AuthorTopic: Choosing colors and pallettes  (Read 77186 times)

Offline Faktablad

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Choosing colors and pallettes

on: March 05, 2006, 02:22:34 am
I've been looking at a lot of demoscene pics lately and, though I see many things that those pieces have that mine don't, a main aspect that confuses me is color selection.  I can't seem to get vibrant, living colors in my art, so I'd like to know if any of you use certain methods to select colors.  How should I go about it?  It'd be great to hear from a lot of people, especially artists like ptoing and Helm who's color selections I've admired for a long time.

Offline Dhaos

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #1 on: March 05, 2006, 07:03:19 am
This is somewhat a complicated concept... on the most basic level 'vibrant' usually contrasting colors. During the creation of a piece of pixelart, it's palette will make continual changes as new tones are added in. You try to balance whatever it is that you are making *as* you make it. Its very hard to create all the exact tones you need before you begin a piece.

[BAISC PIXEL COLOR THEORY]
-pixels are much more exact than natural media so you must 'learn' what colors are light and dark
*the follow values are the HUE of a color (using RGB to select colors is alot more complicated... I only know like two artists who do it)
*I do not include most of the inbetween colors (teal violet, magenta etc...its not necessary right now, I'm only included commonly used colors)

[MIDTONES] (the 'base' tone if you will)
 +red:5-25hue or 340-355hue
 +orange/brown:25-40hue (the less saturation this hue has, the more brown it becomes)
 +yellow: 40-50hue
 +green: 65-80hue (darkers greens 'hue:120ish' generally look VERY bad unless they are confined to a small area on a pic)
 +blue: 200-215hue
 +purple: 220-245hue

[SHADOWS] (where light does not hit...)
 +red: 0-10hue or 330-340hue
 +orange/brown: 10-25hue
 +yellow: 20-30hue (note the shadows of yellow tend to be orange or brown)
 +green: 80-95 or 120~145 (again...there usually isn't alot of dark green in an image, even a forest scene, so this hue:120+ is ok)
 +blue: 220-245hue (note...the shadows of blue tend to be purple... perhaps its a pattern...)
 +purple: 225-245hue (purple generally is its own shadow)

[HIGHLIGHTS] (where light directly strikes an object...used to make specfic objects POP)
-This section is complicated. It involves hue shifting to figure out
-highlights are generally done by shifting your midtone hue to the next brightest color
****show hue-slider****

-red/orange/brown: maximum hue: 35-50 (aka yellow~yellowish-orange)
-yellow: maximum hue: 55-60 (any higher and you get green)
-green: maximum hue: 55-65 (yellow is brighter...thus it highlights green)
-blue: maximum hue: 160-195 (notice the huge-ass range... blue is just weird that way...most greens/teals/light blues can highlight it beautifully)
-purple: maximum hue 200-210 (aka blue) OR 300~345 (again huge range, magenta/violet can highlight purples as well)

[COLOR COMPARISON]
-yellow->green->orange/brown->red->blue->purple
-some colors are brighter than others...its just how colors are
-yellows are generally the brightest 'colors' aside from white(s)...
-colors blend best if 1)they follow the hue rainbow-thing 2)the tones are seperated by an area of shadow

Here's an example of how I go about creating a simple grass dirt and rock landscape.
[STEP 1]

-choose basic tones to work by choosing one midtone and one shadow tone for each color you want
(since I am doing grass I need two tones of green, rock: thus two tones of grey, dirt: two tones of brown)
-decide on the style/mood of the piece
(I am doing two varients, brighter and cheery, then another that is highly contrasted)
-when creating a scene you must decide what color the light is
(I use yelowish highlights and purplish shadows)
(also the highlights and shadows do NOT have to match...it creates that vibrant look you see in alot of demo-scene art)
-now lay down the basic shapes...

[STEP 2]

-again add one more tone per object (new tone somewhere between your two initally tones), detail the scene further...
-I am leaving some areas 'un-finished' becase if its generally faster to choose 6 tones per color initially (but that can be overwhelming for this explaination)

[STEP 3]

-continue adding tones till you have detailed the scene the way you want it
-focus on a few areas till you know how many tones you will need to detail everything properly
-as you add new tones you will need to re-contrast your old tones, this is where the initial color theory, at the top, comes in...
-you will have to eye-ball your scene to decide how much contrast you want, for this first mockup, I want very little, so I keep the saturation and luminance between each color fairly low (about a 5-6 point different in luminance for each tone)
-remember, you DON'T arbitraily shift each new tone down by 5 lum/hue, the difference is based on how much you want a spefic object to stand out
*ex: dirt...dirt is not highly contrasted...its flat and dirty so I keep a low lum-decrease but a keep a steady hue-shift
-remember how your lighting the scene, in this case things closer to the ground are darker and less detailed/contrasted than the things higher up, its tricky and you only learn how to do this properly by heavy study of pixel art
*here I noticed my grass was getting overly bright...blinding really, so I 'muted' it by darkening it and lowering its contrast


[STEP 4]

-this part is fun, you now must unify your pallete, even if your grass is 'green' your dirt 'brown' and your rocks 'grey' your light-source will blend them together (and the fact the scene is so #($*#'ing small)
*ex: take a high-res cg and zoom out... you'll see how everything begins to merge, blend, and distort
-pixel art thrives on controlling the color of each individual pixel, it allows you to create very clear and concise images at any resolution
*unlike a CG, where the image is generally very large capturing the entire scene, pixel art is relatively small, focusing on various elements within the piece (sprites for example)
*there are of course numerous exceptions...however it remains true that high-quality pixel art tends to have 'prettier' colors than a cg, because the pixelartist has more control over how the colors are manipulated
-various ways to 'unify' a palette are by a)lowering contrast b)making all objects' hue's closer together c)adding shadows between objects
*shadow example: grass meets dirt, shadow on the edges, rock meets 'whatever': crevices added as an excuse to add a shadow tone
-one other way to blend tones is to blurr the hell out of the surrounding area
*blurr example: crevices near rock, tiny indistinguishable details prevent your eye on focusing on that area creating a 'blurr/blend' effect
*blur example #2: grass meets dirt: adding small patches of grass scattered in the dirt helps guide the eye into the brown easier
*because the dirt is generally lighter, you slowly 'loose' the darkest green tone, this causes the new grass to be less contrasted and thus blend easier

+green: needs to be darker still (too overpowering, green tones take awhile to unify, one of the trickier colors)
*needs to be shifted closer to yellow as well
+brown: needs to be more 'yellowish' to blend better with the grass
*since yellow is a lighter color, more contrast is needed as well
*since the contrast was added, I had to replace several tones I laid down near the rocks, since they were too dark (I used the next lightest tone)
+grey: minor contrast tweaks, saturated the darker tones to blend better with the ground
*remember when choosing tones, their colors are BASED on whatever tones are nearby (if you plan on having a decent looking image at least)

[STEP 5]

-this last step is full of subtle tweaks, and finishing off the image
-added two more dirt tones, one highlight and another detail tone
-{more to come}

[ALTERNATE EDIT]
{FINISHED!}

-wilder colors make an image more vibrant and dynamic
-contrast makes an image look more real...and dynamic
-shadows make an image look even more real and more dyamic
-you cannot just shift the hues around, darker hues (purple/red etc) need less contrast than brighter colors (yellow green etc) to look good, too much contrast will fudge up the viewer hehe
-initially you do just play with the hues...but then you must unify again (modify contrast, saturation etc)
-note that you can actually shade by using hues, darker tones use darker hues (usually) this requires less of a saturation/luminance change between colors
*removed one tone from the bottom layer to make the viewer focus on the 'cliff'
*add a light-fall-out, the further away from the viewer, the darker the scene gets (purples near the top of the scene)

I hope what I put so far is of some help, if you have any specfic questions on anything I wrote, just ask.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2006, 06:41:47 pm by Dhaos »

Offline Helm

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #2 on: March 05, 2006, 07:42:23 am
This is good, so far, although i haven't run the numbers at all. I'll post with how I work later on, some of the rules I use are different from how dhaos' rules, but the application can be close.

Offline Faktablad

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #3 on: March 05, 2006, 04:26:30 pm
Thank you so much, Dhaos.  This will certainly be extremely valuable to me: I learned a lot, and I'll certainly work on it.  Thanks for going to so much trouble, I appreciate it. 

Offline Dhaos

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #4 on: March 05, 2006, 06:43:36 pm
Helm: it should be really interesting to see how you setup one of your images, color-wise at least

Faktablad: I added the alt-edit (after step 5) using some more wacky coloring and shading, this concludes my tutorial-ish-thing. Enjoy.

Offline Krizmo

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #5 on: March 06, 2006, 06:28:19 am
Wow, that was a really helpful tutorial Dhaos, I sure learned a lot more from it. The other thing I would like to know about is line arting, and what you '1337' pixellers do to make it come out the way you want, I can never get that. But that probably isn't for this topic..... anyway, can't wait to hear what Helm has to say on this.
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Offline Silver

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #6 on: March 06, 2006, 12:00:38 pm
Helm: it should be really interesting to see how you setup one of your images, color-wise at least


I agree, if you have a free time you can take your take ..

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #7 on: March 07, 2006, 03:22:15 am
dammit dhaos. that seriously kicks ass. the result is awesome, and I love the selfimportant-LESS tone you gave it.

With such good ground base, this might become a tut topic...and I just thought I'd voice out my opinion on tuts....take it however you like :p dismiss it if it sounds like rubbish.

