EverDrive Forum

General => Off Topic => Topic started by: RickyKustafason on February 16, 2013, 04:57 PM

Title: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: RickyKustafason on February 16, 2013, 04:57 PM
Hello, I am interested in the mega everdrive.

I wanted to know if the menu was customizable.  I would like to have a background picture with the boxart and logo pop up for each game on the menu.  I already have the box art pictures, just need to understand if there is some way to get them to display as each menu item is selected.

Is this possible to customize in the current version?
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: dvd2vcd on February 16, 2013, 10:33 PM
krikzz wont have anything to do with menu customisation, if anyone might it will be chilly willy as he did menus for neo myth carts
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: RickyKustafason on February 16, 2013, 11:53 PM
So the menu is programmable?  Or is it low-level where a specialist has to code it?  Sorry I am new to everdrive so I don't know.  Thanks for the help.
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: dvd2vcd on February 17, 2013, 10:41 AM
pm chilly willy he will know for sure
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: darkfalzx on March 06, 2013, 04:11 AM
So the menu is programmable?  Or is it low-level where a specialist has to code it?  Sorry I am new to everdrive so I don't know.  Thanks for the help.

So? Did you ever get a response from chilly willy? I was wondering if MegaEverdrive menu could be made any more attractive myself, as of all the Everdrive menus it's possibly the ugliest one.

I imagine it will require some very low-level code though, as MD/Genesis is not a system you can just throw copious amounts of scripting and art at.

For one - the box art would have to be converted down to the resolution of about 96x128 and use 3 16-color palettes using the 3-bit-per-channel color set (where the colors from each palette can't repeat outside an 8x8 pixel area dedicated to THAT palette). Although the simplest, but ugliest way would be to use a single 16 color palette per cover. So - either a fairly amazing converter program has to be written, or you need a pixel artist to convert each box individually.

Come to think of it - being a decent pixeler myself I consider that a fun challenge!
I just might start converting Genny boxes to this format little by little every day: )
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: Chilly Willy on March 08, 2013, 08:20 AM
There's two issues with box art: is box art available, and how do you associate the box art with the games? My menu for the N64 Myth has boxart because N64 boxart has been available for emulators for some time, and it's easy to associate games to their proper box art. I'm certainly not about to go making boxart for different consoles, so boxart would already have to exist. At that point, if someone wanted to sit down and rename all the files and/or make a list to associate games with the proper art, that would help in making boxart for menus for consoles.
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: butfluffy on March 08, 2013, 12:12 PM
i would prefer to make a corresponding list much the same way you add fighters to mugen rather than rename my rom files. i personally like to rename my roms my way. this method would take more work from the user but it would be worth it.

 example would be

wonderboy.sms - wonderboy.jpg
shinobi.sms - shinobi.jpg

i would take the time to make such lists for my everdrive collection, there is lots of boxart available. i once downloaded an huge rar file with thousands of boxart files for various consoles.
 of course this type of feature would be a cosmetic bonus and as much as it would be a nice feature i'm already very happy with the everdrive carts without boxart menus.
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: reprep on March 08, 2013, 01:25 PM
as the box art is already available for N64, is it possible to work for this feature for everdrive 64?
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: Kerr Avon on March 08, 2013, 07:57 PM
as the box art is already available for N64, is it possible to work for this feature for everdrive 64?

But AFTER Chilly Willy has the Gameshark cheat code working (and available for download!), please.

Box art in the menu would be nice, but Gameshark usages is much more desirable, I think.
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: reprep on March 08, 2013, 11:20 PM
as the box art is already available for N64, is it possible to work for this feature for everdrive 64?

But AFTER Chilly Willy has the Gameshark cheat code working (and available for download!), please.

Box art in the menu would be nice, but Gameshark usages is much more desirable, I think.

totally agreed.
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: darkfalzx on March 09, 2013, 02:23 AM
(http://i.imgur.com/yP8pNE4.png)
Just so you know - this is about the format you will need for the boxart. It took me some time to convert, but I guess the difference between a raw convert and my simple corrections is negligible.
The main image uses 3 of Genesis 4 16-color palettes. The 4th palette is used for the outer red striped "Genesis" frame. It will have to be the same palette used by the menus - which isn't really an issue. The image also occupies almost exactly 256 tiles - one of the two tile banks, leaving the other for the font and the menu assets.

I'd love to convert some more of these - it was fun: )

As for the roms being associated with art - has anyone ever used the DScovery? It's a coverflow-type front end for R4. It comes with a PC utility that parses all roms on your flash cart, downloads the appropriate covers (or lets you give it your own image for stuff it can't parse), converts and resizes all the covers (to 128x128x256) and builds a library file on the flash cart.

