New PIG available for Descent 2!

For Descent, Descent II and Descent3 level editing and modification assistance.
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New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Pumo » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:38 pm

For all Descent 2 level developers, I made a new custom PIG file that makes the Descent 1 palette available to use on Descent 2 levels.

Mainly motivated by the Descent 1,5 project by Xfing, where he wanted to bring the Descent 1 feel into his Descent 2 levels, this PIG will bring back some colors only available on the good old Descent 1 palette (like the light blue colors, pure grays like the ones used on metal walls, more pinks, the original spreadfire color, etc).

Note that this PIG includes all D1 and D2 textures that are already available on the original 6 PIGs from Descent 2 adapted to the original Descent palette, but it doesn't includes the D1 exclusive textures. For that you will need to create a POG file based on the palette of the new PIG to bring back the old D1 textures exactly as they were.

Here's the download link: http://www.mediafire.com/download/i97pd ... NT1PIG.zip

I will also add it to my website, but that will be later.

To install it just unpack the .256 and .PIG file into your main Descent 2 folder.

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Some word of advice:
For use on older programs (like DTX2 and DEVIL) you will need to rename the PIG as DEFAULT.PIG while editing. You can change it back to DESCENT.PIG when finished.

Also take care to not install it over a Descent 1 installation as it shares the same name of the original PIG file from D1, so it will overwrite it!
Use it only on D2 installations.

Theoretically you can name both the .256 and .PIG files with whatever name you may like and the game would read it, but the problem is that editors will not show correct colors if you don't use the DESCENT or DEFAULT filenames.

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Without further ado, enjoy! :)
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Xfing » Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:03 pm

I've already checked it out and tested it - this PIG really, genuinely brings the D1 colors back to the table, has no compatibility issues and puts a nice twist on the textures developed in D2 too - with which it works perfectly.

All you need to do is dump the files into your D2 installation folder, and DLE will read and recognize it as it would any other of the six PIGs.

In terms of texture appearance, the differences with some individual textures are slightly more visible than with any of the 6 stock PIGs, but overall they remain subtle, it feels just like yet another PIG for Descent 2, only this time it is directly imported from D1. Of note are the water textures with their indigo color - a unique color for water, though perhaps not quite suited for generic water-themed levels. All the rest you basically know from D1 - another advantage is that any D1-exclusive textures you import will not get distorted - so the D1 "Danger" or "Alpha" signs will have their reddish color (which was reduced to tan in all of D2's PIGs), and the ubiquitous light gray rock of D1 will display in its full glory and not look awkward.

In my personal opinion, this PIG is best for multi-themed levels such as what Vertigo often goes for. It obviously is going to be the basis for the Solar System levels of D1,5 so as to contribute to the D1 feeling.

One thing though: the new version of DLE does have a POG carry-over feature, but the conversion from one palette to another is lossy, and so you'd be best served to replace your custom textures after you change the palette of your level for best quality and fidelity.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by karx11erx » Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:42 am

Wouldn't it be easier to convert the D1 textures you want to use to TGA and put them in a pog file or a mod for D2X-XL?
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Xfing » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:15 am

karx11erx wrote:Wouldn't it be easier to convert the D1 textures you want to use to TGA and put them in a pog file or a mod for D2X-XL?
I never tried to do that. From what I've noticed, you have to re-import any custom textures every time you change the palette of the level, as those get distorted more than built-in textures do when transitioning to another PIG.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Sirius » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:47 am

TGA textures don't get distorted at all because they don't use palettes.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Xfing » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:36 am

Sirius wrote:TGA textures don't get distorted at all because they don't use palettes.
Worth a try sometime for sure!

This new PIG was not made with that in mind, though - it was a port of all the D2 textures to the D1 palette. It's very useful and creates some color configurations impossible in the six stock palettes.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Xfing » Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:45 am

I'd like to make a post about the problem with this PIG that was made known to me a while ago. It's probably the last remaining problem with it, but it needs to be taken care of.

Each PIG has one particular color designated as transparent, and these differ vastly between the PIG files. It's the color that denotes transparency and displays in the gaps of textures meant to be see-through. It's blue in the Alien 1 and 2 files, cyan in Water, dark blue in Fire, faint purple in GroupA, and baby blue in Ice.

