AuthorTopic: The Photopalette Activity Thread!  (Read 12242 times)

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The Photopalette Activity Thread!

on: May 06, 2012, 04:18:05 am
In an effort to break away from how I usually start an image I came up with an exercise.

Go to Google.
Find a photo or image:


Drop it into GraphicsGale.
Reduce to 16 colors:


Whatever colors you are dealt, use them.
Even if they are not the best colors that's what you get to work with.

The idea is that if the image you found is still legible after being reduced, and almost always is, then infinite legible images could be created from the same colors.

So I started out with something really plain:


And then just continued to work with it.

I've even cheated a bit.
I added 3 or 4 colors and kicked some out.
Here the current color pal is at 15 colors:



A trick to it is that the image is not actually "random".
You yourself get to choose the image, so you can effectively choose your color range.
Choose an image with people and you're bound to get some skin tones.
Choose an image with more reds and yellows if that's what you want to work with.
Choose an image with high or low contrast.

The element of surprise comes when you reduce to 16 colors.
The balance is not always what you expect.
Of course if the colors are really unappealing to you just go find a different image.

I'm kind of back and forth about the strictness of the exercise right now.
Obviously these colors aren't the brightest, but then again the idea was to use what I was given.
But I've added some, so why not just change them all?
Or just add another 16 on top so that the current dim colors will make the new ones shine even brighter.
But what about a 16 color limit?
Well... hmmm...
I'll have to create a series of rule sets in the future, ranging from extremely strict to extremely flexible.

Basically it boils down to this.
The more rules you follow, the more it's like a game.
But the less rules you follow, the more its like a process tool.
The choice is yours.
Both degrees are beneficial exercises.

The original palette can also be seen as a base.
Since I've already cheated some, here I've added colors and changed the contrast/brightness.
At this point I'm up to 24 colors:




This is about 6 hours work (yes I'm super slow).
There's plenty of messy areas and things that could be changed.
I plan on dropping in some more to finish it off.
Crits and edits are welcome of course.

Ideally you should post:
1. The photo
2. Reduced photo with original palette
3. Current palette
4. Your art!

If you get some time try it yourself!
It's an interesting exercise.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 07:30:02 pm by PixelPiledriver »
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Hideon

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #1 on: May 06, 2012, 06:47:28 am
Cheater! :P
Ejmh... It's a nice idea, but maybe it's better to choice the image knowing what you want to pixel after, to make it a bit easier.
I tried to do it with a random image and I just love the colors I get, but to make for example the same image as you without the dark blue is hard.

So I think it will not work with all the images, obviously if you want to pixel a very green grassland don't choice an image of Sahara ::) XD
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 06:49:21 am by Hideon »

Offline Charlieton

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #2 on: May 06, 2012, 02:03:41 pm
I like the idea. This concept could work as a challenge/activity, no?
Det skulle vara lätt för mig att säga att jag inte gillar dig, men det gör jag; tror jag

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #3 on: May 06, 2012, 02:57:56 pm
It turns out I find this process to be really fun.
I decided not to cheat on this one, all of the colors are unchanged:





Also since I messed with the original palette of the fish girl anyway, I thought I'd at least try adding some colors and tweaking contrast/brightness.
It's up to 24 now:


I may continue to work on it from here instead of staying completely restricted.
The original idea of this was "to change the way that I start an image".
I think following strict rules or just using it as a base are both beneficial.

Quote
maybe it's better to choice the image knowing what you want to pixel after, to make it a bit easier.
That's certainly one way of going about it.
For these I came up with the idea after.
I like a little bit of unnatural color in art anyway, so it seems to work out not knowing what I'll draw at first.
But there's a pretty good chance I'll be drawing a female form of some sort.

Quote
I like the idea. This concept could work as a challenge/activity, no?
If more people are interested it could be fun.
The exact rules could be done many different ways.
Even if it doesn't become an activity give it a try.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 03:10:27 pm by PixelPiledriver »
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #4 on: May 06, 2012, 05:15:02 pm
Cool idea, but I think you really should tweak the colors. Unless you are sourcing from professional photographs, the color key, gamma, brightness, and contrast is going to be all off. Lots of photos out there from cheap disposable cameras. Also--in Photoshop at least--there are different methods you can use to generate a palette: selective, adaptive, etc. At the very least you should get reasonable contrast/black level set up first, then color reduce.

