User:Wakeup720/BBCF Image Creation Guide

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Revision as of 19:36, 29 May 2023 by Wakeup720 (talk | contribs) (Changing "black effects" to "subtractive effects)

Necessary Installations

BBCF Improvement Mod

The BBCF Improvement Mod can be found at this Steam Link, or in the #im-cf-downloads channel of the BBIM Discord Server. Installation instructions are provided in the README file in the download.

Blackscreen Stage Mods

Blackscreen stage mods can be found in the #modding-resources channel in the BBIM Discord Server, or directly downloaded here.


GIMP can be downloaded here.

GIMP is suggested over Photoshop because of its Color to Alpha tool, which is essential for moves with effects.

(Optional) Intel Graphics Frame Monitor and Analyzer

These tools are useful when you want to capture specific parts of moves, but not others. For example, it is very helpful for removing Distortion Drive backgrounds, as well as other effects like dust clouds. This is also a more intensive program, so it may not work well or at all on lower-end machines.

These tools can be found here.

In-Game Setup

To get crisp, pixel-perfect images, use the following display settings for BBCF: Resolution: 1280x768 (this is the game's native resolution) Rendering Mode: Original 100% Screen Mode: Windowed Keep Aspect Ratio: On

You can also turn off other settings, though these are largely preference.

Example Display Settings

It is highly recommended that you create base images and hitbox images at the same time. This way, the two images will line up perfectly and you/someone else will not have to redo the process later.

Base Image Creation

For all cases shown here, Izayoi will be used. To capture Izayoi's 5A, first go into training mode, select Izayoi character, select the blackscreen stage mod that you installed, and get into the game. From here, it is vital that you stay as close to the opponent as necessary. If the screen is zoomed out, the images will not come out clean.

Next, hide the in-game HUD with F3 and open the BBCF Improvement Mod menu with F1. In the menu, select the Hitbox Overlay dropdown and click "Enable". This is necessary for both regular images and hitbox images, since the regular images should be the first active frame of the move. Once hitboxes are displayed, check the "Freeze Frame" checkbox. Hold the input you wish to capture (in this case, hold 5A) and begin stepping frames. Once there is a hitbox, stop stepping frames. Do not uncheck the "Enable" box. Instead, uncheck the "Player 1" box to disable the hitboxes on Izayoi, while keeping the frame frozen.

First frame of Izayoi's 5A to be captured

Next, use the Windows Snipping tool to capture the image. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it is easiest if no other elements are in the image. Paste this image into a new file in GIMP. Once pasted, right-click on the magic wand tool in the upper-left corner and select the second option, "Select by Color". Set the threshold to 0, select the black part of the image, and delete the black background.

Using Select By Color to erase the black background

For creating the hitbox image, see Creating Hitbox Images.

Creating Images for Moves with Effects

Due to the way Centralfiction blends colors, subtractive effects (such as the black effects on Susanoo's attacks) are difficult to capture. For such effects, it is often easier to use the Intel Graphics Frame Analyzer described in this method.

The process will be largely the same as in creating base images, however this will utilize the Color to Alpha tool.

Capturing the image just the same

Izayoi's 5C uses a blade trail effect, so it will be used for this demonstration. Repeat the steps to get the first frame of her 5C and copy and paste the image into GIMP. Then, go to boxdox and find the attack and sprite you need. This link will take you directly to Izayoi's 5C, but you can find any sprite you need.

Once you have found the correct sprite, right-click on the sprite and select "Inspect Element". This will open a sidebar on the right side of the screen. If you see a link to an image in the top right, click on the link and copy the image that appears in the new window. If you do not see a link, click on the code element shown in the image below, and the link should appear. Once you have copied the image, paste it into GIMP in a new layer on top of your in-game image. You can rotate the image with Layer > Transform > Flip Horizontally on the top ribbon in GIMP. Line the sprite up exactly over the sprite in the in-game image.

After inspecting element, navigate to this screen

Next, use the Select By Color toolThe Select By Color tool is the 4th tool in the top-left corner. If you see the wand, right-click and choose "Select By Color". Set the threshold to 255, select the sprite (not the in-game image), and it should select the entirety of the sprite. If it also selects the transparent background, make sure that Select By Color's "Select transparent areas" on the left side is disabled and that "Select By" is set to composite, not alpha.

Once the entire sprite is selected, hit Ctrl+I to select everything except the sprite. The sprite is completely opaque, so you do not want to change what it looks like at all. Once everything except the sprite is selected, select the layer that contains the in-game image and go to Colors > Color to Alpha. Set the color to black, and the preview should show the black background disappearing. If it looks good, then you can hit OK, but if it doesn't look quite right then you may need to mess around with the opacity threshold to get it to look better. I typically shoot for 0.75-1.0, but some images may require an even lower threshold.

Leftover stuff is fine, as long as it's not touching the move. You can just erase it

Once the background is colored to alpha, erase all the extra stuff and hide the sprite layer. You should now have an image with effects! Make sure to check that the image looks good on both a black and white background before uploading.

Creating Images for Distortion Drives/Exceed Accels/etc.

