Picture/Tile Viewer - Data Visualizer

Wishlists for new functionality and features.
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Vag
Posts: 6
Joined: 08 Dec 2019 00:40

Picture/Tile Viewer - Data Visualizer

Post by Vag » 30 Dec 2019 11:05

Since I started rom hacking, I have been dreaming of a program that combines a hex editor and a tile editor or tile viewer. I saw that Hex Workshop has something like that, a "Data Visualizer". The Data Visualizer shows you the data as graphics, which helps you recognize parts of the data. It's very impressive, but as you see "garbage" and noise with just different patterns, it doesn't really help you discover graphics there.
Raw graphics in retro games can be displayed in different ways. If you open a retro game rom file (e.g. Gameboy, SNES), you may be able to see the graphics with different codecs (1bpp linear, 1bpp planar, 2bpp linear, 4bpp linear, 2bpp planar composite, and many more). You can have 1-Dimensional or 2-Dimensional graphics and also row interleaved. You have to find the right combination (sometimes together with the correct width in tiles) to see the graphics. 1bpp is one bit per pixel, so you see 8x8px tiles with a palette of two colors. 2bpp has a palette of 4 colors. Imagine if you had a Data Visualizer like Hex Workshop's, but with the viewing options of Tile Molester (https://www.romhacking.net/?page=utilit ... lsearch=Go). If you ever decide to implement a tile viewer in HxD, you could also support palette files from Tile Layer Pro (https://www.romhacking.net/utilities/108/), as they are also supported by other tile editors.
I understand that this may be too time consuming to make, at least most tile editors/viewers are open source, so you can see how they work. I also understand that you may think it's beyond the scope of a hex editor, but if you think about it, a tile editor is really a hex editor that lets you edit the bytes as pixels.

Maël
Site Admin
Posts: 1142
Joined: 12 Mar 2005 14:15

Re: Data Visualizer

Post by Maël » 02 Jan 2020 22:49

There are some interesting visualizaton methods I have seen over time, including 3D visualizations that allow to find patterns (which might be a bit out of the scope of HxD, but I will add links in here later, nonetheless, for reference).

Decoding pictures seems reasonable and a cool feature to add, as a kind of extension to the data inspector idea in general.

If I were to implement it I would start with a simple visualization of some raw file formats, and go from there (i.e. adding palettes later).

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