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 Post subject: Sprite Layering
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:47 pm 
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I know and understand how it works (ish), but here's my question :?: : If sprite layering is possible, how can you see your progress? I'm using YY-CHR, so could I use some special tool in there (that I'm not aware of), and see my results? What about using something like NES screen tool and try to mix them together? Or do I have to program them both in and mash them up together-via-code? I'm just curious...

Thank You Very Much.


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 Post subject: Re: Sprite Layering
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:15 pm 
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I'm not aware of any programs that let you preview layered sprites... AFAIK, you have to draw them using your favorite (unconstrained) graphics editor (Paint, Photoshop, whatever), make two copies and erase from each copy the colors that don't belong, and then you convert the result to CHR. I might be wrong though, let's see if someone can recommend any tools.

Be careful when creating layered sprites though, because the NES can only display 8 sprites in a row. If you do more than add a couple of colorful details on top of your characters, you'll end up with a flickerfest.


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 Post subject: Re: Sprite Layering
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:41 pm 
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Can't NES Screen Tool do this with its metasprite editor? Open NES Screen Tool and load your CHR file. Click the Metasprites tab. Right click to drag a tile from the tileset window to the metasprite window. From there you can move a sprite pixel by pixel by clicking it and using the arrow keys. Right clicking a sprite will allow you to drag it around. Checking Snap will lock the sprite to the grid. Clicking a sprite and clicking the up and down changes what order it's drawn in. (So you can be sure your layered sprite is on top.) NES Screen Tool also lets you edit the CHR directly.

That said, I'd still probably recommend using an unconstrained editor to do this, but NES Screen Tool will do exactly what you've asked.

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 Post subject: Re: Sprite Layering
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:20 pm 
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I use GIMP to draw a sprite with 6 colours, or whatever it is I'm trying to do, and it has a tool that lets me select all pixels of a colour, which let me easily separate the sprite into 2 layers. From there I import the two layers into whatever I am using to make sprite data for the game.


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 Post subject: Re: Sprite Layering
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:28 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
I use GIMP to draw a sprite with 6 colours, or whatever it is I'm trying to do, and it has a tool that lets me select all pixels of a colour, which let me easily separate the sprite into 2 layers. From there I import the two layers into whatever I am using to make sprite data for the game.


Interesting.......


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 Post subject: Re: Sprite Layering
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:29 pm 
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Kasumi wrote:
Can't NES Screen Tool do this with its metasprite editor? Open NES Screen Tool and load your CHR file. Click the Metasprites tab. Right click to drag a tile from the tileset window to the metasprite window. From there you can move a sprite pixel by pixel by clicking it and using the arrow keys. Right clicking a sprite will allow you to drag it around. Checking Snap will lock the sprite to the grid. Clicking a sprite and clicking the up and down changes what order it's drawn in. (So you can be sure your layered sprite is on top.) NES Screen Tool also lets you edit the CHR directly.

That said, I'd still probably recommend using an unconstrained editor to do this, but NES Screen Tool will do exactly what you've asked.


Wow! That sounds neat! Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Sprite Layering
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:31 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
I'm not aware of any programs that let you preview layered sprites... AFAIK, you have to draw them using your favorite (unconstrained) graphics editor (Paint, Photoshop, whatever), make two copies and erase from each copy the colors that don't belong, and then you convert the result to CHR. I might be wrong though, let's see if someone can recommend any tools.

Be careful when creating layered sprites though, because the NES can only display 8 sprites in a row. If you do more than add a couple of colorful details on top of your characters, you'll end up with a flickerfest.


I thought so....


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 Post subject: Re: Sprite Layering
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:35 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
I use GIMP to draw a sprite with 6 colours, or whatever it is I'm trying to do, and it has a tool that lets me select all pixels of a colour, which let me easily separate the sprite into 2 layers. From there I import the two layers into whatever I am using to make sprite data for the game.


Actually, I didn't know you could use gimp to make NES sprites. I thought you could only use a CHR editor. Thanks for the info!


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 Post subject: Re: Sprite Layering
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:43 pm 
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You can design NES graphics in any general purpose graphics editor. You just have to follow the NES limitations, and convert the result into a format acceptable for the NES afterwards, with an existing or custom tool, or manually.


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 Post subject: Re: Sprite Layering
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:01 pm 
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NESmaniac wrote:
Actually, I didn't know you could use gimp to make NES sprites. I thought you could only use a CHR editor. Thanks for the info!

I find it much better to be free when designing my graphics than being restricted to limited drawing spaces and tools... IMO, graphics always end up looking very blocky when made directly in tile editors. AFAIK you can paste data from other programs into YY-CHR, so you can draw wherever you want and just paste the final work there.


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 Post subject: Re: Sprite Layering
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:41 pm 
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Shiru wrote:
You can design NES graphics in any general purpose graphics editor. You just have to follow the NES limitations, and convert the result into a format acceptable for the NES afterwards, with an existing or custom tool, or manually.


OOOOHHH!!!! I see now: So make a sprite sheet in any graphics editor (like gimp) and port it into something like YY-CHR to make it into a CHR file. Is that correct?


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 Post subject: Re: Sprite Layering
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:56 pm 
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Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
NESmaniac wrote:
So make a sprite sheet in any graphics editor (like gimp) and port it into something like YY-CHR to make it into a CHR file. Is that correct?

Yes. My project template (described in the topic "A simple sprite demo for teaching") includes a PNG to CHR converter written in Python and includes an example of how to call this converter from a project's makefile.


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 Post subject: Re: Sprite Layering
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:45 pm 
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tepples wrote:
how to call this converter from a project's makefile.

Yes, this is even better than copying/pasting in YY-CHR, because it doesn't require any manual work every time you change the graphics.


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