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Frequently Asked Questions

Don't worry, we all need to start somewhere—if you're a beginner and still need to find your way around, chances are the F.A.Q. will answer a lot of the questions you may have. Before asking in the forums, it's wise to check this page first!

If you have suggestions for the F.A.Q., feel free to contact a staff member.


What is "GFX" and what is "ExGFX"?
"GFX" in the SMW Hacking scene is usually used as short for "Graphics", but GFX are actually the original 52 files of graphics from Super Mario World. "ExGFX" stands for "Extended/Extra Graphics" and are more graphics that can be added without overwriting the original graphics.
How do I edit GFX and ExGFX?
Press #lm{extgfx} to extract Graphics (a folder called Graphics will be created in your ROM's directory). Press #lm{extexgfx} to extract Extended/Extra Graphics (a fresh ROM won't have any, obviously) and to create a folder called ExGraphics in your ROM's directory.

You can create ExGFX files by copying GFX files, pasting them into the ExGraphics folder, and naming them anywhere from ExGFX80.bin to ExGFXFFF.bin. The numbers are in hex.

Further information on creating ExGFX can be found in our Graphics & Related Topics forum and by following this tutorial. You can find custom graphics for download here.
How do I insert GFX and ExGFX into my ROM?
Once you have the Graphics and ExGraphics folders with all the relevant files, press #lm{insgfx} to insert GFX into your ROM, or press #lm{insexgfx} to insert ExGFX instead. You can also click on to quickly insert and reload all the GFX and ExGFX for your ROM.
How do I change the graphics used in a level?
Go to #lm{sgfxby} and check the Enable bypass [...] box. Then, you can load different graphics files. Open #lm{8x} to view the graphics files that are loaded: FG1 is the first half of page 1, FG2 is the second half, BG1 is the first half of the second page, and so on. For Layer 3 ExGFX, go to #lm{l3gfxby} - everything else works the same.
How do I make objects actually display the graphics I just inserted?
You'll need to set up Map16 tiles to use your graphics for layer 1 and 2 objects. Refer to SMW Hacking > Map16 for further information.
How do I edit Layer 3 tilemaps?
As of Lunar Magic 2.30, you can edit layer 3 tilemaps without using external tools. Just follow this tutorial.
What exactly is in each GFX file?
Refer to this document.
Is there any way to view all GFX files at once?
Yes. In Lunar Magic go to Options > General Options > ROM Editing Options and check Use Joined GFX Files. Now extract GFX and a file named AllGFX.bin containing all GFX files will appear in your Graphics folder. If you keep the option checked, Lunar Magic will only extract and insert AllGFX.bin. AllGFX.bin does not include any ExGFX files and ExGFX cannot be joined in this manner.
What is the size limit of graphics files?
4kB for files intended to be used for layer 1/2 and sprites, 6.5kB for ExAnimation, 2kB for layer 3 graphics, 8kB for layer 3 tilemaps. GFX32.bin is for player graphics, and GFX33.bin is for global ExAnimation. GFX32.bin is 23.2kB in size, and GFX33.bin is 12kB in size.
How do I make a block use palettes 8 - F? How do I make a sprite use palettes 0 - 7?
You don't. This setup is related to the SNES hardware and cannot be bypassed.
How do I change Mario's palette?
Open the palette editor #lm{pal} and select which set of player palettes to edit from the Mario Palette dropdown - Mario and Luigi both use the ninth row down (palette 8). Make sure the Enable Custom Palette for this Level box is unchecked, and edit the palette to your liking. While still in the palette editor, click #lm{save} in the top right to apply your player palettes.

Note that some sprites like Monty Mole and the Falling Spike also use palette 8, and changing the first three gold/brown colors will affect their appearance.
I gave Mario a different palette for a specific level, but he still looks the same - why don't his colors change?
Mario's palette is handled with special code that can't be changed per-level in Lunar Magic. There are a few patches that allow this here, here and here.
Some graphics I use have conflicting palettes. How do I fix this?
In #lm{pal}, Ctrl + Alt + Left-Click to copy the graphics' palette row, and import the other palette. Ctrl + Alt + Right-Click to paste the copied palette to the selected row. Then, edit the Map16 of one set of conflicting graphics to use the other palette row.
How can you view Mario's graphics, as well as the animated graphics, inside Lunar Magic?
Press Ctrl + Shift + Page Down while in the 8x8 Tile Editor to activate Internal GFX Viewing Mode. You cannot edit these graphics from this interface, however.
I edited Mario's graphics, but stray tiles still show up when performing certain actions - how do I get rid of them?
Mario's extra tiles are found in GFX00.bin.
How do I make an ExAnimation?
First, make sure you have the tiles you intend to use for the animation inserted into your ROM. You can dedicate a whole file for ExAnimation for each level - just go to #lm{sgfxby} and change the AN2 slot to the file you wish to use. Have #lm{8x} opened as a guide to figure out what to enter for Destination and the animation frames for tile animations, and have #lm{pal} opened for palette animations.

Refer to this tutorial to learn how to edit the ExAnimation frames in the #lm{exan} dialogue (check the type of animation you desire to have in the tutorial's table of contents). Once you're done, the animation will be displayed in the Destination tile or palette you chose. Put your animated tiles for layer 1/2 in Map16 and you're done.