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How to rip GBA sprites

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avatar Thedanyman
Level 49 : Master Pixel Painter
374
What is Ripping?
Ripping is the act of taking a sprite, sound, or music from a game file.  In this case today we are going to learn how to rip some sprites from Pokemon Firered/Leafgreen and some tiles and how to put them together into a sprite sheet.  Here is what you will need for the following tutorial-

Ripping the sprite:
Open up VBA, before we open up our pokemon rom change the Save type in Options>>Emualtor>>Save Type to Flash 128k then procced and open your pokemon rom.  The game will run just like it will on an actual gameboy!  Now just get past all the begining stuff and as soon as you have complete control of your character press Ctrl+P this will pause the game (Might want to have your character facing foward).  Now comes the fun part, the actual ripping of the sprite!  Go to Tools and open up OAM Viewer you will be greeted with this screen:

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Here we can see that this is the main character sprite and by clicking the arrows we change to different sprites according by which area we are in or what is availabe to the screen (Make sure to click Automatic update)!  Click save and call it something simple!  Now keeping the window open go back into the game and press Ctrl+N to advance the frames while pressing the down arrow key.  As soon as you see the sprite change click save again.  You should have a total of 3 frames, now do the same for the side and the back and you should have a total of 9 frames.  

Next we are going to rip some tiles.  Go back to tools and open up Tile Viewer you'll get this window:
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Eh...notice how some of the tiles are NOT the right color then what they should be (and that by changing maps gives you different tiles)!  First don't worry about colors, keep it to 16 and keep the char where its at.  Notice how by selecting certain tiles you get its tile number and its address in memory, ok now for fixing some of the colors.  See storing colors takes up quite some memory so to get past this limitation they did something called Palette Swapping.  Pretty much everything is mapped out by numbers and those numbers represent a certain color in the color palette by changing which color palette you use you get different colors and best of all it helps not to take up much memory (this is how mario would go from being red and blue to green and blue).  Keep the palette the way it is and save then change the palette by one and save again.

Making the Sprite Sheet!
Oh boy!  Now we get to put together a sprite sheet.  Lets start with putting our character together.  Open up all those frames and an empty canvas.  Copy and Paste your sprites down nice and neatly on a straight line similar to what I done: 
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And...Congrats!  You have successfully ripped a sprite and some tiles and created your own sprite sheet from a GBA game!  Now that you have the tile sheets with some of the tiles being the correct colors I challenge you to go ahead and put the following tiles in your room together into a tile sheet!  Good luck and I hope to see good results!
CreditNintendo, VBA
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  • Yalo
  • Level 24
  • Expert Cake
  • April 16, 2014, 7:09 pm
It seems too good for it to be just on PMC
  • Xyifer12
  • Level 38
  • Artisan Toast
  • April 16, 2014, 12:49 pm
unLZ-GBA, tilelayerpro, usenti, and Splitter are also useful for ripping and editing, due to the fact that they dont require emulator files of any kind. do you know anything about zero mission  graphics editing? i need help.
  • Thedanyman
  • Level 49
  • Master Pixel Painter
  • April 16, 2014, 1:56 pm
Thanks!  I will make sure to check those programs out sometime!  Also what do you mean by Zero Mission Graphics Editing?  Do you mean like editing its graphics and changing how the look from inside an editor?  Please explain.
  • Xyifer12
  • Level 38
  • Artisan Toast
  • April 16, 2014, 2:09 pm
Im making a zero mission mod that mostly changes graphics to look like older metroid games.
For example, the bombs are metroid 1 sytle, but the tank they are in is super metroid styled.
I currently use unLZ-GBA to rip the images i need, but i run into 2 major problems.
1. I need a palette for the sprite saved externally, something VBA and doublehelix seem to be unable to properly do. So i end up screenshotting whatever i want to edit, pasting the screenshot and ripped items next to each other, making a comparison palette, and editing that way. It took me over 25 min just to edit the bombs.
2. some of my edits are larger than the orginals, even when i removed more than i added. because of this, my bomb pickup is currently unanimated.
So my questions are this, do you know of a program that can rip compressed gba images to an image file, and auto find the proper palette for it, like doublehelix? Do you know of a program that can edit .gfx files, and load palette files?
Example. Left is what i rip, right is what i need it to look like when editing.
  • Thedanyman
  • Level 49
  • Master Pixel Painter
  • April 16, 2014, 2:22 pm
Give me some days to figure that out, quite a mouthful you said there X3
  • Xyifer12
  • Level 38
  • Artisan Toast
  • April 16, 2014, 2:28 pm
Basically, is there a ripper that also gets the proper palette?
  • Thedanyman
  • Level 49
  • Master Pixel Painter
  • April 16, 2014, 2:43 pm
Not so sure, if you get a palette you get a palette (which I know VBA has a palette viewer) is what I think.
  • Xyifer12
  • Level 38
  • Artisan Toast
  • April 16, 2014, 3:11 pm
If i get a palette its the wrong palette, thats the problem i have with the usual palette rippers.
Thanks a lot. Started a hack last week :)
  • Thedanyman
  • Level 49
  • Master Pixel Painter
  • April 16, 2014, 1:58 pm
Your welcome!  Pokemon hack I'm wondering?
Yes, a fire red based hack.
  • eagoy
  • Level 48
  • Master Lava Rider
  • April 16, 2014, 6:43 am
Maybe a small sidenote: Visualboy advance is legal. But how is downloading a rom for free, from a site which doesn't looks like it pays to the rightholders of the games legal?
Just saying for a sitenote like having the game solid bought.

Anyway nice tutorial didn't knew that.
You are allowed to download a rom file if you own the original legit version of the game.
  • eagoy
  • Level 48
  • Master Lava Rider
  • April 16, 2014, 11:39 am
''Just saying for a sitenote like having the game solid bought.''
quote from myself. I believe so to. But nowhere in the blog something like that is stated. So I suggested in a comment thats all.
  • Thedanyman
  • Level 49
  • Master Pixel Painter
  • April 16, 2014, 8:28 am
*shrugs* don't know.  I'm glad though that they keep old games (espically ones you can't find anymore) to date :3
  • eagoy
  • Level 48
  • Master Lava Rider
  • April 16, 2014, 9:09 am
True dat. You will need to find a specialized store for those kinds of games & they are priced especially with the original box. And yes the best ones are hard to find.
  • _Some_1
  • Level 20
  • Expert Dragon
  • April 15, 2014, 9:38 am
Does it works withNES?
  • Thedanyman
  • Level 49
  • Master Pixel Painter
  • April 16, 2014, 8:34 am
Here, make sure to get YY-CHR that should allow you to rip sprites from NES roms, however I have no expirence with it so follow what that guy says.

randomhoohaas.flyingomelette.com/ai/spriterip/#ggd
  • Thedanyman
  • Level 49
  • Master Pixel Painter
  • April 15, 2014, 11:10 am
It should if its a NES game that was ported to the GBA.  However there are other emualtors that I think can do this is as well such as ZSnes I believe?

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