How to: XP Animals and Monsters to MZ conversion

Avery

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Hello!
Some of you might wonder, why I made this thread, given that I have actually already converted all the RTP chars and some of my own myself here. Some of you might wonder: why do I even want to convert XP animals and monsters to MZ, those I'd advice to check the link as well, and you'll see how many amazing things you can bring back and use in your recent games!

And that is the point: there are XP resources that may not reposted or that noone has converted yet, and that you still might wanna use: Tana's amazing seamonsters and horses for example! Or Mack's Bear! Or Personigos amazing plethora of monsters, especially the feathered snake god!

Now that we have established the why, let us talk about the how. Every XP to MZ conversion is a two step program and it does not matter in which order you execute them.

Step one: 4 to 3 frames

First we need to understand how the program interprets the sheets.
For XP, it bascically cycles over all 4 colums in a 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4- and so on pattern.
For MZ, it just has 4 columns, but the pattern contains 4 numbers, as the middle one is repeated in each cycle: 2-1-2-3-2-1-2-3 and so on.
XPMZ.gif

So if we look at the top and bottom row the intuitive idea would be to cut off the left column:
1674447361404.png
This will usually work great for the front and back row, but since it has those four frames, sometimes the sideview animation makes use of this and you cannot delete the left frame and get the best result.
Because there are two things that happen when we do that for the sheep here:
First, its middle (and therefore standing pose) will be one that is weird for a standing pose:
1674447529299.png
and second, the walking might turn out kinda funny, too:
Xpsheepwonky.gif

What you want is basically a standing pose in the middle, and one with alternating legs in the back and front for the two other frames. Often you can get that by rearranging the given poses:
1674447947133.png
If you swap out the sheep like this, you get a much better cycle:
sheepnotwonky.gif
It might still not be perfect, but at least less "jumpy" and with a better standing pose.


Now with that we have the basic sheet:
1674448158759.png

Baseline: Look closely at the sprites, sometimes removing the left row does the trick, for very few (especially fanmade) it is the right row and other need that rearrangement.

Time for part two: color correction

You can adjust the color ramp by basically recoloring the sheet to an MZ color ramp, but basically all you need to do to make an XP sheet fit the MZ colors better is to adjust the color curve like this:
1674448310617.png
Before and after:
1674448328293.png1674448337626.png
The colors in MZ are more saturated and popping, the sheep is maybe not the very best example, here another comparison:
1674448505453.png
Sometimes you might want to adjust the colors even further, but in general this helps to even out the duller colors and lower contrast.

One last thing, the back legs in XP are usually a purple-ish color, I mean those:
1674448629491.png
Use "select by color" and then your darkest color of your front legs to replace it and you are good to go!
1674448686364.png

With just those two methods you can quickly upcycle XP sprites and have them shine in your current day projects!
 

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