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As I told you in the main developing page you can download the SpriteBuilder at the CDN Homepage. This tool makes it possible to convert your bmps to c16/s16 files and also to convert existing c16/s16 files to bmps. The latter you need if you want to design a new breed for example. You can use the existing breed images as a base for your new images. Though I didn't try it myself I read that's possible to run SpriteBuilder under Linux with the help of wine.

Meikel programmed the c16-tools and libc16 which make it possible to convert c16/s16/blk files to png and the other way around. The commandline tools are available for Linux and Windows.
I made a plug-in for the GIMP (if you don't know what this is read more about it below) that loads and saves c16/s16/blk. With help of this it's possible to edit the sprites without any converting tools. The only additional thing is of course the GIMP. The plug-in works both on Linux and Windows.
(The c16-tools and the above GIMP plugin are part of our project on Sourceforge)

Another GIMP plug-in that loads and saves c16-sprites is from Tony Hoyle. For more information and a download look on Melanie's site.

Next thing you need is - of course - a program to draw the bitmaps.
I think 'Paint Shop Pro' and 'Corel Draw' are some of the most popular programs but also of the most expensive ones (although, an old version of 'Corel Photo Paint' was free for Linux). For easy drawings and for first steps MSPaint (included with MSWindows) is maybe enough.
A real alternative is in my opinion 'The GIMP'. I'm sure those of you familiar with Linux already know it and don't need an explanation of it.
It's free and doesn't need to hide. Since it has a modular appearance Windows users need a little while to get familiar with it (but that's like with every new program, isn't it?). It has most of the features which PSP and Photo Paint have.
Because it's 'only' a port from Linux it's still a beta (we are common with bugs on Windows anyway, aren't we? ;o) ) but with the version 1.2 from 26. Dec. 2000 I had no problems (If you really download this don't forget to download the patch too!). For some time now there is a new release of the GIMP for Windows available (since March 2002). So far it seems to work quite well. Though the old creatures-plugin basically works with it (but crashes in special cases) get the new executable from c3-ds-tools.sourceforge.net.
Naturally the latest official release for Linux is stable.
Another thing to mention: it's translated in about 30 languages now. You can find more information about the GIMP in general at www.gimp.org

If you think your graphic is easier done with a 3D-modeller then try the free programs blender, available at www.blender3d.com, and/or povray available at www.povray.org.


Any problems or suggestions? Email to: tehirsch@arcor.de