[Updated] Making & Implementing Units Cards / Icons Tutorial

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CRASHER47
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[Updated] Making & Implementing Units Cards / Icons Tutorial

Postby CRASHER47 » Thu 7 Apr 2016 21:44

--- [UPDATED 22 OCTOBER 2016] --- (infos down below in my response comment)

Hi, I'm making this tutorial to explain how to make an icon for a unit and implement it, I do it in first place for someone, but as he said, it can help anyone. So you can be able to make your owns by yourself. It can be for modders or normal peoples just wondering how to do it without using Photoshop or any professional software that is complicated, just doing a good small thing, I'll try to go step by step.
It might not be the best way, feel free to say if you have a shorter way to do it, or advices for others, but it works for me.

This tutorial is step by step, can be very annoying for peoples understanding fast, but some peoples don't and are newbies.

First of all, the softwares or files that are needed, all free : -You won't need everything, it depend on what you want to do, so just go to the tutorial, come back to download when needed, GIMP, the Wargame Mod Installer, and the Modding Suite are needed in any case. The other are depending on which card you edit, an inf or a vehicle like a plane, with a screenshot taken ingame.

GIMP : http://www.gimp.org/downloads/ to cut and resize an image.
PAINT.NET : http://www.getpaint.net/download.html to save as DDS and with good parameters.
The Wargame Mod Installer (Made by Vasto) : https://mega.nz/#F!4QoxmDYD!6A7Qb15Gz30wsaHCWgVGOA tutorial will explain later how it works for that, it will implement the icons. (I pre-made a code to install icons.-Plus, it can be used to install lot of things for Wargame, files, hashes and skins)
NotePad++ : https://notepad-plus-plus.org/download/v6.9.1.html to edit the code of the installer. (Sublime Text 2, and Microsoft XML Editor 2007 can work fine too, suggested by The W:AB Noob)
The Modding Suite (Made by Enohka) : viewtopic.php?f=187&t=56451#p904985 will be used not for modding, but to seek the names of icons, will be needed in the installer code.
And the infantry backgrounds, given by Eugen : viewtopic.php?f=187&t=52090 to make backgrounds.

Two Tutorials are present, one, if you take a screenshot of the unit and want to implement it ingame (as said, useful for planes who have different loadouts), it works too if you have a real picture of a tank, its the same process, just you will not make a screenshot of it as you downloaded the image somewhere.

And another one, where I will explain how from a real picture of infantry, to cut it, plus paste it on a background corresponding to it (Elite, AT etc..) then install it, it can fit pretty well without having big skills, if you know how to make shadows or whatever, feel free to make it looks cooler.

MAKE A BACKUP BEFORE DOING ANYTHING, go to your wargame files Wargame > Data\WARGAME\PC\430000587\430000609\ZZ_4.dat <<< copy that file, that's the one we are going to touch, in case you do something wrong, make a copy of it somewhere, and you'll need it in case that you want your game back normal.

First Tutorial - FROM A SCREENSHOT OR A REAL PICTURE -

STEP 1 So here, we'll need FastStone Capture, you will take ingame, a screenshot of the wanted unit, try to make it in skirmish, easier for planes with slow-motion, then go to find the replay of the game so you can make pause and F12 for all screen screenshot, then recover the screenshot.

Rename like UNITNAME_icon.png (instead of UNITNAME if you are clever, you guessed that you have replace it .. like me with rafale_icon.png)

Then, for my example, here is what I have, a Rafale flying over the sea :
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STEP 2 Now, launch GIMP, we will need to resize the picture. Click on your picture > Edit with GIMP
-My software is in french, but i've replaced the words in english, make it easier for you to understand and to spot IRL.
The picture need to be resized exacly to that size : 164 x 84, click up there on the Tools tab > Transformation tools > Scaling
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Then type 164 in height and 84 in width, click back in the height bar to see how it looks, then push the Scale button.
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Now, right click on the picture, to cut it :
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Do it, then, you will create a new picture go in files and click new, make it 164 x 84, and paste the previous picture that we just cut(right click in middle of new blank, and paste) you can now close the previous GIMP page opened to edit the picture without saving, just keep the new one.
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Export it somewhere you'll find it of course ^^
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You can, now, close GIMP, don't save anything, all we need is our exported picture, so, we don't care.

