Sign in to follow this  
Jesse Terrence

NES graphic resources

Recommended Posts

(edited)

So I made a quick search and didn't see any thread offering some advice on NES-like graphics, so I decided to offer the not much stuff I made myself in case anypony is interested.

First, a little background about it.

NES technical limitations did't give the option of using 256 colors like anyone would expect from 8-bits, but instead it had a limited and ugly palette of about 56 colors, if I recall it right. Also, most NES graphics were handled in tilesets of either 8 by 8 or 16 by 16 pixels. However, most developers managed to have bigger graphics by dividing character sprites into tilesets. This also had them make their sprites in multiples of 8. Ergo, it was possible for spriters to make characters of 8, 16, 24 and even 32 pixels of width or height by simply dividing them in those smaller tiles.

Having said that, I made this topic to offer a pallette as close as to NES' one in .aco format (used by photoshop, I'm sure there may be ways to transform it into other formats for other programs). I must also point out, I made this pallette on Photoshop CS4, so keep that in mind if you can't use it on older or newer versions of Photoshop.

Also, I thought it could be useful to offer you guys gridded backgrounds in case you don't want to bother on making one yourself or you have a hard time making it. It comes in yellow and perfect red (as in RGB 255 0 0) which weren't colors availabe on the NES. You can obviously apply a filter or play with the hue so they don't mess with your sprites and make it hard to differ the background from your pixel art. I guess I don't need to tell you guys you'll need to zoom in a lot to make pixel art.

JT NES graphic starter pack.zip

Edited by Jesse Terrence

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges

@Jesse Terrence I did a couple of tests myself, trying to generate a NES palette using my own tool, and your palette you provided. My tool generated 48 unique colors, indicating that the NES palette is indeed more complex than just a binary RGB representation with a limited range.

I am more skilled with Sega Genesis palettes, and Nintendo Gameboy Advance palettes, and the VGA palettes used in DOS games.

 

Nice explanation of the hardware in an easy to understand manner!
I would only recommend one change in the approach, and that would be to use the program GraphicsGale, which is free. You can manipulate palettes in an image, move palette entries around without destroying the image (holding shift while dragging a palette entry to swap location without changing the sprite/tile art), and even use layers and animate sprites. It has good "snap to" tile grid options as well. It is a must for working with sprite art and animation!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

823905003_nes-cool.png.4439e866835e318a0afae64a44c7567f.png

 

Using your palette, and @Mediocre Mare drawing, and my own tile palette program, I generated this image. I doubled it in size, so each square in the visual grid (not part of the palette, part of GraphicsGale) is 8x8 pixels. This drawing might be possible to be shown in whole, or in a smaller window, on the real NES. But remember, each tile can only use a certain amount of the palette entries, so it is probably not possible.

By looking at many of the tiles, they share the same pixel patterns, so they could be compressed, making the image much smaller. This is just an example though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing as usual, splashers!

And you're right, they are like actual 48 colors including a lame greyscale and a bunch of entries wasted in black.

Also, you're right on that other thing too. NES tiles had a limited pallette for each entry. According to most dev forums, you could only use 4 colors per tile or tileset (should reread just in case). Though, if my sight doesn't fail me, most of your tiles don't exceed 4 colors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges

1 hour ago, Jesse Terrence said:

Amazing as usual, splashers!

And you're right, they are like actual 48 colors including a lame greyscale and a bunch of entries wasted in black.

Also, you're right on that other thing too. NES tiles had a limited pallette for each entry. According to most dev forums, you could only use 4 colors per tile or tileset (should reread just in case). Though, if my sight doesn't fail me, most of your tiles don't exceed 4 colors.

This kind of stuff excites me the most. Limited, well spaced colors, dithering patterns, and raster effects.

My tool is there to help me manually align RGB entries to the values that the limited hardware would most likely produce. However, real hardware actually ditital-to-analog convert (DAC) the values onto the CRT monitor's display, giving the final pixels a unique characteristics, a pattern and glow, that is really difficult to fake in a computer image.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been trying for 2 days to emulate a castlevania stylesque poner sprite, but I came to realize (too late, imo), that I was sizing it wrong. Perhaps Simon and company were actually in sets of  16 x 16 pixels tiles (2 tiles x 2 tiles). Pretty much, 32 x 32 pixels per composed sprite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges

1 hour ago, Jesse Terrence said:

I've been trying for 2 days to emulate a castlevania stylesque poner sprite, but I came to realize (too late, imo), that I was sizing it wrong. Perhaps Simon and company were actually in sets of  16 x 16 pixels tiles (2 tiles x 2 tiles). Pretty much, 32 x 32 pixels per composed sprite.

I know. I feel there is no good way to draw a FIM pony with anything lesser than 96x96 pixels, without losing too much detail. :worry:

Most professional games use multiple hardware sprites at different offsets to create a bigger sprite. A technique they even used on Gameboy Advance where a 64x64 option was available, probably to save resources (the number of sprites allowed per scan line, or rendered in one frame).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.