Changing energy colors


#1

Hey everyone…I’m messing with different specificastions for the modules in GSB and I’ve got what I believe is a pretty firm grasp on it.

But I’ve hit a proverbial wall with changing the coloration of the various energy weapons. I know how to mess with the color of the genuine beam weapons (Pulse lasers, beam lasers, proton beam, fusion beam etc…) by changing the by playing with the “Texture”, “blasttexture” and “grain” coding lines and changing the (color).atlas.dds stuff.

What I’m not sure of is what the actual “color” line of codng does in this instance. In the case of long duration beams they have many numbers (for instance 255,15,15) that appear to do nothing when adjusted.

However in the case of the rapid-fire weapons like the Quantum Blaster, Ion Cannon or Cruiser Laser the color line only has a single digit which effects the coloration drastically: 0 = pink 1 = yellow,
2 = green, 3 = purple, 4 = red, 5 = yellow-ish

Specifically my goal is to make a variant blaster that is blue…but if anyone has any interest in helping me with figure this out I would be very appreciative. My guess is for master modders like most of you this will be a cakewalk.


#2

G’Day Cen2050
I cant speak for the master modders out there, but i will help you where i can :slight_smile:

With the other beam weapons that use the “SIM_BeamWeaponModule”, and “color = 255,16,16”

From viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2621&p=13421#p13421


The Quantum Blaster, Cruiser Lasers and a few other weapons use the “SIM_BulletWeaponModule”
which means that they get their graphics from a file called “bullets.dds” located in \data\bitmaps\fx

In bullets.dds there are 10 avaliable bullet types numbering from 0 - 9. If you want a blue bulet, you need to use:
color = 3 (looks like a turbo laser)
or
color = 9 (looks similar to a comet) <- i had trouble using this awhile back, but there have been 3 patches since then so it might be fixed.

You also have to change “width =” and “height =” to alter the size of the graphic.
So if you want a huge blue bolt of death, then as a starting point set the numbers to something like “height = 40 and width = 10”
From there its a case of tweaking

Now if you want different style/color bullets other than whats already in bullets.dds, your going to have to graphically edit the file yourself


I have attached a small mod to give you an idea of some of the changes you can make to the graphics, mainly because it is sometimes easier to see something rather than to explain it.

Please note, this is something that has been quickly thrown together - It only adds 3 new weapons and graphics for the Rebels but it should give you an idea.
To install, rename to Cen2050 mod.zipx and exctract into the GSB directory (it will need to overwrite some files)
Cen2050 Mod.zip (184 KB)
you will find bigger and better examples throughout this modding forums
Have fun :slight_smile:


#3

Thanks so much for the thought and I REALLY appreciate it…but I downloaded the file and my computer freaked out and won’t let me DO anything with what you posted. I keep getting an error message “The Archive is either in unknown format or damaged”

Also…as far as making those small energy bolts blue with the “3” color…if you enlarge the shot by tweaking the “height” and “width” lines of coding the shot is clearly purple

but thanks for the head’s up about the color line coding being more or less obselete. It’s one less thing I have to waste time on.


#4

Sorry, my fault - i had hoped that winzip would have worked out how to extract the file.

Please redownload the file which i have reuploaded, (mainly because the i stuffed up the installation path in the last one ^^; )
Rename the downloaded file to “Cen2050 Mod.zipx” - It was the only way i could make it small enough to fit onto the forum.
(I am using winzip 14 - i don’t know how compatible with earlier versions or other programs.)

Now if this fails, i can send you the mod via email in a standard zip file (its 270kb)

In regards to the colour, Try your blue gun on the tutorial map - the bullet should be blue . . .
either that or my monitor settings are stuffed :stuck_out_tongue:


#5

thank you! The second upload worked perfectly. I had to dowbload Winzip (I was using WinRAR before) and the game kept giving me error messages about finding the turret mapping to your turret sprites…so I probablly didn’t put them in the right place. But I just copied and pasted a turret I knew worked and that did the trick.

the fact that you MADE a graphic for a double barrel laser is a testimate to your programming skill…never mind the fact that on screen it looks ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!

Thanks again for your help and for giving me that upload not once but twice.


