Do you stick to a certain palette when spriting or not?

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RKD
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Do you stick to a certain palette when spriting or not?

Post by RKD »

I've been making small tests in-game with modified/custom weapon sprites. Now, I was going with the approach of painting to my own volition first and then using palette translation via Slade to make sure I wasn't using anything outside of that range. Eventually, I ran into the common limitations that comes from sticking to specific palettes (lacking greens, purples, oranges, etc) and tried my unpaletted PNGs instead. I couldn't see any difference in how they look in-game (be it in hardware, software, true-color, blabla) so I just assume that GZDoom has no problem with this. Is this assumption correct?

So, in which cases do you want to stick to a specific palette? Is it a matter of compatibility with other sourceports? Just pure "vanilla feel"?

Is it preferable to don't mind and use whatever colors you feel like using if you want to make a weapon mod intended to be loaded in multiple IWADs with different PLAYPAL lumps? (a la Guncaster, for example, which works in Doom and Heretic and colors don't go crazy)

Apologies if it's a weird question or I'm just overthinking too much. I tend to research the process before attempting any serious project. :stuppor:
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fakemai
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Re: Do you stick to a certain palette when spriting or not?

Post by fakemai »

RKD wrote:Is it preferable to don't mind and use whatever colors you feel like using if you want to make a weapon mod intended to be loaded in multiple IWADs
You can still adhere to a palette when designing the graphics even if the output format isn't limited as such, and yes, for cross-IWAD compatibility you want them independent of the game's palette so use PNG. Seen a couple of issues when doing local porting of mods to play in Heretic where graphics need such conversion.
RKD wrote:So, in which cases do you want to stick to a specific palette?
Both your reasons are valid but source port support is the main limiter, however if making a mod you normally would want at least ZDoom and that supports PNG. Mappers have it harder if they want to introduce textures as those often are made to "limit removing" or even "vanilla" standards.
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RKD
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Re: Do you stick to a certain palette when spriting or not?

Post by RKD »

I see, thanks a lot for the answer! It really will help me to keep things in mind within the process. :biggrin:
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Enjay
 
 
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Re: Do you stick to a certain palette when spriting or not?

Post by Enjay »

A lot of the discussion around palettes come down to personal choices and tastes. Some people feel that the original game palettes are the way to go, some are quite hardline about that in fact. The other end of the spectrum is people who never give the palette a second thought. Then there are people somewhere in the middle.

For me, if I am using or making resources from a non-Doom source (another game, a photo, whatever) I prefer to use the resource's original palette (or use true colour if that's appropriate). To me, forcing resources from other sources into the game palette often looks ugly, almost always results in a loss of information and can mean weird colours appearing (e.g. red colours appearing on wooden textures from Shadow Warrior when forced into the Doom palette).

However, if I do want something vanilla-like, then I will be a lot more aware of the palette. I may not necessarily go strictly for the game palette, but I might do something like use Paint Shop Pro's "colour to target" tool with a colour from the Doom palette. This will adjust the areas that I use it on so that they compliment the colours in the palette, but may not be actually in the palette.

Overall, I feel that how the colours all work together is more important than strict adherence to a specific, and often limited, palette.
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RKD
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Re: Do you stick to a certain palette when spriting or not?

Post by RKD »

Enjay wrote:Then there are people somewhere in the middle.
This is kinda the approach I'd be more likely to have, tbh.

To give an imaginary example: let's say I want to make a fiery thingy and I lack oranges or vivid yellows on certain game palette. I just feel the result looks underwhelmingly poor in comparison to what I could come up with if I let loose and used the colors I picture in my head. Granted, there's probably workarounds for that, like brightmaps that can be overlayed on top of a sprite, maybe?. But it just seems an unpractical way to do it, for me. Perhaps it's because I've been an illustrator for years and have my own workflow already. I don't know.

