I have been searching for a good workflow for testing out different color palettes for existing video game designs.
I have finally found a relatively pain free method of testing different color palettes and applying them to entire games. I will be making a video tutorial about this in the future, but before I get to that, I thought I would already explain the basics of the workflow.
This process will be easier and quicker if you can pack all your game graphics into one large sprite sheet first. For this I used an open source tool called Free Texture Packer. Grab it here:
Run Free texture Packer and choose “Actions” –> “Load folder” and point it to your sprites folder. From the settings panel on the right, uncheck “Prepend folder name” and “Detect identical”. Then hit “Export”. Your sprite sheet will be saved along with a JSON file that describes the sprite names and locations in the sheet.
Download the open source tool called “Image Palettizer” here:
Load your sprite sheet into the tool and then load a color palette in the Gimp .gpl palette format. Click apply and let Image Palettizer figure out how to best convert your image to the suggested palette. There are different intermediate color spaces available should you not be happy with the initial results.
Save your color converted sprite sheet and go back to Free Texture Packer. Go to “Tools” –> “Split sheet” and give it the sprite sheet file and the JSON file. It will ask you for a save location and the write your sprites back into their original individual files, even preserving their original names -very nice!
Replace the old files in your game folder with the recolored ones. You have just recolored your entire game based on a color palette! This makes it quick and effortless to try out different palettes for your game designs.
Stay tuned for the video tutorial version!