Work in Progress

Gfx Designer


Timo 2020-09-19 21:11 (Edited)

New tool to replace the Char Designer and the BG Designer.

This is an attempt to combine the graphics tools for characters, palettes and tile maps.

* You can draw characters using your color palettes.
* You can edit characters and tile maps without switching between programs.

This version should have all the features of the original tools plus some extras.

1 2 3 - Switch tab
In map editor:
W A S D / arrow keys - Scroll map
Z X C - Tool selection
V B - Toggle attributes

More planned features:
- Load single page from other file (e.g. font) in character editor

0.1 First release
0.2 Added file menus with load and save
0.3 Added different character selection sizes and edit functions. Selection sizes affect edit functions and map drawing.
0.4 Added map tools menu and cell attributes. "Fill" means "rectangle fill", drag area from top left to bottom right.
0.5 Added character move tools (pixel shift). Fixed 16x16-pixel cell handling.
0.6 Added BG size menu, "new" and fonts. "Fill" dragging works in all directions now.
0.7 Added 16x16-pixel character editor
0.8 Added area copy&paste in map editor. Select "Stamp" tool, select area, then draw.
0.9 Added keyboard support for desktop version

Gfx Designer 0.8.nx | Open in app
2020-10-20 15:14
Gfx Designer 0.7.nx | Open in app
2020-10-19 10:06
Gfx Designer 0.6.nx | Open in app
2020-10-18 13:49
Gfx Designer 0.5.nx | Open in app
2020-10-17 13:33
Gfx Designer 0.4.nx | Open in app
2020-10-16 22:49
Gfx Designer 0.3.nx | Open in app
2020-10-10 15:45
Gfx Designer 0.2.nx | Open in app
2020-09-29 20:47
Gfx Designer 0.1.nx | Open in app
2020-09-19 21:11

GAMELEGEND 2020-09-19 21:18 (Edited)

seems like a good idea to me

cant wait untll its done

GAMELEGEND 2020-09-20 01:20 (Edited)

will this reduce or increase the amount of storage that lowres takes up?

was8bit 2020-09-20 06:04

I like the approach... for the 3 tabs (character,palette,background) all have the same DISK button in the lower left.., you probably already have this idea but it seems logical and intuitive that the DISK button only accesses files associated with the selected tab...

... ie, if i am character editor mode, DISK would load and save only character files, and not let nor offer load save palette or background while the character tab is selected...

Currently it can sometimes get confusing with the existing palette/background editor... i often a save background when actually i meant to save palette... :/

It will be nice when done, it can occasionally get confusing when you forget what order the colors are in a palette :)

Timo 2020-09-20 08:25

GAMELEGEND, no, it won’t change anything noticeably.

Was8bit: yes, each tab will have its own disk menu.

G-9 2020-09-20 09:41

WoW 🤩

G-9 2020-09-20 09:43

It looks familiar... like tic80’s all in one editor !

Timo 2020-09-20 12:51

And TIC 80 looks like Pico 8 ;)

In any case I won't combine ALL the tools in one. The Sound Composer will stay separate and it wouldn't even be technically possible to integrate a code editor.

But having the graphics tools combined makes a lot of sense, because they play together and make editing much faster, because you can immediately see the results of your changes.

G-9 2020-09-20 13:21 (Edited)

Instead of making 3 in 1 tool, separating big designer and palette editor !
(It was my idea, but it was too hard before. Now I saw your beautiful thing, and I deleted my palette editor :D)
By this way it just looks more complicated to edit each disk file, but ...

was8bit 2020-09-20 14:25

@G9... the TABS on the bottom will be an easy reminder of what file you are editing... also, let me give you an example of what you could do with this unitied version that you could NOT do with the 2 existing versions...

So, say you editing the background and one part of it doesnt look quite right... you need to experiment with making changes to one character that you are using in the background until it looks just right...

In the combined version this will be easy, just TAB to the charecters, make changes, then TAB to the background to see how the new character now looks in the background... needs more tweaking? Simply TAB back to the chwracters, tweak your one character, then TAB back again to yout background again tosee the results...

Currently this would require exiting background editor, loading character editor, exiting character editor, loading background editor, exiting background editor, loading character editor, exiting character editor, and loading background editor, etc... until the character looks just right in your background...

