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Compatibility:
Escalation (5.3)
Thunder Isle (5.2)
Landfall (5.1)
Mists of Pandaria (5.0.4)
Updated:08-13-13 07:43 PM
Created:08-07-13 02:08 AM
Downloads:748
Favorites:16
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BLP Format Plug-in for Photoshop
Version: 0.X2 (Beta)
by: Digital_Utopia [More]
Introduction

It must've been around the 500th time or so, of converting various BLP files back and forth, when I thought..

Why all this converting nonsense? Why can't I just load up BLP files right into Photoshop, edit them, and save them back to BLP? And then I remembered - because there's no Photoshop plugin for that format.

So I figured I'd try to change that, and I have.

Supported Formats

Windows

x64
  • CS4
  • CS5
  • CS6
  • CC

x86 (32-bit)
  • 6.0
  • 7.0
  • CS
  • CS2
  • CS3
  • CS4
  • CS5
  • CS6
  • CC

Mac OS X

(coming soon)

Installation

1. Find your Photoshop Folder
a. eg1: (x64) C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS6 (64 Bit)\
b. eg2: (32-bit) C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS6\

2. From that folder, go to \Plug-ins\File Formats\

3. Drop the appropriate plugin (x64 or x86) in that folder.

4. Run Photoshop

Supported Variants

It was my goal to support every variant of the BLP format that Blizzard uses in WoW - for both opening and saving. The end result is a total of 11 different combinations of compression and transparency. Below is a listing of these.

Alpha Bit Depths
This is the amount of detail allowed in transparency of your image.
  • 0-bit - No transparency at all
  • 1-bit - simple transparency, similar to GIFs. It's either transparent or not.
  • 4-bit - slightly better range of transparency, but will turn smooth fades into visible "steps"
  • 8-bit - This is the same level of transparency you'll ordinarily see in PNG/TGA formats, with 256 levels of transparency.

Compression Types
  • Indexed (256 Color) - Very similar to a GIF, as it uses a palette that can fit up to 256 colors, but BLP files have indipendent transparency. Indexed BLPs can make use of all 4 types of alpha.
  • DXT - This is the defacto compression type used in modern games, with the most popular format that uses this, being .dds. DXT compression gives you a better color range, with a slightly larger size, than indexed. It also supports all 4 levels of transparency.
  • DXT-5 - Would normally be lumped in with the above category, however it's the second DXT type that supports 8-bit alpha. The result is a bit better color, and a slightly larger file size than the 8-bit alpha under the DXT category.
  • Uncompressed - Very much like a Bitmap, with no compression to speak of. It can support either 0-bit or 8-bit alpha. This version is only used by Blizzard for sky textures, where every bit of color detail is necessary.



Caveats and Limitations

This is currently a Beta release - there are a couple of known limitations that I hope to fix soon
  • The plugin will not save if your image is "flattened" (i.e. the locked "Background" layer). This is due to the fact that it handles that Background differently than normal layers, and until I find a way around it, it will only save those normal layers. So if you have no layers, it will give you an error - if you have layers, it will only save the layers, and not the Background.


Questions, Comments, and Other Feedback

Please comment below, especially if you find a bug not already mentioned above. Whether that be a problem loading a WoW BLP file, or saving your own, let me know. If it's a WoW file, let me know the name, and if it's one of your own - I would appreciate linking me (either in the comments or PM) the original image you're trying to convert. If you don't feel comfortable with sending me a PSD file, that's ok too, but whatever the problem is, might get lost in the conversion.

Mac Users, You are not ignored!

I did say "Coming Soon" above, and I do mean it. You'll just have to be a little patient, because I've never used XCode before. So, depending on how quickly I can pick up on it, depends on how quickly there will be a Mac version. The good news is, that the vast majority of the plugin's code - is platform independent. The (potential) bad news is, that I'm only going to support Intel Macs - because Power PC Macs would require significant code changes.


0.X2
  • Fixed an issue that was preventing saved BLP files from appearing in game
  • Plugin will now throw an error if you attempt to save an image, with dimensions that are not a power of 2
0.X
Initial Release
Archived Files (1)
File Name
Version
Size
Author
Date
0.X (Beta)
395kB
Digital_Utopia
08-07-13 02:08 AM


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Unread 08-01-14, 01:20 PM  
sakurakira
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I'm using the ancient 32-bit version of PS 7 and this worked perfectly, thank you.
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Unread 08-14-13, 06:17 AM  
Digital_Utopia
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Originally Posted by Dridzt
You can add Photoshop CC x64 (aka v14.0) to the list of supported versions

I'm pretty sure it will also work for the x86 version but I didn't test that.
Done, and thanks for verifying

It's probably a safe bet that it will work for x86 as well - so I added it for that too.
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Unread 08-14-13, 01:50 AM  
Dridzt
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You can add Photoshop CC x64 (aka v14.0) to the list of supported versions

I'm pretty sure it will also work for the x86 version but I didn't test that.
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Unread 08-13-13, 07:53 PM  
Digital_Utopia
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Alright...I realize I'm a bit late, but there's an update in the pipes that should actually allow saved BLP files to load in WoW. In addition, the plugin will now throw an error if you attempt to save an image, with dimensions that aren't a power of two.

