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Old 28 August 2020, 19:51   #1
Ulysses13
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Workbench Colour Palettes

OK, so I've read enough to realise that colour palettes in Workbench are a bit of a can of worms, but...

Without any extras, such as Magic this and Glow that, I have set my screen mode in Workbench to 16 colours.

So far so good. But when drawing icons or working with the Palette Prefs, I am only offered 8. Am I missing something? Where are the other 8 colours?

If they're not usable by WB, then is there any point going above 8? IconEdit and Palette Prefs can both show me 8 colours...

Confused...

...any advice?
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Old 28 August 2020, 21:06   #2
daxb
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You need this: http://aminet.net/package/util/wb/FullPalette22
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Old 29 August 2020, 18:38   #3
Sim085
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always asked this myself. will try it out.
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Old 30 August 2020, 09:42   #4
Ulysses13
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@daxb Thanks for that, just the job! I've now made myself a nice 16 colour palette.

But, IconEdit, Pointer and WBpattern still only offer me the 8 default locked colours, am I doing something wrong, or do I need to find more sophisticated apps to make my pointers, patterns and icons?
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Old 30 August 2020, 12:26   #5
daxb
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As far as I know Pointer is (and always was) limited to 4 colours. I don't know if or how it works, but there exists 16 colour pointers: http://aminet.net/package/pix/icon/MCP_CoplandPtr

IconEdit from OS3.1 is limited. Maybe OS 3.1.4 or 3.9 have better colour support. Alternative use PPaint for drawing icons.

I don't know if OS >= 3.1.4 support more colours with WBPattern for pattern. However, you can use images as patterns and therefore all the colours you need or palette provides.

You may look at Aminet what is full of icons, pointers and patterns.
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Old 31 August 2020, 10:20   #6
Steffest
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For Icons: There are 3 main types of icons on Amiga:
  1. Classic icons: these don't store color info in the icon itself but only use the system colours (the ones you see in WB Palette). Theoretically you can use more than 8 colours, but as there is no "default" palette, this is not practical. Most 8 colour icons are made for the "Magic Workbench" colour palette, simply because it's the only palette that was used so much it became some kind of unofficial standard.
    The icons you create with the default OS icon editor are classic icons. (and therefor are practically limited to 8 colours)
  2. ColorIcons: These were introduced in OS3.5 but with the proper icon library any Amiga OS version can display them. Also 3.1.4 has native support for them. They store color information inside the icon. You can use up to 256 colours. they are loosely based on NewIcons, just properly implemented on System level. You can use paint programs like PPaint to create those.
  3. Dual PNG icons. Introduced in OS4, but with the proper icon.library any Amiga OS can display them. They are literally 2 PNG files stitched together and are true 32 bit (24bit color and an 8 bit alpha channel)

Don't install "hacks" like NewIcons or PowerIcons. They were very useful in their day, but are slow and ugly hacks. They are now superseded by "proper" implementations. For all icons, just install PeterK's latest icon library and you're fine. (http://aminet.net/package/util/libs/IconLib_46.4)

As Workbench background, you can just use any image you like (IFF and in more recent versions also JPG) with as much colours as you want.

Any OS can display these icons, but the colour depth of your workbench determines how and with what colours they are displayed exactly.
Your workbench background and your icons get mapped/converted on the fly.
All workbench programs that want to display graphics can "claim" any amount of colour, then the system works out what the most optimal palette is on the fly and that's the palette all graphics have to work with, including icons and background.
Quite a clever mechanism actually!
This is also why the colours of your (classic) icons suddenly can change when you open a program that also want to display some graphics, because the exact workbench palette is not fixed and can change at any time.

All this "on the fly colour mapping" takes CPU power of course. That's why on non-expanded Amigas, it's not recommended to use backgrounds with lots of colours, or set your colour depth too high, because everything will slow down, trying to cope with these palette optimisations.

Tools like fullpalette let you manage/lock all of your system colours, then the icons and your background will map on those colours. And if you lock all colours with this tool, your palette won't change on the fly.

So for best visual results on a 16 color workbench.
  1. Set 16 fixed colours using FullPalette
  2. Create your workbench background in a paint program with your 16 colours and save as IFF
  3. Create your icons either in 8 colour Classic Icons (with the system icon editor) or as 16 colour ColorIcon (using PPaint or something)
That way, on the fly color mapping is at a minimum and things won't slow down as much.
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Old 25 January 2021, 10:46   #7
Ulysses13
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I keep coming back to this post as it's a comprehensive description of all this.

Thanks Steffest!
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