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Heroes Community > Heroes 3.5 - WoG and Beyond > Thread: EliteKill's Photoshop Monster Making Guide!
Thread: EliteKill's Photoshop Monster Making Guide! This thread is 5 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 · NEXT»
EliteKill
EliteKill

Promising

The Starless
posted March 05, 2007 05:45 PM bonus applied.
Edited by EliteKill at 15:48, 05 Apr 2007.

EliteKill's Photoshop Monster Making Guide!

This guide will be finished in steps, so patience.

NOTE: This guide uses Photoshop 7.0. Any later versions are fine, but this guide does NOT use any other programs!

1 Idea and Concept
1.1 Getting Started
1.2 Idea
1.3 Research
1.4 Concept

2 Making the Monster: How To
2.1 Simple Techniques
2.2 Extracting
2.3 Recolering
 -2.3.1 Color Table
 -2.3.2 Hue/Saturation
2.4 Technique "Combos"

3 Animations
3.1 Getting Started (Again)
3.2 Animating
3.3 Using the Creature Wizard
3.4 Getting Your Creature in the Game

4 Hosting and Sharing
4.1 Hosting Pictures
4.2 Hosting Animations




1 Idea and Concept

1.1 Getting Started
Welcome to EliteKi's Photoshop Monster Making Guide! Here you will learn the basics of Monster Making and Animating. To get started you need to get Adobe Photoshop here. (NOTE: This is only a free trial for the latest version of Adobe Photoshop. I happen to know a link to the full version of Adobe {hotoshop 7.0, and I will post it if a mod agrees.) Now, install it and open it up. It should look like this:


Now you have Adobe Photoshop (from now on I'll call it AP)!!! This will be your main tool for creating monsters with this guide.

1.2 Idea

After you've got the tool (AP), now you need an idea. For this guide, we're going to make a many-armed horned woman with a lower body of a horse. Think up ideas by looking at different creatures, or you can get them from other games and/or mytholgy.

1.3 Research

This is not what it sounds like. After you have an idea, you need to think what creatures are you going to use. For this one, we're foing to use Unicorn for the horn, Naga for the upper body, and a Centaur for the lower body.

1.4 Concept

Now you are actually starting to work. Copy pictures of the creatures you need (a good site is Age of Heroes). Now, extract (see 2.3) the wanted creature parts and put them together without any further recoloring and fixing. This is your concept. Example: I made the concept of the creature mentioned in the idea section:



2 Making the Monster: How To

2.1 Simple Techniques

In this section you'll start making the final 1-frame look of your mmonster. Open AP and Internet Explorer. Go Age of Heroes and copy the creature you're going to use. In this example. we're gonna "have fun" with the Royal Griffin. Right-click and Copy and than open AP. Click Ctrl+N to opena new picture. You will get this:



The pixel size should be exact if you have a picture copied (which we do). Click OK and you have your workspace. Click Ctrl+V to paste the Royal Griffin. Now for the techniques:

The first one will be Inverting Colors. Every color has an opposite one, and to make every color in the picture its opposite, hit Ctrl+I. This is called Inverting Colors, and can give really cool results.

Before:
After:


The second, usefull, technique is Free Transform. While Free Transforming, you can rotate and resize your image.  To enter Free Transform, Right Click-->Free Transform

and it should look like this:


If you are outside the "boxes" (the red part: ), you can click and hols the left-mouse button to rotate the image. If you are in the boxes, you will be able to change the size.

The third "technique" is more of a shortcut. If you accidently overdid something or you did something you didn't want click Ctrl+Z

2.2 Extracting

This one of the most usefull things you'll learn about Monster Making. Extracting is basically taking a picture and taking only a certain part from it. The difference between this and the thing in paint is with extracting, you get ONLY what you want. For our example, we'll take the Royal Griffin again:

now click Ctrl+X to get this:

For this example, we only want the beak. To do that, first take the Magnifying Glass tool (red box) and zoom on the beak until you can't anymore. Now go to the Edge Highlighter tool (blue box) and highlight AROUND the beak:

Now take the Fill Tool (green box) and color in the beak. When you're done, hit OK and you just extracted the beak from the Royal Griffin!!!
NOTE: If you accidently highlighted an unwanted part, hold Alt and click to erase it.

