BAB / Bitmap Animation Builder

About BAB

BAB is a tool for making animated-props compatible with SC4-original, and you can use them on the LotEditor to attach to your lot.

This type of SC4-animation is used for small-size animation (almost under 1 cubic tile), and is only visible in Zooms 3, 4, and 5 (the closest three). This is dictated by the SC4-system settings (you cannot change it).

BAB processes pictures by stealing BAT's pictures from it's temporary work space.
BAT renders prop-pictures of 4 sides of 5 zoom-levels at one exporting (It is standard process of the BAT that all Batters use).
This BAT's exporting becomes 1 frame of the animation and the BAT (modified by the BAB) exports all frames of the animation repeating this standard BAT exporting.
After all frames are exported, BAB connects those pictures at a sequence of the animation.

BAB automatically activates and shuts down the BAT.
BAB automatically moves, renames and deletes gmax-scripts.
BAB writes and deletes hundreds or thousands picture-files at once.
So, it's better to know about Windows' manual file-operations to prepare for the accident.

BAB requires ...
  Simcity 4 delux
  BAT-system (gmax and PluginManager)
  VB6-runtime (if not exists in your PC, DL from MS-site)

Wthout credits about BAB, users can freely release BAB's animations as SC4-animated-props or SC4-building-lots.

  - BAB's animation is not tested enough on the SC4-game-map.
  300-same-lots testing was OK, but 300-kind-lots testing was not done yet.
  Anyway, do not make unnecessary (no action or long play) animations.
  - BAB works with BAT(gmax), does not work with BAT4Max(3dsmax).        


(1) Make a program-folder for BAB at any place, by any name you want.
      ( It is named "SC4BAB" in this manual. )


(2) Extract all files from and save them in "SC4BAB" folder.

(3) Make a sub-folder "scripts" in SC4BAB.
     Do not change this sub-folder's name.

(4) Move 6 script-files into "scripts" folder.

(5) BAB's Program-folder will be listed like below.
    If you want, make a shortcut of SC4BAB.exe to launch BAB.    


[ Expand tree-list of "gmax" folder, and follow to "BAT" folder ]

(6) Make a copy of "(BAT\)scripts" folder for safety.
(7) Make a Copy of "demo1.gmax" into "(BAT\)scenes" folder.
(8) Make a Copy of "" into "(BAT\)scripts" folder.

    On the BAB's first run, BAB makes "BAB" folder ( BAB saves animation-files in it ).
    So, you don't need to make "BAB" folder.




(9) Remove "SC4BAB" folder.
(10) Remove "BAB" folder.
(11) Remove "demo1.gmax" from "(BAT\)scenes" folder.
(12) Remove "" from "(BAT\)scripts" folder.
(13) Compare script-files, and if no problem, remove this folder.



Test run

[ BAB ]

(1) Start BAB

(2) Click "BAT" button, then BAT(gmax) will start.
    At the starting, BAB changes BAT(gmax)scripts,
    and before closing, BAB recover them in normal.

[ gmax ]

(3) gmax is running in BAB-mode.
    If you want to check the gmax in BAB-mode, click utility tab and click "B.A.T." button.
    You will find "[BAB]Export" rollout modified for the BAB.

(4) Load "demo1.gmax".

(5) Click "Play" button (you can see demo-model's animation).


(6) Set End-time at 95 (either "95" or "95f")
(7) Click "Export All Frames" and click "OK" in the dialog.
    From this demo-model, gmax will render ...
    21frames x (Zoom 5,4,3,2,1) x (N,W,S,E) = 420 pictures.
    You will have enough time to take a coffee break.

After all frames are exported, gmax will close itself automatically.

[ BAB ]

(8) Select "124x124 Pixels" (if "248x248 Pixels" is selcted).

(9) Click "Trim" to cut out the animation under 124x124 Pixels.

(10) Click "RUN(PLAY)"
  you can see the animation in the view-window again.

(11) Click "Options" and "OK" in this dialog.

(12) Click "Make DAT"
    BAB starts to build an animated prop.
    Wait until this message appears.

(13) Close BAB

[ LotEditor ]

(14) Start LotEditor and select a park lot or a plop-type lot (larger 2x2).

(15) Click "props" tab and select "ANI_demo1_****_Day_A..."

(16) Plop the animated-prop on the lot and save the lot with new name (save as) .
(17) Close LotEditor and Run SimCity4.

[ SimCity 4 ]

(18) Set the animated-lot in your city and check the movements.



When you start to make your own animated props, you need to know more about BAB, gmax-modeling for animation, gmax-animation and some more LotEditor-techs.

You can see the tutorials and the demonstrations at
the BAB-room in SimCity4 Devotion.