Unit Icon Creation Tutorial

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zombiehunter1977
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
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Unit Icon Creation Tutorial

Post by zombiehunter1977 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:14 pm

How to use Google and the photoshop program GIMP to create new unit icons for Panzer Corps.

Step 1, Go to google and open a search for it, in images. For ease of explanation I'll say I want to make (yet another) Me-109 so I google that and then go to the images tab. The goal is to find a picture of an Me-109 that is from an angle comparable to one in the game. Save that picture to your desktop. The best one I found is this pic here
Image

Step 2, open from your Panzer Corps/Graphics/Units folder an Me-109 (Bf whatever, seriously the Germans used both Me-109 and Bf-109 themselves so does it matter?). Generally I copy the unit file onto my desktop so I don't accidentally save over the original but it doesn't matter really how you do it. This will be a simple template to tell you what size the unit you're making should be and it already has an appropriate shadow. Open the desktop copy of the Me-109 with whatever photo-shop program you use. I use GIMP, and open the Me-109 picture from google with GIMP too.
Image

Step 3, use your free select tool to trace around the perimeter of google found 109, I'm going to use the front 109 because it is easiest. Once you have it selected (omitting the wheels because our 109 will be airborne), copy and paste it onto your 109 template, mirror it, rotate the floating selection so that it is level, and then shrink it slightly so it all fits in the transparent space like so.
Image

Step 4, erase all but the noses of the 3 left aircraft and the bottom right one. And cut away all of the other two except the fuselage portion (for sizing your icons.) Note here: the shadows have been left untouched.
Image

Step 5, select your plane, cut and paste it again so that it is floating again, and move it up to the top right trimmed plane. Use the resize tool to shrink it until it is the same size (roughly, it needn't be perfect) as the previous 109. Then place it atop the top right 109 and trim away any of the old fuselage still showing.
Image Image

Step 6, reselect your plane, copy it, paste it, mirror it, and then place it on the nose of the top left aircraft.
Image

Step 7, select both top aircraft (without the shadows) and copy them onto the bottom most noses. They should line up perfectly or fairly close.
Image

Step 8, copy one of the right two planes, paste it next to the middle right fuselage.
Image

Step 9, Shrink it to appropriate size, and then paste on top of the old tiny one.
Image

Step 10, Select it, copy it, and mirror it and place it where the left one goes. Voila. Done. New unit!
Image

Don't forget to then name it something unique and appropriate so you can find it in the future.
Don't forget to put it in your Panzer Corps/Graphics/Units folder
Don't forget to clone an entry on your efx.pzdat file is you wish to use your icon in game.
and finally,
Don't forget to share with the rest of us, haven't I been good to you after all?

VPaulus
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Post by VPaulus » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:21 pm

Thanks, Zombie!

Xerkis
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Post by Xerkis » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:34 pm

Wow this is awesome!

This is something I want to start and try to do but have no idea on how to do it.

Many thanks!

RobertCL
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Post by RobertCL » Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:46 pm

Excellent work!
With an e-file with colored planes it would be awesome.

Georg Teitler did it in his mod of the old PG1, it showed up that colored planes were a must in PG1.
You have just proven the same for Pz Corps!

rezaf
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Post by rezaf » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:57 pm

zombiehunter, I hope you do not mind my posting this in your thread, but I figured out a pretty straight forward way to create nice shadows for the planes, and I'll try my best to outline how to do it.

Here goes.

I actually did this first with Paint.NET, since that's the application I use, but I installed GIMP specifically to make this match with zombiehunter's excellent icon tutorial.
I'm using one of zombiehunter's Bf109's as basis, so go ahead and load it up in GIMP.

The first thing you do is to add an additional layer to the image.

Image

Immediately switch back to the original layer (2), draw a selection around the miniature view of the plane and copy it (3).
Image

Image

Now switch to the layer you added to the image (4) and paste - the content of the original layer should automatically be placed directly on top, i.e. you now have a copy of the miniature view on this new layer. It should also still be selected, so just chose Colors -> Brightness/Contrast from the menu (5).

In the screen that pops up, draw the Brightness-slider all the way to the left, and the Contrast-slider all the way to the right (6).
Accept your changes.

Image

Back on the main screen, adjust the opacity of your newly created layer to 40% (7). That's the value I use, but if you think it's slightly off, feel free to play around a little bit.

Image

Look what we've done, our creation is a mere shadow of the original. Oh, wait, that's exactly what we had in mind!
So go ahead and drag the shadow upwards so it is located above the original shadow (8). Depending on the size of your plane, you might want to move this around a bit, but I'll leave that to your judgement.

Image

Now all that's left to do is to switch back to the original layer and remove the old shadow with the Eraser tool.
Done, we've got ourselves a nice shadow that exactly matches the plane above.

Image

Finally, select Image->Merge visible layers (keyboard shortcut CTRL-M) and just use whatever settings are suggested, and your image is done.
If your shadow overlaps with the original plane, you might want to move it below the original layer before merging - that's done using the little green arrow to the right of the icon to create a new layer shown in the first image of this tutorial.

Well, thank's for reading, I hope this will be helpful to someone. :)
_____
rezaf

Razz1
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Post by Razz1 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:21 pm

Anyway you can go back and make the images sharper?

VPaulus
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Post by VPaulus » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:14 pm

Thanks rezaf, for adding the Gimp tutorial.

gunhojr
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Post by gunhojr » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:46 pm

hello if i wanted to use a plane not in data a new type how can i go by doing so.if i have the picture already changed to png what would be my next step do i use gimp or can i use paint.thanks for any help on next step to take to add my new unit to game.

Ranta
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
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Post by Ranta » Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:54 pm

well, just to mention it for completeness sake, taking an image from google and use copy&paste may lead to copy right infridgements (especially when pusblishing your mod later). Just be aware of that possibility (maybe ask for permissions if you use these pictures).

Best Regards

Ranta

Fimconte
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Post by Fimconte » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:09 am

I think that is unlikely, as such modification and publication falls largely (unless commercialized) under Fair Use.

FOARP
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Re: Unit Icon Creation Tutorial

Post by FOARP » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:33 am

Sorry, I work in this area and I can tell you - no it doesn't. Fair use is a defence for things like use in criticism and comment etc. Not for copying pictures without permission for use in a game.

Happily there's a lot of stuff available that's in the public domain or otherwise made available for various reasons - better use this instead..

Guders
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Re: Unit Icon Creation Tutorial

Post by Guders » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:21 pm

Hello,

I'm new here, and I don't understand why the images can't be view.

Mark50
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
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Re: Unit Icon Creation Tutorial

Post by Mark50 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:15 pm

Probably because Imageshack has stopped hosting free images and now requires a subscription.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ImageShack

deranzo
Warhammer Designer
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Re: Unit Icon Creation Tutorial

Post by deranzo » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:50 pm

can you upload images again?
it is a good day to die

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