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Birger

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This was originally posted by Kasperus @ Languish, he has converted numerous of CIV III units to EUII for the MES.

LINK to CivIII Graphic Forum: http://forums.civfanatics.com/forumdisplay.php?f=46

Here's how to do it:

Kasperus said:
Converting civ3 requires 2 tools:
-a decent Graphical editor which can handle PCX-files and enables Palette editting (PAL-files). I use JASC's Paintshop Pro 7 myself but possibly other popular graphical programs (photoshop, gimp) have the same possibilities. WIndows Paint is unfortunately not good enough ;)
-a tool called FLICster, developed by the civ3 community, free to use, which can be downloaded from
The civfanatics forum (see down the first post for direct links)
It is in that forum that you can also find links to many custom-designed civ3 units.

You don't need to own civ3 to convert civ3-units though not having civ3 installed has 2 disadvantages:
-you cannot convert the standard units obviously as you don't have them (duh!)
-you cannot use in FLICster the palette-change option (iow you can only make units in their standard colour, often blue, though not always equally 'visible'). With civ3 installed you have the option to change to 1 of the 32 colour-palettes for units.

A full civ3-unit (as either downloaded or borrowed from civ3) can consist of many files but for our purpose only 3 are needed:
<unitname>Run.flc
<unitname>Default.flc
<unitname>AttackA.flc (alt. AttackB if it is included, depending on preference)

You can open these FLC-files in FLICster where you can see a preview of the animation. If you have civ3 you can also view it in different colours. Most important though: you can convert it to an (almost) usable format. For that you choose export then click on the button next to Export type and change it to the 2nd option called Multiple Filmstrip PCX and you UNcheck the thing next to border or the file will be screwed.
If you have civ3 installed you can also specify the Palette-part by chosing which colour you want to convert. The other options have no meaning to us.
Once done hit the Export-button. The files will be stored in a map called FLICster which is created in the same map that the original FLC-file has been.
You have to convert the default, run and attack file in this way.

Now you have 24 PCX files, 8 files per action which have all specified the direction (as N, NW, NE etc). For eu2 we need all the 8 Run-files, 1 Default-file (the SW-one) and 2 Attack-files (SW and NE). The other can be removed. We are done with FLICster.

The next part depends on what graphical program you use. I base this tutorial on how it works in Paintshop. If you have other tool then note that needed actions at least are:
-adjusting the palette (editting, saving and loading up the .PAL files)
-changing both the background-colour and the shadow-colour to the specified colours in the palette (by convention true green and true red)
-saving the PCX files in BMP-format.

It is best to start with one PCX and use it as base for the other ones. In starting situation they will have all the same palette which facilitates your work somewhat as whatever you change in the first PCX won't have more catastrophical results in other files that in the original one. Say, take the default one and start with that.
First you need to edit the palette. In paintshop you chose Colors -> Edit palette, which opens a window with the palette showing every colour in a raster. You need to change the first 2 boxes to determine the transparance and shadow. In fact it doesn't matter what colour is used here (green and red are only conventions) BUT the whole background must refer to the color in first box and color of all shadows to the 2nd (it isn't enough to change it to a true colour if it doesn't refer to the colour from the boxes but to a different box). Because you will have to replace a colour anyway it is just easiest to change the first to true green (RGB 0 255 0) and the 2nd to true red (RGB 255 0 0). If you're lucky this will not affect the starting image (at most 1-2 pixels. If more then you will have to change everything coloured with one of the 2 first colours to a similar colour from the rest of the file first. Note that you need to apply similar change to all the 11 files first before changing the palette!).
After that you save the palette (in paintshop in Color -> Save Palette. We will need that later.