I think tuts should be read and made more like marks on the path, not something to be worshiped and followed as a complete truth or fact. Tuts are about the way one person does it.
That's why I dont really enjoy the preaching tone in most....and it somewhat relates to that Alucard topic I made a while ago, I think tuts should ideally be more open like that...or like dhaos'es =)

Offline Helm

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #8 on: March 07, 2006, 07:55:19 am
Okay here goes. I won't be drawing anything as I explain as I have no time. I go into colour theory in both my TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST thread and in my Yellow Sign self-portrait one, because I was asked for explanations on how I did my colours there.

Quote
http://www.cs.brown.edu/courses/cs092/VA10/HTML/GoethesTriangle.html

this thing above is real fun, I suggest you use it.

Now, it's still guesswork for me, but there are basic rules. I lack deep technical knowledge, but generally I avoid too much saturation in natural surfaces, ultra saturation is for plastic colour and human made reflectives, of which I don't draw much anyway. So as long as you keep saturation low, you pick a hue, any hue :P well whatever hue you think will make a good base. Let's say we're making a human face. A desaturated dry flesh tone will do. From there, we consider the lightsource tint. Lightsources have tints. daylight is bright yellow and reflective blues and what have you. Therefore we start making the shades go towards the yellow highlight we need. The darker shades should complement the yellow with the opposite colour in the colourwheel, in this case, purple. So darker shades mean less saturation, and towards purple. Lighter shades, more saturation (naturally, but don't overdo it). That's pretty basic, and I've done the purple-flesh-yellow skin ramp for spritework for the last 3 years or something. However, here I have 16 shades, which is way more than I'd need for modest purple-flesh-yellows. so what do I do with intermediate shades? I decide to represent other parts of the colourwheel, do near neighbour tints. Now, this is a bit guesswork and a bit 'lol let's see how much we can cram into this thing lol!' but not as much as you'd think. For example, I selected mid-range pinks/oranges because I knew I'd need them for where the flesh is pink with sanguine humour so to speak, and greens because I wanted that sort of zombie thing going on. So when you have a few primary tints, and a few secondary tints, you try to bridge from one shade to the next, the fine art of minmaxing lightness/constrast/hue to have a servicable ramp. for example, when I entered the first orange on the cheek in step 3 after pep suggested oranges, I just selected the colour below (a blue shade) and shifted the hue to orange to see how it looks. However, this is not a finalized shade. For this shade to be used for maximal effect, it has to NOT be the same lightness and saturation as the shade below it, it needs to be lighter, or darker, even if it's by a little bit ( you can get shades to work with eachother even if they're 10 or 20 lightness apart if you tweak the saturation. It's really hit and miss here ) so it becomes part of the RAMP, not just an alternate tint to be used only here and there. My focus is on using all the colours everywhere, at this time in my pixel art path, therefore unifying the palette is no1 priority on any piece for me. This creates, however, baroque-ish and monochromatic pieces. everything just melts into itself, a wonderful flurry of colours. This is the effect I want, but others prefer segmented colours and more game-arty things. Look at the three blick coloured pieces by myself, tomi and pep. Look how Tomi made it into a game sprite, with 3 ramps ( blue, red, green ) pep applied his special stylistics with the bright but unified palette, and mine is sorta monochromatic, every colour everywhere...

hope the rambling helps. If you need any clarifications, ask.

the other posts

Quote
I don't think there's any tinting way early in the process here, is there? Post which history step you mean if you want something specific. When dealing with demoscene artwork, I make my colour ramps estimating what tints I'll be using beforehand and then adjust each shade until it meshes considerably in my mind. Way early this is all the one flesh ramp until I'm satisfied with the volumetrics. The corpsepaint face of course called for a pure grayscale ramp, and the hair and leather for blues and reds. So 64 colours. When I had my ramps, I somewhat intuitively started testing tints on places ( like the collarbones which I REALLY love as they came out ) and some stuff just makes sense ( like the tint on the shoulder from the resonant blue behind the hair ). Other stuff are just there to be there. I like mixing everything with everything. Pure ramps look boring to me.

Quote
Craig Mullins is talking about things I probably wouldn't understand for the life of me I guess, but from my limited ability and experience I can too tell that as long as you properly minmax the saturation and lightness of a shade, you can do pretty freaking big jumps in hue from shade to shade and it will look very well. Look at a recent edit I did for faceless' avatar for hue jumps in a single ramp. There's theory behind the hue shifts most of the time, but since pixel art allows for such minute control at any level in creating the piece, one sometimes just goes crazy and experiments with the HSL sliders on a shade, 1 bit at a time :)

Generally though, the theory is that you tint towards the colour of the lightsource ( blueish yellow in sunlight I guess ) and towards complementary shades in darkness. Skin strangely adds saturation in darkness in places where the skin is thin and light subsurface scatters through, but it goes towards more muted unsaturated purple darks where it is thick and oily. In pixel art, and this is more of the way I learnt to pixel from studying amiga-era artists, I usually forget proper theory when I tint art. I like to unify my palette for the piece, everything everywhere, and I like to keep the main colour of the piece as 'ambient'. It's there, but it's not THERE and THERE but not THERE. It's the general colour. Otherwise I like to use otherworldly lightsources, tints and smearings that while not realistic, suit the pixel art aesthetic I've developed over the years.

The computer is not a tool for simple reproduction of representational art like actual painting can be (amongst other things). It has it's own aesthetic. There is an aesthetic in the method. You can accentuate the aesthetic by making the method more visible in the art. Computer art, video-game art, pixel art. These things have special charges that need to be understood and to an extent exploredfor me to respect the produced art as within a new medium in itself. In that respect then, I pixel in colour schemes and stylistics I've picked up from amiga art, because clear 'reality'-based colour theory doesn't accentuate the pixel art method for me. Also, I sometimes texture using squares, or my structures ( not as in this piece ) accentuate the vertical and horisontal grids, generally giving the feel of squares, doublewide pixels, etc etc. Pixel art isn't just drawing in another way.

about green tint in flesh: I think I was trying to unify that end of the ramp with the pure gray ramp I use to tint that under the nipple for example for later when I would collapse the two ramps so as to save shades at the optimization stage. But the sickly green suits his oily flesh, no? What else would probably work would be as sick burned pink, but it would need a lot of juggling to balance it now if I changed it.


 I'll basically reiterate a lot of the advice I gave there, here, but this time non-specific to particular pieces. I have to overstate this point however: I DO art much more than I THINK about art. In the immesurable number of minute choices one's mechanism makes when doing a piece of art, I am 'aware' and rationalize only a very small part of them. The rest happen on their own, and I do stuff I think looks good again and again until it's subconscious too. So for every 'rule' I have for myself as I'll explain it below, there's a million exceptions or stuff that might even be contradictory in practise. Every art piece calls for it's own set of definitions, and it's an exercise in frustration to try to create a realistic working model of 'how colours are chosen' that applies to EVERY piece.

This being said, colour choice for me is about 3 things in pixel art: colour conservation, palette unification and tinting. These things have a lot to do with each other, but below I will adress them pretty much seperately. Everybody can make their own connections about how one helps the other and the like. As I said, this is highly artificial and non-relevant to how art is actually made so I won't try to make it appear more natural.

COLOUR CONSERVATION:

Few colours per piece is important to me. The Computer Aesthetic ( CA for short thereafter, I will refer to this a lot) as I understand it and appreciate it is very much tied with artificial limitations. The building blocks are square (pixels) the colours are few and sometimes garish ( EGA, C64 palettes), you have to resort to tiled repetition, dithering to fake shades or texture etc. These things I believe, make pixel art it's own sort of art, and those that use the medium without appreciating and accentuating the CA are basically doing painting, only using pixels. I believe this is a disservice to the medium, and personally do not do this. If I want to paint something, I'll paint something. If I want to do pixel art, I'll do pixel art, approaching the CA deliberately and with respect.

So colour conservation makes no sense outside of CA, there's no other 'why?' to answer. We just have grown to using few colours then because of machine limitations, now because it accentuates the CA. I believe the less colours you use without loss of detail and information, the closer your are to representation of CA and therefore, the more the art you make appeals to me (personally, not talking about anyone else). I like it when my art appeals to me, therefore this is what I do. Makes sense? About detail and information. detail is pixel placements. If you can use less colours and still maintain the pixel placements that you've done, then this is good. This is relatively easy. If you take a 256 colour pic and you turn it into 128 shades of gray, it is very possible even automatically, a machine will induce no loss of detailInformation isn't pixel placement, though, it is WHAT the pixels are. What colour, what they signify as texture and symbol. If you can use less colours and still retain the informative signifier-aspect of pixels, then you've really become a master at colour conservation. This is more difficult because information is implied in pixel art through minute shifts in hue, saturation and lightness. 3 bright blue pixels on the tip of a character's nose mean something different than 3 yellow pixels you might arrive at when you coalesce your colour ramps to keep the palette down. Therefore, it's a lost art that I personally consider very important, to juggle information, detail, against the goal of small, concise palettes. I am losing this battle in most pieces I do, because I end up with odd numbers of colours like 18 or 9 and I have this urge to JUST TAKE A FEW MORE COLOURS OUT so I can reach the canon of 16, 8. I end up with quite monochromatic pieces, which a lot of people may like, but I myself know I could have let breathe with more shades here and there.

So, I start work with grayscale 16 colours usually, taking out the first 2 and the last 3 (most pixel art doesn't need close-to-but-not-really white/black slots) so I have PURE BLACK - darkest gray, darker gray, dark gray, darkish gray, GRAY, lightish gray, light gray,  lighter gray, lightest gray - PURE WHITE, right? I fill the background with an extra shade, usually close to GRAY, or lightish gray, but tinted to a pleasing earthly tone, very little saturation, something green or brown or blue, depending what I think the sprite will be put against most of the time.