2.3 Recoloring

Recoloring is what makes yout unit look good. In our concept example, we got a very unrealistic looking creature. Why? Because the upper and lower bodies didn't match. To make them match, we need to recolor. Two recoloring techniques will be in this guide, and I will post more as I learn more

Our example in this section:


**NOTE: When changing a Mode (explained later), after you are finished, return to RBG Mode.  so you can save it in any format.**

(Yes, it is the concept we used earlier )

2.3.1 Color Table

In SP, you can get a table of every color in a picture and channge it. That's called the Color Table. To acess it, you will first need to change your mode from RBG to Indexed Colors. **NOTE: When changing into Indexed Colors, all layers will be lost so BE CAREFULL!** Go to Image-->Mode-->Indexed Colors and hit OK. Than, go to Image-->Mode-->Color Table. Look at the Picture.

This is the Color Table:

Every square is a color, and you can click on it to change it:

I've marked the important stuff:
The green box is teh color code box. I fyou want to tell somebody about a specific color, use its code. If in some guide you're told a code, enter it there.
The red box is the most important thing while recoloring. This is the H level (Hue) ranging from 0-360. When changing the H level, the colors in the Yellow Boxes will change.
Now to do the recoloring. We want to make the lower body match the upper body, so open a grayish-color and take its H level (I used 257). Now, open every bronish-color and change its H level to the grayish (257 in my case). When your done, you will get a recolored version:


2.3.2 Hue/Saturation

Sometimes, when we use Color Table, we don't get what we want. So now we'll try the Hue/Saturation technique. First, open your concept. Next, go to Image-->Mode-->Grayscale and answer OK if you are asked anything. Now your picture should be in black and white. Now, go to Image-->Mode-->RBG to return to your normal mode. Hit Ctrl+U to go to the Hue/Saturation screen. Check Colorize in the bottom-right corner.

Again, I pointed out the important parts:
The black box is the Hue, or the color.
The red box is the Saturation, or the color's strength.
The blue box is the Lightness, or how light/dark will the image be.
Expirement with the options until you get what you want in the preview. I had these option to get this: Hue=270 Saturation=100 Lightness=0:


*EDIT: The Hue is the H level from the Color Table!!!*

2.4 Technique "Combos"

Some techniques go well with others. Here are some (will be updated):

Black Body:
Open you creature (I used the concept creature) and turn it into grayscale mode. Next, make in Indexed Colors and open Color Table. Click on the tab in the upper-section (it should say Grayscale), and choose Black Body (in the red box):

Click OK, and change back to RBG. Now save. This is what I got:


3. Animations

3. Getting Started (Again...)

in this section you will learn how to animate your creature and put it in the game. ANIMATION IS A HARD WORK!!! First, you will need to download DefMaker, ResEdit, DefView, and Lod Tools. Extract Lod Tools into your data folder.

3.2 Animating

Welcome... To Monster Making Hell This is the most annoying part of monster making.

For the first part, open up ResEdit:


Red Box: Open resource file. Click on this first, and choose H3sprite.lod in your H3/data folder.

Blue Box: Next step. Click on this and in the formats click on .Def

Now you need to choose your creatures. All of them start with a capital C, so we need Naga and Centaur (CNAGA  and CCENTR). Hit Ctrl+F and set your extraction path to your Desktop. Now, highlight CCENTR first and click on the Green box (or just F2). Next do the same with CNAGA. Now MINIMIZE (DO NOT CLOSE) ResEdit and go to your desktop. Copy and paste the 2 new files (CCENTR and CNAGA) somewhere else. Now hit F4.

Next step is extracting the wanted pictures. Open up DefView and hit F1. Now choose CNAGA:

These are all of the images in a creature's animation in this order (animation part ends with a + besides the name):

Walking
When Mouse is over it
When mouse is over it
Hard Hit
Weak Hit/Defend
Death
Turning1
Turning2
Turning3
Turning4
Attack1
Attack2
Attack3
Start Move
End Move

To do this, create a new folder. Now hit F9 and set extraction path to your new folder and hit F2. Check "Save all pictures" and do it the same with CCENTR.

