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Author Topic: NFSHS Tutorial - Creating EA-styled vidwalls in GIMP  (Read 2191 times)

AJ_Lethal

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NFSHS Tutorial - Creating EA-styled vidwalls in GIMP
« on: May 28, 2012, 06:40:57 PM »
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     OK, so you've got a gorgeusly modelled/converted car, with gorgeous textures, melodic custom engine sounds, a painfully accurate performance and showroom data. But there's something missing, right? NFSHS cars generally have a nice "videowall" (or vidwall, for short) of the car. Normally you just would take a photo of your car and shoehorn it into the new vidwall file, right?


    Step 1: Say hi to GIMP

     The first time you fire up GIMP, it would look like this:


    • Toolbox: This is the place where are located the painting and selection tools, mostly. The foreground/background color selection is also in there.
    • Tool Options: Here you can adjust the selected tool parameters.
    • Layers/Channels/Paths Undo: Here you will see the images layers for edition. We“re are going to focus only on the Layers and Undo (in case you screw up).
    • Brushes/Patterns/Gradients: IMO these are redundant, since they can be setted up from their respective tools. In fact, the only use I found for them was adding/editting brushes, but we won't make that kind of stuff in here right now.
    The toolbars can be customized to your liking, but we're going to use the default layout for this tutorial.


     Step 2: Creating the vidwall

     First of all, copy any vidwall from the data\feart\vidwall folder to a convenient location (like My Documents or Desktop), rename it according to the 4-character car id in your FEDATA files, and open it with FSHTool (provided in the zip) by dragging the file to the fshtool.exe executable. A folder with the file's name will be generated in the same location with as the vidwall file.

    Inside that folder there will be 3 files, 2 bitmaps and one .fsh file (which is actually a textfile with the file parameters, don't touch it since it's necessary to rebuild the vidwall file) Open the first of them (the one that appears in the opponent selection screen) in GIMP.

    Now hit Shift+A to select the whole image, then X to switch the foreground/background colors, then hit Delete to delete the whole image and get a suitable base.

    Open the image you want to use as Vidwall (I will be using a Corvette ZR1 I fetched from NetCarShow.com) as a new layer (File > Open as Layers / Ctrl+Alt+O), then resize it using the Scale Tool (Shift+T, also click in the chain icon to avoid any warping) and move it around with the Move tool (M) to your liking. Once you're done, go to Layer (or right-click the Layers dialog)> Layer to Image Size to crop the layer.

    Go to Colors > Colorize. A dialog will appear.


    Here you can tint the image with a single color, you can use these values for the manufacturers that come with the game:

    • Porsche/Lamborghini: 45,100
    • Mercedes: 225,100
    • McLaren: 210,50
    • Nissan: 35,70
    • Jaguar: 170,100
    • Holden/HSV: 225,35
    • Ford: 215, 100
    • Ferrari/Pontiac: 0,100
    • Chevrolet: 200,100
    • BMW: 225,25
    • Aston Martin: 125,50

    I usually reduce lightness by 10-25, depending of the image (to reduce contrast a bit in certain images).

    Go to Color > Brightness and Contrast, reduce brightness by 20-35 and raise contrast by the same amount, then hit OK.

    Then, go to Filters > Blur > Motion Blur. Set the length to 7 and set the angle in such a way the blur runs in the same direction the car is "pointing" at (at 0 degrees, the blur is completely horizontal from right to left, at 45 degrees the blur runs diagonally from right to left, at 90 degrees, the blur runs vertically from the bottom to the top. From 90 degrees onwards, the order and direction is inverted... to not make things way too complicated, I will try to put it in a diagram:

    You can use the Compass tool (Shift+M) to measure the angle (do it from the front end of the car). Depending of the direction the car is pointing at and/or the car angle you have to add/substract 90/180/270/360 from the angle you will get from the tool.
    Now select the Rectangle Selection tool (R), check the Rounded Corners checkbox and set the radius to 15. Now select the image from corner to corner (make sure there are not gaps at the sides), hit Ctrl+I to invert the selection (so you will only have the corners selected) and delete it. You should have something like this:

    That's it for the opponent vidwall. Now save it (or export it, if you're using GIMP 2.8). Select Flatten the Image, click on "Export" and "Save" when prompted.

    Now it's time to make the player's car vidwall (the one with the manufacturer logo) Get a suitable logo image (high resolution, white background) and open it in GIMP. Use the Fuzzy Select tool, adjust the threshold to around 50-100 and select all the blank spaces. Then, invert the selection (Ctrl+I) and copy the selection. If you find a png of the logo it's even better since you can skip the Fuzzy Select step and copy/paste straight away.

