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Thread: Genesis color palette

  1. #16
    Drawing maniac! Master of Shinobi FlackoWeasel's Avatar
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    To me, I really love Ristar colour palette choice. It's so lovely and colourful .

    I once saw Woody Woodpecker game, to me, this looks the worst lol. Not even single shade is used.


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    Wildside Expert Estil's Avatar
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    I know Wikipedia shows the color palettes but can they be done in such a way you can see each individual color?

    And yes, 256 colors on screen would've been especially useful for the Sega CD.

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    Hero of Algol kool kitty89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Estil View Post
    I know Wikipedia shows the color palettes but can they be done in such a way you can see each individual color?

    And yes, 256 colors on screen would've been especially useful for the Sega CD.
    256 colors would have been just as useful on the Genesis though. (if you're talking FMV, there's a lot more than just color going on there, hell, using 4-bit pixels helps in some areas, would have been much more so with more sub-palettes and a larger master palette though -FMV on the SNES would almost certainly have run in the 16 color tile mode too, but with similar color optimization and lossy compression as better MCD codecs, it would have looked a lot better due to the greater number of palttes -you could also do some neat stuff using alpha blending, like encode chroma and luma separately somewhat like H.261 as well as using tile based lossy compression and with 2 separate BG layers then blended 50/50 to a much higher color count and better tuned to human perception)

    For uncompressed stuff, the SNES likely wouldn't have been much better off than the MD... using 256 color bitmaps would mean 1/2 the resolution of 16 color stuff, and higher res with good dithering (and per frame color optimization) would tend to look better than a screen at 1/2 the size or doubled pixels in 256 colors. (if you did opt to scale it, MODE 7 would be a decent option -like Wolf3D used with double wide/tall pixels)

    The transparency thing really makes an interesting option though, or jsut the larger palette+more subpalettes in general (PCE has double the subpalettes still, but the same limited palette of the Genesis).

    There are potential tricks using shadow on the MD for enhanced FMV too, but it's not nearly as useful as alpha blending like the SNES. (even so, it wasn't ever used as such, even though it seems like an obvious option -simple option being toggling tiles with normal or dark colors for double the shades, next would be using shadow on a pixel by pixel basis rather than just solid cells, but a really comprehensive encoder probably could have allowed full dual BG layers with shadow used as well as full colors in general -effectively having 8 palettes rather than 4, and exceeding the 9-bit RGB limits too -the full-on dual layer method would probably result in heavier lossy compression artifacts or limit the framerate or screen size more, but the trade-offs are less for just using shadow, let alone just using it on a per cell basis)


    But that's all streaming video related, and there's more complexity to it than that anyway.

    For general graphics, the requirements are different, and again different for 3D/software rendered stuff too (as that has to use plain bitmaps or make careful use of the tile/sprite color indexing -most opt for the former, that is a fixed 16 colors, including several Sega CD games -Rebel Assault does it very poorly, not even using separate colors for the FMV -and not using a separate layer for FMV)
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    Dude it’s the bios that marries the 16 bit and the 8 bit that makes it 24 bit. If SNK released their double speed bios revision SNK would have had the world’s first 48 bit machine, IDK how you keep ignoring this.
    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    the PCE, that system has no extra silicone for music, how many resources are used to make music and it has less sprites than the MD on screen at once but a larger sprite area?

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    Master of Shinobi Alianger's Avatar
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    Which PC Engine games actually use the 482 colors on screen?

    It's kind of funny how the Game Gear has a superior palette to the MD and others.
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  5. #20
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    No need for 256 colors. Video games are not paintings. Video games are collections of sprites and playfields designed to be played on a CRT screen. There are sophisticated methods of pixel clustering like "Floyd–Steinberg dithering" that can deal even with 2 colors and still outputting decent visuals... For me the negative point is that you always have to use 32 bytes per tile. It would be very effective if there was a selective color depth so that you could determine how many bytes per tile your game really needs... and that would certainly help in increasing DMA pixel traffic...

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    Smith's Minister of War Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    I'd say World of Illusion, Asterix and the Power of The Gods, Puggsy, the Eccos, Adventures of Batman and Robin, Legend of Galahad (I think it looks nice...), SoulStar (CD), Android Assault (CD), RKA, Shinobi 3, Flink, Ranger-X, the Sonics, Streets of Rage 2, Crusader of Centy, Ristar and Beyond Oasis have the best color use.
    Most other games with nice colors suffer from "Rainbow of Death" syndrome, where they just shove every color of the rainbow onscreen. Ristar does this on a few stages, but also has amazing looking ones.
    Last edited by Kamahl; 05-22-2012 at 06:00 AM.
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    Master of Shinobi evilevoix's Avatar
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    How does a game like toy story display way more then the 64 color limit?

