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 Adding Artwork

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Orzie
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PostSubject: Adding Artwork   2015-07-20, 18:55

(This is a crosspost from the Project Ironfist wiki, see link)

(You can also learn much of this by watching the video tutorial "Modding with an Iron Fist: Episode 3: Adding New Creatures")


Heroes II stores graphics in its own format called ICN. Each ICN file contains many related spirtes. For example, PIKEMAN.ICN contains all of the pikeman's combat graphics and animations, while ARTIFACT.ICN contains full-size portraits of every artifact in the game. This tutorial explains how to turn your art into an ICN file so that it can be added to the game. You will need to download the Ironfist Tools.

Perhaps the easiest way to understand how to prepare art is to see an example. You can unpack any existing ICN file by dragging and dropping it onto "H2IcnUnpack.exe" . See Packaging Resources to learn how to access the ICN and other data files used by Heroes II. Here's an example of what the pikeman graphics look like when unpacked: pikeman.zip .

First, make sure all of your images have the same dimensions. Plan ahead and figure out how large the largest image in the sprite will need to be, and set the canvas size of all images to at least that large.

Second, your images will need to follow the Heroes II palette, shown below. Additionally, use bright anddark purple (#ff00ff and#ff32ff) for dark andlight shadow, cyan (#00ffff) for transparency, and yellow (#ffff00) for highlight. Use purple (#b400ff) for the overlap between highlight and light shadow, and green (#00ff00) for the overlap between highlight and dark shadow.



Place all the images in a folder. Name the folder what you want the ICN to be called followed by ".cadres". For example, if you want to produce a file called "PIKEMAN.ICN", then you will need to name the folder "PIKEMAN.ICN.cadres".

Now, add to the folder a plain-text file called setup.ini. The setup.ini file will control the order the images will appear. It looks like this:

Code:
[Position]
X=0
Y=0
[Bits]
first_image.bmp=0
second_image.bmp=0
...
last_image.bmp=0

You can set the "X" and "Y" fields in setup.ini to shift all frames by those amounts.

To transform the folder of images into an ICN sprite archive, you'll again need the Ironfist Tools. Drag-and-drop the folder onto "H2IcnPack.exe", and it will create your ICN file.

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