I block out the image volumetrics with GRAY, and when I'm happy with the outline, I use a darker shade of gray, maybe two steps down, to do outlines of the various parts of the sprite/image. When I am happy with this, it is time to think about colour.

Now, every piece for me has one or two predominant shades, and a couple of shades of lesser importance. In most reasonably lit pieces, GRAY, and the two steps up and two steps down from it will make most of the wide surfaces, so when I'm happy with my design, I add some saturation to those shades and play around until one major colour theme is represented. A lot of this proccess can't be quantified exactly, let's just say that I am left with a pretty pleasant not-to-saturated monochromatic sprite that washes to gray in both brighter and darker shades.

TINTING:

Now, I start to add different tints to different levels of the ramp, trying to think ahead what colour I want where. This doesn't have to be too exact because I'll be editing these a lot as I work. This goes hand in hand with me adding detail to the sprite, though not a lot of information. Still mostly doing shapes, light and dark against the main colour scheme. The theory behind tinting is still a little shaky, but I've learnt to guess what works and go with that, but always try to be a little adventurous as well. I consider the light of the lightsource, which usually is blue with yellow for daylight/sunlight, as well as secondary lightsources I might want to use (usually saturated blue or purple) and I try to move TOWARDS the tint of the lightsource as I go towards bright, and AGAINST the tint as i go towards darkness. What I mean by AGAINST, is that I go towards the opposite end of the colour wheel as I go to darkest shades.  Purple is the opposite of yellow, and so forth. This is an expressionist technique that I am not really able to back up with numbers or theory of light or anything, it just looks good for me and leaves me space to do tints I am interested in and also helps in unification later so there you go. Now, both my BRIGHTEST but not white and DARKEST but not black shades I do special things with. Usually both of them are full saturation for me, which might not make much sense in realistic terms, but I like it because a) when you're really close to white, all colours seem to the eye to be the same, the less saturation, the more this happens. So if you do a subtle tint, it'll just show as pure white. So I don't do subtlety there, I go full out and do magenta or pure yellow brightest shades for effect. These USUALLY are in the colour of the main lightsource, but some deviation occurs depending to what the rest of the shades need and are doing. This is a holistic effect, so you can't adress it in vacuum. My darkest shade should be close to gray though, realistically. Not much saturation exists in darkness. But because this is pixel art and most usually sprite art, the darkest shade is a cool place to give a secondary tint to the whole piece. If I have a brown piece, I might do FULL SATURATION 30 lightness blue for a tint or something else. Study my pieces for many examples of this. Now then from main shade, we go towards lightness tint in bright, and opposite end in darkness, correct? How do we do this? By doing steps along the way, clockwise or counterclockwise on the colour wheel. A red jacket might then benefit from a step to orange, and then a BRIGHTEST shade of loud green before settling on pure white, whereas a pair of blue pants might go the opposite way and step on cyan, then a desaturated green/brown before settling on a YELLOW highlight before pure white. This is basically all my tinting theory on this level.

When I'm done with most of the detailing of the sprite, I'm left with a haphazardly tinted piece, that needs to be unified.

UNIFICATION:

This is a pretty straightforward procedure. You go through all the shades, doing small HSL alterations to tie it all together. What this means is this: if I have two shades that look as if they're pretty much the same level but of different tint, I differentiate them a bit, making one lighter and one darker, so I can also use them as buffer shades, or to AA places. This is one of the easiest pieces of advice to follow in this text: if two shades are almost the same in lightness, make one darker, one lighter. This has advanced usages, though. Sometimes you do this differentiation but then you need the yellow you made darker to also look brighter in some other part of the piece. This is all about context. You pump more saturation into the yellow, and you settle it against less-saturated shades that might as well be brighter than the yellow, and the yellow will look brighter anyway. Such tricks you pick up as you practise pixel art.

When all the shades are ONE ramp, one lighter than the other, you might have to go through everything and pull the hue value of disparate shades a bit closer to the main hue of the piece so it's a bit cohesive. Even wildly coloured pieces like my avatar in this forum, still have main shade that everything else gravitates towards, namely blue. Squint a little: that main tone your eyes infer from the piece is the one every shade should make a small step towards.

When all this is done, I look at my ramp. Do I have any near-duplicates? What can I take out without loss of information or detail? The LESS I have to do on this stage the more it means I'm closer to controlling my palette properly. Sadly, I usually take out one or even two slots of colour at the end, and minmax the rest to make for it's loss, so this is as I said not an exact science. I usually try to use most of my colours in most of my pic, very rarely leaving detail in without graduation of information about it as well.


So there you have it, more or less. I'm not sure how much of this is helpful in any meaningful way, but if it was interesting to read at least, cool.



This is a quick edit of dhaos' excellent example to show what I'd do to the palette. 16 colours now. (note very quick and dirty bit where I use stone colours on dirt base and plant colours on dirt base and vv. Every colour everywhere, unification etc)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2006, 01:05:20 pm by Helm »

Offline Silver

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #9 on: March 07, 2006, 12:26:26 pm
Thank you helm !

Offline Filax_666

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #10 on: March 07, 2006, 08:04:17 pm
That's quite the thing I've been wanting to learn for sometime. Very useful information, everyone should "waste" some time reading it ;) oh, and thanks Helm, for all the time you must've wasted on this!

Offline Krizmo

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #11 on: March 08, 2006, 10:03:28 am
Wow. That is going to take some serious concentration and lots of caffeine to get through Helm :P I don't think I have the attention span to read through it all now, maybe tomorrow.
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Offline Faktablad

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #12 on: March 09, 2006, 12:27:56 am
Many, many thanks Helm.  Both you and Dhaos gave me so much information, and revealed to me a lot of things I didn't know before.  Excellent descriptions; this will be a big help in the future.

Offline Radioactivity

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #13 on: March 09, 2006, 11:19:11 pm
faving this topic, for reading in college tomorrow...too tired at the moment.

Offline Froli

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #14 on: March 16, 2006, 07:14:36 am
I'm really new here so please forgive me if i sound very newbish to you guys.

What does HUE and Saturation mean? could anyone explain it in simple terms?
What is RGB and it's importance?

I've check MS paint and clicked on the edit color option and was able to see the hue there. I change the numerical value and it doesn't seem to go beyond 239. So how can this be applied? -->+red:5-25hue or 340-355hue

Thanks in advance, and I hope I'm not ruining the discussion here :(

Offline Akira

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #15 on: March 16, 2006, 07:56:46 am
Welcome to the forums Froli ;D

I'm not really the best person to be doing this. Maybe someone more experienced could come and clean things up? heh.

Here is a chart that will hopefully explain some things for you:


Hue is pretty much the tone of the colour, like red, blue, green, yellow, purple etc. A hue of 0 is red.
Saturation is the intensity of that colour. A highly saturated colour is very bright, while a less saturated colour is dull and grayish.

RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue. Red, Green, and Blue are the primary colours of light. These three values code for the amount of red, green and blue that is shown in a particular pixel. For example 255,0,0 will give you the highest saturation of red that your monitor can show.

You can either choose colours by RGB Values or Hue, Sat (saturation), Lum (Luminance, also known as brightness or b) Values.

MS Paint uses strange values for its hue as it isn't really a professional art program. Hue is generally regarded as being a circle (and has a value between 0 - 360 degrees) however in paint for some reason it isn't :P.

Eek, hope you get what I'm trying to say, I'm very tired and should really be asleep.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2006, 09:05:19 am by Akira »
thanks Dogmeat!

Offline ZeroByte

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #16 on: March 16, 2006, 08:35:29 am
Thank you dhaos and helm for taking your time to write down your thoughts on palette control. It's always been something that frustrated me as a pixel artist and those examples really help.

Offline Xion

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #17 on: March 17, 2006, 01:26:35 am
This is by far the most useful thread ever.

Offline Faktablad

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #18 on: March 17, 2006, 03:43:20 am
This is by far the most useful thread ever.
Agreed.  That's a nice chart too, Akira.  It's very clear.

Offline Froli

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #19 on: March 17, 2006, 06:59:07 am
Thanks very much Akira, I understand it clear now :D. Now time to review what Dhaos and Helm explained here

Oh and before I forget, Is there a specific graphics program that has a color wheel and has a value between 0 - 360 degrees?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2006, 07:06:04 am by Froli »

Offline Akira

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #20 on: March 17, 2006, 08:03:36 am
Photoshop & GraphicsGale both have hue values between 0 - 360.
GraphicsGale is free and you can find the link to it in the tutorials and tools topic stickied at the top of this forum.
Good to see people found that chart handy.

Oh and amazing stuff Dhaos and Helm. We need some more artists to show us how it can be done ;)
thanks Dogmeat!

Offline Crazy Asian Gamer

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #21 on: March 18, 2006, 01:01:57 am
Very very impressive work, Dhaos, Helm. I wonder where Lief went, I've always wondered how he picked his colors.
Never tried to start out a piece in grayscale and tint, and unify it later.
I may give this a shot so others can see an average (or below average :D) pixel artist's reason behind picking colors.

