand, and some color adjusting functionality. It's pretty easy to use, though I find just a couple of things annoying. One, it appears that when you have an image in a layer that extends outside of the canvas, you lose the portion that extends outside of the canvas. So if you decide to move the layer later, that part of the image is gone for good. The other thing I think is weird is that it doesn't automatically create a new layer when you copy/paste something into the document. It assumes you want to paste flat into the layer you are on, which I find normally isn't the case. If I'm pasting something on top of an existing image, I want it to be on a separate layer so I can move or delete it later if I want.

Normally I just manually draw stuff in YY-CHR and that works for me. It's already set to 2BPP, it's got the color palette ready to go, it helps you figure out what you need in terms of tiles right off the bat. Then again, I don't do a lot of sprite layering, so other programs might help more for this.

Author:  Sogona [ Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what software are you using? late 2017 edition

My method is pretty much identical to Dougeff.

I do all the initial doodling in YY-chr, and then once I like it enough I add it to the master CHR file. Nesst I use for testing metasprites/animations, and for doodling things like title screens or any other screens in the game that don't use metatiles. Then I save all the metatiles in a png file and use Tiled to edit metatile maps.

Is there a general concensus on Tiled? It has a lot of features and it's been working for everything I've needed to do so far in my current project, but I'm not too attached to it.

Author:  gauauu [ Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what software are you using? late 2017 edition

Sogona wrote:
Is there a general concensus on Tiled? It has a lot of features and it's been working for everything I've needed to do so far in my current project, but I'm not too attached to it.


I love it. There's a few features that I wish it had, but overall, it works well, has a good save file format, and doesn't frustrate me. Which is more than I can say from most similar tools.

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