In civ-files the transparant colour is defined mid-in the file so you have to work with replacer again. In paintshop replacing is as such easy: You chose the Dropper-tool, leftclick somewhere in the background of the image (which will be always mono-coloured and usually pink), rightclick in the small palette-box in the right-upper corner of the screen on the 1st colour (our green background). Then chose the color replacer-tool and by right-clicking in the image you will replace the ugly pink to our green. For this set tolerance preferably to 0, size of the brush as big enough to save time. Continue till all the background is green.
Shadow can be tougher to replace as sometimes shadows in civ3-units are multicoloured. For Eu2 we need it in 1 colour though. Luckily in paintshop you can for that just adjust tolerance by color-replacement. To edit out all the shadow it shall be around 70 (if it doesn't affect your base-image that is, otherwise you will have to be very careful with replacing. Luckily units are not very often pink-coloured or it must be that you need flamingo-warriors...). Do it always after you changed the background to a really different colour, otherwise the whole background might become red and you will lose your shadow! Obviously you need to replace the shadow to the 2nd colour in the palette.
Then you can save the bitmap to some logical name like <unitname>_Default.BMP or such.

For all other 10 files you follow the following practice:
1. Load the previously saved palette from the first file (in COlors-> load palette)
2. Change the background and shadow in the same way as in first file to the colours from the palette.
3. Save the files as BMP's.

Finally you create a new, small bitmap and load up for it again the same palette as you used in all the other 11 files. Save this file as something like <unitname>_palette.BMP. THis file may be as small as you wish. It is easiest to just cut out a small image from one of the unit0bitmaps as it will have per default the same palette.

Now you're done with graphical part which, if done without complications it shouldn't take more than 15-20 minutes.
One warning: If you work with palette do NEVER change the colour-rendering! It must always remain on 256 colours!

However, alternatively you can skip the palette-process if you want units without shadows. In that case instead of the previous:
1. Change the colours-range from 256 colours to 16million or higher for all the 11 PCX-images.
2. Replace the whole background and all the shadows with true green background.
3. Save every file as BMP. You're done with graphical section.

Last part is to create the SPR-files. These are stored in your GFX\Units - folder and you can use them as base. You will need 11 of them and keep the format of names as used there:
T is type, usually ARMY or NAVY
C is countrytag which will be the tag defined in the armynationalitysprite in Country.csv
A is action - for landunits either STAND (our default), FIRE (our attack) or WALK (our run)
D is direction
L is level (there are 4 for eu2, 1 is default)

It is best to just copy-paste a set of existing SPR-files and then rename it to a tag you wish to use. You can edit the SPR-files in notepad.
There are 5 rows in a SPR-file.
1. The name of the appropriate bitmap, must fit the direction and action of the bitmap.
2. Origin. Determines the position of the bitmap on the screen, or more precisely of the left-upper corner of it in relation to some right-undermost corner possible for units in the game. This is something to try out yourself what wlooks best ingame. Increasing x means the unit will move left, increasing y moves it up. For big units as cavalry the correct settings will be about x=60-70 and y=80-90, for infantery units it will be around the default values as made by pdox.
3. The number of frames, usually 14-20 for most civ3-default and attack files and 10-15 for run-files. If you don't enter it correctly the animation will be 'weird' ;)
4. Palette - specify here the name of your own created Palette-bitmap - our <unitname>_Palette.BMP file which you have to place in the GFX\Palettes folder. If you worked without the palette in the non-shadow way then you can leave there a standard palette - it makes no difference.
5. Speed - actually delay. The higher the number the slower the animation will run.

Remains to place it correctly and change the country.csv. If you used a new tag (one unused for sprites by paradox BUT existing in the game of course) then you will have to place the SPR and BMP's and the Palette (as well) in the standard game-folder (not an issue as it won't overwrite anything). Only if the tag you used was used by paradox as well then you can use moddir.
In country.csv (usually the one in moddir) you change the column ArmyNationalitySprite to the tag you used for your custom unit.

