For various software arrangements and sorts of colors, see the List of software palettes article.
For each unique palette, an image color test chart and sample image (TrueColor original follows) rendered with that palette (without dithering) are given. The test chart shows the full 8-bits, 256 levels of the red, green and blue (RGB) primary colors and cyan, magenta and yellow complementary colors, along with a full 8-bits, 256 levels grayscale. Gradients of RGB intermediate colors (orange, lime green, sea green, sky blue, violet and fucsia), and a full hue's spectrum are also present. Color charts are not gamma corrected.
These elements let to study the color depth and distribution of the full colors of any given palette, and the sample image indicates how the full color selection of such palettes would represent real life images. These images are not necessarily representative of how the image would be displayed on the original graphics hardware, as the hardware may have additional limitations regarding the maximum display resolution, pixel aspect ratio and color placement.
For specific models of videogame consoles, simulations of how the sample image would render in different graphic modes are provided, if available. These simulations are always up to the maximum vertical resolution of the given graphic mode or up to 200 scan lines, if vertical resolution is greater. So any of them could be properly padded, transcoded and dumped into the original hardware and/or software emulators without any other changes.
The sample images only try to show how a certain system is able to handle to an image in terms of color without improvements nor additional clever tricks of design like anti-aliasing or dithering. Doubtlessly a human artist is able to improve enormously the look of the simulated images to approximate them to the original one, but that is not the goal of this article.
Note: please do not change the compression scheme of every image by a lossy compression scheme (i.e. JPEG) in order to improve their file size, nor change the thumbnail size of the images, nor gamma-correct them. They are didactical material AS IS, and they have been already optimized for this purpose.
|hue / luminance||0||2||4||6||8||10||12||14|
With the PAL format, a 104-color palette was available. 128-color entries were still selectable, but due to changes in color encoding schemes, 32 color entries results in the same eight shades of gray:
|hue / luminance||0||2||4||6||8||10||12||14|
There is no current simulated screen images available for the Atari 2600.
There is no current simulated screen images available for the NES.
When an older monochrome original Gameboy game catridge (Type 1) is pluged-in, if certain combinations of the controls are hold during startup, the games are colorized with one of the factory 12 false color palettes. In this mode, games can have from 4 to 10 colors, due 4 are for the background plane palette and there are two more hardware sprite planes palettes, with 3 colors plus transparent each.
The following shows these tricky startup palettes (background plus the first sprite plane) and the combination of controls used (the names are taken from the Gameboy user's manual; the colors are simulated):
|UP (Brown)||UP+A (Red)||UP+B (Dark brown)|
|DOWN (Pale yellow)||DOWN+A (Orange)||DOWN+B (Yellow)|
|LEFT (Blue)||LEFT+A (Dark blue)||LEFT+B (Gray)|
|RIGHT (Green)||RIGHT+A (Dark green)||RIGHT+B (Reverse)|
The specific Gameboy Color (Type 3) game catridges presents up to 56 colors from the full 32,768. From these, 32 are for a background palette, plus 8 hardware sprite palettes, with 3 colors plus transparent each. Typically, the sprite palettes shares some colors (black, white or others), so the total colors displayed are less than 56.
Here is the sample image shown in the non-backlighted color LCD display of the Gameboy Color (the colors are simulated):
Their color LCD displays are backlighted, giving brighter images.
Here are the sample image shown in the backlighted color LCD display of the Gameboy Advance/SP/Micro, in both Gameboy Color compatible mode and Gameboy Advance 32K color mode:
There is no current simulated screen images available for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.
There is no current simulated screen images available for the NEC PC-Engine/TurboGrafx 16.
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