I'd like to make fantasy/magical stuff for things like Heretic, since I think that game has a distinct lack of interesting custom assets (in comparison with Doom, ofc). So, in the imaginary case described above, I'd probably try to adhere to its palette first (which is sufficient for the most part) and for little touches or details that I think I can make look better with extra colors, I wouldn't mind adding stuff outside of its palette.

Heh, sorry if I write a lot. I just find interesting to debate this sort of stuff. I'm still in the prep stage and I'm yet to make actual time to try doing something but I've been increasingly interested in the idea and what you guys mention sure makes me feel more prepared to tackle that eventually. We'll see how that goes. :)
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Re: Do you stick to a certain palette when spriting or not?

Post by 22alpha22 »

I quit worrying about the palette over a decade ago when I switched to GZDoom, it was just too limiting. That being said, I do convert most of my png images into paletted pngs with their own palette specific to that image if it doesn't result in a loss of color accuracy. I have found more often than not, pngs with an optimized palette have a smaller file size than true color pngs or pngs using a predesigned 255 color palette.
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RKD
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Re: Do you stick to a certain palette when spriting or not?

Post by RKD »

So that was what "Optimize PNG..." in Slade does. Certainly a good addition to the things I'm gonna be glad to know about.
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fakemai
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Re: Do you stick to a certain palette when spriting or not?

Post by fakemai »

Just please maintain a distinction between original graphics and ones that are compressed for distribution because you don't necessarily want to include big media files in your mod, but indexed PNG can be lossy if you have too many colours and you absolutely do not want to be doing the equivalent of re-encoding an MP3 into an MP3 over and over.
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RKD
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Re: Do you stick to a certain palette when spriting or not?

Post by RKD »

fakemai wrote:Just please maintain a distinction between original graphics and ones that are compressed for distribution
I'm quite used to have the same picture in several image compression formats for different purposes, so I guess that won't be a problem. Anyways, I probably will have to wait until seeing all of this in practice, to start better assimilating the process. Surely I'm gonna ask for advice before officially releasing anything to double-check I did things the best way possible, when the time comes. Until then, thanks for taking the time for mentioning the things that I'm likely to need to know beforehand. I really appreciate it!
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Re: Do you stick to a certain palette when spriting or not?

Post by axredneck »

I like to stick to game's palette just for consistency.
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22alpha22
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Re: Do you stick to a certain palette when spriting or not?

Post by 22alpha22 »

fakemai wrote:Just please maintain a distinction between original graphics and ones that are compressed for distribution because you don't necessarily want to include big media files in your mod, but indexed PNG can be lossy if you have too many colours and you absolutely do not want to be doing the equivalent of re-encoding an MP3 into an MP3 over and over.
I use GIMP for my image editing needs and it has the ability to automatically generate an optimized palette for any given image, nevertheless the palette is still limited to 255 colors maximum. I always convert all my images to an indexed version to see if it will result in any color loss. If there is any color loss at all, I revert the change, otherwise I export the converted images and compare the file size between the original true color image and the indexed version, whichever is smaller (usually the indexed but surprisingly not always) is the one I put into my mod.

Something that irritates me personally is other mods and resource packs for GZDoom that use indexed pngs for their art assets, yet all images have the entirety of the Doom palette or whichever palette the mod is using embedded in each and every image. These images could easily have an optimized palette which wouldn't cost any color information yet could potentially reduce image file size by 50% or more. So wasteful and even some big and well known projects are guilty of this.
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Reactor
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Re: Do you stick to a certain palette when spriting or not?

Post by Reactor »

Personally, I don't. I had enough of paletting graphics under the EoD engine, and how I had to throw away many results because they looked like garbage. I want to take advantage of the full color palette of an SVGA monitor.
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Re: Do you stick to a certain palette when spriting or not?

Post by Matt »

For Doom mods I'll try to stick to the palette, but it's more of a one-person institutional inertia from the old days when I'd always use wad lumps for images because they compressed better - the translations in HD are definitely not limited to the Doom colours!

I think it does help me "stay honest" for when I want to contribute something to Freedoom though.

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