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Author Topic: SNES color restrictions  (Read 8597 times)

SunGodPortal

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SNES color restrictions
« on: November 21, 2014, 01:56:17 am »
When I make custom graphics for my SNES hack how concerned should I be about my color selection? I've tried to research the SNES's color capabilites but I'm not 100% sure I understand yet.

If the specs are as follows:
-maximum colors per layer per scanline: 256
-maximum colors on-screen: 32,768

...does that mean I should not worry about it? If I AM understanding that correctly it sounds like a shit ton more than the NES and that I shouldn't be that concerned with it...? I know this all probably sounds REALLY stupid since the information is right there, but I'm just having trouble believing it could handle that much. Could someone knowledgeable please clarify for me?
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Dwedit

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Re: SNES color restrictions
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2014, 09:47:44 am »
I think it's just 15-bit RGB.  Each palette is limited to 15 colors (plus transparent).
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CM30

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Re: SNES color restrictions
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2014, 03:42:39 pm »
Personally, I'd say don't worry too much about it.  Unless your graphics are from fairly recent games (as in, DS era or later), you're probably not going to run into too many colour restrictions on the SNES. Seriously.  I've been using graphics from Playstation 1, GBA and arcade games in my SMW ROM hacks, and haven't been running into many restrictions in terms of colour or space.

Yes it's limited to 15 colours and transparency per palette row, but that's not too bad.

If I can fit this into colour SNES limitations:







Then you shouldn't have too many problems.

My honest advice if you're worried is to download a SNES game with level editor (like Super Mario World, A Link to the Past or Super Metroid) and try and see if the graphics fit there.  If they do, you've honestly got nothing to worry about.  You can also check the colours through this tool:

http://www.smwhacking.de/misc/colorviewer.php

And if you ever worry about space, then test your graphics via the Background Ripper or SNES GFX.  These tools are meant for SMW hacks, but also work as a general way to gage what a SNES can support overall; if they reject your graphics, they won't work.

http://floating.muncher.se/bgrip/bgripper.php

Just my advice.
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SunGodPortal

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Re: SNES color restrictions
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2014, 06:13:39 pm »
Thanks for the info, both of you. That pretty much clears everything up.

On a side note, that's a nice coincidence that your examples used Castlevania graphics. I'm just starting on a hack of Final Fantasy IV to make it a re-telling of Castlevania Legends. As a Castlevania the story will actually be pretty minimal though. Most of it will be about exploration, strategic battles and puzzles. I chose that CV because it stars a female lead, which I feel there are too few of in the series.
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FallenAngel2387

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Re: SNES color restrictions
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2014, 11:35:30 am »
-maximum colors per layer per scanline: 256
-maximum colors on-screen: 32,768

I don't know about the whole "per scanline" thing, maybe a certain # of pixels, but 256 is the maximum number of colors on screen, and 32, 768 is the palette. Like how the NES has a palette of 64, but it had 16 colors on screen(unless a specified mapper was used, some of which got to 25 colors on screen).

If any 2D console had 32,768 colors on screen there'd be no need for dithering, and the potential for detailed backgrounds and characters would be through the roof. Every character would have eyes, a nose, and a mouth, as clearly visible as something out of a comic book, or cartoon, as an in game sprite.

KingMike

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Re: SNES color restrictions
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2014, 11:41:38 am »
The size of the palette depends on the graphics mode used for the layer your particular graphic is on.

The limit is 16 (15+transparent) if the graphic is 4BPP.
If a layer is only used 2BPP, then you are limited to 4 colors (3+transparent).

I don't know if vanilla Super Mario World is capable of such graphics as seen in the pictures. I think might only be the case after a hack is applied (I don't know if it's an actual patch or something Lunar Magic does to the ROM. I haven't done very much with SMW so I don't know the details.)
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Bregalad

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Re: SNES color restrictions
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2014, 11:48:07 am »
Quote
I don't know about the whole "per scanline" thing, maybe a certain # of pixels, but 256 is the maximum number of colors on screen,
No. On the SNES the colour palette can easily be written to in HBlank with HDMA, something which is hard-to-impossible to pull off on a NES (and is reserved for demoscene stuff, impractical for games).

SunGodPortal

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Re: SNES color restrictions
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2014, 02:53:59 pm »
Thanks for the additional info guys. Since I first posted I've got a better idea of what I'm going to do. I don't intend to import PSX graphics or anything like that. Most new additions will be from scratch and will likely immitate the style of Final Fantasy IV or V. I don't think I have anything to worry about now. I was probably just paranoid about this at first because my previous experience with graphics was on the NES and under it's SUFFOCATING restrictions.

November 25, 2014, 02:51:41 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Hey CM30. That link you sent me with the color viewer... After I get it to check an image out, those numbers to the side (#383840, #202030...), are those kinda like ID numbers that the SNES would recognize?
« Last Edit: November 25, 2014, 02:51:41 am by SunGodPortal »
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henke37

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Re: SNES color restrictions
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2014, 03:38:03 am »
That's plain old RGB in hex.

SunGodPortal

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Re: SNES color restrictions
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2014, 02:24:00 pm »
Ah. Cool. Thanks for the clarification.
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