Author Topic: "Viewers.zip"  (Read 2397 times)

Offline manikus

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"Viewers.zip"
« on: September 27, 2010, 07:04:32 PM »
Can anyone help me figure this out? :) I'm referring to the utility found here:
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/misc/viewers.zip

I've read the documentation and it's not terribly helpful.

I'm trying to use an image extractor to get the graphics from all 3 Eye of the Beholder games.

I tried many of these in Windows XP, in the command line application that comes with XP and in DOSBox. The "EYEEXTR.EXE" util always gives me an error and does nothing further (line 183 - whatever that means). I've downloaded these a couple of times just to make sure that something didn't get broken in that first attempt, but still no go.

I have managed to use a couple of the utilities to look at the animations in EotB3, but that's about it. :(

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Offline nologgie

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Re: "Viewers.zip"
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2010, 08:30:32 PM »
I never got these to do much either.

Did EYEEXTR.EXE get to the point of creating directories? It extracts graphics into sorted subdirectories - .bmp & .lbm files, all of which appear to lack standard headers, and none display in any of my paint programs, nor with any viewer in viewers.zip.

It does a good job of extracting the .xmi files, but I believe all these were posted to the archive long ago.

I think EOB is the only game I tried them on. The others may work better.

A better solution might be found here:
http://eob.wikispaces.com/Tools

My old desktop doesn't handle net framework, so I couldn't test it.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 08:39:03 PM by nologgie »
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Offline manikus

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Re: "Viewers.zip"
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2010, 03:15:37 PM »
Thanks for the link, I'll try out some of those options. :)

I couldn't EYEEXTR to do anything except give me a runtime error. I did use a couple of the other tools, though. The vast majority did nothing. Quite likely they worked back in the day on Windows '95 or something...though I am surprised I couldn't get them to do anything in DOSBox. Oh well. Time to try some new tools. :)

Offline manikus

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Re: "Viewers.zip"
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2010, 06:31:30 PM »
Okay, I've been trying out the viewers from the above linked page, and so far am very happy with WestPak2 - it opens everything, gives lots of options, etc.; with only one drawback -it doesn't handle EotB3 at all. There is a tool for EotB3 listed, but it's source code and I'm not in the mood to switch to another computer to compile it, especially since that would involve me walking home and then back, just so I could walk home again a little later. :D
But, I'm very happy with what I have - there are graphics that I never saw in the game, which I guess means I should probably replay them to find what I missed.

Offline ghaaroth

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Re: "Viewers.zip"
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2010, 11:58:02 AM »
OK, this is going to be complex, I'll recall how it works as I go.

EYEEXTR.EXE only works on EOB3 (and Dungeon Hack), you need to use different tools in the package for first two EOBs. Run it inside EOB3 main directory, and it makes a SND folder with .snd SFX and .xmi music subfolders, and ART folder with numerous subfolders filled with .bmp and occasional .lbm files.

.bmp is nothing like standart .bmp format, it's special format often containing a sequence of images (such as various aspects of a wallset). You use BMPVIEW.COM to view these files, scrolling individual frames with space (slower, with redraw) or anykey (faster, no redraw). You'll have to resort to external screen capturing to put it to use, there is no conversion or screencapping functionality.

Now, bmpview requires a palette file to go along with the bmp (bmpview.com filename.bmp palname.pal). The .lbm files are compressed palettes, in order to extract them, use PALMAKE.EXE. Run it inside main EOB3 directory, and it creates a .pal file whenever an .lbm file is found. Now, you can copy bmpview to a subfolder of your choice under ART, run bmpview.com filename.bmp palname.pal, and use space to browse the images (sometimes there are blank screens first, just keep scrolling).

Now, not every bmp comes with its own lbm/pal, only MONS-monsters and OUTTAKES-pictures do. The level graphics folders (FOREST, MAUS, MARBLE, RUINS) each contain a single floor.pal file that fits all bmps of this folder. Portraits FACES, item pictures ITEMS and spell effects SPELLS do not have a palette of their own, they seem to look fine with menu.pal out of MISC.

You can also employ GFFSPLIT.EXE to extract individual .gff files that contain cinematic sequences (gffsplit.exe gfffile.gff), then view their contents with bmpview using their own palettes stored in PAL or ACF folders.

All of these instructions are also relevant for Dungeon Hack. In DH, you could toy with various palette files to produce wallsets of different coloration.

