MORPHING AND ALPHA BLENDING NUMBERS - Updated 1/22/14

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Re: MORPHING NUMBERS

Postby packers316 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:45 am

This is a great tutorial NICK!!

Perfectly timed for my mod...thanks heaps! :D
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Re: MORPHING NUMBERS

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Re: MORPHING NUMBERS

Postby NICK » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:54 am

elguapo wrote:Pretty cool technique! I'm starting to suspect that EA intentionally used palettes to have more control over the color of their images. With face id the last row of the palette controls the eye color and in the coaches logo patch it has to a certain palette combination to appear correct in the game.

Nice job NICK!


Thanks y'all

The blending colors can be less ..... I just figured it would be easier to teach and navigate the palette builder to use entire rows. I Wish a nameplate could use that many color slots.

You can use the same technique for a nameplate .... make first color slot background color, slot 2 thru slot 5 = 1 raw color and 4 blenders, slot 6 thru 10 = 1 raw color and 4 blenders, slot 11 thru 16 = 1 raw color and 4 blenders ..... for a four colored nameplate.

There are advantages to palettes ..... it just drives me crazy the way they did the numbers though ...... I guess once you get down a standardized technique and can control the outcome a little bit better, it's not so bad.
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Re: MORPHING NUMBERS / UPDATED 1/9/2014

Postby NICK » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:16 pm

slydways wrote:Just tried it on one of your old Miami numbers , NICK..(444x889)....changed the background for a white away jersey. 4 color... double sized (128x256) for my HD uniform. ...came out GREAT!...no "jaggies"...blended well...( i used several lines for each color transition...filled the whole 256 )


The Double size definitely makes a difference on numbers like 4 and 7 that have diagonal lines, but the truth is the larger the image the less blending colors are needed. Also there really only needs to be 4 blending colors from one raw color to the next. Your example is a four color template. By my tutorial there are 14 blending colors in a row. That is a ton more than what is needed when blending between the three raw colors in the number and for going from the background color to the outer border color. Now if you have rounded edges, then more blending colors are needed.

Filling out the palette was a waste of your time sorry to say as you are not going to get any noticeable difference from what I showed in the tutorial. I can manually do my blending colors such as I have with my decals with a max number of four blending colors transitioning from raw color to raw color and you would not be able to tell the difference between that and the 14 blending colors in my tutorial.

The reason I went by rows, was so that when the image was reduced, the graphics program makes mathematical changes to the raw colors to form the blending colors and those mathematical differences between each color may not be visible to the naked eye and may only be different by one number (integer). That is why you can reduce one of my templates and when converting to index, the program will tell you there are 100 or 200 plus colors in the image that only has 4 raw colors in it. The program mixes all of the colors up making it virtually impossible to do a morphing number because it has to interchange with its counterpart in the palette and have the same degree of blending between the raw colors that it blends with. You can't do that with a 100 plus or 200 plus color palette. Now when I reduce that image and specify 16 colors in the palette and allow the program to select my blending colors for me, the program does it by mathematical value and does not really focus in on the raw colors ..... so it may pick 5 blending colors for one color and only 2 for the next, but I have to have at least four blending colors and only four to hide diagonals.

Since I forced 14 blending colors into the palette as my tutorial shows and restricted the palette to only those raw colors and blending colors for each row, the program is then forced to mathematically round the numerical value of any unspecified color in the image to a forced color. I have virtually made it mathematically impossible for the program to make an error in changing a blending color into a raw color in a blending color slot in the image.

The initial reduced image may have 100 or 200 plus colors in it, but with my forced palette, the number of colors is reduced to 48 colors for a four colored image, 32 for a three colored image, and 16 for a two colored image and they are exactly the numerical value they need to be and in the exact slot in the image that they need to be without error.

I also used rows so that I could use all of row one for alpha blending values to blend an image from the background color to the number border color without any blending colors at all in row one. As this requires a hex edit, the 16 colors requiring the alpha values need to be easily found and replaceable by data entry without any fuss or muss. This means by one method of doing the palettes, the numbers can be done the old fashioned way with blending colors or the madden way with alpha values.

THE BELOW IMAGE IS TWO OF THE SAME NUMBER .... ONE RESIZED AT 128 X 256 AND THE OTHER AT DEFAULT SIZE 64 X 128.

Image


MAGNIFIED TO 1600% WE SEE THE BLENDING COLORS IN BETWEEN THE RAW COLORS. THE GREEN RESTS ON AND MARKS THE RAW COLORS AND THE PINK MARKS AND RESTS ON THE BLENDING COLORS. YOU CAN SEE THAT THERE ARE A MAXIMUM OF FOUR BLENDING COLORS SEPARATING THE RAW COLORS ON THE DIAGONAL. I THINK THE DEGREE OF THE DIAGONAL OR ROUNDED EDGE DETERMINES HOW MANY BLENDING COLORS ARE NEEDED. I THINK EVEN WITH ROUNDED EDGES, FIVE BLENDERS WOULD BE THE MAX ... NOT POSITIVE THOUGH ..... HAVE SOME MORE RESEARCH TO DO ON REALLY ROUNDED EDGES LIKE THE BEARS NUMBERS.


Image
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Re: MORPHING NUMBERS / UPDATED 1/9/2014

Postby NICK » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:38 pm

slydways wrote:Thanks...I will stick to just one row then...But WOW...you make pretty numbers! :D



Thanks .... posted screenshots above to demonstrate what I was referring to. I should have reserved more thread spaces at the beginning to do the tutorial on the alpha blending numbers. I guess maybe I should start a new topic and just post the link to this thread ...... really don't want to put it in the midst of this thread ...... what do you think Sly ?
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Re: MORPHING NUMBERS / UPDATED 1/9/2014

Postby NICK » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:53 pm

slydways wrote:Just keep editing your original posts...sorry if I cut in on your tutorial...I can delete mine if you like...


