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Sprite Editing experiment


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So I've been thinking about this since like.... 1994. This thing sorta sat on the backburner, and after realizing ROM hacks are possible I decided to try it out. Being creative by nature, I always wanted to maximize the "real" factor by adding details. Its tough when you've only got a small block to work with though. :)

We all know you've got a limited number of pixels per sprite and a palette of 16 colors.

If you follow the guide set up in NOSE, here's what each color in the palette does: (humor me - there is a point to this...)

Starting from the top left:

1 - Ice Color

2 - Skate Blade

3 - Eyes, Gloves and Skates

4 - Pants Shadow

5 - Pants Base Color

6 - Pants Highlight Color

7 - Skin Highlight

8 - Skin Color

9 - Strip Shadow

10 - Strip 1 Color

11 - Shoulder/Strip 2 Color

12 - Jersey/Helmet/Sock Color Shadow

13 - Jersey/Helmet/Sock Color

14 - Jersey/Helmet/Sock Color Shadow 2

15 - Stick

16 - Player Shadow on Ice

Now you guys have worked with this for years and altered the colors and tweaked it and for the most part, its worked fine. Next year, with the introduction of these new-fangled jerseys, a lot of these designs are going to go to the pooper. So I'm trying a little experiment to see if I can separate more of the items on the list and combine a few of the common colors more efficiently, so you don't have to have a stripe around the shoulder just to get a stripe on the pants, etc. It sounds like a bit of a waste, but its something I've been tinkering with and I think I have a formula that works.

The drawback is it won't be easy to switch colors in NOSE until I can firm something up with wboy to display the changes properly (similar to the SWOS hack).

Getting back to my overall idea, what I need your input on is this. I was thinking of adding numbers, logos and shoulder patches to the jersey. They wont be anything detailed like in NHL95 for the PC, but a couple of off color pixels as a representation just to add to the realism. Thing is, the players all share textures so the number may just end up being a blob or two (like an 11 or a 22) that acts as a representation - and the same with the logo.

Before I go and modify all those sprites, would anyone think thats a cool idea? Just throwing it out there.

And for the color changes, here's what I'm proposing. I will make the edits to the sprites by hand myself and show you the sheet once I get enough of them done.

1 - Ice Color

2 - Skate Blade

3 - Eyes, Glove Outline, Skates, Dark Shadows

4 - Pants Shadow

5 - Pants Base Color

6 - Pants Strip

7 - Skin Highlight

8 - Skin Color

9 - Strip 1 Color

10 - Strip 2 Color

11 - Shoulder Color

12 - Jersey/Helmet/Sock/Glove Color Shadow

13 - Jersey/Helmet/Sock/Glove Color

14 - Logo/Number/Shoulder Logo Color

15 - Stick

16 - Player Shadow on Ice

You'll see the changes aren't too extensive. They're just slight alterations, but you'll be able to have separate entries for stripe colors and shoulders.

Now the OTHER thing I was going to do was the sprite edits themselves. I tried pasting some of the sprites from 98 into 94, but the main problem is the sprites in 98 are 3 columns wide and the ones in 94 are 2 columns wide. There are some sprites that are 2 wide in 98, but they're transition sprites in the animation so there aren't enough of them to place into 94 to make skating look natural. So I think I'm going to try something different. The sprites in 94 as cute as they may be, bug me. Our boys are too fat. So instead of having 10 Keith Tkachubs rolin around on the ice, I'm going to slim down some of the player sprites so they're not all a bunch of tubs on the rink. I figure, since I'm doing the color swaps I may as well edit the bodies slightly. I did a few frames and it looked pretty decent. I'll let you be the judge when I get further.

So there's my windbag post. Any comments? Questions?

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That's a great idea. It's going to be heck of a lot work though. the small modification to the jerseys took me few weeks and 30-40 hours of work totally, and all I did was repaint some colors with different ones and went through all the tiles twice.

I did it in TLP, maybe tile molester could work faster if all the player positions are predefined without having to put the tiles all together for every position like I did.

One thing I would like to see is to be able to have different helmet color. Like for example montreal canadiens wears red jerseys and have blue helmets. In default NHL94 all helmets and jersey colors are shared. Leagues outside NHL usually have more different colors for jerseys and helmets.

In my jersey edit I took the blade color off. that's one extra color to use and if you paint sticks black/skin color or change the other skin color to stick color that's another color to use.

Also you can use 4 sets of different 16 color palettes for each 8x8 tile (but you can only use ONE at a time). The default team banner colors. the rink colors, hometeam colors and awaysteam colors.

I hope you will have time and dedication to make it happen.

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That's a great idea. It's going to be heck of a lot work though. the small modification to the jerseys took me few weeks and 30-40 hours of work totally, and all I did was repaint some colors with different ones and went through all the tiles twice.

I did it in TLP, maybe tile molester could work faster if all the player positions are predefined without having to put the tiles all together for every position like I did.

One thing I would like to see is to be able to have different helmet color. Like for example montreal canadiens wears red jerseys and have blue helmets. In default NHL94 all helmets and jersey colors are shared. Leagues outside NHL usually have more different colors for jerseys and helmets.

