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Issue with evening background color
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=14241
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Author:  DRW [ Wed May 18, 2016 11:33 am ]
Post subject:  Issue with evening background color

I've got a little problem with the colors in my game.

Level 1, 2 and 4 already look quite nice:
Attachment:
Level 1, 2, 4.png
Level 1, 2, 4.png [ 9.59 KiB | Viewed 2782 times ]


But I don't know what to do with level 3:
Attachment:
Level 3.png
Level 3.png [ 5.98 KiB | Viewed 2778 times ]


I have a feeling that the red background looks too bold on a TV screen. Also, the yellowish fog might be too bright.
And the colors clash too much with the cyan skyscraper and tower.

Do you have any idea how I could change this to make it better?


Also, please note that whatever color the fog has will also be the color of the font. Unless the palette of the status bar has some other bright color that I could use.
I did this in level 4: The fog is dark gray, but I still have light gray, so I was able to use this for the font.

I could have done it in level 1 and 2 as well, making the font white. But this would have meant that the background color of the status bar would have been gray. And I didn't want that.

Likewise, in level 3, I don't want the status bar background to be too similar to the sky. Green is best here. That really dark brown would work as well.
But I wouldn't want the reddish brown for the status bar if the sky is already some kind of red. Therefore, the fact that the second palette has another whitish color doesn't help me with the font since I don't want to use the reddish brown of that palette for the status bar background.


So, what's the best way to improve the colors of level 3?
And do you know of any examples from actual NES games with an evening sky? I know "Rygar" did the plain red for their sky as well, but I don't know if that's really so good.


Oh, by the way: Setting any of the intensity bits in the PPU for the whole background is out of the question. This game shall look like one of the first generation games, so I will use only the standard colors.

Author:  Drag [ Wed May 18, 2016 4:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Issue with evening background color

Friday the 13th has a decent evening palette. Dunno how you'd adapt it to your scene though.

Anyway, here's my try:
Attachment:
drw_palettehelp.png
drw_palettehelp.png [ 9.08 KiB | Viewed 2758 times ]


The idea is that the sky is dark but everything the evening sun shines on is bright and orangy, including the fog cloud.

Author:  DRW [ Wed May 18, 2016 5:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Issue with evening background color

Thanks. But unfortunately, that's already too dark. The background should still be based on red/orange/pink.

Yours is almost night. If another blue-based sky (in this case purple) was an option, I would just use some dark blue as a continuation of level 1 and 2. But we specifically want something red-based, so that it is a nice variation from the previous two blue levels.

Also, the fog is still too bright.

I will check out "Friday the 13th", but I'm still open to other suggestions.

Author:  dougeff [ Wed May 18, 2016 7:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Issue with evening background color

Here's my version... (completely ignoring your 'red sky' suggestions)

Attachments:
Level_3b.png
Level_3b.png [ 4.3 KiB | Viewed 2723 times ]

Author:  dougeff [ Wed May 18, 2016 8:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Issue with evening background color

And here's one that is orange...(and YES, I refer to color $16 as orange).

Attachments:
Level_3c.png
Level_3c.png [ 4.32 KiB | Viewed 2716 times ]

Author:  Sik [ Thu May 19, 2016 7:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Issue with evening background color

dougeff wrote:
(and YES, I refer to color $16 as orange).

Eh, that's still orange to me (a reddish orange, more exactly).

Author:  DRW [ Thu May 19, 2016 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Issue with evening background color

dougeff wrote:
And here's one that is orange...(and YES, I refer to color $16 as orange).

The two major issues (sky and fog) are still exactly the same color as in my original image. So, how is this supposed to help me?

Sik wrote:
dougeff wrote:
(and YES, I refer to color $16 as orange).

Eh, that's still orange to me (a reddish orange, more exactly).

If $16 is orange to you then you should maybe adjust your screen. $16 is Mario's color, so it's probably supposed to be standard red as much as that's possible.

Author:  dougeff [ Thu May 19, 2016 11:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Issue with evening background color

With the red 'color emphasis' bit set, $16 looks red. Or, if you surround the object of color $16 with blues or greens, it looks red in comparison. Otherwise, next to grays (for example), it is red-orange (slightly desaturated).

Quote:
how is this supposed to help me?


I'm helping you be more confident in your own judgement, by showing alternatives that you will find faults in.

