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Help:Contents/Finding Content/Finding graphics

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For older games, you're going to need a tile viewer or a texture finder for this. Newer games, in contrast, have a variety of ways to find new textures.

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"2D" games

Games that predominantly use sprites, index palettes, "2D" graphics, etc.

ROM

Uncompressed

You'll need a tile viewer, like Tile Layer (Pro), FaTILEty or Tile Molester. Open the ROM with it, and you'll see a ton of tiles with garbled graphics inside. Just scroll down and, if the graphics are uncompressed, you should see some tiles that look like they could form a decent image. The program should have a small section where you can place these tiles freely.

Try your best to organize them and you should come up with a finished sprite. Afterward, find the appropriate palette for the sprite through either an emulator's tile viewer or through hex editing. Now just find out if it's unused or not.

Compressed

Compressed graphics are usually more difficult to rip, since a game can utilize a unique compression scheme. In some cases, games will utilize common compression formats such as run length encoded data. One example of a program that can decompress tiles is Nemesis MD Programs, which can decompress formats used by many Sega-made (and a few early third-party) Genesis games (such as the Sonic games), including the RLE-based Kosinski and Enigma formats.

In other cases, this can be as far as creating a decompression program based off the disassembled code's decompression routines. Once the sprites are decompressed, try to see if the graphics are referenced within its code or if the code to show them has been disabled.

VRAM

Provided the emulator you're using actually has a function to view patterns, you will find this process easier. Just open up the pattern viewer window and look at what graphics are loaded into memory. Remember to check in several circumstances, like different levels, because the game doesn't load graphics for level 2 while in level 1, for instance. Though remember that some unused graphics might not even be loaded to begin with.

This is how Sonic and Mario were found in Mega Turrican.

You can also open a save state in a tile viewer, although you may need to use some offset to display the tiles correctly. This can be useful if no pattern viewer is available and the graphics are compressed in the ROM.

File Extraction

Begin by using a file extraction program and search for common file formats such as .png, .dss, or .jpeg. If that doesn't work, try to see if there is a header of sorts hidden within the game. Also, for iOS games, a converter is needed in order for the .png files to be viewed correctly on the wiki.

"3D" games

ROM

Simply put, you'll have to find a program that can open the files that have the textures and sprites. Maybe the files use common extensions. For instance, Sonic Heroes' texture files have the same format as GTA III's.

VRAM

This is a bit complex, and a bit platform-dependent. The basic idea is that there are ways to view which textures are loaded into memory.

PC

The best way to access the texture memory for a PC game would be to use Cheat Engine. You'll have to use DirectX-mess, which is absent in version 6 of CE. If your game runs on DirectX, you'll be able to access its textures using this.

Emulators

Some emulators have functions that allow texture-ripping, like Dolphin and Project64, for instance.

Tools

These are some of the tools you can use:

Graphics viewers

not sure how to properly categorize these - andlabs
  • gimp-cbmplugs (by Debian project member David Weinehall; distributed as a package in many Linux distibutions but does not appear to have its own home page)
    Plugin for The GIMP that supports loading some Commodore 64 image files.
  • 2600gfx (not sure if this is the original home page; scroll down to see it)
    Extracts graphics from Atari 2600 ROMs somehow.
  • XnView / XnViewMP
    Views a variety of graphics formats. Useful for viewing/ripping .LBM files, which are used in lots of Amiga games and some MS-DOS games.
  • Maptapper
    Designed to look through Amiga games for both graphics and maps. It can also work for Atari ST games and has preliminary support for C64 games.
  • PixelDbg
    Allows you to view any type of file as image data, using a number of different formats.
  • jPSXdec
    cross-platform PlayStation 1 media reader, decoder, and converter. Good for audio, video and image/graphic files.

Tile viewers

  • Tile Layer (Pro)

    Supports NES, Game Boy (including Advance), Genesis, among other formats. It's comparatively basic, with no tile shifting

  • Tile Molester (Alternate)

    Poor N64 texture ripping support, due to a lack of RGBA transparency support

  • Sonic Molester

    A specialized version of Tile Molester, with several additional features intended for graphic editing purposes.

