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  How to Skin SuperCard - Made by Arcc
Posted by Vaskituh on Mon, October 30th, 2006 at 21:13 - 3 Comments
Vaskituh Portugal

Supercard Skinning Guide v2.5 - Made by Arcc

Skinning does not work with the new 1.70 Firmware yet.

0: Download
1: Introduction
2: Warnings
3: Dumping
4: Extracting
5: Editing
6: Inject and Compile
7: Flash
8: F.A.Q.
9: Credits
10: Skins
0. Download

Download everything you need here: http://www.ds-scene.net/?s=download&viewfile=c012eb7ad3323fd244baf1de270db18c

Since last update:
-Just one bat file with png preview
-Error checking to prevent mishaps
-English flashmp.nds

1. Introduction

The Supercard. That wonderful handful of plastic and
metal bits that come together and allow us all to play our
favorite games in convienance.

Unfortunately for all the awesome the Supercard is, it
sports a rather ugly interface. But this guide is here to help.

Sadly there is not much one can do to spruce up the GUI
on the supercard. The firmware allready just barely manages to
squeeze into that tiny 512k of memory for the SC operating system.
And unless Rommman adds support in the future for plugin or auto
loading to an external menu, editing the graphics allready in the
Supercard is the best we can hope for, and even that, as you will
see, is extreamly limited (but better than nothing).

2. Warnings


This method does work on Supercard SD, Supercard MicroSD
(treat as a normal SD), & Supercard CF.

This method is confirmed to work with the latest 1.63
version ofthe Supercard firmware.

Noone can be held responsible if you screw up your
supercard while using this method to skin it.

There are three ways you can brick your card using this method:
1. Use the wrong firmware downloaded from the internet somewhere (always
    dump your own to avoid this.)
2. Use flashmp.nds without compiling your firmware into it.
3. Restart your DS before it finishes flashing fully.

See further warnings in section 7: compiling and flashing!

3. Dumping

The first step is to retrieve your current firmware
directly from your supercard. It is allways best to make sure
you get your firmware off your own supercard to avoid mixups.

3.1. Copy "fwdumper.nds" to your Supercard and execute. Once it
has finished runing it will have dumped your firmware into a
"FIRMWARE.BIN" file. Don't turn off the DS until you see the text:

"Files freed - shutdown now"

3.2. Copy that "FIRMWARE.BIN" file into your SCZ folder.

!!! Also be sure to make a backup copy. !!!

4. Extracting

To extract the graphics from the firmware which is as simple as:

4.1. Run "SUPERCARD CUSTOMIZER.bat" and Chose menu alternetive 1.

This step is not nessesary if you already have a skin you would like.
The files are named: buttons.png, checkbox.png, font.png.

Example skins are in the "Example Skins" dir.

To use one of these skins just copy the files from one of the skin dirs
to your SCZ dir.

Copy the files "buttons.png, checkbox.png, font.png" from "Mario" dir.

There is a preview image in all the dirs so you can see how it will look
on you Supercard.

5. Editing

This section covers the creation and editing of custom
graphics. You may skip this section if you have decided to use
a pre-made skin.

5.1. Buttons.png

                        game      option
                             save       help

The buttons banner makes up the bulk of the GUI, and you
will quickly see that it does not leave you much to work

The first 8x16 portion of the banner is the background
for the bottom bar, where it lists the "path". This 8x16
area is tiled to create the entire bar.

The middle portion is the actual top bar. The portion
of your bar that is transparent his highlighted in 4 sections.

The last 8x16 portion is the background under the
"pagenumbers" and is tiled to fill in the rest of the top

This banner is limited to arround 128 colors but is
saved as a 256 color image however, so that later pallet
entries can store the text colors.

Pallet #001: Background color
Pallet #002-016: Normal pallet
Pallet #128: Highlighted text
Pallet #142: Trasparent color/standard text/background
bellow the path bar.

You see that pallet color 142 will be the tricky
one to deal with. Click here for a visual pallet guide!

The easiest way to create your banner is to:

1. Create a banner in full colors RGB mode.
2. Reduce to Indexed Color
3. Modify your Color Table so #1 is main background, #128 is
    highlighted font and #142 is normal font.
4. Save optimized as a 8-PNG without changing depth color and
    you're done!

