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What is the palette?

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depends on what type of palette you are refering to. If it''s in the 256 color mode sense, then a palette is just an array of colors that the 8-bit image indexes into to form an image. If you are talking about skinned animation, then a palette is a set of matrices vertices index into to transform into world space (when combined with other matrices)

I assume you mean the 8-bit sense, so I''ll go into more detail.

on older video cards memory was very limited and they processing was slow. this meant that you could get speed improvements by storing images with only 8 bits per pixel. but what color does that 8-bit number represent? that comes from the palette. it stores usually 256 colors, and the pixel value indexes into it. so you images will be small in memory consumption, and copying them is therefore faster. plus you can do some cool tricks with palette animation.

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You probably won''t now. Palettes are relativly low quality considering that many formats now support 256 to the power of 4 colors (including alpha that is).

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