Provided there are no more embarrassing mistakes on my end, I'll get back to working on the BLP/PNG converter, before going back to this to polish it up, and begin work on the Mac version.
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Unread 08-10-13, 05:23 PM  
suicidalkatt
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Originally Posted by Tonyleila
Ah can't you just create a Photoshop droplet with this plugin to save from blp to png.
EDIT: Tested and it works fine.
Just create a action with opening png -> Saving to blp -> close
Now go to file --> Automate --> Create Droplet
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSzgAu_VptU
The action script I've created runs 5 different action scripts for all my icon styles and processes each icon one by one and exports to 5 different locations. Droplets can only be used for a single directory. I'd have to create 5 droplets and go one by one which isn't drastically terrible it's just less convenient at the level I'm working.
Last edited by suicidalkatt : 08-13-13 at 08:17 PM.
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Unread 08-09-13, 07:45 PM  
Digital_Utopia
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Originally Posted by Tonyleila
Nice plugin! I can conform that this works fine with Adobe Photoshop CC (64 Bit) too.

Currently I'm trying to change the BigTimerNumbers.blp inside the Timer folder but can't fined a format that works from this plugin --> tryed uncompressed DXT and Dxt5 @ 8bit but its not even giving a preview image and not working ingame. I used BLP2PNG untill now problem with this one was the bad compression of big png files preview was working fine.
There's currently a serious bug with the plugin, that's really quite embarrassing. Despite my diligence to make sure that Photoshop could both read the stock BLP files, and save new ones in a way that could be loaded as well - I made the mistake of not bothering to check that these BLP files would actually appear in game.

Obviously, the answer to that is a resounding "no" - making this plugin pretty close to worthless :/

The good news however, is that I've discovered both the reason, and a bit more important information in the way that WoW itself loads these files. An update should be ready by the end of the weekend, that addresses this oversight, as well as a new screenshot, showing all 11 variants in-game. Something I probably should've done from the beginning.

Again, I'd like to apologize for this problem, and I can not only assure you that it's "me, not you", but also, that a fix will be available as soon as possible.

Originally Posted by suicidalkatt
Originally Posted by Digital_Utopia
Originally Posted by suicidalkatt
Originally Posted by Digital_Utopia
It was inspired by BLP2PNG, only it handles all the variants; but (at least so far) only converts one way. So I'd really like to recommend that - as a user, and not just as an author. Unless of course I'm misinterpreted something, and if so, please correct me!
While that is a nice application and it does what it's designed for, it doesn't convert PNG to BLP which is what my main goal was (opposite of what it's designed for).

If there were something similar that could handle large file counts then I would use it much more readily.
Okay, I was just a little confused then - from the program you linked, it appeared that it only went one way as well. At any rate, I will be happy to give that application some attention over the weekend. I've been putting that off for far too long, as I really didn't think there was much of a demand for it.

Now, before I get too far ahead of myself with any more assumptions, do you need something as simple as a two-way drag&drop app? Or would you prefer a full application with a UI and various options and the like - such as you linked?
Honestly I can do with or without the UI. BliPster is pretty old at this point so it hasn't received much attention.

I'm mostly looking for something that can save me time when I'm converting 57200 PNGs to BLP.
Okay then. As soon as I successfully manage to redeem myself by fixing this plugin, I'll go ahead and add PNG->BLP support to my converter.
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Unread 08-09-13, 04:59 AM  
Tonyleila
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Originally Posted by suicidalkatt
Originally Posted by Digital_Utopia
Originally Posted by suicidalkatt
Originally Posted by Digital_Utopia
It was inspired by BLP2PNG, only it handles all the variants; but (at least so far) only converts one way. So I'd really like to recommend that - as a user, and not just as an author. Unless of course I'm misinterpreted something, and if so, please correct me!
While that is a nice application and it does what it's designed for, it doesn't convert PNG to BLP which is what my main goal was (opposite of what it's designed for).

If there were something similar that could handle large file counts then I would use it much more readily.
Okay, I was just a little confused then - from the program you linked, it appeared that it only went one way as well. At any rate, I will be happy to give that application some attention over the weekend. I've been putting that off for far too long, as I really didn't think there was much of a demand for it.

Now, before I get too far ahead of myself with any more assumptions, do you need something as simple as a two-way drag&drop app? Or would you prefer a full application with a UI and various options and the like - such as you linked?
Honestly I can do with or without the UI. BliPster is pretty old at this point so it hasn't received much attention.

I'm mostly looking for something that can save me time when I'm converting 57200 PNGs to BLP.
Ah can't you just create a Photoshop droplet with this plugin to save from blp to png.
EDIT: Tested and it works fine.
Just create a action with opening png -> Saving to blp -> close
Now go to file --> Automate --> Create Droplet
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSzgAu_VptU
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Last edited by Tonyleila : 08-09-13 at 05:12 AM.
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Unread 08-08-13, 07:32 PM  
suicidalkatt
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Originally Posted by Digital_Utopia
Originally Posted by suicidalkatt
Originally Posted by Digital_Utopia
It was inspired by BLP2PNG, only it handles all the variants; but (at least so far) only converts one way. So I'd really like to recommend that - as a user, and not just as an author. Unless of course I'm misinterpreted something, and if so, please correct me!
While that is a nice application and it does what it's designed for, it doesn't convert PNG to BLP which is what my main goal was (opposite of what it's designed for).

