Level select picture tutorial

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Level select pictures are the small thumbnails that are displayed for each level in the level select. While these are not required for custom levels, using them helps players distinguish levels from each other. To create a level select picture, you must take a screenshot of the map in SRB2, resize it to 160×100 pixels and put it into the WAD file that contains the level. This tutorial explains the process.

Required tools

  • A lump editor like SLADE or XWE
  • An image editor like PhotoFiltre, Microsoft Paint or GIMP

Taking the screenshot

To take the screenshot, simply start SRB2 with your map. Then, turn off everything that shouldn't be displayed in the picture by changing the following variables in the console: Use showhud off to hide the HUD, chasecam off to hide the character, and crosshair off to hide the crosshair. Note that showhud is also toggleable with the F3 key, chasecam is toggleable with the "Toggle Chasecam" control button, and all three variables can be configured in the "Setup Controls" and "Game Options" menus. Object placement mode via the console command objectplace can be used to float around to take a precise aerial shot while keeping the level and enemies frozen. If not using Object placement mode, the console command notarget can also be enabled to allow you to walk through the level without triggering the enemies.

Now, go to the place where you want your screenshot to be taken. Usually, this should be a distinctive and easily recognizable part of the map. It might be helpful to use Tails or Knuckles to get a better overview over the stage. Now press F8 to save the screenshot in the PNG format. Screenshots are saved in the SRB2 folder or in the folder defined by the screenshot_folder variable.

Resizing the image

Open up your image editor, go to the folder where the screenshot was saved and open the file. In the image editor, resize the image to 160×100 pixels. Level select pictures must always fit the SRB2 palette. Since the screenshot was taken straight from SRB2, the image is already in correct palette. Save the image in the BMP format and rename it to MAPxxP.bmp. xx should be the two-digit form of the map number; for slots above 99, extended map numbers must be used. For instance, the picture for MAP01 would be MAP01P.bmp.

Inserting the image

A working level select picture in a lump editor.

In the lump editor, open up your level WAD. In SLADE, select "Archive → Import Files" in the menu bar, browse to the folder where the image is located and import it. The picture is now included in the list of entries on the left panel of the lump editor. Now right-click on the lump and select "Gfx → Convert to...". Select "Doom Graphic Format" as the format to convert to and "Existing/Global" as the palette and click "Convert". In XWE, select "Entry → Load" in the menu bar, browse to the folder where the image is located and import it.

Warning icon.png The picture must never be placed within the map lumps or your WAD will crash. Place all level select pictures together before or after the map lumps, instead. In XWE, use Ctrl+U and Ctrl+D to move the pics up or down on the list.

After converting the image and selecting it, it might be positioned in the middle of the screen. We need to change that, because it must be positioned at upper-left corner of the screen. To do this, simply type 0 and 0 in image offset boxes. If you try to close the lump editor or click on another lump on the list, the editor will ask you to save the changes. Now, click on Yes, close the lump editor and test your WAD.