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VPLEdit - A VPL file editor for TS/RA2.
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Starkku
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 28 Dec 2007
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:32 pm    Post subject:  VPLEdit - A VPL file editor for TS/RA2.
Subject description: GUI editor for voxels.vpl file.
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NOTE: This software is no longer being actively supported and is provided as-is.



VPLEdit - A VPL file editor for TS/RA2

About

This tool I initially made for my own needs, in order to be able to edit TS/RA2 voxels.vpl file (Incase someone needs more info about what's it all about, read through this thread) without using hex editor by visualizing the data as what it's supposed to represent: different palette colors. It is not there to completely replace hex editor as a tool, since if you know what you're doing you make edits to voxels.vpl faster by using hex editor than with this tool, but I reckon people find something like this bit easier to use.

Main Features

* An ability to edit voxels.vpl color index data - choose an index from VPL section color table, then either input the desired palette index using text field or choose a color from palette color table. You can change the current section from the listbox.
* An ability to edit voxels.vpl file header flags, found under Edit -> Edit header flags.
* The program automatically makes backup of the vpl file when you open one in the same directory as original, named FILENAME_backup.vpl where FILENAME stands for the filename of original file without extension.

Usage

Since the program was done using Java programming language, you are going to need JRE (Java Runtime Environment) to run it. Unless your system already has the most recent version of JRE installed, I recommend getting it from here.

After that, running the program (vpledit.jar) should be as easy as just clicking the jar icon. This applies for Windows systems, atleast. As I've never touched any other OS than Windows, I have no idea how this would work for other types of operating systems such as UNIX-based ones

Alternate way to run this program (on a Windows system) if you have JRE installed, would be from command prompt using the following:

PATHTO_JAVA.EXE -jar PATHTO_VPLEDIT.JAR PATHTO_VOXELS.VPL PATHTO_UNIT.PAL

Where PATHTO_JAVA.EXE is the full path to java.exe on your computer, for example "C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\java.exe" (You also need the quotes if the path has spaces like the example one has), PATHTO_VPLEDIT.JAR would be the path to the jar file itself, such as "C:\Stuff\vpledit.jar".

Last two are optional parameters for defining the vpl and palette files to use, respectively.

During startup, the program will search for files named voxels.vpl and unit.pal from the directory where you ran the program from. Should it not find the voxels.vpl file, it will prompt user to choose one using file browser. Closing the browser without choosing file shuts down the program. Similarly, if palette file is not found, user can choose one instead. However, if you don't choose a palette file the program will simply use a built-in one that matches Red Alert 2 unittem.pal file.

You can also load another vpl file or palette file while using the program by using options under "File" menu.

Other stuff

I don't have anything else to say, really. If you encounter problems trying to get the program to work or bugs in the behaviour, please post in this topic or throw me a private message about it. Considering this is first version, I am not expecting completely flawless behaviour, altough my focus was on the reliability and functionality rather than performance. I hope other people also find this tool as useful as I do.

Download VPLEdit Version 1.2.0 here.

If you wish to mirror this program at somewhere else, please note me of it beforehand.

Last edited by Starkku on Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:02 pm; edited 7 times in total

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superluigi949
Grenadier


Joined: 03 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What does that do other than enabling the first 16 colors in unittem.pal?.
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Orac
President


Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't be bothered quoting the whole post to you, so I'll just tell you to go back and read it all again.

I understand that for many here English is not their primary language, but that doesn't make it OK to not try reading at all.

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Nyerguds
General


Joined: 24 May 2004
Location: Flanders (Be) Posts:300000001

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:31 am    Post subject: Re: VPLEdit - A VPL file editor for TS/RA2. Reply with quote

Starkku wrote:
(Incase someone needs more info about what's it all about, read through this thread.)

^ was pretty clear to me.

Nice to see some more people making tools to edit more of C&C's files Smile
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Krow
Commander


Joined: 30 Jan 2010
Location: Malaysia

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice tool Starkku. Thanks for sharing with us. Very Happy
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Palkia323
Pyro Sniper


Joined: 10 May 2008

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bumping here... I've read it many times.
I'm still unsure of this tool's use.
The voxels just appear darker.
Is that the intention of this tool?
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Starkku
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 28 Dec 2007
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Palkia323 wrote:
Bumping here... I've read it many times.
I'm still unsure of this tool's use.
The voxels just appear darker.
Is that the intention of this tool?


