Gonzo blogging from the Annie Leibovitz of the software development world.

Day: February 19, 2001

New blue stuff today. A while ago I went through the exhaustive description of the various stages of creating objects and one of them was the staging of the sprites (or sprite editing) and matching up what blueprint produces to what The Sims has. So below is a screenshot from the sprite editor. The premise is simple (or at least it should be). You’ve give a list of sprites that exist in the object and a preview of them. For each sprite, you can select a blueprint frame and the contents of what’s visible in that frame to replace the sprite with. blueprint uses the concept of frames whatever way you want to, but usually for animation. For example, if you had a door opening animation of 5 different images, you setup 5 frames in blueprint to represent each angle the door will be. Then you adjust the door in each frame (blueprint remembers any changes you make in a frame) and when you get to the sprite editor, you match up the blueprint frame to the sprite. The tree on the right is the contents of your blueprint objects (the same tree I showed a few days ago, but with a checkbox next to each item) so you have complete control over what 3D elements (or meshes) go into what sprite. Then you can generate the preview and see what it looks like (just ignore the rather pathetic creation I made below, it’s a half dozen boxes tossed together in 5 minutes, you would obviously spend a lot more time creating your object). Note that you don’t see any rotations or zooms (nor is there any facility to view them). This is because there’s enough information in the IFF file to figure out how many sprites are needed for each zoom/rotation (some objects are just flipped and thus don’t need a ton of sprite images created). blueprint takes care of that behind the scenes, matching up the 3D image to the mesh (after you tell it what’s what in this dialog). This will change somewhat as I add support for creating your own new sprites for objects that are started from scratch, but this shows you how things fit together. Hopefully that explains a few things.

Okay, some people were confused with my bizzare offer from yesterday. I guess I was taking a mind altering drug or something. The idea wasn’t for you to send me your video card so I can fix blueprint and you stare at a blank screen. I’ll send you my Diamond Viper 550, you swap it out with your ATI card and ship it to me. I know, seems silly but some people emailed me telling me I was an idiot if they thought I could get a free video card out of the deal. Back later tonight with some real blueprint news.