Arnou’s Lighting Tutorial

Arnou’s Map Lighting Tutorial, ReReleased for VX Ace
Making a good lighting effect can be difficult, and darkening maps in-game can distort color and add saturation.

and some old VX scripts made lighting effects pixelated or look unrealistic

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to easily create realistic lighting effects that are pleasing to the eye!

What you’ll need:
GIMP or another image editing program with transparency and blurring (like photoshop)
GIMP for free, here http://www.gimp.org/downloads/
Paint.net for free, here http://www.getpaint.net/index.html
For maps larger that default size, you will need a script to hold the fog still, so if you are working in LITE, make your map default size. =]
http://rmrk.net/index.php?topic=44837.0

1. Setup
Use Print Screen (Prt Sc – Above Backspace) or Snipping Tool to take a screen shot of your map in-game, and save it.
(You can save the file directly from the snipping tool, or into Paint from Print Screen.)
Open the image in your program of choice (I use GIMP.)
After you have the picture of your map on the new canvas,add a new layer. (in GIMP press Ctrl+Shift+N)
At the moment, it should look something like this:

2. Adding Glow-Second Layer
Select the background (your map) as the active layer. (click on it)
Use the dropper tool to select a color you would like to use for the glow effect.
(one of the colors in a glowing lantern or fire – or pick your own color)

Select the top, empty layer. (click on it in the layer dialog box.)
Now select the pencil tool. Your color must be set to semi-transparent so it does not cover up the image.
Set the opacity of your pencil tool to 30-50%.
You can edit the transparency of this layer if it is too intense, so don’t make it too light.

To make an even, round glow, use the pencil at a size which makes a large dot over the fire.
You can also use a very small pencil and draw an irregular area.
Play around with the smoothness of the circle and get different results. After it’s drawn, fill it in with the same color.

Now, it’s time to give the circle the glowing effect that a fire would have. Go to the upper toolbar and select filter>Blurs>Gaussian Blur.
In my example I chose the radius to be 15. The picture here shows it to be set at 25.

Depending upon the color you choose and the size of the circle you make, you may need to blur the picture bit more or less.

And there you go! The glow should look something like this now:

But what if we want it to be night time? Using events to darken the screen will also darken the glow, defeating the whole purpose. What to do, what to do…
3. Adding Shadow-Third Layer
Start off by adding another layer (Ctrl+Shift+N); on the third layer select the color that you want the atmosphere outside of the fire to be.
If it’s night time, then just select a semi-transparent black or dark grey.
Now do the same thing you did earlier; draw a line. This time, don’t draw it around the fire, but draw it around the glow of the fire.

Now fill everything outside of the circle with the same black color, and use the Gaussian blur (Effects>Blurs>Gaussian Blur) to get the desired effect.
I used the radius of 25 this time, but again, it depends on the size of the circle and the color you chose.
Now it should look something like this:

If you want to go even farther to emphasize the glow of the fire, you can make more circles around the fire that get gradually larger and fill/blur each of them. If you do that, just remember to make a new layer for each new layer of darkness.

4. Putting it into your game
The newest versions of GIMP require you to EXPORT your layered images to PNG.
When export your image and it will flatten all of the **visible** layers into one.
So before you export the image, be sure to click the “eye” on the bottom layer so the map is not visible!

Now save this image as a PNG file and name it Lighting[FIXED].
You can replace the word ‘Lighting’ with whatever you want, but you MUST have the ‘[FIXED]’ for the script to be effective.
Once named and saved, place it in the Graphics/Pictures folder of your project.

Make sure that you already have Modern Algebra’s [VXA]Fix Picture to Map (link at the top) and have placed it above Main and below Materials.
Now, open your game and go to the map in which you want the overlay to display.
Create a new event in the upper left corner (preference) of the map and in it call up the picture ‘Lighting[FIXED]’

Directly after, add an ‘Erase Event’

Set that event to Parallel Process and press OK.
! All done! Test it out and enjoy!

Here’s another example of a map I made using this method of lighting. Instead of the darkness of night, this map is deep within a forest.
[img]http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/ww248/ryan0423/Untitled-20.png[/img]
Thanks for reading! If you have feedback or questions, feel free to comment or message me!

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Very Large Trees Edited for Full Credited Use – From BenBen Edited by GrandmaDeb

CLICK for a whimsical discussion of the search for and resolution of questions about credits for BenBen’s trees.

To see more of BenBen’s trees, and read more about proper crediting of his resources, click here.

 

In BenBen’s Chateau Sinclair set, there is a lovely tree – only problem is that I have no idea where the tree trunk comes from and I am sorry to say that I cannot be sure that I could ever run down the credits with a happy resolution.

However, I decided to take Soruve’s beautiful tree trunks and give these huge trees a new lease on life.

Credit BenBen, Mack, and Soruve. Granny doesn’t need credit. She’ll just take your undying devotion. =]

(Trees have been edited a bit where the trunk meets the foliage. Please re-download.)

RPG Maker Trees by BenBen edited by Hanzo Kimura

Please see more detailed information about BenBen and proper crediting of his trees by clicking here.

