AuthorTopic: Color balancing your pixel art  (Read 25085 times)

Offline Cyangmou

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 929
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • cyangmou
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/32234.htm
    • cyangmou
    • View Profile
    • Pixwerk Homepage

Re: Color balancing your pixel art

Reply #10 on: February 21, 2015, 04:37:39 pm
Quote
As for every tool we use it's not about the tool, but about the person behind the tool.
If you know your goal and you change your colors in order to achieve that goal, how you do the changes is completely irrelevant.
But if you don't how to most effectively make those changes or even have a clear idea what your goal is then methods like this can be very helpful. I never know precisely the colors I'm gonna use up front. I have a certain idea, but the end palette is never what I had in mind originally. It's always a process of experimenting and tweaking until I end up in a place I'm satisfied with.

Well that's exactly what I put in the next sentence.
Experimenting is good  :y: tools help to quickly experiment  :y:
But if you are going for a special form of light or ambience, you usually know how it should appear (you have an idea) or you look in the process at a reference and you know what to change.
But you also have the same idea if you would tweak every color on it's own.
The tools obviously don't help in a good way if you don't know that there is different colored light which differently affects planes of different materials - you could get somewhere just by observation, but understanding is usually much more effective than guessing.

Quote
However
As for every tool we use it's not about the tool, but about the person behind the tool.
If you know your goal and you change your colors in order to achieve that goal, how you do the changes is completely irrelevant.
We can edit single indexes alone or we can edit multiple indexes with that color balance and a quick preview at once.
While from hand it would take hours to get to the same result, the tool allows quicker experimentation, more versions with a quick preview.
It's up to everyone himself to use the tools available. No need to discuss "true" or "untrue" in there.
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

Dev-Art
Twitter

Offline ErekT

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 330
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • fistful of pixels
    • View Profile

Re: Color balancing your pixel art

Reply #11 on: February 21, 2015, 04:55:47 pm
Oops, I need to read more closely :p

Offline Helm

  • Moderator
  • 0110
  • *
  • Posts: 5159
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Asides-Bsides

Re: Color balancing your pixel art

Reply #12 on: February 21, 2015, 06:34:57 pm
Do note I didn't say anything about the 'true' or 'correct' way to do things, it's really not to my interest to engage in metaphysics here.

On that 'the same result can be achieved manually', well, of course. The main asset of this trick I am advocating for is that you're editing more than one color at once in very fine ways and you immediately get visual feedback. Were you to do it manually, you'd have to do 20 different color alterations one by one, save the new state, go back 20 steps and swap between the two.

For me being able to work fast is a big part of becoming a better artist because the faster you do it, the more often you do it, and the faster you do it the less disinclined you'll be to try it when you need it.


Of course at the end of any color balancing trick you would have to manually readjust every index entry to maximize what you're doing with them, that goes without saying.


Dawnbringer: does Grafx2 allow for pallete alteration like this? If so, it has an extra leg up on pro motion. This is a very common practice in CG drawing, but not in pixel art, I've found.

Offline rikfuzz

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 427
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • twitter @hot_pengu

Re: Color balancing your pixel art

Reply #13 on: February 21, 2015, 06:59:32 pm
I'm constantly dicking around with levels, colour balance, vibrance, curves, etc.  It's fun, and, certainly quick and useful.  But I think, actually, what people are asking when they question how Helm arrives at his colour choices isn't the subtle tones over-arching the palette, but his generally surprising choice of hues in a small area. The branch is made up of orange, mustards and green with vibrant purple shadows, for example. 

I often find I use more interesting colour combinations this way when I'm using a limited palette. But best when it's a sort of generic one, for various scenes/objects.  If the palette was tailored specifically for that one scene/item, I guess I'm afforded the option of being more conservative. 

Offline RAV

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 293
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Blackbox Voxel Tool

Re: Color balancing your pixel art

Reply #14 on: February 21, 2015, 07:23:32 pm
I remember once having had a similar talk with DB about palette "after-effects".
I have a global-modifier key, that when held, colour-modification keys affect the whole palette, not just the selected slot.
Since the fluid changes are seen realtime "in-game", this makes for some pretty dramatic mood swings, in a good way.
It's just one of those little simple things you don't wanna miss once tried. So, I guess I just wanna say: hell yeah, baby.
not that it matters...

