Beginning version 2.5.4 DAP has new build-in way of archiving templates for distribution as a single DPK file and also correctly installing those archives from the created dpk archive.
This should avoid the confusion what files go where for users trying to install the template and also make easier to collect all the files when distributing.
Those two options are in the menu Tools.
Archive Template, make sure the template is running in your DAP the exact way you want it, including the Help files.
A summary of a good template files:
1. Create your template the normal way with Make AOP, this will create the correct files, op, ao2, pal, grf… for example test.aop etc.
2. Create thumbnail which will appear in the Template box in DAP instead of generic icon, which is named same way as your template but with jpg extension for exampletest.jpg, The thumbnails are tiny jpeg files 54×32 and you place it in the \DAPainter\objectpacks folder (where is the *.aop file)
3. Help file, that will appear when user select the template, it is HTML file with extension *.htm (NOT *.html) and with the name same as your template for exampletest.htm
The htm file and any of the images it uses are in the \DAPainter\Help\ folder.
4. Your Help file can have a larger preview image that is no more than 175 pixels wide, it can be gif or jpg named the same way as the htm file for example test.jpg and it is in the Help folder (same as step.3), just load an example like benson.htm in your web editor and you will see the correct bg color and formatting – use it as a guide.
So this will make your template run fine on your computer. To pack it and distribute it, go to Tools: Archive template and use button Load AOP to load your new template (test.aop), this should load all other associated files automatically (if you use more images/files in help you can add them manually)
You can load an Artwork image that could be a sample of the painting and it will appear before installation so user can have idea what it does. (For the image above I really just used first file I found, try to make it better, a crop would probably be better to see brush strokes…)
Press Archive, This will create a single *.dpk file that you can now distribute.
To install the DPK file use the Install Template, the example above will look like this:
If you have permissions set the files and help will be extracted to the correct place.
If you don’t have permission, you need to set ‘Run as Administrator’, When DAP is closed, Right click the DAP icon, select Properties, look under tab Compatibility (some windows version have it in Security tab) and check ‘Run this program as an Administrator’. This is the Vista/ W7 famous UAC that prevents normal users from writing files to Program Files but I really don’t like the Windows way to have important files for a single program scattered all over the computer in some obscure folders I can’t even remember how they are called, so I try to keep for now everything for DAP in the DAPainter folder. Now this may change in the future so the DAP from now on, will always take care where to put the files.
This is the way all templates should be distributed from now on as the DAP will take care of putting the files always in the correct place.
As a test I altered Rocambole post Classic AOP and added a DPK file to the end of the post so you may try it out.
At this moment the dpk extension is not registered with DAP, so the only way to install the dpk is through menu Tools: Install Template. Later this will be made simpler with just doubleclicking on dpk file.