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GUIDE: How to replace game images (splash screens,skins,...)
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danielmbp  
 




Joined: 07 Sep 2007
Posts: 159
Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brasil

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:47 pm    Post subject: GUIDE: How to replace game images (splash screens,skins,...) Reply with quote

New Version: Preview of 3D objects:
The version 3.1 of MiloExplorer is able to preview 3D objects (meshes and groups). This new feature seems to be very useful to all those guys who creates guitar skins, characters outfits and so on.
As a small explanation about the files, the "Mesh" type has a 3D description of the object. Several Meshes can be grouped together to form a more complex object (like characters). This combination is described by the "Group" files. In MiloExplorer, you can preview either a single mesh, or also the entire group.
The new features are:
* Binary view for all files, including the types that MiloExplorer can preview, like Tex (and now Mesh, Grp)
* 3D view of meshes (Mesh) and group of meshes (Group)
* If your mesh is a guitar, MiloExplorer lets you dinamically select one of the skins available in the milo

Here is a screenshot of the version:


In the 3D view, you can rotate the object pressing and holding the L mouse button and moving the cursor around. Also, by pressing the R mouse button, you can zoom the object in and out. I have plans to improve this controls later.

Introduction:
Guitar Hero images are TEX files located inside milo_ps2 files. Using current version of GHEx, you can browse their contents and you can also replace the whole milo_ps2 file, but you can't replace a single file inside a milo_ps2.
If you browse some milo_ps2 files with GHEx, you can find the TEX files from:
* Splash Screens : Activision, Harmonix, RedOctane
* Main Splash Screen (that one with the Press Any Key text)
* Main Menu Screen
* Guitar Skins

With this 9-step guide, you will be able to customize all of them.

What do you need:

1 - GHEx (or ARK Expander)
2 - MiloExplorer (current version is 3.1)
Important: This version of MiloExplorer needs d3dx9_36.dll. Google it, or get it directly here.



Some points about TEX files:
TEX files are bitmapped images encapsulated through a TEX header. Most of them are color mapped images (4bpp or 8bpp) what means that they can have 16 or 256 colors. In the customization process, you have to pay attention on the original image size (witdh, height) and also bpp. The image size can not be changed, otherwise you won't be able to replace the with MiloExplorer. For the bpp, just take care about the number of colors that it represents (16 for 4bpp and 256 for 8bpp). If you use much more colors than the maximum allowed for the bpp there will be some visible quality loss in your image.
Editing a color mapped image is an annoying process, as you can not use the exact color that you want and you have to manually modify the palette. So, the workflow described in this guide considers that you will extract the TEX file as a true color BMP. Edit the BMP file in your favorite software (as Photoshop). After that, save your customized image also as 32bpp bitmap. When replacing this bmp with MiloExplorer, the software will automatically convert the image to the appropriate bpp (preserving the alpha channel).

So... Hands on:

Using GHEx
1 -> Use GHEx to find the milo_ps2 file that contains the TEX image that you want to customize.
2 -> Extract the whole milo_ps2.

Now you will use MiloExplorer
3 -> Open the extracted milo_ps2 file in MiloExplorer
4 -> Locate your TEX file in the FileTree and select it. You will see the image preview on the software GUI. (notice that sometimes the information is located on the alpha channel. Example: fonts)
5 -> Click in the "Extract" button and extract this TEX file as a BMP. (You have to select the bmp format in the savefile dialog). Notice that the BMP generated by the software has 32bpp (true color). If you want, the software also lets you extract as a TGA file. It's up to you.

Now you will use any image editor (as Photoshop)
6 -> Open the extracted bitmap in any image editor and customize the image.
7 -> Save your customized BMP as 32 bpp bitmap (Now you can not use TGA, just BMP).

Go back again to MiloExplorer
8 -> Select the TEX file and click "Replace" to replace the original TEX file by your customized BMP. If your bmp doesn't match the TEX bpp, the software will give you a warning and make a color reduction process automatically. Then, MiloExplorer with convert it internally to TEX and replace the file with no bpp matching problems. The milo_ps2 file will be automatically updated.