Images Without Subtractive Effects

This method uses the Graphics Frame Analyzer. Before starting up Centralfiction, download both necessary applications, open up the Graphics Monitor application, and turn on "Auto-Detect Launched Applications" in the Settings in the top-rhgt corner. Next, select the Options menu in the bottom-left corner, select shortcuts on the top bar, and set a shortcut for "Capture Trace". I set mine to 4, but you can set it to whatever you want as long as it doesn't overlap with an in-game button.

Once the Graphics Monitor is detecting applications, launch Centralfiction. You should see a window in the top-left corner of the screen displaying the framerate, as well as other information. This is the graphics monitor. Go into training mode, select Izayoi and a character without many effects (I usually use Taokaka), select your blackscreen stage, and repeat the process for capturing the image. However, instead of using the Snipping Tool, use your "Capture Trace" shortcut on the frame you're capturing. For this, we'll be capturing Izayoi's 236236C.

Capturing an image like this traditionally is next to impossible

Next, open the Graphics Frame Analyzer. You should have your captured frame in the main area. Select the frame, and you should see a top row of bars with information on the bottom. It should looks something like the image on the right. If you are seeing very few bars, make sure the dropdown menu on the top is set to "Erg Graph" and not "Render Targets".

The bars represent objects rendered by your computer. You can look around to see what is captured; generally, on a blackscreen stage there will be fewer than a dozen drawcalls, save for characters or moves with lots of effects. You can select the effects that you want, without selecting those you don't, and create an image that looks good.Once you get the image, right-click on the displayed image and save the image as a BMP file. JPG and PNG files will come out looking bad, so BMP is the one to use. Then you can use the method for moves with effects to get a good-looking image.

Using GFA to eliminate the Distortion background, and any other unwanted elements

Images With Subtractive Effects

For images with subtractive effects, it is obviously not possible to use the blackscreen stage. Most effects use additive blending, meaning they simply add color to the background, whereas some effects use subtractive blending, meaning they subtract color from the background. For these moves, it is necessary to use a whitescreen stage. A whitescreen stage for Lessons (Training Stage) can be found here.

Repeat the process for capturing the trace on the whitescreen stage. Then, open it in the Graphics Frame Analyzer. This will require at least two images, maybe more. The very first drawcall in the center section will be the white background, and if it is not selected the image will have a black background.

First, select the white background and find all drawcalls with subtractive effects, and only select those effects. Save this image.

Next, select all non-subtractive effects and the character sprite and do not select the white background. Save this image.

Paste both of your images into GIMP. Use the Color to Alpha tool to eliminate the background on each image, with white as the color for your white image. Then, layer the images appropriately to get a clean image.

Unfortunately, this method does not work for moves with subtractive effects and unique background, such as Distortion Drives or Astral Heats, since those eliminate the background entirely. For these moves, feel free to contact me directly in the Dustloop Discord, and I can give you pointers or create the image for you.

Creating Hitbox Images

After creating base images, you can create hitbox images.

With the game still paused on the first active frame, re-enable hitboxes for your character. Set the border thickness to 2.0 and the hitbox fill to 0. Get a second snip of the image with the hitboxes and paste into the same GIMP file as your base image. You do not need to erase the black background on this image, since it will not be visible in the final image.

Your hitboxes should look like this

In a new layer, trace the hurtbox (blue) outline. Only trace around the outside, ignoring any internal lines. Once you are done, create another layer on top and trace the hitbox (red) outline.

After the outlines are traced, create two new layers underneath the outlines, one for the hurtbox fill and one for the hitbox fill. To fill the hurtbox, go to the Hurtbox Outline layer, select the Magic Wand toolif you previously used the Select by Color tool, right-click on the fourth tool in the upper-left corner to reselect the Magic Wand, and select the area inside the hurtbox outline. Then, go back to the Hurtbox Fill layer, select the Bucket tool, set opacity to 25%, and fill the whole selection. Repeat this process for the Hitbox Fill.

Finally, once the hitboxes and hurtboxes are fully complete, in the top ribbon select "Image > Crop to Content" to get rid of any unnecessary pixels. Save the GIMP file to an appropriate location, and export the file as "BBCF_FullCharacterName_Input_Hitbox.png" (e.g. "BBCF_Izayoi_5A_Hitbox.png"). Then, disable the hitboxes and hurtboxes and export it as "BBCF_BBCF_FullCharacterName_Input.png" (e.g. "BBCF_Izayoi_5A.png"). These two images should be the exact same dimensions, even if the base image has some whitespace.

And your final image should look like this

Uploading Images

After creating the images, there are a couple things to know before uploading.

  • Make sure the base and hitbox images are the same dimensions. This way, the tabbers used on overview pages transition seamlessly.
    • If the image has unrelated parts to it (shadows, dust trails, etc.), you may omit it from the hitbox image. Examples can be seen on Makoto's 6C and Valkenhayn's 236C.
    • Also, break up hitbox images as necessary. Examples can be seen on Susanoo's 6B and Hibiki's 6C.
  • Review the Image Guidelines

Once the images are uploaded, you can add them on the character's /Data page (for example, BBCF/Izayoi/Data). Here, each move has a data section, and you can add the images as shown in the image on the right.