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How do I rip sprites?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Denisowator, Oct 2, 2015.

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  1. Denisowator

    Denisowator

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    So I want to make a side-scroller platformer that resembles Captain Claw. And I really want it to have the same running animation and some other animations as Captain Claw. This desire is mostly just due to my childhood attachment to the game, and therefore I really want to make my game seem like a sequel of a sort, and maybe make references to the Captain Claw character.

    Anyway, while I was searching up tips on makingsprite sheets, I found out about something called sprite ripping. And from what I understand, it is a way of somehow taking the sprite files used in the game and extracting them. Which is what the sprite sheet tutorial I looked at (on http://spritedatabase.net/) mentioned vaguely.

    And I really want to know how to do it. Captain Claw is a PC game, so there's no emulator needed. But some of the ripping tutorials also mentioned opening ROMs? And I have no clue what that means, so I googled it. And it's apparently Read Only Memory. But I have no idea how one would open that.

    Also from what I've understood from a couple other tutorials, it just consists of playing the game and using a program that takes screenshots really quickly. But that might have just been their way of working around the original method.

    Someone please help me understand this. And also tell me step by step how to rip the sprites (or post a link to a really good tutorial).

    I don't really need to know this urgantly, as I've just started working on the game, and I'm still trying to figure out the basic story and level design parts. But it would be helpful for me not having to wait once I'm ready to rip the sprites.

    Thanks in advance. :) (even though I'll thank you again anyway. ;))
     
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  2. Schneider21

    Schneider21

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    Sprite ripping --or any type of reverse-engineering of games-- probably isn't going to be looked upon too fondly here. Even if you're not trying to repurpose the actual assets, and you just want to draw over top of them, it's still trying to copy the work of others without authorization.

    Artists work hard to create their work. Many go to school for years to learn how to properly animate. It's one thing to study a game by playing it to learn what you can from its art and style. It's quite another, at least in my opinion, to break it apart and try to copy it verbatim.

    There are plenty of freely available sprite sheets showing various poses and animations you could learn from.
     
  3. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I'm guessing none of the sites you visited mentioned anything about why you should not rip sprites from other people's games. Be careful doing so. This is basically about like posting asking how to pirate a game itself. While people do these things (often these days it seems) it is not good. Most of the time is illegal. Just mentioning these things because it is likely the sites you found are focused on the how and not mentioning the risks involved.

    Ah @Schneider21 beat me to it.
     
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  4. Denisowator

    Denisowator

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    So, am I supposed to learn pixel art for years just to be able to perfectly recreate the running animation? T_T
     
  5. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    No. You create your own artwork. I'm not a lawyer and all that but I wouldn't be surprised if perfectly recreating someone's artwork was illegal as well. An initial search seems to indicate it is, but this is the Internet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
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  6. Rico21745

    Rico21745

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    Yes. Using other games assets without their permission is illegal, immoral, and looked down upon by all.

    Either learn how to do it yourself, find a team mate to help, or buy or contract someone to do it. These are the only legal and correct ways to do it.
     
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  7. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I used to like the game a lot too so I can understand the appeal. It was a very well done platformer with a lot of personality. They also made a good Gauntlet style game named Get Medieval.

    You can definitely be inspired by their game and characters then just come up with your own game and characters. Basically see what they did with their Get Medieval version of Gauntlet? Anybody can clearly see it is a Gauntlet clone yet it is its own unique game too. The characters and so forth are all things they created even though inspired by the original game. A nice touch was the Arnie style narration.

    Check out the Asset Store and find a character that appeals to you. That will let you get started developing.
     
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  8. CodeAndWeb

    CodeAndWeb

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    You can go on different web pages for free art e.g. http://opengameart.org - check the licenses. There's some stuff that you can use for commercial games.

    You might also ask somebody on https://www.deviantart.com or other pages to work with you on the game and draw art for you. You could work out some conditions where you and the artist share the money you make.
     
  9. Denisowator

    Denisowator

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    But all I'm trying to do is get the game's assets to replicate where the arms and legs will be for each sprite. The Character will be completely mine, my own art style, my own shape and high. All I need are the poses of the body as a guide. Is that really considered *illegal*? :(
     
  10. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I think you can just watch a YouTube video for that pausing it as needed. You could probably even take a screenshot of the video and get the images to use as references. I think that is a common approach. I only say probably because I am not certain where "derivative work" begins. As a non-lawyer I'd be comfortable using artwork from another game as a reference to achieve a certain look and learn the anatomy and motion aspects. I'd certainly draw my own character though not just work on the copied image.
     