Maybe we could consider doing the same?
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: stonie on March 09, 2013, 03:17 AM
well the ds and the wii can download box art and link them to the image but this is genesis your talkin, the mega everdrive doesn't go online lol. you would need a program on the computer to hook up with the usb and do it all through the comp gui style, but i'm doubting that is even posible because the art would have to be restructed so it could be rendered in 16 bit would it not?

i mean it is cool that the colors work and all but that isn't hte only issue, the drawings on box are too detailed for 16 bit but i'm sure it wouldn't be hard to cut out hte quality of the image, then you would have to have the proper sizing as well, and did i mention that krikzz doesn't care for making the menus look all snazzy you would basicly be doing it all on your own lol
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: darkfalzx on March 09, 2013, 06:43 AM
I was talking about a PC utility that prepares the images for the Genesis cart - not genesis itself fetching and converting images. Again - like in DScovered (not DScovery, sorry) - PC pretty much pre-bakes all images and settings for the menu.
Also - I am well versed in doing art for Genesis - I did battle backgrounds and tilesets for Pier Solar, and know all about 3-bit channel depth and other restrictions such as palette numbers and tilecounts - the above image fully adheres to all Genesis rules and can look like this on the real system, minus some screen distortion due to Genny's output.

Edit
Did this mockup of what the interface could look like - I know it's not amazing design-wise, and could use a slider indicating your depth and whatever other info that could be useful, like the current path, but if it looked this way - I'd be happy: )
(http://i.imgur.com/k4rHb1Y.gif)

Edit Edit
Could probably be better without all caps - but unfortunately I couldn't be arsed to generate the lower case font: )
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: magnus87 on March 13, 2013, 03:35 PM
@Darkfalzx

Excelent Mockup but I dont see posible on Megaeverdrive :-\

if you want it, you will need to recreate all (US-EU-JP) boxarts
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: RickyKustafason on March 13, 2013, 06:05 PM
Sure the boxarts would have to be converted to tiles but I dunno...so what?  ;D

I mean the boxarts are already out there, would just need to run them through a tile converter.  Then a programmer could work them into a menu.

I saw this bmp to tile converter for the sms http://www.smspower.org/maxim/Software/BMP2Tile

This one seems to be for genesis http://info.sonicretro.org/GetArt

Maybe each boxart would have to be tiles and contain palette information also. 

But that kind of this is trivial for a programmer.   Menus are some of the easiest coding to do so I think this would be totally doable.
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: Redifer on March 13, 2013, 09:27 PM

Did this mockup of what the interface could look like
(http://i.imgur.com/k4rHb1Y.gif)


That's really cool but I could do without the bouncing red arrows and moving checkerboard background. I mean they're cool and all but it's a menu. Doesn't really need too much flash. :)
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: Chilly Willy on March 16, 2013, 04:31 AM
Finally back online - my internets were down for a week! I about went nuts!!

I'd probably try mic's sixpack on the files first. I also would make them MUCH smaller. You don't need details from the cover art, just a good enough image to tell what game it is. Look at the size of the images I use for the N64 boxart as an example.
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: RickyKustafason on March 17, 2013, 04:55 AM
Good Idea!  Hey, don't you wanna program this?  ;D

Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: darkfalzx on March 19, 2013, 08:50 AM
I also would make them MUCH smaller.

Is there a technical reason for that?
If not, I thought it looks pretty sweet at 96x128. Especially since the image will have to be condensed into very few colors, I thought the size could compensate for that.

Here are a few boxes I did with absolute minimum pixel editing - pretty much what you would expect from a script:
(http://i.imgur.com/XfDJ76B.png) (http://i.imgur.com/XIPxi2I.png) (http://i.imgur.com/KleZFbm.png) (http://i.imgur.com/zTs9QXV.png) (http://i.imgur.com/lrYBZqT.png) (http://i.imgur.com/yC04scu.png) (http://i.imgur.com/WG3bc1V.png)

As you can see - after conversion to 3-bit color and only 3 15-color palettes some look better than others.
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: darkfalzx on March 20, 2013, 06:50 AM
The conversion is a little complicated without the right tools. I use ProMotion (Cosmigo), as it has a lot of 8 and 16-bit optimization features built in.
First - the image needs to be shrunk down to 96x128 in Photoshop with the Bicubic Sharper option. Then the image has to be opened in ProMotion and reduced to a safe palette of 32 colors with dither.
After that I suggest cleaning it up and aligning whatever frames there are to the 8x8 grid.
Then - in PM's Color tools select the Color Tile Mapping, Color Tile Settings - in there set the tile size to 8x8, number of colors per tile to 16, and number of palettes to 3. Also check the "Ignore transparent tile palette index 0".
Then in Color Tile Mapping hit Optimize Palette - the image will now be optimized to only use 1 out of 3 16-color palettes per 8x8 tile. Finally - go into Colors again, Modify Channel Bit Depth, and set the bit depth for the RGB channels to 3-bit. Hit Proof.
Bam! - you have a genesis-compatible box art image!
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: RickyKustafason on March 20, 2013, 02:20 PM
I also would make them MUCH smaller.

Is there a technical reason for that?
If not, I thought it looks pretty sweet at 96x128. Especially since the image will have to be condensed into very few colors, I thought the size could compensate for that.

Here are a few boxes I did with absolute minimum pixel editing - pretty much what you would expect from a script:
(http://i.imgur.com/XfDJ76B.png) (http://i.imgur.com/XIPxi2I.png) (http://i.imgur.com/KleZFbm.png) (http://i.imgur.com/zTs9QXV.png) (http://i.imgur.com/lrYBZqT.png) (http://i.imgur.com/yC04scu.png) (http://i.imgur.com/WG3bc1V.png)

As you can see - after conversion to 3-bit color and only 3 15-color palettes some look better than others.

