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How to convert CD-i image files

>> Sunday, May 31, 2009

This article contains information about what we know about CD-I pictures formats and what we've done in trying to decode them. Requirements : You will need a Hexadecimal editor to extract a track of bytes. You will need to install the shareware ISOBuster to extract the files (or another working tool). Well the problem is : how do I convert CD-i pictures ? The easiest solution would be to get the picture you want to decode and then using the convert tools found at icdia.co.uk. Unfortunately, that doesn't work because the pictures are wrapped into huge files and - what kills any chance - all "headers" of the image data are missing. Till we find a better way, here are the steps needed to see some of the pictures. NOTICE : We've only decoded two formats : CLUT8 and RLE7 at 384px width. There are many other formats used by CD-i.

CD-i's CLUT 8: The CLUT8 (Color Look Up Table, 8bits/pixels) is an uncompressed image format. At the begin of a CLUT8 file there is a header (describing dimensions of the image but seems to be not in the CD-i files). Then, there is the palette with the color codes. The first color (e.g. 10 10 FF) is the color 0, the second is the color 1, etc... The palette ends with the characters "IDAT". The next 4 bytes are the remaining length of the file. Next part, each byte describe one pixel with a code reffering to the color read before in the palette. If the header is not present, you have to guess the width. The width of these images usually is 384 pixels.
The CD-i RLE7 is similar to CLUT8 but it's a compressed format. However its size is generally smaller, its palette may not contains more than 128 colors (against 256 for CLUT 8). RLE is one of the simplest compression methods. Here are the rules: If the first bit of the byte is false, the next 7 bits are the color code (reffering to the palette) to be drawn 1 time. Else, the next 7 bits are the color code (refering to the palette) to be drawn x times. x actually is the following byte. In the second case, if the following byte is 0 then draw the color to the end of the image's width. For example, we have an image 2x4 pixels with two colors. if the pixel part is the next 5 hexa bytes : 0x80 0x00 0x01 0x00 0x81 0x00, the output will be :
0 0 0 0
1 0 1 1

Extract the CD-i files: CD-i disks can be read by ISOBuster and you can use it to extract the files from the disk. It can took more minutes if the disk is scratched. Extract the Track into a ISO file and then open it with ISOBuster. You should see all the CD-i files. It's recommended to extract them normally.
Find recognizable image data: We're close. You may want to use the program we made to search image automatically. However, We've tested it with only one CD-i (hotel mario) so it might not be able to find all the images. If you use the little tool below, it would be more tedious but you might get more results. Open suspected files that may contains such data - their name usually end with .rtf - with a hex editor. Look for the string "IDAT" or this list of bytes : "0x49444154". If the search found matches, you probably have found image data. If not, try another file. Extract the bytes in two files - needed step for the tool. Look at the bytes before "IDAT". That should be the image palette. Extract these bytes in a separate file named image.palette.

IDAT is followed by 4 bytes indicating the number of bytes describing the pixel part (useful to know the end of the file). After these 4 bytes, the pixel part begins. Extract the pixel part in a new file, for instance "image.data". The end of this part just ends before a lot of zeros.

Now you have two files : a palette file and a data file, both without the 8 IDAT xxxx bytes. Now you must determine the format. RLE and CLUT images use both a palette, but the pixel part of the CLUT is uncompressed. You will notice it by looking at the bytes : each next byte is a number close to the previous one, and the file is big ? It should be a CLUT file. Other if it looks more like the example it may be RLE.

Decode into ... HTML ! It's up to you about the way you want to decode the image (see the About formats section if want some tips). Open the suited tool (RLE drawer, Clut Drawer) and tell the program where is the palette and the data of the image. Choose a name for the HTML output file (e.g. image.html). Beep ! You can now open the toasted HTML file.
Fixing the colors: Some colors may not appear correctly. Make sure that the palette file contains x bytes, x must be divisible by 3(each color is 3 bytes, RGB). Try to add 1 or 2 "00" bytes at the begin of the palette file and try to decode again. CD-i Image drawer: An image extractor that tries to look for image data and CD-i RTF files. Extracts in BMP. Functions :
Extr selected : Extracts the selected image.
View : view the selected image.
Edit : edit the location of the image in the RTF file.
QuickFix : If the image is not at the center, it will try to adjust it.
Multiframe : Extracts a set of images, after the selected one. Useful when you want to extract the video frames.
Analyse : find all the images recognized in the RTF file.
Extract : extract each element of the list.
Issues : many. Crops the top of some images, or the bottom (+- 6*384 pixels).