EDIT: I tried out Helm's method (or at least an interpretation of it) of picking colors. This may appeal to somebody in want of a visual:
Grayscale - Tinting - Unification
« Last Edit: March 18, 2006, 09:29:27 pm by Crazy Asian Gamer »

Offline Crazy Asian Gamer

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #22 on: March 19, 2006, 03:47:56 pm
Ok, here goes. I may not be the best of them out there (actually, I'm not even close :D), but maybe some of my color advice may creep its way into your daily pixels. ::)

Anyways, I like using RGB sliders, though much of the same rules about color selection according to Dhaos (Helm's is slightly different, but cool) apply here.

By the way, a lot of you may already know all this stuff in this section, so feel free to skip. :)

[COLOR SELECTION VIA RGB SLIDERS]

Anyways, I'm sure this is old-hat for much of you, but:

HUE: Is determined by the general difference between the three values. By that, I mean "Is Red greater than green and blue? Is there more green here than blue?", Etc. etc.
Calculation of exact hue values is pretty complicated (I think, never tried to figure it out anyways... actually, now that I think about it, it isn't that daunting. Just a bit of your basic Trigonometry...).
Anyways, going on, some values of artificially pure colors are:
RED: RGB(255, 0, 0)
YELLOW: RGB(255, 255, 0)
GREEN: (0, 255, 0)
CYAN: (0, 255, 255)
BLUE: (0, 0, 255)
MAGENTA: (255, 0, 255)
These colors are at full saturation. To rotate through the color wheel at full saturation, you must have one color value at 255, one color value between 0 and 255 inclusive, and one at zero. E.G. this is at full saturation: RGB(25, 0, 255) (I'm pretty sure it's a bluish magenta or purple).
And FOR MOST PURPOSES, NO USAGE OF THESE COLORS (Now sometimes, it can be forgiven, but it has become somewhat of a pixel art taboo to use full saturation colors). This ties into the next part...

SATURATION: Ahh, so you ask, what colors am I suppose to use all the time??? Gray??? :s
Well, sorta, heh.
Anyways, saturation varies by, again, the difference between the color values. However, this time, you ask its relative difference. Like, for example, "How close together are my color values".
The closer your RGB values are, the lower your saturation values will be. In the case of the extreme where the RGB values are equal, there will be NO saturation, meaning that this color will be black-gray-white or in between.
Examples:
A purty low saturation yeller: RGB(167, 167, 102)
Gray: RGB(127, 127, 127)
High saturation blurple (heh heh): RGB(245, 23, 128)

LUMINOSITY: ...or how bright it is. Question to ask here: "How much did I use?", and by that, I'm referring to color values. ALL colors at 100% luminosity will be PURE WHITE, and likewise, at 0% luminosity, will be PURE BLACK. Of course, translated to RGB terms:
RGB(255, 255, 255) You used the maximum amount of color values in that single color. Its at 100% lum. It's white.
RGB(0, 0, 0) ...You're smart enough to infer the significance of this I hope.
RGB(127, 127, 127) Teh colour is in teh middle brightness yay.
There is an important point that was mentioned by Dhaos, that I need to reinforce:

BECAUSE THIS IS AN ARTIFICIAL MEDIUM, (R + G + B) / (3 * 256) * 100 DOES NOT EQUAL LUMINOSITY.
Now you go, WTF ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???
Well, besides the fact they don't use that formula to calc lum anyways (some weird crap about green), it needs to be pointed out that SOME HUES ARE BRIGHTER THAN OTHERS. Yes, your eyes are right, and not that lum slider (I hope, they might have taken that into account with the green *shrugs*).

Now tuck that into the back of your mind, because you'll ultimately know what colors are bright and what are dark when the time comes (unless you're blind. In that case... uh... WOW HOW DO YOU PIXEL???)

Anyways, going on from my little rant about RGB...

Anyways, for today's lesson... (ducks paper airplane) I'll be demonstrating colors through a nighttime city landscape (as opposed to a daylight natural landscape). As a side note, I always wanted to make one of these.

[STEP ONE - SELECTING JUMPING OFF COLORS - DEFINING SHAPES - REFILLING THAT CANISTER OF PURE CAFFIENE SITTING THERE ON YOUR DESK]

This is when you decide BG color, what tones to start out in, etc. I tend to start out with a nice midtone (some may use the darkest, and I'm pretty sure it's possible to start out with highlights).

As this is a nighttime cityscape, I chose a very dark blue background and somewhat lit midtones to block out buildings alternating between these to create different buildings. This is very important for establishing a basic mood (in this case, influence by the blues), and later color choices will bounce off these choices.
My midtones were relatively dark compared to what I could have used (excluding the moon). This also influenced by the darkness of the whole scene.
Note that purple is a "darker" hue than green, which I used to establish foregrounds, etc.

TOTAL COLORS AT THIS POINT: 4

Alrighty then... (ducks bullet).

[STEP TWO - SHADE - PURCHASE AN EXPENSIVE RENDERING PROGRAM - PLANT IT IN THE GROUND, WATER IT, AND WAIT TWO WEEKS FOR DELIVERY]

Define moar details w/ one or two darker shades of colors, re-using colors as you see fit. In this scenario, I decided to use a common darkest shade and reused the purple midtone for windows. I also created another grey for shading the moon (darkest shade reused there).
I added stars for purtyness.

TOTAL COLORS AT THIS POINT: 6

*Gasps* whew... (ducks Nuclear ICBM).

[STEP THREE - HIGHLIGHTS - BUY SOME SURPLUS HAIR PRODUCTS - COLOR YOUR HAIR GREEN - GO TO AN ANIME CONVENTION]

Hrrmm... highlights... reusing colors, I get that moonlight color to work for me by applying it in very small amounts. Then, I add a buffer to smooth the highlight out into each colour. The buffer is then used to highlight the purple building midground (a.k.a. purple, being more into background, gets the crap end of the stick :D)

TOTAL COLORS AT THIS POINT: 7

OK! ... (ducks spacetime warp and tear machine of mass destruction... thingy).

[STEP FOUR - SECONDARY LIGHTSOURCES, ANTIALIASING, AND COLOR REDUCTION - MY CONTACTS ARE FOGGING UP - IS THAT BLOOD???]

There is no reasoning behind my choice of a red secondary light source. That moon shade and the building color are too similar, so I combined them.

TOTAL COLORS AT FINIS: 7

Anyways, I conclude my short session about how I choose my colors. You may have noticed that I didn't unify my palette. This is due to partially:
a. My laziness
b. The mood of the piece is fine
I tend to adjust palette only to fine-tune atmosphere.
Besides that, Dhaos and Helm have fine examples of palette unification.
In any case, I may have restated most of the same crap you already know, but hopefully, you learned something from this. Ciao :)

Offline Zolthorg

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #23 on: March 19, 2006, 07:04:21 pm
I'd like to add the one bit o wisdom i'm sure of...

Don't be afraid to tweak contrast! yaay! stealing helm's point!

i probably took htis edit too far:


But when you're using a small workspace, contrasting colors are key.

Offline Crazy Asian Gamer

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #24 on: March 19, 2006, 09:21:34 pm
That is a good point.
(I blame my mistake on my vision, which, by the time I was finished, was horrible)
An edit not quite as drastic:

Say what you will.

Offline Zolthorg

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #25 on: March 20, 2006, 02:48:43 am
Say what you will.

Mine's 1337er, go home n00b

Offline robalan

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #26 on: March 20, 2006, 03:44:20 am
This thread is excellent...why hasn't it been stickied yet?  Thanks to all who have taken the time to share their expertise with the rest of us.
Always remember: a preposition is not something you should end a sentence with.

Offline Crazy Asian Gamer

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #27 on: March 20, 2006, 04:03:57 am
why hasn't it been stickied yet?
Because a n00b is sharing his color advice. :D

Offline Froli

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #28 on: March 28, 2006, 04:10:36 am
Another noob question. When people start mentioning contrast in colors of a given sprite or object, what does this mean?

Offline robalan

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #29 on: March 28, 2006, 09:42:47 pm
Contrast is having large variation in your color ramps.  That is to say, instead of shading a cylinder from a gray slightly above mid-luminosity to a gray slightly below mid-luminosity and using 10 shades to do it, one should shade from almost-white to almost-black (with color included, generally;-)) in the same 10 shades.  Basically, if a piece is said to need more contrast, the artist should make the highlights brighter and the shadows darker.

And again, would somebody sticky this already?
Always remember: a preposition is not something you should end a sentence with.

Offline Froli

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #30 on: March 30, 2006, 05:28:22 pm
Contrast is having large variation in your color ramps.  That is to say, instead of shading a cylinder from a gray slightly above mid-luminosity to a gray slightly below mid-luminosity and using 10 shades to do it, one should shade from almost-white to almost-black (with color included, generally;-)) in the same 10 shades.  Basically, if a piece is said to need more contrast, the artist should make the highlights brighter and the shadows darker.

And again, would somebody sticky this already?

Awesome Robalan! thank you very much.  And before moving on, a question regarding your explaination.. "instead of shading a cylinder from a gray slightly above mid-luminosity to a gray slightly below mid-luminosity and using 10 shades to do it" <--- Does this refer to Pillow shading?

Offline Pawige

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #31 on: March 30, 2006, 06:48:51 pm
Negative. Pillow shading is just when you shade something without regards to the actual form--lightening the colors as they get nearer to the center. You can pillow shade with any amount of colors.

Robalan is talking about having a bunch of colors that are very similar to each other. Even if you shade properly with these colors, the lack of any range of brightness will usually make everything appear washed out and flat.

Offline robalan

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #32 on: October 03, 2006, 01:46:28 am
I took the liberty of pinning this, since I've directed others to it twice in the past few days, and it's a good reference in general.  If a mod disagrees, feel free to un-pin it.
Always remember: a preposition is not something you should end a sentence with.

