Ship Development

Discuss and distribute tools and methods for modding. Moderator - Grognak
Kiloace
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Ship Development

Postby Kiloace » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:48 am

Hello All,

About a week ago, I got started on my very first ship mod (preview coming soon, hopefully :D ). I have developed a base hull for it, and have moved on to building it in superluminal. However, I have a feeling I'm in for a world of hurt now.

I need to design custom shield, cloak and station images, and install them in superluminal. My first question:

How do I get access to stock FTL's artwork? Is it located in the resource.dat/data.dat files? If so, how do I unpack them, or is there an easier way to use them?

What would be really cool is if I design my own artwork for them, but a template is extremely helpful, as opposed to starting from scratch.

Second Question: Is there a way to create a cloak image without spending 5 days on each individual pixel (as I have creating the ship hull itself)?

Third Question: How do I create custom weapons, and would it be possible to, like, copy a stock weapon, modify its stats like a template and then save it as a new weapon?

Help is appreciated. Thanks!
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5thHorseman
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Re: Ship Development

Postby 5thHorseman » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:38 am

Look at FTL Dat Manager to unpack the resources. All the images are simple PNGs within the directories that program will create.

As to making the cloaks, select all the black stuff (select by color in Gimp) and then invert the selection, then hit "delete." This will give you a good wireframe of your ship. Then re-invert the selection (so you're back to only selecting the black) and fill that selection with a light blue. Don't forget to heed my signature and then save the image as the cloak image.
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kartoFlane
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Re: Ship Development

Postby kartoFlane » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:37 am

SMM might be slightly easier to use in terms of unpacking the dat archives (File > Extract dats...) than FTL Dat, though.

With cloak image, pretty much what Horseman said - a tip for the future though, it's good to keep a WIP file of your image that preserves all individual layers and settings (psd is Photoshop's format, no idea what's Gimp's analogue).
This way you can not only edit the image easily, but also keep a wireframe layer that can be later used to create the cloak by changing color and applying a simple blur filter.

Regarding your third question, yes, that's pretty much how all weapons are made.
It's a pretty broad topic though - here's a good, thorough tutorial on the subject
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Kiloace
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Re: Ship Development

Postby Kiloace » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:30 pm

I've been using paint. :lol:


just upgraded to paint.net. But I'll look at GIMP. Hopefully I'll be able to figure it out, paint.net is already scraping at my comprehension, I don't know how much more complex my mind can take. Thanks! :D

EDIT: I downloaded the dat manager, but there isn't exactly a tutorial in the post for it. How does it work?
speedoflight
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Re: Ship Development

Postby speedoflight » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:04 pm

Kiloace wrote:I've been using paint. :lol:


just upgraded to paint.net. But I'll look at GIMP. Hopefully I'll be able to figure it out, paint.net is already scraping at my comprehension, I don't know how much more complex my mind can take. Thanks! :D

EDIT: I downloaded the dat manager, but there isn't exactly a tutorial in the post for it. How does it work?


Lol. Paint.net is the most easier editor u will use.. easier than Gimp... of course Gimp is better, but if you say using paint.net is killing your patience... Gimp is gonna bury you.. xD. Of course dont even think of trying photoshop.. :?

Anyways, the psd (photoshop) format can be used as well in gimp. But there is no need to keep a psd file, just the original .png with the hull image. I dont understand why you will work using layers.. there is no sense modding the ship graphics for ftl. You should have just the original design, in png format that u will not touch for anything, and a copy of it, where you will work on. The original copy must be kept safe somewhere , just in case, like now, you need to re - do something. But dont make your life harder using layers, there is no need of that.
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kartoFlane
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Re: Ship Development

Postby kartoFlane » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:44 pm

speedoflight wrote:But dont make your life harder using layers, there is no need of that.

Looks to me like you haven't worked on any large visual project whatsoever.

I have been playing around with Photoshop for almost a decade now - photomanipulations, PSBs, sprite editing, cheap forum signatures, avatars, even some digital art when I wanted to try my hand at it - and I can tell you that layers are simply invaluable in each and every case, without exception.
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5thHorseman
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Re: Ship Development

Postby 5thHorseman » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:52 pm

speedoflight wrote:I dont understand why you will work using layers.. there is no sense modding the ship graphics for ftl.


That's like saying your car doesn't need tires because you're just driving it across the parking lot.

Layers are terrible and horrible and are too hard to learn and even when you learn them they don't serve any purpose and oh wait you can do that with them and well look at that and wow that was easy and you can take the layers from my cold, dead hands.
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NewAgeOfPower
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Re: Ship Development

Postby NewAgeOfPower » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:53 pm

I've found GIMP to be both more intuitive and yet more painful to use than, say, Paint.net.
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Kieve
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Re: Ship Development

Postby Kieve » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:01 pm

speedoflight wrote:Anyways, the psd (photoshop) format can be used as well in gimp. But there is no need to keep a psd file, just the original .png with the hull image. I dont understand why you will work using layers.. there is no sense modding the ship graphics for ftl. You should have just the original design, in png format that u will not touch for anything, and a copy of it, where you will work on. The original copy must be kept safe somewhere , just in case, like now, you need to re - do something. But dont make your life harder using layers, there is no need of that.


Make a note ladies & gents, these are the words of someone who has no idea what they're talking about. :roll:
It's already been pointed out but I'll reiterate to any graphic artist who isn't aware:
ALWAYS keep your source files.
Your only excuse for deleting .PSD (or whatever else your P.Net/GIMP/Photoshop) sourcefiles are if your drive is literally about to run out of its last megabyte of space. Keeping your layers and source files allows for levels of flexibility that a single static image can't. Regarding ship art, at the very least it allows you to keep one parent file for the ship_base, each gib, cloaking, and shield, all in one convenient package.

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