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Flipbook animation transparency

TrentOsterTrentOster Administrator, Developer Posts: 427
A solution for animating alpha transparent sprites in the environment / as effects. The current one bit alpha does not allow the artwork to shine.



  • HeroicSpurHeroicSpur Member Posts: 905
    @TrentOster: I find it slightly, errm...unusual that you are posting requests here, It's your game! It's like being on a plane and someone sits down next to you mid-flight and tells you they're the pilot!

    In all seriousness however I appreciate that you're posting your ideas here for us to comment on them.

    And back on topic, I have no idea what an alpha transparent sprite is. I get the feeling that this is something you need to see to appreciate, in which case I'll throw my lot in with you and support it. Hopefully Trent listens and implements it.

  • KharadorKharador Member Posts: 211
    edited June 2012
    @TrentOster It's a great idea. Maybe now we can perceive much better the flipbook.

  • AliteriAliteri Member Posts: 308
    Man, I wish I knew what this is about.


  • HeroicSpurHeroicSpur Member Posts: 905
    @Coriander: that sounds like it's a win-win, I don't know why anyone would have any objection to it. I also don't know why people have 'disagreed' with my post, maybe they didn't like the joke, but I still agreed with the request.

  • AliteriAliteri Member Posts: 308
    @Coriander Thank you, you're too kind.

    @HeroicSpur I don't think it actually sounded like a joke, more like a reprehension. Hence the flaming.

  • TanthalasTanthalas Member Posts: 6,738
    @HeroicSpur I don't think it actually sounded like a joke, more like a reprehension. Hence the flaming.
    Eh, I think it would be a stretch to think he was actually reprehending Trent.

    (I'm glad I never posted the joke. It had crossed my mind too).

  • HeroicSpurHeroicSpur Member Posts: 905
    @Tanthalas: Lol, turned out I was the fool who couldn't keep his mouth shut.

    And as for Trent, he really is a hero for me in the current world of games. I honestly never believed we would be seeing anything like BG again, and to hear about BGEE and BG2EE and BG3 is just incredible. And whatsmore to be given the opportunity to post suggestions to enhance one of our favourite and best games ever...

    I should not have been so flippant. I apologise to all concerned.

    Anyway back on to alpha transparent sprites, I look forward to seeing some screenshots in the (near) future.

  • AliteriAliteri Member Posts: 308
    edited June 2012

    Its the internet, all you needed were some emoticons to make it sound like a joke or at least lighthearted :D

  • BhryaenBhryaen Member Posts: 2,874
    edited June 2012
    Right! Animating flipbook alpha-transparent sprites! Of course! I was just thinking that... *ahem* so... that has something to do with shadows maybe? Or ghosts? Cloak animations? water?

    Oh, and though I had no clue what animating flipbook alpha-transparent sprites was about, I for one seemed to be able to read HeroicSpur's post without sensing the slightest disrespect to the Trentmeister. :-P

  • CorianderCoriander Member Posts: 1,667
    @Bhryaen And fire. Lots and lots of fire.

  • TanthalasTanthalas Member Posts: 6,738

    So with the changes that Trent wants to implement to transparency, would this make fire look better against, lets see, a blue background?

  • BhryaenBhryaen Member Posts: 2,874
    Wait- no. Are you guys cleaning up the silly-looking Fireball (and other spell) animations? No... just the bonfire in the xvart village. Nexlit the Xvart has too much influence...

  • pacekpacek Member Posts: 92
    We could be looking at some proper anti aliasing for character animations. And improved spell visuals.

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    I'm totally in favor of this (as well as of any graphical improvement, really).

  • carugacaruga Member Posts: 365
    Would be sweet if the interface has this, not just sprites.

  • PaulSiramyPaulSiramy Member Posts: 2
    Using that unused byte in the BAM palette seems indeed a very good idea to me. And you even tought of a simple trick to handle both the existing BAM and the new ones that would use that new feature. I also like it because it can handle in a straightforward way most of the Diablo II spells that are using the game's implementation of alpha-blending... well, at least it'll work for animations that are composed of only 1 layer (flames, fireball, water, various auras ...).

  • TrentOsterTrentOster Administrator, Developer Posts: 427
    That is what is nice about his solution. There would be no new .Bam format, if you added alpha values to the palette, normal BG would ignore them and BG:EE would use them. I'm not sure what tool (other than a hex editor) would work well for doing the alpha settings on the palette and managing the images, but it would just work.


  • GalactygonGalactygon Member, Developer Posts: 379
    That is what is nice about his solution. There would be no new .Bam format, if you added alpha values to the palette, normal BG would ignore them and BG:EE would use them. I'm not sure what tool (other than a hex editor) would work well for doing the alpha settings on the palette and managing the images, but it would just work.

    I take it this can apply for creature animations as well (water weird for example). But (fallen) planetars would neet to be handled differently, because the top layer of their avatars are meant to use the brightest blend mode.

    It would be nice to allow all of this stuff to be customizable.


  • TrentOsterTrentOster Administrator, Developer Posts: 427
    Long-term, the right approach seems to be a format like WebP (
    or just pull in a series on 32-bit.png images into a tool and create a .BAM V2.0.

    I think the current planned extension will be a good place to start. Good thing is now we're getting some exposure to the code, so we can do more work in this area in the future. Thanks to @erephine and @salomonkane for a point in the right direction.

  • NWN_babaYagaNWN_babaYaga Member Posts: 732
    @TrentOster I love the png texture format. It´s relatively small sized and perfect to work with;)

  • MornmagorMornmagor Member Posts: 1,160
    Does this mean it's gonna be easier to tweak several graphical things in the future? :o

  • salomonkanesalomonkane Member Posts: 48
    edited July 2012
    Enhanced Infinity Engine : .BAM & Tools

    @TrentOster, @ScottBrooks, thank you to you for your listening to the community,

    @PaulSiramy thank you for your expertise,
    We'll likely have to build a new .BAM tool

    -Yes, please, it would be great if you could make available an BAM Editor, (we never have enough of this kind of artifact ^^) .

    WebP (
    .BAM V2.0.

    -This seems very interesting and promising ...

    Post edited by salomonkane on
  • PaulSiramyPaulSiramy Member Posts: 2
    edited July 2012
    @TrentOster : I know the Diablo II modding scene better than the BG one, so sorry if my question is silly, or the answer obvious, but : how difficult would it be to implement layers ?

    Apparently all animations in IE are done in only 1 layer. Big animations (like the big red dragon) are split into several BAM parts, but it's complex, and all part are draw near each others, not one on top of the others. This looks like a limitation in the IE engine.

    Beeing able to create animations in layers will open a marvelous door to animations variants (like the player weapon/armor system in Diablo II), and better animations quality (since each layer would have its own graphical effect). So, how diffult would it be to code something to bypass this limitation ?

  • Avenger_teambgAvenger_teambg Member, Developer Posts: 5,862
    @PaulSiramy there are already layers used for PC avatars and a few NPC too. The engine has 4 layers: creature+armor, offhand, weapon, helmet. Not all animations use this, but the concept is there.

  • Sese79Sese79 Member Posts: 478
    As i read this i was thinking would it not possible, to hide the old sprites with new ones? Like a new layer in Photoshop. Now you started with fire, water and ponds. This effect would work with eyes too (for avatars). Then slowly make a new overlay layer on the old sprites. Is it harder to make new layers as to create new 3d models and rendering sprites?

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