In my jersey edit I took the blade color off. that's one extra color to use and if you paint sticks black/skin color or change the other skin color to stick color that's another color to use.

Also you can use 4 sets of different 16 color palettes for each 8x8 tile (but you can only use ONE at a time). The default team banner colors. the rink colors, hometeam colors and awaysteam colors.

I hope you will have time and dedication to make it happen.

Funny you mention that - I was just talking with mack about this earlier. If you would have used Tile Molester when you did your hack, you would have been done in about half the time. I found a method that works pretty good following wboys instructions on rearranging the block size columns and rows.

I opened the working bin, set the codec, set the block size to 1 column and 4 rows, then applied my palette from a 3 color team (Calgary is good due to the contrast). When you scroll down to the players you can see that a majority of them already have their tiles in order. The others are there but they're in sequence and not easy to edit - so you create a new file in TM (about 2000 in size), create a custom palette and then cut and paste from your working file onto the new file you created to assemble the pieces to your players. It acts just like the Tile Assembler in TLP. After the edits, cut and paste them back into the master working file and there you go.

Right now I'm just working in a test mode to make sure the animations don't look all wonky with the sprite edits. But its going pretty good so far.

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I'll add to everyone else's posts in that this would be well worth the time and effort. We all want to see more options for the jersey's, so I hope this happens!

Goodluck!

-Evan

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This is a great idea in principal, but would require an inoridnate amout of time editing all of the tiles and you may still not get the result your looking for.

When I did my sprite/ stick tape edit; simple as it sounds, it took a tremendous amount of time just to do the sticks and eyes in TM.

I've spent lots of time myself trying to figure out different combinations to free up colors in uniform the pallet but couldn't find a match worth the effort it would take.

For example: Montreal's away helmets are blue not red. This should be easy (but very time consuming) to fix by switching the helmet colors from the jersey to the trunks, right? Sure it works for MTL, but it also gives home teams an away color for the lid.

Swos mentioned freeing up the stick color by changing it to the flesh color, this is the case with NHL95 (PC) but 2 colors are used for the helmet alone. If you use his strip edit with the stick one he mentioned that would give you 2, still this takes away the skate blade.

Removing the strip around the shoulder to act as one color is another idea that might work, that alone would take a lot of work.

Also putting dashes on the back of the jerseys as #'s like the old Madden games would be very cool.

Not sure if it's any help but I have the sprite sequences cataloged in the thread with the tape edit.

Best of luck with this Drezz and I look foward to hearing what you come up with!

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Hey Drezz I along with a lot of other people are looking forward to the results of your experiment.

Hope all goes as planned! :)

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Ok - I managed to separate the shoulder trim color without any major hiccups. I guess doing too many changes at once isnt a good thing. The players look noticeably better without the additional stripe.

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You know what I just realized as I was filling in stripes - the league will be switching to the edge jerseys, so a lot of the designs may not be relevant anymore, and as I was testing out the sprites minus the stripes, thats when I noticed how much they resemble the new look jerseys.

Interesting. Screens to follow shortly.

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Ok - here's what I've got so far. Its still WIP, so the next step is to add a strip to the bottom of the jersey, socks, and numbers. After that, a chest and shoulder logo and a few other tweaks.

01.gif

02.gif

03.gif

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Ok - here's what I've got so far. Its still WIP, so the next step is to add a strip to the bottom of the jersey, socks, and numbers. After that, a chest and shoulder logo and a few other tweaks.

Hey Drezz, great work! Just as an FYI, teams will once again return to wearing white at home and dark on the road, for the 2007-2008 NHL Season.

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Hey Drezz, great work! Just as an FYI, teams will once again return to wearing white at home and dark on the road, for the 2007-2008 NHL Season.

I could've sworn the league was keeping it dark at home. What's the point of switching it to white at home only to switch it back to dark at home once the alternates are back? :blink:

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I could've sworn the league was keeping it dark at home. What's the point of switching it to white at home only to switch it back to dark at home once the alternates are back? :blink:

I suppose the NHL could really only give you an answer to your question. They are in fact going back to whites at home next year, which is good. I still don't understand why they went to teams wearing dark at home, after years of the home team wearing white. A change really wasn't needed and the NHL, like usual, seemed to make a change just for the sake of change. I never (still don't) got used to seeing the home teams wearing dark and am glad the NHL realized this mistake. They also made a good decision (gasp) on getting rid of all alternate sweaters, so just 2 sweaters per team now. None of that third-jersey garbage for the time being.

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I suppose the NHL could really only give you an answer to your question. They are in fact going back to whites at home next year, which is good. I still don't understand why they went to teams wearing dark at home, after years of the home team wearing white. A change really wasn't needed and the NHL, like usual, seemed to make a change just for the sake of change. I never (still don't) got used to seeing the home teams wearing dark and am glad the NHL realized this mistake. They also made a good decision (gasp) on getting rid of all alternate sweaters, so just 2 sweaters per team now. None of that third-jersey garbage for the time being.

