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Forums > CSDb Discussions > Game screenshots in Koala format
2020-08-30 21:57
CommFor

Registered: Mar 2017
Posts: 19
Game screenshots in Koala format

How to make lossless C64 game-screenshot in Koala format?
2020-08-30 22:06
Groepaz

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 9532
use VICE?

that said, of course not any arbitrary image can be saved that way, due to sprites.
2020-08-31 07:06
CommFor

Registered: Mar 2017
Posts: 19
Thanks to K.C.'s very old post in Lemon64 forum, I found the way to take a game screenshot in exactly 320x200 resolution (official working area of C64 screen) in 16 colours using CCS64 emulator - of course, sprites are included in picture.

Is there a tool to convert that BMP picture to KLA format?
Timanthes and Pixcen can't do that losless in demanding games like Mayhem.
2020-08-31 11:11
MagerValp

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 985
The koala format can not represent sprites or raster effects, which are used heavily in games, and especially in Mayhem. There are vanishingly few games that use plain multicolor bitmap mode.
2020-08-31 12:20
CommFor

Registered: Mar 2017
Posts: 19
Got it, but is it possible to grab picture in C64 emulator in losless format like BMP (emulator screenshot has sprites, rasters etc.), and than convert to Koala without loosing details?

Working area of Bitmap screenshot is 320x200 in C64 emulator using C64 palette (actually it's game in 160x200 resolution in almost all cases), Koala format is 160x200 using same C64 palette - in theory this should work without loosing details.

Any program to play with it?
Pixcen is not perfect for that.
2020-08-31 12:27
ptoing

Registered: Sep 2005
Posts: 267
The problem here is that most game backgrounds do not use Koala as such, but multicolor char mode, which also can have hires chars in it.
2020-08-31 12:39
youtH

Registered: Aug 2003
Posts: 8
I made a tool that can convert from PNG to koala. If you disable dithering it might give decent results. Or not :)

https://github.com/micheldebree/retropixels
2020-08-31 13:21
Groepaz

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 9532
like i said before, you can make a koala snapshot using VICE. it wont get any better than this, other tools cant remove the restrictions either :)
2020-08-31 15:01
MagerValp

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 985
Quoting CommFor
in theory this should work without loosing details.

I don't know what you base that theory on since it's obviously not true. You need to read up on C64 graphics modes and their limitations.
2020-08-31 15:09
Deev

Registered: Feb 2002
Posts: 167
As everyone else has said, this isn't going to work (apart from perhaps games that don't use many colours and everything is in 160x200, unlike Mayhem).

If you want to take a screenshot of a game like Mayhem and convert it to a stand-alone C64 prg, your best bet would be Mufflon V1.0 although it's still unlikely to be perfect.
2020-08-31 16:52
CommFor

Registered: Mar 2017
Posts: 19
@youtH,
I'm sure your program is good for bigger pictures, but for small ones like C64 screenshots is not good at all, even without dithering. Pixcen is much better for conversion to Koala format.

@Groepaz,
Try to save Turrican II screenshots in Koala format with VICE. Messed-up screens without any visible graphics, nothing else.
On other hand, I have relatively decent results converting VICE Bitmap screenshots with Pixcen to Koala format. A bit blurry, and sometimes colours are also not accurate. I don't know why colours are problem here, it's same palette!
That means VICE doesn't give best results all the time with ripped game screenshots in KLA format.
I also don't like three keys should be pressed simultaneusly to take game screenshots in latest VICE version 3.4. Much less used shortcuts using two.

@MagerValp,
160x200, multicolour, Koala format, all that I need.

@Deev,
Thanks for suggestion. I will try it.
Can you also suggest program for doing opposite - converting prg file to koala?
Backbit Tool allowing to make slideshow of Koala pictures with SID included in BBT format. I would like to make Slideshow of best pictures according to CSDB ratings, but most of them are in prg format.