In Descent 1, this color is dark brown. The same brown happens to be used by several textures, though - most notably the D2 switch buttons. What results is that the portions of these textures that should be brown, display as transparent instead, like in the example below.

Image

As you can see, the bars in the switch which should be brown are instead transparent, and in-game they will show the texture behind the switch or just look black (depending on whether the switch texture is designated as the 1st or the 2nd texture in the editor).

To fix this, the instances of this color should be changed to the closest approximate for every texture that suffers of this problem. There are very few of those, but switches happen to be quite a commonly used feature and therefore the frequency of them appearing will be high.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Xfing » Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:24 pm

Ok, after 2 years and forced to use a virtual machine and stuff, I fixed the issue from the above post.

Download link for the updated palette:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ccxg68q0xwc4 ... fyN-a?dl=0

Pumo, feel free to update your OP with this version too.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Woolie_Wool » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:43 pm

In the DOS version of Descent II, the red doors common in fire levels appear to have a glowing white border around them in the closed frame, filling up the entire 64x64 wall. This border disappears when the door opens:

Image

I don't know if it's exclusive to software rendering, but it's really ugly and distracting and to me half the fun of a custom PIG like this is to have the Descent 1 palette and shading in software D2.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Sirius » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:10 pm

It probably means the texture wasn't flagged as transparent. If it works outside of DOSBox that most likely means Rebirth etc ignore the transparent flag and just look at the color index for transparent pixels, but the flag is there and is supposed to be set.

(I know about this because I previously screwed it up with DLE's texture saving... which could theoretically be where this issue comes from :))
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Xfing » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:49 pm

Interesting issue...Thanks for bringing this to my attention, must have been a small oversight by Pumo. Weird it slipped past us for so long though, but the PIG never got properly tested after all.

Just looked into it and even in the editor itself it appears that the door has a white background for its idle frame, which becomes "transparent" for all its other frames in this new PIG. So the issue is with the frame itself, not with any of the software.The color of the first frame is white just like those of all the other frames, but it doesn't have "transparent" checked, and the box is grayed out, so you can't change it. Replacing the first frame with one exported from fire.pig resolves the issue, but it's a provisional solution. To permanently fix this we'd need to replace the frame in the PIG itself with one that has transparency properly checked. and that would prolly require DTX2. I can't fix this in DTX2 at the moment, since my virtual XP machine demands activation all of a sudden, I have no access to a 32-bit system with which to run DTX2.

The door imported to descent.pig appears to be the one from alien1.pig. In other palettes the small green spot in the lower right part of the door is bigger.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Sirius » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:46 pm

DLE should, in theory, be able to handle that now - assuming I didn't screw something up still. If I did, I would appreciate a heads-up so I can try to fix it... there is an issue with bitmaps that don't quite match the palette not getting properly transparent-ized, which I am planning to improve soon.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Xfing » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:18 pm

Hey, guess what! I actually got another virtual machine, with Win2k this time, so I got to work on this. The initial frame indeed didn't have a transparency layer on it, so I had to try and replace it with one that did. So I exported versions of this door from Groupa, Fire and Water, because they have a matching background color with Descent 1's palette, so I would be sure the bitmaps retain their transparency property. When importing them into Descent.PIG though, every single one of them had a problem of having random, see-through pixels, which was probably a conflict resulting from the palette translation. The only option was to fix the texture manually (I think I went with GROUPA in the end), by drawing over the see-through pixels with appropriate colors .I had a problem though - after doing this operation in DLE and exporting the resulting bitmap, DTX2 refused to take it and every time I tried it gave me the "insufficient system resources" message. I was ready to give up, but then it dawned on me that it could take different formats too. First I tried to convert the bitmap to GIF using Paint, and sure enough - it took it. But the door was ugly and sprinkled with random green dots all of a sudden. But then I tried converting the picture to TGA using Gimp, and this time DTX2 took the file too, and it looks just the way it should. The whole operation probably took me more time than it should have, but rest assured - there's full success.