  11. CodeAndWeb

    CodeAndWeb

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    It sounded more like you want to use the ripped sprite sheet in your game. That would be illegal.

    If you use a sprite sheet as a reference and use your own character that you paint according to the limb positions... I guess that might be ok.
     
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  12. Denisowator

    Denisowator

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    I said I wanted to use the sprites as references. In your reply your said "I'd be comfortable using artwork from another game as a reference to achieve a certain look and learn the anatomy and motion aspects. I'd certainly draw my own character though", which again, is exactly what I said I wanted to do. But then you say "not just work on the copied image.", which sounds like you're saying that's what I want to do.

    I won't even draw on top of the sprites, I'll just have them at the side and glance at them for reference of limb position.
     
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  13. Pix10

    Pix10

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    PrtScn. I've been getting away with it for years. Just make sure you've always got some art package open so people think "you did it" when they walk by.

    Only part joking of course. Fraps (or any other motion screencap) is all you need, if you just want captures to learn from. I've even worked on game conversions (long time ago) when we'd rotoscope from footage of the original game to get like-for-like motion.
     
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  14. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    No just was trying to be clear on my view which may be worth 2 cents or less depending on your own opinion. ;)

    I think you should be fine. As far as I know nothing prevents us from using other existing works as learning material for things like this. I often look at other games and paintings and so forth to try to better understand their color choices. And artists generally use reference images a lot. If it is just "to learn" and not "to copy" I think it is fine.

    I've just never used rippers because to me they seem to be part of the shadier side of things. I'd use YouTube vids of the gameplay or perhaps you can even find a site that has the animation sequence posted. Mainly I was getting at the abundance of completely legal and usable art works available on the Asset store and elsewhere. Any of those could be used in the same manner as you are wanting without needing to "rip" anything.

    Good luck!
     
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  15. Pix10

    Pix10

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    (I have to say, when I started out as a professional animator, it was all about Eadweard Muybridge books. Horses in particular took some wrapping-your-head-around as a newbie animator.

    If you want to draw like a pro, learn like one ;)

    http://www.stephenherbert.co.uk/mBIBLIOG.htm [edit: slightly better link]
     
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  16. rosor

    rosor

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    He was not alone! lol, Etienne Jules Marey. I don't think they were best buddies.
     
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  17. McMayhem

    McMayhem

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    There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Using other works as a reference is something just about every industry trained professional does. Texture artists do it, sound engineers do it, programmers do it, animators do it, etc.

    The key is knowing where the line between inspiration and rip-off is, and that isn't very difficult to figure out.

    The age-old idiom "reinventing the wheel" comes to mind here. Using the advancements others have made to solve a particular problem or achieve a particular effect is 100% key to human invention. It would be absurd if you had to start from the very basics and figure every single part of the puzzle out yourself.

    If all you're doing is looking at the source image and then using whatever methods you believe to be employed by that source image to create your own, then there's no issue.

    I may be missing something here, but I don't really see any devious intentions.
     
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  18. Pix10

    Pix10

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    Absolutely true. Heck I was pulling apart ripped World of Warcraft models in 2002 trying to figure out how they're UV mapped them (it was all boxed, for interchangable textures - very inefficient by today's standards, but useful for their work), and it's great seeing how other people do stuff.

    If you're doing something to learn, have at it. I'd feel rather pleased if I found out people felt it was worth taking the time to pull my stuff apart to inspect it... it's not like Halt And Catch Fire (TV show where some guys rip off IBM's BIOS...).
     
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  19. Denisowator

    Denisowator

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    One last thing. I found a sprite sheet with all the character sprites, and on the tag is says "For tSR Only", and I was wondering what that means. I am going to use them ONLY for reference, but I'm just curious as to what it stands for.
     
  20. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    It's illegal so it can't be endorsed or anything on these forums, however harmless it is. But what goes on in your hard drive is your business :) Have to lock for vague legalities though.

    As for tSR google seemed to explain it easily.
     
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