Instructions and Click here for 'Helpful Tips

BMPBGB.EXE
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System: 
For: Win95, Win98, Win98SE, WinNT (Use 'Start\Run' Method)
For: Win2000, WinXP, Vista, or Win7, (Use 'Command Prompt' Method)
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Start\Run Method
commandline: (from 'START\RUN'): bmpbgb bgb test.bmp test.bgb

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Convert- test.bmp:
 
File size must be 315 x 315 pixels for proper display.
High Color (24bit) .BMP is Good, but will make a larger .BGB file size.
256 Color .BMP makes a smaller .BGB file size, but sometimes loses integrity.
It is good to test both 24 bit and 256 color .BMP forms and compare quality.

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ex:=example
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If you wish to allow Microsoft Chat users to be able to automatically
download this background when needed, you need to upload the file
to a web or FTP site.

Enter the full URL (including the filename) of the location where
you will make the file available (or just press Enter if you do not
want to use this feature: (ex: http://www.yoursite.com/backgrounds/test.bgb)

You can specify whether other users who get your background
can publish it themselves on their own web site, and allow
other users to automatically download it from there.

Enter 'n' to prevent them from doing so, or anything else
to allow them to do so: (ex: y)

You may want to have a copyright message appear when a user selects
your background in the 'Backgrounds' page in Microsoft Chat.

Enter a copyright message, or just press Enter for no message:
Message: (ex: No Copyright! Hope you enjoy the background!)

HELPFUL TIP: After entering your copyright information, if you then type in the 
characters \n then write in your name, it will add a second 'author' line to the 
information tag within Comic Chat.

example:
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Converted by Soft - www.allbgs.com\nKewpie

will look like:
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Converted by Soft - www.allbgs.com
Author: Kewpie
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in the information tag. 
...The 'Author:' is added automatically by the Comic Chat program
if it sees the \n characters in the copyright information line.
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Command Prompt Method (Win2000, WinXP, Vista, or Win7)
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BMPBGB.EXE will also convert the old format avb to the new compressed avb.

example: commandline (from 'START\RUN'): bmpbgb Tiki.avb new\Tiki.avb

This will convert the older 2.0 and 2.1 character.avb to the new 2.5 compressed format
and place it into a subfolder named 'new'. (so you don't overwrite your old stuff)


Helpful Tips

The Comic Chat program favors the lower left hand corner of any background file. Therefore it is more asthetic if one makes sure that there's a place for the characters to stand while chatting. If for example a prospective background file has a tree on the left hand side and a small path on the right, then flip the picture so that the tree is on the right and the path is on the left. This will keep the Comic Chat characters from standing on top of the tree and rather onto a path.

It is always good to make sure there is an area for the Comic Chat characters to stand while chatting. Choose a background that has an area in the foreground. A lawn, sidewalk, porch, path, street, sandy area, or any area that one would normally stand while talking to friends. The effect will make the chat room look more inviting.

When resizing your background files to fit the Comic Chat background size criteria, (315 pixels by 315 pixels), refrain from squishing your graphic! I mean, don't be resizing a 800x600 graphic to 315x315. Proportionally 800x600 reduces to 420x315 therefore, Rather than squishing your "800" side, resize your graphic proportionally to 420x315. (If you choose to reduce the "600" side to 315, most graphical programs will automatically reduce both sides proportionally). After reducing the "600" side to 315, crop a 315 pixel area out of the "420" side. This will keep the graphic proportionally correct. Some of my earlier backgrounds were smished because I didn't know any better at the time. Examples of bad smished backgrounds are "House.BGB" and Xmas2.BGB" on http://www.allbgs.com/o1.htm.

As I have mentioned before, a 256 color bitmap will convert to a smaller background file size. What I do is to first reduce the graphic to the required 315x315 while keeping it at the 24 bit high color format. I then will use Irfanview to reduce the colors to 256 color and save it as a separate file. I usually use the same file name but add the number 256 in the name to let me know which file is the 256 color one. If the 256 color version has not degraded significantly, I will then use both color formats to make 2 separate Comic Chat backgrounds. Then I will view them in Comic Chat to compare if the 256 color one is 'just as good' as the 'high color' version. If so I will post the 256 color version. The file sizes are significant in most cases. A high color bitmap will reduce to about 220k in .BGB format. The 256 color version will reduce to about 45k in .BGB format. Chatters on dial-up connections will appreciate the smaller file sizes.

 
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