Creating a Palette for A Thing

One of the things I mentioned in my Paperjam comic ‘Making Websites Good‘ was the idea that a good colour scheme is better chosen from a photograph you like than from a raw colour picker. You’re more likely to get colours that work well together, that way for a number of reasons. The lighting on all of the things in the picture will be providing some kind of unity to the scheme. Also: you like the picture you chose right?

In starting to revisit my game ‘The Legend of Dracenstein‘ one of the first things to do is to start creating some sprites and tiles to move about the place. One of the joys of the Pico 8 was the limited Palette and having worked with that I learned a lot about colour theory in the process.

Anyway, to this end, I looked through my photo library and found some pictures of Japan. Stitched them together into a single image:

Next step: Image -> Mode -> Indexed Colour

It’ll ask you to merge layers, then you get some options. I selected 256 colours, to give myself a decent selection. For the purposes of a sprite sheet, that might be too many very similar ones.

Then: Image -> Mode -> Colour Table and save the palette.

And then make the Swatches Palette visible (Window -> Swatches) – put it wherever suits your workflow – and in the Swatches Menu choose Replace Swatches. Browse to your saved file and there you have it. A new colour palette to provide #joy and #inspiration.

Done. They look better on my desktop than they do in WordPress mind but you get the idea.