I like 'em.  And your process is quite involved, but you mention a script here.  So you have an idea the process can be automated?  Even though library isn't huge, a scripted process could be helpful and save the manual effort. 

Good job they look great!  :D
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: Grambo on March 20, 2013, 04:50 PM
http://www.peachpit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=434249

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/photoshop/scripting.html
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: darkfalzx on March 21, 2013, 01:52 AM
Unfortunately Photoshop is useless for the purposes of the conversion, as a lot of very format-specific things have to be done. ProMotion - a purpose-built animation/tile program for creating pixel art for consoles/handhelds hes all the features needed, but out-of-the-box is missing automation features. There might be plugins one can use to create batch-processing scripts, but as of yet I haven't messed with those.
However, if one can point me to a library of good quality Genesis/Megadrive boxart - I could start generating a Genny-compatible library. However, I will only do that if, say, ChillyWilly tells me he is reworking the MegaEverdrive menu to use them. Otherwise it's too much work possibly for nothing.
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: Chilly Willy on March 21, 2013, 06:19 AM
Not anytime soon... too many other things to work on right now. :)

I think smaller is better for boxart because it really doesn't give you any extra info. I takes away for the area available for the menu, which is already horribly limited. If I were to go with big box art, it would be an option that you would select by navigating to a file, then pressing a key to pull up the box art as a temporary overlay.
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: darkfalzx on March 21, 2013, 07:47 AM
I am a big fan of visually-pleasing things. Have you ever used XBMC or WiiFlow?
(http://cdn.atmaxplorer.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/wiiflow-2.jpg) <<WiiFlow
(http://www.geexbox.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/xbmc-tvshow1.jpg <<XBMC)

This was my idea for the MegaED menu - make it all visual and pretty, though, like in all of those menus - there could be an option to eliminate the fancy graphics, and dedicate the entire screen to menu text (but what's the fun in that?: )

Either way man, if you ever decide to take this up - give me a PM - I'd love to do some more genny art/conversion.
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: Chilly Willy on March 22, 2013, 02:42 AM
I am a big fan of visually-pleasing things. Have you ever used XBMC or WiiFlow?
(http://cdn.atmaxplorer.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/wiiflow-2.jpg) <<WiiFlow
(http://www.geexbox.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/xbmc-tvshow1.jpg <<XBMC)

This was my idea for the MegaED menu - make it all visual and pretty, though, like in all of those menus - there could be an option to eliminate the fancy graphics, and dedicate the entire screen to menu text (but what's the fun in that?: )

Either way man, if you ever decide to take this up - give me a PM - I'd love to do some more genny art/conversion.

No, haven't used those... but that is an interesting way to do the menu. Not sure how well that would translate to the MD... try scaling that image to 320x224, limit it to 32-ish colors, and see if it looks any good.
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: darkfalzx on March 22, 2013, 07:33 AM
That's not exactly what I meant when I said
Quote
This was my idea for the MegaED menu - make it all visual and pretty, though

What I meant is - just make the Genesis menu as visual and vibrant without being too unreadable. And having large box-art images, moving cursor arrows, and scrolling backdrop kind of take us in that direction without overtaxing Genny hardware.

Recreating the coverflow mechanic, which I was NOT proposing at all, will probably require a 32X at the very least, and even then all the box arts will probably have to be using a common 256-color palette.

If I get some free time I could probably make an actual "working" fake menu in GameMaker or something - just to show you what I mean, if that screen mockup isn't enough: )
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: Chilly Willy on March 22, 2013, 08:09 PM
Remember that the 32X can do hicolor graphics (32768 colors) as well as 256-color paletted. You're still limited to 320x224 (8-bit graphics), or 320x200 (16-bit graphics).
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: Metro City on August 24, 2016, 04:48 PM
progress has been made on this menu? I read that you mention the n64 you know give me more information? thank you
Title: Re: Box Art BMP for games
Post by: johnyept on February 28, 2020, 12:40 PM
Unfortunately Chilly Willy seems to be inactive since 2015 (is everything ok with him/you)?

Instead of creating a new topic, I decided to reply to this one, completely aware that the last relevant post was in 2013.

So, my 2 cents on the subject:
- I recently discovered a tool called Screen Scraper that downloads almost every type of image you can think of (2d box, 3d box, cartridge, title/gameplay, screenshot, marquee, etc) for pretty much every game of every system, genesis/mega drive included, with the same name as the ROM.
- whatever image format would eventually be supported by custom or official firmware, we would "only" need a tool to convert the downloaded images to the required format, or some kind of script using the required programs to convert the images.
- One simple suggestion to what to display: an image on the right side of the screen, showing either the box art or the cartridge, or possibly a menu option to select between none, one of the two, or both (one above the other). Or even simpler, just modify the firmware so it changes the background to a background with the same name as the selected ROM (ex: background_romName.jpg) where the image format is a black image with the box/cartridge art on the right.