Offline Helm

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #33 on: October 03, 2006, 08:55:43 am
I read through my shit and I still agree with it mostly, so it's ok with me. Dhaos and others would do best to say if they have an objection.

Offline megajosh2

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #34 on: October 08, 2006, 06:16:47 pm
Darn. I thought my skintone problems could be solved here...
http://www.megaman-generations.com/  << - My website

I've got a sprites forum that you can submit pixel art in! Plus, you can submit some on the sprites page.

Offline Dogmeat

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #35 on: October 08, 2006, 06:43:54 pm
Darn. I thought my skintone problems could be solved here...

Wouldn't it help you better if you asked for help with your skintone problems? Don't be shy now :)
Daisuke Nagano Yokoyama

Offline megajosh2

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #36 on: October 08, 2006, 11:22:48 pm
Okay, I'll post it in another thread. :y:
http://www.megaman-generations.com/  << - My website

I've got a sprites forum that you can submit pixel art in! Plus, you can submit some on the sprites page.

Offline Bo

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #37 on: October 08, 2006, 11:33:00 pm
i think he meant you should just ask it right here in this thread.

Offline Terley

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #38 on: October 12, 2006, 02:25:29 am
While we're juggling conversation starters, I'll throw in.. Water:mean:

Love to hear some useful tips on creating effective water, it's the only real problem I'm having with my semi-serious platform in the making. But non platformer water tips would still help cus im sure you lot are full of many different techniques.
I've not got anything interesting to type here..

Offline Ai

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #39 on: October 15, 2006, 04:50:45 am
I've just been playing around with GIMP's Retinex plugin, and I recommend it as a color choosing helper/teacher.

Quote
"Retinex" improves visual rendering of an image when lighting conditions are not good.
   While our eye can see colors correctly when light is low, cameras and video cams can't
   manage this well. The MSRCR (MultiScale Retinex with Color Restoration) algorithm, which
   is at the root of the "Retinex" filter, is inspired by the eye biological mecanisms to
   adapt itself to these conditions. "Retinex" stands for Retina + cortex.

http://docs.gimp.org/en/plug-in-retinex.html

I personally find it is good for both investigating color perception and developing strange and interesting palettes.

Terley: I came across an (analogue) painting tutorial that covered drawing water. But in short, because of the different reflections and consequent effective 'layering' of the light, I recommend colors that provide a fairly wide range of saturation and some range in hue. The lower 'layers' will be less saturated, the upper more. Direct sunlight == strongest saturation.  I admit to not playing around with this much, as my water tends to work fairly well without much attention needed.
Obviously minimalism isn't everything -- but regarding learning art, yeah, it is pretty much everything.

Confidence is an attitude, not a feeling. Directed failure is the engine of confidence.

Offline Gil

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #40 on: October 15, 2006, 01:19:36 pm


Wow, that palette looks EXACTLY like the ones DA_13 was using all the time, are you him Crazy Asian Gamer?

Offline Takai Soyokaze

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #41 on: October 23, 2006, 01:53:40 am
Gil: That's impossible.

Offline pkmays

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #42 on: October 23, 2006, 02:59:27 am
I'd just like to add a little piece of trivia:

Using HSV sliders skips some RGB values.

Try it, you'll see.

It's pretty clear why when you think about it.

H range: 360
S range: 100
V range: 100

360 * 100 * 100 = 3,600,000

R range: 256
G range: 256
B range: 256

256 * 256 * 256 = 16,777,216

A difference of over thirteen million combinations!

And to quote this Wikipedia article:

Quote
In computer graphics, it is typical to represent each channel as an integer from 0 to 255 instead of a real number from 0 to 1. It is worth noting that when encoded in this way, every possible HSV color has an RGB equivalent. However, the inverse is not true. Certain RGB colors have no integer HSV representation. In fact, only 1/256th of the RGB colors are 'available' in HSV, effectively eliminating a single channel of control from the graphics artist.

By all means, use HSB to set up your colors. It's a lot easier and effective. Once you've got them set up the way you want with HSB, tweak the RBG settings to get the maximum range of color choices.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2006, 03:01:44 am by pkmays »

Offline Peppermint Pig

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #43 on: October 24, 2006, 11:43:16 am
I'm mulling over posting something on color myself, but it's so entangled with other subjects that I might just wait. I'd at least agree here that HSB/HSL is the way to go for getting colors chosen. After that, use your knowledge of color to tweak the proper atmospherics and reasonable leaps of 'Hue+saturation' and Luminosity between colors. I have yet to really use rgb for choosing colors, but it's certainly a valuable resource.. much "asian" style work seems to gravitate more around RGB...

I think it's good to point out Helm's artistic development.. his colors are, in my mind, more grimy/mature (bitmap brothers and demoscene inspired), as opposed to the stuff seen in games like phantom brave (where dithering is very uncommon, probably as a preference in workflow) where works appear very pristine; 'watercolory' work (also rgb oriented)...  Which is really a matter of taste. Color palettes which have multiple ramps to bridge between two or more colors are more suited to dithering (more like demoscene), whereas..... what I'd call the 'korean' style of color work, interestingly enough, seems to be more fixed-palette based than anything else (basically 'tested' colors that one need not focus on so work can be done faster), and they seem to lean towards RGB color selection.

When I find the time, I'll do a proper paper on this with examples.

Offline Helm

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #44 on: October 24, 2006, 01:24:37 pm
Thank you. And this sounds interesting, when you can, please follow up to your last post.

instant

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #45 on: October 24, 2006, 08:06:31 pm
Since questions are being asked, I'd like to know how some of you go about spriting rpg sprite bases of (32/48 X 64 PX)
while keeping proportions and animating them.

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #46 on: November 10, 2006, 07:54:25 pm
when I read pep's post, I keep wondering why he thinks "Korean" style focuses on choosing with RGB, while at the same time he says they use prefixed palletes.....if their colors are so set in stone, why'd he thinkt hat they're chosen with the most cumbersome of the sliders

WHY PEP WHY? :p.......

Offline Ai

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #47 on: November 10, 2006, 10:30:07 pm
By all means, use HSB to set up your colors. It's a lot easier and effective. Once you've got them set up the way you want with HSB, tweak the RBG settings to get the maximum range of color choices.
3.6 million is still far more range than you need for pixel art.
http://r0k.us/graphics/png16.html
Png16 is a HSV-based format, and it provides 60,480 colors in total, which are arranged to be the most significant colors, as you can see here:
http://r0k.us/graphics/SIHwheel.html

I consider it quite a good colorspace for pixel art color selection.
From my experiments, I have concluded that appropriate colorspace size is usually > 12bit (4096 color, non-AGA Amiga RGB colorspace) and < 18bit (262144 color, PC VGA RGB colorspace). If I had to pick one number, I would pick 15bit(32768 colors, SNES RGB colorspace)

Conceit: It's not so horrific when the sliders show what colors particular values will produce what colors.


Has anyone had experience with L*a*b color selection? It is the most reliable of the colorspaces, but my experiments with it suggest it's tricky to select colors from.
Obviously minimalism isn't everything -- but regarding learning art, yeah, it is pretty much everything.

Confidence is an attitude, not a feeling. Directed failure is the engine of confidence.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #48 on: November 10, 2006, 11:19:54 pm
Has anyone had experience with L*a*b color selection? It is the most reliable of the colorspaces, but my experiments with it suggest it's tricky to select colors from.
I use lab color selection for all my pixel art. I find it alot easier and effecient to use.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #49 on: November 11, 2006, 10:13:53 pm
um...for the uneducated, what is L.A.B? lightness abercombies and bifurcation.....c.c?

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #50 on: November 11, 2006, 10:16:35 pm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%2Aa%2Ab

fun to work with colors that don't exist.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #51 on: November 12, 2006, 01:33:06 am
L is lightness/luminance
a is a value between green and magenta
b is a value between yellow and blue
Lab is an absolute color space, where as cmyk and rgb are not, so Lab can describe more colors for the human eye.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #52 on: November 12, 2006, 03:29:39 am
I did read up some of the wiki data (although it's very dense so I didnt get much) but I couldnt imagine the inmediate practical implications of using this. in fact, I had put the LAB sliders on photopshop whitout knowing what they are, but I dismissed them...they are just wildly unpredictable every time I change a slider the function of ALL OTHER silders changes I cant even imagine getting used to that.

Kon, it just feels a lot more complicated; what exactly do you find more efficient about the LAB method, is it just the range of colors an absolute color space implies?

« Last Edit: November 12, 2006, 03:35:57 am by Conceit »

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #53 on: November 12, 2006, 05:12:20 am
with rgb, you have to adjust all r, g, and b, to decrease or increase the luminance. that means you have three values each controlling the amount of brightness. With Lab, you are only useing one value to control luminance, and the other two are strictly for amount of color.

I much prefer only two values to choose a color than three, and those two dont affect the luminance either.
rgb just makes things difficult.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #54 on: November 12, 2006, 05:14:35 am
...which is why most people use HSL?

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #55 on: November 12, 2006, 05:27:22 am
...which is why most people use HSL?

the hue slider in HSB doesnt only change the hue, it also adjusts the luminance.
in HSB, you still have threee values adjusting the brightness, so thats just as complicated as rgb.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #56 on: November 12, 2006, 05:35:14 am
the hue slider in HSB doesnt only change the hue, it also adjusts the luminance.