CLICK for a whimsical discussion of the search for and resolution of questions about credits for BenBen’s trees.

These trees must be used with credit to Mack and BenBen, and XP. You must have the right to use RPG Maker XP. (because the trunks are from XP.)
And BenBen says, feel free to use the trees, and asks that you please use them to try to make beautiful maps.

Please also credit Hanzo for the edits. They have been adjusted to be more in style with VX/Ace colors than the XP colors.

As a note, these trees are largely pixel style. Some of them are resized and can work in a painted tree environment, but generally speaking (from a style standpoint), I would not recommend BenBen’s pixel style trees to go alongside of Ayene’s or Celianna’s painted trees.

BenBen’s Trees with Complete Credits for RPG Maker MV or RPG Maker VX/Ace

Please, if you use BenBen’s trees, credit Mack and BenBen, and XP. You must have the right to use RPG Maker XP. (because the trunks are from XP.)
And BenBen says, feel free to use the trees, and asks that you please use them to try to make beautiful maps.

The tilesheets should be in the right size for RPG Maker MV if all goes as predicted. We shall see. =]
Click here for a more thorough discussion of complete credits of BenBen’s trees.

Green Trees with shadows for parallax mapping or RPG Maker MV

Dark Green Trees with shadows for parallax mapping or RPG Maker MV

Dark Green Trees without shadows for parallax mapping or RPG Maker MV

Seasonal Trees and bushes for parallax mapping or RPG Maker MV

Black/Grey Trees without shadows for parallax mapping or RPG Maker MV

Some of BenBen’s resources were posted in mixed sets that included tiles that must not be used. Ripped resources and uncredited/inadequately credited resources cannot be part of the honorable gamemaker’s work.

Furthermore, using works without proper permissions is perilous.
For this reason, the game making community now works hard to keep resource credits clear, and help honorable game makers be well informed about risky online materials.

Here is a link to some of BenBen’s very large trees edited to be used with full credits.

Here is a link to some of BenBen’s trees edited for use in VX/Ace by Hanzo Kimura.

A Resource Story of some Beautiful Art with a Happy Ending

Today Granny tells a resource story with a happy ending. Because art is always beautiful.

Many years ago, an XP artist named BenBen made some incredibly lovely trees.

The trees were made in a time when the online world was full of both beauty and darkness for artists. Generous artists shared their work and brought beauty to the world. BenBen found some of this art.

And talented artists also created new art using their own skills, building on the works of others. And BenBen made trees, and many other things, as well.

But many had not yet found the peaceful path of careful credits, and walked in darkness. BenBen could not find it, or did not know how to stay on its path. And this is a path many still struggle to attain…

In the years that followed, BenBen’s beautiful trees and resources were displayed with no credits, poor credits, and even claimed by hooligans as their own work.
His sets were mixed with things that should not have been.
So many lovely things were lost because the peaceful path of careful crediting was not followed. BenBen was disheartened.

But his trees were still beautiful. And among those who loved those trees was a lad named Hanzo. He loved them, and like BenBen, he built on the works of others to create more beauty. But the slippery path of poor credits was there to trip him up. Were they by BenBen? Alisa Tana? The credits were so old, from a dark time…

And along came another tree lover. A short, old tree lover with a stick. And she began tap, tap, tapping. The trees were credited to Alisa Tana, so she found Alisa Tana. She waited, and tap,tap tapped until she found a way, and finally heard back from Alisa Tana. Some of the trees were not hers. The tree lover kept careful notes.

Satisfied with the first step, she started tapping for BenBen. French sites – tap, tap, tap. Google searches – tap, tap, tap. Years went by.

And then the stick hit an artists’ hideout full of deviants. And she tapped with her stick, tap, tap tap. Time went by.

And one day, out of the blue, success! BenBen answered her tap!

BenBen told her about how he had found art, and used that art to make beautiful trees himself. He told her about some of the art he used. It was enough for the tree lover to help save the trees.

Tap, tap, tap, she travelled to her mighty resource library and discovered all of the information need to restore the trees’ credits.

And just like that, BenBen’s trees found their way to the peaceful path of crediting!

Because art is always beautiful.


Please, if you use BenBen’s trees, credit Mack and BenBen, and XP. You must have the right to use RPG Maker XP. (because the trunks are from XP.)
And BenBen says, feel free to use the trees, and asks that you please use them to try to make beautiful maps.

Soon I will post an assortment of the trees by BenBen that can be considered to have trusted credits.

Click here to see the post.
Some of BenBen’s resources were posted in mixed sets that included tiles that must not be used. Ripped resources and uncredited/inadequately credited resources cannot be part of the honorable gamemaker’s work.

Furthermore, using works without proper permissions is perilous.
For this reason, the game making community now works hard to keep resource credits clear, and help honorable game makers be well informed about risky online materials.

I would like to thank Avery for the extensive research done to raise awareness of dangerous materials, so that game makers can utilize online resources with a clear conscience and excellent information and even pursue commercial games.