The reason the NHL switched to darks at home was because most of teh alternates are dark, meaning if a team goes on a road trip and one of the teams wears alternates, they would have to then carry two pairs of jerseys, socks, helmets, etc. just because one team would wear their dark jerseys at home. That meant twice the baggage they had to carry, and in the post 9/11 airport, that's just not convenient. So to cut down on the amount of baggage needed, the league made the darks the home uniforms. Besides, it gave teams a chance to sell their dark uniforms at their arenas as a new source of revenue (since teams only carried the white ones), not mention it gives home crowds a chance to see some iconic uniforms, such as the Red Wings red unis, the Habs red and blue, and the Hawks red jerseys.

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I had heard about the whites being homes and roads being dark again this year. I hope thats the case, since thats how I was weaned when I first watched hockey. I always attributed to the "good guys wear white" when you're at home. :)

I didn't have a chance to do any more work to this - this month is pretty hectic since I'm getting hitched in 3 weeks, so the bride and master chief has me running all over. I'm looking to have something before the fall. So any updates will be sporadic.

I did find out why things weren't working earlier - I was using Mack's NHL07 hack as a start, and it did not respond well to change. Maybe that was the problem from the start - using wboy's fresh 30 team hack, it works fine. Anyhoo - more updates will come when I get the chance.

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I did find out why things weren't working earlier - I was using Mack's NHL07 hack as a start, and it did not respond well to change.

Hahaha, my plan worked perfectly.

"I knew it, I'm surronded by assholes. Keep firing a**hole!" :)

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  • 15 years later...

@Drezz I am trying to isolate the should stripe right now in 94, and thought I should go digging here before I put in a bazillion hours. Do you by any chance have a 94 ROM where the shoulder colour has already been isolated?

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@AdamCatalyst Funny how you resurrected this  thread... and I've recently resurrected part of this ambitious plan.

I do have a ROM with the hacked tileset, but it's different than the originally planned palette. The shoulder stripe remains, but is isolated from the pants stripe. The pants stripes have been eliminated. There are two colours for the jersey, two for the pants, two for the shoulder, two for the arm and sock stripes, two for the helmet, two for the face, two for the ice, one for the skate blade and stick, and one for the eyes and skate boot.

I'm still reviewing the sprites for errors, but you can definitely have the layout once I've finished it. The problem is, I've altered the goalie mask to have an eye-cage, and it may not be to your liking, so you'll have to review it.

Also, I haven't updated the bench players, penalty box or the faceoff windows. Still a bit to do yet, but you can have what I've done so far for reference!

Edited by Drezz
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If you were willing to PM over your work in progress ROM, I’d greatly appreciate it! It sounds perfect for my purposes. I’ve got a workflow where I dump large tiles from TileM into Photoshop, then use tools there to isolate just the elements I need. I just needed a version where the leg strip and shoulder no longer matched, can diff. It out from there.

Let me know if I can provide anything to make your job easier. 

I’m so curious to see what your final ROM looks like!

p.s. I recently added my own Strip mod to NOSE, so there can more easily edit. Could do the same for you if that helps?

Edited by AdamCatalyst
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3 hours ago, AdamCatalyst said:

p.s. I recently added my own Strip mod to NOSE, so there can more easily edit. Could do the same for you if that helps?

I'm curious to see what you did there. I was considering recompiling wboy's source code with my strip hack included, but I'm not 100% certain how to do it yet.

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Not sure if I'm late to the party but I did modify Clockwise's helmet patch version to separate the shoulder stripe from the rest of the details. Been a long time since I've finished a complete ROM but the last one that I did with this version of sprites was the SHL.

1 - Ice, 2 - Blade, 3 - Boot/Gloves, 4 - Helmet L, 5 - Pants D, 6 - Pants L, 7 - Stick, 8 - Face

9 - Shoulder Stripe, 10 - Outer Stripe, 11 - Yoke, 12 - Jersey D, 13 - Jersey L, 14 - Helmet D, 15 - Inner Stripe, 16 - Shadow

2023-01-21 12_46_36-NOSE 1.2b - 2020 SHL.bin.png

2020 SHL.bin

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7 hours ago, Jkline3 said:

Not sure if I'm late to the party but I did modify Clockwise's helmet patch version to separate the shoulder stripe from the rest of the details. Been a long time since I've finished a complete ROM but the last one that I did with this version of sprites was the SHL.

1 - Ice, 2 - Blade, 3 - Boot/Gloves, 4 - Helmet L, 5 - Pants D, 6 - Pants L, 7 - Stick, 8 - Face

9 - Shoulder Stripe, 10 - Outer Stripe, 11 - Yoke, 12 - Jersey D, 13 - Jersey L, 14 - Helmet D, 15 - Inner Stripe, 16 - Shadow

2023-01-21 12_46_36-NOSE 1.2b - 2020 SHL.bin.png

2020 SHL.bin 2 MB · 1 download

Ah I see it! Interesting layout! So single tone for the skin. Tha works too

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