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Wall Decorations

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So, looking for some kind of flag or decoration to adorn your Wolfenstein 3D wall textures with? Well, to
make decent decorations, there's a few things you need to take into account.

Firstly, you need to think about what type of image you'd like to use. A portrait? A symbol? A flag?
It may be a simple thing you want that you can "draw" by hand - pixel by pixel, or create in a paint program
such as MS Paint or Paint Shop Pro. But if you're after a more complex image, then you may need to look
elsewhere (such as a search of the web) to find the kind of thing you're after.

I'll use an image I created for "Spear Resurrection" as an example as to how I go about making my own
wall "decorations". When work was first started on the game, I knew I wanted a large spreadwing
eagle symbol, the kind that seemed so prominent on many German military artefacts during the World
War 2 era. It's an impressive kind of an emblem, and I wanted it to stand out in the game. As the image
was about twice as wide as it was high, I decided it should be 2 wall tiles wide.

The first thing to do was to find the image somewhere on the web. And sure enough, I found it at a site
named "Flags of the World" (
www.fotw.ca/flags/). In fact, this site provided a good source for many of the
images I used. Below is a screenshot of the web page containing the eagle image I was after:
















OK! That gold eagle was what I was after! From the screenshot above, and using Paint Shop Pro, I copied
and pasted the eagle to a seperate image:









I then resized the image to 128 pixels wide by 64 pixels high, so as the eagle would be exactly the size I
needed for spreading across two wall images:








The image was then converted to the Wolfenstein palette:








OK. Now that may look acceptable as you view this web page at this resolution. Sometimes, you may be
lucky, and find an image that shrinks beautifully and looks great. But most of the time, this won't be the case,
and you may find some touching up is required. If you look at the image above closely, you'll see it's rather
grainy, and if used as is, would look just like what it is - a picture shrunk down in size and chucked into
the game. So, time for "Operation Cleanup"! This is the time consuming part, but is well worth the effort
if you wish to have crisp clean graphics (well, as crisp and clean as 64 x 64 pixels will allow anyway)!
Basically, it involves "simplifying" the image, replacing blurred lines with clean straight lines, and reducing
the number of colours in the image. To get an idea of what I mean, have a look at the image below:








I chose black to highlight the lines of importance (those defining the actual eagle outline), and a dark shade
of grey for some basic shading in certain areas. A light grey was used for the eagle colour. Sometimes, it
was necessary to "draw" the black lines where I thought they looked best, as the graininess of the base
image sometimes made this a little difficult. The process took a couple of hours I guess (hmmm, perhaps
there's a simpler way I'm not aware of?), but the end result was worth it:








Now that's the finished eagle against a simple red backdrop (which consists simply of various vertical shades
of red to create a ripple effect, giving the impression it's a cloth or flag type backdrop). Of course, if the eagle
is on a flag like this, it too should have a "ripple" effect. To do this, I simply darkened certain vertical strips
of the eagle:








(That image may look a little blurry due to the fact it's stretched on this web page to make it appear larger)
Other ways I used this eagle were as follows:






The one on the left has a metallic type texture applied (see the "
metallic textures" section), while the one
on the right has a plain gold colouring. One other little thing you can do if you like paying attention to detail
is add a little shading to the wall, as if the wall decoration is dropping a "shadow". Generally, to do this, I
just slightly darken the parts of the wall running along the lower and right portions of the decoration. You
may not think this is necessary, and perhaps it isn't, but little things like this can make a difference.

Other wall decorations I used were created in a similar fashion:






                                                                          From this,

                                                                                                 comes this:









The original Wolf 3D used cartoon like images (probably so as not to
offend people with more realistic images in what was then a new world
as far as computer gaming was concerned). But I decided to use more
realistic type images. The eagle image above was next shrunk to 64x64.



Convert to the
Wolf 3D palette,
and then
Operation
"Cleanup"...






                                                                                  
                                                                                                   The end result, almost...














The yellow colouring was "smoothed out", and a brighter gold colouring was used to make the image stand
out more. A red swastika for a bit of colour, and the brick arch in the background altered slightly to fit in with
the white brick texture I had chosen to use elsewhere. This eagle image was used as a decoration on a
number of walls in the game.

Most (but not all) of the wall decorations in Spear Resurrection were made using a similar approach:









                                                                               
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Thanks to the "Flags of the World" site for being such a great resource :)

To summarise:
1. Find the image you want to use.
2. Shrink it to the size you need.
3. Apply the Wolf 3D palette
4. If the shrunk version looks too much of a blur, you may have to look for something else. Otherwise,
unless the smaller image looks great as is, it's time for "Operation Cleanup".

5. Final touches to be applied to highlight colours and/or shading. A bit of imagination can be used here.

Now, if it's a portrait or photo you wish to use (eg: one of the Fuhrer himself), the method above probably
isn't a good idea. You may have to just try shrinking the image, perhaps softening it a little, and, if after
applying the Wolf 3D palette it still looks OK, then use it if you wish. Other effects may make it look a little
more like a painting as opposed to a photo. Whatever, when you've finished, just draw a nice frame around
it to make it look like it's a picture hanging on the wall :)

Of course, these are just the methods I use. Perhaps you have a method that is far better than mine - if so,
I'd love to know your secret :)  But hopefully, through the above, I've helped some people get ideas as
to how to create images of their own. Have fun, and good luck!

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