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Merri

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  1. During my adventures on the internet I found a place where people submit their palettes and noticed Dawnbringer's Aurora, which is a 256 color palette. It got my attention because handcrafted 256 unique color palettes appear to be a bit rare, it has the full 12-bit 16 color grayscale included just like CX16, and the colors are almost fully unique even after auto-reduction to 12-bit. While the palette could be ported to CX16 almost as-is I did see a little bit more trouble and adjusted some of the colors manually a bit after auto-conversion, and moved C64 colors to the top. To do that I had to abandon the pure greys so I stole ideas from C64 palette I use in VICE. It sacrifices the two darker greys with ones that are biased to green. The light grey instead is moved towards orange so you end up with a skin tone. However I didn't attempt to have perfect luma so the color balance is slightly off if you throw them into a VICE palette and watch demos or images. Black and white use the darkest and lightest blues in the palette. Maybe someone finds this useful in a project
  2. I have updated the first post with a slightly improved version of the palette. Some of the gradients didn't translate well with simple rounded math, and bitshifting is even worse. So I've now improved the gradient colors by matching the closest perceived color by doing CIEDE2000 against the full 4096 color space. It is quite slow to do, but the result is a lot better I've also continued work on my CodeSandbox project, the Indexed Palette Converter. I originally wrote it to convert between a couple of palette file formats to work with images between a couple of programs, but it has now extended a bit. During the past week I rewrote the UI to Preact + htm and added support for: Displaying palette in multiple color depths Saving palette in the displayed color depth Read and write ACT palettes Read and write GIMP palettes Read and write VICE palettes Read and write 16-bit palettes in both 512 and 768 byte raw binary files (although I haven't encountered these) Read GIF global palette I've also fixed things like bit terminology. Next I'm planning to add some palette editing and generation capabilities. Also I probably should do some internal refactor as currently the palette values are manually stored in Windows RIFF compatible format all the time and I probably should just do some palette class to reduce code repetition However this is pretty far off from Commander X16 so I guess I keep this as a one time update.
  3. Hello! My real name is Vesa, but no, I have nothing to do with mounting your displays, graphics standards and the like. Also not to be confused with Vera nor Visa. If you are in a need of a Finnish etymology lesson (which you most likely aren't) vesa means a sprout, most often in the meaning of a young tree. I like the name in that no matter how old I get I would always be young if I were a tree. So I'm one of those whose dad bought the C64 in the early 90's, and an IBM Aptiva PC past the halfway, most likely in the attempt to have their son benefit of it as a profession. So sure, I've been pretty much a programmer'ish guy since then. Although I've never been a pure single interest guy and I've found my way to all sorts of topics around programming and computers. But took my sweet time until I became programmer as a professional, only eight years down that road by now. But while the money is nice I would kinda prefer the freedom more since doing the stuff as a job is quite taxing for the mind and that kills a lot of the past enjoyment around programming. But at least I can be proud of having built one of the most robust and used ecommerce checkouts in Finland My current active skill set is focused around the web, HTML/CSS/JS combo but at the moment through the Pure Evil of React and TypeScript. And just to cover my opinion better, there is nothing wrong of either really, it is just that those two get used in the web front-end in ways they shouldn't be used Besides Commodore 64 I've also "had fun" with Visual Basic 6, PHP, MySQL, C++, and many other things that likely makes no sense to even try to remember. I've only written a little bit of C64 assembly a couple of years ago. Basically been at the level of being able to pick up anything for a long while by now, yet I've found time to be an issue. Oh and the day job draining my brains. The other stuff around programming includes games, modding, localizing games to Finnish, even some occasional little pixel art which I probably should do more of, and building PCs old and new. I also have a couple of websites, but in general my interest towards the web has shrunk over the years as there are less and less limitations to web technologies these days which takes away some of the out-of-the-box challenge there used to be. So I guess that is why Commander X16 has some attractiveness in my eyes as it is a platform with limitations, but not as bad limitations as Commodore 64. There is that little bit of hope to get onto something and try pushing it a bit, even though I don't know how I end up contributing at this point. Like, I have several game ideas but each of them requires way too much work and would be massive games if adapted for a platform like Commander X16 (and impossible for C64 due to memory limitations). But I guess this is already way too much introduction
  4. Hi! There is a bug in the palette at cyan palette entry 152 where the hex value is #152A2A / rgb(21, 42, 42). This is impossible for a color converted to 8-bit from 4-bit, each pair should be the same value in hex so: 15 -> 11, 2A -> 22 or 33. However the color seems to be way too dark so probably a misclick at some point when editing the palette
  5. Thanks for all the interest! As for the bad emulator colors there is only one way: gotta hook that emulator to a real monitor! Although I think the emulated CRTs have become a lot better, but probably still need a true HDR caliber display to get the same kind of "shine" that CRT has. It is quite a technological luxury we live in these days as the new displays are finally catching up with CRTs final strong points! I do agree on having overabundance of purples. Yet I still ended up using the complete hue circle instead of going picky since I wanted to keep the idea of being technically complete even though from another perspective that is still a bit of a failure. I'm still interested to improve this so maybe I could go ahead and have more reds and yellows, and less purple and pink tones. I used the same 16 hue angles that are used to generate the Colodore palette so maybe I could abandon that limitation and instead split it into more angles and pick more of nicer and desirable hues so that not everyone have to come up with a great night time game to make great use of the purples and blues As for actually changing the default palette I don't want to push on it too aggressively even if it means we end up living with the current one for the rest of eternity. I don't like putting unnecessary strain and pressure to people working on this kind of project, but I still like the idea of contributing and being a small part of all of this. And it is a good thing that the palette is changeable so it does leave the door open for the community to figure out better general palettes.