... i have done this before, its abit of a pain to to this... so the combined editor will be a blessing :)

was8bit 2020-09-30 04:21

Very cool update i am using this already to edit stuff ... loving it :)

Timo 2020-10-10 15:49

Now you can copy and paste a group of characters at once or flip and rotate it :)

GAMELEGEND 2020-10-10 16:43

so when this is done will you update lowres and replace the Char designer and Bg designer
or is this program optional

was8bit 2020-10-10 17:01

Awesome!!! \(^_^)/

Timo 2020-10-10 18:15

For a while this will be optional, as long as any features of the standard tools are missing.
When it’s really complete I will probably make it the default tool, but this will still take some time...

was8bit 2020-10-10 18:26 (Edited)

One thing i like about the original is the ability to edit a 8x8 area...

... I have a thought... this new one is awesome for its integration and ease of use, its simply awesome :)

But, for the existing one, i would be cool to repurpose it (by removing redundant abilities the new one has, and adding some more)...

1) copy paste is currently only 1x1 block, it would be cool to up its copy paste ability to 8x8 characters copy paste...

2) FONT SET copy paste ability, let me clarify..
... if i create a master font file, then i could temporarily copy it into a new game, use the FONT COPY PASTE to copy a selected font set from the master file, and paste it into the last page for the game's font set...
... when done, i could then delete the copy of the master font set from the new game...

...just an idea... your ideas tend to be best, of course :)

You would have to rename it something like Advance Editor,or something

Timo 2020-10-11 07:52

What do you mean with 8x8 area in the old editor? There is a 16x16-pixel editor though.

A way to copy fonts from other files would be a good addition. But I would add it to the new tool, not the old.

was8bit 2020-10-11 08:20

Ok, so i notice in the BG designer you can highlight as many as 64 characters and paste the entire hightlighted block to the background...

However, in char designer, when copying characters (say you have half a page you decided needed moving somewhere else) you are limited to copy paste one character at a time....

I come across many times the need to move whole sections of characters within the same page, or a block of them completely to another page... so say i need to move a block of characters 10x3 with the upper left corner of the block starting at character#1 and move this block to page 2 with the new location of this block starts at character#64, currently this requires 30 carefully places COPY, change page, PASTE, change page, and repeat 29 more times...

inevitably, the odds are i am going to hit FONT instead of COPY, and there i tend to hit a font selection instead of cancel, and when trying to hit PASTE i will eventually hit NEW with good odds of then hitting CLEAR instead of CANCEL, and since i tend not to use the DISK SAVE until i am done, i end up having to exit, go back into the char designer again, and start all over...

For 10x3 block i a guaranteed to do this at least once, if not more, until i actually complete this task without messing it up...

TRUE, i dont need to copy a block that big often, however i am ALWAYS in need of moving smaller portions all the time, say 1x4 or up to 8x8 quite often...

For the 3D walls i moved blocks of characters around a lot until the final arrangement you see now, for example... originally i had left/right images, layout a lot, and even once had 3 whole copies of each set... until i kept figuring out how to simplifiy my design...

Having even a 4charx4char would have helped, and 8charx8char even better

I am thinking, if you have it already in BG designer to copy blocks of characters from your character page to the background page, why not the same ability from one part of a character page to another part of the character page?? :)

was8bit 2020-10-11 08:23

<A way to copy fonts from other files would be a good addition. But I would add it to the new tool, not the old.>

This sounds great! :D

Timo 2020-10-11 11:32

I thought how I could get a "lasso" selection as in BG Designer into the new program, but as I also use it for rotation etc. it's complicated. So at the moment I will stick to the 4 currently available sizes. Better than one by one I guess ;)

But I'm planning a lasso selection with copy/paste inside the BG editor. So you could move and copy any parts of your BG, not limited to the order of their characters.

was8bit 2020-10-11 14:19

i was totally tired when i posted these as some of what i said is not even possible... also i totally missed in the newest version the 2buttons where you can adjust the selection size (as the background designer lets you drag your finger, i missed the buttons approach)....

... what you have is WONDERFUL... it allows for copy paste only 4 times to do a whole page rather than having to do it 64 times... a HUGE benefit....and that you can also flip and spin the selection is an additional benefit, as doing that one character at a time is tricky...

... cant believe i missed this in the latest update... would have saved me a lot of trouble... i am super excited, now that i know about this cool feature !!!