Tools: CLUT8 Drawer (Little tool that converts a CLUT 8 image splitted into a palette file and a data file into a heavy HTML file) and RLE7 Drawer (Little tool that converts a RLE 7 image splitted into a palette file and a data file into a heavy HTML file.)

You can download the tools here.
Credits: © P.L. 2009 - paolo.liistro[at]gmail.com

5 reacties:

Anonymous,  February 10, 2015 at 12:17 PM  

Thanks! Can you re upload the tools, please?

Swift January 30, 2017 at 9:22 PM  

If you still visit this page... can you help out with this CLUT/RLE conversions? I downloaded the necessary tools but, they are some weird JAR files and I have a suspicion they only work with MAC, I was not able to get any of them to run. Pity as otherwise I was able to find some bytes with the hex editor that look like images in the Mutant Rampage: Bodyslam CDI file

Bas January 30, 2017 at 9:36 PM  

Sure i Read it all! I'm still here, but i do not have knowledge of this... Perhaps other readers do...

Soupy,  December 14, 2017 at 10:35 AM  

A longshot but recently I've been trying to get the photo files from the CD-I Cluedo discs that I own.

I can get the audio/video (using IsoBuster) from them BUT I want the other files: photos of room evidence clues, photos of each solution (murder outcome), etc.

Those files (extensions - like BMP, ILBM, IFF, etc) can be seen if one puts the main file ("green.3t" - a non-raw copy) into HxD (a hex editor). There are IHDR and IDAT parts in the "green.3t" container but there are no IEND parts in the "green.3t".

The "green.3t" file is a container of audio + video + other data that can't be opened on a Windows so I'm trying to get around that.

I've tried to convert the CD-i image files using this link - cdii.blogspot.co.uk/…/…/how-to-convert-cd-i-image-files.html - but I haven't fully understood it to do it properly, if possible.

I've tried to use Python (2.7) to use the cdi-tools-master .py scripts (by Roy Smeding) but I don't know how to run those scripts over the ISO images of the files (I've created ISOs using ImgBurn) in the CD-I discs.

Hopefully I've explained enough detail for people to understand. It hasn't been easy to me to type about. I'm not the most technophile.

Thank you for reading.

Edit: I don't have a CD-I console - hence wanting to look at the photos/pictures/stills/images, etc.

Edit: I have seen the CD-ROM version files of the CD-I Cluedo discs BUT only 3 out of 6 mysteries were converted to CD-ROM. The other 3 stories: The Hooded Madonna, Happy Ever After and Not In My Backyard weren't CD-ROM-ed so without a console to play those stories I have to ask in a post like this.

You can contact me at lordsoupy2711[at]gmail.com

Swift December 15, 2017 at 2:21 PM  

I am in much the same boat as you are, I managed to get all the video files (in BIK format) out of Mutant Rampage Bodyslam, but the sprites are hidden inside other files, and you need to do some hex editor magic to convert them to actual picture files... that's where I failed so far, since you basically have to guess where a file starts and begins inside this larger file using hexeditor.

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Games 0-F

3rd Degree - PF Magic
7th Guest, The - Philips Freeland Studios
Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
Asterix - Caesar’s Challenge - Infogrames
Atlantis - The Last Resort - PRL Redhill (Philips ADS)
Axis and Allies - CapDisc
Backgammon - CapDisc
Battle Chess - Accent Media (for Interplay)
Battleship - CapDisc
Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
Christmas Country - The Lost Levels - Creative Media
Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

Games N-Z

Name that tune - Philips Fantasy Factory
New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

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