Image in forum post

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jonno
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:43 am
Location: Perth, Australia

Image in forum post

Post by jonno » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:50 am

The instructions below will create an animated gif file and link it to the Field of Glory forum - to better describe the action from your game.
The image will look something like this...
Image

These instructions are long but it is not as complicated as it might appear at first glance.

the instructions also cover how to edit the file - so you can preserve your battlefield fog - you may want to skip this...

What you will need
gimp - GNU Image Manipulation Program is free (A good thing) software for image retouching and editing tool
You can download gimp here - http://www.gimp.org/downloads/

dropbox - a (free) cloud storage service. I wouldn’t put anything you consider confidential (ie online banking passwords) but it is good for what we need.
Go here to create a dropbox account https://www.dropbox.com/

These aren’t the only tools you can use- feel free so substitute something else if you prefer
These tools will work on a mac - although you will have to translate the key strokes.
And I am assuming basic computer skills.

Turn 0 Deployment.
We are going to create an empty map to use as a background.
Move all your troops to your baseline
I have an older computer that doesn’t have great video resolution so I can’t fit the whole map on the screen. Scroll your map to a corner - pick one that you think will show most of the action. (We want to capture the same prt of the screen each turn)
and press PrtSc

Switch to (or start up) gimp
Using for this gimp is like cracking a nut with a sledgehammer. gimp is incredibly powerful and we are only using a fraction of its capabilities
And when using gimp undo Edit -> Undo is your best friend.
When you start gimp you will see three windows. The Toolbox, the image window, and dialog and dock window. The dialog and dock will have the layers dialog. If you can't or have closed the layers dialog then click Windows -> Dockable Dialogs -> Layers.

Now paste the screenshot into gimp by clicking
File -> Create -> From Clipboard. Which will paste the screen shot into the gimp image window.

Now for this screen we will just save it.
File -> Save As which will bring up the Save Image dialog.
give the file a meaningful name and then add -map.png ( map - so we know it is the map and png - portable network graphics file)
You can leave the rest (or choose a folder to save in if you like)
Click Save
Leave the settings in the Save as PNG dialog and click Save

You have now saved the background image.

Switch back to Field of Glory and deploy your army.

When you have deployed take another screen shot. And we will again just save the screen
Switch to gimp then

Now paste the screenshot into gimp by clicking
File -> Create -> From Clipboard. Which will paste the screen shot into the gimp image window.

Now for this screen we will just save it.
File -> Save As which will bring up the Save Image dialog.
give the file a meaningful name and then add tx-scr.png ( x = turn number - scr = screenshot - and png = portable network graphics file)
You can leave the rest (or choose a folder to save in if you like)
Click Save

FOG
To hide some of your units - manually add some fog
We will close all the open images in gimp
File -> Close All
then we will open the map as a background
File -> Open as Layers
In the Open Image dialog choose the -map.pgn file
You should see the map in the image window, and the layers dialog will now have a background - which is the map.

Now we open the screen from the turn - and we are going to open it as a layer.
File -> Open as Layers
In the Open Image dialog choose the turn screenshot -tx.pgn file

You will see two layers in the layers dialog
Right click on the turn layer in the layers dialog - the one not named background.
And select Add Alpha Channel
adding the alpha channel means that when we erase something from the top layer the background will show through.
Select the eraser tool from the toolbox - it looks like an eraser (kind of) or press Shift+E
The bottom half of the toolbox will have the eraser tool properties. You can make the size of the eraser larger if you like.
Now just erase the units you want to hide. What you erase will disappear and the background will show through. If the erase shows white streaks then you don’t have the alpha channel - undo the eraser Edit -> Undo, and go back and add the alpha channel.

When you are happy with your image save it as a .png file. We will call this xxxxxxx-tn-fog.png

File -> Save As
You will then see an Export File dialog
choose Flatten Image and then click on Export
leave the defaults and click Save

You now have a file that you can post on the Field of Glory forum

Create a slideshow - animated gif
We are now going to make a slideshow of the images you have.
If you are early in the game you might want to use the “fog” files. Later in the game or after the game is over use the “scr” files.

We will close all the open images in gimp
File -> Close All
then we will open the map as a background
File -> Open as Layers
In the Open Image dialog choose the -map.pgn file
You should see the map in the image window, and the layers dialog will now have a background - which is the map.

Now we open the other files we and to display as layers.
File -> Open as Layers
In the Open Image dialog choose the files you want to display. You can <ctrl> and click to select multiple files.

You will see multiple layers in the layers dialog - and from their names you can make sure the layers are in the right order. From background up - so the most recent turn in the top of the list.
If you need to change the order click of a layer and drag it higher (or lower) in the list.
If you click on the “eye” in the left column in the list the layer wont be visible. So you can easily check to see that you have the layers in the right order.

If the layers do not line up - if all the screenshot were not taken in exactly the same on the map you can use the Move Tool in the toolbox to move the layer around. Use the Opacity slider in the Layers dialog to make the layer see-thru, and align with the layer below. Use the camps as a fixed point to align.

Now we can trim the image to remove the status area at the bottom of the map. We will leave the turn number rand other information at the top of the map.

choose the Rectangle Select Tool in the toolbox to select the area you want to keep.
The select Image -> Crop to Selection to trim the unwanted parts of the image.

Select File -> Save As
and then name the image nnnnnnn.gif

In the Export file dialog choose
Save as animation
Convert to Indexed
and click Export

You might get a message about the image having layers extending beyond borders.
Select Crop
You then get a Save as GIF dialog
In the Animated GIF Options choose
Loop forever
Set the delay between frames to 5000 milliseconds (5 seconds) or an appropriate value
Frame disposal to One frame per layer
And select the Use delay above and Use disposal check boxes

Then click save

You now have created an animated GIF to put on to the Field of Glory forum.

Putting the image in a forum post

Dropbox will have installed an icon in your toolbar. Double click on this to open the dropbox folder.
Copy the image you want to have in your forum post to the public folder in dropbox

Create your forum post

Insert the image tags
Go to the dropbox public folder and right click on the image file
Select Dropbox -> Copy public link - which will copy the url for the document to the clipboard.

Paste this link between the start and end image tags

The forum post will now display the image.
Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast

jonno
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:43 am
Location: Perth, Australia

Re: Image in forum post

Post by jonno » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:52 am

Please review this and if you find any errors - or anything that needs to be clearer then PM me and I will update.

thanks, Jon

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