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krtaylor
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Post by krtaylor » 20 Sep 2005 15:44

Those are MNG files. You cannot do an animated file and still have it as PNG?

I couldn't see the MNG.
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Post by Patchman » 20 Sep 2005 15:46

krtaylor wrote:Support for animated GIFs is excellent, but I dunno about animated PNGs. I've never seen one. I have tools to animate GIFs, but not PNGs. Do you have an animated PNG that you could post here, just so we could see who could see it and who can't?
I don't have one...
An animated GIF that properly illustrated a feature, would be way too huge to be practical I think. Kind of like the same problem as with a movie.
Properly optimized, it shouldn't be too bad I think, as long as the amount of movement on the screen is kept to the minimum necessary to demonstrate the feature.[/quote]
The only other thing I could think of would be some hack into the multiplayer code, allowing some sort of remote control of the game engine. Sort of our own way of doing a controlled tutorial. Is this possible?
That would be impractical, and a lot more work than coding a tutorial in the way TTD does it. And again you'd get the problem that different switch settings would break this.
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Post by nilsi » 20 Sep 2005 15:59

If I remember correctly, animated gifs have no support for storing differences. They just store pics one after the other. :-(
Just like a grf file ;-)

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Post by krtaylor » 20 Sep 2005 16:02

Patchman wrote: Properly optimized, [an animated GIF] shouldn't be too bad I think, as long as the amount of movement on the screen is kept to the minimum necessary to demonstrate the feature.
Well, if we had a whole series of little ones, that might be practical.
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Post by Patchman » 20 Sep 2005 16:13

nilsi wrote:If I remember correctly, animated gifs have no support for storing differences. They just store pics one after the other. :-(
Just like a grf file ;-)
No, but subframes can be mostly transparent, which can be encoded very efficiently, so you only need to encode the actual modified pixels. I seem to recall that things moving across a background can also be done by redrawing the existing background frame and then the moving thing at different coordinates, so you only have to encode the background and the moving thing once, and then just draw them over and over again. A good animated gif encoder would do all that automatically, of course. I used the "Gif Construction Set" many years ago and was surprised at how efficient it can be.

It may be useful to test this, at least, and see what it amounts to, but I myself have neither the time nor the tools (especially the automated screen grabber) to do it.
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Post by wallyweb » 20 Sep 2005 18:40

I use GifConstruction Set and it is very effective. It also comes with an excellent and very comprehensive tutorial and manual.

The same folks also offer PNG/MNG Construction Set with very similar capabilities.

Here is link for more information:
http://www.mindworkshop.com/alchemy/alchemy1.html

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Post by krtaylor » 20 Sep 2005 21:15

Does it have an automated screen grabber?
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Post by wallyweb » 20 Sep 2005 21:27

krtaylor wrote:Does it have an automated screen grabber?
I'm not sure what you mean ... a screen capture? not that I'm aware of or at least I've never had the need to look for one. Check their site ... its quite descriptive re features. They may have it as a plug in.

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Post by krtaylor » 20 Sep 2005 23:45

Yes, I looked, and didn't see one.

I was thinking of a screen capture that sequentially captures the screen every X milliseconds, or, every time something changes.
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Post by wallyweb » 21 Sep 2005 02:24

krtaylor wrote:Yes, I looked, and didn't see one.

I was thinking of a screen capture that sequentially captures the screen every X milliseconds, or, every time something changes.
Ouch! I've never heard of that although I imagine its quite possible. In this case I believe the Gif and PNG/MNG Construction sets will only disassemble those file types although they will accept any bit map graphic and convert them to gif or PNG. I'm pretty sure you would have to use a stand alone app for the screen capturing.

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Post by krtaylor » 21 Sep 2005 02:58

Mmm. I've never heard of such a program, but I'll poke around. I've got a perfectly good program for making animated GIFs.
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Post by DaleStan » 21 Sep 2005 03:41

As usual, Google knows all. I can't speak to the quality of any of them, though.
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Post by Flamelord » 21 Sep 2005 03:53

I tried one. For me at least, the color in PTTD does not capture correctly. I made a simple RV tutorial with an image capture program that had video capabilites. My 4-and-a-half-minute tutorial is 284 megabytes, and gets up to about 3 frames per second, tops (Set to capture at 15). If you'd like to see it, let me know. I'm not sure we can upload files that large on the forums, but I'll have to check.
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Post by krtaylor » 21 Sep 2005 13:49

What program did you use to assemble the animated GIF? If it's a good one, it'll automatically make the parts of each frame that are the same as the previous frame, transparent. That saves a lot of space.
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Post by DaleStan » 21 Sep 2005 14:39

Flamelord wrote:My 4-and-a-half-minute tutorial is 284 megabytes, and gets up to about 3 frames per second, tops (Set to capture at 15).
That has got to be some of the worst compression I've *ever* seen. Assuming you were at 640x480, that should have been 15-20 min at 12-15 fps.

The size limit on uploads is 2 MB, BTW.
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Post by gmyx » 22 Sep 2005 00:27

krtaylor wrote:Yes, I looked, and didn't see one.

I was thinking of a screen capture that sequentially captures the screen every X milliseconds, or, every time something changes.
It's not free, but it's cheap: SnagIT (http://www.snagIT.com). It can be put on a timer to automaticly take images in almost any format that exists. I use it very often and I love it. It even has a very basic "movie" capture mode.
DaleStan wrote:Sorted how? Alphabetically by title is pretty easy, but that's not particularly useful. Aplhabetically by switch is utterly impossible; there is one page that describes all four of planes, roadvehs, ships, and trains.

If you can come up with a decent sort order; I'll consider re-arranging things, but until then, I suggest you just use the search box.
Maybe if the related patches where grouped and the rest sorted. I was just saying that it can be hard to find a switch by "eye". But of course with FF's great sreach feature it's not that hard. It was just a thought.

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Post by krtaylor » 22 Sep 2005 02:10

Since you have such a tool, gmyx, can you use it to make the captures? If you don't have an animated-GRF maker, you can ZIP up all the files, numbered in order, and I'll make an animated GRF out of them with my tool, if you like.
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Post by eis_os » 22 Sep 2005 07:56

Hmm, let me rethink about it. If you take screenshots via an external app you get truecolor files, thats silly, TTD only uses 256 colors, and it needs to be resampled for useing as gif.

/me looks for a different way, and an app that could compress graphics into swf...

(SWF because it could use vector animation to compress moveing parts...)
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Post by krtaylor » 22 Sep 2005 13:32

Using the animated-GIF tool, I think it can reduce the colors to 256.
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Post by Patchman » 22 Sep 2005 13:49

Or you can capture it after setting the Windows colour depth to 256.
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