Looks fun, I might try. Is it alright for other people to try this here as a group thing, or do you want to keep this your own thread?
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 04:08:23 am by blumunkee »
ALL CREATURE WILL DIE AND ALL THE THINGS WILL BE BROKEN. THAT'S THE LAW OF SAMURAI.

Offline Charlieton

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #5 on: May 06, 2012, 05:18:41 pm
Looks fun, I might try. Is it alright for other people to try this here as a group thing, or do you want to keep this your own thread?
Which would actually make this an activity thread, which, as noted, I'm all for!
Det skulle vara lätt för mig att säga att jag inte gillar dig, men det gör jag; tror jag

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #6 on: May 06, 2012, 05:27:04 pm
Ah yeah you are right. I was confused with this being in the Pixel Art section. If a mod would be so inclined, I'd like to see this moved to the Challenges and Activities thread. It's been a good while since we had a community palette challenge.
ALL CREATURE WILL DIE AND ALL THE THINGS WILL BE BROKEN. THAT'S THE LAW OF SAMURAI.

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #7 on: May 06, 2012, 05:37:08 pm
Quote
Looks fun, I might try. Is it alright for other people to try this here as a group thing, or do you want to keep this your own thread?
Quote
Which would actually make this an activity thread, which, as noted, I'm all for!

Sure I don't mind at all.
Just realize this forever means your art will be filed under "[Nudity] Fish Bone Girl"!
Actually... I think I can change the topic name?

Since this isn't official there's no strict rule set.
The more rules you follow, the more it's like a game.
But the less rules you follow, the more its like a process tool.
If it becomes an activity we can do something more strict.
Everyone has the same topic but can choose their own photo.
Or same photo but choose your own topic.
Or everyone has the same of both.
Something like that.

Cool to see that this is interesting to others.
For now just grab an image and have fun with it.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #8 on: May 06, 2012, 06:16:07 pm
Moved and changed the topic. I'm looking forward to seeing more of these!

If you wouldn't mind updating your first post with the continuation of the fish lady piece, that'd be awesome. Just something a bit more complete for an introduction to the activity's main focus, for people who are seeing this for the first time.

Offline Facet

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #9 on: May 06, 2012, 08:22:59 pm
er, saw this in the PA section, went into critmode :hehe:. Interesting pallete process, I quite often use random photos as the starting point for a scheme, although, for mixing practice, I usually recreate them by eye.

Fish-lady stuff:

Lovely and whimsical, especially like those fish in the shading, reminisient of Mirre's piece in the feature chest. :y:

Whilst I like the idea of using a 'found' palette, you're not really taking full advantage of it here yet, mostly literal colour choices and there's little recycling, most prominently the skin is all pinks and none of those lovely blues which could be great as reflected light.

Not a lot of depth currently, I pushed the girl, (giantess?) a little higher in the frame, pulled the fisherman round to push things back a bit (repoussoir) and extended the horizon, the clouds too. hopefully more interesting compositionally also.

Anatomy stuff; foreshortened leg (sorry, scribbled over the fishes :'(), lengthened fish-levitating arm. Chucked down some green in the bottom left for better tonal balance.

Also, yo!

« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 08:45:12 pm by Facet »

Offline Charlieton

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #10 on: May 06, 2012, 09:41:35 pm
I used this photo (WARNING: big picture of disgusting bug! (though I personally think it's cute))
I got this, very bright-colored and varied palette:


This is what I came up with  :D


(birds in profile seem to be the only thing I ever do...)

Obviously the lower third of the picture hasn't been properly defined yet. I'm still trying to figure out how the legs/claws and tree branch should look. I also haven't decided on which background colours to use yet, which is why I display two variants. Input? Also, the background foliage is only roughly defined. I might add more detail to it, and more layers. Maybe some foreground foliage as well.

I haven't "cheated" and changed any of the original colours. Yet! I also haven't used all the 16 colours (should that be required?).

