Ripping graphics using Graphic Editor
Graphic Editor, a Java based application, is a tool created by the user mzuenni. Its purpose is to emulate YY-CHR and add a bunch of new features as well such as an exact replica of Lunar Magic's palette editor, and the fact it is specifically made for Super Mario World, unlike YY-CHR which is made for multiple titles. What makes Graphic Editor stand out is that ripping graphics is easier than it has ever been before.
This tutorial will teach you how to rip graphics from any available sprite sheet, keep in mind that this will also work for any graphics you draw yourself in your favorite image editing software of choice. This also serves as an alternative to tools such as SnesGFX.
Finding a sprite sheet
This shouldn't be a hard task, but it's important to keep in mind that the graphics you're ripping stays within its 15 color limit. Websites such as The Spriters Resource
and Mario Fan Games Galaxy
host a large number of sprite sheets, where The Spriters Resource hosts a bunch of sheets from many different videogames and MFGG hosts a bunch of sheets from several Mario games.
For this tutorial we'll be using this sprite sheet
from Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, found on The Spriters Resource. I know everything has already been ripped from this game at this point, but this is purely meant for you to learn how it works.
Preparing Graphic Editor
So before we start ripping tiles from this sprite sheet, we need to make sure that everything is set and ready to go. It is important that you have Java
installed on your machine as this program requires it to run.
If you already have/just installed Java, extract the Graphic Editor zip file and open up Graphic Editor.jar.exe found within the zip. You will be greeted by an empty field in a 2BPP graphic format. The layout of the tool is very identical to YY-CHR, so if you're used to that tool this really shouldn't look new to you; which is also why I won't be teaching you how to properly use this tool, this tutorial will suffice for that tool as well
Now there's a few important things to look for on what we're about to do.
Under the options menu, you should look for Image Converters > Nearest Color in Palette. What this does is make sure that once you paste in a tileset, it will pick the color that seems the most identical to the colors used in said specific tileset. YY-CHR does not support this feature, which is mainly why we're using Graphic Editor for this.
The biggest improvement in Graphic Editor is the palette editor that works exactly like the one in Lunar Magic. It allows you to change colors, discard changes, save a .pal file and even allow palette masking. The editor also comes with the standard Back Area, FG, BG, Sprite and Player palettes that are default in Super Mario World including the glowing color used for the dragon coins.
Ripping the graphics
This is where the fun starts. For this tutorial, I will be using MS Paint as it is good enough for what we're about to do here, alternatively you can just use any image editing software that you prefer. Just make sure you are able to copy and paste selections from your software into other software.
I will be ripping the cave tileset, but feel free to pick anything else from the sheet. First of all, make sure you select 4BPP Snes Graphic Format in the dropdown menu, this is the palette format used for layer 1, 2 and sprites.
The second thing we do is open the Palette Editor found directly in Graphic Editor. You will immediately be greeted by something that probably looks familiar to you, if for some reason you don't understand the basics of the palette editor yet, feel free to read this tutorial
on how to use the palette editor.
What we want to do now is keep our focus on the palette editor and hover our cursor over the tileset we're about to rip. The cave tileset has about eight colors that we want to copy over to Graphic Editor. Keep the palette editor selected and press F3 on one of the colors, paste the color in the editor by using the right mouse button and repeat the process for the remaining colors. To make things easier, copy the blue background color from the sheet and paste it in the palette editor as well, this way the color will instantly count itself as the transparent color. You will eventually end up with something like this:
Good, before we continue it is important that we make a .palmask file for our .pal file as well, you can do this by selecting the Phanto icons (
) -- The gold Phanto enables/disables the Palette Mask Editing Mode, and the grey Phanto lets you enable or disable all colors for exporting. Enable the editing mode and disable all colors for export, then proceed to enable your new colors which you DO want to export. Save your palettes as a .pal file and apply it in any level in Lunar Magic.
Once you followed every step, you can finally start ripping your graphics, before we start though I should point out that tilesets are built out of 16x16 tiles most of the time, meaning certain tiles may contain duplicate 8x8 tiles. It will be easy for you to determine which tile is a duplicate or not if you have a good eye, if you're not sure, you can always select a tile and overlap them on another and see if they turn out the same.
Maybe you've guessed it by now, but we'll be copying 8x8 tiles and paste them over in Graphic Editor. Make sure to select the correct palette row (in my case, palette row 5) before pasting the tiles. You'll probably notice that upon pasting the tiles, the colors are correct right from the start meaning that you won't have to fix any of them. Saves a lot of time and makes the working process a lot more efficient.
Your result should look something like this. All we do now is save the file just like you would with YY-CHR. (File > Save) or use the save icon.
That should be all there is to it. I highly suggest checking out some of the useful links above to help you get the basics of YY-CHR (which heavily applies to Graphic Editor as well), the palette editor (Which also applies to Graphic Editor because it's an exact replica) and how to work with Map16. If you've got any questions, do not be afraid to ask them. Happy hacking!