Posted by: Ocean's Dream | January 15, 2009

Character Maker 1999 part II

This is the leftmost toolbar you’ll see in Character Maker. Above it is a small preview. Unlike the box to the right of it, you can’t modify the preview. So I’ll go over what the tools do. Most should be pretty straightforward, but you may come to like some of them.
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Rectangle selection. So you drag the area you want to select, like how it is in MS Paint, Photoshop, and any other program.

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Magnifying glass. Zooms up to the next level, maximum of 12x. Since the zooms (covered last time) are on top anyway, I don’t really use this. You can right click to zoom away to 1x.
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Paint bucket tool. Like MS Paint, it fills in an area. Very useful tool, but I’m sure everyone’s used it at least once. Nothing different about this until we get to the dithering section, but then the dithering rules apply to every tool after this as well.

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Pencil tool. Since we’re working with pixel art, we’ll use this. It has a thickness of one pixel. Use it and love it. You cannot change the thickness of it or anything.

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The BIG pencil tool. This is a 4×4 pixel pencil. So if you need to fill in bigger areas but don’t need paint bucket, then here you go.

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The Line tool. It has a thickness of 1 pixel and that can’t be changed. Nothing special, it just makes lines.

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The shape tool. This makes an outline of a square, rounded rectangle or circle. You may be using these pretty often, but again nothing special about them really.

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The filled shape tool. This is like the above, but fills the whole area with the foreground color instead of just an outline. These along with the paint bucket tool are good to use the dithering effects on.

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These are the dithering effects I’ve been talking about. The different options are listed on the left side of this image, and the results are shown on the right of it. What I did was made a flat red square. Then I took the filled rectangle tool, and clicked the dithering tool. Then when I put a blue square on it, the effects apply to that tool. This can be an easy way to dither something, but don’t go overboard! Dithering != Make better. Especially for small character sprites, they rarely need dithering. These are not the only ways to dither either.

This is the last thing for today. This shows the foreground and background colors you have chosen. When you go to the palette, if you left click a color, that is the foreground color. If you right click a color, that is the background color. The number inside shows which number it is in the palette. The palette can have up to 256 colors. It is a good idea for RPG Maker resources to have the transparent color be the first color in the palette (The number will be 0, not 1). While you can only use the foreground color while drawing, the background color is used for if you want the background to be transparent when you copy it. I will go over this more when we get to the transparent background tool.


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