5.2. Font.png

5.2. Font.png

Each letter of text occupies a 8x16 tile. The text
is actually a mask, so it it is only two colors.

In the "/font grapher" folder you will find pixelk's tool
for easily creating new supercard fonts. Simpley fire up the
tool, pick a font and adjust the offsets. Not every font will
look right, and those that do will still probably need tweeking.
After you have created your font.bmp, load it up in your
graphics editor, reduce to two color b&w and clean it up.

For a more detailed demonstration on how Font Grapher
works, go see the flash demo here.

5.3. Checkbox.png
Two 16x16 tiles.

6. Inject and Compile

Allright, so you have your images edited and fixed up how you want
them to look.

6.1. Make sure you have the skin pictures named "buttons.png, checkbox.png,
font.png" in the SCZ dir.

6.2. Run "SUPERCARD CUSTOMIZER.bat" and chose menu "2" to insert your
edited graphics back into the firmware.

6.3. Follow the steps until the window opens with a preview of your skin.
It will not show you want the text looks like, but it will let you
check out the background. If it shows up as a jumbled mess, you did
something wrong. Overwrite the "firmware.bin" with your back up and
try again.

Make sure you saved the image in 256 colors.

6.4. Once you have previewed the skin, press ESC to return to the main
window. If you are ready at this time, you may compile your skin
into flashmp.nds.

7. Flashing

7.1. Copy flashmp.nds onto your flash card and start your Supercard and run

7.2. You will see this menu:

Supercard skinner tool
By Dr. Katts (modifyed)
To flash press L+R and:

Left: Supercard
Not Found / Found!
Right: Supercard
Not Found / Found!
Up: Supercard
Not Found / Found!

This menu will tell you if it detects your supercard as one of the
possible three versions flashable. No matter what direction it tells
you to press, you will will flash your card with the same firmware
(if you want to know why, check the FAQ).

7.3. Now you are ready to flash. Look at the screen and find the
version of supercard it says you have and press the corisponding
button combination (L+R+Up/Right/Left) to begin the flashing

!!! Warning: Just like any time you flash your SC, do not turn it
off until it finishes or you will brick it. !!!

Let it run for about 10 seconds. 4 lines of text appear until it says
you are ready to reboot.

Good luck, and be sure to share your banners!

8. F.A.Q.:

Q: Why does this not work on SC:LITE?
A: The current scdumper.nds program cannot dump the firmware needed
from the SC:LITE. As soon as someone can get a clean dump,
Mc.Nasty should be able to make the scz.exe program work with

Q: Why does it not matter what version of supercard flashmp.nds
detects that I have?

A: The compiler.bat will inject your modified firmware
into all three positions in flashmp.nds. Meaning that if you used
firmware for the Supercard SD, no matter what direction you press,
the firmware for the SD will be flashed onto you card. (Which also
means that if you downloaded the wrong firmware off the internet
somewhere, instead of extracting it yourself, you risk flashing
your card with the wrong version).

9. Credits:

-Dr.Katts (aka Mc.Nasty on scdev.org) and his friends for creating
this method and writing/modifying the necissary programs.
-Darkfader for creating the other needed programs.
-arcc for reprinting this information.
-Nickman (Changes to the scripts and quide)
-boldbull for information on high-color skins.
-pixelk for the awesome font grapher tool and english flashmp.

10. Skins:

 » Comment On: - How to Skin SuperCard
retrohead United Kingdom

  Mon, October 30th, 2006 at 21:40
This is a great guide and it's nice of arcc to let you post this guide here. Though I still am awaiting confirmation from him myself, I will take your word for it at the moment.

Edit - Stickied :D

*edited on 2006/10/30 21:51:22 by retrohead
 » Comment On: - How to Skin SuperCard
the_forerunner United Kingdom

  Sun, June 10th, 2007 at 14:15
i just reseted it by acciendent when it was loading!!

is it reversable? or did it f**** up my supercard?



Fixed it! just upload an updater on your cart, and try to find it (your skin will be all white, so it might be like finding a needle in a haystack). update the ds, so it renews the .bin files. and reset the ds.

Good luck!  :D

*edited on 2007/06/10 21:14:29 by the_forerunner
 » Comment on: How to Skin SuperCard
giorgak Greece

  Tue, September 2nd, 2008 at 12:41
please can i put skin on my supercard SD rumble???? :(

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