ARK: Survival Evolved

ARK: Survival Evolved

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Ark Paint Converter - Convert Images to Ark pnt
By 8BitPineapple
How to use my stand alone program for converting images to the new Ark Pnt.
 
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Program
Hi guys, I realised that while I posted my program on reddit I nejlected the steam community. My application is only for windows using the .Net framework.

My program can be found here, it uses vesion 4.5 of the microsoft .NET framework.
Converter with Templates Zip --
https://www.dropbox.com/s/p7oujy2sxtvwrqg/Converter%20With%20Templates.zip?dl=0

For browsing individual files (Past vesions, Dino Templates, Paint examples), I am keeping all my work in my dropbox here.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fqk92v2lx38n3jn/AAB_1aXABuLoaoZmQ4yINWK_a?dl=0

Dinosaur Templates here:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/o1g37hbqdx99oge/AABkKWNyjCHfHu3gYzbpwa4pa?dl=0

Please note, this is a work in progress. I will continue to edit and improve the software :)
If you like the program please give a thumbs up :p , if not I'm sure you will in later updates :D

Last Change -- 19th November 2015, updated all dinosaur templates to work with the Fur Change.
You can Donate[www.paypal.com] with paypal if you really like the program. Current donators: Thank you Stefan, Erin, Jerry, Pablo, Kara and Jennifer <3
Multi-Canvas Example
How To Use
  • Load an image in the program (For dinosaurs you need to prepare an image, for flat surfaces you can use any picture you want. But I do reccomend using the right aspect ratio for what you are painting on , e.g. 2:1 for billboard, 1:1 for the new painting canvas, tall images for flags, etc)
  • Select the object you want the paint for (Billboard, Flag, Small Sign, Dino, Painting canvas, Human)
    -- For options that aren't listed use Flag ,Billboard or Dino.
  • Adjust image to make it look nicer
  • Remove Backround (If not png to begin with),
  • Save image.

You can also Open Pnt files to save to PNG's for further editing (Just click open and select pnt from the filetype dropdown menu, open your file, press save and choose png from the drop down)

Guide for multi canvas -- http://imgur.com/a/qCJzF
Image Adjustments
Adjust image to make it look nicer:
There are a few options for adjusting the image. You should have a play with different "dither" values and modes to see what is best for your image. For cartoon images you can get away with having it set to 0 and sometimes get better results. Photographs on the other hand tend to need higher values. I find the first Dither mode tends to be best but somtimes the other two can work out better.

High Dither
 
No Dither
 
High Dither
 
No Dither
Limit Colour Pallete further
Ticking and Unticking colours in the bottom right will add/remove these dyes from the pallete.
Example, Black and white only:
Background Removal
Background Removal:
Left clicking on areas of the image in the "Image preview" to the left, the pixels are made fully transparent. Works a bit like the magic wand tool in photoshop. Set the tolerance and click on unwanted pixels

Before Clicking White Space:

After:
Saving
Saving:
For now you have to navigate to your steam\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Saved\MyPaintings directory. If you can't see a MyPaintings folder you can either make the folder yourself or save a painting in the game so that it makes the directory. I reccommend making a shortcut to this folder somewhere nicer (e.g. desktop)

The file name has to be in the form paintingname_objectname, if you want to use multiple images with the same name you need a number at the end for each file, e.g. name_Sign_Large_Metal_C
name_Sign_Large_Metal_C_1
name_Sign_Large_Metal_C_2

Example names:
Wooden Billboard -- (Name)_Sign_Large_Wood_C
Metal Billboard -- (Name)_Sign_Large_Metal_C
Single Flag -- (Name)_Flag_SM_Single_C
Multi Panel Flag -- (Name)_Flag_SM_C
Wall Canvas -- (Name)_Sign_PaintingCanvas_C


If you are painting for Multiple painting canvas you should not add _Sign_PaintingCanvas_C to your file name like you usually would

You can use the png template names as a reference when saving. Alternatively you can paint a single pixel on a Dino/Billboard/Flag/Whatever and save it in game as "MyPainting" and overwrite the new file MyPainting_Otherstuff_C.pnt when saving in my program to assure the name is correct.
My files when I was making lots of metal billboard paintings :)

Screenshot of my Pnt converter Program, converterted with my Pnt converter program :p
Adding Images to Dino's with Paint .Net
For Dino's you need to prepare an image beforehand. for image editing Paint .Net is a pretty good alternative to photoshop, http://www.getpaint.net/index.html.

