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MSPaintR0cks

Using more than 265 colors in software mode

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Is it somehow possible to use more than 265 colors in software mode?
I have ripped some stuff that I would like to use as a texture for walls and so on, but it never looks good after I converted it to the doom palette. I have already seen doom mods using sprites from Hexen, Heretic and Strife at the same time, without losing any colors from their original palette. I wonder how this was done.

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MSPaintR0cks said:

Is it somehow possible to use more than 265 colors in software mode?

Yes, with Delphi Doom. As far as I know, it is the only software renderer with 32-bit color support.

(Actually, I think Eternity might support more than 256 colors as well, I vaguely remember reading that about Cardboard, but the issue is that it doesn't support hi-color or trucolor image formats at the moment.)

MSPaintR0cks said:

I have already seen doom mods using sprites from Hexen, Heretic and Strife at the same time, without losing any colors from their original palette. I wonder how this was done.


There are only three possibilities here:
1. The graphics in question only used colors present in Doom's palette. I haven't checked if it's actually possible.
2. It was recolored well enough that you didn't notice.
3. They were PNG in their original palette, and you've seen the screenshots in GZDoom.

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Gez said:

Yes, with Delphi Doom. As far as I know, it is the only software renderer with 32-bit color support.

(Actually, I think Eternity might support more than 256 colors as well, I vaguely remember reading that about Cardboard, but the issue is that it doesn't support hi-color or trucolor image formats at the moment.)



I can't say much about Delphi Doom but all other ports I ever checked still used the original colormaps which meant wasting all the color resolution available.

Supporting true color video modes is not enough, you have to redo the entire rendering logic to use true color lookup tables for everything.

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From some of the screenshots there, as well as the comment about "palette change emulation", it seems to me that the rendering logic was overhauled.

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I'm pretty sure PrBoom-Plus supports high-color software mode nowadays, too, though it intentionally emulates colormap fading, so you still get colors turning to mush, just with fades between each colormap instead of banding. So, the benefits are somewhat limited.

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Thanks for your answers. I just played Knee-Deep in Zdoom and I noticed that the title screen and the pictures you see in the intro are high color, so it has to be possible somehow (I played in software mode). I think it has something to do with the pk3-package in which all the graphics are stored in as a PNG-file.

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Graf Zahl said:

You'd need a true color renderer for that. But no software rendering port has done that yet.

Old versions of EDGE (1.28a and earlier) supported 16-bit modes, whatever that was called, "hicolor" iirc.

Not as good as 24-bit truecolor, of course, but if I I were going to implement truecolor then I'd much rather start with a 16-bit renderer, since all the "no palette" issues have already been solved.

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andrewj said:

Old versions of EDGE (1.28a and earlier) supported 16-bit modes, whatever that was called, "hicolor" iirc.


Did that not go right back to some versions of DOSDoom too?

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Enjay said:

Did that not go right back to some versions of DOSDoom too?

Yeah probably, I know I didn't add the code for it, though I (and Erik) did a fair bit of work on the code -- I got it working in Linux and made sure greyscales didn't discolor in 5:6:5 mode, and Erik wrote bilinear filtering column/span drawers, etc...

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Yuck! Combined with the low resolutions of normal Doom graphics such rough dithering looks awful by default.

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Enjay said:

Did that not go right back to some versions of DOSDoom too?

High color mode was also found in NTDoom, with this note in the readme:

New in this version:
	- Highcolor and other fixes from Chi Hoang's DOSDOOM 0.45 - highcolor
	  looks much better now
Way I read this, Petteri Kangaslampi added high color mode to NTDoom, it didn't work very well, so he then replaced his code by the high color code from DOSDoom.

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Graf Zahl said:

Yuck! Combined with the low resolutions of normal Doom graphics such rough dithering looks awful by default.


At least it's better than positioned.

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