As always, you are awesome!!! \(^_^)/

was8bit 2020-10-17 05:13

The drag abiliy is SUPER neato, very helpful... the addition of being able to change only color etc. is also cool :)

Timo 2020-10-17 13:46

Now only the background size/new menus are missing to have all features of the old programs. And I want to add an area copy&paste to the map editor.
Oh, and fonts! Almost forgot that.

was8bit 2020-10-17 14:04

I LOVE the move buttons... :D

... but, um, is,the 16x16 button supposed to work? As it does nothing for me..... i am using the testflight version with IOS 11.4.1 on a 5th gen ipad

GAMELEGEND 2020-10-17 14:53

the move buttons are awesome

Timo 2020-10-17 16:10 (Edited)

Already remembered it, the 16x16 pixel editor is missing, too.
So still some work left for v1.0 ;)

was8bit 2020-10-17 16:54

Cool :)

was8bit 2020-10-18 16:06

This is coming along nicely :)

was8bit 2020-10-19 12:31

Yea, 16x16 editing :)

was8bit 2020-10-20 17:45

@v0.8 it takes a second to get used to, but it is very cool once you get the hang of it :)

I discovered that if you were just new to this and began tapping different buttons, and then tried touching the screen, it may be easy for a newbie to think that the middle button only adds a character to the screen, as unless you tap it again it it automatically assumes that function... a newbie then may not think to tap that button a second time to select a new function...

You might think about making a change where each time you tap the middle button, it always pops up to ask which function to use...

Not sure if that is good idea or not... just a thought, as i forgot for just a second and it took me a second to remember the pop up menu :)

was8bit 2020-10-20 17:46

As far as the new function, it works great :)

Timo 2020-10-20 22:00

The idea is that you can switch quickly between your selected tool and “pan” and “clear”, I think this is the typical way to work. So I think it would be annoying if you always had to select your tool in the menu again.

I added the little drop down icon to the button as a hint, and of course it needs a manual to explain everything.

was8bit 2020-10-21 05:25

Ahh, I see... that makes sense :)

... and, I just now see the little pointer on the tab ;)

Greenpilloz 2020-10-27 10:42

Nice it is great to be able to draw with colours !

Btw, some times ago I implemented a small modification to the graphic designer that allows drawing in mirror mode (with horizontal and/or vertical symmetry) and it seemed quite useful to draw nice looking characters or artefacts. Maybe we can find a place to insert it in this new tool.
(all the logic is from line 106 to 121)

Char Designer 1.6.nx | Open in app
2020-10-27 10:42

G-9 2020-10-27 15:02

Ooh its useful !!!

GAMELEGEND 2020-10-27 20:22

so can i just go ahead and delete the char and bg designer
or is there a reason i should keep em

was8bit 2020-10-28 03:10

Do NOT delete them as of yet... the existing NX still has them automatically on the TOOLS MENU... not that anything bad will happen, you'll just get error message should you accidentally try to use them from the TOOLS MENU...

I would wait until NX officially has them removed from the tools menu... but personally, I am keeping them anyway, so i can play around with the code just for fun ;)

G-9 2020-10-28 07:40

We cant delete them. Try out !

Timo 2020-10-28 11:49

You can delete the files, but you cannot remove them from the tools menu.

G-9 2020-10-28 11:50

I cant delete. When i try, the file reappears

was8bit 2020-11-11 14:10 (Edited)

I have a reproducable error..

Character edit page 2
Select size 4 to include all 16 boxes
Delete all 16 boxes
Goto palette edit
Goto character edit
..... will briefly flash different stuff in character page, then remove them...

... perhaps not an error persay... just a noticable effect...

Tetris nx.nx | Open in app
2020-11-11 14:10

nathanielbabiak 2020-11-12 06:16

This is great! Any chance you could add support to edit chars 192-255 on the tile map? Or make the tool's tile character location customizable?

Timo 2020-11-12 07:29

Only the chars 224-255 are now unusable in the map editor (a bit less than in the old tool), but for these I still don’t have a solution, because they are used for the UI images.

You mean to make the chars used by the tool changeable? For example when you want to use your chars from the last page in the map editor, you would tell the tool to put its UI chars in the first page?

was8bit 2020-11-12 11:37

It is possible to use page 4 for the background designer, you just have to be careful to select the charcaters you want as when you use them they appear differently on the background designer...

One trick i do when wanting simple text is paste a fontset on page 4, add my text the background, then when finished go back and delete page 4... it looks garbled on the background editor, but when you use it during the game, it looks as it should :)

Was8bit.nx | Open in app
2020-11-12 11:37

nathanielbabiak 2020-11-12 12:33

Making the chars changeable would be perfect! I've used the solution was8bit proposed, and it's just really tough to keep track.

Timo 2020-12-23 21:36

I just realized I forgot the keyboard support (for scrolling etc.)

was8bit 2020-12-24 03:37

This tool is absolutely fantastic... :D

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