Mark R. Johnson
     
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Color Palettes

One of the mapping problems that was encountered when creating 24 Hours is the fact that a majority of personal computers on the market could only support 256 colors on the screen at a time. (It does not matter which 256 colors were used, as long as it was limited to that number.) Fortunately, the nature of comic book artwork lends itself to these sorts of low-color environments. Nonetheless, a method had to be created to handle relatively large range of colors used in "24 Hours."

After some experimentation, it was found that 256 colors was sufficient to handle the range of color found across approximately five pages of the comic book. Pages were scanned from the original comic book and adaptive color palettes were created in Photoshop for each group of five pages. All of the artwork and word balloons within a group were then stored using these color palettes.

One displeasing side effect of using multiple color palettes within a project is screen flash. As the computer switches from one color palette to another, any graphics shown on the screen suddenly appear in the new color palette. This new palette usually causes the images to appear completely scrambled as if filled with colorful static. To avoid this annoying flash, the bit dissolve transition in Macromedia Director was used. This transition specifically adjusts the color palette while dissolving from one screen to another such that only the dissolve is visible. The change in color palettes is therefore no longer noticeable.

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    [Return to Top] Copyright 1997, Mark R. Johnson.
Last modified 6/11/97.