When 16 million colors are just too stinking many...  
Do we have really have to reinvent the wheel on every image?

Okay, we have to work in 16.7 million colors
for many of our program features to remain available ...

But this presents an overwhelming glob of colors we then have to wade through as we go sniffing around for some shade of blue.

How do we get those colors choices down to more manageable sizes and still retain access to all of our PSP's features & color choices?


for quick & easy

A 256 sample on the top plus a 16 on the bottom

Big tip so you won't
feel like a doofus
Flood fill backgrounds on FAKES so you can tell them apart from REAL ones.

Let's say we have an image with a desirable palette of colors
we'd like to save & reuse in future projects.

     Let's shuffle that 16 million color deck

Open the image in PSP
Reduce color depth to 256
(nearest color, error diffusion)
Click a swatch to bring up your REAL 256 palette
Reorganize the color palette to Palette Order
(This is not mandatory ... it's just to tidy things up)

Keep this real palette open & do a print screen or PSP capture.

Paste As A New Image (If you did a print screen)
& Crop down to color swatches on the dialog box

Reduce colors (Menu> Colors> Decrease) on this image to 256
(optimized octree/nearest color)
Flood fill the background to a different color
SAVE it as an (GIF) image to a "favorite fakes folder"

We can also reduce this 256 colors further down to 16 ...
CUT & PASTE a copy of our 16 color palette right onto the bottom of our 256 FAKE and save them both together in one handy file.

Fake Palettes are like artistic convenience stores
No waiting in lines, no marathon hikes up huge aisles
storing 16 million extra products in the back room

Stick your FAKE up there on the screen like any other old fashioned oils palette ... where it's kinda sorta balanced up there under our artist thumb with all our favorite colors premixed, ready & waiting.




Yeah, so?

Okay ... let's take that baby for a test drive.

Open your text box & march that little mouse
straight over to your Fake Palette

The cursor magically turned into a picker
that stays active even after we leave the text box zone.
Colorpick grab some color off the FAKE palette
and watch that color dive straight into your text box.  

The ideal shade hops right over into the text box.
No hunting, rooting around for truffles or fishing,
no keying RGB numbers into the wrong darn boxes...
Holy cow, this is too easy, too smooth, too friendly,
I don't trust it.


Let's see if our little trick works for drop shadows too
Open the Drop Shadow dialog box

I make a beeline straight for the FAKE PALETTE to snag my color.   Click on any color square.

Whadaya know, my color just happily hops right over into the drop shadow box without a fuss.

Good grief, this was too easy.
Do I love this or what?
Yep, I love it

Uh oh, that last color turned out to be a bit darker than I expected.  Now what?

<--Click either swatch at any time in the project and up jumps my REAL COLOR PALETTE with all its big guns who let me tweak away to the tune of 16.7 million colors.


color grabs

Many tools automatically turn into instant color picks
whenever we press the Control key

We seldom need to go get the Colorpick
when grabbing fresh new colors.
Press the control key...
Grab new colors...
Keep painting...



Couldn't I save my 256 palette as a .pal file & use that instead?   (nope)

speedier colors access
more visually motivating
Full access to all your tools

Loading a reduced color palette means we are no longer working in 24 bit which automatically grays out a major chunk of our tools & options.

Real palettes only allow us to view & access 2 measly colors at a time.

Each time we want to view or change colors we must reopen that real palette & are still going to be limited to those 2 stinking measly foreground/background colors.

FAKE palettes let us view & grab all 256 colors all the time.

We also have fewer hassles with those nasty little last minute surprises as we reduce our image's color depth for our web GIFS. 

Copyright ©1999/2000 Top10 All Rights Reserved