How to match an image to the cape template
Seemingly the most common way to use a cape from james090500’s minecraft capes mod is to fit an image to the back of the cape. This used to be done by just uploading the image itself, but the issue used to be that those images almost never matched the template that was designed for capes and would be cut off by the game when the cape was rendered. To counter that we implemented a way to check if the image matches the template by matching the size of the template as well as certain transparent locations, and of course those who just want an image on their back rallied against it.
So, if you want an image to display as your cape, your in the right place! I’m here to show you how to easily scale an image to match the cape template. For now I just have the program I’m most familiar with, krita, but I’ll add more programs over time.
Where to begin
First of all, you need krita. I have a tutorial on how to do so here, it’s a free program with a paid version that offers automatic updates. The free version offers most of the features I use on a day to day basis and tends to work the best for editing capes. Don’t be afraid to try out other software, every software has limitations and work styles that may not work well with you.
Doing it that way generally saves you time when the files folder is already open, you don’t have to navigate to it again. Most modern programs will accept dragging a file over them and it’s become the preferred way in some cases
Scaling the template
Once the template is open in Krita the first thing you should see is displayed in image 1. By default capes are 64 by 32 pixels, or 64×32 (image 2). That is obviously way too small for anything but pixel art, especially when you consider that you only have parts of that area to actually display an image.
Now if you want a pixel cape, then you are doing great! However, if you want to adapt an image to the template we are working at too low of a resolution. In Krita the easiest way to scale it up is to use the image scaling tool. The best way to access it is to hit ctrl+alt+i on the right of your keyboard. This should open the page seen in image 4.
Using that window you can change the size of the template. In general as long as you keep the proportions the same you can do any size. The main limitations are a size limitation of (00)mb and the amount of ram you give minecraft. Rendering a higher resolution image will also lower your frame rate but can be mitigated with more ram to store the image and its effects.
To scale the image adjust the pixel dimensions in the top half of the window. By default krita will adjust the each dimension by the images ratio, in this case that’s what we want. To turn that off click the chain on the right of each scaling option.
Before you hit scale, take note of the filter option. By default it’s set to bicubic, that’s good for high resolution images but when dealing with things measured in tens of pixels it makes things too blurry. To keep the hard edges of the template at higher resolutions set the filter to nearest neighbor, that will cause the image to scale with sharp edges.
For the rest of the tutorial I’m going to use the resolution we’ve deemed an HD cape, 1024×512. Remember you can do any size as long as the ratio stays 1×2. To enter that into the scaling window you can use either the top or bottom text box, just keep in mind that the top box is the length and the bottom is the width, so to enter the HD resolution you enter 1024 into the top box and 512 into the bottom.
Matching the image
Once you have the template scaled you can check the resolution in the bottom right hand corner as seen in image 4. Again, remember that the main face of you cape is only the blue rectangle that is displayed on the template.
Your next step is to add an image to the template in a new layer. Layers are the crux of most image editing software and they are very powerful. At their most basic, layers are exactly what they sound like, layers of images or shapes that you can order. Most software will allow you to add filters and effects to individual layers making them a valuable tool.
To add an image as a layer drag the file over the window like you did to open the file and then from the context menu select insert as new layer as seen in image 5.
Once in the layer panel you can scale it to match the blue box on the template using the transform tool. To select the transform tool either via the tool box (image 6) on the right or the keyboard shortcut CTRL+T.