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Old 02-15-2007, 05:05 AM   #1
shillingworth
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Join Date: Dec 2002
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Default Using EQ Spell Effects in your graphics

After having a few people ask me about this, here is a quick tutorial for opening an EQ spell effect file into photoshop.

For information regarding Mipmap and an explanation of them, please refer to Mipmap Wiki Entry

Preperation
To load DDS format images in photoshop you will need a plugin installed in photoshop. There are 2 plugins that I know of, Microsoft Direct X DDS and Nvidia DDS. This tutorial will use Nvidia DDS since it's easiest to install and offers the best compression ratio for DDS images (smaller size on disk).

Nvidia Photoshop DDS Webpage

Open a spell effect in Photoshop:
Spell effect files are contained in (EQ Location)/SpellEffects. There are DDS versions (The current ones EQ uses) and legacy TGA ones that are no longer used by EQ. This tutorial uses DDS files.
  1. Open Photoshop
  2. File -> Open
  3. Change "File of Type" to DDS
  4. Browse to (Everquest Directory) / Spell Effects
  5. Select ElectricE.DDS texture and press the "Open" button
  6. Select the 256 x 256 detail level and click OK
  7. Choose the Selection Tool (A dashed line box on the tool panel)
  8. Click and drag a selection box to any size, we'll tune it by hand for accuracy
  9. Right click in the selection box and choose "Transform Selection"
  10. In the selection options toolbar (top of screen) Location X (Horizontal location), Y (Verticle Location), W (Width), H (Height)
  11. Change W and H to "128 px". We choose this based on the following:
    W = Width of Image / Number of Frames per Row, or 128 = 256 / 2 in this case;
    H = Height of Image / Number of Frames per Column, or 128 = 256 / 2 in this case.
  12. Change X and Y to "64 px". We choose this based on the following:
    X = (Width of Frame / 2) + (Width of Frame * Index). Index is a 0 based count for the frame you want (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).
    Y = (Height of Frame / 2) + (Height of Frame * Index). Index is a 0 based count for the frame you want (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).
    Why do we need half the width of the frame? Because the X and Y values are the location of the origin point (default origin point is center of box), this is denoted in phtoshop by the crosshair like glyph in the center of the box.
  13. Now to use it is just a simple matter of Cut/Copy and Paste it into the image you want to use it. Never downsize these images, if you need a smaller size, load the DDS file as the size smaller than what you need (example you want a 72px tall lightning bolt, you'd load up as 64 x 64 instead of 256 x 256). Downsizing will only lead to detail loss, which isn't neccesary when the images can be loaded at multiple Mipmap levels.

There you have it, loading a spell effect for you own personal use. If you wanted you could use these in a Ui2DAnimation object to get all 4 frames into an animation, would make for some cool UI graphics, but that's a totally different tutorial.

Oops, just noticed I posted in the wrong section, feel free to move it.
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:59 PM   #2
walkermore
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sounds good to me

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