Discussion

About LowResNX colors

1

moechofe 2018-11-15 15:42

I put the 64 colors of LowResNX through the palette analysis tool made by DawnBringer for Grafx2: https://imgur.com/a/2lPtlAf
Sauce: http://pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12854

Result: mosts of the colors are really saturated and If you look at this image:
https://imgur.com/Ei4PFLW
there is some holes in the distributions (red markers) and lots of colors that are too close to each other (white markers).

It is like that because NX use a simple 6bits palette. Almost like this one:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_monochrome_and_RGB_palettes#6-bit_RGB
It change the colors by incrementing the value of each composante (R,G,B) equally.

Remember the palette editor in the official Background Editor Tool?
The color are chosen using a cursor that goes from 0.0 to 1.1 (or 0-255) by 4 steps. Because 4 steps require 2bits. (0%, 33%, 66%, 100%)
The increased amount is the same for each step and for each channel.

In reallity, our eyes do not perceive each channel equally and do not perceive bright colors the same as dark colors.

Back to the old days console like NES, Genesys and Comodore C64. The possible colors was precisly selected to be pleasant to the eyes. It's also the reason why thoses console's graphics do not looks the same. C64 was less saturated than genesys for instance.

So my point is: some colors are missing, and some other are duplicated, and I come with this post to present an alternative.

The following notes is more for @Timo:
Instead of incrementing the same amount for each step of each color, I propose to use an index (0-63) and rearrange the colors to make it more friendly for the users (us) but keep it near the original to not break the palette editor.

What do you think?


Timo 2018-11-15 17:27

The Master System and the Genesis had simple RGB palettes, too. I don't think they were adjusted by the hardware. Of course the Genesis has more bits, but the Master System's palette should be the same as NX has.
The C64 had a fix palette, that's a different story. Also some other systems were based on chroma and luminance, not RGB.
Not sure, using RGB but with adjusted colors seems a bit strange to me, but I didn't try it yet.


Timo 2018-11-15 17:33

In any case I have to admit that I have never been a lot into colors... I like b/w drawings, and when I prefer something "happy" I like saturated colors. But I also like silly things, it's not always esthetic...


moechofe 2018-11-16 08:50

@Timo. My bad, I was talking about the Master System.

I found the palette of the NES:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_game_console_palettes#NES
[...] 54 useful colors [...] The palette is built based on four luminance values and twelve combinations of Pb and Pr chroma signals (plus two series of Pb = Pr = 0 for eight pure grays).
In addition to this, it had 3 color emphasis bits which can be used to tint the entire palette any combination of red, green and blue.

And same for MS:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_game_console_palettes#Master_System
[...] a 6-bit RGB palette (64 colors) [...] It is possible to display all 64 colors at once using raster effects (line interrupts).
Like NX.


moechofe 2018-11-16 09:00

That's remind an other subject about colors.
Except the color 0 of palette 0, the other colors 0 are transparent. So setting it's value through the Background Editor is useless. It also take more space in the FILE for nothing.

That's remind me a third subject, 2 bits are actually unused. It may be used to add interesting effect, Some ideas:
- Half Bright mode of the Amiga.
- Mask
- Shadow


Timo 2018-11-16 15:14

Regarding the unused transparent colors in the palettes, I had the idea of a display mode without transparency:
https://github.com/timoinutilis/lowres-nx/issues/17
But currently I will just collect these kind of ideas, I don't want to rush special features if in the end maybe there is no real need for it.

What do you mean with "mask" for the unused color bits?


moechofe 2018-11-16 16:28

Example: When rasterize a simple sprite, if a pixel of the background as a color that has the mask flag enabled, it will not draw the pixel and keep the original background color.


was8bit 2018-11-17 17:46

It's possible to checkerboard two colors to get more perceived shades... this effect greatly increases the number of perceived shades :)


Timo 2018-11-18 11:01

For sprite masking I already have the system used on the Genesis and SNES, I prefer not to make it more complex.
In general my idea is, that I will only add features to the virtual hardware, if it exists in any real 8- or 16-bit console. It's not a super strict rule, but kind of my guideline to keep it authentic.
Some kind of shadow effect could be nice, I think the Genesis had one. The Half Bright mode on the Amiga was there to increase the number of colors on screen from 32 to 64, so it's a bit different.
In any case, currently I'm working on the music system. Ideas for the graphics I will collect, but they have low priority. There is a lot to do still :/


was8bit 2018-11-18 11:39

We're very greatful for all your hard work \(^_^)/


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