Graphics Image Reader

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Graphics Image Reader

Release type: Retail (Game-Maker suite)
Release date: 1991 (original release)
Author: Oliver Stone
Related tools: Palette Designer, Block Designer, Deluxe Paint, Neopaint, Integrator, Xferplay

Crops .GIF files for use in Game-Maker games, and splits images into .BBL block sets and .PAL palette files. Can be picky about .GIF formatting. Programmed by Oliver Stone.

Version history[edit]

1994 - Version 3.00



  • Unless you're cropping a huge image (and... why?), as of Game-Maker 3.0 the "Get Backdrop" feature is more or less useless. Now you handle all of your multimedia elements (.GIF images, .FLI animations, .TXT documents) in Integrator and in .LST files. The Backdrop function is still here for the sake of legacy, but don't worry about it.


  • Don't import into an existing block set. You're just asking for trouble for so many reasons. Always save imported blocks into a new file, and then from there you can swap them as needed into existing files.
  • If you're going to be importing tiles, don't put them right on the edge of the image, as the import tool here needs an extra pixel of clearance on all sides for the frame. Ergo, if you try to import something right on the edge of the image, it will be offset by one pixel and you'll be lacking the outermost row or column (depending on orientation).


  • Never just go with the palette you're handed. As soon as you save your new palette and blockset, go into Palette Designer and swap around the colors (right-click) until you have a sensible palette that you can actually use to draw and tweak your block files. Save it under a new name. Then go into Block Designer, load up your new block file with the imported palette, and tell it to convert the file to your new palette. Since all the colors are the same, just in different places, the converted blocks will look exactly the same -- but it will be less of a headache for you in the long run. Save the converted block set, and use that one instead.