Compiled by CO Raptor and Ice Dragon
3.1: Sprite Ripping with AnimGet
Contributed by Mark.
This walkthrough is designed to help novice sprite rippers to collect sprites and animations without the hassle of skilled screenshot collection, heavy editing, and time consuming alignment of images for animation.
AnimGet - Basically, once activated, this will repeatedly take screenshots of the focused window and save them as a string of files in progressing number order. Combined with the background out toggling with the VBA emulator, sprite animation collection becomes practically automated. Be forewarned that the program can eat up hard drive space quickly if not used properly. Don't worry about repeat copies of the same frame one after the other, as the program actually checks the preceeding screenshot for changes. If there in no change, then it would save that screenshot.
Animagic GIF Animator - Yes, it's a simple GIF animation program. But, the reason I am referencing this program is because is can uniformly crop series of images to the desired rectangle. Basically, I point this program out because it will allow you to in one shot, cut out the window frams out of all those screenshots that were just collected with AnimGet.
1. Play your game until you reach a point where you get the sprite animation you want to collect. It is recommended that you use VBA's save state feature right before the animation begins. This will allow you to start over if for some reason you make a mistake.
2. Toggle out different layers on VBA. For FE, press Ctrl + 1, Ctrl + 2, Ctrl +3, and Ctrl + 4.
3. Start up AnimGet and select "Observe > Start".
4. Click back onto the emulator and allow the game to play the animation you want to get. As soon as the animation runs to completion, click back onto AnimGet and select "Screenshot > Save".
5. After getting a notice message, you can now look in the directory where AnimGet is for a subfolder called "Shot". All your screenshots have been saved as BMP files in here.
6. Highlight all files in the animation and then drag and drop them into Animagic GIF. Animagic GIF will put them in order automatically.
7. To crop frames in Animagic GIF, select "Frame > Crop". A window will open with assorted options. Move the window to the side so you can see the image.
8. Click on the button "Select all".
9. Now, to set how to crop the image, set numbers for "Height", "Width", "Left", and "Top" on "Bounding rectangle". Select "OK".
10. To set a transparent background, click on the button that looks like a pencil. It is to the right of a green loop arrow button. Now, click over the color area you want transparent.
11. Save the file.
Notice: AnimGet may miss several frames of the animation if the emulator is going at full speed. It is recommended that instead of running the emulator normally to repeatedly use Ctrl + N, the next frame command, to go through the animation at a slower speed. Set VBA's "Frame skip" to 0 and "Auto frame rate" to off. (Contributed by CO Raptor.)
3.2: Sprite Ripping with Tile Viewer
This is a more advanced method of ripping sprites and is unaffected when sprites overlap. It is easier for doing sheets rather than animations.
Contributed by Starwolf.
1. When the sprite you want is on screen on the emulator, go to "Tools > Tile viewer".
2. Play about until you see the sprite, then tweak the palette.
3. Save the tiles to a file.
4. Sometimes the tiles are not all there. Go back to the game and go several frames and refresh the tile viewer. If the new tiles are different, save again. Continue until the on-screen animation is complete.
5. Put the tiles together.
6. Alternatively, to rip backgrounds, use "Tools > Map viewer" instead of "Tools > Tile viewer".
Contributed by Mark.
My method is for the faint of heart person who happens to like a particular sprite and want an animation of it, but poses no skills in sprites, be it editing, creating or ripping. For those people, the idea of having to time your call of tile viewer, then playing "jigsaw" with the parts is hardly work that a novice would want to touch with a 10 foot pole. And like you said, it is even a greater pain to try to rebuild the animation from such parts.
This is not to say using the tile viewer is not without it's usefulness. (In fact, we can very well incoperate using the tile viewer right into this animation collection method as a way to fix frames covered up by target being attacked.) but for most people, the simplest and most automatic method is the way to go. Having two programs that pretty much do all the work for you to collect frames of animation would hardly be considered doing it "The Long Way" in anyone's book. For what most people are hoping to get, your method would be considered the "Long way".
3.3: Sprite Ripping with BATGBA
Contributed by Ice Dragon.
This method is a more intermediate method of ripping sprites. The method's main use is to easily patch up overlapping sprites as well as bypass the frame skip problem that you may encounter with VBA.
Visual Boy Advance
1. Load up the ROM on BATGBA. Make sure the game was Suspended right before the desired battle sequence.
2. Create a save state (File>Save state). You can name the file whatever you want and you aren't limited to 10 states per ROM.
3. Make sure the Debug menu is enabled. If it isn't then enable it (Debug>Enable).
4. Open the Screen and Sprites subwindows (Debug>View>Screen and Debug>View>Sprites).
5. Make sure one the Screen window that the desired layers are on (Sprites for sprite ripping, Sprites and Background 1 for magic).
6. Initiate the battle in-game on the main window. Pause before the animation begins (see appended list for BATGBA quick keys).
7. Rip the frames with Frame step (appendix), copying, pasting, and cropping with MS Paint.
8. Reload the save state you previously created (appendix).
9. Go through the battle again, except as soon as the enemy and ally sprites overlap, go to the Sprites window.
10. There should be a number with an up and down arrow following it. Make the number equal 50.
11. Open up a new window in MS Paint.
12. You should notice in the Sprites window several important things:
- The graphics box. This contains the sprite in question.
- The position indicator. This shows the location of the sprite on the screen.
- Size. This shows the size of the sprite.
- Name. Indicates which tiles are being used. You don't need to know how to use at this point.
- Priority. Indicates its relationship (overlapping or overlapped) to the background layers and other sprites. Again, you don't need this right now.
- The checkboxes on the right. This shows how the sprite was modified.