  • FaTILEty

    Best suited for 16-bit games or older

  • YY-CHR

    Very complex editor

  • GGD
  • TiledGGD

    GGD with several additional features, like support for tiled graphics

  • Tile Eater
  • Scrubby

    A Mac OS X tile editor with support for SNES, NES, and Game Boy games.

  • Djinn Tile Mapper

    Can read hex map data with the game's native tile format, provided that the tiles are uncompressed.

  • DirectEd
  • Infontile
  • Ultimate Tile Editor
  • TilEd (2002)
  • Tilem
  • PVV

    Designed to look into what is loaded into the PlayStation's VRAM

Emulators with pattern viewers

NES

  • FCEUX
    A pattern viewer is accessible by selecting "PPU Viewer" under "Debug" on the menu bar. Right clicking on the pattern tables changes the palette.

SNES

  • vSNES

Sega 8-bit

  • Emukon

    A tile viewer is built in that can view tiles in either a 8*8 or a 16*8 format

Arcade

  • MAME

    While playing a game, press F4 to see a palette screen. Then, press Enter to switch between the palette, pattern, and tilemap viewers. Pressing + or - increases and reduces the size of the entries. Pressing Up and Down on the keyboard goes through the entries, while Left and Right changes the palette. Pressing {/[ and }/] goes through the banks.

    Please note this feature will not work fully on all games: For instance, Mortal Kombat doesn't use a tile-based system, so only the palette screen can be viewed.

Genesis

  • Genecyst
  • Gens (and several of its forks)
    Under CPU on the menu bar, select Debug, then Genesis - VDP, Sega CD - GFX, or 32X - VDP to see a pattern viewer with palette selection and sprite control features. Note that this heavily relies on a numeric keypad. On computers lacking this, enable an on-screen keyboard program with support for numeric keypad input (ex. the one bundled with Windows 7).
Key Action
Num. Pad - and + Scroll through the pattern viewer
(- goes up, while + goes down)
Num. Pad * Change the palette (cycles between normal, shadow, highlight, and an unknown fourth setting every four palette lines)
Space / Z Toggles debug mode.
X Shows/hides the current game frame.

Game Boy Advance

  • Visual Boy Advance

    Under Tools on the menu bar, there are a few ways one can rip graphics from a video game. A tile viewer is present, allowing the player to see what is loaded at a particular moment. The OAM viewer can also be helpful, as it allows players to see fully assembled sprites.

Nintendo DS

  • DeSmuMe
    Has a built-in tile viewer that can view the various layers of the NDS
  • Tinke
    A DS ROM viewer for 2D graphics, but it can open also 3D models, and some sound and text files.

Texture rippers

Cheat Engine

Note: Versions 6.X don't support Direct X-Mess.

To rip textures off of Direct-X games with Cheat Engine, start the program, and go down to Advanced Options. Then click on Direct X-Mess. Choose the game, specify the parameters, if any, press Ok, and finally start the game by pressing Ok.

On the window that was opened, navigate down to the "Textures" section. Click on the textbox there and choose a key (combination) of your liking, like Backspace. Press Apply on the bottom right corner. In-game, play until you want the textures ripped and press the assigned key. The game should freeze for a second. Then, navigate to where the game's executable is, and you should see several .bmp files, following the format "CETEX*.bmp".

If you don't want to dump all textures into the disk, you can alternately see miniatures of the loaded textures in-game. On the DirectX Settings dialog, go down into the "Aimhelper functions" section, and search for "Previous texture" and "Next texture". Map these 2 functions to some buttons, and, in-game, press these buttons to navigate through the list of loaded textures. "Lock/Unlock Texture" can also be used to highlight the texture in the model's geometry, in case you're having trouble figuring out if it's used or not.

bmdview2

Bmdview2 allows you to not only look at BMD/BDL models within GameCube and Wii games, but also allows you to rip textures directly off of models. Textures that are ripped off in this manner appear as files with a DDS format. You can open these files for viewing by using a program called ddsview.

Model Viewers