Voxels.vpl file is split into 32 sections each containing 256 bytes which contain values corresponding to unit*.pal colors. Each one of those 256 bytes also corresponds to unit*.pal color indices on their own, in order from 0-255.

Basically you can think of it as a conversion table. You use, let's say color 15 to color your voxel, in-game depending on the facing, it gets turned into whatever color corresponds to the value of 16th byte of a particular section in voxels.vpl file. How the sections are assigned to voxel normal values is quite unclear, but the pattern in the voxels.vpl isn't - with colors getting lighter each step you take towards section 32 from the first one. If you don't get what I mean, just try the tool yourselves. It should be pretty clear then.

You can edit this file to make voxels look darker in-game. You can edit this file to fix inconsistencies Westwood left to the system. You can edit this file to make use of unused color slots in unit*.pal file. The list goes on. So far I haven't seen too many people really do anything with it. For example, in past few years I've been in this modding community I've seen a good few people yearn for custom voxel color schemes, something that's very well possible now.
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Last edited by Starkku on Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:23 am; edited 2 times in total

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Palkia323
Pyro Sniper


Joined: 10 May 2008

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay thanks for clearing that up, man. Will have to try this when I get home. In the meantime....make more useful tools in your spare time!
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Oh noes Nod32 must have found some GDI32 in the art.ini file!

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Allied General
General


Joined: 19 Mar 2004
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can learn more by reading the Voxel.VPL Research under RA2 Research Center.
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Nyerguds
General


Joined: 24 May 2004
Location: Flanders (Be) Posts:300000001

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starkku linked to that thread in the very first line of his explanation though.
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Starkku
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 28 Dec 2007
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a minor update, I uploaded version 1.1.0 and removed the old one.

Changes in version 1.1.0
* Color of the selection indicator for color tables is now determined by the color of the table cell (think of OS Palette Editor).
* Bunch of graphical and other glitches relating to color table cell selection handling, when re-loading VPL file have now been fixed.
* Cleaned up & optimized some code.


If someone encounters bugs, just throw me a PM or post here. I'll try to fix them. I don't think any further actual features are necessary, though.
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Crimsonum
Seth


Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Location: Fineland

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excuse me for the bump, but I have an issue with the interface. The bottom row of the palette goes beyond the window border, making it almost impossible to select these indexes. There's no way to resize the window.

The VPL color table and the palette are also fused together, though I can live with that.


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Starkku
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 28 Dec 2007
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not really actively supporting this software anymore. Fixing the myriad of usability issues and generally sloppy code on backend that it has would require sizable amount of work I'd rather spend on making a better alternative from scratch.

That said, since there probably are not any decent alternatives around currently, I went ahead and tried to address this issue (although I am not entirely sure what's causing it in the first place since I cannot reproduce it), made the window resizable and did couple of other minor changes. Should be available from the link in the initial post.
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E1 Elite
Commander


Joined: 28 May 2013

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was a DPI scaling issue. With the resizable UI, it gets solved. Even if there is a little clipping on the colors at 125% scaling, it can now be streched to solve it.

If not supporting, why not make it open source?

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Starkku
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 28 Dec 2007
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

E1 Elite wrote:
It was a DPI scaling issue. With the resizable UI, it gets solved. Even if there is a little clipping on the colors at 125% scaling, it can now be streched to solve it.

If not supporting, why not make it open source?


DPI scaling came to mind, but I could not reproduce it even with higher DPI setting, so I wondered if it really could have been because of that. Whatever, as long as it is usable now.

Not keen on making the mess that this tool is open source.
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G-E
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Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just increase the window size +20% and allow for some whitespace, it's not like you need it to be tight...

A dividing gap between the two palettes is also warranted.
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Crimsonum
Seth


Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Location: Fineland

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, it works properly now.

I'm using the default windows DPI scaling settings.
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PussyPus
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Joined: 14 Jul 2015
Location: Underground Clone City

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember when i said i never heard that vpl files can be edited since 2017.
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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PussyPus wrote:
I remember when i said i never heard that vpl files can be edited since 2017.

Either contribute something useful or stop writing offtopic posts please.
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