My first version is what I would have done.

My second version, is what I would have done with a red sky.

Author:  DRW [ Thu May 19, 2016 11:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Issue with evening background color

dougeff wrote:
With the red 'color emphasis' bit set, $16 looks red. Or, if you surround the object of color $16 with blues or greens, it looks red in comparison. Otherwise, next to grays (for example), it is red-orange (slightly desaturated).

Always depending on the screen.
The screen of my mother's laptop shows it as red-orange as well.
While her actual computer screen shows it as bleeding red.
My screen shows it pretty close to the actual red.
My CRT TV shows it pretty close to red, similar to my PC screen.

If I make a screenshot in fceux, which is a 256 color PNG, and try to draw the actual color red (#0000FF or #FF0000) there, it will use NES color $16.

And, as I said: Mario's clothes appear in this color. So, independently from individual screens, the color is clearly supposed to be the closest equivalent of the real red.

dougeff wrote:
I'm helping you be more confident in your own judgement, by showing alternatives that you will find faults in.

Erm, yes. :roll:

I guess I'll just have a talk with my graphics artist and we will try out all useful color combinations one by one.

Author:  tepples [ Thu May 19, 2016 12:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Issue with evening background color

DRW wrote:
dougeff wrote:
With the red 'color emphasis' bit set, $16 looks red. Or, if you surround the object of color $16 with blues or greens, it looks red in comparison. Otherwise, next to grays (for example), it is red-orange (slightly desaturated).

Always depending on the screen.

NTSC: Never The Same Color. Actual hues depend on tint control and any "flesh tone enhancement" features the TV may implement. True, $16 is Mario red, but I think the Apple II port of Mario Bros. used an orange closer to $27 because hi-res mode on the original Apple II lacked red.

Quote:
The screen of my mother's laptop shows it as red-orange as well.
While her actual computer screen shows it as bleeding red.

An emulator or an NES's composite out run into an USB capture box?

Quote:
My screen shows it pretty close to the actual red.
My CRT TV shows it pretty close to red, similar to my PC screen.

Perhaps the most "canon" palettes would be that of the 2C03 RGB PPU (for PlayChoice, in which $16 is 0700, or pure red), that of Animal Crossing for GameCube, and that of Virtual Console.

Quote:
I guess I'll just have a talk with my graphics artist and we will try out all useful color combinations one by one.

Try this: Load my NES graphics editor on a PowerPak, convert a screenshot of your game's background, and change the palette inside the editor until satisfied. This gives instant feedback on hardware.

Author:  Sik [ Thu May 19, 2016 1:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Issue with evening background color

DRW wrote:
If $16 is orange to you then you should maybe adjust your screen. $16 is Mario's color, so it's probably supposed to be standard red as much as that's possible.

*checks* #D82800 Yup, reddish orange.

If I recall correctly there isn't a pure red on the NES (making this the closest it has to it). Just because they used this color on Mario doesn't mean it's pure red.

EDIT: to further my point:
#FF0000 = red
#FF8000 = orange
So reddish orange = #FF4000 (the value in-between)

If we scale it down to the same range: #FF4000 → #D83600
So I'd say it's pretty close to halfway between red and orange ( ・・)

Yes, I just went this far for a subjective argument about a color's name.

Author:  tokumaru [ Thu May 19, 2016 2:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Issue with evening background color

Sik wrote:
*checks* #D82800 Yup, reddish orange.

There are no definitive RGB counterparts to the NES colors though, so this analysis doesn't really confirm anything.

The color probably looks orange-ish on many setups, but I wouldn't be surprised if it looked almost red on others.

Author:  Sik [ Thu May 19, 2016 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Issue with evening background color

Well, I was going by the screenshot which is obviously the intended color for the artwork here (・<・)

Author:  Drag [ Thu May 19, 2016 8:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Issue with evening background color

Is this any better?

Attachments:
drw_palettehelp2.png
drw_palettehelp2.png [ 9.13 KiB | Viewed 2525 times ]

Author:  DRW [ Thu May 19, 2016 8:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Issue with evening background color

Maybe. I'll have to talk with my graphics artist to see what she thinks about gray fog on the reddish screen.

I wouldn't make the skyscraper red, though. It's cyan in the other levels and it's supposed to be the same building, so it cannot be bright red here.

But as I said, I'll have a thorough analysis with my artist.

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