    Paste it in the vidwall image as a layer (Edit > Paste as > New Layer), auto-crop the layer (Layer > Autocrop Layer) and then scale it to either 320px width or 150px height (depending of the logo). Then use the Alignment Tool (Q) to align the layers (click on the background, then Shift+click on the logo and align it to the center with the buttons in the tool options dialog)

    Go to Colors > Colorize and adjust the hue value as the same you used the last time, but set the saturation to 50-75 and hit OK. Then go to Layer > Transparency > Alpha To Selection, create a new layer (Ctrl+Shift+N), place the new layer below the logo one, and go to Select > Grow Selection. Set a value of 5 pixels and hit OK. Use the Bucket Fill tool (Shift+B) and paint it with black. That will be the logo shadow.

    Now deselect your selection (Ctrl+Shift+A) go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set it to 10. Go back to the logo layer, change the layer to mode to either Screen, Dodge, Addition, Soft Light, Hard Light or Grain Merge (whatever you think it looks best). Go to Layer > Transparency > Alpha To Selection, get back to the shadow layer and delete the selected part. Then set the layer opacity to 90-95. You gotta have something like this (using Screen layer mode on the logo):


    Now save/export the image as 0001.bmp as described before. It's time to compile the file.

    Step 3: Recompiling the file

    Just drag the index.fsh file to the fshtool executable and that's it. Your vidwall is ready to use!

    Additional notes

     This procedure can be used with the showroom vidwalls (xxxx1.qfs, xxxx2.qfs, where xxxx is the car ID), but you would like to put the rounded corners as a separate layer to make editing easier.
    « Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 11:08:37 AM by AJ_Lethal »

    Lotec

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    Re: NFSHS Tutorial - Creating EA-styled vidwalls in GIMP
    « Reply #1 on: May 28, 2012, 10:03:58 PM »
    Thanks for this, AJ!  I've always loved vidwalls and showcases, just another reason classic NFS is the best.  Rafel showed me a long time ago the general rules, and now I know how to add the NFS4 tint.

    AJ_Lethal

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    Re: NFSHS Tutorial - Creating EA-styled vidwalls in GIMP
    « Reply #2 on: August 28, 2017, 11:09:03 AM »
    Updated tutorial (improved method)

    MADMAN_nfs

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    Re: NFSHS Tutorial - Creating EA-styled vidwalls in GIMP
    « Reply #3 on: September 05, 2017, 08:44:09 AM »
      [...]
      • Toolbox: This is the place where are located the painting and selection tools, mostly. The foreground/background color selection is also in there.
      • Tool Options: Here you can adjust the selected tool parameters.
      • Layers/Channels/Paths Undo: Here you will see the images layers for edition. We“re are going to focus only on the Layers and Undo (in case you screw up).
      • Brushes/Patterns/Gradients: IMO these are redundant, since they can be setted up from their respective tools. In fact, the only use I found for them was adding/editting brushes, but we won't make that kind of stuff in here right now.
      The toolbars can be customized to your liking, but we're going to use the default layout for this tutorial.

       Step 2: Creating the vidwall

      [...]

      Very nice tutorial.

      I find the part with the motion blur to be explained very technically, although not wrong.
      Maybe simply explain that, with this effect, you set the direction of "wind" that smudges the picture...  :)

      Personally i also dislike this default "multi-window" view with seperate toolboxes. But maybe it's worth mentioning that you can change this with 2 simple clicks in GIMP.
      In the main window just navigate to "Windows > Single-Window Mode" ... en voilą.

      Greetings

      noise

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      Re: NFSHS Tutorial - Creating EA-styled vidwalls in GIMP
      « Reply #4 on: September 05, 2017, 11:56:07 PM »
      Thanks for the tutorial.

      EA has 0001.bmp for car1.mnu and 0000.bmp for opponent.mnu.
      But lately I've seen vidwalls containing only a 0000.bmp, and the vidwall shows up in car1.mnu and in opponent.mnu.

      I tried that too, but FSHtool  wouldn't let me. (unsuccessfull operation, missing 0001.bmp)

      Next thing is the showcase files:

      EA has BMW.qfs /CHEV.qfs / FERR.qfs, containg bars with the carname.Where does it show up and how does the game recognize these files?
      f.e Ff50 is Ferrari F50, but it uses FERR.qfs also.

      I've seen people like Memphis and MADMAN-nfs including such qfs files for their cars.

      AJ_Lethal

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      Re: NFSHS Tutorial - Creating EA-styled vidwalls in GIMP
      « Reply #5 on: September 06, 2017, 07:45:51 AM »
      Thanks for the tutorial.

