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Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters

 
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Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:30:27 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters


Previous versions of TOAW counters were re-colorized by graphically editing the counter graphics files themselves. But the TOAW IV counters are derived from graphics files that are, themselves, without color. Colors are now added after the fact via the TOAW software from instructions contained in the new .col file. So, re-colorizing these new counters must involve editing the .col file.

The first step in editing that file is to obtain a copy of the un-edited version of it. This is acquired by using the “X” key within the Editor while the desired scenario is loaded. This invokes the “Dump Unit Colors” dialog:





Just save the .col file indicated.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Tamas -- 12/8/2017 3:49:57 PM >


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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:33:32 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Now, open the file in XMLPad:




Note the labels:

MainBackground: This is the main color of the counter.
Background: This is the color of the central icon’s background of the counter.
Foreground: This is the color of the central icon’s lines and symbols.
Numbers: This is the color of the strength, deployment, size, and tolerance of the counter.

Also note that Ralph has chosen, in his infinite wisdom, to use decimal notation for the values – instead of hexadecimal. This will require some special handling in the editing process.

Finally, note that the “ID” is the number of the counter color set. It starts with 0 and runs to 109. That is a total of 22 columns of 5 color sets each. To edit the counters, you have to know the correct sets your scenario uses.


Attachment (1)

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:40:28 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Here’s how the various counter sets are numbered in the .col file:




(Thanks to Steve Sill for making this display - my attempt was an abortion).

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 11/24/2017 2:03:34 AM >


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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:41:20 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Here’s the example I’m starting from. This is my Killer Angels 1863 scenario. The un-edited counter colors just aren’t good enough for me.




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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:42:02 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Here are the target colors. Note that in this case, I have existing color selections from older versions of TOAW. If you are starting from scratch, you’ll have to first refer to earlier counter re-colorizing documents I’ve made to get that, preliminary, step completed.




Attachment (1)

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:44:10 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Since I have existing artwork done for this scenario already, I can pick the color values from that. To make the picks, I’m using The Gimp – a free graphics system I’ve used in my previous graphics mod articles.

After running The Gimp, open the existing artwork that you will make the picks from – be sure it is a .bmp file. If you use a .jpg file you will only pick approximations of the colors you want.

From the Tools pulldown, select the Color Picker.




Attachment (1)

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:45:25 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Click on the main body of a counter in the artwork. Note the value that is obtained: 223756. Be aware that this is in Hexadecimal. It must be converted to decimal later on.




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< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 11/24/2017 1:46:25 AM >


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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:47:09 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Now pick a spot inside the icon of the counter. Note the pick value is shown as 4660aa. Again, this is hexadecimal.




Attachment (1)

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:47:50 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Now I’ve opened the CSA artwork and clicked on the body of a counter. Note the value is 777e98.




Attachment (1)

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:48:26 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Finally, pick a spot within the icon of the CSA counters. The value is shown as ae874e.




Attachment (1)

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Post #: 10
RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:49:21 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Now we have to convert the hexadecimal values to decimal before we can inject them into the .col file. The built-in Windows Calculator has a “Programmer” mode that will allow this. Make that selection, as shown.




Attachment (1)

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:49:57 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Now enter the hexadecimal value that was picked for the Union main background:




Attachment (1)

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:50:33 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Then, just switch the mode from “Hex” to “Dec”. The value is converted from hexadecimal to decimal.




Attachment (1)

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My TOAW web site:

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Post #: 13
RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:51:50 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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After doing this for all the values picked, I get these conversions:




Attachment (1)

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:53:08 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Now I go back to XMLPad and edit the file in the appropriate locations:




Attachment (1)

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 1:53:46 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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After placing the edited .col file in the scenario folder with the Killer Angels 1863 scenario and saving the scenario, this is the result. As good as in previous versions:




Happy counter re-colorizing!

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 11/24/2017 1:57:11 AM >


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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 6:13:17 PM   
Redmarkus5


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Jeez... Thanks for the detailed walk-through, but why couldn't they just leave the unit graphics as they were - graphics we could edit. They look exactly as they used to on the map but I can't envision many people wanting to jump through those hoops just to change light blue to dark blue...

