How to lower the number of Palettes

This Topic shows you how you can reduce the number of palettes used in BotF. As Dcer figured out quite a while ago the maximum numbers of palettes that trek.exe can use is 127. here’s a small example how your ships look like when you use more than the maximum number of Palettes allowed:

In vanilla botf 122 palettes are already in use, so after adding 5 custom ships to the game you will run into this problem.

this little how to will show you how you can make 2 (or more) textures using one palette together.

here i am using a model of a cardassian hutet(it can be found in the downloads somewhere), the model uses 3 textures, and they have 3 different palettes. but all the textures look quite similar so it makes sense to make them use the same palette.






as you see the texture nr2 has the widest spectrum of colors while nr3 only uses brown, white and orange colors, so if we’d use the palette of texture nr3 we would never be able to display the red spots in nr2 or the black ones in nr1…similar applies to nr1 too. so we use nr2’s palette.

here i have loaded all three texture files into adobe’s photoshop (this is CS 3 but i am sure it works with older versions as well, i have tested it sucessfuly with CS 2)
i highlighted the one i selected before (nr2), now i go to the the color table… menu :

and save the color table of this texture:

now i highlight the next texture, this texture is indexed as well, so i change it to RGB

and then back to indexed color…

Note: Don’t go to the color table… menu again as photoshop doesn’t recompute the picture again in this menu but simply replaces one palette by another which makes the picture look quite funny after it’s done.

once i change back to indexed color… a menu pops up where i select the custom… option:

in the following menu i load my palette i saved from nr2 before.

now the texture uses the palette of nr2…the problem is that the texture also used colors that nr2 doesn’t have…photoshop tried to recompute these colors as good as possible with the colors avaiable in the new palette. the diffusion option in the indexed color menu allows you to tell photoshop how exactly these colors should match the old ones…here you can experiment around as sometimes high values are good and in other times a low value looks better.

i have zoomed in a little bit to show you the difference of high and low values:

100% diffuse:

1% diffuse:

in this case i’d choose a low value it looks better but as i wrote before this is individual for every picture. as a rule of thumb the diffusion value must be higher when the palettes differ more from each other. so if you want a galaxy texture use the palette of a warbird texture (not really recommended) you should use a very high value, on the other hand if you make a galaxy texture use a nebula texture’s palette a low value will do fine.