#6

Sorry about forcing you to use winzip, it was all i had avaliable to me while i am at work

Hmm, it sounds like i have messed up the pathing for the mod once again if it is complaining about turret mapping
When you have a chance, could you re extract the zip file straight into your installed GSB directory.
In the zip file you will find two main directories and the readme.txt

  • Cen2050: contains all the new graphics for the mod. That needs to be placed in your GSB directory (next to data & directx directories)
  • data: this directory contains the files that needed to overwrite the originals, ie (data\race\rebles.txt for the turret mapping and data\bitmaps\fx\bullets.dds for the new bullets and finally installs\cen2050.txt to tell the game you have an mod installed)

The question is,
are the double barrel turrets firing a double bullet and double beam.
if not then something went wrong in the installation

But to be perfectly honest the graphics editing is really easy once you know the process.
This is why the game is so awesome, it doesn’t take much programing knowledge to create new weapons that look good.


#7

well the good news is your instructions were excellent and your turret mapping is now flawless…it was probablly me ineptitude that screwed things up before. It’s probablly painfully apparent that I have no skill with computers whatsoever.

And as far as Winzip and WinRAR…I downloaded Winzip and I actually like it better so nothing to appologize for there.

you’ll ALSO be happy to know that you’re double continuous beam is not only working but EXTREMELY good looking. I removed the alliance restriction and put it on a panther cruiser and I gotta tell ya seeing an array of 6 lasers opening up looks REALLY cool.

You bullet weapons also fire a double shot…though I had to enlarge the shot width to make it apparant. but again it looks really cool.

also…what program do you use to edit those .dds files? It appears that I do not actualy have it because nothing I try to open them with appears to work, because now that I’ve seen a double blue weapon I have a hankering to change the color on it.


#8

Don’t worry about it, you have an inquizitive mind into how to change the game and how it works.
Given time, you will become a master modder, I will warn you though, modding this game can chew up a lot of time - but its worth it

Yeah, i thought you would like the double blue beam . .

  • Question, does the beam look blue or purple :wink:

So you removed the rebel restrictions and placed it on a federation panther cruiser . .
One would think that a rebel turret would look a little out of place on a federation ship
So, there is a need for a double turret for the federation wouldn’t you think ?

If you have to adjust the settings for the bullets then thats good to know.
On my computer it looked fine, but i am running on a low resolution

  • Question, when the gun fires, is there a double blast tecture at the tip of the barrel ?

As for Graphical editing for GSB
I use Adobe Photoshop 7 to edit the .dds files. (mainly cause i have access to it here at work)
However there are other programs that can be used. . . i just don’t know them off the top of my head (sorry)


#9

the double beam cannon DOES appear blue…and when dropped into an array EACH location fires off a pair. That kind of barrage of energy, I must admit, is extremely impressive looking.

I’ll see what I can do about downloading something to play with my own .dds files. I’ve seen a few fluke events that looked so awesome as to demand replication: an overlarge plasma shot flying along the path of an enormous beam perfectly for one…and a ligthning gun shot arcing along the stream of a pulse laser


#10

Here is something to get you started with your new mod

This file is for any double barrel bullet turrets you have
Bullet Blasts.zip (71.1 KB)

Some more double beam zappiness, with a double beam for the ecm as well
Double Beam1.zip (208 KB)

Still more double beam zappiness
Double Beam2.zip (153 KB)

Remember - Once your happy with your mod, please post it up so i can have a look as well :slight_smile:
Have fun


#11

I cannot get over how much you’ve helped me…once I get my hands on something that will let me edit my own dds files you can BET I’ll be posting them for you to look at.

you have been absolutely incredible. From helping me fix that fighter problem to giving me all this awesome material.

I’ve got a fascination with Sci-Fi weaponry and the imagination of a writer…so as soon as I get something I’m happy with you’ll see it!!


#12

Ah, but that is what this forums is all about. You ask for help, if there is someone out there that can help you, they will. Its a good community here.

I just happen to be in a position where i can offer some assistance. what I have sent you was my initial experiments into new weapon systems. Which is exactly what you are doing right now.

I am currently expanding my work to incorporate all races. (Have a look and my BigGunz mod and you will see what i mean)
Its a good thing that you have the imagination of a writer, It took me ages just to come up with the descriptions of those 3 weapons :stuck_out_tongue:


#13

it’s not a new mod or anything but I have a few visual discriptions of a beam discharge that may give you an idea for some new images

I call this one a “Thunderhawk Pulse cannon”…which I have always envisioned as green but just about any color will suffice

it’s a relatively small beam but relatively weak for its size. However after every fixed interval of time a surge or pulse rides down the initial blast, being much more focused these pulses do more damage.

Discription: A Pulse cannon with a twist, a concentrated, long duration, shield demolishing twist

there’s an upgraded version of this which I’ve dubbed the “Super Thunderhawk” which is my ultimate goal to replicate: a somewhat large beam with an arc (or potentially 2) of lightning connected to it.