Offline DawnBringer

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 51
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Color balancing your pixel art

Reply #15 on: February 21, 2015, 07:49:52 pm
@Helm: Grafx2 allows you to, in realtime, change any color-channel for one color or a range of colors. The buttons on the right also allows to change the brightness of the selection (+/- 1 to all three channels). There's also HSV controls. (However there's no automatic brightness preservation etc.) You can quite easily re-arrange the palette if you need to group the colors to be affected. Nothing really advanced, but it works very smoothly.



As for the scripts, they can do pretty much everything...but they don't have interactive controls, thus not updating in real time :(  So it can require a bit of trial & error. Although it IS possible to write interactive/updating scripts controlled via keyboard.

Offline 0xDB

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 873
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Dennis inter-is.
    • dennisbusch_de
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/1287.htm
    • 0xdb
    • View Profile
    • 0xDB

Re: Color balancing your pixel art

Reply #16 on: February 21, 2015, 08:43:19 pm
Nope, pro motion has a very silly way of handling multi-layered images, as in, it hijacks the frame animation system. So it's either animation, or layers, not both at once.

Please excuse this bit of off-topic thread pollution but it is possible... just not all that intuitive to set up. I hope this explains how animation&layers are achieved simultaneously in Pro Motion (v.6 and 6.5 (do not know about earlier ones)):





A: First you create one project per layer (do not yet activate the layers button). Add as many frames as you want per layer (does not even have to be the same frame count). You can change these projects later as well, either individually or while working with them all at once, utilizing the extra project in step B.

B: Create another project. That project is not a layer itself but it is the project you use to manage the layers, it does contain only layer definitions but no actual image data. There is no "Layer Management Project" type to select when creating a project, just calling it that because that's what the project does, it merely defines layers and a frame count but has otherwise no own content of any kind.

C: In the "layer management project" activate the layers button. Now add as many layers as you like and in each layer properties, set the "Source Of Frame" property (D) to respective animation project from step A to display inside that layer. You can even select opacity and transparency per layer.

Now add frames to the layer management project and it will just display whatever it pulls in from the other projects into that frame and note how clicking on a layer makes the project that is displayed at that layer the active project.

And there it is, multi layered animation in Pro Motion. Not very intuitive but once you know how it works, it seems like a clean and logical way to do it.

When you save the layer management project and later open it again, each layer will display an info string, notifying you of any "linked projects" which are not currently loaded.

Offline Helm

  • Moderator
  • 0110
  • *
  • Posts: 5159
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Asides-Bsides

Re: Color balancing your pixel art

Reply #17 on: February 22, 2015, 09:30:55 am
What- W-What? I'll check this out at work first thing tomorrow, thank you!

Quote
but his generally surprising choice of hues in a small area. The branch is made up of orange, mustards and green with vibrant purple shadows, for example.

I have no idea how to communicate this to people because they don't look surprising to me.

It'd be cool if someone ported the color balancer to pro motion as some sort of plugin. I'd use it more often if I didn't have to swap programs all the time.

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile

Re: Color balancing your pixel art

Reply #18 on: February 22, 2015, 09:46:01 am
There's also HSV controls.

HSL, actually.

I made a GIMP plugin awhile ago to ease the pain of this kind of adjustment. It turns your palette into pixels on a layer that you can then apply whatever filter to and ultimately transfer back to your palette.

This allows the preservation of palette order, which addresses my primary issue with converting to RGB in order to do Hue/sat/etc adjustments -- it normally destroys your palette order (and also some of your image data, if you happen to set two colors the same.).


There are some interesting filters in the GIMP GMIC filter collection that anyone considering this general technique may like to try. I made up a simple album here.

@Helm: IMO your color choices are like applying a Sharpening filter to the Hue channel only, with a small radius; you 'blow out' the color identity of the object a little and obtain more pop. You can contrast this with much of pixel art, where, if anything, the sharpening is only applied to alter the colors of the basic ramp (ie. exaggerate hue and saturation differences), for the same reasons -- more pop. So you are doing spatially what most pixellers only do to their palette.

I don't know if this is a digestible explanation for others, but if you have a basic understanding of how Sharpen works, it fits your general pattern of hue choices well.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2015, 10:12:45 am by Ai »
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Helm

  • Moderator
  • 0110
  • *
  • Posts: 5159
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Asides-Bsides

Re: Color balancing your pixel art

Reply #19 on: February 22, 2015, 10:32:36 am
Honestly, not sure I get it