That's all. Together with testing out and placing it correctly it shouldn't take more than ~30-45 minutes to convert 1 civ3-unit into eu2 format. B)
 
Last edited:

Birger

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I'm gonna give it a try, any unit that you want Hive? :)
 

Hive

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Birger Jarl said:
I'm gonna give it a try, any unit that you want Hive? :)

Yeah - a Knight unit like the one I failed to convert from CK... :D
 

Birger

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Oki, I'll see what I can find in their "library" :)
Oh btw, MES has knights like that but on horses, looks really neat.
 

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Birger Jarl said:
Oki, I'll see what I can find in their "library" :)
Oh btw, MES has knights like that but on horses, looks really neat.

Is that so? I'll take a look at that then...

Well don't bother to search long for a Knight, just do some cool sprite different from anything in the game as of now. :)
 

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Hive I wouldnt use those "knight" units if I were you. While very very nice to look at there are still teething problems with them.

Like if you press anywhere within half an inch of the sprite (not on the sprite of course) it selects the army even tho that isnt what you intended.
Its something to do with the size of the larger knight units.

Also they dont appear on the "battle screen" properly - they appear off to the one or other side.
 

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angelscotboi said:
Hive I wouldnt use those "knight" units if I were you. While very very nice to look at there are still teething problems with them.

Like if you press anywhere within half an inch of the sprite (not on the sprite of course) it selects the army even tho that isnt what you intended.
Its something to do with the size of the larger knight units.

Also they dont appear on the "battle screen" properly - they appear off to the one or other side.

If you are talking about the CK units, then I already knew that... those are the problems I ran into, and they are highly annoying... :(
 

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Woohoo...this is fun. I've got Korean Turtle ships, Mexican Villista's, and Muslim Caravels now. :p This could really get addicting! :(
 

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Khephren said:
Woohoo...this is fun. I've got Korean Turtle ships, Mexican Villista's, and Muslim Caravels now. :p This could really get addicting! :(

Wanna show your work to the mob? :)
 

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I'll be converting ancient units over for ATF. One problem, at least on my first conversion, was that the guy is a little small. Wouldn't be too bad if all were new converted units, but with the midgets battling the giants, it looks kind of wierd. :rofl: Of course, the mounted units would look about the right size.
 

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DSMyers1 said:
I'll be converting ancient units over for ATF. One problem, at least on my first conversion, was that the guy is a little small. Wouldn't be too bad if all were new converted units, but with the midgets battling the giants, it looks kind of wierd. :rofl: Of course, the mounted units would look about the right size.

You should convert something for the American Civil War instead. :)
 

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Hive said:
You should convert something for the American Civil War instead. :)

If you can find something pertinant here ( under units tab ), I'd be more than happy too. It doesn't take long, it's the final lining up that's cumbersome. All in all, about a half hour for each. I did find out something interesting today when doing an Eagle Warrior. Some units are not convertable, no matter what, do to framesize.

Edit - I lost my webspace temporarily, so I can't post any screenies, sorry. :(

Edit2 - Hive, If you want, I can e-mail you a few, the turtle ships are pretty cool
 
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Khephren said:
Edit2 - Hive, If you want, I can e-mail you a few, the turtle ships are pretty cool

Sure, that would be cool. Email them to dennis7pedersen@hotmail.com

EDIT: I checked that link you posted, but aren't the units (at least the land units) too small for EUII?
 
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DSMyers1 said:
:( I have too much to do as it is ! BTW, have you ever actually tried ATF?

No I haven't tried it - I'm not much into fantasia scenarios at the time...
 

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Hive said:
If you are talking about the CK units, then I already knew that... those are the problems I ran into, and they are highly annoying... :(

No I meant the MES knights. For some reason Cavarly type units are too big for EU2 and therefore do not appear correctly.
 

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angelscotboi said:
No I meant the MES knights. For some reason Cavarly type units are too big for EU2 and therefore do not appear correctly.

Ah, I see... well I'm not gonna use any horse-units anyway.