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Nick Spolec

Creating 256 Color Graphics - Use 8bit or 16bit desktop?

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Nick Spolec    122
Hey all, I am currently developing an old school (AKA: old skoo) PC-RPG and am currently running into problems displaying the graphics correctly. I am using 256 (8bit) colors for the graphics, and using Paint Shop Pro (setting the color level to 256). I run at a 16bit desktop. Should I change the desktop to 8-bit? -Snake

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ahw    263
No.
Simply use a software that allow you to create and use a é(- colours palette. And work with that.
For instance in Photoshop, you can work in 8bit mode using a palette that you have previously created.
Obviously, all the graphics that should appear simultaneously onscreen should share the same palette. Oh and it doesnt mean you wont be able to do transparency, jsut look at Quake2 to convince yourself.

I''d recommend a software called GFX2, by Sunset Design, a French demo group.

youpla :-P

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Nick Spolec    122
But that is the problem. Using a 16 bit desktop, and 8bit color mode with Paint Shop Pro, the pictures don't display right. They, of course, are displayed right inside PSP, but not elsewhere. For instances, I have made a web page for the game, and have posted some pictures of them, but they look totally wrong (at least, in Netscape, in I.E they display right). And also, in 8bit graphics mode, the colors don't display right either. I have made a simple program to display a single bitmap in 8bit mode, and the colors are again, totally wrong. Maybe I should change editors?

-Snake

Edited by - Nick Spolec on August 1, 2001 5:25:57 PM

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ahw    263
quote:
Original post by Nick Spolec
But that is the problem. Using a 16 bit desktop, and 8bit color mode with Paint Shop Pro, the pictures don''t display right. They, of course, are displayed right inside PSP, but not elsewhere. For instances, I have made a web page for the game, and have posted some pictures of them, but they look totally wrong (at least, in Netscape, in I.E they display right). And also, in 8bit graphics mode, the colors don''t display right either. I have made a simple program to display a single bitmap in 8bit mode, and the colors are again, totally wrong. Maybe I should change editors?
-Snake



OK, I see two problems here. If they look screwed with Netscape but not IE, I bet you it''s a "web safe" palette problem. Not much you can do there.

Now for your "I made a program and it displays them screwed", I thnk I know your problem. If I am correct, YOU made the program, right ? So you read your PCX (''cause I am sure it''s PCX, isn''t it), and you try to display. The problem is that when you read your PCX palette data, you have a slight problem. The VGA mode only wants 262144 colours, that''s 2^(3*6), that''s to say that your R G B values are on 6 bits, not 8. So when you read your bytes, you must shift them by 2 as in R=R>>2;
Now you should see the colours you intended to see.

If you mean you can''t see the proper colours when your Windows desktop is in 8 bit mode, that''s normal too. Windows uses the palette of the running program to make the display. All othe programs are dithered and displayed using the current process'' palette. BUT Windows reserves the first 16 colours of the palette for the System colours (IIRC), which might create problems.

If that''s not it, try to be more precise in the nature of your problems.

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Nick Spolec    122
Well, let me describe where I discovered the problem with displaying the graphics in 8-bit that I created using a 16 bit desktop, but using 8-bit color mode in PSP.

I have two programs I have been using to do the graphics. Since it is a throw back to the early 90''s PC RPG''s, I am doing it in both NeoPaint (DOS) and Paint Shop Pro (4, and 5). I made several dozen graphics in PSP. I then went to check how the graphics would, eventually, be displayed using NeoPaint. When I used 8-bit mode in NeoPaint, all the colors were slightly off and wrong from what I had created in PSP. I then decided to check to see if it was only NeoPaint. I changed my desktop to 8-bit mode, low and behold, the same problem. I have been using .bmp''s for the graphics. I then wrote up the simple program to use 8 bit colors and display a graphic. The same problem resulted.

I figured that since in the end, the game will use 8 bit mode and not 16 bit mode (I want to keep it all vintage), that this would be a problem.

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ahw    263
Wow, I am not sure here... maybe someone else has had the experience, my previous answer was from experience.
There is one thing I could maybe think of, although it doesnt make sense... could htere be a problem of version of the BMP file format ? Did you try to use something else like PCX (it''s a pretty old format who hasnt been upgraded in a while, unlike BMP who now supports more than 8bit IIRC) to see the result ? ''cause Neopaint is a pretty old software and I dunno if they support the same BMP than PSP...

very strange indeed

good luck !

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JHL    150
This might be a silly question but are you sure your using the same palette for your graphics as in your game for paint shop pro you should keep a copy of your global palette saved and load this in your game.

The windows 8-bit will probaly never work right don''t worry about it.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster

Run PSP in a 16/24/32bit desktop. PSP will then display the correct/true colors. If you run an 8-bit desktop, PSP has to dither a generic palette (no, it doesn''t use your 8-bit palette) down to your palette. (BTW I know it does that, as I have been a PSP beta tester). If you run a high/true color desktop, PSP doesn''t have to do that, and you will get accurate colors.

This is what I do (I am writing a 256 color game) and I''ve had no problems, no off-colors, etc ...



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Nick Spolec    122
Actually, Neopaint brings up the right palette..

Another strange thing. I made several pictures in 8 bit desktop with the same palette, and in Neopaint they appeared the same way that I made them. Only problem, when I change back to 16 bit, they look messed up (similar to 256 color graphics made under 16-bit, then displaying them at 8 bit).

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ahw    263
MMmmmh. Why don''t you just give up NeoPaint and use something more recent ? I think that would solve your problems... and stop working in 8bit mode in Windows, it''s bound to cause you problems.
I personally never had trouble when I used PSP in 8bit mode, while my desktop was 16bit mode...

youpla :-P

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eng3d    91
I too, i never have trouble with psp and 8bits.. but some effects req. a hi-colors, so i work with hi-colors all time, when the final work is ready, then use thumsplus to convert to 8 bits (use a 8 media cuts pallete with ms-windows colors pallete).

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