If you want to add an image to a dino using Paint .Net you can follow these steps:
  1. Open the Dino template
  2. If the dino in the template looks a little "squashed" you can
    • Goto "Image" at the top by file, edit, view, etc. And click resize
    • Untick maintain aspect ratio and increase the width (e.g. for a bronto I had to double the width to get the template looking about right.
  3. Paste in the image and place it where you want on the dino
  4. Turn off the template in the bottom right (Or recolour it if you want to make the rest of the dino painted a certain colour)
  5. Save this image and use my program to convert to pnt for loading in Ark.
I'd recomend only changing the first part of the name, e.g. Argent_Argent_Character_BP_C could be saved as MyArgentPaint_Argent_Character_BP_C. This way when you save in my program the name should already be correct.

You can also follow these steps for adding images to flags / billboards etc if you want to better line up your images.
Dino's and Humans
In order to make suitable paints for dinosaurs/humans you need to have some practice making / editing images. (Please see "Edited Template Examples" for examples of the kind of pictures you need to make). Photoshop is probabily the ultimate tool, but if you are unfamiliar with photoshop simpler tools such as Paint . Net are pretty good -- can be downloaded here http://www.dotpdn.com/downloads/pdn.html .

Currently the ark Pnt file uses 256x256 resolutions for Dino's and 512x512 for player characters. The templates show what a fully painted Dino ends up like in the paint file. Since all the paint files use 256x256 resolution for dinos and dino's generally arn't square, I'd recommend resizing the template so that the Dino isn't "squashed" to help prevent any unwanted stretching. If you are using photoshop one "advanced" tip would be to change the pixel aspect ratio instead of resizing the template.

Once you've made an image you like, load it in my program and save the pnt in your steam\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Saved\MyPaintings folder with the appropriate name. I've named all of the png templates with the names you should call your pnt files e.g. name_Argent_Character_BP_C

To make life easier it is best to just save your edited template only adjusting the first feild before the _ in the file name, e.g. Argent_Argent_Character_BP_C may be saved as MyArgentPaintingName_Argent_Character_BP_C. This way when you load your picture in my program for converting to an Ark PNT you'll already have the correct file name when saving.

If there is a template missing you can make your own (See Making your own templates in the guide.)

Edited Template Examples
Here are some examples of edited templates I have made using photoshop. If you want to make your own I'd reccomend Gimp as a free alternative to photoshop


Template Usage (Right side without template showing is what you would load in program)
In photoshop I worked with the template image as the bottom layer and added and rescaled images to parts of the character I wanted. E.g. Hearts that go around the diamond doodad we have on our left arms. Then removed the template for the version of the image to load in the program


Note: For big dinosaurs 256x256 resolution is very low, so it's hard to get any real detail on them. I'd reccomend just going for interesting colour patterns
Example Trex skin by me


Yankee Doodle Dodo by TheJollyLlama875:

Green Lantern Mammoth by Triplesteel


American Argent by me


Paint file for T-rex Link[www.dropbox.com]
Paint file T-Rex after limiting colours Link[www.dropbox.com]
Paint file for Dodo Link[www.dropbox.com]
Green Lantern Mammoth Link
American argent Link[www.dropbox.com] (Updated for Fur Update, could still do with a little bit of tweaking, but mostly good)

If you are looking for more ready done Dino warpaints I'd reccomend the website arkpaint.com , and https://www.reddit.com/r/ARKWarPaint

For people who just want to use the example skins and havn't read the rest of the guide :)
Paint files can be added straight in steam\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Saved\MyPaintings
:).
Making your own templates
If there is a template missing (If a new dino is added and I've not gotten around to adding the template -- Dino templates last updated on added 20/06/2016. You can make your own by painting on a dino / object in game, save it in game and load the pnt file in my program. After this you can save it is a png. When painting the dino / object you can either paint the whole thing or perhaps just a rectangle where you plan on adding an image.