Will continue progress tomorrow!

edit: did some work deep into the night. Stylistic update:

« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 09:05:14 am by Charlieton »
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Offline numlock

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #11 on: May 06, 2012, 10:10:46 pm
I started on this eel lady seeing original post was about sea, my palette wasn't as bright as I wanted but I don't want to cheat, I hope I can finish this, this will be my first pixel paint thingy if I can finish, I probably made anatomical mistakes and such but I can't see them, please tell if something is bugging you.also PPD you seem to draw with brush like pen, is there a trick to it, I too use GG but my pen is only 1px.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 10:47:20 pm by numlock »

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #12 on: May 07, 2012, 12:01:39 am
actually I thought about it a bit and didn't like that eel lady, she looked like ariel a lot, tough I really wanted to draw about sea and tought I should draw something from greek myth, then color palette seemed very close to "the birth of venus" always wanted to paint something similar to that so I'll try to make that in pixel instead, this is so far what I did, only sketch.


this is what I did so far, idk what is wrong with ih but something is off, I'll sleep and see what I can with more clear mind, if all fails I might consider changing palette.

« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 12:58:19 am by numlock »

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #13 on: May 07, 2012, 05:42:48 pm








Still a ton to do.
I'll put some more time into the other 2 I've started as well.

Quote
big picture of disgusting bug! (though I personally think it's cute)
I agree!

Quote
I also haven't used all the 16 colours (should that be required?)
If it makes it more fun, then yes.
I used all 16 for this one.

@Facet:
Thanks so much for the edit and advice!
I really love how far you pushed the color balance.
The skin tones in the the water, as well as the water tones on the skin, work really well to show reflection.
There's a bunch more changes you made I like.
When I get back to this piece I'll be using it as ref for sure.
Thanks!

Quote
Also, yo!
Yes! It's all about the Yo!
 :lol: :lol: :lol:

Quote
PPD you seem to draw with brush like pen, is there a trick to it, I too use GG but my pen is only 1px.
I tend to think more in terms of volume instead of line when I sketch.
Flat pens cover a lot of ground making it quick block things out with broad strokes.
But it just depends.
Sometimes I start out with line as well.

I made a collection of pen shapes that I like better than the default pens.


You're welcome to use them if you like.
I've uploaded them to here.
Click File->Download in the top left to get the zip.
Unzip into the folder listed below.
Open the pen selection and scroll down.
All custom pens appear alphabetically after the default pens.


If you'd like to make your own pens here's how.
This is from the documentation:

You can make your own Pen and tile shapes.
the BMP must be a monochrome(1bit), the size of a pen must be 32x32, and the size of a tile must be 16x16.
In a pen, white area will put a color in the canvas. In a tile, white area will be replaced with the first color, and black area will be replaced with the second color."

Pens and tiles must be placed in the folder named "pen" in the following folder.
WindowsXP: C:\Documents and Settings\(Windows user name)\Application Data\Humanbalance\GraphicsGale
WindowsVista: Desktop->(Windows user name)->AppData->Roaming->Humanbalance->GraphicsGale (AppData->Local folder for Fullversion)
Windows98: C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Humanbalance\GraphicsGale


Use the exact dimensions and format listed or your pen won't load.

Cool images!
Sorry I don't have time for crits at the moment.
Will drop my thoughts later.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 05:05:36 am by PixelPiledriver »
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Charlieton

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #14 on: May 08, 2012, 10:42:09 pm
Thank you for the nice custom brushes, PPD! They've been useful, and I feel I'm going to get a lot more mileage out of them.

I felt my image was too cramped, so I enlarged the canvas. Still searching for a composition that works...



I'm not satisfied with any of them. The one to the right is closer to what I'm trying to achieve, but not quite it. Middle one was more experimental, but it's too busy. I'm looking for simple and clear.

That's it for tonight.

this is what I did so far, idk what is wrong with ih but something is off, I'll sleep and see what I can with more clear mind, if all fails I might consider changing palette.

The anatomy strikes me as strange. The calves are as large as the thighs (if not larger). Either make them thinner, or give her wider hips and thighs.
Det skulle vara lätt för mig att säga att jag inte gillar dig, men det gör jag; tror jag

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #15 on: May 11, 2012, 10:05:21 pm



Still a big mess.

Quote
Thank you for the nice custom brushes, PPD!
No problem!
Happy to help.

