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Basic guide to EDITART
A basice introductory guide to duke nukems EDITART.EXE with useful links to further in depth explanations of tools and resources.
So, you want to make artwork for Duke nukem 3D? Maybe make artwork for your own map? Maybe a mod? Perhaps even a TC! Either way your curiousity and desires have brought you here to create something.
So, let's begin. Shall we? I will not cover anything to do with how to create the artwork but i will cover the aspects of importing them into the game through the means of a few programs and an easy process once you learn what said progress is.
Doing any job requires a set of tools, for construction workers it's hammers, nails and a great deal of power tools and heavy machinery. For mathematicians it's pencil, paper and a calculator. Artists pencils, pens, paper, canvases and a great deal many more things for dealing with different mediums of art. But what of digital artists? All they need is a computer and the internet. But what if they want to work on something specific that's a bit quirky and has certain requirements to be met? I'm talking of course about the Build engine, or more specifically one of the games that was made with the build engine, that includes Duke nukem 3D, shadow warrior, redneck rampage series and last but absolutely far from least Blood. For now we'll focus on Duke nukem 3D, a classic in its own right for its absurd self absorbed hero and the world in which he lives fighting aliens and saving the day. Let's cover the tools we'll need to do that. If you downloaded this tutorial in its entirety then you should have recieved a few additional zip files, other files and such resources but for now we'll focus on a couple of these things and also things you'll need that should have come with your game. This tutorial uses Duke3D:ME or Duke nukem 3D: Megaton edition. First of all let's look at the tools that came with the tutorial.
dbgl and gfe. Although dgbl is not a tool in itself we will be using as a tool to make our process much easier and has the benefit of making other older dos games including Duke nukem 3D playable. It is a frontend version of dosbox and is easy to work with, but we'll cover that in the next part. Gfe is a graphics program compatable with a great deal of other games from a similar generation, it can be used to access the files from Duke nukem's .GRP file which is the file that holds all the info internally, including the .ART files, but we'll explain how to do that in the next part.
Next tool we'll need is GIMP, an open source Photoshop alternative. For this tutorial this is the program we'll be using to work with the art, though if any program you use shares many of the same functions then they will work just as well. Gimp can be acquired from the internet from their website here.
Next tool we'll need is the dreaded EDITART.EXE, it's old and evil because of how ancient it is and how difficult that makes it to work with on modern systems. Though thanks to dbgl it will be a piece of cake and the roaring lion turns into a kitten. Edit art is originally the art editing program that came with build games on the cd underneath the "Goodies" folder built be ken silverman. To this day scientists can't figure out exactly how it works but this will be a step in the right direction. For indepth information on EDITART.EXE please consult this page:
Next we'll cover our other needed tool. Mapster 32, it plays the least important role in this tutorial but it will be useful for checking that the art is working correctly.
Mapster32 is a modern version of BUILD.EXE made for the Eduke32 port of Duke nukem 3D and runs without a problem and well worth using if you plan on mapping as well. For an indepth tutorial on mapster32 please go to this website.
For this tutorial you'll also need Eduk32 to acquire mapster32 which is a fantastic port in itself and supports a ton cool amount of mods and even high res textures, but that won't be covered in this tutorial. You can grab it here.
So now that you're familiar with the tools we'll be using it's time to tell you how we'll be setting this up to make it all work together. First of all you'll need to copy your Duke3D:ME files from your steam directory, it should look something like this once you find your steam folder
Click inside the folder then press CTRL+A, you've now selected all files within this folder, neat shortcut huh? Now press CTRL+C to copy all the files. Now this part is up to you how you want to do this, yay options! Step 1. Find a place to create a new folder, name it whatever you want but for this tutorial i will suggest "Duke3D" and will be referring to the folder you created as such.
step 2. create this folder, open it up click inside and press CTRL+V Alright you have a lot of it done so far! Okay so if you haven't downloaded Eduke32 go ahead and do so now and get it from here.
Download and install, pretty straight forward needs no more explanation for now. Next you'll want to extract dbgl and gfe to their own folders wherever you want!
Now here comes a part with a minor amount of difficulty but trust me, it's not that hard. Step 1. Run dbgl which is called "Launch.exe"
Once you run that you should get this.
As you can see i already have Edit art already put in but i'll explain how it works. First you press the button "Add profile" and something like this should pop up.
First add a title, we'll call it "Editart" or call it "Editfart" if you want to, it's up to you and fill out the misc info such as who made it, when it was made and who published it etc. I put the genre under "tool" Once you do that it should look something like this.
Goody! Now let's continue on and get to the important part. You'll want to hit the tab "Mounting" all the way to the right and it should look like this.
The only thing that needs to be done here is go down to the box where it says "Main" next to the field you should see the brose button, click it and go to the Duke3D folder and find EDITART.EXE.
Select it and hit "Open" once that's done you go down to the left of the window and hit "OK" and you're all done! Launch it and see if it works! You don't have all the files you need just yet so no artwork should display when you launch it but that's okay this next procedure will help you get that. Remember GFE? Well go to that and run it.
Once it starts up it should look like this.
Next roll your mouse over "File" and find "Open" and click it. Once that's done proceed to find the Duke3D folder that you made earlier. Then find and open the .GRP file for Duke nukem 3D
Open it and it should look like this.
Goody! You have access to the .GRP file! Next scroll down and select the .ART files. Click the TILES000.ART then roll your mouse over TILES019.ART hold shift then click to select them all. It should look like this.