As for a discription: The power of a Jovian Thunderstorm concentrated into a single beam of continuous electrical devastation.


#14

Were you thinking of something a little like this . . ?
Cen2050 addon.zip (180 KB)
Extract into GSB directory again.
(Please note: anyone else that wants to have a look at these weapons, you need the first part of the Cen2050 mod to make this work)

The colour scheme’s will need some work, but you get the general idea.
My personal favorite is the Raiden Cannon, that one has the most promise.
I haven’t used your names in case these aren’t the graphics your looking for . .


#15

your helix beam and pulse beam look identical to the graphics of the normal weapons in the game

however your raiden cannon IS TO DIE FOR, I had to up the beam size to see it clearly but OMG IT LOOKS absolutely amazing! I can’t say enough about how rediculously awesome it is…the fact that you even got the lightning to dance around the beam is INCREDIBLE. My mind is as blown as the enemy cruisers I took apart with it.

I also sort of get the feeling that you’re going out of your way to do this stuff for me and I can’t thank you enough for that, but at the same time if you have other duties don’t let helping me take away from them.


#16

The difference for the helix and pulse beams are more subtle that the raiden cannon.
However you will see that for yourself when you start to edit the files.
Again, each file is an example on how to achieve the outcome you were thinking of.
You might have to scale it up these fx to notice the differences.

Meh, as for going out of my way, its not an issue. I had a requirement to generate a new weapon fx for my mod and I hadn’t given it much thought (TBH i had no idea what i was gonna do). So, your ideas were the perfect lunchbreak assignment. I am glad you are happy with the results. I am happy that i took the time to create them because I quite like the raiden cannon as well and it is exactly what i needed for my mod.


#17

well…you will be pleased to know that I have downloaded Gimp and the plug-in to edit .dds files.

Thus far I have made only one sucessful image: A variant color on the Raiden Cannon with your Helix image around it. Which I have to admit looks VERY cool but may be a little too busy and pretty for the game.

I’ve also made some slight progress on my own rendition of a Pulse cannon: though I’m a far cry from getting the actuall image combination I want (think something akin to a plasma bolt flying down the middle of a laser beam.)

Here’s what I got so far…I hope you like it!
Darkstar.zip (152 KB)


#18

Thats a great start.
I agree with your assesment about your varient of the Radien Cannon,
However, if you were to use a different location and scale it accordingly, it then looks something like this.

I also used your second variant of the pulse laser on this ship, if you look at the image, you can see an area where it fades from green to white and back again.

If your wondering why, below is a quick description (the way i currently understand it) on how the game uses your graphics.

  1. The blast effect is placed at the start of the turret
  2. The main beam effect is stretched from the turret to the target
  3. The grain section is repeatedly placed along the effects (without stretching) back to back


#19

I’ve gotta say…when you zoom in on my graphic my raiden/helix combination and when it’s placed properly it looks ABSOLUTELY awesome. I haven’t really actually USED it too much actually (working on the pulse beam mostly)

but I DO have a question about that, actually 2 questions

First: is it possible to get a single weapon to use two different graphics simultaneously?

Second: if not is there some way to overlap two turret modules on the same coordinates and link them so they fire at the exact same time and at the same target?

to get the actual pulse effect I’m gunning for what I think I’ll have to do is use copy and paste a beam and some kind of orb graphic over the 8 or so lightning effects to animate the entire thing…kind of like what you did with the Raiden Cannon.


#20

Heheh, i thought you would like it. This was the first thing i though of when i looked at your fx.
To me it simply said “I AM UBER WEAPON” >:)

As for your questions:

  1. To my limited knowledge, no, you can only use one module to generate the graphics for a weapon. ie: “SIM_LightningGunModule” or “SIM_BeamWeaponModule”.

  2. While you could arrange it so that 2 different turrets occupy the same space, (AFAIK) there is no way to link the targeting, timing or firing vectors.

Your idea for the pulse effect might not work as you may think:
If you have a close look at the Main cannon firing, you will see the first of the 8 graphics used in the series placed is head to head, same way the grain is used on a beam i.e. [a===b][b===a][a===b][b===a]
( i assume that this method is used so any asymmetrical graphics look like one smooth continuous fx in the game)

So if you were to animate a pulse moving down the stream in the raiden graphic, in the game it would appear that 2 pulses are moving together. While it may look cool, I would say that this isn’t the graphic your looking for . .

However do not give up: While i have answered these questions to the best of my knowledge that does not mean i am right.
There are plenty of things that i have not thought of ( your thunder cannon is a classic example )
So i ask you to keep trying and experimenting, you may yet come up with an answer, or maybe something even better . . .