Version 1.0

Panzer General II  Shp Tool

© Luis Guzmán

 

 
OVERVIEW
 

This is a windows program to maintenance SSI Panzer General II SHP and DAT files.
 

I made this program to help on handling PG2SHP & DAT files, but be aware this tool does not includes any graphic editor, as there are many good ones all over around..

This tool includes most of the features you need to create SHP and DAT files and for modifying any SHP or DAT file.
DAT files can be created by repacking files on a folder and SHP files by selecting Bitmaps to add icons.
Once a DAT file is loaded you can extract, append, replace or remove any of the included files and also can create Bitmaps for single icons, collages or the full icon serie.
SHP files can be created by selecting bitmaps (any named - you pick them). Later you can insert, append or remove any single icon.
Also you can create bitmaps files from 1 or all icons within a SHP.

 
 

Index

Installation
Getting started
DAT options
SHP Tool
SHP Maker
Using Photo Shop Proto to make a bitmap using the PG2 palette
Using Adobe Photoshop to make a bitmap using the PG2 palette * Cortesy from Rick Robinson *
 

Installation

To install, just copy the executable file wherever you like, no additional files are required to run.

By default no files are loaded, but  last files and folders you used are remembered to  help on reloading.

All options can be accesed through a menu option and most of them also using the toolbar; place mouse upon a button and a short tooltip will pop up with a short explanation.

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Getting started

Program starts on SHP Tool View but surely you will not see any file nor picture until you select a folder where you keep shp files. This folder will be remembered so next time you will start at the point you worked before.

From here you can switch to any of this views

Each folder you can select is stored into windows registry to remember your last enviroment.

Options are available as menus, toolbar or buttons and sometimes they are not allowed depending on context.

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DAT options

Once you have loaded a DAT file, you should have a list of files on left hand side.
There is always an item selected and its icons are shown. You change selected item by clicking on another item.
For selected item you can see its icons as single icon mode or as collage mode.
To select a different icon, type it number or use  |<   <<   >>   >|   buttons.
You can see single icons at normal size or zoomed x2,x3,x4, x5 or as a collage. You can get it mirrored.

At any time an icon is bigger that picture box, it will be resized to fit into, so check size and position reading the info upon picture box.

Even if viewing as a collage, there is one selected icon whose data is shown.

You can filter the list to show only Unit's files (it really filters all files having 9 icons), only interface files (will filter all files with icons different than 9) or all files (default).

Available options:

This last 3 options will update DAT file on disk, so no need to change name or whatever. A back up copy will be saved each time the tool modifies DAT file on disk, it will be numbered to avoid overwitting any valid data.

Additional options:

(*) a PAL file is a 256 array of 4 bytes color entries

I think this options cover anything you could need to tweak your DAT file anyway you can need, but if you found there is something missing, do not hesitate to tell me.

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SHP Tool

This option will pop up a new window to work on a SHP files. You can just see all your SHP files and their icons or edit any of them.
On left hand you will se your SHP files and for selected one its icon list and a picture of them.
Here you can:

Icons Options

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SHP Maker

This tool is intended to create new SHP very easy. It can be accessed both from main DAT view or from SHP Tool view.
Each time you click on a bitmap, the image will be shown on the box at the top right side.
There are 3 basic options to create SHP files:

To make it easier multiselecting  you can filter the bitmap files.

Be aware that you should use 8 bit -256 color bitmaps using the proper PG2 palette (included on package).
You should pay attention to bitmap info showing upon picture box. If anyway you decide to use a bitmap 24 or 32 bits, there is an internal converter that will do its best on replacing true color data into PG2 palette entries, but there are much better tools to change bitmap resolution as PSPor Adobe PhotoShop among others.

There are also a preview switch to turn off image preview and a  Zoom  button  to switch between normal or fitted size.

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Using Jasc Photo Shop Proto to make a bitmap using the PG2 palette

  1. Load and edit your bitmap, and once finished
  2. Use menu: Image / Palette / Load Palete
  3. Select PSP_PG2.pal (included within the package)
  4. When finish you get your image changed to indexed PG2 palette.
  5. save your bitmap with the new format
  6. Load PG2 Shp Tool  > SHP MAKER >
  7. find your “name.bmp” file and Click on it to highlight it and you should see it in the small window on the right.
  8. Select “Create a SHP file with all the icons you add to list” > Double Click your file and press MAKE SHP
  9. Go back to the SHP TOOL, select ICON and you should see your new .SHP file by selecting it
  10. Go to DAT TOOL and load your Dat file
  11. Append / Replace the new shp created.

Using Adobe Photoshop to make a bitmap using the PG2 palette

  1. Load and edit your bitmap, and once finished
  2. Look to see that IMAGE > MODE > INDEXED COLOR  and 8 BIT/CHANNEL have checks by them
    if NOT next then select INDEXED COLOR (allows 8 bit bmp)

  3. a.
    ) If it is a Black & White image then the color palette (or Color Table as Photoshop calls them) is probably correct.
         It should have a variety of shades of gray. IMAGE > MODE > COLOR TABLE (* See note below)

    b.) If it is a Color image then IMAGE > MODE > COLOR TABLE and browse to find and LOAD “photoshop_PG2.act “
         (it is included within the package). Press OK
     

  4. Select SAVE AS .BMP type file; “name.bmp”; and when asked select 8 bit file.
  5. Load PG2 Shp Tool  > SHP MAKER >
  6. find your “name.bmp” file and Click on it to highlight it and you should see it in the small window on the right.
  7. Select “Create a SHP file with all the icons you add to list” > Double Click your file and press MAKE SHP
  8. Go back to the SHP TOOL, select ICON and you should see your new .SHP file by selecting it
  9. Go to DAT TOOL and load your Dat file
  10. Append / Replace the new shp created.

NOTE: Sometimes with Black & White files there appears to be a little problem…rather then explain it just do this:

            If it is a Black & White image and the color is distorted or strange just reload your image into Photoshop
            then select IMAGE > MODE > RGB COLOR 
            then go back and select IMAGE > MODE > INDEXED COLOR  and go to step 3b) and follow through