@All,
Reason why I'm looking for optimal results for game screenshots in Koala format is because I want to make BBT files out of C64 games - it's a BackBit format allowing slideshow up to 10 Koala pictures, 1 SID tune and text infos for each game (game is also included in BBT file).
If nobody helps, I will be on my own to rip and convert to KLA format few thousands game pictures, but before starting doing it, I need to find way to have most accurate graphical screenshot output in Koala format.
2020-08-31 17:06
Groepaz

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 9532
Quote:
Try to save Turrican II screenshots in Koala format with VICE. Messed-up screens without any visible graphics, nothing else.

you should report a bug then :) you have probably triggered a corner case where the conversion doesnt work right.
Quote:
I also don't like three keys should be pressed simultaneusly to take game screenshots in latest VICE version 3.4. Much less used shortcuts using two.

use the nightly build - then you can use the "pause" key to save screenshots with auto-generated names
2020-08-31 17:08
ChristopherJam

Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 1078
Unfortunately koala pics only allow you to have four colours in each character sized cell, and even then one of the four has to be common across the entire screen - it's a limitation of the graphics mode.

There are other c64 video modes that have fewer restrictions, but none that allow any multicolour pixel to be freely selected from the 16 c64 colours regardless of what the other pixels are set to.
2020-08-31 19:16
Groepaz

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 9532
That, and of course it gets even messier in games, when you have sprites on screen, and perhaps hires and multicolor elements.

Edit: i played around with it a bit... in Turrican its really bad :) Another problem is, when you have multicolor GFX on screen, and eg the play area is scrolled differently than some other part (score board), the whole color cell alignment is broken, and it will no more work in one koala image-

That said, i am rewriting the code in VICE to a more generic solution that will then also work with "mixed mode". Obviously still the same restrictions apply though :)
2020-09-01 08:55
Walt

Registered: May 2004
Posts: 17
You can use Picture Converter 4 :)

See this example : https://imgur.com/a/aYRyNF0

This version is not released yet but contact me if you want to try it out :)
2020-09-01 13:37
CommFor

Registered: Mar 2017
Posts: 19
@Walt, PM sent.
2020-09-01 14:13
Frantic

Registered: Mar 2003
Posts: 1456
CommFor seems more interested in solutions than problems. :D
2020-09-01 14:53
Groepaz

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 9532
sneak peak ... works a lot better now: http://hitmen.c02.at/temp/vice-screen-20200901144642.koa
2020-09-01 15:19
tlr

Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 1391
Quoting Frantic
CommFor seems more interested in solutions than problems. :D

Yes, but if it is supposed to be lossless someones up for a disappointment. ;)

@CommFor: Why does it have to be Koala format?
2020-09-01 15:35
user

Registered: Mar 2011
Posts: 7
@tlr
Quote:
I want to make BBT files out of C64 games - it's a BackBit format allowing slideshow up to 10 Koala pictures, 1 SID tune and text infos for each game (game is also included in BBT file).


I guess it is for some kind of start menu for this product https://www.backbit.io/
2020-09-01 17:18
Compyx

Registered: Jan 2005
Posts: 577
SPAM!!!!
2020-09-02 07:15
CommFor

Registered: Mar 2017
Posts: 19
@Deev,
I tried Mufflon, but doesn't fit my purpose.

@Walt,
Picture Converter 4 is really great tool for pros, but Pixcen do the part of the job I need easier.

@Compyx,
It's not a spam, I just explain reasons why I need it, so people here will understand better it's not just to play with it to convert few game screenshots.

Thanks to your help and my digging of C64 tools on this great site I came to conclusion best way to achieve my goal is:

1. Using WinVICE (Pepto PAL palette) and take a game screenshot (Alt+Shift+R) saving it as BMP picture
2. Get rid of borders in BMP picture using Canvas size option to have it in 320x200 resolution in Timanthes
(yes, I know this process can be automatized for bunch of files using some PC tools, still in progress to get there)
3. Load this BMP in Pixcen and save it as Multicolour in Koala format

Static screens look perfect this way, in-game screenshots are pretty decent, even with games like Turrican II or Mayhem.
Game screenshots can't be perfect in Koala format because of restrictions it has, thanks to all for explanations.

Is there a way to process bunch of BMP files to be automatically converted to KLA multicolour format?
Now I need to do to it manually one by one using Pixcen.
2020-09-02 07:49
ptoing

Registered: Sep 2005
Posts: 267
Hm, there probably is a tool that can do bmp to kla via commandline, would be easy to write a batch file then.

