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TUTORIAL: Creating NW-E400/E500/A600 Screens

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Sony Network Walkman NW-E400/NW-E500/NW-A600 Display Screen Tutorial

by carsncars

Hi. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to create your own Network Walkman display screen files using the following two programs:

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MONOmation Studio allows you to draw your animation within it, but if you'd like, an image-editing software such as Adobe Photoshop/Image Ready or Jasc Animation Shop can be handy.

This is my first tutorial, so bear with me! If there are any errors I've made, and unclear directions, or if you know a better way of doing it.. tell me! Keep in mind that this tutorial was written for Windows XP machines.

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Install both programs-- MONOmation Studio installs normally, but HEL2NWM is just contained in a .zip file. Extract these, and move the 'hel2nwm.exe' file you just extracted to 'C:/Documents and Settings/XXXX' where 'XXXX' is your Windows username.

Alright. Let's start with using MONOmation Studio. Most likely, if you're not running a Japanese edition of Windows, you'll end up with with a whole bunch of question marks. Your file menu'll probably look like: ?????(F).

You'll have question marks all over the place-- that's okay-- you can go on with the tutorial with those question marks.

However, if you would prefer that the Japanese characters were displayed properly, download Microsoft's AppLocale [here].

Let me explain MONOmation Studio's workspace. If you've used any sort of image editing software before, it'll look very familiar. In the center, you have your canvas. This is where your drawing goes, and where you can play back your animation. Since the Network Walkman's display is only 120x36 pixels in resolution, we will only be using the top-left hand corner of the canvas. If you draw into the other areas, they will be cropped off during the conversion.

The toolbox at the left is pretty much self-explanatory.

Here's a translation of the top toolbar-- the main one you'll be using.


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  1. Alright. First, copy ONE of the following images (depending whether you want it vertically oriented or horizontally), and copy it into MONOmation by pressing CTRL+V on your keyboard. This is your canvas-- this black rectangle is representative of the Walkman's screen, so all of your drawing you want to show up on the Walkman must remain inside of this box.



    *See the bottom of the tutorial for instructions on how to use Imageready or other programs to create your animation.

  2. Using the tools in the toolbox at the side, draw your first frame. Then, when you're ready to draw your next frame-- clicking the 'next frame' button will create a new frame. You'll see you previous frame still displayed on the canvas. This is called 'onion skinning' and allows you to kind of 'trace' your previous frame. White pixels will light up on the Walkman's screen, black pixels won't.

    So-- keep drawing your frames until you have your full animation, keeping in mind to keep it under 20 frames for file size and because HEL2NWM will cut off frames if there are too many.

  3. To save your finished animation, go File (or the menu item with (F) after it), and the save (S). Save the file under: C:/Documents and Settings/XXXX, where 'XXXX' is your Windows username. You'll see why later.

  4. Now, to convert the .hel file you've created into Sony's .nwm file, we'll use the other program-- HEL2NWM. Call up a command prompt window (Start-->Run-->cmd), and check that you are in your 'Documents and Settings' directory. Should look something like: C:\Documents and Settings\Mikey>

  5. Now, to run HEL2NWM on you .hel animation, type: hel2nwm.exe filename.hel, where 'filename' is the name you've saved your animation as. It should look something like this: C\Documents and Settings\Mikey>hel2nwm.exe dspscr.hel

    NOTE: If you've drawn your animation vertically, type /v at the end.

  6. Hit ENTER and it'll convert your animation.

  7. Now, navigate to C:/Documents and Settings/XXXX, and you'll find your .nwm file. Simply copy that into your Walkman's NWWM-SCR folder, and you're set!
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If you want to know how to use Adobe Imageready or another image-editing program to create display screens, read on.

I'm going to explain this using Imageready, but it shouldn't be too different using other programs. It's really pretty simple-- go about creating the animation in Imageready, using a 120x36 canvas with only black and white, and keeping it under 20 frames.

If you'd like, you can import another animated .gif, crop it, and convert it to black and white. (To convert any image to black-and-white, go to the 'Optimized' tab, with the Optimization Settings configured as follows.


You can play with the Dithering setting until it looks good.

When you're done, in optimized mode, go to frame one of your animation and copy all merged: CTRL+A, CTRL+SHIFT+C. Now, go into MONOmation and paste it in: CTRL+V. Click 'next frame', go back into Imageready, copy the next frame, paste it into

MONOmation, click next frame, and so forth...

And you're done! Keep in mind you can only have one additional display screen at once.

Enjoy! :ol_biggrin:

Tell me if there's anything I can improve.. my first tutorial.

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carsncars <at> gmail <dot> com.


Distribute this freely, but please give credit.

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Edited by Ishiyoshi

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1 answer to this question

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Welcome to ALC, carsncars!

This is brilliant! Thanks for sharing; your tutorial will be extremely helpful for those who can't read Japanese. Thread pinned.

Update: SONYmatome's HEL2NWM Converter attachment back online. Enjoy. :)

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Note: I've locked the thread so that this FAQ could stay that way and not get confusing with a full discussion ensuing.

*Please refer to the following thread - click here - for discussions pertaining to this guide.

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Edited by Ishiyoshi

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