Example:
1. I fully painted an argent in game and saved it in game with the name "argent"

2. I loaded the pnt file with my program ( argent_Argent_Character.... pnt)

3. Pressed Save

4. Used the dropdown to save as PNG in my desired location.
Pictures by Zaiux
Zaiux has made some pretty awesome pictures using my program. http://steamcommunity.com/id/Zaiux
"Hello and thanks for sharing your talent with the world! Your BMP to PNT converter is just the best around. You can check out the works I've done with your software and a bit of Photoshop in my screenshots and community artwork."
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=531067054 http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=532005204 http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=529456662 http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=529452360 View Zaiux's steam profile to view his other images :)
FAQ
1. "Loading painting in game failed/freezes, how can I fix this"
This is a problem that occurs for some players when loading any painting (not just those from my Program). Allot of people on the forums and reddit have told me that standing as close to the painting as you can before loading helps to fix this and if it is a dino to whistle it to follow. I've not tried it myself though, since for me when loading paintings the game is a little bit laggy but always finishes.

2. "I cannot see my saved painting in game"
If you have saved a file but cannot see it listed in game then the name you called your file isn't quite right. The object_name for your file has to be correct, e.g. girlPower_PlayerPawnTest_Female_C.pnt , will be visible with the name "GirlPower" when loading from a female character in game. The easiest way to get the file names is to save a painting in game, even if it is just of a single dot on a dino/sign/billboard, and then replace that painting when you save a file on my program. Alternatively if you've downloaded my program with templates, all of the templates are saved with the correct file names so you can use those as reference.

3. "I cannot find my Ark painting/install
If you are having trouble finding your Ark install directory you can bring up steam, find "Ark: Survival Evolved" , Right click properties, at the top in the bar there is "Local files", then a button for "Browse local files". From here you can find the paintings folder inside -- Shootergame, Saved, MyPaintings, if there is no "MyPaintings" folder you can either make one or save a painting in game after using the paintbrush so that the game makes one for you.

4. "Will you be making a release for MAC OS"
Currently there are no plans for making a mac os version. All of my current code for the UI and loading / saving paintings uses windows classes. So porting the program is almost the same as re-writing allot of it.

5. "Your program crashes when I do X"
Then don't do X! ... just kidding, please report anything in the comment section of this guide and I'll try to make a fix whenever needed.

6. "Can I use this on multiplayer"
Yes, you can use my program to make paints for loading into any multiplayer servers.

7. Dyes do not show up very well on my dino / character.
Dyes right now are a little bit too transparent, dyes will show up allot better on darker dino's / player models. In ARK Digest 27 Q&A somone asked “Will the black and white dyes get updated to appear more visible when painting dinos and people?” , with the responce "Yup! We’re working on it ;)". So fingers crossed dyes will look allot nicer in a later patch :D

For better results making new images
You may use this image as a reference for colours you can use:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/l8yybrp5g2q77zb/arkDyeColors.png?dl=0

Photoshop users may wish to use this colour table: https://www.dropbox.com/s/j6u948ysjbqtt48/ArkDyesNewDecember.act?dl=0 (Easiest usage, in photoshop - file, save for web, load colour table on the right side of the window)

Also, if your pc is good enough you can have my program, photoshop and ark loaded at the same time. On ark in single player use the commands -- "Giveitemnum 38" to give yourself a paintbrush, "give colours 20" to give yourself 20 of every dye, then occassionally tab between photoshop, my program and ark and test your warpaint. Testing while you're making them helps a bunch.
Change Log
Coming Soon
Improving colour reduction algorithm, goal being to be on par with photoshop.

Note: Added all new Dino templates as of 20/06/2016

Current Version 0.17
06/01/2016
Added Multi-Canvas option for more easily making/saving images comprised of multiple canvases. http://imgur.com/a/qCJzF

Usage: Open an image, on the save dropdown menu select Multi-Canvas, change the values in the bottom left for how many canvas you want your picture to be made of in the x & y, press process image if you want a preview and save as any name you want. The saved files will be outputted as name0-0, name1-0, name2-0, where the first number is the x position of the canvas and the second is the y position, with 0-0 being the top left canvas.

Example image made by LeonardoDiCarryoohh, his reddit post


Added Check all and Uncheck all buttons for dye colours. Saves some time if you only want your picture to use a few dyes, so you can uncheck all and select the few you want.

Version 0.16
Added templates for war map and pumpkin along with changing the save option dropdown names to include these and what their resolutions are e.g. "Human" is now called "Human & WarMap (512x512px)".