13. Hit the up arrow near the 50 that you previously inputted until you get a white shape in the graphics box with the position as '0, 160'. Then hit the down arrow once.
IF THE SPRITE IN THE GRAPHIC BOX IS PART OF THE OPPONENT'S SPRITE, CONTINUE PRESSING THE DOWN ARROW.
If you cannot tell, usually the Flip x checkbox is marked for the enemy's sprite.
14. Screenshot with the Print Screen button on the keyboard and paste into MS Paint. Use the rectangle selector to copy the sprite in the graphics box. Make sure you start at the top-left corner and make it the size indicated in the size indicator (while you are still dragging the mouse to make the selection, you will see a display in the bottom corner of Paint that tells you exactly what size your current selection is).
15. Open a new window of Paint. Make the background color black and turn off Draw Opaque (Image>Draw Opaque).
16. Turn on Grid (Ctrl + G).
17. Paste. If any Sprites window checkboxes are marked, act on them right now. (Flip x is a horizontal flip [Image>Flip/Rotate]; Flip y is a vertical flip; Double size is a stretch by 200% to both vertical and horizontal [Image>Stretch/Skew]; the Rotate/Scale checkmark is extremely complicated, it's best to avoid sprites that use that [the Hero class's shield is an example]).
18. Click and hold on the top-left-most pixel in the selection and drag it to the position indicated by the position indicator (on the Sprites window of BATGBA). Again, a display in the bottom corner of Paint will display your mouse's current position.
19. Go back to the Sprites window. Click the down arrow. If this new sprite is part of the enemy, click the down arrow until the sprite is of the character you are ripping or until you pass (go below) 50 or ~25 for FE6 (which is the end of the battle sprite tiles).
20. Repeat steps 17~19 in Paint.
21. Once you pass sprite 50, save the picture in Paint and start a new Paint file.
22. Use the Frame skip in BATGBA to move on to the next frame.
23. Repeat until every overlapping frame is ripped tile-by-tile.
F2 - Reload ROM.
F4 - Pause/Unpause.
F10 - Frame step.
When you load a save state, there is a small glitch that may freeze the game's input (your directional and A/B/Start/Select/L/R/etc. controls). First pause the game (F4). Then Reload (F2). Then load the save state. Finally, unpause the game (F4).
3.4: Spell Transparency
Contributed by Ice Dragon.
1. Open the background image, everything underneath the transparent layer, in Adobe Photoshop.
2. Paste the image you want to make transparent over the background. Set the blending method to "Color dodge".
3. Paste the same image again. Set the blending method to "Screen".
3.5: Recoloring with the Eraser Method
This is a quick way to manually recolor an image. If you want the entire image recolored, and the image is very large, it is preferable to use the "Fenrir" method.
1. Left click eyedropper on the color you want replaced.
2. Right click eyedropper on the color you want to replace with.
3. Use the Eraser tool and right click and drag over the part of the image you want to recolor.
4. Repeat for any other color.
3.6: Recoloring with the "Fenrir" Method
This is a very quick way to recolor an entire image. Its name comes from the first FESSer to have extensively used this method on a regular basis.
1. Right click eyedropper on the color you want replaced.
2. Left click eyedropper on the color you want to replace with.
3. Ctrl+A (select all).
4. Ctrl+X (cut).
5. Left click on the image with Fill tool.
6. Ctrl+V (paste).
7. Uncheckmark "Image > Draw opaque".
8. Repeat for any other color.
3.7: Making Sprite Sheets
Contributed by CO Raptor
I usually open up Paint twice. Use Print Screen to capture the frame, paste the entire screen in Paint No. 1, then cut out the part you need and paste it in Paint No. 2 - Boring as hell, but it works.
Contributed by Dutchbest
Animation Shop + Paint Shop Pro = good combination to compose sprite sheets of animations.
3.8: Making Stat Sheets
This is a tutorial for Ice Dragon's stat sheet templates found on Serenes Forest.
1. Download the necessary files: Layer 1, Layer 2, Layer 3, and Assorted Symbols (status sheet) from Angel Sword for the game and language you want to make a sheet from.
2. Open all 4 files in separate MS Paint windows.
3. Copy and paste all numbers and icons from the Symbols sheet to Layer 3. Make sure "Image > Draw opaque" is checkmarked. Do not do text yet.
4. Right click the eyedropper on the background color on Layer 3.
5. Uncheckmark "Image > Draw opaque".
6. Copy and paste text to any blank spot on Layer 3.
7. Checkmark "Image > Draw opaque".
8. Select the text and move it into the proper slot. Note that all text is aligned to the top of the box, not the bottom. Text for the name of the character should be horizontally centered on the small box with the tickmark in the middle. Names with an even number of pixels center on the box itself; names with an odd number of pixels center on the tickmark.
9. Use the Fill tool and right click to fill in any unused boxes on Layer 3.
10. Fill in the stat bars and any other boxes on Layer 2 the same way you did for Layer 3. Unfilled stat bars and map sprite, if applicable, use Draw opaque on. Stat bar fillings use Draw opaque off. Make sure you delete any unnecessary equipped weapon indicator bars.
11. Select all (Ctrl + A) on Layer 2 and copy.
12. Paste on Layer 1.
13. Use the eyedropper tool and right click the dark green background color. Then, turn off Draw opaque.
14. "Edit > Undo" (Ctrl + Z).
15. Paste again. This time, the background should have become transparent.
16. Select all on Layer 3 and copy.
17. Paste on Layer 1. Again, the background should have become transparent.
18. For FE7 and FE6, add the map sprite and face sprite now.
Note that NEVER will you fill in the background of Layer 2 or Layer 3 with any color other than the one that you started with.