Which programs have Lab? I'd love to see this, I hate hue changes messing up my luminance.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #57 on: November 12, 2006, 07:58:59 am
Here's a rough view of LAB colorspace. It's a naive conversion to RGB; as wikipedia notes, A proper color profile for your monitor and picture is needed to reproduce LAB colors accurately. (for example, looking at this animation on my monitor, green recedes faster than blue which recedes faster than red.)


In this animation,
+TIME = -L
+X = +B
+Y = +A

Photoshop is the only app I've heard of supporting LAB color selection.
I'm trying to make an LAB colorselector for GIMP myself, as the color management support of GIMP is greatly increasing recently.

EDIT:
LAB in common terms:
(Consider LAB as three floating point values in the range (0.0 .. 1.0))

Darken/lighten a color : -L or +L
Make a color greyer : move A and B towards 0.5 (absolute grey is at A = 0.5 B = 0.5)
Traverse the color spectrum : Travel in a square around the A*B square in such a way that your distance from the centre is constant. This is overrated -- exact traversal of the spectrum I've rarely found useful.

« Last Edit: November 12, 2006, 08:38:29 am by Ai »
Obviously minimalism isn't everything -- but regarding learning art, yeah, it is pretty much everything.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #58 on: November 12, 2006, 08:13:33 am
I've been using LAB in photoshop for years... I prefer it over RGB and HSB.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2006, 08:16:04 am by Frychiko »
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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #59 on: November 12, 2006, 06:19:55 pm
 I'm pretty sure green is just supposed to disappear at the darkest level, since there is no other way to create black from what I see in photoshop, if I tried to make green as bright in 0 luminance as red or blue are, I'd end up with a green tinted screen......
I dont understand, in that animation the brighter the space is, the more yellow dominates the picture, how is it that it just disappears in the last few frames? is it supposed to be a fake color created by luminance or something?

......AAAAAAAAAH confusing, Kon...can u give us some examples of HSL's luminance fault?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2006, 06:28:59 pm by Conceit »

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #60 on: November 12, 2006, 09:12:37 pm
well, basically.. when you keep the brightness value and saturation value on the HSB the same while you change only the hue value, you end up changeing the chromatic value. This can be tested by making everything greyscale mode which discards the color information. If you use lab and keep the luminance unchanged while changing the hue, you get a smooth even shade of grey. but when you use hsb and keep the brightness the same while changing the hue, you get an uneven multiple shades of grey.

the top is hsb adusting hue while keeping brightness the same.
the middle is lab adjusting hue while keeping lightness the same.
the bottom is hsb adjusting hue while keeping both lightness and saturation the same.
on the right is everything changed to greyscale mode.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2006, 09:36:09 pm by Alex Hanson-White »

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #61 on: November 13, 2006, 02:34:39 am
masterful display KON, thanks a bunch :y:...now to make peace with A and B c.c

Man, getting into this LAB colorspace thing is only confirming a lot of things I thought about the oddity and inconsistance of hues when I was getting into pixelart, thank you again

now if this shouldnt get featured, I dont know what should *wink wink, nudge nudge*
« Last Edit: November 13, 2006, 03:35:04 am by Conceit »

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #62 on: November 13, 2006, 05:01:17 pm
Uh and what is the help exactly? The relative luminance and brightness of those colours still is not the same to the human eye, I sometimes use RGB and sometime HSV depending on what I do, or CMYK. Never been a friend of Lab.

Quote
The Lab color model has been created to serve as a device independent, absolute model to be used as a reference. Therefore it is crucial to realize that the visual representations of the full gamut of colors in this model are never accurate. They are there just to help in understanding the concept, but they are inherently inaccurate.

Poop!
« Last Edit: November 13, 2006, 05:06:23 pm by ptoing »

There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #63 on: November 13, 2006, 10:46:09 pm
Quote
Therefore it is crucial to realize that the visual representations of the full gamut of colors in this model are never accurate. They are there just to help in understanding the concept, but they are inherently inaccurate.
I understood this to mean: the illustrative pictures are not accurate  - because all display hardware has quirks that prevent the gamut from being fully displayed (for example, my monitor doesn't display black as a real black, just a dark-enough grey.)

With the appropriate monitor color profile and image color profile configured, you can get an accurate display. without them, you can get a somewhat-accurate display (the colors relative to each other -- eg the colors in Kon's LAB example are a lot closer in apparent brightness than the HSB examples.)
Obviously minimalism isn't everything -- but regarding learning art, yeah, it is pretty much everything.

Confidence is an attitude, not a feeling. Directed failure is the engine of confidence.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #64 on: November 14, 2006, 01:49:39 am
ok! came back, I dont know how kon did that little B&W test thing, but it is not really true, if you keep the lightness the same in LAB, you will NOT get a flat gray shade in terms of lightness when looking at the pallete


this image are LAB colorspace "slides", turned grayscale,goes from RGB black trough RGB blue, RGB red, RGB green, RGB green(dont ask me why but it can be created in 2 diferent ways in LAB), to RGB white.

According to what KON said, all of these images should be one flat gray shade but they're not....

I still find the way LAB deals with colors very very interesting, but I think KON's reasoning for it's practicality doesnt stand, and I still find it a bit mind boogling to work this with sliders
« Last Edit: November 14, 2006, 01:54:04 am by Conceit »

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #65 on: November 14, 2006, 02:09:21 am
More trouble than it's worth, I suspect.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #66 on: November 14, 2006, 02:22:32 am
ok! came back, I dont know how kon did that little B&W test thing, but it is not really true, if you keep the lightness the same in LAB, you will NOT get a flat gray shade in terms of lightness when looking at the pallete


this image are LAB colorspace "slides", turned grayscale,goes from RGB black trough RGB blue, RGB red, RGB green, RGB green(dont ask me why but it can be created in 2 diferent ways in LAB), to RGB white.

According to what KON said, all of these images should be one flat gray shade but they're not....
No, of course not. He got a flat grey shade according to photoshop's particular estimation of intensity on his system/monitor.
I certainly wouldn't have made such an extravagant claim. All that I'd assert about it is: it's far closer to constant perceived brightness than HSV is.
Obviously minimalism isn't everything -- but regarding learning art, yeah, it is pretty much everything.

Confidence is an attitude, not a feeling. Directed failure is the engine of confidence.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #67 on: November 14, 2006, 03:06:14 am
hm yeah, it's not perfect, but if you do the same with hsb, you'd have much harsher bands of brightness. Lab looks alot smoother anyways. whatever works for you is what it gets down to.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #68 on: November 15, 2006, 05:39:17 pm
How does Lab look smoother? You can get any colour onto the monitor with HSV or RGB you can get with Lab, it's not like Lab magically enables the screen to display different colours.

There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #69 on: November 17, 2006, 05:16:08 am
HSV = 3,600,000 values
(photoshop) Lab = 6,553,600 values
RGB = 16,777,216 values
CYMK = 100,000,000 values
Hex = 2,176,782,336 values
32bit colour = 4,294,967,296 values (?)
its the truth. however CYMK on photoshop is limited to the number of colours possible with the RGB values.
if we wanted all the colours possible on a 32bit screen we'd have to have RGB values from 0 to 1624 i think.

anyway the point of all this is that Hex = 'smoothest' in terms of number of possible values. however its hard to colour with just hex values to go on. so do whatever you find easiest i say. and HSV looks smooth enough. the human eye can't really tell the difference better 254,254,254 and 255,255,255 can it?

erg just realised lots of these numbers aren't correct. some you won't get any values if one of the numbers is 0 so i think only RGB and Hex are accurate. all others show less colours then stated.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2006, 05:27:18 am by Akira »
thanks Dogmeat!

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #70 on: November 17, 2006, 05:49:53 am
HSV = 3,600,000 values
(photoshop) Lab = 6,553,600 values
RGB = 16,777,216 values
CYMK = 100,000,000 values
Hex = 2,176,782,336 values
32bit colour = 4,294,967,296 values (?)
its the truth. however CYMK on photoshop is limited to the number of colours possible with the RGB values.
if we wanted all the colours possible on a 32bit screen we'd have to have RGB values from 0 to 1624 i think.

anyway the point of all this is that Hex = 'smoothest' in terms of number of possible values. however its hard to colour with just hex values to go on. so do whatever you find easiest i say. and HSV looks smooth enough. the human eye can't really tell the difference better 254,254,254 and 255,255,255 can it?

erg just realised lots of these numbers aren't correct. some you won't get any values if one of the numbers is 0 so i think only RGB and Hex are accurate. all others show less colours then stated.

CMYK = < 65536 colors (it's a print-oriented colorspace, after all. And ya'd be lucky to get 16 different sizes of ink blob supported by the printer.. probably it's closer to <4096. (8^4)

Hex = Infinite .Hex isn't a colorspace. while photoshop etc display these hex values like RRGGBBAA, their actual range and number of bits depends on display hardware. for a 32bit hex number, there are 4,294,967,296 values; for the more common 24bit hex value, 16,777,216; for the 48bit format used by X11, 281,474,976,710,656 colors (normally not used for display, only for high-precision manipulation). For 16bit displays, there are of course 65536 colors, or 32768 for 15bit (I favor 15bit).

HSV is also fractionally adjustable, as is RGB, depending on your paint program. That finally means it provides (more than) all the possible displayable colors. On modern machines, this may have up to 80bits of precision (GIMP is a known example), which amounts to  604,462,909,807,314,587,353,088 unique values. (79 ^2; 80 - (1 bit to store the sign))

The human eye (at least my human eye) can tell the difference between 254,254,254 and 255,255,255 if they are the only two colors onscreen.