Finally... Go back to GHEx
9 -> Replace the milo_ps2 by the customized version. (Sometimes you need to reload GHEx to display correctly the new milo contents)

That's it.

Any suggestions for MiloExplorer or also bug reports are highly welcome here.

Have Fun !!!!!


Change Log:
Version 3.1
Bug Fixes:
* Change Transparency option is working again. (thanks to Reptiliack that found this issue)

Version 3.0
New Features:
* Binary view for all files, including the types that MiloExplorer can preview, like Tex (and now Mesh, Grp)
* 3D view of meshes (Mesh) and group of meshes (Group)
* If your mesh is a guitar, MiloExplorer lets you dinamically select one of the skins available in the milo

Version 2.8
New Features:
* Right click menu in the file tree.
* Extraction of all contents of a milo file to a specified folder (as suggested by Unsteadycarrot). This extraction feature can automatically convert all TEX files to BMP.
* Change the transparency of a TEX file.
* 24bpp BMP importing (the alpha channel will be filled with a default "opaque" value)
Bug Fixes:
* Fixed the bmp locking bug when importing a bmp file.

Version 2.7
New features:
* Replace files with different size than the original one
Minor changes:
* Removed annoying message boxes (as suggested by GameZelda)
Limitation:
* Bmp file importing still must have the same format (width and height).

Version 2.6
New features:
* Importing of 32bpp bmps. (automatically reduces the number or colors according to the original tex format)
Limitation:
* Still can not replace files which size is different from the original.

Version 2.5
Bug Fixes:
* Correctly fills the alpha channel when importing bmps.
Limitations:
* Bmp must be the same format as the tex file (width, height and bpp)


Last edited by danielmbp on Fri May 09, 2008 12:18 pm; edited 9 times in total
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Mazzocchi  
 




Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 450
Location: Farmingdale, Long Island, New York

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to put together a index/guide of what every .ps2 file has in it just for the sake of convenience.
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Unsteadycarrot  
 




Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 642
Location: U.K

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

when i replace the mainmenu screen...its transparent...and i can see the bricks behind the picture and this looks wierd...why does this happen?

the same thing happend when i replaced the loading screen man...it was transparent.
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danielmbp  
 




Joined: 07 Sep 2007
Posts: 159
Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brasil

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unsteadycarrot wrote:
when i replace the mainmenu screen...its transparent...and i can see the bricks behind the picture and this looks wierd...why does this happen?

the same thing happend when i replaced the loading screen man...it was transparent.


Sorry guys. That was an alpha channel issue. Please download the latest version of MiloReplaceTools (v2.5)

http://www.savefile.com/files/1117675
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Unsteadycarrot  
 




Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 642
Location: U.K

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danielmbp wrote:
Unsteadycarrot wrote:
when i replace the mainmenu screen...its transparent...and i can see the bricks behind the picture and this looks wierd...why does this happen?

the same thing happend when i replaced the loading screen man...it was transparent.


Sorry guys. That was an alpha channel issue. Please download the latest version of MiloReplaceTools (v2.5)

http://www.savefile.com/files/1117675


ah excellent thanks a lot, ill do the process again with this and let you know how i got on
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nickb611  
 




Joined: 23 Oct 2006
Posts: 3731
Location: Villanova, PA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just for 'throwing this out there' sake, sometime within the next week I'll be updating the parts of the guide that don't have to deal with creating a custom disc. The images are a key component that needs updating within the guide, so I'm going to ask anybody if they would like to:

1) Work with me to update the information accurately (preferably knowledgeable... danielmbp... GameZelda...)
2) Create a guide or any other type of collaboration of information, either in a thread here, or I'll throw it up on the guide's site, for ALL the different aspects of image customization, along with limitations of what is and isn't possible.

I'd do all this myself, but I don't have the time with the guide's new demand for an image loader and various other life activities. So, if anybody is interested, shoot me a PM and we'll see if we can get it done.