Don't be sorry, my fault .... I did not plan ahead for that and really at the time I had the idea that this method would work for alpha blending numbers, but hadn't tried it out yet. I have done it with a set of Eagles numbers and I'm not sure yet if there are real obvious differences or advantages to doing alpha numbers because it is a bit of a pain.

No don't delete anything. It will require some more explanation and screen shots to do it and I'm not sure what the limitations are in a thread post.
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Re: MORPHING NUMBERS / UPDATED 1/9/2014

Postby slydways » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:07 pm

Well ...if you can get the same results by using this method and Ps... as you did with Hex...this looks easier.

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Re: MORPHING NUMBERS / UPDATED 1/9/2014

Postby NICK » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:38 am

slydways wrote:Well ...if you can get the same results by using this method and Ps... as you did with Hex...this looks easier.


On a colored Jersey the old fashioned blending looks sufficient. On a white jersey that doesn't have the mesh pattern, the alpha blending looks better.
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Re: MORPHING NUMBERS / UPDATED 1/9/2014

Postby slydways » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:46 am

NICK wrote:
slydways wrote:Well ...if you can get the same results by using this method and Ps... as you did with Hex...this looks easier.


On a colored Jersey the old fashioned blending looks sufficient. On a white jersey that doesn't have the mesh pattern, the alpha blending looks better.


On that "white" jersey...is the alpha blending hex technique noticeably better? So that it is worth the extra effort? And is there a way to make your new blending Ps method better with an added filter or something in Ps? (Gaussian blur?)

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Re: MORPHING NUMBERS / UPDATED 1/9/2014

Postby NICK » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:47 pm

slydways wrote:
On that "white" jersey...is the alpha blending hex technique noticeably better? So that it is worth the extra effort? And is there a way to make your new blending Ps method better with an added filter or something in Ps? (Gaussian blur?)




THE BELOW IMAGE IS ALPHA BLENDING

Image

THE BELOW IMAGE IS PALETTE BLENDING ..... LOOKS PRETTY MUCH THE SAME IN LIGHTING

Image

THE BELOW IMAGE IS PALETTE BLENDING ONCE THE LIGHT CHANGES

Image

THE BELOW IMAGE IS PALETTE BLENDING IN DIFFERENT LIGHTING

Image


Because the mesh background is no longer there, the blending to a certain extent will probably be visible in certain light. In my experience, there is no technique that will change this with palette blending as the colors stay constant while the light changes the color of the background that the number rests on. You have to have at least four blending colors to go from one raw color to the next raw color. It will only blend correctly if your starting raw color is close to or matches the background and then the blenders are mathematically adjusted to get to the number color accordingly. Change the background color and the mathematical blenders have to be adjusted as well. So unless the lighting is constant like the palette, it will be visible once the lighting changes. the alpha hides most of this, but to some degree it will be visible on a plain white jersey.

There may be different alpha settings that may hide this better, but I took a stock madden image and looked at the alpha values .... because I didn't know the original degree of maddens blending colors prior to making the color in their palette match the number or border color, I adjusted the alpha blending intervals based off the highest setting that Ea used closest to fully on or FF, which was FA. Using FA, I didn't get as good a blend, so I went with F4 as the highest alpha blend setting, adjusted by intervals of 12 settings by the number of colors to get to the lowest setting of 22.

The first color is transparent or 00. Colors two thru fourteen are 22 to F4 with a difference of 12 settings each and colors 15 and 16 are FF or fully on. This seemed to work the best.
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Re: MORPHING AND ALPHA BLENDING NUMBERS

Postby NICK » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:49 pm

*****

The below image reflects Madden's alpha settings and my alpha settings. In the default Madden image, the alpha settings were not in order, they were mixed within the 16 color slots of the palette. I believe I was correct in establishing the correct order based on alpha value. The top of the scale is transparent in color slot 1, 00 or fully transparent. This would be the background color. The bottom of the scale is fully on in color slot 16, FF or fully visible. This would be the number itself. Everything in between originally was a blending color that was changed to the rgb value of the outer border of the number or the number itself if it had no border. Next the alpha value was applied to the original corresponding blending color slot to duplicate the blending by allowing the background of the jersey to bleed through based on the alpha setting.

Image

The below images represent Madden alpha blending settings.

Image
Image
Image

The below images represent my alpha blending settings.

Image
Image
Image


I BELIEVE MY ALPHA BLENDING SETTINGS ARE A TINY BIT BETTER THAN MADDENS, BUT I DEFINITELY SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PALETTE BLENDING.

Sorry Sly ..... you may have to use the dds plugin, unless it is possible to plug the alpha settings into bmp. These settings will be a constant for color slots 1 thru 16, provided folks build their numbers the way I have shown in this thread. These alpha effects will never be visible when looking at the images in a graphics program, but the effects are visible in game. If you can get MUER to have an option of alpha blending and get the program behind the scenes to plug these values into the numbers palette that would simply be outstanding. Stingray68 was working on this very thing and had made much progress in this area, but we were trying to get an established format to cover the various types of numbers. I believe I have established the format that needs to be used whether it be palette blending or alpha blending. Me, I like DDS, but there are folks like you that are diehard bmp fans .... it would be nice if the which ever crowd could do the same thing with both.
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