March 22nd, 2016

Work on the rewritten GFX Generators is going along nicely. I had to pause working on it while I drew a commission, but I’m back on the case. I’d made a few posts on Tumblr (here, here and here), but kept forgetting to make a post about it on the site for people who read the blog or follow the RSS.


The current version of the engine can mimic the Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Screen, including the new portrait palettes feature. That screen wasn’t a random choice, because the original (and current) generator engine started life as only making fake MSH Vs. screens. That means I started by redoing some of the oldest (and most badly coded) parts of the old engine. The character data file format was changed, so the early work had me testing everything from a Spider-Man test character, so he’s the stand-in sprite for a lot of early test shots.


One unexpectedly big hurtle was updating the MSH portraits with palettes. Sorting 16 colors for sprites is easy, and characters with sprite overlay effects add a bit of challenge. These portraits MSH portraits can hit the 40 and 50 color range, including some colors that are virtually the same, but that’s not the worst part. You can’t immediately tell when certain characters have shading sections that appear and disappear depending on which palette it’s using. Most problems are little things, like a few pixels of Psylocke’s psi-blade sharing colors with her belt in the main palette, but not the P2 colors. I just mapped them to an extra color, no big deal. Then there’s Iron Man.



Seriously, look at the lines above the faceplate and the edge lighting on the helmet. It looks like the shading changes for a few tiles (and viewing the tiles in WinKawaks while scrolling through palettes doesn’t seem to make it look like the P2 version). A few P2 portraits have separate versions because mapping is far too ridiculous for me to deal with. On the flip side, Blackheart only had 16 colors. 16 colors! Since many of the portraits I’ll be updating don’t have color maps as nice as Mephisto Jr’s, I can’t promise that I’ll be able to boil all of them down to one portrait.

While this new version has a long way to go before replacing the generators you see on the site, it will soon be finished enough for me to upload a generator that only does that MSH Vs. Screen. Don’t worry, you’ll have more than the 12 default characters in there. I’ll slowly add new screen and graphic generators as I convert more features and characters to the new engine format until it completely replaces the main generators you see on the site now. This will start VERY soon, so get ready for it!

2 Responses to “GFX Generators work 2016-03-22”

  1. […] since last year and you’ll finally start to see some early versions of it this Spring. I made a blog post to talk a bit about that new version, including why part of it almost drove me insane (well, more […]

  2. […] palettes. There won’t be alt palettes for all portraits and one major reason is mentioned in this post. The short version: portrait palettes are usually a pain to […]