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# General info on converting color depths

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I need to be able to convert images inside my app from anything higher than 16bpp down to 16bpp. I have no idea how to do this. I dont want the code to do it or anything just some information on what I have to do to convert 32bit or 24bit to 16 bit 5,6,5 format. Thanks for any help you can offer

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If you just want a "nearest colour" type reduction, it''s pretty easy. Just take each component, which will be 8-bit each and >> it 2 or 3 (depending on whether you want 6 or 5 bits of precision.

OK, you didn''t want code, but that''s the best way to explain this :

  unsigned long source = whatever; unsigned short dest = 0;. // assuming RGB order for both.... // extract red component char r = (source & 0x00FF0000) >> 16;. // convert it to 5 bits r = r >> 3;. // insert it into the destination dest = r << 11;. // similar for g and b.

Of course, that could all be combined into on statement (getting rid of the temporary variable r but that''s how you do it for clarity''s sake.

If you want to do dithering, well that''s a whole other story. Have a look around on google for "dithering", "error diffusion", and other such terms. I''m afraid a full description of such algorithms is probably beyond the scope of these message boards.

War Worlds - A 3D Real-Time Strategy game in development.

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Ok, well let me try to explain this in words to you.

Lets start off with a 32bit image and we want to convert this to 16bit. There is absolutely no way that we can preform this conversion with out loosing some data.

00000000000000000000000000000000 <- 32bit image data (binary)
0000000000000000 <- 16bit image data (binary)

Now in a 32bit image we usualy have the colors split up like this
8 bits alpha
8 bits red
8 bits green
8 bits blue
(not nessasssaraly in that order).

So lets look at this again...
RRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGBBBBBBBBAAAAAAAA <- 32bit image data (binary)

Now the only diffrence between a 24bit image and a 32bit image is that the 32bit image has an extra 8 bits for alpha. So if we get rid of the last 8 bits of data we are left with a 24bit image.

So now our image data looks like this...
RRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGBBBBBBBB <- 24bit image data (binary)

Now we want to convert this image to 16bit format. There are 2 types of 16bit formats, 5-5-5 and 5-6-5. Here is what they look like...

0RRRRRGGGGGBBBBB <- 5-5-5 (15bit in reality with an added 0 to make it 16bit)
RRRRRGGGGGGBBBBB <- 5-6-5 (16bit)

Now each part of our 24bit image(red green and blue) are made up of 8 bits, our destination is 5 bits. Which means we need to ignore 3 bits of data for each Red, Green and Blue value. Typicaly we ignore the last 3 bits of data.

RRRRR000GGGGG000BBBBB000 <- What you actualy read.
RRRRRGGGGGBBBBB <- 16 bit data.

Now all the information I just gave you can be achieved by bit shifting. By right shifting your 24 or 32bit red value by 3 you get 5 bits left over. Then you need to place this red value into your 16 bit variable the way the computer expects it to be formatted.

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Hey thanks guys between you, you explained it really well and ive managed to do it. Much appreciated

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