Andrew Kensler
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Aug 10, 2020

More on Palettes

I was recently asked a pair of questions regarding palettes and my previous posts on them. First, I was asked about what a 48-color palette generated by my palette generator algorithm would look like. Secondly, a different person asked me what my mapping approach would make of the extended Pico-8 palette with the 16 additional colors that have been added.

48-Color Palette

First up, I dusted off the palette generation program and gave it lots of compute time to explore 48-color palettes and here is the result. Once more, you can download this as a GIMP palette or use the following image for with an eye dropper tool in your favorite art program:


   000000 rgb(0.0%, 0.0%, 0.0%) black
   43290f rgb(26.3%, 16.0%, 6.2%) dark brown
   7d554d rgb(49.0%, 33.6%, 30.1%) cocoa
   8d226b rgb(55.3%, 13.4%, 42.0%) red violet
   4a4053 rgb(29.2%, 25.0%, 32.4%) dirty purple
   0f4078 rgb(6.2%, 25.1%, 47.0%) darkish blue
   1c4c4b rgb(11.3%, 29.9%, 29.5%) dark teal
   1d4b18 rgb(11.5%, 29.6%, 9.7%) british racing green
   377f04 rgb(21.7%, 49.8%, 1.7%) dark grass green
   248b6e rgb(14.3%, 54.5%, 43.0%) viridian
   666c5e rgb(40.2%, 42.2%, 36.9%) medium grey
   5f540a rgb(37.4%, 33.1%, 4.1%) olive brown
   97833f rgb(59.2%, 51.4%, 24.8%) dark khaki
   ab601b rgb(67.0%, 37.8%, 10.6%) raw umber
   f58e32 rgb(95.9%, 55.7%, 19.9%) faded orange
   f3bd2d rgb(95.0%, 73.8%, 17.7%) golden rod
   e8c4a6 rgb(90.7%, 76.9%, 65.0%) light peach
   aaa1a5 rgb(66.5%, 62.9%, 64.5%) pinkish grey
   facce1 rgb(98.0%, 80.0%, 87.9%) light pink
   f892f6 rgb(97.1%, 57.2%, 96.4%) lavender pink
   fb03b3 rgb(98.3%, 1.3%, 70.3%) bright pink
   db2753 rgb(85.8%, 15.4%, 32.5%) lipstick
   a77188 rgb(65.4%, 44.2%, 53.3%) mauve
   e48b82 rgb(89.3%, 54.4%, 50.9%) blush
   fd3d0e rgb(99.1%, 24.2%, 5.8%) red orange
   b21401 rgb(69.6%, 8.1%, 0.5%) rust red
   740321 rgb(45.6%, 1.2%, 13.1%) wine red
   290016 rgb(16.2%, 0.2%, 9.0%) dark plum
   180750 rgb(9.4%, 2.8%, 31.3%) dark indigo
   3c06ce rgb(23.5%, 2.3%, 80.9%) ultramarine blue
   984bca rgb(59.7%, 29.6%, 79.0%) purply
   9a8afa rgb(60.2%, 53.9%, 97.9%) lavender blue
   c4d0fc rgb(76.8%, 81.3%, 98.6%) light periwinkle
   ffffff rgb(100.0%, 100.0%, 100.0%) white
   b3ffff rgb(70.2%, 100.0%, 100.0%) light cyan
   00c0b8 rgb(0.0%, 75.2%, 72.0%) topaz
   9ab095 rgb(60.4%, 69.1%, 58.5%) greenish grey
   e2f5b7 rgb(88.6%, 95.8%, 71.6%) light khaki
   faff04 rgb(97.9%, 100.0%, 1.7%) yellow
   a9b835 rgb(66.2%, 72.0%, 20.9%) sick green
   2ab64d rgb(16.6%, 71.5%, 30.3%) shamrock
   77f827 rgb(46.7%, 97.1%, 15.4%) bright lime green
   45f6b7 rgb(27.3%, 96.2%, 71.8%) light greenish blue
   04c7f8 rgb(1.8%, 77.9%, 97.1%) bright sky blue
   3895ef rgb(22.2%, 58.5%, 93.4%) dark sky blue
   418898 rgb(25.5%, 53.4%, 59.5%) teal blue
   6c7192 rgb(42.5%, 44.4%, 57.3%) grey purple
   095ffc rgb(3.7%, 37.3%, 98.7%) azul

And here is the mapping that my palette mapping tool produced for it. One new feature that I added to my mapping tool while doing this was to color code the edges between linked colors. The two “closest” colors are shown with a black edge between them, while the two “farthest” but still linked colors are shown with a light grey edge. All the other edges are shaded somewhere in between depending on where they fall on that scale. Note that this doesn’t mean that two colors linked by a light grey line are necessarily very dissimilar; it just means that other pairs of colors linked in the map are considered closer by the CIEDE2000 formula.


Additional Mappings

Next up, there was the question about what the map of what the extended 32-color PICO-8 palette looks like. Here’s the result:


One thing this shows is that the light blue color is still the most unique and isn’t particularly close to any other color in the palette. Since this sets the upper threshold on how close colors must be in order to be connected in the map, the result is a fairly messy looking map since lot’s of pairs of colors are closer to each other than that light blue is to anything else. That means that this palette is something of a failure case for my mapping algorithm. Still, I hope that the new shading of the edges will help to suggest which pairs of colors are actually more strongly connected.

Finally, just for fun, I was curious about the Solarized palette that is popular with many for terminals and text editors. The mapping program definitely manages to find the desaturated spine of the palette:

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