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Iconverter: Old icons with a new look / Basics about AmigaOS icons
With 'Iconverter' (currently version 0.95) you can convert old icons as if they were created for today's more recent versions of AmigaOS. Iconverter converts AmigaOS 1.x and MagicWB icons into the format of NewIcons, using the color scale for which these icons were created. Theoretically this would also work for icons created under AmigaOS 2.0 to 3.1, but they are usually displayed correctly without conversion.

To get the converted icons displayed correctly, the NewIcons extension is needed under AmigaOS 3.0 and 3.1 or the new IconLib_46 created by Peter Keunecke. AmigaOS 3.1.4 and 3.2 do not need these extensions.

Iconverter is a shell or command line program written in Standard-C. Thus it should compile for all other systems that have a C compiler. About the background of the program the author Iljitsch van Beijnum writes:

"Workbench 1.0 to Workbench 1.3 used a four-color screen with the colors blue / white / black / orange. With the introduction of Workbench 2.0 this was changed to gray / black / white / blue-gray. This means that the WB 1.x icons look like a negative version of themselves. Also, the WB 1.x icons were designed for "640x200" or "640x256" screen resolutions. WB 2.0 and later icons were designed for higher screen resolutions (640x400 or 640x512), which means that WB 1.x icons look stretched on most newer systems."

In addition to adapting the icons to high-resolution screens, WB 2.0 also adds a 3D effect frame around each icon. From WB 2.0 it is also possible to change the number of colors on the Workbench screen, especially on AGA Amigas. There are about six generations of icons on the Amiga:
  • 1. workbench 1.x icons created for medium resolutions (640x200 or 640x256) with a four-color blue/white/black/orange palette.
  • Workbench 2.0 - 3.1 Icons created for higher resolutions (640x400 or 640x512) with a four-color gray/black/white/blue-gray palette. The system now draws a 3D frame around the icons.
  • MagicWB icons. These can use eight colors and require a specific eight-color palette.
  • NewIcons icons. NewIcons is an extension of the original icon file format and allows icons with up to 256 colors. The palette used by the icon is included and the system adjusts the colors of the icon to best display on any Workbench screen. NewIcons are limited to 93x93 pixels.
  • 5. workbench 3.5 ColorIcons. These icons are encoded in an IFF format and are an extension of the original icon format. Like NewIcons, they can use up to 256 colors, but can be larger, 256x256 pixels maximum. (Sometimes they are also called "GlowIcons", since the GlowIcon style became popular with Workbench 3.5).
  • 6. PNG-Icons.
NewIcons are supported by the NewIcons system, AmigaOS 3.1.4 and IconLib_46. AmigaOS 3.1.4 and IconLib_46 also support Workbench 3.5. ColorIcons and IconLib_46 supports PNG icons.

Workbench 1.x icons look completely different on newer systems because a different palette is used and because they were designed for a different screen resolution. MagicWB icons only look correct if the MagicWB palette is used consistently. On an AmigaOS system version 3.0 or later with a workbench with more than eight colors, MagicWB symbols will tend to look strange and inconsistent because the system reassigns colors 4 - 7 as needed.

It is of course possible to use a tool (or under 3.1.4 a setting) to fix the colors 0 - 7 in the MagicWB palette. However, MagicWB colors 0 and 3 are somewhat darker than WB 2.0+ colors. Long story short, even with additional effort, it is not possible to get the three early generations of icons to look right on the same system at the same time. Iconverter solves this problem by converting these three types of icons into a NewIcon with the correct palette. The resulting icon files retain the original icon, so they look the same on systems that do not support the NewIcon extension.

There are two different versions of the iconverter: The version iconverter.ixemul requires the ixemul.library (version 48 or higher) and has the advantage that you can use the icon files with placeholders like #?.info. The regular version does not require the ixemul.library but does not recognize placeholders." (dr) (Translation: bb)

[News message: 28. Jul. 2021, 07:09] [Comments: 0]
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