This is all beside the point though -- 64k colors should be enough for anyone! ;)

Obviously minimalism isn't everything -- but regarding learning art, yeah, it is pretty much everything.

Confidence is an attitude, not a feeling. Directed failure is the engine of confidence.

Offline Akira

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #71 on: November 18, 2006, 08:44:59 am
 :) Nitpicker :P
I suppose I should have said hex triplets (sudden i realise how my calculations are screwed again).
And I still reckon my CYMK calculations are fine if you don't intend on printing all values :P. except i screwed up pretty bad which throws the number off by alot.

And if I substituted 255,255,255 with 254,254,254 on an image you wouldn't be able to visually tell. don't say you would. cause you wouldn't  :P

But yes, 64k is enough for anyone :P

Thanks for the superior knowledge, it's FUN to LEARN  ;D
thanks Dogmeat!

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #72 on: November 18, 2006, 08:59:17 am
And if I substituted 255,255,255 with 254,254,254 on an image you wouldn't be able to visually tell. don't say you would. cause you wouldn't  :P


Ai never said you would notice if replacing them. More like you would notice if they were the only colors on screen.

Edit:

There is FFFFF and FEFEFE.
Personally I see no diference at all, (except slightly within the palette window), but who knows, maybe some have better eyes or it's a matter of having a different monitor or something.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2006, 09:15:32 am by Panda »

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #73 on: November 18, 2006, 09:15:18 am
when i said smoother, i meant that in the way that it flows as a color picker. not the technical amount of numbers..

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #74 on: November 18, 2006, 09:38:58 am
Ai never said you would notice if replacing them. More like you would notice if they were the only colors on screen.
Edit:

There is FFFFF and FEFEFE.
Personally I see no diference at all, (except slightly within the palette window), but who knows, maybe some have better eyes or it's a matter of having a different monitor or something.

er...I can see the border. I'd never have found it without you telling there was one of course, but I found it =)

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #75 on: November 18, 2006, 12:55:34 pm
Ai never said you would notice if replacing them. More like you would notice if they were the only colors on screen.

Edit:

There is FFFFF and FEFEFE.
Personally I see no diference at all, (except slightly within the palette window), but who knows, maybe some have better eyes or it's a matter of having a different monitor or something.
I spotted the border immediately when the image was zoomed large enough (which still wasn't all the screen; just 400% zoom on the image you provided so that it spanned the browser window.)

I recall a conversation about eye color corresponding to color perception -- I came to the conclusion that a persons preferred colors counteract the colors of their eyes. For example, brown eyed people preferring more saturated colors because their eye color naturally tints what they see somewhat brown/murky .. dark-eyed people liking light/vibrant colors, light-eyed people liking the reverse (oily color blends? Personally I like the way colors mix in oil paintings, and I think it is something like this.. an overall low-saturation theme (personally a lot of stuff looks too bright to me. Whenever I'm going somewhere, there are these excessively shiny things, mostly cars, that repulse my gaze.). Obviously, I'm a light-eyed person (blue, specifically) and I think that there is a good argument for light-eyed people being overly sensitive to light (might be interesting to research someplace where blue eyes are very common, see if it's less damn shiny.)


Quote from: ]
when i said smoother, i meant that in the way that it flows as a color picker. not the technical amount of numbers..
[quote
I think you should have just reiterated 'it makes the most sense (and hence is the easiest to use)' :)

Quote from: myself
On modern machines, this may have up to 80bits of precision (GIMP is a known example), which amounts to  604,462,909,807,314,587,353,088 unique values. (79 ^2; 80 - (1 bit to store the sign))
Mistake: that is the amount of precision you could get per component.
For HSV, the total number would be something like ((2 ^ 79) ^ 3) (i also swapped the exponent for the base, before.)
Which is a number beginning "2208558830".. that is 72 digits long.
Obviously minimalism isn't everything -- but regarding learning art, yeah, it is pretty much everything.

Confidence is an attitude, not a feeling. Directed failure is the engine of confidence.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #76 on: November 19, 2006, 12:03:35 am
when i said smoother, i meant that in the way that it flows as a color picker. not the technical amount of numbers..
Haha, i thought it might be something like that. I enjoyed the learning experience though :P

yeah i see no difference between the two and i'm also blue eyed. but i will concede that my eyesight isn't the best ;)
thanks Dogmeat!

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #77 on: November 22, 2006, 06:43:50 pm
Hey, Ai, I think that theory of the dark and bright eyed perception is pretty much nonsense. I have hazel/brown eyes and I like my stuff quite desaturated as well.
It is proven that the level of how sensnsitive people are to light varies, and i am quite sensitive to light as well, see quite well at night after a short time of adjusting, whereas some people are more or less nightblind but are less likely to get blinded by lights. I highly doubt that the colour of the iris changes perception of colour at all.

There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #78 on: November 22, 2006, 09:54:01 pm
I should add that females can distinguish more colours in the red/orange range compared to males. Apparently women gathered flowers/fruits/leaves etc. while the men hunted animals which were less colourful, whilst we were evolving.  :y:

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #79 on: November 22, 2006, 10:13:30 pm
LAB confuses me ??? ??? Oh well, whatever.
I have a problem picking a nice pallette for skin(of a white person, no rasicm).
I also can't get yellow to shadow right.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #80 on: January 07, 2007, 12:29:55 pm
I have found that certain colors look beter when Hue Shifting twoards another color.
For a skin tone, I sugges have something like this.
SHADE 1

R 233 G 202 B 160
Midtone
218 147 129 ( Note the pinkinsh hueshift.)
2nd Shade
175 121 88 (Now note the brownish shift.)
Darkest Shade
131 71 71 (Finally a maroon-purple shft)
All the colors look great together.
But that is just an opinion.

Offline Ai

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #81 on: January 25, 2007, 06:38:27 am
Hello. After using HSL selection for quite some time, I tried out L*a*b color selection. Selecting along the A+B dimensions is confusing to me.
So I made a hybrid color selector -- HSL (where L is L of LAB). The way it works is, when you change the H or S, it converts that to LAB and applies the A and B components to the final color (discarding any changes to the L); changing L works directly.
That is in my experience the most intuitive color selection method -- you have the intuitive grasp of hue and grayness given by HSL combined with accurate control of brightness given by LAB.

A sort of demo: hue cycles, then sat, then L.



EDIT: The non-bastardized version of the above is CIE L*CH -- it's a view on the L*a*b colorspace, with C mapping to saturation and H mapping to hue. Naturally because it's LAB based, it doesn't have the brightness variance problems that HSV/HSL does. see this visual example:
http://www.colourphil.co.uk/lab_lch_colour_space.html
I am currently mostly-finished with porting my color editor to use L*CH.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2007, 02:18:07 pm by Ai »
Obviously minimalism isn't everything -- but regarding learning art, yeah, it is pretty much everything.

Confidence is an attitude, not a feeling. Directed failure is the engine of confidence.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #82 on: April 15, 2008, 02:15:23 pm
I think that there is a good argument for light-eyed people being overly sensitive to light (might be interesting to research someplace where blue eyes are very common, see if it's less damn shiny.)

I think this is bullshit. I have verry (verry) dark hazel eyes (mostly dark chocolate brown with an extremely dark green ring) and my eyes are light sensitive. To the extent that i have photo-sensative lenses in my glasses that change shade (from clear to verry dark sunglass colour) depending on the brightness of the light hitting them. This is because otherwise i get constant miagrains, eye pain, tempory blindness and watering eyes i can't hold open, in bright light or whilst looking at especially bright colours or shiny things.

So from personal experiance i see a big flaw in that argument. I think it's person to person and gender related rather than anything to do with your eye colour.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 02:19:01 pm by heyy13 »

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #83 on: April 16, 2008, 11:45:34 am
@heyy13: a single piece of anecdotal evidence doesn't mean there's a flaw in the argument. because the eye is made up of many different parts which all contribute to light sensitivity, there will be many different combinations that cause an individual to be sensitive to light. having lighter eyes may well increase an individuals chances of being light sensitive, this isn't to say that people with dark eyes are definitely not light sensitive. you weren't interpreting panda's theory correctly.

@panda: the blue-eyed mutation occurred rather recently in humans and recent research has pointed to just one original blue-eyed individual, so it is unlikely that there will be less blue eyed people in shinier areas - there will be more blue eyed people in the area where this individual lived.
thanks Dogmeat!

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #84 on: April 16, 2008, 09:50:29 pm
only one blue eyed person in the whole world? that seems like the perfect setup for one of those boy coming-of-age RPG stories :p

where'd you gather that info?

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #85 on: April 16, 2008, 10:39:23 pm
only one blue eyed person in the whole world? that seems like the perfect setup for one of those boy coming-of-age RPG stories :p

where'd you gather that info?

http://www.springerlink.com/content/2045q6234h66p744/fulltext.html

very recent study, and a very interesting one

Offline chriskot

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #86 on: April 17, 2008, 09:10:32 pm
http://www.springerlink.com/content/2045q6234h66p744/fulltext.html

very recent study, and a very interesting one

That is interesting, although I didn't read all of it. Too tired to even try to understand it all right now.
Everyone being descended from one blue-eyed person makes sense to me, except for the fact that blue eyes are a recessive trait. Did they explain somewhere in the study why blue eyes didn't die out immediately with the first person?