Edit: Did some searching on here and the web and could not find any commandline conversion tool, which I have to say I find rather weird. Maybe it is out there, but I could not find it.
2020-09-02 18:07
Groepaz

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 9532
Its one of those tools every coder must at least write once :)
2020-09-02 20:12
Perplex

Registered: Feb 2009
Posts: 232
Quoting Groepaz
Its one of those tools every coder must at least write once :)


At least once per programming language. :P
2020-09-02 20:41
Groepaz

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 9532
arrgs =D
2020-09-03 00:39
ptoing

Registered: Sep 2005
Posts: 267
Yeah, I am sure that a lot of coders have written those tools, but they do not seem to be public for the most part.
2020-09-03 08:58
TheRyk

Registered: Mar 2009
Posts: 749
Still, there's tons of such tools here. Only use search function with "BMP" or "PNG" and see what it spits out. IIRC the earlier ones by seanser compute really long, no idea if newer versions work faster. But guys like algotech, fieserwolf or Burglar normally (way more often than myself) halfways know what their doing.

How about https://csdb.dk/release/?id=143029&show=notes#notes

Of course as gpz already pointed out if a PNG/BMP/whatever shot includes sprites and violates KLA/MC restrictions, it won't work properly. Workaround: BEFORE making a VICE screenshot ALT+M (Vice Monitor) >$d015 00 -> sprites off ^^
2020-09-03 09:30
enthusi

Registered: May 2004
Posts: 661
This tool here might also be a good start:
Vice Snapshot Grabber 4.5
It extracts the current screen (in 'whatever' mode) from a vice snapshot file.
2020-09-03 13:40
Groepaz

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 9532
And that will works exactly as bad as the builtin koala snapshots :)
2020-09-03 16:55
Groepaz

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 9532
Just for info - i just comitted the new/fixed screenshot code, so with next nightly build you can make those koala screenshots directly in VICE. Let me know of any remaining bugs :)
2020-09-09 16:42
CommFor

Registered: Mar 2017
Posts: 19
@TheRyk,

Thanks for suggestion, but that doubles my job. First conversion PNG to PRG, then PRG to KLA.

@Groepaz,
Thanks for making WinVICE fixes.
I have big problem using WinVICE 3.4 on my Windows 10 laptop. Problem is so annoying - WinVice just quit working after a while, and that lasts between 1 second and 10 minutes. WinVice doesn't give me any error messages, just quit by itself! Really annoying to take game screenshots that way.

@All,
I already took around 300 game screenshots, all games have between 4 and 10 shots. It will be so much more if I don't have that big problem with WinVICE.
Decided to keep game screenshots them also in BMP format, not just in KLA format.
Why? I want to post them to GameBase64 crew to implement them there. There are soo many games (for example Cinemaware games, Turricans, Mayhem etc.) that deserve much more pictures than they have now. My BMPs are in 320x200 resolution, same as GB64 has.
If someone from GB64 crew read this (or you know someone there, please, tell them), please PM me.
2020-09-09 18:17
Groepaz

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 9532
Quote:
I have big problem using WinVICE 3.4 on my Windows 10 laptop. Problem is so annoying - WinVice just quit working after a while, and that lasts between 1 second and 10 minutes.

you should report a bug then :)
2020-09-13 12:23
dqh

Registered: Jun 2019
Posts: 41
Quoting CommFor

I have big problem using WinVICE 3.4 on my Windows 10 laptop. Problem is so annoying - WinVice just quit working after a while, and that lasts between 1 second and 10 minutes. WinVice doesn't give me any error messages, just quit by itself! Really annoying to take game screenshots that way.


Is that official VICE 3.4 you are using, or a recent nightly build? A lot has changed since the 3.4 release, maybe the issue you see has been fixed already if you are using 3.4.
2020-09-18 09:52
TheRyk

Registered: Mar 2009
Posts: 749
Quoting CommFor
@TheRyk,

Thanks for suggestion, but that doubles my job. First conversion PNG to PRG, then PRG to KLA.

Pixcen V0.7.0.28 (and probably a bunch of similar tools) offers various conversion options just via "LOAD" (Import .PNG/.BMP as... Multicolor) and "SAVE" (as... -> Format/File-Index .KLA). No need to use .PRG at all.

If there's sprites, however, which most games will have, chances are, there are clashes as plain .KLA restrictions (3 colors per tile) will be violated by Sprite overlays, so you need to fix these clashes manually (if you didn't turn off sprites before snaphot)
2020-09-18 11:47
Isildur

Registered: Sep 2006
Posts: 259
C64 65XE Debugger V0.64.58

F10 pause/ F11 run
CTRL+SHIFT+E = export koala or art studio
CTRL+SHIFT+P = export PNG with and without sprites. Also sprites are exported separately as images.

F9 - settings

+readme.txt for all shortcuts
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