STEP 3 Now, we are editing the picture, we need now PAINT.NET, lauch it, and open the picture, to... save it ! Indeed , but it's because we need to save it as DDS and with special parameters, plus this software is used to make skins.
So, open it and go in Files tab > Open > locate your picture and load it.
We are going indeed to save it, as DDS :
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Now, very very very important : (even if it's in french, you can see what line to select or not, I hope.)
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STEP 4 And, we got our DDS file now, so, it's getting serious right now, you will now need... The Modding Suite to extract a file, that contains icons, but, its not to touch them, just to search the name of our unit, for later.
So, open the ModdingSuite (click on the exe file), then click on File > Open (tab) and then, go to your Wargame files then to that exact file :
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Here we need to define your export path, if you know where your file will end up, you can ignore this thing.
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When it's done, you'll have this, one left click on commoninterface.pkk to select it, then the garbage icon > Export
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The file will be on your desk now, in the Modding Suite, click on File > Open > your file on desktop, then when it's open, you can search for your unit, be careful if it's a unit present in multiple countries, it can have similars names ! Pic :
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STEP 5 Now that we know the name of the icon, we can go into the The Wargame Mod Installer installerConfig , which will install our icon.
Go into the "Icon Installer" folder, you can now paste your DDS file into the "Cards" folder. Now, we'll use the NotePad++, open the installerConfig.wmi :
This is what you'll have :
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So, now you know where to type your unit's name and the original's one. You can do several in same time by copying multiple times :

Code: Select all

<ReplaceImage       
      sourcePath="Cards\NewOne_icon.dds"                                                          
targetPath="Data\WARGAME\PC\430000587\430000609\ZZ_4.dat"                                             
targetContentPath="pc\texture\pack\commoninterface.ppk|+pc\texture\assets\2d\interface\common\unitsicons\otan\OriginalUnitIcon.tgv"/>

<ReplaceImage                
          sourcePath="Cards\NewOne2_icon.dds"                                                             
targetPath="Data\WARGAME\PC\430000587\430000609\ZZ_4.dat"                                             
targetContentPath="pc\texture\pack\commoninterface.ppk|+pc\texture\assets\2d\interface\common\unitsicons\otan\OriginalUnitIcon2.tgv"/>

<ReplaceImage       

sourcePath="Cards\NewOne3_icon.dds"                                                             
targetPath="Data\WARGAME\PC\430000587\430000609\ZZ_4.dat"                                             
targetContentPath="pc\texture\pack\commoninterface.ppk|+pc\texture\assets\2d\interface\common\unitsicons\otan\OriginalUnitIcon3.tgv"/>


Etc...
Now, time to lauch the WargameModInstaller, install your own icon, and lauch the game to check !
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Second Small Tutorial - HOW TO CUT A SOLDIER FROM A REAL PICTURE AND INTEGRATE IT WITH A PROPER BACKGROUND-

(cause I got no artistist skills atm)

I've choosen that Marines picture to make it, plus the shadows already present on the soldier will look nice ingame.
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So, open GIMP and load the picture. Now select the lasso tool in your tool's bar.
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You can click on the Zoom tool in the Tool tab up there and left click to zoom, get back your lasso now and start ! Now, start left clicking all around the soldier's body, try to not let pass details, even shadows can give some shape to it on the card, it takes time, but more dots/points you'll make all around, more accurate and nice it'll look.
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You can at some point when you did the upper part of it, you can cut down the chest, it will not be seen in the card as its small and you only see what's up to his chest mostly, so cut off down there.
Now, you right click on it, Edit > Cut or Copy, its the same outcome for us anyway :
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Okay, so, i've asked up there in the software and files section to download or look at the background for infantry units, so here we are, open the one you want, in our case the normal inf background
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then paste the cut soldier on it, we'll resize it, because he's too fat obviously . Use again the scaling tool
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drag the corner of the soldier as much as needed to make it smaller, but not smashed either, need to be legit !

Now select the Move button, and drag the soldier into the middle of the image , the down of the soldier is a bit hidden by its name ingame, and by his flag on the left side, don't forget that ! (Even me right there I should have moved the soldier a bit more on right, because of the flag ingame)
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You can currently start from the end of STEP 2 in the first tutorial, at the moment of the export.

This tutorial is now over ! Hope it helped you, as it took several hours to make :lol:

Thanks to Darkmil that helped once, for that problem of DTX1, and I give a wink to Narcissistic Black, he'll understand.

Note : This tutorial will be updated at some point to teach you how to make weapons icons, I'm still testing best ways to do it, but as modding is on pause at the moment, I'll do it when Nations Packs releases will stop, as I'll re-start for the 3rd time my mod and so show you some weapons icons made, and so on.
Last edited by CRASHER47 on Sat 22 Oct 2016 14:08, edited 38 times in total.
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Narcissistic Black
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Re: Making & Implementing Icons Tutorial

Postby Narcissistic Black » Thu 7 Apr 2016 21:48

Glorious.
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Click signature to see Modification, Alpha Released. Try now.

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CRASHER47
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Re: Making & Implementing Icons Tutorial

Postby CRASHER47 » Thu 7 Apr 2016 22:16

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Re: Making & Implementing Icons Tutorial

Postby The W:AB Noob » Sat 9 Apr 2016 07:20

Wow, this is great! I never thought of saving the file from Gimp as a png/jpg and then using Paint.net as a dds exporter. I thought Photoshop and Paint.net were the only usable programs for making unit cards/textures, though many people use Gimp.