Next you'll want to go to the "Palette" tab, scroll down and select "Duke nukem 3D" Then go to the "Entry" tab and select "Save all" then locate your Duke3D folder that we have been working with and save them all in there. it should prompt you each time so save all 20 of them. Now, run EDITART.EXE in DBGL and see if any art shows up, after some text from EDITART hit enter, next some mossy looking bricks should show up, like this.
Press the V key and use your arrow keys to explore all of the art of Duke nukem 3D! In the next step I'll explain how to use GIMP to make art to be imported by EDITART.EXE First though let's set up GIMP. Launch GIMP it should be like this.
Okay now you'll want to go back to your resource files that you downloaded with this tutorial, there should be a fine there called "Duketemplate.xcf" open it either by going to file > open and locating it or double clicking it to open it with GIMP.
Now when you open it, it should look like this.
That pink is the transparency color for Duke3D, it's all set up so you can use it but you'll need to extract a palette from it first before you can start working with it. First you'll want to go to "Windws > dockable dialogs > Palletes" and click it.
Next you should notice that a new tab will appear on one of your tool bar areas near the right.
Find the palette tabe and click it. Good you found the palettes! But you're not done yet. Now right click anywhere within the palette tab and click "Import palette" a box like this should appear.
Go ahead and click the tab on the left that says "Image" and the standard Duke3D palette should appear. Then hit "Import" Now you can select from this palette and paint with Duke3D colors! But more importantly with this image in particular you can take anything you want and copy and paste it and it will be converted to the color palette... Let's say for example we want to put this apple into Duke3D, i mean come on. Duke drinks beer, eats steak and does all kinds of unhealthy things all day long he needs a healthy snack every now and again right?
Well let's take that image and copy and paste it into our template file to see what happens! Open the apple image and once it's in GIMP hit CTRL+A hit CTRL+C then go back to the template image and press CTRL+V and this should happen.
Now it looks all low resolution but that's a game from 1996 for you! Only problem is it's to big. So we'll have to scale it down, specific sizes about different file types are here.
But for now we'll just cover the basics. As i said before we'll import that apple into EDITART.EXE, First though we need to save it! Go to "File>Export to" and click it, next you'll want to name it whatever you want but for now i recommend "Apple" for simplicity. Save it as a .GIF file and turn interlacing off before you do, save it wherever you want but make sure you move it to the Duke3D folder before you try and import it. Take apple.GIF and move it to your Duke3D folder. You're almost there! Next go to DBGL and run EDITART.EXE Once it launches press enter again. Now once you see this again
Go ahead and and hit "V" again and find a place that has no graphics already in place and hit enter. Now you're ready to import! If you can't get your apple to import properly, use mine as a learning tool. Now press the "U" key and it will now and try to import a picture form the Duke3D folder. Next the apple should appear like this, but you're not done yet!
Next you have two options, one you can click and drag and select the entire area with your mouse or you can press the "END" key to select everything. I'll go ahead and hit END for this tutorial. Next your apple should be in place! But it's not ready yet, we still have a little work to do on it. Go ahead and press the Backspace key to select the transparency color. Next put your cursor over the pink background and press the "C" key with it over. What that will do is turn the color into select color, some times the transparency doesn't import right so we have to do this to make sure it works, it's tedious but not so much it's not worth it.
Now you can either hit "Escape" and quit the program after it prompts you twice, once to ask if you want to quit then once to ask if you wish to save, hit yes twice. Or if you have more art you wish to bring it then hit "V" again and it will ask you if you wish to save, hit yes. and continue to import your art. Once you have all the art in you want hit "Escape" and quit the program, you're all done you imported art into Duke3D! But wait, did it work right? Let's find out! This is where Mapster32 comes in!
Now you have everything you need in place but you have to make sure it all works. Go ahead and run mapster32 from your Duke3D folder.
Now you'll see something come up, for this don't worry about it and hit okay you can set your resolutions later if you ever get serious about mapping. Next something like this should pop up!
I won't go into to much detail about how this works but i will give a basic idea. Next hit space anywhere to create a point, now build a small room around the arrow simple 4 corners should work. It should look like this.
Now that you have your basic room you can now enter it into 3D mode, press "Enter" on the number key pad to enter 3D mode. it should appear like this.
Now that you're in 3d mode you can move around using the arrow keys, you can go up and down with the A and Z keys, switch between modes of moving up and down with capslock and you can look around while holding the right mouse button and move freely up, down and from side to side if you hold both left and right mouse buttons down. Good! Now let's see if that are you added worked! For the purpose of this tutorial for now we'll add a sprite, let's add the sprite to the map by pointing anywhere on the map but for now let's put it on the floor, let's hit the S key and place one. you'll see it looks exactly like the rest of the room, you can move around it and it still faces you, yep that's a sprite. It's like a creepy child that has a weird thing for staring at you no matter what with the most blank expression on its face. Now that you've added the sprite point your cursor at it and press "V" now like in EDITART.EXE you should be able to explore all the art of Duke3D. Find your art, roll the selection box over and hit enter. (If you're working with a texture then point at any of the walls or the floor to change the texture, it works on all things.) Once you've added the apple it should look like this.
It's big but it's in there. Now if everything went right it should be fine but if you still have pink around it go back and do it again to make sure you didn't miss any spots. save it and try it again. Now the only issue left is it's size, this is an easy fix. Point your cursor at it and start using the directional keys on the numpad to adjust the size, hold shift to make it go faster and take bigger steps in doing so. Once you get it to a reasonable size you're all done! Congratulations you've graphically altered a game from 1996! Now go make it rain apples upon those alien bastards!
The end! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I hope this was of use to people! I hope you enjoy it and i hope to see a lot of great artwork for a classic game come of this!