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 6:36:04 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: redmarkus4

Jeez... Thanks for the detailed walk-through, but why couldn't they just leave the unit graphics as they were - graphics we could edit. They look exactly as they used to on the map but I can't envision many people wanting to jump through those hoops just to change light blue to dark blue...

It was easy to mod the .bmp counters - if you didn't mind the crappy results (compare post #5 with post #16). The face of the counter is one color and easy to change. But the edge is a color gradient and very difficult to mod.

The TOAW III .png counters were very hard to mod, since they had a color gradient even across their face. (See the document I wrote on that and the gymnastics required to mod).

Now you just have to change a number. You don't really even have to have a graphics package. The game takes care of any color gradients in the base counter. You automatically get a perfect result.

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 7:00:15 PM   
Redmarkus5


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OK. It looks intimidating at first glance. I guess you're right, but... Jeez. (LOL)

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/24/2017 8:44:45 PM   
Lobster


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Can this be made sticky?

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/25/2017 12:14:39 PM   
76mm


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Yes, please make it a sticky. This looks a bit fiddly, but doable. Thanks for the detailed explanation.

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Post #: 21
RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/25/2017 2:26:10 PM   
Shadrach


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Why on earth would they make the colours in decimal value instead of hex RxGxBx values? Or decimal "R,G,B" syntax. Hex values are pretty standard to assign colors these days, and you can use sites like this to make the process easier:
http://www.color-hex.com/

But those values are a very non-standard way of doing things...

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/25/2017 3:08:00 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shadrach

Why on earth would they make the colours in decimal value instead of hex RxGxBx values? Or decimal "R,G,B" syntax. Hex values are pretty standard to assign colors these days, and you can use sites like this to make the process easier:
http://www.color-hex.com/

But those values are a very non-standard way of doing things...

I don't know - maybe it was easier to program and Ralph didn't know that hexadecimal would have been better. Regardless, that's how it is, and it's too late to fix now, since plenty of scenarios are already out there using the decimal values. As I've shown, the conversion process is trivial.

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/25/2017 5:04:16 PM   
sPzAbt653


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quote:

As I've shown, the conversion process is trivial.

For one scenario with only two colors, maybe. I have to have nine different programs open to get it done.
This new process may have been a nice option to have for some cases, but the way we have done it for 20 years was easier and more versatile. And I am not just casting stones, I am stating the truth and will not rest on the matter.

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 11/25/2017 5:29:25 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: sPzAbt653

quote:

As I've shown, the conversion process is trivial.

For one scenario with only two colors, maybe. I have to have nine different programs open to get it done.


Huh? The only program required to convert from hexadecimal to decimal is the Windows Calculator. Trivial, period.

quote:

This new process may have been a nice option to have for some cases, but the way we have done it for 20 years was easier and more versatile. And I am not just casting stones, I am stating the truth and will not rest on the matter.


No. It was not easier to re-color the counters, if you wanted to do it right - as I made clear in post #18. It's easier now, and the results come out perfect.

And you are fudging the truth, big time, all over this board. Even modifying the icons the way you want is still doable now - with a little technique, as I've repeatedly explained to you.

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 12/14/2017 3:15:27 PM   
sPzAbt653


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quote:

The only program required to convert from hexadecimal to decimal is the Windows Calculator.

I'm not talking about the one process of conversion from Hex to Dec, a bunch of other programs are required to convert our original counter sheet colors to the new ones. [And if you ask, I will be attempting to convert the Russian Campaign scenario soon, and will post about the non-trivial process that is required].

quote:

And you are fudging the truth, big time, all over this board.

I am not fudging anything, I am being honest in the processes involved and in the restrictions that are now imposed. I am all over the board only in response to others, I have not started anything on my own. Everyone has the right to know what has happened, especially when they ask or comment about it.

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 2/27/2018 12:40:43 AM   
BigDuke66


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Now, how do I now what color set the designer had in mind for what formation?
I got a scenario here with 110 counter files but how do I know which one was used for which formation?

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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 2/27/2018 3:46:37 AM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BigDuke66

Now, how do I now what color set the designer had in mind for what formation?
I got a scenario here with 110 counter files but how do I know which one was used for which formation?


