Hotdog Stand by Goosifer

This is ridiculous but I want to make 16 year old me proud by finally finishing this lol. Originally I meant it for Zoo Tycoon 2 but I think I will be using the model to make a working stand for ZT1 as practice.

Screenshot 2023-07-28 204403

I’m not entirely sure why the shading is off near the bottom of the stand. Already tried recalculating the normals but I’ll get it figured out. I’m not too concerned anyway since the sprite will be small.


Fern volunteered to help me out over at Tek. Whatever Blender version I used to make this model is so old it had so many funky settings. I ended up porting to Blender 3.1.2 and it fixed all sorts of problems.

I added a window frame to the window sill.


Next up is texturing. Shouldn’t be too bad. (famous last words)

It’s been textured. Next I need to convert it to game sprites. (and set the right lighting for ZT1)

Screenshot 2023-07-29 1645331

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The previous render came out a bit bright bit this time they might be a bit dark. I’ll see what I can do to fix it.

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Improvements on the lighting but looks a bit uncanny if superimposed onto a picture of a regular game. Maybe it’s because it lacks detail on the texture?

I’ve managed to blend the lighting a bit more to match with the game lighting. Still not convinced I’ve nailed it but I’ll be looking for another pair of eyes to be sure. Still needs the little vendor inside but I’m getting help from Fern and Jay at ZTCDD.

ZZ at Tek requested condiments on the 'dog lol. I don’t think it should be too hard to add; will try tomorrow.

This is my last update for today. I added a bit of noise and sharpened the image on the hotdog and I think it did the trick. It blends decently-enough to the game’s lighting I think.


Tomorrow I’ll look into adding vendor animations inside of the stand. I might also add some additional details like grill marks on the sausage. We’ll see!

Next up are the animations. A stand on its own doesn’t move, but they usually have a vendor. In Zoo Tycoon, there are four views: SE, SW, NE, NW. I only need to worry about the SE and SW views because the rear end of the stand is covered.



These are the idle SE and SW views, respectively. The SW view needs some work but the SE came out alright I think. After I finish these, I move on to the ‘used’ animations. I think that’s when a guest purchases something from the stand. Still getting used to the ZT1 mod scene nomenclature.

I managed to fix the ‘idle’ animation in the SE view. It’s hard to tell but it’s not only moving about, but every vendor frame is a slightly different size. I think I made a mistake when I imported the frames into Photoshop the first time.

I’ll post a complete version of every view in the end, but my last update tonight is for the ‘used’ view. As mentioned last time, this is the animation that triggers when a guest interacts with the building. In the vendor’s case, I think they are cooking and handing over the food.


I’m not sure how I feel about it. It mostly looks fine and the frame stuttering isn’t a problem because this is just a gif, not the proper animation I will be importing. I think it’s the way they pop out of the window frame unlike the other stands in the game.

Maybe it’ll grow on me.

Fixed the problem with the alignment in the previous post:

I used ZT Studio for the asset extraction as suggested by Hendrix at Tek. ZT Studio exports each frame with the exact same dimensions which makes it easier for animation. No more dancing sprites. :slight_smile:

That said, I am having issues with ZT Studio in other areas so I have a dual-workflow between it and Zoot. But I’m now having a problem with Zoot accepting my 8-bit png frames and I’d say is the final roadblock before this can finally be sent over for configuration.

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When I started, I also was like using Zoot for some things and ZTStudio for other stuff… Nown I only use batch convertion feature of ZTStudio, but it seldom crops my sprites… When it does, I load sprites in Zoot :thinking::thinking: What issues are you having with them?

I talked to Jay and I guess the problem is that my frames are all 8-bit individually which is fine, but together they add up to more than 255 colors, which Zoot doesn’t like. Jay gave me an in-depth explanation what I could do to fix it in GIMP but I’m playing with what I have first to see if I can do some sort of frame differencing in Photoshop, Krita, or After Effects. No luck so far.

It’s so strange. According to what I’ve looked up, frame differencing use to be a popular tool in most graphics software but it has long-been deprecated in just about anything out there. It probably made more sense to maintain in the dial-up era.

Or maybe it goes by a different name these days. Not sure.

Have you ever had this problem?

That’s exactly what I’ve ended up doing myself. That’s funny. (the ZT Studio for batch extraction → Zoot to save to ZT1)

Yep, I struggled a lot with palettes as well… Actually, recoloring every frame to indexed is always the most tedious step for me, besides the one that burns most time… Recolouring whole Megalodon animations toke me almost an evening!

If this is just a scenery item with few frames and it’s not that big, I’d just load them in APE and fix rotations with Zoot :thinking::thinking:

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Hmm, I don’t think rotations are the problem but I might also be misunderstanding what those are exactly. Aren’t they the alignment of an object or animal respective of the views?

Exaclty! I mean, you may try to create your item using APE and then fixing your rotations with zoot… I did so with all of the scenery items I’ve crafted so far :thinking::thinking:

I figured it out. :sunglasses: There were a few problems, namely the problems mentioned above as described by Jay.

What I did to fix:

  • Turned off all anti-aliasing in Blender. This causes a feathering effect around the image cutout and since ZT1 can only handle 8-bit graphics, the transparency from the feathering can produce unexpected color changes. Usually it replaces these transparent pixels with a background color.
  • For the same reason, ran an eraser around my render in Photoshop to remove any outstanding artifacts generated from my post-processing. There were actually quite a few.
  • Used the ‘Save for Web (legacy)’ export option in Photoshop. This gave me more control over my PNG color profile and I was able to reduce the colors even further.

Zoot and ZT Studio now happy :slight_smile: I can imagine there might be a few more problems related to playback speed and the alignment as I haven’t seen it in-game yet, but at least the color stuff is now mostly figured out. Sending to Fern for configuration soon.

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That looks cool! This is just an idea, but what if there was a ZT2 version of this?

That would be great indeed. I will be releasing the assets under creative commons so anyone is welcome to try :wink:

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The hotdog stand is now finished and can be downloaded here: Hotdog Stand by Goosifer

There are two versions. See the download description for details. Big thanks to Fern and @Jay for all of the help! They effectively did the all of the configuration; I just followed directions.

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