Now back with Photoshop. You need to use these pictures and create combined pictures. so for the walking animation, extract the upper centaur body and instead put Naga's upper body. I know this is hard work, but that's the way it is! This is an attacking animation of my Ruby Dragon (Recolored Green Dragon):




3.3 The Creature Wizard

After you're done with making all of the Animation pictures, you can cotinue to this section. Make sure that all of your pictures are in Bitmap (BMP) format. Open up DefMaker and click on Creature Wizard. Follow the steps until you click on Finish. I don't think there is much explaining to do here. When you're done, choose a name and click on Create Def File. Wait until the bar reaches 100% and... You're done!

3.4 Getting Your Creature in the Game

When you have your Def file ready, go to H3/Data. Open Notepad and write this:

H3sprite @*.def
del **.def

* is your Def file name, and ** is the name of the Def file you want to replace. THEY MUST BE THE SAME. Let's say you want to change the Naga to our creature from before. The Def file is named NEWNAGA.def. We need to rename the file to CNAGA.def so we can replace it. Before anything else, we will move our Def to H3/Data. Now, on Notepad, we need to write

H3sprite @CNAGA.def
del CNAGA.def

After that we will save the file as this name:

replace.bat

YOU MUST SAVE THIS FILE WITH A .BAT EXTENSION!!! Next, double-click on replace.bat and if CNAGA.def is gone, your replacement worked! Open up the game and you're done making your creature!!!





This guide will be updated!!!!!

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friendofgunnar
friendofgunnar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
able to speed up time
posted March 05, 2007 09:15 PM

Adobe photoshop is like a third of gigabyte.  You have to spend like an hour registering at the website, downloading the file, and then waiting forever to have it set up on your (brand new)computer.  

Then when you click on it, you have to wait for like a minute for it to load.  I've never seen a program more bloated.


If you're going for a free trial I recommend an older copy of Jascs Paint Shop pro.  version 4.12 is excellent.





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Gnoll_Mage
Gnoll_Mage


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted March 05, 2007 09:31 PM
Edited by Gnoll_Mage at 21:32, 05 Mar 2007.

I'd really like to help with this if at all possible (although I'd probably better wait until ICTC2 judging is out of the way).

And also I'd like to see a guide on how to get animations into the game - so if anyone with that knowledge is reading this...
____________

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EliteKill
EliteKill

Promising

The Starless
posted March 05, 2007 09:32 PM

One problem: I don't know how to use Jasc Paint Shop. If a mod gives me a permission, I can post a link for a quick-setup Adobe Photoshop 7.0 full.

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EliteKill
EliteKill

Promising

The Starless
posted March 06, 2007 01:56 PM

Quote:
And also I'd like to see a guide on how to get animations into the game - so if anyone with that knowledge is reading this...


This guide will cover that up!

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Asheron
Asheron


Famous Hero
Ancient
posted March 07, 2007 06:55 PM
Edited by Asheron at 18:55, 07 Mar 2007.

Way to go dude I never did understood photoshop 100%...I guess you'll explain all that i need...

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EliteKill
EliteKill

Promising

The Starless
posted March 07, 2007 08:31 PM
Edited by EliteKill at 22:36, 08 Mar 2007.

Thank you!

I added the Black Body technique in Technique "Combos".

Also, I need a mod's permission to post the link for the quick-install full version of Adobe Photoshop 7.0

Any other replays? If anyone wants the link, I can give it if you ask it in IM...

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SuperKnight
SuperKnight


Known Hero
that hasnt been on in a while.
posted March 09, 2007 04:53 AM

elite, i think this should be sticky AND deserve a red star for this



____________
God, I've havnt been on in a while. I can tell this by the fact that when I looked at my profile, it said I was 13. I'm almost 15 now. God, time flys by, don't you agree?

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EliteKill
EliteKill

Promising

The Starless
posted March 09, 2007 01:26 PM

Thank you! The guide will be inished tommorow. Also, I will make an FAQ section so ask away!

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SuperKnight
SuperKnight


Known Hero
that hasnt been on in a while.
posted March 10, 2007 12:21 AM

Question-  when you mean it will be recolored, do you still have to manualy fill in the color or once you pick a color it will recolor it for you ( if you say yes than all my dreams will come true and i can start workin on my hell guardian!)
____________
God, I've havnt been on in a while. I can tell this by the fact that when I looked at my profile, it said I was 13. I'm almost 15 now. God, time flys by, don't you agree?

