Custom Unlaunch Backgrounds


Using TWiLight Menu++ you can patch the Unlaunch installer to have a custom background image. This needs to be a 256 x 192 GIF, with a few restrictions:

  • Only the first frame will be shown, no animated backgrounds
  • The file must be less than or equal to 15,472 bytes
  • GIFs with more than 31 colors require specially made palettes to prevent breaking the text

Installing #

  1. Copy the GIF file to sd:/_nds/TWiLightMenu/unlaunch/backgrounds
  2. Download the latest Unlaunch installer and extract UNLAUNCH.DSI to your SD card
  3. Open TWiLight Menu++ Settings, switch to the Unlaunch settings page, and click on Background, then select the one you want
  4. Exit settings and launch Unlaunch DSi Installer
    • It should use your custom image, if it does not then turn off your console and make sure your GIF conforms with the requirements above
  5. Choose Install Now

Using GIFs with more than 31 colors #

As the GIF’s palette is loaded to the same area of VRAM as the text palettes it will overwrite them if the palette gets too large, however this can be worked around by including the text palettes in the GIF’s palettes. Using this with different colors would also let you have different text colors, should you want that. These instructions will be for GIMP, but any image editor capable of rearranging the palette of an image will work.

  1. Open your image in GIMP and make sure it’s 256 x 192 pixels
  2. In the menu bar at the top, select Image -> Mode -> Indexed...
  3. Select Generate optimum palette and set the maximum colors to anything up to 226 colors
  4. Select a dithering pattern from the Color dithering dropdown
    • Images without dithering generally compress best, but with it will generally look better, try and see which looks best for the size
  5. Click Convert
  6. In the menu bar at the top, select File -> Export As..., give it a name with the extension .gif, and click Export
    • If it gives any warnings, click the accept button
  7. In the next popup, disable the GIF comment and click Export
  8. Check the size of the exported file, if it’s 15,472 bytes or less, then skip to step 13
  9. If your GIF is too large, then using either gifsicle or ezgif.com you can try optimizing it
    • These instructions will use ezgif as its simpler, being a website
  10. Open https://ezgif.com/optimize, and upload your GIF
  11. Try different compression levels until you find the best one under 15,472 bytes (15.11KiB), ideally a bit under as GIMP may increase the size a bit
  12. Save the optimized GIF and open it in GIMP
  13. In the menu bar at the top, select Windows -> Dockable Dialogs -> Colormap
  14. Change your current Foreground color to #080808 and add 14 new colors with the + button
    • If your image doesn’t have at least 133 colors you will also need to add filler colors to arrange the text colors in the correct spots
  15. Right click a color in the Colormap and select Rearrange Colormap...
  16. Arrange your new colors so they match these: (The 2nd and 3rd columns starting at index 49)
    Palette with correct text colors
  17. Use the color picker to make your new colors match those in the above image
  18. In the menu bar at the top, select File -> Export As..., give it a name with the extension .gif, and click Export
  19. In the next popup, make sure GIF comment is off and click Export
  20. Ensure the image is still under 15,472 bytes, if it’s gotten too big then repeat from step 10 using a higher compression level
  21. You’re done! Follow the installing section above to use your image!