tile2ee is mainly intended for on-the-fly conversions of tilesets, e.g. which may be required if your mod supports both original games and Enhanced Editions. It's main function is to reduce file size of tilesets. For example, the original Candlekeep tileset (AR2600) is about 26 MB big. The PVRZ-based version is only 8 MB big while still preserving the visual quality.
4. Do I need to separate the MOS and TIS files from the rest of the area stuff (e.g. your /graphics)?
tile2ee is very flexible when it comes to file conversion. You can specify one or more MOS or TIS files, or folders. Folders will be searched for TIS and MOS files which will be automatically converted from one format into another, unless specified otherwise.
If you want to convert everything with a single call you can place all your TIS and MOS files into a folder and create an empty target folder.
A call like "tile2ee.exe -o my\target\folder my\source\folder" will convert all TIS and MOS files from my\source\folder and place the converted files into my\target\folder in one go. You can also specify multiple source folders if you don't want to place everything into a single one. However, you can only specify a single target folder.
5. Do I need to provide the current TIZ files unpacked as TIS?
TIZ and MOZ are not supported by tile2ee. You have to unpack it into regular TIS or MOS files beforehand. I would recommend to use the original tilesets if available. The TIZ/MOZ format uses jpeg compression internally which results in a noticeable loss of quality.
6. Is the num_to_reserve = xxx essential - it would be pretty high in my case (like 400) ?
num_to_reserve is a parameter of the WeiDU function FIND_FREE_PVRZ_INDEX. This function is only required for MOS V2 or BAM V2 files, since both formats are referring to PVRZ files with the name MOSxxxx.PVRZ. Setting num_to_reserve to a higher value helps to find a free contiguous block of filenames big enough to fit all your files into. Most game installations should not contain any filename fragmentations, so it's fairly safe to keep the default value 1.
7. Is the check for num_converted and fail if wrong essential or just a verification of successful operation?
num_converted is the only way to detect whether the call of tile2ee has been successful (unless you want to check the result manually). The return value of tile2ee itself is platform-specific and can't be evaluated by WeiDU automatically.
8. Do you have some idea of how long such an operation would take in the mod install?
That very much depends on the target system. tile2ee makes heavy use of multithreading. Scaling is almost linear, so using tile2ee on a CPU with 8 cores will actually be about 8 times as fast as on a CPU with a single core. A TIS V1 -> TIS V2 conversion is very fast. The Candlekeep map (AR2600) took less than a second on my system. Conversion TIS V2 -> TIS V1 is much slower however. The same map took about 8 seconds to convert on my system (using 8 cores).
You can also use Near Infinity to convert all your maps. The main difference between both tools is how tiles are laid out on the PVRZ textures. Near Infinity will make use of the tileset dimension specified in the associated WED file (if available), so tiles are laid out pretty much like they are displayed in the game. tile2ee does not have the information from the WED, that's why tiles are simply laid out sequentially (from left to right, top to bottom). tile2ee may produce fewer PVRZ files because tiles are laid out more efficiently.
Btw, I have just noticed that the horizontal lines seen in games patched to v2.0 are not necessarily caused by the tileset format itself. It's more the way how tiles are laid out on PVRZ textures. I could reproduce the same visual glitches with PVRZ-based tilesets. I really hope Beamdog provides a fix for this issue soon.
Edited by Argent77, 20 September 2016 - 11:14 AM.