Author Topic: Refresh my memory - the UA palette  (Read 1017 times)

Offline Merle

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Refresh my memory - the UA palette
« on: February 05, 2009, 07:54:19 AM »
I have a series of questions...

It's easy to notice that UA is a product of the 256-color days.  And I know that there are certain colors reserved, depending on what type of art you are working with.  But I cannot remember what parts of the palette each art piece uses.  I want to import some new pics, and I'm discovering there's a lot I have forgotten.

If I remember right:  Pics have some 200-odd colors, but have to use certain positions in the palette because the frame uses the others.  I vaguely remember using some program that allowed me to crop out pictures, and would automatically set the palette.  Or am I imagining things?

What graphic software do you use for UA-related art?  I can easily take almost any graphic software and limit the number of colors, but actually putting the palette in a particular order doesn't seem quite so easy.

Offline Vix

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Re: Refresh my memory - the UA palette
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2009, 08:35:29 AM »
I am extremely fuzzy on palette order now. I used to have documentation I compiled on it, but (ironic laughter) threw most of it out recently.

The program you are thinking of that cropped and set the palette is called UA256. You need to already have your picture decreased to 256 colors, though I suggest going down to 224 as the first 32 slots are used for the frame and always images. UA256 will try to optimize the image colors, if you have 256, and does a decent job of it. It also helps to have your image close to the image size you wish to make.

88px x 88px for small pics, 304px x 120px for big pics. However, I have always suggested going 2px wider on your initial image to use in UA256 as it makes the framing so much easier. You can crop larger images, of course, but UA256 is limited in how much of the image it will show. Thus extremely large images will eb a hassle to get what you want out of them, but a decent paint program will allow you to crop beforehand, so this should not be too much of a problem.

Also, make sure you save your image as a PCX file before using UA256. It also is limited by the old 8.3 string names, so use a bit of forethought in naming your files before using it or you might end up with a list of p_ima~01, p_ima~02, etc. Also, you need to manually type in the target image filename and what you want the end image filename to be, with the PCX extension. So, again, some forethought into file naming structure will be beneficial.

As for what slots are used by the various images, going by memory:

Always uses slots 0 to 15
Frame uses slots 16 to 31
Wilderness can use slots 32 to 63 and change them, frame slots 0 to 15 may be used if not changes, as well as slots 64 to 255 without changing the colors.
Walls use slots 32 to 68, always and frame slots may be used but not changed
Cpics use slots 64 to 254 as a static palette (cannot change colors) with 255 being transparent
Backgrounds can use slots 0-15 (but must be frame colors) and slots 144 to 175, as well as 255 as transparent
Sprites use slots 176 to 255, with 255 being the transparent color
Small Pics use slots 32 to 255 (unique palette for each image in those slots)
Big Pics use slots 32 to 254 excluding slot 255 (unique palette for each image in those slots)

I may be wrong in these numbers. If someone knows better please correct my figures.

Offline Merle

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Re: Refresh my memory - the UA palette
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2009, 08:41:08 AM »
Ah, UA256! That's the little gem I was thinking of.  And you remembered the different color slots, too!  Your memory seems to be a lot better than mine, Vix. Thanks!