If there were something similar that could handle large file counts then I would use it much more readily.
Okay, I was just a little confused then - from the program you linked, it appeared that it only went one way as well. At any rate, I will be happy to give that application some attention over the weekend. I've been putting that off for far too long, as I really didn't think there was much of a demand for it.

Now, before I get too far ahead of myself with any more assumptions, do you need something as simple as a two-way drag&drop app? Or would you prefer a full application with a UI and various options and the like - such as you linked?
Honestly I can do with or without the UI. BliPster is pretty old at this point so it hasn't received much attention.

I'm mostly looking for something that can save me time when I'm converting 57200 PNGs to BLP.
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Unread 08-08-13, 09:27 AM  
Tonyleila
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Nice plugin! I can conform that this works fine with Adobe Photoshop CC (64 Bit) too.

Currently I'm trying to change the BigTimerNumbers.blp inside the Timer folder but can't fined a format that works from this plugin --> tryed uncompressed DXT and Dxt5 @ 8bit but its not even giving a preview image and not working ingame. I used BLP2PNG untill now problem with this one was the bad compression of big png files preview was working fine.
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Unread 08-07-13, 06:44 PM  
Digital_Utopia
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Originally Posted by suicidalkatt
Originally Posted by Digital_Utopia
It was inspired by BLP2PNG, only it handles all the variants; but (at least so far) only converts one way. So I'd really like to recommend that - as a user, and not just as an author. Unless of course I'm misinterpreted something, and if so, please correct me!
While that is a nice application and it does what it's designed for, it doesn't convert PNG to BLP which is what my main goal was (opposite of what it's designed for).

If there were something similar that could handle large file counts then I would use it much more readily.
Okay, I was just a little confused then - from the program you linked, it appeared that it only went one way as well. At any rate, I will be happy to give that application some attention over the weekend. I've been putting that off for far too long, as I really didn't think there was much of a demand for it.

Now, before I get too far ahead of myself with any more assumptions, do you need something as simple as a two-way drag&drop app? Or would you prefer a full application with a UI and various options and the like - such as you linked?
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Unread 08-07-13, 03:25 PM  
suicidalkatt
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Originally Posted by Digital_Utopia
It was inspired by BLP2PNG, only it handles all the variants; but (at least so far) only converts one way. So I'd really like to recommend that - as a user, and not just as an author. Unless of course I'm misinterpreted something, and if so, please correct me!
While that is a nice application and it does what it's designed for, it doesn't convert PNG to BLP which is what my main goal was (opposite of what it's designed for).

If there were something similar that could handle large file counts then I would use it much more readily.
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Unread 08-07-13, 10:44 AM  
Digital_Utopia
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Originally Posted by suicidalkatt
Any chance you can add this file format to the 'save for web & devices' feature of photoshop?

I currently have been using BLiPster to convert all of my PNG exports but its very unstable with large file counts.

I'd love to be able to export directly to BLP. It would literally save me DAYS of conversion time.

Clean Icons enthusiasts would love you forever.
I took a look, and there doesn't seem to be a way to add formats to that feature - likely because it's designed for web graphics, which blp is obviously not.

That being said, if your goal is to simply mass convert BLP to PNG, I'll have to recommend my BLPNG Converter. I created it for, and have used it for, converting entire folder trees (i.e. like the Textures folder, its subfolders, etc.) just by dropping the folder on the program icon - and it will spit out PNG files in the same location as the BLP files it converts.

It was inspired by BLP2PNG, only it handles all the variants; but (at least so far) only converts one way. So I'd really like to recommend that - as a user, and not just as an author. Unless of course I'm misinterpreted something, and if so, please correct me!
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Unread 08-07-13, 07:16 AM  
suicidalkatt
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Any chance you can add this file format to the 'save for web & devices' feature of photoshop?

I currently have been using BLiPster to convert all of my PNG exports but its very unstable with large file counts.

I'd love to be able to export directly to BLP. It would literally save me DAYS of conversion time.

Clean Icons enthusiasts would love you forever.
Last edited by suicidalkatt : 08-07-13 at 07:17 AM.
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Unread 08-07-13, 02:41 AM  
Digital_Utopia
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Originally Posted by Nynaeve
You finally got past Photoshop's "Playing Hard to Get" phase? Congrats!
Will try it out soon.
lol yeah

it was complicated a bit by that whole "Background" issue. Once I realized what was going on there, I was able to fix the real problem.

Hopefully that issue will get fixed before too long as well
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Unread 08-07-13, 02:30 AM  
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You finally got past Photoshop's "Playing Hard to Get" phase? Congrats!
Will try it out soon.
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