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    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    How does a game like toy story display way more then the 64 color limit?
    It doesn't during gameplay, only on still pictures. It just puts a bunch of sprites in either shadow or highlight mode on top of the picture to get darker or brighter versions of some pixels on the image.
    Can't really be used during gameplay. Well... it can, but to really increase color in a way that's useful it requires using 2 sprites per player/enemy/bullet whatever, so the number of sprites is effectively halved. Not a good compromise.
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    Death Bringer Raging in the Streets Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    The best overall use of color is Monster World IV. It is the combination of great art and great color usage that makes it so impressive. Otherwise, the Sonic games are about as good as it gets. Some examples that I think of for poor color are on some people's best-color lists, so personal taste and the overall impression (for which the actual art plays the greatest role) seem to be the deciding factors. I think that good color usage is when a game doesn't look like it is suffering from color limiations. Most games like this for Genesis aren't pushing a lot of colors, because they don't have to. Games like Dynamite Heady incorporate funky color recyclying into the style, so it looks like perfect.
    Last edited by Black_Tiger; 06-28-2012 at 02:16 PM.

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    Road Rasher Jadty's Avatar
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    In my opinion, Sonic 2 is the cleanest looking Genesis game that I've ever seen. Nothing in that game looks muddy or like it needed more colors to look better. It looks better with the limited color palette than Sonic 3/Knuckles, since the latter tries to do more complex shapes and landscapes that would need more colors to look good. Everything is so carefully created in Sonic 2, that it's aged the best among all the Sonic games on the Genesis and stands on the top 3 of best graphics in the system.

    Even the Sonic sprite from Sonic 2 is superior to the one on Sonic 1 and Sonic 3/Knuckles in terms of shape, style and colors.

  11. #26
    YM3438 Master! ESWAT Veteran evildragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jadty View Post
    In my opinion, Sonic 2 is the cleanest looking Genesis game that I've ever seen. Nothing in that game looks muddy or like it needed more colors to look better. It looks better with the limited color palette than Sonic 3/Knuckles, since the latter tries to do more complex shapes and landscapes that would need more colors to look good. Everything is so carefully created in Sonic 2, that it's aged the best among all the Sonic games on the Genesis and stands on the top 3 of best graphics in the system.

    Even the Sonic sprite from Sonic 2 is superior to the one on Sonic 1 and Sonic 3/Knuckles in terms of shape, style and colors.
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    Only being able to display 64 colours at once severely unbalances the genesis. I mean that system has a fairly powerful true 16 bit processor, and the audio is at par with the audio hardware of the time. Everything about the video hardware except for the 64 colour limit is also at par with hardware at the time. I have no idea why sega left that silly limit in.

  13. #28
    Death Bringer Raging in the Streets Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jadty View Post
    In my opinion, Sonic 2 is the cleanest looking Genesis game that I've ever seen. Nothing in that game looks muddy or like it needed more colors to look better. It looks better with the limited color palette than Sonic 3/Knuckles, since the latter tries to do more complex shapes and landscapes that would need more colors to look good. Everything is so carefully created in Sonic 2, that it's aged the best among all the Sonic games on the Genesis and stands on the top 3 of best graphics in the system.

    Even the Sonic sprite from Sonic 2 is superior to the one on Sonic 1 and Sonic 3/Knuckles in terms of shape, style and colors.
    I agree, but it is very noticeable how much the backgrounds are loaded with the colors of Sonic, Tails and the score font. You're pretty much always racing through orange/blue/yellow areas.


    Virtua Fighter 2 may not play like the arcade, but it is pretty amazing color-wise. Everything is nicely shaded with rich vibrant color. It looks like a game without sprite/tile color bottlenecks, where the number of shades of the master palette was the only restriction.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    I agree, but it is very noticeable how much the backgrounds are loaded with the colors of Sonic, Tails and the score font. You're pretty much always racing through orange/blue/yellow areas.


    Virtua Fighter 2 may not play like the arcade, but it is pretty amazing color-wise. Everything is nicely shaded with rich vibrant color. It looks like a game without sprite/tile color bottlenecks, where the number of shades of the master palette was the only restriction.
    Agreed on both accounts, but VF2 is a pretty easy case, just assign one of the palettes to each element onscreen. Sonic 2 required far more careful color optimization, and they did a magnificent job.
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    i know all of you praises Sonic 2 color, but to me Sonic 3 today amazes me much, much more than Sonic 2, mainly the Sonic Sprites, and the backgrounds. I wish more games used such level of color optimization...

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