So, you want to build a train for BVE4?


In part 5 we took the panel image and made a night image from it.  In this part of the tutorial we're going to look at all the other night images.  Some are very easy, some not so easy.

In part 5 I also made the point that you should have made a note of the alterations you did to panel2.bmp image to make panel2_n.bmp.  I hope you did...

The night images for the animation fall into 3 categories - 1) switches, levers and wipers; 2) gauge needles and 3) lights - so we'll go through them in order.

Firstly, the switches, levers and so on; in this category are all the things that are not illuminated.  Making the night images for these is pretty simple, provided you made a note of those brightness/contrast values I was on about which you applied to your panel image.  The procedure is this:

1) open the image.
2) increase colours to 24 bit.
3) apply the brightness/contrast modification.
4) if there's any "blue" in the image, correct it, the same as you did the windows at the end of part 5.
5) reduce colour depth to 256.
6) click save as, add an "_n" to the end of the filename, and save it.  Make sure you change the name, or you'll over-write your daytime image!

OK, so, do that to all the swtiches, levers and also the windscreen wipers.

Now to the gauge needles.  There are 2 kinds of gauge, as mentioned before, either front lit ot backlit.  For a front lit gauge, if the original needle is more or less white, then you wantr it to match more or less the colour of the gauge it's intended for, on your night image.  So, if you did a gauge with a green colour, then the needle needs to be a bit green too, and the simple way of doing that is to apply the same process that you used for the gauge itself.  If you have a backlit gauge, then the chances are the needle lights up.  This is generally done with a miniature bulb behind the cover in the centre of the dial, ther needle itself is made of translucent plastic.  The needle will normally be white in the daytime, and when lit at night should have a slight yellowness to it - it'll look about as bright as the dial figures.  Some examples of different night needle images are shown below
night needles

The second one along is an illuminated one, I reckon...

When processing these, you use the same sequence as above, except that rather than applying the brightness/contrast, you alter the needle colour.

The final set of night images to process are warning lights.  Whether or not these need work depends on how you've done them.  If the "lit" image includes some surround, then that needs darkening to match the rest of the night image, which you do exactly the same as you did for the swtiches and levers.  However, the actual lamp has to remain "lit".  To do this, go through the procedure as far as the "save as" stage.  At this point, you need to re-open the original image, so you have them side by side:
night lights

Now, on the day image, select just the lit part, using the right shaped selection tool, and then paste that into the night image, so it looks like this:
night lights 2

Remember, the image needs to be 24bit colour while you;re editing it, otherwise the colours you're trying to paste may not be in the palette.  Remember too to correct any blue background: as you can see in the images above, there's a 1-pixel blue border, and on the night one it's too dark.  amke it the right colour blue and then reduce the colour depth to 256, ansd finally save the night image, and close the day image without saving.  It looks as though the night-time "lit" lamp is way too bright, but that's as it should be.  Process all the animation images, using the approriate techniques, and then you're mostly done with images.  The only images we've not yet looked at are raindrops, but I think we'll leave rain 'til the end.

In part 7, we'll have a look at the physics of the train and consider the file which handles all of that: train.dat.