Faststone sounds like a neat tool, but if you want to take Screenshots using Steam (with the F12 button), the folder for the screenshots is in Steam\userdata\SteamIdNumber\760\remote\251060\screenshots

For an installer editor, Sublime Text 2, Notepad++, and Microsoft XML Editor 2007 (the one suggested Vasto IIRC) all work great, Notepad can work fine too.

This is the newest link to the Modding Suite: viewtopic.php?f=187&t=56451#p904985
Also, the Wargame Mod Installer had been updated a lot over time, and there is a chance that the one you uploaded Crasher is not the most recent patch. Here is the link to the thread to make sure you have the newest version: viewtopic.php?f=187&t=43970#p542063


You made a great guide here Crasher, complete with pictures and detailed descriptions. Thanks a ton! I look forward to more mods featuring different unit cards now!
W:RD Sandbox Mod 5.4.2, the Final and Ultimate Patch Click -> Image

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Re: Making & Implementing Icons Tutorial

Postby CRASHER47 » Sat 9 Apr 2016 18:14

Hi, thank you Noob ! By mistake I have deleted the link to the Modding Suite, otherwise it was present at begining. (Fixed)
I'm updating right now the Mod Installer, the link too, should be done soon.(Fixed)
Oh and for FastStone, I use it to make specific screenshots of unit (rectangular area), otherwise with steam its the complete screen of the game, and then I'd need to edit the picture, so, time saved !
Thanks for your suggestions of softwares for peoples :)
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Re: Making & Implementing Icons Tutorial [More infos about next update of Tutorial down first comment]

Postby NordicBloodHound » Thu 11 Aug 2016 23:47

I tried to add a plane icon but when i tried to install it, i got an error message that stated that the file could not be found...
I have the icon in the "Cards" folder. What to do?
NordicBloodHound's Aircraft & Helo Icon Pack: viewtopic.php?f=187&t=58044

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Re: Making & Implementing Icons Tutorial [More infos about next update of Tutorial down first comment]

Postby CRASHER47 » Thu 11 Aug 2016 23:57

Hi, this means that the installer isn't able to find your file (figured out that I guess), it can be because of three things :
    1) The name is wrong. (different from your DDS named file, in the InstallerConfig, name has to be the same as the file's one)
    2) The path is wrong. (location of the file, shouldn't have been modified as the installer is in the same folder)
    3) The file type is wrong. (check to be sure it's DDS, and not png or something else at the end of your file's name).

Check all this in the Cards folder and in the InstallerConfig, to be sure it matches.

After checking tell me if it's working. If it's not I have another theory on why not. ;)
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Re: Making & Implementing Icons Tutorial [More infos about next update of Tutorial down first comment]

Postby The W:AB Noob » Fri 12 Aug 2016 03:14

Sorry if I didn't see it, but how about you (Crasher) update the OP with the installerConfig code you have in the picture? Might make things a little easier for some.
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Re: Making & Implementing Icons Tutorial [More infos about next update of Tutorial down first comment]

Postby CRASHER47 » Fri 12 Aug 2016 15:09

The W:AB Noob wrote:Sorry if I didn't see it, but how about you (Crasher) update the OP with the installerConfig code you have in the picture? Might make things a little easier for some.


That's the same, just that instead of rafale, there is something like NewOne_icon.dds and OriginalOne.tgv, after explaining I thought peoples would get it right by just replacing it ? Might try to put the same so :? ... After checking, the path changed, gonna update path in same time.

Updated Icon Installer (12 August 2016)
-New path for icons, since multiple updates came, the path changed.
-The same lines of codes are present as in the image, with rafale_icon.dds and rafale_fr.tgv, in the hope that peoples don't get lost.
-Added a "Infos" paragraph under Settings in code.

-Updated the main tutorial post, for link, and some suggestions by The W:AB Noob for softwares that can do the job too, clarified few things too.
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Re: Making & Implementing Icons Tutorial [More infos about next update of Tutorial down first comment]

Postby NordicBloodHound » Fri 12 Aug 2016 17:31

CRASHER47 wrote:
The W:AB Noob wrote:Sorry if I didn't see it, but how about you (Crasher) update the OP with the installerConfig code you have in the picture? Might make things a little easier for some.


That's the same, just that instead of rafale, there is something like NewOne_icon.dds and OriginalOne.tgv, after explaining I thought peoples would get it right by just replacing it ? Might try to put the same so :? ... After checking, the path changed, gonna update path in same time.

Updated Icon Installer (12 August 2016)
-New path for icons, since multiple updates came, the path changed.
-The same lines of codes are present as in the image, with rafale_icon.dds and rafale_fr.tgv, in the hope that peoples don't get lost.
-Added a "Infos" paragraph under Settings in code.

-Updated the main tutorial post, for link, and some suggestions by The W:AB Noob for softwares that can do the job too, clarified few things too.


Cool, it might work now with the new version.
NordicBloodHound's Aircraft & Helo Icon Pack: viewtopic.php?f=187&t=58044

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