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Asheron
Asheron


Famous Hero
Ancient
posted March 12, 2007 12:49 PM
Edited by Asheron at 12:51, 12 Mar 2007.

Dude, i have a problem
When I extract DEF with RedEdit2,i open it with DefView and I have 3 options:save as BMP,BMP named PCX and DEF list.Def list is surely not a right one,so I save them as BMP. Here is the problem:When I open and save them with DefMaker,they appear as blur,not pic. Where is the problem? Is it picture(its properties) or the program(DefMaker)? Thanks in advance
____________

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EliteKill
EliteKill

Promising

The Starless
posted March 18, 2007 12:29 PM

Animation Section Started!!!!

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Pol
Pol


Known Hero
.^.
posted March 18, 2007 02:53 PM
Edited by Pol at 15:12, 18 Mar 2007.

Photoshop start can be quicken by using this utility - which is Adobe Photoshop SpeedUp. It's coming like free, so no like the Photoshop

512MB of memory also can speed up things significantly, but I suppose that anyone here has them already.

If you are working with the image is better to set its background like transparent or fill it with some distinctive colour, pink or light green can do it nicely. But transparent it's transparent. (Reason for it is easy selection of the object)

Free alternative is GIMP, its portable version seems to be simplier to use, so here's the link. -->

* Ctrl+T - is shortcut for transforming the selected object/layer
* By pressing the spacebar you will get hand to move the picture focus.
* Doublecliking on empty working area will arise dialog for opening new image.
* Magic Wand Allows you to select regions with the same colour, by making this selection inversed you will usually get main object out.
* Warning putting "photoshop tips" into google can bring you new level of ecstasy, ehm, I mean knowledge, at least +6 .

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Gnoll_Mage
Gnoll_Mage


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted March 20, 2007 11:22 PM
Edited by Gnoll_Mage at 23:22, 20 Mar 2007.

Just a few ideas...

You can create better recolourings by not choosing colorise, but selecting a colour range, either from the dropdown box, or by moving the sliders at the bottom. Then you can change the hue of just this range, e.g. change a blue shirt to a red one etc.. Colorise tends to create bland images.

Clone is also useful for my editing of creature images - I can paint the texture of their clothes over their sword etc. Animation may not take kindly to such painstaking, non-reproducible edits though.

For selecting e.g. the Griffin's beak it's usually easier to use either the magnetic lasso, marquee box (use shift to add to selection) or the magic wand.

And, there's always the pencil tool for precision editing. Hint - don't use the brush tool, don't blur, and optionally ensure crisp edges after resizing - otherwise there'll be semitransparent bits (and I presume Heroes can't cope with those). Also, you should never need to use the fill tool.

Usually it helps before doing anything when combining creatures to cut them from their background by magic-wanding the background, pressing ctrl+shift+i to invert the selection, then pressing ctrl-shift-j to cut the layer out.

PS Red star for EliteKill!!

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EliteKill
EliteKill

Promising

The Starless
posted March 31, 2007 05:02 PM

Quote:
PS Red star for EliteKill!!


Thanks.

I added the Animation Making part of the guide. Not much to go.

Btw, if you have your own tips and tricks, post em here and I'll make a section in the guide WITH credit (if you agree).

Gnoll_Mage, can I use your tips?

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Zielevitz
Zielevitz


Promising
Famous Hero
Resistance is futile!
posted April 08, 2007 11:14 AM

Bonus applied
____________

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Asheron
Asheron


Famous Hero
Ancient
posted April 08, 2007 01:42 PM

Promising but no yellow stars
You can use Command Prompt to insert def files(it's easier)
____________

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Dragonbreath
Dragonbreath


Famous Hero
Me like dragons!
posted April 11, 2007 09:49 PM
Edited by Dragonbreath at 03:14, 14 Apr 2007.

Bump. This is getting dangerously close to the second page, and that would be a very bad thing. This topic is by far the most helpful topic (IMO) of many of the other topics mods have tagged 'informative'. Hopefully this will get stickied (I sure hope it does!).

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T2_2112
T2_2112


Supreme Hero
posted April 17, 2007 01:10 PM

EliteKill can i use u post , i want re-post at another forum , of course at u name

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EliteKill
EliteKill

Promising

The Starless
posted April 17, 2007 06:13 PM

Sure Just tell me, which forum?

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