Put the scenario in the Scenario Editor and look at the Force Editor. The originals will be displayed next to the counter as always. Original button on the left. New colors on the counter on the right. Which is a fairly strong case for not making the buttons the new color I guess.






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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 2/27/2018 2:42:06 PM   
BigDuke66


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I don't see that difference, the counter graphic on the right and the small depiction on the left are the same in the scenario I use(Operation Neva).
Even if I see a difference is of no help because I need to know what color ID uses what graphic file. How else should I find the graphic file the formation is supposed to use?
In your example, which of these graphic files does the formation use?
units_1_012_0.png
units_1_012_1.png
units_1_012_2.png
units_1_012_3.png
units_1_012_4.png
units_1_013_0.png
units_1_013_1.png
units_1_013_2.png
units_1_013_3.png
units_1_013_4.png
units_1_014_0.png
units_1_014_1.png
units_1_014_2.png
units_1_014_3.png
units_1_014_4.png
units_1_015_0.png
units_1_015_1.png
units_1_015_2.png
units_1_015_3.png
units_1_015_4.png
units_1_016_0.png
units_1_016_1.png
units_1_016_2.png
units_1_016_3.png
units_1_016_4.png
units_1_017_0.png
units_1_017_1.png
units_1_017_2.png
units_1_017_3.png
units_1_017_4.png
units_1_018_0.png
units_1_018_1.png
units_1_018_2.png
units_1_018_3.png
units_1_018_4.png
units_1_019_0.png
units_1_019_1.png
units_1_019_2.png
units_1_019_3.png
units_1_019_4.png
units_1_020_0.png
units_1_020_1.png
units_1_020_2.png
units_1_020_3.png
units_1_020_4.png
units_1_021_0.png
units_1_021_1.png
units_1_021_2.png
units_1_021_3.png
units_1_021_4.png
units_1_022_0.png
units_1_022_1.png
units_1_022_2.png
units_1_022_3.png
units_1_022_4.png
units_1_blue_0.png
units_1_blue_1.png
units_1_blue_2.png
units_1_blue_3.png
units_1_blue_4.png
units_1_bluelt_0.png
units_1_bluelt_1.png
units_1_bluelt_2.png
units_1_bluelt_3.png
units_1_bluelt_4.png
units_1_brown_0.png
units_1_brown_1.png
units_1_brown_2.png
units_1_brown_3.png
units_1_brown_4.png
units_1_gray_0.png
units_1_gray_1.png
units_1_gray_2.png
units_1_gray_3.png
units_1_gray_4.png
units_1_green_0.png
units_1_green_1.png
units_1_green_2.png
units_1_green_3.png
units_1_green_4.png
units_1_greendk_0.png
units_1_greendk_1.png
units_1_greendk_2.png
units_1_greendk_3.png
units_1_greendk_4.png
units_1_greenlt_0.png
units_1_greenlt_1.png
units_1_greenlt_2.png
units_1_greenlt_3.png
units_1_greenlt_4.png
units_1_red_0.png
units_1_red_1.png
units_1_red_2.png
units_1_red_3.png
units_1_red_4.png
units_1_tan_0.png
units_1_tan_1.png
units_1_tan_2.png
units_1_tan_3.png
units_1_tan_4.png
units_1_white_0.png
units_1_white_1.png
units_1_white_2.png
units_1_white_3.png
units_1_white_4.png
units_1_yellow_0.png
units_1_yellow_1.png
units_1_yellow_2.png
units_1_yellow_3.png
units_1_yellow_4.png

< Message edited by BigDuke66 -- 2/27/2018 2:46:37 PM >


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RE: Re-coloring the TOAW IV Counters - 2/27/2018 2:49:57 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BigDuke66

I don't see that difference, the counter graphic on the right and the small depiction on the left are the same in the scenario I use(Operation Neva).
Even if I see a difference is of no help because I need to know what color ID uses what graphic file. How else should I find the graphic file the formation is supposed to use?


Those files aren't used in TOAW IV (aren't even included). See post #3 for how the ID values correspond to the color sets.

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Post #: 30
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