      EA has 0001.bmp for car1.mnu and 0000.bmp for opponent.mnu.
      But lately I've seen vidwalls containing only a 0000.bmp, and the vidwall shows up in car1.mnu and in opponent.mnu.

      I tried that too, but FSHtool  wouldn't let me. (unsuccessfull operation, missing 0001.bmp)
      That happens because the index.fsh is not set-up properly to compile a 1-image qfs file. You can modify index.fsh with Notepad (the FSHtool readme explains how to modify that file in detail)

      Next thing is the showcase files:

      EA has BMW.qfs /CHEV.qfs / FERR.qfs, containg bars with the carname.Where does it show up and how does the game recognize these files?
      f.e Ff50 is Ferrari F50, but it uses FERR.qfs also.

      I've seen people like Memphis and MADMAN-nfs including such qfs files for their cars.

      That file shows up when you enter the Photo Album in a car's showcase:


      You need to have the "SL<car id>XX.qfs" (photo album pictures) files and the .qfs file matching the first 4 characters of the car's manufacturer name (e.g. "FERR.qfs" for Ferrari, "ASTO.qfs" for Aston Martin, etc.) in the data\showcase\art folder to enable the car's Photo Album in the showcase.
      « Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 02:43:24 PM by AJ_Lethal »

      WiLL

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      Re: NFSHS Tutorial - Creating EA-styled vidwalls in GIMP
      « Reply #6 on: September 06, 2017, 08:27:00 AM »
      Great F'50 pic AJ an info I like to try this this fall time. :)

      MADMAN_nfs

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      Re: NFSHS Tutorial - Creating EA-styled vidwalls in GIMP
      « Reply #7 on: September 06, 2017, 01:44:26 PM »
      EA has 0001.bmp for car1.mnu and 0000.bmp for opponent.mnu.
      But lately I've seen vidwalls containing only a 0000.bmp, and the vidwall shows up in car1.mnu and in opponent.mnu.

      I tried that too, but FSHtool  wouldn't let me. (unsuccessfull operation, missing 0001.bmp)

      Next thing is the showcase files:

      EA has BMW.qfs /CHEV.qfs / FERR.qfs, containg bars with the carname.Where does it show up and how does the game recognize these files?
      f.e Ff50 is Ferrari F50, but it uses FERR.qfs also.

      I've seen people like Memphis and MADMAN-nfs including such qfs files for their cars.

      Hey,
      its like AJ_Lethal said, you need to edit the index.fsh file if you want to "convert" a default vidwall.
      But since you already have such an edited .qfs file, you can simply use that as template and process it normally. FSH Tool should only export 1 bitmap from the edited .qfs file.
      Actually didn't knew this is possible, would have expected the game to crash on that. Interesting...

      The manufacturer "bars" are scrolling at the bottom of the slideshow.
      Like AJ said, the game only takes the first 4 letters of the manufacturer name into account. The game reads this information from the car's fedata file and the "Manufacturer" field (at "Data" tab in NFS-Wizard).
      For my madmax truck the field-info is "MAX2", corrosponding to the filename "MAX2.qfs" (in folder Showcase>Art).
      So in this case for example typing "MAX2XYZ" as manufacturer name, would also work... the first 4 letters count.

      Greetings

      noise

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      Re: NFSHS Tutorial - Creating EA-styled vidwalls in GIMP
      « Reply #8 on: September 07, 2017, 03:00:12 AM »
      Thanks for explanation. (And I learned to check readme.txt from even very old tools like fshtool)

      I don't watch those showcase slides vey often, so I didn't know the manufacturer bars showed up there.

      And the text is taken from fedata? (why didn't I know).I don't like  the fact that history field doesn't show up in game.(In nfs3 it does)

      I'm interested in making those bars show up in the playercar or showcase menu.


      ExoticLover

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      Re: NFSHS Tutorial - Creating EA-styled vidwalls in GIMP
      « Reply #9 on: September 17, 2017, 09:31:22 PM »
      Far too late to post in this thread, but I made an automated solution with Krita 4.0.0 Pre-Alpha.



      In here, all you need to do is paste image, and apply transform mask. If you need to adjust the direction of the blur, you can do that here. And that's all you need to do here. The work is generated from clones.  The tutorial to do this is essentially what you see on the screenshot. Double paper icon means clone. Paint bucket icon means fill layer. In the long run, if you're doing video walls constantly, this solution is so much faster than using GIMP as it's automated, and if you don't like how a picture turned out, you can always paste a new image to be used as part of the vidwall. You can apply filter mask to the pasted image, and adjust how the end results would look.

      Here's examples of what I did with the Krita automated solution



      « Last Edit: September 17, 2017, 11:47:13 PM by ExoticLover »