Quote
Still searching for a composition that works...
I Like the new direction of the backdrop.
You ended up with some really sweet colors.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Grimsane

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #16 on: June 30, 2012, 11:30:33 am
kept meaning to post or atleast improve upon this before posting, but now is a good time while I remember I guess, started on the 24th of May apparently
google image reduced:

oh god it just dawned on me it's not really a photo  ??? hope it's still okay :yell:  *"photo or image" phew

and progress on it haven't touched it in weeks



had mention on how dull the colours are shall I tweak them?  :-\

anyway it's good activity, and really dig what's been done so far in here :y: and I'll probably start another one up

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #17 on: July 01, 2012, 11:01:46 am




Still needs a lot of work.
The photo I used for this palette was WAY too risque for Pixelation.
So lets just pretend I used a nice picture of a forest.

Very cool Grim!

Quote
had mention on how dull the colours are shall I tweak them?
I enjoy the colors as they are, but why not?
Play around with em and see what happens.
I cheated on my fish girl quite a bit.
The upside down guy and the head poking in from the bottom!  :lol:
« Last Edit: July 01, 2012, 04:22:15 pm by PixelPiledriver »
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Grimsane

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #18 on: July 02, 2012, 12:00:08 pm
haha too risque :lol: loving the pixel pinups :crazy:
Quote from: PixelPiledriver
The upside down guy and the head poking in from the bottom!
:D

and I'll probably just leave the colours.

did another fast activity thingy, but kinda dead ended so gonna do another, palette from this image


some random craziness, in some kinda crawlspace or something

prog


actually picked the image solely for the panda then thought it'd be weird drawing a panda from a palette reduced from a panda :huh: so I'll probably reduce something else and do a panda next  ;D

btw sorry for not organizing my posts/participations much :-X might edit them when I find the motivation

Offline Facet

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #19 on: July 04, 2012, 10:35:16 pm
Ah, I wanna join in :D. Actually I started on something on the unofficial square canvas/marine mythology theme (much) earlier but I haven't had time to polish it up much. Palette appropriated from a Wiki Commons PotD & I meant to incorporate accompanying motifs (hippocampus, trident, scales) in quite a graphic, ancient-grecian-pottery manner into the BG. Will do later, promise. Comp. based on this Klimt.



Grim

Props for resurrecting this, I can see the beginnings of a sweet dieselpunk beat 'em scene in the first of yours there, just needs moar foreground (and roundhouse kicks). I can't say that I follow your thought process in the second though (whodunnit@Mad Hatter's tea party?).

Piledriver

Miss Fish is cleaning up nicely. Actually each of your canvases is better than the last, all great. I do like the loose aesthetic but can't help feeling like they could be scaled down a bit without losing much and be thus easier to cluster-fy. To death :P. Do want cyan elephant to go on sexy adventures with.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 10:48:19 pm by Facet »

Offline Grimsane

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #20 on: July 05, 2012, 06:47:29 am
nice, really dig your brand of painterly clustering  ;D and seems like you planned that, having Poseidon (or triton or neptune?) making a cameo appearance already earlier in the thread in your edit,  how utterly devious of you, or rendering a zoom in heh actually gives me thoughts of an interesting activity :D

Quote from: facet
sweet dieselpunk beat 'em scene in the first of yours there, just needs moar foreground (and roundhouse kicks)
:crazy:

Quote from: facet
I can't say that I follow your thought process in the second though
what part of random craziness don't you understand haha :lol: I was just watching (listening) to TV (I have a HD tuner card in my PC, I rarely use it besides when I have company(who as you might suspect find me pixel'ling away boring))and this was basically the equivalent of doodling, just used the palette acquisition method and thus done in the vein of this thread, was just gonna do that portrait thingy, but thought it might be pretty boring in comparison to what's in here already :D

Quote from: facet
(whodunnit@Mad Hatter's tea party?)
I see what you did there  :hehe:

and yeah

now I feel obligated to do another to put into this post  :-*

oh lord so many emotes sorry guys

*update: did one, sammich girl kinda painterly (facet) and lolita (PP) influenced to some degree :D





should probably feel bad for not refining this but it's a doodley WiPy doodle and I might finish and refine the poor anatomy eventually  :blind:
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 07:49:01 am by Grimsane »

Offline Steneslore

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Re: The Photopalette Activity Thread!

Reply #21 on: February 02, 2013, 01:52:53 pm
Great idea for getting a palette. Makes it random and more challenging.

Started with this



Came up with this skull robot thing.