Converting from, then back to, MSX graphics?

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By wyrdwad

Paladin (775)

wyrdwad's picture

05-02-2018, 08:23

Hey all,

I've started work on a fan-translation of the MSX-BASIC RPG "Izumic Ballade" from 1996, and realized that there are two graphics images that are going to need to be modified, as they contain font data which isn't adequate for translation purposes as-is. Fellow MRC user MP83 has agreed to make the graphics edits I need, but he said he'd prefer to open and edit the files in Photoshop on a modern Windows PC if at all possible.

I've spoken with John Hassink about this, and he believes it should be possible to convert an MSX graphics file to PNG or something, then edit it in Photoshop, then convert it back to MSX graphics from there -- but he isn't sure exactly how to do it reliably. And MP83 has already tried to figure it out himself, using guides such as these:

https://www.msx.org/wiki/Using_Photoshop_for_MSX_graphics
https://www.msx.org/downloads/msx-photoshop-graphic-kit

But said that Photoshop absolutely will not recognize the files from the game, no matter what he does.

The files are called FONT.VR3 and A.VR4, and appear roughly like this when converted from MSX format by John Hassink (thank you, John!):


You can get the source files for yourself straight off the .dsk of Izumic Ballade from MRC's downloads section here:

https://www.msx.org/downloads/games/role-playing-games-rpg/i...

If anyone can tell me whether or not it's possible to convert these VR3 and VR4 graphics images to a format supported by modern graphics editing programs (PNG, BMP, etc.), and then convert them back to VR3 and VR4 after making changes -- and can also give some idea HOW to do this -- I would be extremely grateful.

Thanks very much!

-Tom

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By Jipe

Paragon (1366)

Jipe's picture

05-02-2018, 11:25

font.vr3 and a.vr4 are just screen 5 images
rename extend to .sc5 and bload in MSX Wink

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5399)

JohnHassink's picture

05-02-2018, 11:31

Dear Jipe, he wants to know how to convert those to a format which you can load into a PC graphics program, then edit them on the PC and afterwards convert those back to the original MSX format.

By wyrdwad

Paladin (775)

wyrdwad's picture

05-02-2018, 11:39

Yeah, what John said. I need to know how to edit these images in something like Photoshop on a Windows PC, but still be able to load those edited images back into the original game on an MSX.

EDIT: Which is literally what John just said! I don't know why I'm repeating it. I think because it's quarter to 3 in the morning where I am right now, and I'm still awake. I should remedy that! Wink

-Tom

By Jipe

Paragon (1366)

Jipe's picture

05-02-2018, 12:08

Yes i understood despite my bad english
for convert in a PC format just BLOAD the SC5 in BlueMSX or OpenMSX and make a screen shoot
10 SCREEN 5
20 BLOAD "A.VR4",S
30 GOTO 30
i see photoshop use SCREEN 8 pictures
try photophiltre for edit PNG picture
use MSX converter of janone or MSX viewer 5 of MarMSX to edit a screen 5 picture
but use Graph Saurus II is a best solution Wink

By wyrdwad

Paladin (775)

wyrdwad's picture

05-02-2018, 12:15

There has to be a way, though, to directly convert an SC5 file to PCX, BMP, PNG, etc., and to convert PCX, BMP, PNG, etc. back to SC5 again afterward. Since all of those graphics file formats were in use during the MSX's heyday, I can't believe there wouldn't be any programs in existence to convert to and from the most popular DOS and Windows PC graphics formats.

That's ideally what I'm looking for here.

Thank you, though, for your suggestion!

-Tom

By Samor

Paragon (2026)

Samor's picture

05-02-2018, 12:47

perhaps some of the graphics utils on the msx archive can help?

By Grauw

Ascended (8310)

Grauw's picture

05-02-2018, 14:12

To convert from PC to MSX formats, BMP2MSX and MIFui come to mind.

I use a little Node.JS script to do the conversion between graphics formats myself.

By Jipe

Paragon (1366)

Jipe's picture

05-02-2018, 14:23

http://www.oocities.org/siliconvalley/vista/2653/misctips.html
utils for msx look bmp111.zip export BMP

By FiXato

Scribe (1519)

FiXato's picture

05-02-2018, 20:51

https://www.msx.org/forum/msx-talk/development/mifui-20 indeed sounds like a handy tool for it.
Show your friend how to load it on an MSX emulator, and he himself can easily test if his PS edits give the expected results.

By MP83

Master (191)

MP83's picture

06-02-2018, 08:18

Thanks for the help, guys. Smile I went with Louthrax's MIFui tool. Seems to work perfectly.

// Oh. For some reason the two shades of black in the palette has the exact same RGB values. When I convert the edited A.VR4 picture back to the game, the graphics are missing black outlines/shadows completely and appear transparent (this also happens with the unmodified file, so something breaks between conversions). MIFui does seem to open the original file correctly, seeing how the output image is exactly the same as when you bload the file in a MSX emulator (=only one shade of black).

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