Download of the newest version of the PIG:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ccxg68q0xwc4 ... fyN-a?dl=0

I've also fixed alignment issues for certain monitors. These issues exist in all the PIGs, but I decided to take care of them only in this one for now. Fixing them in all the files (including Descent 1's) would be akin to an unofficial patch I guess. I might do that someday, but guess it isn't too pressing.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Xfing » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:20 pm

Sirius wrote:DLE should, in theory, be able to handle that now - assuming I didn't screw something up still. If I did, I would appreciate a heads-up so I can try to fix it... there is an issue with bitmaps that don't quite match the palette not getting properly transparent-ized, which I am planning to improve soon.
DLE can sure handle it, but it doesn't handle PIG integration. If using a POG were a wieldy solution, I'd have gone with that - sure enough texture replacement worked like a charm. But I wanted a more autonomous solution, and as far as I know, only DTX can do that.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Xfing » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:27 pm

Woolie_Wool wrote:In the DOS version of Descent II, the red doors common in fire levels appear to have a glowing white border around them in the closed frame, filling up the entire 64x64 wall. This border disappears when the door opens:

Image

I don't know if it's exclusive to software rendering, but it's really ugly and distracting and to me half the fun of a custom PIG like this is to have the Descent 1 palette and shading in software D2.
Oh BTW, I completely forgot to ask - did you purposely replace all the PIG files of descent.hog with the new one to see how it all looks? I never thought to do that myself, but it might be quite interesting :D Grab the new version and the problem should be gone.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Sirius » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:49 pm

Xfing wrote:DLE can sure handle it, but it doesn't handle PIG integration. If using a POG were a wieldy solution, I'd have gone with that - sure enough texture replacement worked like a charm. But I wanted a more autonomous solution, and as far as I know, only DTX can do that.
Ah. Right. I forgot DTX could edit PIGs... though of course if it couldn't, building a custom PIG would have been quite the challenge.

I suspect the other issue you faced importing into DTX is because of RLE compression.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Xfing » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:22 pm

Sirius wrote:
Xfing wrote:DLE can sure handle it, but it doesn't handle PIG integration. If using a POG were a wieldy solution, I'd have gone with that - sure enough texture replacement worked like a charm. But I wanted a more autonomous solution, and as far as I know, only DTX can do that.
Ah. Right. I forgot DTX could edit PIGs... though of course if it couldn't, building a custom PIG would have been quite the challenge.

I suspect the other issue you faced importing into DTX is because of RLE compression.
Yeah, it's likely that. I remember there being some issues back in the day, but I probably used some more advanced piece of software than Paint to make sure the compression is fine. I don't remember how I found out about that though, somebody must have told me :D
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Xfing » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:53 am

Oh, and BTW - I only now just realized you mentioned keeping transparency when importing textures originating from different palettes. Sure enough, there are problems with that in DLE, even if both palettes have the same color meant to be understood as "transparent". But does your fix intend to include situations where the transparency colors of the palettes are different? For example, importing a texture from Ice.PIG with its bluish transparency color into Alien1 or 2. PIG with it being brownish?
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Sirius » Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:25 am

I don't know. That's not particularly easy since you'd have to guess which color is supposed to be transparent, and guessing introduces the possibility of getting it wrong.

Though if I made it try to identify the source palette, it could get more reliable.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Xfing » Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:17 pm

Xfing wrote:Oh, and BTW - I only now just realized you mentioned keeping transparency when importing textures originating from different palettes. Sure enough, there are problems with that in DLE, even if both palettes have the same color meant to be understood as "transparent". But does your fix intend to include situations where the transparency colors of the palettes are different? For example, importing a texture from Ice.PIG with its bluish transparency color into Alien1 or 2. PIG with it being brownish?
There are not that many options to choose from though .It could even be manually assigned. The color of transparency is white for groupa, water, fire and d1; bluish for ice and brownish for alien1 and alien2. I also believe the color meant to be transparent is always in the very lower right corner of the palette in the texture editing window in DLE.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Sirius » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:04 am

Hmm... that probably means see-through/transparent are always 254 and 255... which is specific enough to work with.
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Re: New PIG available for Descent 2!

Post by Xfing » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:26 pm

Sirius wrote:Hmm... that probably means see-through/transparent are always 254 and 255... which is specific enough to work with.
Just checked to make sure, and that is indeed the case. 254 is see-through and 255 is transparent, for descent 1's palette as well.
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