"NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

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joefish
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"NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

Postby joefish » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:49 am

I couldn't find an image converter that could convert both ways, from ST to PC and PC to ST, so I wrote my own.

Image

You can get it from here:
http://railtron.com/files/atarist/NEOLoad_V1.3.zip

It only works with 320 x 200 x 16-colour .NEO files and 320 x 200 .BMP files.

To convert from ST to PC, load the .NEO image into the top panel, then save it out as a .BMP..

To convert PC to ST, first resize your image to 320 x 200 and reduce to 16 colours in another paint program, then save as a Windows compatible bitmap. My program won't do any of the scaling or recolouring for you - it will give a warning if it finds more than 16 colours.

Load the .BMP into the bottom window and it will extract the palette. You may find that some of the colours in your original image are combined into the same colour when reduced to the 512 colour palette of the ST, so the palette extracted may be less than 16 colours. You could then try an image with a larger palette, e.g. 20 or 24 colours, or you could try increasing the saturation and contrast in your original image to make the colours more distinct.

You can use the 'Swap Palette' option to re-order the colours in the palette, and 'Preview' to see what the result will look like. Then save out the .NEO version of your image. You can try loading it back into the top again, instead of the Preview.

It was written in Borland C++ Builder 4, and sources are included.
Last edited by joefish on Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: "NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

Postby Maartau » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:23 pm

That's rock :thumbs: !

Thanks for the sharing 8) - it can be useful in many ways :D !

Edit : if NEOLoad needs :

- Borlndmm.dll,
- cp3245mt.dll,
- vcl40.bpl

Here they are...
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- aTaRi LeGeNd ,
- eLiTe ! ,
- NoExTrA .

Don't hesitate to visit http://www.atarimania.com/ & http://www.atarilegend.com/ :D

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joefish
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Re: "NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

Postby joefish » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:16 pm

Oh right, comments and bug reports welcome.
I guess it needs the Borland run-time DLLs. I forgot to look up those in the build options.
Let me take another look and see if I can link it all in one package.

joefish
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Re: "NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

Postby joefish » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:34 pm

OK, sorry, I'd built it with run-time dynamic libraries when I should have statically linked it. Stupid default build options.
Try the download link again for the v1.3 build - it should be able to run without requiring any extra DLLs now.
(Although the executable has jumped from 40K to 400K!).

Also a little tweak so that unallocated colours in the palette show up as magenta instead of black. Makes it easier to spot errors, and when you actually need a black in the palette.
Last edited by joefish on Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: "NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

Postby spiny » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:57 pm

nice one, more pixel utils are always welcome :)

joefish
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Re: "NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

Postby joefish » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:18 pm

OK, just noticed one minor bug. If you [Save .NEO] then [Cancel] on the file selector, you still get a write-error warning as if it's tried and failed to save.

Another bug - the [Load .BMP] file selector still has *.GIF as an option - this is a fault as the Borland native graphics components can't load Gifs. I thought for a while it could, but it turns out I'd somehow managed to save a Windows bitmap file with a .GIF file extension.

If anyone's got any more bugs or annoyances, let me know and I'll wrap them up in another release in a few days time.

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Re: "NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

Postby AtariZoll » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:45 pm

Link is dead now. Can someone post here this program ? I need to reorder some palettes ...
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joefish
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Re: "NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

Postby joefish » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:53 pm

Try this:

http://railtron.com/files/atarist/NEOLoad_V1.3.zip

After DropBox dropped support for XP on the desktop I gave up on it. I should probably fix this up and put it on the webspace I bought for myself, but the PC it's on went bang and I haven't got round to scraping the drives for anything useful to transfer to the Win7 box yet.

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Re: "NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

Postby joefish » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:21 pm

I did read a piece on how to do a 'Median Cut' to reduce a palette to 8 or 16 colours, but I don't know if it's worth adding. I know I'd much prefer doing the initial reduction to 320x200x16 colours myself in a separate paint package as most automated processes don't do a very good job.

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Re: "NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

Postby AtariZoll » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:44 pm

Thanx Joefish. Works very well.
I do color reduction and other processing mostly with Paintshop Pro 9 (Latest pre-Adobe v.) . There is Optimized Median Cut and Optimized Octree for it, + some dithering options (but that's not really good for today LCD monitors). So, yes, I don't think that you need to do what is already done.
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Re: "NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

Postby rockyone » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:13 am

I appreciate your BMP to NEO conversion program

But just like the screenshots of Steem 3.2, I wonder the utility of converting an image of 16 colors in BMP 8 bits or 24 bits (I hesitate for some time to load these images in my converter)

I did not try. Since the BMP format has a structured header, would adding 16 original colors in 8-bit and 24-bit files be embarrassing?
... ..
Personally, I prefer to convert NEO to 4-bit BMP per color for several reasons.
- the NEO format has only 16 colors
- all colors in the palette are retained.
- BMP image can be loaded by several Atari drawing programs
- The size of the BMP file is smaller.
- reverse conversion makes a file identical to the original (colors and image planes)
- There is a lot of software that converts 4 bits into 24 bits.
Try "FastStone Capture" (JPG BMP GIF PCX PNG TGA TIF PDF) and "FastStone Image Viewer" (free, with more image format)

But there is certainly a reason I did not understand :!: :!: :!:

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Re: "NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

Postby AtariZoll » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:32 am

I don't see as some bigger flaw saving in 24-bit (16M colors) of Atari screens, pictures. If it is only 16 color, conversion to 4-bit format is trivial, and 100% accurate.
Things are that 24-bit format dominates now. As I know you can not add some palette/original colors info to 24-bit BMP, because there is no palette, and original colors are present there. Can put it in header somehow, but that will be not handled by graphic SW.
In case of Steem 3.2, there is real reason to use 24-bit BMP - there may be over 1000 different colors at once on screen (STE) . Even if it is max 512 (ST), you must use 24-bit, because there is no 16-bit BMP (at least I don't see it in paint SW) .
So, I can only say that on some newer computer it matters not if file is 32KB or 200KB. Just convert it to 4-bpp before transferring to Atari.
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Re: "NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

Postby rockyone » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:06 am

yes it is obvious with images having more than 16 colors.
I did not do SPC image capture for example
lion.jpg
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Re: "NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

Postby joefish » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:16 pm

I'm afraid I only looked up the format of the .NEO files. I didn't bother to research the .BMP format. I left that to the old Borland code library; I just call LOAD and SAVE on the image object in the display. You're right that for converting back to a .BMP it would be far more efficient to translate it into a palletised bitmap, but I don't know how (and I'd rather have a .GIF or .PNG myself). I also think it's far less common to use that conversion. This was primarily a tool for me to get graphics, screens, sprites etc. from my PC into something ST compatible, that I could then load in my ST code. Going the other way I prefer to just take a screen grab from an emulator rather than use this program!

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Re: "NEOLoad" Neochrome <-> Bitmap image converter

Postby AtariZoll » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:29 pm

BMP, uncompressed is pretty much simple and straight format.
I made in C conversion from 4 bit 320x200 BMP, what is always 32118 bytes, to Atari ST PI1 format, and all it is some 40 lines of C code. Conversion to NEO format needs only different header. So, doing reverse conversion, for NEO or PI1 to BMP would be code of similar length. Actually, thats missing from my :D conversion and packing tool, so it may be that I will do it soon. And can give you that code part.
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