  6. Hello, first post! The limited colors of the old days have always been interesting to me so when I worked my way through the docs I halted on the default palette and it didn't catch my attention in a good way. Of course colors and palettes are not a fully exact science, there is always the matter of opinion and taste. I found an earlier thread on the C64 colors being off, but there are more things that I think could be improved. What I do like about the palette is the inclusion of the whole greyscale range. And the idea to fill the remaining 224 colors with groups of 7 color gradients is a very good idea. Many of the gradients are also nice. But then there is the critique side which I'll split to following two subjects: Commodore 64 colors, and repetition. Commodore 64 colors I don't know the origin of the current set of C64 colors, but it seems to be more of a palette fit for new pixel art than for representing what the C64 colors really were like. Most importantly it lacks the luma pairing of colors (where color pairs equal one grey when in greyscale, which also allows for "secret colors"). And there is the whole PAL vs. NTSC vs. NTSC thing (because Not The Same Color, you know) so people have used to something and you can't really ever get it right. In the PAL land we do have Pepto who has somewhat recently done further work into the colors and we now have a new Colodore palette. It is very good! However there is of course the problem that the PAL isn't NTSC. And by looking shots from actual TVs the current CX16 colors don't really match with what NTSC produces. So, being a bit of a moron I've gone ahead and used Pepto's calculation model in an attempt to find some sort of a compromise. As if that kinda stuff would be agreed upon in the passionate C64 world The top row is Colodore, the middle has current CX16, and the bottom row has a "compromise" where I've tried to adjust the colors to be more attractive and more NTSCish, but which still maintain valid VIC-II relationships between them, while also trying to get many colors as close to the current CX16 as I could. It is still quite a difference so I don't know if this trouble gains anything of real value, but it has been a fun challenge if nothing else! Repetition In the current default CX16 palette there are a lot of gradients that are very near to being clones of each other. There are some colors that are visually identical to the human eye such as the bright cyans. And there are also dark palette entries that are repeated multiple times over in the palette. These issues are sort of waste. I don't think this would be fitting for an 8-bit computer as the era was full of making the most of what little you have, so repeating colors should be avoided. There is some repetition that can't be avoided: the C64 contains black, white, and three shades of grey which get repeated in the full 16 color greyscale gradient which is all the grey entries in the 4096 color palette. This means that out in the 256 color palette we can have we can have up to 251 unique colors if we leave C64 palette and the greyscales untouched. The current default palette repeats four gradients for each of red, orange/yellow, green 1, green 2, cyan, blue, purple, and magenta (I guess that is what you call those colors). This results to only 228 unique colors so we could have 23 colors more for our use. With a total of 28 repeated colors more than 10% of the palette is "wasted". So what to do? Well, instead of just complaining about it I've seen the trouble to produce a 251 unique color palette. I can tell you it ain't easy, especially with the 12-bit limitation! I wanted to stay in the spirit of the current default palette which means creating automated set of gradients. So I wanted to be smarter about the generated gradients and this is what I've come up with: NEW VERSION (v10) 2021-05-04 (gradients from 24 bits to 12 bits using CIEDE2000 perceived closest color) ORIGINAL VERSION (v9) 2021-04-26 In the above palette the entire scope of hues are being used so there are four different hue regions used where there is only "red" in the default palette. What I also like about the gradients here is how they mostly mimic a lot of game palette gradients that I've seen over the years. I did do a quick test on some images and the palette works mostly very well on many old paletted DOS/Amiga games. I don't know if this results into really anything, but I would like to see the default palette improved before fully locking it. At least I think the above proves improvement is possible! Then finally: if interested over at CodeSandbox you can find the tool I've created for working with palettes. You can fork it It is currently coded to auto-generate the palette above, although with 24-bit range. The tool can open various palette file formats (including paletted image formats) and output them as well, like .ACT which is really just a 768 bytes binary file when holding 256 color palette. I'm not yet fully sure if the Commander X16 binary output is correct since I haven't started actually playing with the emulator more than trying out some of the existing software.
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