-Nick
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Leff  
 




Joined: 04 Dec 2006
Posts: 1315

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So if I replaced a bunch of stuff with MiloTools v2.4 I should probably go back and re-do them with 2.5 because otherwise they'll be transparent?
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Unsteadycarrot  
 




Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 642
Location: U.K

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes leff...its not the case with ALL the images, but i would recomend it to be on the safe side and to save discs!

i just did it and the images are no longer transparent
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GameZelda  
 




Joined: 30 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If i'm not wrong, the bug is when importing, so you will only need to import your BMPs again
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GH:WT-PS2 Customization Progress
[100%] Make it work (w/songs loading) in a DVD5 (thanks psychospacefish!)
[100%] Modify audio (Finally done 25/11/2008)
[100%] Modify charts (Done 26/11/2008! Customs finally )
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NaziPunksEffOff  
  
  



Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE GUIDE

I successfully replaced four milo.ps2 files, burning today.
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danielmbp  
 




Joined: 07 Sep 2007
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Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brasil

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GameZelda wrote:
If i'm not wrong, the bug is when importing, so you will only need to import your BMPs again


You are right. This was a bug on bmp to tex convertion routine when importing a image from a bmp. It was setting the alpha to a wrong value. In version 2.5 this bug was corrected.
You just have to import the same bmp again in the milo, replace on GHEx and re-burn the dvd.
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GameZelda  
 




Joined: 30 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danielmbp wrote:
GameZelda wrote:
If i'm not wrong, the bug is when importing, so you will only need to import your BMPs again


You are right. This was a bug on bmp to tex convertion routine when importing a image from a bmp. It was setting the alpha to a wrong value. In version 2.5 this bug was corrected.
You just have to import the same bmp again in the milo, replace on GHEx and re-burn the dvd.


And I have a question now: How do alpha channel work now? For example, if I extract the "you rock" texture (as BMP), modify it, and import back, the alpha channel is deleted or it uses the original alpha channel?
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(Ok, I failed to do it in 24 hours... ).

GH:WT-PS2 Customization Progress
[100%] Make it work (w/songs loading) in a DVD5 (thanks psychospacefish!)
[100%] Modify audio (Finally done 25/11/2008)
[100%] Modify charts (Done 26/11/2008! Customs finally )
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Teancum  
 




Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 437

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BMP files support an alpha channel. You just need a program that can read the alpha. Any decent photo editing software will do.
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danielmbp  
 




Joined: 07 Sep 2007
Posts: 159
Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brasil

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GameZelda wrote:
danielmbp wrote:
GameZelda wrote:
If i'm not wrong, the bug is when importing, so you will only need to import your BMPs again


You are right. This was a bug on bmp to tex convertion routine when importing a image from a bmp. It was setting the alpha to a wrong value. In version 2.5 this bug was corrected.
You just have to import the same bmp again in the milo, replace on GHEx and re-burn the dvd.


And I have a question now: How do alpha channel work now? For example, if I extract the "you rock" texture (as BMP), modify it, and import back, the
alpha channel is deleted or it uses the original alpha channel?


That's a good question. I'm just thinking about the best way to address this in the software.
Nowadays the software replaces the alpha channel by a default value that is applied to the whole image. This is ok for splash screens and some skins, but not for some specific images that really uses alpha channel.

The problem is that (as I have seen) color reducing routines from Photoshop (maybe other softwares behave the same way) discards the alpha channel when converting from 32bits to 8 or 4 bits indexed color. I'm trying to develop a color reduction algorithm native in the software, that will preserve the alpha channel from the truecolor image.
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Leff  
 




Joined: 04 Dec 2006
Posts: 1315

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danielmbp wrote:
GameZelda wrote:
If i'm not wrong, the bug is when importing, so you will only need to import your BMPs again


You are right. This was a bug on bmp to tex convertion routine when importing a image from a bmp. It was setting the alpha to a wrong value. In version 2.5 this bug was corrected.
You just have to import the same bmp again in the milo, replace on GHEx and re-burn the dvd.


Don't mean to beat this dead horse, but another question on that:
I'm retarded, and I deleted the bmps after I replaced them in the milo. They were cluttering up my Desktop and instead of organizing them, I just deleted them saying "Well they're in the milo now, if I need em again I can just extract them."
So if I extract the ones that I replaced with 2.4, can I just re-import them and they'll be good? Or have I fucked myself?
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