I should add that females can distinguish more colours in the red/orange range compared to males. Apparently women gathered flowers/fruits/leaves etc. while the men hunted animals which were less colourful, whilst we were evolving.  :y:

Women generally have better/more vibrant colour vision because they have more cone cells in their eyes. Men have more rod cells, so they can generally see contrast better. Also, apparently due to some sort of abnormality on the X chromosome, some women are tetrachromats:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrachromacy

I think that there is a good argument for light-eyed people being overly sensitive to light (might be interesting to research someplace where blue eyes are very common, see if it's less damn shiny.)

I think this is bullshit. I have verry (verry) dark hazel eyes (mostly dark chocolate brown with an extremely dark green ring) and my eyes are light sensitive. To the extent that i have photo-sensative lenses in my glasses that change shade (from clear to verry dark sunglass colour) depending on the brightness of the light hitting them. This is because otherwise i get constant miagrains, eye pain, tempory blindness and watering eyes i can't hold open, in bright light or whilst looking at especially bright colours or shiny things.

So from personal experiance i see a big flaw in that argument. I think it's person to person and gender related rather than anything to do with your eye colour.

He didn't say anything about dark-eyed people all being less than over-sensitive. Only that light-eyed people are more often. I have blue eyes and also own a pair of Transition lenses. Handy, aren't they?


Anyway, back to the choosing palettes topic: I usually select my initial palette colours by picking straight off of the board and rounding the RGB values to the nearest multiples of 5, but if I edit the colours later, I use HSL to fix them up.

Offline Antago

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #87 on: July 08, 2008, 03:51:35 pm
How does Lab look smoother? You can get any colour onto the monitor with HSV or RGB you can get with Lab, it's not like Lab magically enables the screen to display different colours.
It's about color selection, not about color availability.

Personally I think Konspiracy has the most beautiful color selection of anyone's work in this thread. Harmonically I think it makes sense to use some sort of order to your color selection considering the brain is a giant mathematician whether anyone realizes it or not. I think the brain appreciates the effort put into harmonizing color. Still, to each his own.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2008, 04:14:56 pm by Antago »

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #88 on: July 11, 2008, 02:19:37 am
I'm really unorthodox with color. If this shade of brown looks good next to that shade of green, I'm putting it there.

Man, I should learn me some color theory. :/
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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #89 on: July 11, 2008, 03:44:44 am
no, that's pretty much how I do it.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #90 on: July 30, 2008, 03:15:58 am
I always love drawing with a 65536 color pallette with 32 shades of blue, 32 shades of red, and 64 shades of green.  32768 is good but the human eye is more sensitive to green than red and blue, so I find the 64k pallette a bit more consistant in contrast.  I don't use the entire pallette when I'm making sprites, I only utilize the largeness of the palette for accuracy, I mostly use about 4-6 shades of colors for everything and I spend a lot of effort making the hues and shades accurate and consistant but I always throw in a lot of fantasy colors like bright blue objects with bright blue-green shadows and bright pink objects with bright violet shadows.  A good trick I use is to first choose the colors off a 4096 color pallette with 16 shades of red, blue, green and then redo the colors in 64k but adjust the colors to as best as possible.  Another thing to look out for is if you have a lot of shades for a color, always make the lightest shade really light, and the darkest shade really dark.  Never use perfect primaries, if you need red use a slightly peach or pink red, for yellow either use Winnie-the-Pooh yellow or lemon yellow (I sometimes use lemon as the tint for Winnie-the-Pooh yellow), use violet instead of purple, and use slightly greenish blues.  As you can see I'm obsessed with pretty colors.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #91 on: July 30, 2008, 06:12:24 am
16 colours ought to be enough for anybody >_<
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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #92 on: August 26, 2008, 02:11:42 am
16M colours ought to be enough for anybody >_<
Fixed.
Anyway I think you missed the point, which is that selecting from a smaller 'master palette' tends to help you make more appealing color schemes. In the common 16million-color scheme, you have a dizzying array of choices: 256 for each component!!! Realistically you do not need them; they're useful in the computers' representation of pixel colors, but not for your choosing of pixel colors.

My personal preference for color selection is not based on 'N steps of red, green, blue'. Rather, visually clicking on one of say..24 colors which are calculated relative to the starting color, and continuing to do that until your desired color is achieved.
I believe this is more comfortable with the relative nature of human vision, and I'm working on a plugin to make this available in GIMP.

Example of this idea:


Excuse the writing and lines on the image, it's from an SVG design document I'm working on.
Obviously minimalism isn't everything -- but regarding learning art, yeah, it is pretty much everything.

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Offline Akira

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #93 on: August 26, 2008, 02:35:45 am
Could you post that image at original size so I can read the writing? I'm always intrigued by different colour selection methods.
No problem if its top secret though.
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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #94 on: August 26, 2008, 04:06:28 am
That's actually 10x original size :) The writing is 0.2 px in size in the original SVG -- I use zooming to look at the details of what is a very large document. If you want the original svg, I'm happy to send it to you; you would need a viewer that could zoom well though (some viewers just render the svg at one size, and when you zoom it just looks pixelated, rather than gaining detail)

Here's a quick render of the relevant area at some absurd magnification, ending up at ???x1600 pixels big.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v449/neota/sketch/relativecolorsel-huuuge.png
(290k)

I added labels in yellow to clarify some things.

The accompanying text may also be helpful. I know it's a little complicated at the moment :)
Quote from: text
* Popup with variations on a color, like so:         

Variation grid:
Selecting a
color updates
the grid + FG;
moving       
away vanishes
 the popup. customizable eval() based grid (each cell separately scriptable) with dict of interpolants for each cell.
CTRL+click sets BG.
click+hold on a set expands the set (guaranteed all endpoints preserved)
using smart interpolation. For FG/BG swatches, this opens a more conventional,
exact color picker. (gimp color picking dialog.)

XXX what is color matching behaviour old swatch vs new color?

Scratch area for ideas:
*keep it up until explicitly dismissed
*dismiss on little movement after click + timeout.
Shift-click to insta-dismiss.
'Little movement' means -- the user clicks on an item.
Then, if they don't move outside that item before the timeout,
the popup is dismissed. (I've coded this)
*Dismiss if the user moves outside and doesn't return before timeout.

* sort colors by L* (IF they are in a set) -- as in the 'randomized interpolation' set above
* rightclick -> Edit

The idea is you bind it to a key -- eg. 'c', and then dispose
of the normal GIMP colors dialog, since you can see at a single keypress what FG + BG are, and modify them to what you want in a few clicks more.

DnD behaviour:
*Drop:
  *swatch insertion (fg, bg should be insertable in this way)
  * throw distance?
* Drag:
  * if dropped on BG, inform the user that CTRL+clicking
     does that.

Statusbar:
Hovering on a color should show the formula in the statusbar(red)

Interpolation:
swap old color to BG, or just remember the old color
and provide the possibility to use it as an interpolant.

upon mousebutton press (NOT press+release), update the grid.
This allows the user to wait as long as necessary to
scope out the new colors.
click+swap: we can eliminate the 'swap' button by making a click
on either FG or BG swap them. It might be useful to position the mouse
initially on FG, so you can swap with just hotkey, click
Obviously minimalism isn't everything -- but regarding learning art, yeah, it is pretty much everything.

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Offline Shrike

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #95 on: December 15, 2008, 01:39:52 am
Wow, this topic kicks arse.

I use Graphics Gale, and I was wondering..
It looks like i can only get RGB (Which is what i usually use) and HSL. Is there a setting/hack I can find to change this? I have photoshop, but i like sliders better than numbers. Also, I have blue eyes. IMMA MUTANT! omfg.

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #96 on: December 16, 2008, 05:17:11 pm
I always regret it when art is transformed into mathematics and science, yet color theory is inherenty technical and necessary for the artist to have at least some grasp of. I'm disposed to ignoring the finer details and just trying to get away with knowing the basics, thinking that a true 'artistic eye' will carry me through, making up for the lack of technical comprehension. "The masters" didn't delve into color theory in this manner, yet look at their amazing work. Yes, I'm comparing renaissance oils to pixel art, why not?

It may've already been addressed in this maze of a thread, but I have questions, as we all should:

What colorspace do you guys work in?

A lot of discussion so far on picking colors, but while working inside which color model?

For example, it was referenced somewhere in this thread that RGB is only capable of displaying a portion of what LAB can display, LAB having a much greater gamut. LAB is the common choice among photographers afterall. But would it not defeat the purpose of using LAB to pick colors from if still working in an RGB formatted document, or is it obvious that if one is picking from LAB, that he work in LAB color mode as well?

Additionally, internet browsers are said to use the sRGB colorspace, not RGB. So even if you do careully plan out your color picking plan of attack to get max colors, etc, your pixels on the net are dumbed down to sRGB, a color model that just about fits inside of RGB because it is so limited.

Photoshop, which I use, makes these colorspaces readily available. I don't know about you GraphicsGale, ProMotion, etc., users.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 05:25:28 pm by Mathias »

Offline Ai

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Re: Choosing colors and pallettes

Reply #97 on: December 16, 2008, 09:19:24 pm
Quote
But would it not defeat the purpose of using LAB to pick colors from if still working in an RGB formatted document, or is it obvious that if one is picking from LAB, that he work in LAB color mode as well?
No. LAB just behaves in a more predictable and sensible way than RGB. (though I have to say, I pick colors in RGB and then mix them in LAB to get the best quality+most predictable result). Anyway, from a point of view of color *selection*, LCH is preferable to LAB (LCH is a polar transform of the AB coordinates so they become chromaticity and hue). I would still keep the image itself in RGB, though.
Obviously minimalism isn't everything -- but regarding learning art, yeah, it is pretty much everything.

Confidence is an attitude, not a feeling. Directed failure is the engine of confidence.