19th November 2015, updated all dinosaur templates to work with the Fur Change and added Penguin template

Added Donate[www.paypal.com] link onto the guide for anyone who really like the program :D

Updated american argent skin for Fur Update, could still do with a little bit of tweaking, but mostly good.

Version 0.15
Added ability to load Ark Pnt files and to save as PNG.
The save dialog box now defaults to the name of the file you have opened. Useful for when the image you have loaded already has the correct name i.e. When you make a dinosaur skin from a template and save it with the original template name.

Vesion: 0.14 , Last change -- Edited colour code for "Royalty" to better match ark colours. Paintings will not mistake blue for royalty (see below examples)
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304 Comments
Monster Boy 17 hours ago 
there's no templates for the animals in scorched earth
8BitPineapple  [author] Sep 25 @ 1:10pm 
@Ambush11211 Oh okay, yeah the steam web browser can't download files.
Ambush11211 Sep 25 @ 5:51am 
@8BitPineapple That didn't work either but what I did was copy the original dropbox link and pasted it in my browser and downloaded it that way and it worked perfectly :D. Thanks for the quick response and quick action. Just thought I'd let you know what I did just incase another person has the same issue :)
8BitPineapple  [author] Sep 25 @ 4:23am 
@Ambush11211 Uploaded the file here -- http://www.filedropper.com/converterwithtemplates21 -- for you, if anyone knows a better free file hosting website let me know, quite a few people seem to have issues with dropbox for some reason.
8BitPineapple  [author] Sep 25 @ 4:20am 
@Topazwolf In the past a few people have had some issues like this. What worked for most of them was standing as close to the thing they were painting (Looking at it directly) or lowering their graphics settings.

Sadly the issue is out of my hands. The problem is with the code for loading paints in Ark. The paitings produced by my program are in the exact same format as the ones the game makes. If they crash more often it'll be due to these paintings being a bit more "complex" and using more colours etc.
Ambush11211 Sep 25 @ 4:16am 
Am I the only one who is having issues with downloading the Paint Converter? I have clicked download like 10 times but it doesn't download it. I have tried closing the window and clicking on the link again but no luck. It just says that I can log into dropbox to save the file directly to dropbox or down the bottom it says "No thanks, continue with download -". I click the no thanks and it doesn't download it.
Topazwolf Sep 25 @ 2:44am 
Hi! Maybe you can assist me. I was trying to do a Multi Canvas, but Ark kept logging me out half way through the applying portion with a time out. I then tried doing a Billboard Wooden, same issue... so I tried one of my old Billboard Wooden (from last week) and it painted just fine. I re-saved that creation in the Converter over-top of the old one, no changes made, and tried to paint the sign again; and it timed me out half way through. Has one of the recent updates caused this to happen? If so can you update the converter? Due to it working for me before, and now not, I don't think it's anything I'm doing... but I'm open to suggestions if it seems to be on my end. Thanks!
8BitPineapple  [author] Sep 10 @ 9:41pm 
If you don't mind using a template, I've made a template for the current painting canvas, https://www.dropbox.com/s/9m97ogv5uvu7fpv/canvas_Sign_PaintingCanvas_C.png?dl=0 . The downside is the resolution will be lower than pre v246.0. Ideally the devs will revert the change, if it looks like that isn't going to happen any time soon I'll update my multi-canvas tool to work with the current, not so good, painting canvas.
8BitPineapple  [author] Sep 10 @ 8:26pm 
Small update, I made a reddit post about the problem and it is currently the top thread on /playark/ . The Devs should see it, they've always been pretty good at responding to their reddit in the past :)

https://www.reddit.com/r/playark/comments/524ul0/please_revert_painting_canvas/
8BitPineapple  [author] Sep 10 @ 11:37am 
Looks like it was an oversight by the Ark Devs, the issue is worse than just a resolution change, so I can't just quickly fix it like I thought. The painting canvas is actually still using a 256x256 image, but it is only using part of the image near the center. Annoyingly they also broke the ability to paint on the canvas with a paintbrush, so finding out exactly what part of the image is being used is a bit tedious. I'll write up a bug report and patch my program in the next few days to work with the current painting canvas, but really hope that revert it to how it was.