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Zoo Admin Forums > APE Tutorials > Object Making Guide

Posted by: Aussie Koala Feb. 28 2003, 12:31 PM
Those interested in learning how to make an object, either from an existing Zoo Tycoon image or any other game can follow this method.

I am using the polar bear as an example.

Things one needs for this tutorial:

APE installed
A graphics program like Paintshop Pro, Fireworks etc

Posted by: Aussie Koala Feb. 28 2003, 01:36 PM
Step 1.
The first thing to do is to decide on what graphic you want to turn into an object for the game. You can use things already in the zoo tycoon game and modify them, or you may have another game that you can use the objects in. For example most of my objects are from the Sims game. The principle is the same as long as you can get screenshots of the objects for all the rotatations the Zoo Tycoon game uses.

(Bear in mind copyright may apply- as a rule original objects in a game are ok to copy but user created content is not. If unsure just email the creator for permission to use the graphics.)

Keep in mind that objects in Zoo tycoon need 4 rotations or views. SE NE NW & SW

In some cases the view is the same in all rotations, others in 2 and some all 4 views are required.

For this tutorial we will use the polar bear as our example as everyone should have that in their game smile.gif
Of course you can use any animal or object you wish.

The first thing to do is to load up Zoo Tycoon and make 4 screenshots of the polar bear from the 4 angles SE NE NW & SW.

To do this make a polar bear exhibit. Wait until the polar bear is in the pose you want for the statue and then pause the game.
As the polar bear is already on snow this helps as we are going to need to remove the background from the screenshots- and having a pure white background works best.
Try to make sure that all the background in your screenshot is the snow and there is nothing else in the way either.

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 04:33 AM
You should now have 4 screenshots similar to this, 1 for the 4 directions you can rotate your screen.

I have named this one polarbearSE.png - as this is my polarbear facing SE.

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 04:45 AM
Step 2.
We now need to cut the images of our polar bear from our screenshots.
I will start with the SE shot above.

The way I do this is to load the screenshot in my graphics program and use the marquee tool to select the image.

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 04:51 AM
Step 3.
Press ctrl-c to cut the selected image from the screenshot, start a new file and then press ctrl-v to paste the selected image.

You should now have this:

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 05:00 AM
Step 4.
We now need to get rid of the background (the snow) and make the background transparent.

To do this i use the magic wand tool, select anywhere in the background then hit Delete.

This should now get rid of the snow like this:

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 05:06 AM
Step 5.
We now want to get rid of the excess canvas around the polar bear- of course how you do this (as well as some of the above steps) will depend on your graphic program.
In fireworks which I am using- you select from the top drop down menu

Modify, Canvas, Fit Canvas so now you have this:

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 05:13 AM
Step 6.
To get our image to work with APE- we now need to change the background colour to something contrasting.
APE will then ensure only the polar bear shows up in Zoo Tycoon.

To do this I choose Modify, Canvas, Canvas Color-(Just change the background colour however you do it with your graphics program.)

For this I have chosen a bright green though any contrasting colour will work.

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 05:19 AM
Follow the above steps for the other 3 rotations and then we will be ready to put our images into APE.

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 01:05 PM
Step 7.
Start up APE.

Select Create A New Project, Scenery, then New.

You should now have another menu in the middle-

Select Scenery again from the middle menu.

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 01:12 PM
Step 8.
Now to choose which scenery object you are going to base your object on.
When selecting it is a good idea to choose an object that has a footprint similar or exactly the same as your created object. It is not 100% important as you can edit it later but does make it easier when looking at how the rotation is working and for fixing the rotation later on.

For this example I am going to use the bighorn statue.

Double click on the bighorn statue.

Your screen should now look like this:

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 01:23 PM
Step 9.

Under the General Heading you can set the following:

Cost: How much you want to pay for this object. For this example I set mine to 50

Member of: Which menu in ZT you want the object to show in. Leave this as scenery for this tutorial. As you can see if you were making some foliage or rocks you can change that there.

Width & Length This defiines the footprint of your object. Keep in mind that 1 grid square in Zoo Tycoon is 2 x 2. I have left this at 2 x 4 so our polar bear will take up 1 grid sqare in width and 2 grid squares in length.

Under the Aesthetic Bonus you can set the values for how attractive Men,, Women, Boys and Girls find your object. While it is fine to raise it some, I recommend not putting them all to the maximum. You want your guests to still like the other objects in your zoo smile.gif

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 01:27 PM
Step 10.
Now on the left hand side select the button that says Descriptive Text

This is fairly self explanatory. You can give your object a name here, plus any text description you want to show up in Zoo tycoon when the cursor is placed on it.

Just make sure the Language is set to English.

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 01:31 PM
Step 11.
Now on the left hand side press the button that says Icon Images

You will see up the top the heading Icons. This is where you put the images you want to appear in the selection menu in Zoo Tycoon.
(Note: You can make backgrounds for your icons. Please see my separate tutorial on how to do this.)

Under that is Game Images. This is where you put the images you want to appear when you place them on the map in Zoo Tycoon.

We now need to replace the Bighorn statue images with the polar bear ones we made earlier.

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 01:39 PM
Step 12.
Start at the top with the Icon.

The first one is NE. Select the NE folder icon and find your NE polar bear graphic. If you have named them NE. SE etc to begin with it makes this part a lot easier.

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 01:48 PM
Step 13.
Now do the same for SE, SW and NW

and again for the Game Icons for all 4 so it then looks like the pic above.

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 02:00 PM
Step 14.
Now hit Manage in the top left hand corner and select Save the Current Project

Name your file, for example polarbeartut- and APE saves it as a ZTD file.

You are now ready to put your ztd file in your updates folder and test your object.

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 02:15 PM
ANy questions about the above please direct them to the Tutorial questions thread.

Next we will be learning to fix the rotation. I will start a new thread for that.

Posted by: Aussie Koala Mar. 1 2003, 03:21 PM
Your polar bear should look something like this in the game.

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