Author Topic: Palette Questions  (Read 2199 times)

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Offline schreiter

Palette Questions
« on: October 16, 2010, 08:40:51 AM »
Hello all,
I'm new to this forum (but used to lurk over at Mega Tokyo).  I'm assuming this is the general questions sub forum, but if it's not, let me know.

I'm looking for some general descriptions / guidance of how the SCI palettes work.  I have open QFG2 in the SCI Viewer tool (great tool!).  When I open a picture, it shows a palette of 16 x 3 = 48 total colors.  These seem to change with every picture.  However, when pulling them in to a separate program the color count is 16 or lower.  When I open a view (such as the ego) it is limited to a 16 x 1 =16 color palette.  This palette seems to stay the same.

Reading up on EGA over at Wikipedia, the EGA standard has a total palette of 64 colors, but only 16 can be shown on the screen at any time.  I was also reading on the old bripro tutorials that you can have 4 palettes of 16 colors each, and you can switch between them to give night/day type effects.

When a complete screen is shown in an SCI game, it clearly has a picture background with many views over-layed on top.  I'm not sure if all the views make use of all the colors, but in QFG2, the ego is using 14. 

I guess my first question is - can a picture and a view have different palettes - and if so, how does the interpreter handle this - as I don't think you can have more then 16 colors simultaneously on the screen.

My second question is - assuming that you cannot have more then 16 colors, what is a typical rule of thumb for creating views / picture palettes (and how did most Sierra games do it)?  If the ego is using 14 of 16 colors, does that give you 2 colors to change dynamically on every picture?  If that's true, then does it make it difficult to do a night/day palette switch knowing the ego is using most of the colors?

Am I completely confusing everything (probably) - and can someone point me in the correct direction?

Many thanks!

Offline MusicallyInspired

Re: Palette Questions
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2010, 11:17:57 AM »
Almost right. The SCI engine only displays the same 16 colours at any given time. There is a 64 colour palette but they're not really colours of their own. They're dithered colours (checkered offset) using different combinations of the same original 16. Obviously if you copy a background into an image editing program you're only going to get a 16-colour palette because that's all that's being used. It doesn't differentiate between the dithered colours. SCI has the ability to use dithered colours as palette colours giving the illusion of having more colours when in fact they're just a combination of two of the regular 16.

It doesn't matter how many colours you use for anything because there are only 16 to work with. Ever.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2010, 11:19:45 AM by MusicallyInspired »
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