I cannot possibly write any sort of extensive instructions for all these viewers (some I didn't even try to use, and the rest I toyed with some 10 years ago), but if you'll play around another particular one, I might provide further help.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 12:05:54 PM by ghaaroth »

Offline manikus

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Re: "Viewers.zip"
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2010, 03:24:51 PM »
Hi ghaaroth. :) Thanks for the detailed reply. The sad part of this is that I have already done all of this, and just tried it again, and EYEEXTR did not work. But, because of something else I was reading recently, I copied all of the files from my flash drive to my hard drive (I've been playing the games off of the flash drive), and voila! it worked.
I can be so dense sometimes. My particular flash drive has one of those annoying ROM drives that make it read as several drives. Some programs do not like this at all. The only other thing I did differently when I tried running it successfully off of my hard drive was that I did not have the PAS file in the EotB3 directory, but that shouldn't make a difference.

But, at least now we have a very clear and concise readme guide for looking at and extracting the Eye of the Beholder 3 files. :D :D :D And if you hadn't written a response, I was already through trying on this...so I never would have gotten it done.

Now, as for the other programs, I had figured out some of it, but not all of it. Thanks for explaining those as well. Now I can get the animations as well. :)

Offline nologgie

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Re: "Viewers.zip"
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2010, 03:50:26 PM »
Thanks ghaaroth! Now that you've provided a clue I'll have to try them again.
Some days it just doesn't pay to gnaw through the straps.

Offline Ishad Nha

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Re: "Viewers.zip"
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2010, 06:34:22 AM »
Each program has a helpful text file, (apart from Eyeextr.exe)  just the thing if you speak Russian.
It is possible to find programs to do translation, I am currently experimenting with Babylon 8 and hitting snags.

Offline ghaaroth

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Re: "Viewers.zip"
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2010, 11:27:35 AM »
Each program has a helpful text file, (apart from Eyeextr.exe)  just the thing if you speak Russian.
It is possible to find programs to do translation, I am currently experimenting with Babylon 8 and hitting snags.

They aren't really helpful at all, they just explain the file structure of whatever game file format they are working with. Interesting to an inquiring programmer, but then he could just read the sourcecode instead. The man wrote all those programs for himself as a hobby, hence no documentation, no help and no interface to speak of.

Most of those programs work similarly to EOB3 ones - you need a separate extractor (which is sometimes simply ran from game folder and sometimes should be supplied with individual files to unpack, i.e. extractor.exe e resource.res) and then a viewer (or a bunch of them, if there are various formats used - there are like 5 viewers for different files of Realms of Arkania 2 or Wizardry 7) to browse the files individually, sometimes with separate palette file supplied to command line. I remember the Might&Magic 3-5 extractor for some reasons requires names of individual files to extract, can't do them all at once, hence the lists of files are provided.

Offline manikus

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Re: "Viewers.zip"
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2010, 02:57:21 PM »
I've been unable to use the BMPVIEW program - I get a "disk error" message every time I try to use it (with both parameters, of course).

Maybe it doesn't like .lbm for the palette file? If that is the case, any suggestions on how to convert an .lbm into a .pal? :)

Thanks for all of the helpful feedback, ghaaroth.

I've discovered that most of the programs tell you what they need if you try and run them from a command line without any parameters - at least those require parameters. :)

Offline ghaaroth

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Re: "Viewers.zip"
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2010, 08:12:22 AM »
It's covered above - run palmake.exe in EOB3 main folder to unpack all lbm's under art/subfolders to pal's.

Offline manikus

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Re: "Viewers.zip"
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2010, 02:48:17 PM »
Hmm, I did this but it didn't do anything - I suspect that maybe I ran palmake in a subfolder and not the main folder...

We could always rename this thread the "Idiots Guide to Viewers.zip" with the idiot continuing to be played by yours truly. :]

Offline ghaaroth

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Re: "Viewers.zip"
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2010, 07:00:54 AM »
So, had you any further luck with palettes?

Maybe modern OS'es and hardware are getting picky with allowing dos programs mess around with files. Could be non-dos-compliant paths, who knows. I can make palettes for you then, it worked for me when I wrote initial instructions.

Offline manikus

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Re: "Viewers.zip"
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2010, 03:20:03 PM »
I can make palettes! :) On the laptop, I had to use DOSBox for it to work, but on the desktop, it worked from the command line. Both are using XP, though the laptop is more up-to-date for security stuff, but not sure if that's it, or just that the hardware resources on the desktop are a lot better.

Thanks a lot for all your help, ghaaroth.

Offline ghaaroth

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Re: "Viewers.zip"
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2010, 12:11:55 PM »
Well, since I uploaded these viewers in the first place, I feel kinda obliged to provide whatever tech support I can salvage from them :D

 

anything