A good sprite-tool with visual support for the OR-color?

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Par Bengalack

Hero (662)

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18-02-2020, 13:03

And then I read a bit up on this. It seems like VRAM has room for 64 (16x16) sprite patterns, but only color table for 32? That really seems like a compromise. As if one can reuse the color across other sprite patterns? Would be good to have 64 sprites to chose from in VRAM in any given time, and not define the colors all the time.

Unless I have misunderstood. Oh well.

Par spacemoai1973

Ambassador (0)

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18-02-2020, 13:29

There are 32 sprites. Each sprite has a position, a (set of) color(s) and a pattern. There are 16 colors and 64 (16x16) patterns to choose from.

Par Bengalack

Hero (662)

Portrait de Bengalack

18-02-2020, 15:23

Yes, but as there are 64 patterns, there should have been 64 sets of colors to choose from too (sprite mode 2). Ideally. I think Smile

Par Metalion

Paragon (1597)

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18-02-2020, 15:28

Bengalack wrote:

It seems like VRAM has room for 64 (16x16) sprite patterns, but only color table for 32?

You understood correctly. And it's a real pain in the back ... Each time you need a new sprite, you change the pattern number and then you have to load its color table in VRAM.

The only way to work around that is to have multiple pattern & color tables.
But it has other inconvenients ...

Par spacemoai1973

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18-02-2020, 17:22

You can talk about "ideal" all you like, but color is a sprite attribute. This is how it works on most sprite hardware.
MSX: 1bpp pattern, color is a sprite attribute
NES: 2bpp pattern, color is a sprite attribute
V9990: 4bpp pattern, color is a sprite attribute
etc.

Generally in games, you'll have "palette swaps" of enemies and objects. Having color be an attribute facilitates this (and perhaps stimulates it). Are there use cases where the extended color attributes of sprite mode 2 are not ideal? Sure, but it's not unusual or the end of the world.

You don't constantly rewrite the pattern data, and there is no requirement to constantly rewrite the color attributes either.

Par Bengalack

Hero (662)

Portrait de Bengalack

19-02-2020, 13:06

Agree. The concept of having colors decoupled from patterns is great. Just thought the amount should match. 64 vs 32 (on sprites with height=16), but yeah, it's not the end of the world. And: It is what we do all the time - work with the limitations Smile

Par jepmsx

Master (195)

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09-04-2022, 11:30

Hi!

Looking for a tool to draw sprites in MSX I have found this thread. I've tried tiny sprite and it works well. But I've also found SpriteSX which can import bitmap files (and it also works in linux using wine without furhter configuration).

Par Bengalack

Hero (662)

Portrait de Bengalack

09-04-2022, 12:18

I never found any good tool for this. OR is rather complex "at scale". I ended up using a spreadsheet to plan all possible combinations of the colors, striving for an optimal usage/look. I certainly had many rounds for this work during development of Lilly's Saga. Other than that, I just use Photoshop and piskel (https://www.piskelapp.com/) and made my own converter/snippet. BTW: piskel is REALLY great - copy paste from Photoshop, export to gifs, and lots of hidden features under the hood. Very powerful.

Using the SPARKLINE-function in google sheets, you can visualize RGB-colors from the cells easily. Using this, and a some visual aid in bits to easier see how they OR-together, I used something like this:

Once set up the palette on left hand side, I can fool around with combinations on the right hand side (enter color "1" and "2", and "*" is the OR'ed result).

By the way, this screenshot is not final - the final palette in the game did not end up exactly like this :)

Par jepmsx

Master (195)

Portrait de jepmsx

10-04-2022, 08:02

Thanks for sharing the tools you use Bengalack. I would have never considered to use a spread sheet to draw the sprites.

Par ARTRAG

Enlighted (6891)

Portrait de ARTRAG

10-04-2022, 13:02

Bengalack wrote:

Agree. The concept of having colors decoupled from patterns is great. Just thought the amount should match. 64 vs 32 (on sprites with height=16), but yeah, it's not the end of the world. And: It is what we do all the time - work with the limitations Smile

The design of the mode 2 sprites is very bad.
I would have implemented an index to the color definitions to be stored in the SAT where in mode 1 you have colors.
This would have allowed to change color patterns by writing a single byte and allowed very simple enhancements of the msx1 games.

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