Author Topic: Palette Creation, Palette Conversion  (Read 1058 times)

Charles

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Palette Creation, Palette Conversion
« on: 05 Jan 2016, 07:36 »
So I was, wanting to reduce the colors/remap the palette of some graphics drawn in hi-color, into low-color sprites. Specifically into a single palette that all my sprites can use, specifically Dawnbringer's 32 color palette. http://pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=16247 However, when I do this, the graphics look terrible, there's just not enough colors available to represent the graphics that way.

I can't use room specific colors for these, because the graphics will be present in all the rooms. So, what I'd like to do, is use a single universal palette across my entire game.

But, trying to create one is really hard for me, because I'm colorblind. Another reason I like using a pre-determined color palette. (I can do fair-work, when I have a 'crayon-box', to pull colors from.)

So I was wondering, what palette creation tools do you guys know of? Or software for color reduction? Any hints here? 

Ghost

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Re: Palette Creation, Palette Conversion
« Reply #1 on: 05 Jan 2016, 08:07 »
I can't say how helpful it is to you, but I use Adobe Colour a good bit. You can find it here: https://color.adobe.com/de/create/color-wheel/

Basically a tool to create a five-colour set based on one colour and one criterium (matching, complimentary, etc). The colours usually DO go together well, so you can create a good, small palette with ease by just picking a few base colours and get their variants. There are also themed, pre-made palettes on that site, and it's all free.

Another thing I can recommend it finding any game and use it as a base. Get some screenshots, pick colours you can reuse, and pick a few shades of them later. I've based a lot of my palettes on Kyrandia2, which does a great job of reusing colours, and even some 90s Jump'n'Runs.

Charles

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Re: Palette Creation, Palette Conversion
« Reply #2 on: 05 Jan 2016, 08:21 »
Funny you should mention Kyrandia II, 8-0 that's exactly the kinda game I wanna work on!

Above is the un-reduced, bottom is the reduced. (duh)

Ghost

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Re: Palette Creation, Palette Conversion
« Reply #3 on: 05 Jan 2016, 08:29 »
Funny you should mention Kyrandia II, 8-0 that's exactly the kinda game I wanna work on!

Well, who *wouldn't* want to?

Monsieur OUXX

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Re: Palette Creation, Palette Conversion
« Reply #4 on: 05 Jan 2016, 09:28 »
There are so many techniques, but asking how to re-use colors with a color-blindness criterium in a very interesting one.

I can suggest two techniques of color reduction; they are not exactly on-point of what you're asking, but can help you achieve "prettier" results when the right time comes.
I'm assuming you use Photoshop.

Technique 1 :
- Take the layer where you have your drawing, then add a "posterize" adjustement layer (this way you can choose exactly how many colors are left -- the colors will look ugly but don't worry that's not important yet),
- then add a "gray scale" adjustment layer (this way you get rid of the ugly colors and only have the pre-set number of tones you chose in the previous step),
- and the final step : add a "gradient map" adjustment layer. This layer allows you to "map" each gray scale" to any color you want in any gradient you want.
This way you can play around with your palette in real time, and focus on having the right contrast and such, if not the right tones.

Technique 2:
- Download the free trial of Photoshop plugin "Quantizer". This plugin is pretty much like "posterize" (it reduces the number of colors in the image) except it really calculates which colors are needed most, and does not output ugly colors.
- Bonus : you can adjust how much dithering there will be. Do you know the concept of dithering? It's those intermediate, lonely pixels between two plain colors, to make a gradient look smoother with only a handful of colors.
Long things short: I can imagine you using this plugin by choosing the start and end color of the gradient, and then reducing it successfully to the same handful of colors that you'll have in your final palette. I'm suggesting this because I think your chest sprite could do with a tiny bit of dithering. and also because the color-reeduction of the book is a bit extreme. Quantizer would have done it 1,000 times better than any of us can.
Then you can do a second, manuall pass, by using the floodfill tool, and replacing the colors you're not happy with, with the actual colors of your palette.

As I said, I know that this answer is not exactly on-topic, but, eh, the more you know...

« Last Edit: 05 Jan 2016, 09:31 by Monsieur OUXX »
 

Charles

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Re: Palette Creation, Palette Conversion
« Reply #5 on: 05 Jan 2016, 17:08 »
:( unfortunately I went -legit- (aka gave up the pirates life) and removed my ill-gotten photoshop copy. And for a 'hobby,' I just can't justify twenty-bucks a month for the tool. My current combination/pipeline is Paint-Tool Sai, and Graphics Gale.

Working in grayscale, and then using a binary color layer might help me work on contrast, but that still doesn't help me with the reduction...