Posted by: Ocean's Dream | January 29, 2009

Character Maker tutorial part IV

This is probably one of the most useful things for me and the biggest reason why I use Character Maker over just any pixel tool.

When you open up a file, you’ll see something that looks like this above your mouse cursor:


See the red and yellow marching ants? This box shows the area that will be selected.

Now, to use it, you have to be in the area where your image is. The frame that is to the left of the arrows we went over last time is the edit box, and the small one that is above the toolbars is the preview box. You cannot do anything to the preview box, it just shows you the changes, good if you don’t want to zoom out to see.

The big area to the right of the arrows is where your images will be. There is where the red and yellow marching ants selection will show up. Simply right click on a portion of the image and you’ll see it in the edit box. Then, when you’re done editting that part of the image in the edit box, go to the image where it belongs and left click it.

This makes copying something extremely easy. If you have an image you want to copy over, first right click it. Then left click it to the other places you want to have it. Simple as that. No need to press Control C and Control V, just keep left clicking.

You can also select a bigger area. Right click, hold and drag it out. If you plan to use the animation tool, then be sure to try this out!

To modify the size of this selection, go to Character size tool:

In there, you will see this:

The top 2 values determine the width and height of the red and yellow marching ants box. This is really useful. Instead of just setting a grid, you can set each sprite or frame to a certain value. So if you’re working on a tileset with 32×32 tiles, just set the top values to 32×32 and you don’t ever have to worry about aligning stuff. If you’re working on sprites for RPG Maker 2k3, you could do 24×32.

“The number of steps” values subdivide the edit box. Something like half or a quarter of what you set the top 2 values to is a good idea. These lines will only show up when you put the subgrid tool on.

Now, for the options. I never really use them but you can if you want.

*Based on the usual 2 Double:

-Odd wording, but basically it just doubles the size of your image and your selection.

*In the Half-Chara unit, cursor:

-The mouse cursor appears on the top left of the red and yellow marching ants box. It’s generally fixed there instead of being more freeform like it normally is.

*A mouse cursor isn’t cha:

-Basically, instead of seeing the tool you’re working with in the edit box, you just see the mouse cursor. I don’t see any benefit to this at all but maybe if you love your mouse cursor it could be okay.

That is it for now, I will go over the animation tool next. If possible, try to get a spritesheet (or make one) that has a bunch of animation frames, we’ll be using that.


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