AuthorTopic: the color of NES  (Read 3615 times)

yosh64

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the color of NES

on: October 05, 2007, 02:16:54 pm
hey

I was just browsing through and looking at alot of maps of different NES games, and I really like these graphics :). Well they all seem quite colorful, and I really like the colors used.

So I was wondering if there was any theory behind these colors? are they a result of certain limitations? regardless I really like them, and want to try learn about and implement such color in my own pixel art.

Anyhows it would be great if anyone could share any thoughts/ideas/knowledge about these graphics, as it seems very interesting to me.

cyas

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: the color of NES

Reply #1 on: October 05, 2007, 02:32:00 pm
I could be wrong, but it's likely that the NES had an 8-bit global rainbow palette, and all of the 4 color palettes for the tiles and sprites simply chose good looking colors out of that.

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: the color of NES

Reply #2 on: October 05, 2007, 03:15:48 pm

yosh64

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Re: the color of NES

Reply #3 on: October 06, 2007, 03:30:59 am
hey

Thanks for the info :).

cyas

yosh64

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Re: the color of NES

Reply #4 on: October 06, 2007, 08:37:30 am
hey

I decided to look a little more into the NES color palette, and it seems there are different interpretations, and the true colors are not known?

Hmm, so I was wondering as to where you got this palette, and how it was obtained? I now wanna find the true colors of the NES :).

Anyhows to help yas better understand I will quote something from NES Technical/Emulation/Development FAQ, more specifically questions 55, and 56.

Quote
Is the NES palette RGB or what?

No. I wish it were, but it isn't. The NES really works on the NTSC colour concept, with luminance (brightness) going in one direction, and chrominance (hue) going in another. Barring the colour values after $xC, the palette in the NES does on average a 30 rotation in hue for each step of the lower nybble that you take. Furthermore, the palette increases in luminance for each step of the upper nybble that you take. So, the palette really operates on hue and brightness in each direction, not RGB in each direction.

How do I get an accurate palette then?

Well, the only TRUE way is to get yourself an oscilloscope and find out the exact hue, saturation, and brightness for each colour in the NES' palette. However, not everybody can do that, can they? What some people have done (including me) is digitize all the colours of the NES' palette with video capturing equipment, and get the R,G,B values from there. That's not a perfect way of getting the colours, but it worked for me.

The following is a table showing what 'my' NES palette looks like. It has proven very useful to me in making my NES demos, so I think it's fairly accurate. Colour is, of course, very subjective, so what works for me might not work for you. There are lots of other palettes out there, of course, but I still choose to use my own. The numbers in the cells represent the palette entry number on the NES.

Anyhows I have found a number of different color palettes for the NES already, and will have to look further into things to determind what I think is the most accurate, hehe. Hmm, maybe this is going over the top :P, but it might be fun todo.

cyas

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: the color of NES

Reply #5 on: October 06, 2007, 10:50:41 pm
After reading the same paragraph in some of the homebrew tech docs, I decided that I would create my palette based on the 5 or 6 RGB guesses at the NES palette that I was able to track down in technical & emulator documentation (including the author of that doc's).  I weighted my choice on which palette featured the widest range of useful RGB colors, and tried to average areas of the palette that varied particularly widely (particular the dark dark grays) across my findings.

While I both respect and understand the desire to find the "true" colors of the NES, its a hell of a lot of work for not a lot of payoff, because different monitors and tubes display things differently anyways!  You'd have to run color calibrators and a special profile based on your output CRT's specific composition and age...its a big F'ing mess!