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Old 06-22-2006, 11:15 PM   #1
Anitarf
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Default How to: Import icons

Icons are images used in warcraft's interface. They represent items, abilities and units. Warcraft III accepts .tga and .blp image files as icons, and their size must be 64*64 or 32*32 pixels.


Getting an icon

In order to import an icon, we must first have an icon to import. You can download cool icons that other people made from this site's resource section, or make them yourself. There are tutorials on this topic elsewhere, and you can also get premade icon border layers for photoshop. If you make your own icons, you might also want to have a tool for converting files to .blp format, such as Warcraft 3 Viewer.


What icon types are there?

Essentialy, there are two kinds of icons, normal and disabled icons. The disabled icons are typicaly the same as normal, except that they have no borders and are darkened. Each normal icon needs a disabled version of itself. Additionaly, there are two more kinds of icons in Warcraft III, the autocast (yellow border) and passive (no border) icons that are used for some abilities. These icons are just a sub-type of normal icons, and need disabled versions as well.

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The four icon types seen in Warcraft III: Normal, Passive, Autocast and Disabled.

Why do we need disabled icons?

Normal icons are replaced by disabled icons automaticaly by the game in some cases; for example, when you open up the game menu, the rest of the screen is darkened and all icons are replaced by their disabled versions. When a spell like silence is cast on a unit, all the unit's spell icons become disabled, indicating that the unit can't cast spells. When a hero can't learn a skill yet because his level isn't high enough, this is indicated with a disabled icon. Also, when a player selects a shop and that player has no units close enough to the shop to buy items or hire mercenaries, disabled icons are used for them.

If we don't set up disabled icons properly, then the game will display ugly green squares instead in such situations. This is why having disabled icons is a must.


How to set up disabled icons?

This is the only trick to importing custom icons - importing them in such a way that the game can find their disabled versions.

First, we import our icon and it's disabled counterpart as we would any other file. Open up the import manager (you can get to it by pressing F12 while you have the World Editor open) and choose to import a file and find our icon images through a typical open file dialog. Once both icons are imported, we need to change their paths. To do so, right click on the icon file on the list and select the option "Modify File Proerties..." from the drop down menu that appears. Here, you can change the path once you tick the appropriate checkbox. Now here is how you choose the path for the two icons:

- First, choose a name that the two icons will share.
- Then, for the normal icon, add "BTN" in front of the name (without the quotation marks)
- For the disabled icon, add "DISBTN" in front of the name.
- The disabled icon must have the following path: ReplaceableTextures\CommandButtonsDisabled\
- The path for the normal icon may be anything

So, in the end, the paths for the two icons would look something like this:
normal icon: whatever\BTNmyIcon.blp
disabled icon: ReplaceableTextures\CommandButtonsDisabled\DISBTNmyIcon.blp

Note: The "BTN" prefix isn't really neccesary, but most people (and blizzard) prefer to use it for icon images to keep things better organised.
Technically, an icon will work without the "BTN" prefix as well, as long as the disabled version has the "DIS" prefix:
normal icon: whatever\myIcon.blp
disabled icon: ReplaceableTextures\CommandButtonsDisabled\DISmyIcon.blp


Can multiple normal icons share the same disabled icon?

Yes, they can. Since the path for the normal icon doesn't matter, you can import more icons with the same name, but different paths. Because of having the same name, the icons will use the same disabled icon.

This is very useful for passive and autocast icons. When making autocast hero abilities, you need a normal icon for the hero skill learn menu, and an autocast icon for showing the ability in the command card. Both of them need a disabled version, but since the only difference between them is in the borders and the disabled icon typicaly doesn't show them, there's really no sense in having two seperate disabled icons. Your paths would in this case look something like this:

normal icon: regular\BTNmyIcon.blp
autocast icon: autocast\BTNmyIcon.blp
disabled icon: ReplaceableTextures\CommandButtonsDisabled\DISBTNmyIcon.blp

Sometimes, if we have many icons, we might want to save filesize by not importing disabled versions for all of them. If we have many icons for items, for example, that are just minor recolours of an existing warcraft icon, they could easily use that icon's existing disabled version.

Zoom (requires log in) . . . Click image for larger version

Name:	DISBTNHumanArmorUpOne.jpg
Views:	676
Size:	4.2 KB
ID:	8115
These shield icons could all use the Human Armour Upgrade disabled icon.
To do so, they must have the same name, BTNHumanArmorUpOne.blp


Finaly, if you really want to save space and don't care about disabled icons at all, you can just make them all use the same simple black texture as a disabled icon. Just give all your icons the same name and give them descriptive paths so you can tell which is which. For example:

CoolFireSpellIcon\BTNblack.blp
SuperSwordAbilityIcon\BTNblack.blp
HawtIceSpellIcon\BTNblack.blp
...
ReplaceableTextures\CommandButtonsDisabled\DISBTNblack.blp

Since icons take up very little filesize, you can only save any space this way if you have many many icons.

Also, one final note, when you use icons made by others, don't forget to give them credit. ;)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg War3IconTypes.jpg (26.2 KB, 988 views)
File Type: jpg Shields.jpg (17.2 KB, 825 views)
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Old 06-23-2006, 04:59 AM   #2
Rising_Dusk
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Very thorough.
Even I learned something from this, I had no idea you could use the same DISBTN for multiple BTNs, that'll save loads of space.

Thanks for the nicely put together tutorial, most icon tuts cover the basics, this went above and beyond.
To me, that's what separates a halfass tutorial and a great one.
Well done. :D
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Old 10-14-2006, 01:08 PM   #3
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wat about icons for items? i cant put disabled icons for items -.-!! and when i view NPC shops...the item box turns grn *yucks*...is there anyway to solve this?
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rising_Dusk
Very thorough.
Even I learned something from this, I had no idea you could use the same DISBTN for multiple BTNs, that'll save loads of space.

Thanks for the nicely put together tutorial, most icon tuts cover the basics, this went above and beyond.
To me, that's what separates a halfass tutorial and a great one.
Well done. :D
These kind of tutorials I like.I love cool icons such as the one with three yellow skulls.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swb90
wat about icons for items? i cant put disabled icons for items -.-!! and when i view NPC shops...the item box turns grn *yucks*...is there anyway to solve this?

If you've done like it says in this tutorial and still can't see icons in game, do the following:
- open the icon in Photoshop (or first convert it to .tga if it's a .blp file, you can do that with WC3 Image Extractor II) and save it without Alpha Channel (leave 24bit) again in .tga format. You can now import it in World Editor as described above. I recommend putting the icons in Warcraft 3/ReplaceableTextures/CommandButtons beause that way you'll see them in the Editor too and not only in game.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:12 AM   #7
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hi, this is my first time here, I need some help. I downloaded some command icons from here and I wish to change the icons for my gameplay. But I don't know how to change the icons. I tried using the import manager but when I saved, it says I don't have map. Can somebody guide me how to change the icons actually? I'm not trying to create a new map. Just wanna change the icons for WC3 when I'm playing on Bnet.
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